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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Letter from Co-Publishers

Kendra & Jacqueline, Co-publishers

Cooler air and crisp breezes carry the scent of fallen leaves, and campfires. Cups of hot tea and hot apple cider warm our hands, and we might be inspired to curl up with a toasty blanket and a good book. Creativity is called for as we consider ways we can nurture and care for ourselves through the fall and winter months. Maintaining a deep connection with ourselves and with others and spending time in nature are vital in supporting our well-being.

Over the summer many of us intentionally prioritized spending time with friends, neighbors, family, and our spiritual communities through regular Zoom calls, masked gatherings on patios and porches, and socially-distanced picnics. These connections offer a place to share highs and lows, challenges and hopes. Relationships that allow deeper expression are essential—even a group of two holds promise. Consider reaching out to someone, setting an intention to check in with one another on a regular basis. A weekly phone call can become a lifeline.  

Cooler-weather outdoor activities allow us to safely spend time with others immersed in the restorative respite of nature…such as layering and bundling up for brisk walks and autumn hikes with friends, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around a fire or a barbecue pit in a park. There are possibilities for joining an outdoor drum circle, observing the changes in the autumn sky, birdwatching, picking apples for making cider and applesauce. As the temperatures drop, we simply add a few more layers of clothing. Alone or with friends, time outdoors invites the release of unexpressed stress and anxiety. Keeping these feelings bottled up, building up, can take a toll on our well-being spiritually, physically and emotionally.    

Marlaina Donato’s feature on page 20, “Calm Down, Taming the Flames of Stress-Related Illness” provides insight to how prolonged stress has an effect on our being, and offers tools such as diet, exercise and herbal support, as well as reiki, a form of non-touch therapy, deemed valuable by many respected hospitals. Reiki is further illuminated by Helene Williams on page 15, who shares that among other healing benefits, reiki “helps to stimulate the relaxation response, helping to return the body’s flow of energy to its intended state of harmony.” Like many services during the pandemic that support relaxation, the Lancaster Community Reiki Clinic, founded by Williams, has addressed safety needs by shifting the by-donation reiki clinic to monthly distance reiki, now accessible to everyone regardless of where they live or their abilities to attend an in-person session.

There is so much available to support our wellbeing, even in the cooler months of fall and winter. As we fully embrace the beauty of this autumnal season, may it be a time to envision ourselves well, our relationships healthy, our environment rejuvenating and our outlook hopeful. Individually and collectively we can manifest a bright and vibrant future, one in which we all stress less and live more fully.  

Kendra & Jacqueline  

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