5 Intention-setting Ideas to Honor Juneteenth

Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, a new federal holiday was honored by legislation that signed it into law, even though it has been celebrated for over 150 years.  Juneteenth is the holiday that commemorates and celebrates the freedom of all Black people in the South that were enslaved.  Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1,1863, it took another two and half years for this information to travel to Galveston, Texas and inform the slaves there of their freedom.  The officials in Texas announced slavery was abolished on June 19th, 1865.  The 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified six months later to outlaw slavery nationwide.

This holiday celebrates the culture, history and pride as well as the strength and resiliency of black communities.  It is important to honor such events and holidays to make the time to remember and heal.

Below are intention-setting ideas for you to consider for honoring our collective history on this Juneteenth holiday:

  1. Read a Book. Below is a list of books (for various ages) to consider reading to honor this holiday:
    • Children
      • Addy:  An American Girl (a series by Connie Rose Porter)
      • Freedom’s Gifts:  A Juneteenth Story (by Valerie Wesley, illustrated by Sharon Wilson)
    • Adolescents
      • Crossing Ebenezer Creek (by Tonya Bolden)
      • Stamped:  Racism, Antiracism, and You (by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds)
    • Adults
      • Juneteenth (by Ralph Ellison)
      • The Brightesst Day:  A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology (by Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Piper Huguley)
  2. Watch a Video/Movie.  If you prefer watching something to reading, below is a list of movies to consider to honor this holiday:
    • Miss Juneteenth
    • Slavery by Another Name
    • Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are)
    • Whose Streets?
  3. Join a Celebration.  Search for gatherings in your local area and plan to attend with friends and family.
  4. Sip a Red Drink.  Red beverages (and foods) on this holiday are symbolic of the blood shed by the slaves.  Perhaps plan to have some Hibiscus tea or Strawberry soda as part of the celebration of this holiday.
  5. Support a Black-owned Restaurant.  If you were thinking of going out for a meal (instead of mingling in the crowd of a local celebration), perhaps search for local black-owned restaurants in your area and perhaps order a red drink too!

As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you.  Please send me an email at to share!

5 Intention-setting Ideas to Foster Peace

International Peace Month!

August was designated International Peace Month back at the time that the First World War ended, specifically on August 16, 1926, at the Democratic Peace Conference in Germany.  As time continues to pass along with the heroes of that time, it it critical that new generations are educated about the unthinkable tragedies that grew from that conflict, to learn the lessons in order to build a strong foundation of peace and avoid repeating the same mistakes that led to the Great War.

I am not a history teacher, yet I do honor our ancestors that fought so hard for peace.  Therefore, below I am offering intention-setting ideas to foster peace (inside and out) so that we all may do our small parts.  I hope you will consider trying one!

  1. Study history.  Consider reading a book on this Great War to better understand the worldwide devastation and how it changed Western culture.  It is vital that the world does not forget the devastating effects of the war.  Some books to consider include:  All Quiet On the Western Front by E.M. Remarque, Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb; The Great War And Modern Memory by Paul Fussell; The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman; and/or Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.
  2. Social media.  If you use social media, perhaps include #InternationalPeaceMonth in all of your posts this month.  See what response you might get and perhaps offer a bit of education if anyone asks why you included it your post.
  3. Peace tree. A lot of us are finding ourselves in our gardens more during this pandemic, so consider planting a peace tree.  You might plant it in honor of our war veterans in general, or perhaps a specific one.  I recently learned that my grandfather fought in the Great War, so this is my intention this month.
  4. Explore a current conflict.  Perhaps you do this with your child or a friend or significant other.  Some questions to get you started on the journey of exploration might include “Whose point of view is expressed in the story?” and “What other voices or points of view are missing?” Brainstorm what you both think the other voices that are missing would likely say.
  5. Local heroes.  Our local CBS talk/news AM radio station (KNX) highlights a local hero of the week.  Recently, it was my neighbor’s greyhound who donated blood for other animals in need.  It always warms my heart to hear these stories.  Consider discussing local heroes who promote peace with someone you love.  Examples might be medical personal, teachers, and rescue workers.  Share how these people play a part in the peace process.

As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you.  Please send me an email at to share!