Letter from Publisher

Bernice Butler

Living on Purpose

In my world, the onset of fall means resumption of two time-intensive weekly volunteer commitments: preparing for the State Fair of Texas to begin on September 29 and to represent Natural Awakenings at 11 of the myriad green, healthy and sustainable living expos, fairs and festivals in the Metroplex. Fall also brings intense morning traffic as we navigate school zones and buses and parents shuttling kids, plus concern for my coastal friends and family during the height of hurricane season. My personal summer break is over, marked by my routine arrival at the office at 6 rather than 9 a.m. Still, though we may long for and lament the end of lazier summer days, the possibility of fresh starts amid structured schedules also excites and comforts.

It all gives me a heightened sense of “living on purpose”, explored by Deborah Shouse in this month’s feature article, “Aging with Passion and Purpose.” I’m learning that feeling purposeful and fulfilled means wildly different things for different people—despite the innumerable books, courses and gurus suggesting the best ways to do so. As with other areas of human endeavor, our default activity may be to compare ourselves with others; in this case, reading the article set me on a wonderful path of introspection, aided by my current mindfulness training.

Reviewing what daily occupies my thoughts and time and that also brings me satisfying joy so that I keep on doing it without considering not doing so, I realized that the commonality is a bent toward helping others, whether in teaching, educating, showing, informing or sharing. Next, it dawned on me how gratified I feel when I learn something new and gain fresh insight. I especially love talking with people about what they do and how they do it. In helping others I naturally learn, grow and help myself. Contemporary science supports Seneca’s adage, “While you teach, you learn.” We are blessed by mentors great and small, and I am infinitely blessed as God’s divine purpose for my life is revealed.

Two of my purpose-driven role models are friends and colleagues Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry, the husband and wife team whose inspiring photo graces our cover. The publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico are rock stars in our magazine family for their constant passion for service and desire to uplift their island nation, as well as our publishing community. Radiating inner and outer beauty and strength, both are certified advanced yoga teachers and make time each year to detox, recharge and reconnect. Their three children are blessed to be growing up in an eco-minded, health-conscious community. Family mantras include “Life is good!” and “Work hard, play harder.”

Meeting daily with our magazine’s advertisers and community partners reminds me that we are filled with what we focus on, and how focusing on that expands and makes us shine brighter. I love how you all illustrate effective ways to live on purpose.


Bernice Butler, Publisher


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