Letter from Publisher

Bernice Butler

Fresh on the heels of winter’s ultimate holiday season, folks naturally look forward to finding more to celebrate. We wish to extend that sense of carefree joy, rekindle feelings of good endorphins and break bread with beloved family and friends. Many have been making fun plans for this year’s Mardi Gras, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and spring break. I think the defining thread through it all is our strong desire to come together in caring relationships and express love in special ways. February’s emphasis on loving hearts doubles as Heart Health month.  Even our master instruction manual, the Bible tells us that the heart carries the lifeblood of man and all behavior emanates from there.

It leads me to wonder about the condition of America’s heart and how we will return it to a better state. After the most recent spate of embarrassing xenophobic, divisive and scaremongering talk on the national stage, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing a million U.S. citizens, mostly women, come together in 600+ locations in a peaceful, engaging, family-oriented atmosphere to basically confirm that all that the ugliness heard and seen lately “is not us.”

Rather, most of us are all about loving and caring for one another, moving in a mutually satisfying direction for the common good, respecting the rights of others and standing up for honorable American values. Let’s view this heart-warming leading as the start of a movement to heal the national heart. Just as reducing salt and harmful cholesterol intake is a first step in improving individual heart health, such constructive behavior must be sustained at the individual level to bring about desired changes.

Heartfelt relationships comprise the core of everyone’s happiness and I invite you to partake of Emily Esfahani Smith’s inspirational article on page 26 where she explains that people focused on criticizing miss 50 percent of the positives, and even see negativity when it’s absent. This helps clarify for me the way we can turn around both our individual and national conversation, by monitoring our moment-by-moment behavior and turning it more positive to uplift and bless any environment in which we find ourselves. In this way we heal our heart, our neighbor’s heart and the national heart.

This month’s issue of Natural Awakenings is filled with resources for making your life a more positive, joyful, heart-healthy experience. We’ll even assist you in finding your next love (see our Valentine’s Day discount for Natural Awakenings’ singles online dating site on page 26) or transforming your daily thoughts and behavior to be more consistently grateful, positive and empowering via the MindPT self-training program (page 15).

 As 2017 unfolds, we hope that perspectives shared in these pages support and guide you along a healthier, greener path.

Until next month,

Bernice Butler, Publisher


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