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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Contemplation and Being

Kendra & Jacqueline, Co-publishers

As summer blazes into autumn and winter awaits just around the bend, we can easily get caught up in all that is in front of us, ensuring that all is well with our kids, partners, parents and loved ones. The seasons pass quickly, with many of us giving freely of our time, energy, emotions, creativity and intellect to others. We move through life with little thought to the idea of stewardship and the care of our own being, often taking our bodies and inner selves for granted.

Stewardship has been defined as the conducting, supervising or managing of something entrusted to our care, and this concept is often rightly applied to money matters or being responsible caretakers of the land and its resources. But what is more accessible and deserving of our careful attention than our own body/mind/spirit—that compilation of what makes us unique—the physical being that engages with and nurtures others, the spiritual being that connects with that which is greater than ourselves and the mind that is capable of problem-solving, puzzling, imagining and creating?

The integrity of living in a way that honors and uplifts us and the lives of all beings seems to converge in the timeless philosophy and lifestyle of yoga. First introduced to the Western world many years ago, this ancient Eastern practice of quieting the mind and opening the heart continues to bring peace to individuals all over the world. Through specific postures and focused breathing, yoga’s centering effects allow a stillness from which clarity emerges. We are confronted by layers of perspective and belief that fall away in quietude, allowing the true self to shine forth. As well, the health benefits have been studied and proven, and this issue illustrates yoga’s place in enhancing the quality of life in the long run, adding a layer of grace and ease to our golden years.

Good stewardship and the caretaking of our lives includes taking intentional steps daily. This begins with connecting with and being nurtured by our spirituality, taking time to rest each day, and spending a bit of reflective time alone considering who we are and what is important to us in the moment. It involves accepting ourselves and loving ourselves fully as we are. We can choose to prepare healthy foods that nourish and sustain us. We can acknowledge and act on the importance of moving our bodies daily, and make choices that allow for adequate quality sleep. We can express our love and care for others and build our community.

Our focus this month is to consider all the ways we can nurture ourselves for longevity, caring for our bodies, minds and spirits to make the most of this precious life.

Wishing you days and years well-lived,

Kendra Campbell and Jacqueline Mast, Co-Publishers