Archive for Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul:
When Will We Ever Learn?

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

The Sight Still Burns In My Soul

By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2Today please allow a very personal sharing.

I was just looking forward to eighth grade graduation when a friend came to my home in Cicero, Illinois saying something was happening a few blocks away. We rode our bikes together to a scene which has never stopped burning in my soul.

A very large crowd of angry, shouting people had gathered in front of an apartment house. Some men with axes had broken into a second floor unit and shattered the front windows — only to allow them to throw pieces of furniture they had chopped up out those windows to the cheering people below. Read More→

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Categories : Barbara Mayer

Mental Health Awareness Week Reaches Into Local Communities

By Barbara Mayer
(May 10, 2015) 

photo_barbaramayer2How does one navigate the mystery of a troubled mind?

Where can one find some magic key to free a tortured heart — as life demands continuing on in spite of emotions flailing about, where no answers seem available — or even existing at all?

Where are the answers when some of the questions rise from helplessness — to even threatening a sense of hopelessness?

How do we bring help to those caught in the web of mental illness? Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

By Barbara Mayer
(April 7, 2015) 

photo_barbaramayer2A huge jet airliner screams downward, exploding against a mountain side as 150 souls are lost in a moment of horror and the quick release of death. One soul, however, remains the cause, and that one soul feeds the stigma so tightly held by some – mental illness. That’s the cause. That’s where we put the blame and feed the stigma even more.

Once again, however, the facts betray the label. In the scarring of that mountain side and the stealing of life from all those innocent souls, our search for meaning requires us to comprehend the terror, yet understand the deeper truth. This was a suicide, and while suicide usually occurs between an individual and her or his psychological problems, murder-suicides are very rare and almost nonexistent among airline pilots. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Remembering Kayla Mueller

By Barbara Mayer
(February 11, 2015)

photo_barbaramayer2There is a saying in Zen that we keep becoming what we always were. Some of us take a long lifetime to reach any potential we may have, and some people die with a good part of their soul songs still unheard.

Then there is Kayla Mueller. As the sad news that this daughter of Arizona and our neighbor Prescott has lost her life as a captive in the savage chaos of rebels against humanity itself, we can now take heart that this young woman’s beautiful soul song is being heard with great clarity in every part of this planet. At a young age she had already understood that spending one’s life responding to the cries of the world is the very epitome of highest human endeavor. She had learned to follow her heart. Through her tireless dedication to ease the cries of the suffering and marginalized, she also showed us the possibilities of a new way of being — living with compassion and inclusion of all. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

‘And The Soul Felt Its Worth’  

By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2Sedona AZ (December 3, 2014) – If there is any time of the calendar year when miracles can happen, we are in it right now. With Thanksgiving hopefully leaving us with memories of good times shared with people we love, we can use this holiday season to work for the greatest gift of all – and it is a gift we can actually give to ourselves as well as to others.

One song you will possibly hear in these next few weeks is “O Holy Night”. And in the words of that song may lie our invitation to embrace the concept of emerging from darkness into a profound dawn of true and powerfully incisive awareness. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul:
Woman’s True Heart Revealed

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A Birth Day For Women And Men

By Barbara Mayer       

photo_barbaramayer2Sedona AZ (September 10, 2014) – Recently I was honored to be present at separate birthday celebrations of two fantastic women. In each case these were not the typical “Here I am, give me a present” birthdays. Instead, each of these women chose to witness the true fullness and beauty of her own age — as well as to empower all women present to share their own positive views of how to embrace the continuing gift of years.

Today’s media is engrossed in the scandal of Ray Rice brutally beating his future wife unconscious, and his ultimate dismissal from the professional football scene. I choose, however, to honor each of these women who becomes stronger with each birthday as she powerfully lives ahead into wisdom, age, and very real and very meaningful grace. In the birthday celebrations I witnessed, each woman took time to claim her age with dignity and a very beautiful strength. These were times of all women honoring themselves as they shared their own unique visions of how to bring new awareness and compassionate action to our very troubled world. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul: The Tears of a Clown

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

There Is A Way Beyond Darkness

By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2Sedona AZ (August 14, 2014) – Many of us will never have to worry about becoming celebrities, yet for some people who live in that world, the pressures of fame and fortune can also reach into the darker side of depression – which does not care how much fame or money anyone has.

The suicide of comic genius Robin Williams has touched many of us with near disbelief.  He was the man of joy and laughter. He was the master of comedy who could help us forget the pressures and pains of just being human. True, he spoke often of his bouts with depression, but he was always in recovery. At least that’s we thought. Read More→

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Meditation Can Help Restore The Wonder

By Barbara Mayer
(August 3, 2014) 

photo_barbaramayer2Since religion is such a key concept in today’s world, perhaps it will serve to look at its sources from as far back in ancient times as our cosmic clock will allow. While the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity take up so much attention — even now as violence rages in the Mideast – all religions have touched many, often for eons of time. Yet, while many people today are walking away from religion, the energies of past eras of worship remain in our cellular memory. They also remain in the rock and the soil, the water and the air of this planet herself. Read More→

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A New Mantra For Our Time

By Barbara Mayer
(July 11, 2014)

photo_barbaramayer2If we are to make a personal testament about ourselves, our beliefs, and how we want our lives to matter, one of our most basic thoughts would include the reality that we are not here alone. We belong.

Our personal analysis of how we belong depends on our psychological and spiritual maturity, as the ego of its nature demands attention and approval. An integral part of being human, however, is that our very identity rises from the fact we are part of something where, for better or worse, we belong and we matter. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul: Elderly Or Elder?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

“Words Mean What I Want Them To Mean”

By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2As a writer who has made a career of dancing with words, the line “Words mean what I want them to mean” carries one of the most telling realities we face today. That is the personal interpretation of any word which often leads to great errors of judgment, bias, and exclusion. Take, for example, the words “elderly” and “elder”.

To call someone an elder, in many traditions, is to acknowledge one’s wisdom and great advancement in the Art of Being Human. It is a term of honor. To use the word “elderly” in today’s society, however, can mark someone of at least physical, if not mental, diminished capacity. Both terms have their merits as well as their deficiencies, and as one who has been given the gift of years, I too face the challenges of continuing to grow into “wisdom, age and grace.” Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

logo_lettereditorBy Barbara Mayer, Sedona Resident
(May 5, 2014)

With more stress prevalent in these challenging times, greater compassion as “People Who Hear The Cries Of The World” must also address those whose cries are seldom acknowledged because of the stigma placed on mental illness. Yet, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults experience some form of mental disorder and 20% of teens have severe mental problems. Read More→

Concern For People Living with Mental Illness

By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2I have dedicated further editions of this column to the concept of Kwan Yin – or any other caring figure in belief systems around the planet who stand for and call for the Spirit of Compassion as One Who Hears The Cries Of The World.

Yet this column features one group of society whose cries are either never heard or who are quietly dismissed because of the sociological bias against those who suffer from various degrees or modes of mental illness. Read More→

A Sharing of Discoveries
By Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2Sedona AZ (March 30, 2014) – With this new year new ideas have come for this column, and as we tiptoe into the first stages of the Age of Aquarius, one of the chief characteristics of this new way of being on the planet is emphasis on compassion and inclusion of all in our one human family.

Many are aware of the archetype of Kwan Yin as “One who hears the cries of the world” and in my Sedona Scene/SedonaSoul columns I will highlight some ways we can become positive voices who are willing to respond to cries we so often may neglect. Future columns will address such topics as mental health, care and assistance for veterans, the need for and the current successes of greater volunteerism, and exploring the various energies Sedona offers to residents and visitors alike. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

A week-long journey of sharing and growth
by Barbara Mayer


Something very special happened in the first week of February, and the reverberations are still being felt by many who attended the events of Sedona’s first annual World Peace Dance Celebration.

Beginning with a stirring yet practical speech on Sunday by non-violence activist John Dear, the week moved into a treasure trove of 22 workshops, all donated by volunteer Sedona artists, facilitators and experts in many fields from personal growth to spiritual enlightenment. As each workshop was presented, a very flexible community of attendees began gathering at different workshop events – and as the week progressed so did the very tangible sharing of peace, understanding, compassion and discovery. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul:
Take Time For Peace

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Week-long events are available for the asking

A Sharing With Barbara Mayer

photo_barbaramayer2Sedona AZ (February 2, 2014) – Depending on when you are reading this new column, there are still many free Sedona workshops on a variety of great topics inviting you to attend them.

A huge part of the Sedona World Peace Dance celebration comes in the form of free events all during this first week in February. Given for no charge by a number of talented teachers and facilitators, the public is invited to take advantage of workshops covering such topics as meditation, creating new ways of using our actions and our attitudes, learning new ways to deal with social change, and understanding not only ourselves but, for example, how also to understand the differences between those of us who live in the western world as opposed to the mindset and values of those who view life from the eastern side of our little planet. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul:
Give Peace a Dance!

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Sedona World Peace Dance Celebration –
A Week of Workshops, Events, Creativity

 photo_barbaramayer2A Sharing With Barbara Mayer

Sedona AZ (January 14, 2014) – You may not be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – as the keynote speaker of a new Sedona event has been — but this new year in Sedona brings an exciting opportunity to witness many different ways to create, support and manifest peace in ourselves, our Verde Valley, our state, nation and world.

Sedona’s inaugural World Peace Dance Celebration is scheduled to begin with a keynote address by peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee John Dear at Sedona’s Creative Life Center on Sunday, Feb, 2, at 1PM. This free event will feature aspects from Dears’ new book, Living A Nonviolent Life. Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The Vision and The Vote — Moving Beyond Labels
A Sharing with Barbara Mayer
(December 16, 2013)


Once again we make our way through the holiday season, yet this year brings its own meaning as we witness our beautiful city closing off one year and — with a new community plan — courageously looking forward to even greater things Sedona might be in 2014 and beyond.

And the word “beyond” is the operative word here, as I suggest it is time to use our rising consciousness to think and act BEYOND the old labels and the old stereotypes which went with them. A good place to begin is in considering what our city council has been doing, and what it has been bearing witness to with some recent votes.

Read More→

Categories : Barbara Mayer

Sedona SCENE/Sedona SOUL

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

This Sunday – Spirituality Beyond 2012

photo_barbaramayerA sharing with Barbara Mayer

Time is short, but this column today gives notice that on Sunday, Jan. 20, Sedona’s Studio Live will host a unique event on Spirituality.

Given to promote the creative talent in Sedona and the Verde Valley with live performance, this Sunday Studio Live will feature four speakers addressing the very creative topic “Spirituality Beyond 2012”. These include the well known Chris Spheeris, former Buddhist nun and noted artist Sherab “Shey” Khandro, well known Sedona resident Paul Friedman and myself. Each of us will address the topic from our own perspective and life-long learning. Read More→

Sedona SCENE / Sedona SOUL

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

‘Tis The Season — For A Broken Alleluia

A sharing with Barbara Mayer
Sedona AZ (December 20, 2012)

BarbaraMayerOnce again the old refrains are trying to gain their annual place in this sacred season for many religions and belief systems. ‘Tis the Season’ the jingle bells echo, but this season cannot ring true without acknowledging the horrific carnage which occurred at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut.

And sure enough, some people are again arguing about archaic ideas such as “How can a God of Love allow this to happen?” By doing that they perpetuate the concept that some distant divine being is a Master Puppeteer who can be blamed for every sin, crime or negative action that occurs on this planet. The air waves and Internet are also filled with furious arguments from those who call for stricter gun control laws while others are demanding mandates that all teachers and school principals carry loaded firearms. The partisanship which roared during the election and continues now in a stale-mated government and divided populace is stringent, offensive, and non-productive. Read More→

Sedona Scene/Sedona Soul

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Are We Still An Intelligent Electorate?

A sharing With Barbara Mayer
October 28, 2012 

One of my heroes in American history is Thomas Jefferson. Human as he was, Jefferson was wise enough to call for an America with an intelligent electorate.

When he was approaching the end of his life, someone asked Jefferson what he felt was his greatest contribution to the burgeoning United States of America, He was, after all, the third president, the first USA ambassador, he sat on the Supreme Court, and he wrote the majority of the Declaration of Independence! Read More→