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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Letter from Co-Publishers

Kendra & Jacqueline, Co-publishers

“The shortest distance between two souls is an open heart.” ― Kalen Dion

We’ve come through a tough year—at times stressful—with myriad decisions on how we care for and relate to others, including those with different ideas or actions than our own. The practices that have proven effective at maintaining a tenderhearted existence as we navigate these relationships and the challenges ahead–tools that help us tune into our heart, our higher self, teaching us to remain open, to be in the present moment, to stay connected–once learned, are always available to support us on the journey.

Our February issue provides inspiration and guidance in helping us to be our best selves—physically, emotionally and in our relationships. Our focus this month is the heart … addressing the physical health of this vital organ, along with utilizing the intuition and energy of the heart center in decision-making, and understanding it symbolically as we attend to relationship matters.

In considering heart health, we are reminded of simple modifications we can make to our style of living–often with little investment and net positive side effects. Our feature story, “Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Integrative Cardiologists on Preventing Heart Disease,” affirms the benefits of techniques such as mindfulness, breathwork, meditation and yoga, along with regular physical activity, the right supplements and a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, all as beneficial in strengthening the heart and reducing the harmful effects of stress on the vital organs of the body.

A dear friend, Cesar Velasco, stroke program coordinator at a large, local teaching hospital, recently shared that, “If I would have known what meditation was, or how it could be integrated into my daily life, I would have started my meditation practice years ago. Six months in, I feel I am only hitting the surface of its benefits. I feel calmer and more centered in my thoughts and find clarity in what they mean. It’s been life-changing and I believe the science that exists behind meditation may have been the game-changer for me to be more open to trying it.”

Further exploration into mindfulness and meditation practice can be found in “Tools for Inner Peace,” which provides guidance on starting habits that have been shown to improve a variety of conditions, including managing day-to-day anxiety. A simple method for summoning inner tranquility is offered in “Becoming Heart-Minded” which encourages one to connect with an inner sense of home, by re-centering oneself with the simple gesture of hands placed gently on the heart center. Doing so enhances a connection to the present moment, so that moving forward from the here and now is possible.

If we stay in the moment … present with each breath, we learn to take one step at a time, wholeheartedly openhearted, ready for what lies ahead.

 

Kendra & Jacqueline

 

“We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one ... There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” –Amanda Gorman, United States Poet Laureate