1: a member of the household of a high official
2: one who is often seen and well known: especially: an intimate associate: companion
3: a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person
4 (a): one who is well acquainted with something; (b) one who frequents a place

Source: www.merriam-webster.com


Familiar (adj.): mid-14th century, “intimate, very friendly, on a family footing,” from Old French famelierrelated; friendly,” from Latin familiarisdomestic, private, belonging to a family, of a household;” also “intimate, friendly,” dissimilated from *familialis, from familia (related to: family). From late 14th century as “of or pertaining to one’s family.” Of things, “known from long association,” from late 15th century. Meaning “ordinary, usual” is from 1590s.

The noun meaning “demon, evil spirit that answers one’s call” is from 1580s (familiar spirit is attested from 1560s); earlier as a noun it meant “a familiar friend” (late 14th century). The Latin plural, used as a noun, meant “the slaves,” also “a friend, intimate acquaintance, companion.”

Source: www.etymonline.com


“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926, global spiritual teacher, poet, and peace activist)

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“Only the familiar transformed by genius is truly great.”

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960, Soviet and Russian contemporary lyrical poet and epic novelist, best known for his masterpiece, “Doctor Zhivago”; and recipient of The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958)

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“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”

Lin Yutang (1895-1976, prolific Chinese writer of a variety of works in Chinese and English; founded several Chinese magazines specializing in social satire and Western-style journalism)

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“He who does not become familiar with nature through love will never know her.”

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829, German poet, critic, philosopher, scholar, and founder of German Romanticism)

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“My husband and I have known each other since kindergarten. I had a crush on him in school, but we never dated. Then we saw each other again after high school, and there was something instantly familiar about him. I’m a very shy person and was very closed off. But, he allowed me to be myself. And there’s a safety in that.”

Alison Sweeney (b. 1976, actress and director, known for “Days of Our Lives, “The Biggest Loser,” and “Second Chances”)

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“In marriage there are no manners to keep up, and beneath the wildest accusations no real criticism. Each is familiar with that ancient child in the other who may erupt again. We are not ridiculous to ourselves. We are ageless. That is the luxury of the wedding ring.”

Enid Bagnold (1889-1981, English novelist and playwright, known for her broad range of subject and style; her best known work is “National Velvet”)

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“But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.”

Bono (b. Paul David Newson in 1960, lead singer of U2, one who fights for social justice worldwide, especially in Africa; his nonprofit, One, raises awareness via media, policy and calls to action)

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“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Change can be tough, especially when going from one stage to the next level.  It can be excruciatingly taxing and painful on many levels.  That’s why most of us don’t change unless Life gives us a big kick in the behind.

Ken Wilber in his book, The Theory of Everything – An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality, wrote:

“… if the person has tasted a stage and become fairly full, then he or she is open to transformation.  In order for this to occur, some sort of dissonance generally has to set in.  The new wave is struggling to emerge, the old wave is struggling to hang on, and the individual feels torn, feels dissonance, feels pulled in several directions.  But in any event there has to be some sort of profound dissatisfaction with the present level; one has to be agitated, annoyed, frustrated with it, so that a deep and conflicted dissonance insistently arises.”

At the age of 35, I endured a massive “mid-life crisis” for the next 20 years or so.  My life turned upside, and I was in complete and utter emotional, spiritual, and physical pain.  I had to not only do the inner work, but the external purging as well, divorcing marriage, changing jobs, and eventually relocating my home from the northeast part of the county to the the southeast.  I knew then, as clear as day, if I didn’t drastically shift my life and transform my soul, I would die.

However, after I made that choice, life was immediately harmonious.  It felt more chaotic than my past familiar life of suffering, because all that I was initiating and integrating was new.  I was committed even though the Universe kept throwing problem after problem, as if asking, “Are you sure, really sure?”  But, I knew it was impossible to go back to my old ways.  The genie was out of the bottle.  I knew too much, and had vision of the possibilities.

Collectively, the inner turmoil that we are going through now is necessary for us to get the next stage.  We must be completely unhappy with our current states of affairs.  Most of us are, especially those of us who are aware and awakening, and want our world to shift and on many levels.  We have become intolerant to the needless suffering.

Each of us must do our part to fearlessly love and to be committed to the vision of a new world.

Stay strong and determined, sojourners!

Faithfully Yours, Tonya







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