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Saying adieu to facilitating Inner Peace column

In January 2009, I visited the Ashland Tidings office to pick up an extra paper and to thank them for publishing my letter to the editor as a guest commentary on Christmas Eve 2008.

I floated the idea of an ongoing column on inner peace. To my delight the answer was affirmative, and I was off, volunteering to find contributors.

I knew there were many amazing people practicing various worthy paths and it would not be too difficult to find willing participants.

I have loved every minute of this self-imposed; self-created job. But since I will be moving to be closer to family, I now happily, but not without regret, turn the facilitation over to a column contributor Richard Carey, effective Oct. 1.

Richard will do a wonderful job facilitating the column. He is the author of several books and has terrific editing skills. You can tell from his columns that his writing style is meticulous and quite perceptive. You will hear from Richard in next week’s column. If you wish to submit an article for the column (600 to 700 words), email it to Richard at rcarey009@gmail.com.

I want to thank the Tidings for carrying the column, and I believe it may be the only newspaper in the country to have a weekly column dedicated to inner peace.

Myles Murphy was the editor who accepted the idea at the time, and later Cathy Noah, then Bert Etling and now Justin Umberson. Each of them has been wonderful to work with. The publisher and all of them should receive a community award for this contribution to peace. The column is inclusive, a place where all paths and ideas about inner peace are welcome, in a judgment-free zone. I am happy to say that is still true.

The column would not have worked if it had not been for all the contributors who supported the concept that in sharing what we have learned, we all win. We never know when our sharing helps someone, struggling somewhere. And in sharing what we know, we expand and learn about ourselves, as well.

I know the articles have found their way to people’s hearts and become bookmarks and sent to friends far and wide.

The Dali Lama has said there will never be peace in the world until it resides in every heart. When we look in our hearts and find division, excessive judgments and unrest, world peace is a fallacy. Peace is a personal choice, and it’s an ongoing process, not easy, but worth it, and with any practice, the more you do it the better you get. Thank you, dear contributors, and please continue to share your wisdom and spread the word that peace is a path worth sharing.

And thank you inner peace fans and friends for embracing the column and for the thoughtful comments and encouragement over the years. I am in the process of putting together a book of my columns and hope to make it available later this year or next spring and will let you know.

I know you will all be as supportive of Richard as you were of me. May you all be well and realize the blessing your light brings to our community, to each other and to our world.

Sally McKirgan resided in Ashland from 2005 to 2021. She is an artist, poet, writer, instigator, facilitator of the Inner Peace column since January 2009, retired October 2021. Contact her at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com; See her art at www.fineartamerica.com and her blog at www.innerpeaceforyou.com.