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feel good • live simply • laugh more

Special Edition:


Awakening Humanity MIRACULOUS


Being Who We Need to Be Marianne Williamson

GREEN Merry Making Retro Fresh Family Traditions

Be Happy Right Now Avoid Top 5 Regrets

December 2013 | Western Mass Edition | natural awakenings

December 2013



Natural Iodine Supplementation A Must for Most Americans


e all need iodine, yet most of us don’t get enough of it through our diet. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that iodine deficiency in the developed world has increased fourfold in the past 40 years and now affects nearly three-quarters of all adults. Numerous U.S. practicing physicians quoted widely in the media estimate that the incidence of hypothyroidism in our adult population may be between 30 and 70 percent. Thus, we can’t efficiently produce the thyroid hormones that serve as chemical messengers triggering nearly every bodily function. The presence or absence of iodine affects our every cell.

Be Aware of Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Symptoms can range from extreme fatigue and weight gain to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breasts and a variety of skin and hair problems. Hypothyroidism can further cause infertility, joint pain, heart disease and stroke. Low iodine levels also have been associated with breast and thyroid cancers. In children, insufficient iodine has been strongly linked with mental retardation, deafness, attention deficient and hyperactivity disorder and impaired growth, according to studies by Boston University, China’s Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and France’s National Academy of Medicine.

Low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, is the most recognized and obvious indicator of low iodine intake because the thyroid gland contains more concentrated iodine than other organs.

The answer is simple: Taking the right kind of iodine in the right dosage can rebalance thyroid function and restore health to the thyroid and the whole body.

A Few Drops Can Change Your Life! You could feel better, lose weight or increase energy and mental clarity with a few drops of Natural Awakenings DETOXIFIED IODINE daily in water or on your skin when used as directed. An essential component of the thyroid, iodine replacement has been reported to give relief from: • Depression • Fibromyalgia • Hypothyroidism • Radiation

• Weight Gain • Low Energy • Hyperthyroidism • Bacteria & Viruses

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This Season, Shop Natural Awakenings’ Online Webstore for More Special, Green and Natural Products

*to receive 10% off Detoxified Iodine, use coupon code SAVE10 - offer ends 12/31/2013


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Natural Awakenings Detoxifed Iodine is 100 percent natural, raw iodine in an ethyl alcohol solution. We thank all those that are benefiting from this product and enthusiastically telling us their great results.  Available only at  My wife, who suffered from extreme fatigue and other symptoms, saw a dramatic increase in energy after just a few days of taking the natural iodine drops. Now if she misses a day, she’ll end up falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon, like she used to do before taking the iodine. It works! ~ Aaron My doctor told me that I had a hypothyroid condition, prescribed medication and was happy with the follow-up test results, yet I noticed no positive effects on my overall wellbeing. Within two weeks of using the Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine, I had more energy, felt more awake and enjoyed clearer thinking and greater peace of mind. People even comment that I look younger. I am a fan! ~ Larry

Reasons Behind Iodine Deficiency Radiation: Almost everyone is routinely exposed to iodine-depleting radiation emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi, microwave ovens and other electronic devices. Iodized table salt: The human body cannot utilize the iodine added to this product. Low-sodium diets: Failure to use healthy salts to fulfill sodium requirements, plus overuse of zero-nutrient table salt in foods, leads to iodine depletion. Bromine: This toxic chemical overrides iodine’s abilities to nourish the thyroid, adrenal and other hormone-producing glands. A known carcinogen, it is used as an anticaking ingredient found in almost all baked goods, unless the ingredients specifically cite unbromated flour. Iodine-depleted soils: Due to poor farming techniques, iodine and other minerals in soil have declined, so most foods today are devoid of naturally occurring iodine. Proper iodine supplementation with a high-quality product like Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine can prevent harm by protecting the thyroid and other endocrine glands and restoring proper hormone production.

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natural awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

13 tHe MiraCle Being Exactly Who We Need to Be

healthykids healingways fitbody greenliving consciouseating

by Marianne Williamson

14 sWeet sluMBer

Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed

by Mark Sisson

16 near-deatH


Proof of Life after Death by Linda Sechrist

20 ‘tis tHe season to Be Wise

A Prime Time to Rejuvenate and Birth Creativity


advertising & submissions HoW to adVertise To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 413-234-0024 or email Deadline for ads: the 10th of the month. editorial suBMissions Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: feature articles are due by the 5th of the month, news briefs and health briefs are due by the 10th. Calendar suBMissions Submit Calendar Events online at within the advertising section. Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. reGional MarKets Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-449-8309. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit



naturalpet calendar


oF MidliFe

by Lane Vail


Be HappY riGHt noW

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying


by Bronnie Ware

22 too MuCH


Exercise Helps Keep Family Holidays Merry by Sarah Todd

23 Green MerrY MaKinG Retro-Fresh Family Traditions by Claire O’Neil

24 peaCe on our plates Mindful Eating for a More Peaceful World


by Judith Fertig

27 pet First-aid Kits

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by Sandra Murphy natural awakenings

December 2013



L contact us publisher Carrie Kennedy advertising sales Carrie: 413-234-0024 editorial Martin Miron design & production C. Michele Rose Stephen Blancett Multi-Market advertising 239-449-8309 Franchise sales John Voell 239-530-1377 Natural Awakenings of Western Mass P.O. Box 10275, Holyoke, MA 01041 Phone: 413-234-0024 Fax: 413-425-8367 Natural-Awakenings-of-Western-Mass

et’s be truthful with ourselves—one of the greatest things about family gatherings is food. I love food! I have been fortunate to know great chefs that make freaking fantastic food and I believe it is an art form. Judith Fertig’s article “Peace on Our Plates,” notes that at the center of the web of life is the food. She shares the opinion of Will Tuttle, Ph.D., that, “Food preparation is the only art that allows us to literally incorporate what we create and it can involve all five senses.” Surely you must be excited about a favorite dish that is prepared during this season. Recently for me, it has been apple crumb pie. Yes, pie! It’s like apple crisp and a pie mixed. It’s heaven. Extra cardio is warranted during these indulgent days. As you can see, Marianne Williamson graces Natural Awakenings of Western Mass, our December issue. She writes about “The Miracle of Midlife” and all the wonderfulness we should embrace when we arrive at middle age. In addition, Bronnie Ware’s article, “Be Happy Right Now,” talks about remembering what should be important in our lives so that we won’t have regrets. Her admonition, “I wish that I had let myself be happier,” bids us all to remember to live a joyful life every day. No matter if you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, Three Kings or Festivus, it is your job to enjoy those you are with. I will share with you that Santa did bring each of my children three gifts, plus their stockings. One of the gifts usually was an item handmade by me. It is also interesting to me is that as they got older, the box sizes got smaller! I usually have all my purchases done before Thanksgiving so that I may enjoy the Holiday season with no rushing, giving me a way to actually relish this time of year. Most important during this season is love and gratitude. I am thankful for our advertisers, because without them, this publication would not be possible. Please thank them when you purchase their services and/or products and tell them you saw it in Natural Awakenings! Peace to all,

©2013 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing.

Carrie Kennedy, Publisher

Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

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Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.


Crystal Healing Class with Lisa Wilson

Ride Noho Planning Swiss Biking and Hiking Adventures


ide Noho, the Northampton-based bicycle touring and Swiss hiking company, is offering two separate Swiss hiking destinations in July 2014: Evoléne, in Switzerland’s Valais Region, and Wengen, in the Jungfrau Region. Co-founder and Director Elaine Formica says that while the villages of Evolène and Wengen are different in personality and style, they are both centered in a hiker’s paradise. The adventure in Wengen is scheduled for July 19 through 25; the cost for single occupancy begins at $2,915. The adventure in Evolène is scheduled for July 27 through August 2; the cost for single occupancy begins at $2,595. Reservations are being accepted now. For more information, call Elaine Formica at 413-586-6013, email or visit

Counseling and Gynecology Group Adds Gaffney


auren Gaffney, LMHC, has joined the practice of The Counseling and Gynecology Group, in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and is accepting new patients for counseling. She works as a psychotherapist, specializing in treating clients with anxiety, depression, trauma, post-traumatic stress, divorce, grief, infertility and relationship issues. Gaffney utilizes specialty training in treatment techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral Lauren Gaffney therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. She works with men and women, as well as couples seeking marital and relationship counseling. She has a wide range of experience working in clinical, outpatient and private practice settings. Location: 175 Dwight Rd., Ste. 103 For appointments, call 413-567-9355 ext. 0. See ad, page 11.


rystal lovers will enjoy learning the healing properties of 25 crystals selected for the beginning crystal healer in a nine-week, hands-on Lisa Wilson course taught by Lisa Wilson that begins from 6 to 9 p.m., January 23, 2014. Participants will learn energy healing basics such as energy anatomy, chakras, dowsing in the energy field as they support the mind, body and spirit by clearing blockages, heightening spiritual connections and empowering energy centers. Students will receive everything they need to begin as a basic crystal therapist: a fully illustrated training manual, hands-on practice time and approximately 100 pieces of crystal. Cost is $900, with payment plans available. Location: 1502 Allen St., Springfield. To register, call 413977-6837, email Lisa@AngelicStones.Net or visit AngelicStones. Net. See ad, page 9.

natural awakenings

December 2013


newsbriefs Learn About the Therapeutic Benefits of Light Therapy


he Holistic Health Association of the Pioneer Valley will present a talk at 7 p.m., December 11, at the Forbes Library community room, in Northampton, Massachusetts, by Reed Schimmelfing on bright light therapy, a medication-free treatment and wellness tool, and how it can be helpful for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that can cause winter depression. Reed Schimmelfing Schimmelfing’s business, New Light Solutions, helps patients use light therapy for a variety of issues from bipolar disorder to certain sleep issues. He can help patients find the right kind of light device and how to use it properly; angle, duration, light intensity and time of day are all important. A long-term scientific study in Scandinavia of people with SAD that were on medication prior to being introduced to light therapy found that 94 percent were able to stop the medication. Admission is free. Location: Community Room, Forbes Library, Northampton. For more information, call 413-5867454 or visit

Beauty is an Attitude


uantum Leap Dynamic Life Coaching and Hypnosis is offering a five-session class, Beauty is an Attitude: Finding Your Most Beautiful Self, beginning at 6:45 p.m., January 9, 2014, at the Quantum Leap Studio, that helps all women to find their most beautiful selves. “It’s great to lose weight, no Lillian Moss doubt,” says Lilly Moss, MSW, the coach at Quantum Leap, “But skinny people don’t own a monopoly on beauty!” Moss has been a counselor and workshop leader for 30 years, and is certified as a master practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and a consulting hypnotist. No matter what a woman’s age, weight, complexion or features, Moss believes that anyone can project an attitude of beauty that will attract and impress. Class participants will learn personal presentation skills drawn from NLP, experience hypnosis for confidence and self-care and participate in activities to help them get in touch with their unique beauty. Because the class is interactive, it’s also a great way to make new friends. Cost is $85. Location: 2 Conz St., Ste. 2C, Northampton. To register or for more information, call 413-727-3794 or visit


Western Mass

Open Studio Holiday Sale at Natural Vitality


enore Anderson is holding an Open Studio and End-of-Year Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., December 7, at her new Natural Vitality studio, located at 123 Union Lenore Anderson Street, Suite 202, in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Participants can build their own healing baskets, enjoy energizing and delicious raw appetizers and desserts, spiced teas and fragrant herbal elixirs and pick up some free recipes. Everything is handmade by Anderson and all herb products and massage gift certificates will be on sale.

Holiday Prep Yoga Class at Ingleside


ertified Yoga Teacher Janet Vecchia, E-RYT-500 Yoga Alliance, is offering a relaxing yoga, pranayama (breath practices) and meditation class from 5:30 to 7 p.m., December 13, at Therapeutic Massage & Yoga, in Holyoke, to prepare for the holidays with maximum relaxation. Both new and experienced students are welcome. Students will practice restorative (easeful) poses to help them pause, relax and de-stress to be more mindful about meaningful ways they can choose to celebrate the holidays to manifest love, joy and peace during this sacred time.

J. Vecchia

Cost is $20. Location: 415 Ingleside St. Preregistration is encouraged, sign-up online at For more information, call 413-313-5769. See ad, page 6.

For more information, call 413-6950942 or visit

Fresh Produce Available All Year Long


new Winter’s Farmers’ Market at The Gardens of Wilbraham, in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, will hold a grand opening event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., December 14, featuring 14 vendors selling vegetables, fruits, meats, honey, baked goods along with local artisans.

Make your community a little GREENER…

Support our advertisers. For every $100 spent in locally owned business, $68 returns to the community.

Location: 2301 Boston Rd. For more information, call 413-596-5322.


News to share? email details to: Publisher@ Submittal deadline is the 10th of the month. natural awakenings

December 2013



Sprinkle Cinnamon to Avert Alzheimer’s


innamon is known as an excellent antioxidant that improves fasting blood sugar levels and prevents heart disease. Now new research offers yet another benefit and reason to add this potent spice to our daily diet. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have confirmed that cinnamon helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the cinnamon compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin help stop the formation of “tangles” of tau protein in the brain, hallmarks of the memory-robbing neurodegenerative disease. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, says these powerful antioxidants that give cinnamon its potent flavor and scent defend mental function in a unique way. “Take, for example, sunburn, a form of oxidative damage,” explains Roshni Graves, of the university’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. “If you wore a hat, you could protect your face and head from oxidation. In a sense, this cinnamaldehyde is like a cap,” protecting against tau proteins. The findings suggest that sufficient cinnamon consumption might stop the progression of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it.


Western Mass

Meditation Helps Heal Traumatized Veterans


ranscendental Meditation (TM) has a dramatic healing effect on people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can also result in lower blood pressure, according to two new studies. TM—a technique to avoid distracting thoughts, decrease stress and promote a state of relaxed awareness— reduced PTSD symptoms in combat veterans by as much as 50 percent in just eight weeks, according to a study from Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., published in the journal Military Medicine. The veterans also reported decreased depression and improved quality of life, with a greater ability to come back to their civilian lives after returning from duty. Vietnam War vets randomly assigned to TM sessions at a Denver Veterans Center also experienced greater reductions in alcohol usage, insomnia and depression than those in conventional counseling. At the conclusion of a landmark three-month study, 70 percent of the meditating veterans felt they no longer required the services of the center. A separate American Heart Association report on the general U.S. population showed that the practice of TM generally reduced systolic blood pressure in subjects by five points and diastolic by three points, enough to put many of them into normal range. Previous clinical trials have shown that lower blood pressure through TM practice is associated with significantly lower rates of death, heart attack and stroke. TM is usually practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day by sitting comfortably and focusing on an individually selected word or series of words.

Cranberries Support Cocoa Calms Healthy Circulation Inflammation


egularly drinking cranberry juice may help control blood pressure, according to new findings presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. Cranberry juice, the researchers note, is rich in antioxidants—naturally occurring molecules that have been associated with the blood pressure-lowering benefit. U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered a moderate systolic pressure reduction—about three points—for people that drank two eight-ounce glasses of cranberry juice every day for eight weeks. Because of the sugar calories in juice, consider the alternative of a whole-food cranberry supplement.

Button Batteries Imperil Bambinos


utton-type lithium batteries are all around us, powering remote controls, keyless entry devices for cars, flameless candles, watches, greeting cards and other devices. Parents should be aware that these batteries are attractive to small children and if swallowed, can dissolve and cause serious damage to the esophagus in as little as two hours. The National Safety Council reports that the number of children swallowing these batteries quadrupled between 2005 and 2010, to 3,400 cases, yet 62 percent of parents are unaware of the danger.

To Get More, Give More


iving away money or spending it on others increases the giver’s sense of personal wealth, according to research by Michael Norton, of Harvard Business School, and co-author Elizabeth Dunn, of the University of British Columbia. The latest in a series of studies showed that people that support others, from helping with homework to shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, feel that they had more time in general and that giving time away relieved the sense of “not having enough time,” even more than gaining unexpected free time.


ew can say no to a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night. “Enjoy!” say Penn State researchers. They have found that a little bit of cocoa may be a powerful diet aid in helping to control inflammation and ameliorate related diseases, including diabetes. Numerous current studies link obesity to inflammation in the body. Cocoa, although a common ingredient of chocolate, by itself has lowcalorie, low-fat and high-fiber content. The researchers fed laboratory mice the human equivalent of 10 tablespoons of cocoa powder—about four or five cups of hot cocoa—along with a high-fat diet for 10 weeks. The control group ate the same diet without the cocoa. Lead researcher Joshua Lambert, Penn State associate professor of food science, says the study results surprised the team, which did not expect the “dramatic reduction of inflammation and fatty liver disease” associated with obesity. Although the animals lost no weight, the cocoa powder supplement reduced liver triglycerides by 32 percent and plasma insulin levels by 27 percent, indicating it might be a powerful obesity-fighting tool. But there is a catch: Adding sugar, an inflammatory substance in itself, to healthy cocoa will likely neutralize the benefits. Try stevia as a sweetener instead; it’s been used for decades to lower blood sugar.

natural awakenings

December 2013



Intuitive Generosity

News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

What makes people put “we” ahead of “me”? To find out, a group of Harvard University researchers enrolled thousands of people to play a “public good” game in which subjects were divided into small groups, given some money and the choice to keep it or contribute it to a common pool that would grow and benefit the entire group. Researchers discovered that those that made their decisions quickly were more likely to contribute to the common good. Taking it a step further, the researchers applied time pressure to the decision-making process. They then found that those faced with making a quick decision most often chose the “we” option, while those that spent more time deliberating ended up giving less money to the group kitty. The Massachusetts research team, which tested thousands of online worldwide participants, concluded that spontaneity and intuition guide people into rapid acts of kindness.

Genuinely Greenwashed Six Ploys to Avoid in Eco-Purchases

A report by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing exposes these six “greenwashing” marketing ploys to watch out for when shopping: 1. Hidden Trade Off: A refurbished plasma TV might reduce the need of buying new at first, but new or not, such TVs are energy hogs. 2. No Proof: Can a third party verify claims such as “organic” or “all-natural”? 3. Vagueness: Beware of products claiming to be “chemical-free” or “no hormones added”. 4. Irrelevance: Claims that have no relationship to the product or might be made with any other product in the same category, such as [chlorofluorocarbon] CFC-free shaving gel. 5. Fibbing: A falsehood that can’t be backed up, such as “certified organic” for products for which no such certification exists. 6. Lesser of Two Evils: An attempt to put a green twist on a product that’s inherently harmful to humans and the environment, such as organic cigarettes.

Escalating Thirst

Endangered Western Tree Habitats A team of scientists at the University of Grenoble, in France, have isolated ultrasonic pops 100 times faster than what a human can hear in slivers of dead pine wood bathed in a hydrogel to simulate the conditions of a living tree. They exposed the gel to an artificially dry environment and listened for the noises that occurred as air bubbles built up, blocking water uptake, similar to what occurs to trees during drought. As leaves on a tree collect carbon dioxide, they open their pores, a process that leaves them particularly vulnerable to water loss. Douglas firs and pine trees can repair this damage as frequently as every hour, says Katherine McCulloh, a plant ecophysiologist at Oregon State University. However, the bubbles are deadly for other species. Today, the typical forest in the often thirsty American West contains an unnaturally high density of 112 to 172 trees per acre. Besides intercepting rain and snow that would otherwise enter the groundwater supply, such an overabundance threatens native species. “Deprived of [the effect of] low-intensity, naturally occurring fires, aspen, lupine, sequoia and fireweed can’t reproduce,” notes Jamie Workman, of the Environmental Defense Fund. “Deer lose edge habitat. Threatened owls and raptors can’t navigate through increasingly dense thickets.” Workman argues that thinning out small trees is the answer. Contributing source: 10

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Spontaneity Sparks Altruism

Sustainable Solutions

Competition Launched to Measure Ocean Acidification As part of their mission of “making the impossible possible,” organizers of the XPrize, a global leader in incentivized competitions, have launched the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize contest. Schmidt is president of the Schmidt Family Foundation, which strives to advance the development of clean energy and support wiser use of natural resources. The program aims to spur innovators to transform our understanding of ocean acidification—a grave problem associated with the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide—via breakthroughs in ocean pH-sensing technologies designed to monitor and sustain ocean health. For information and to register, visit or

Arctic Rescue

Finland Calls for North Pole Sanctuary The Finnish government has adopted a new Arctic Strategy that calls for a global sanctuary around the North Pole as one of the key demands of the growing Save the Arctic movement, reversing its long-held position of backing corporate interests over the environment. The populace responded strongly to a series of actions taken by Greenpeace against government icebreaker ships aiding corporate oil exploration in order to heighten awareness of the issue. The new Finnish policy reflects a mounting world citizenry’s view that the Arctic deserves protection. Greenpeace points out that companies can wreck the Arctic with little penalty and the current Arctic Council oil spill agreement does nothing to protect the Arctic or impose liability in this the most vulnerable place on Earth. The hope is that the other seven Arctic Council countries will see the light, as well. Sign the petition and pitch in at

Tagging Toxins

Online Database Identifies Safe Products offers a new clearinghouse of information gathered by advocates investigating toxic chemicals in food, baby products, toys, furniture, construction materials and other consumer goods. Families, municipalities, builders and businesses can use it to identify potentially harmful products and find safer alternatives. Hosted by the Workgroup for Safe Markets (WSM), it’s a one-stop shop to provide information for consumers, retailers and manufacturers that are demanding safer products, says Beverley Thorpe, a WSM co-leader and consulting co-director for Clean Production Action. Mia Davis, vice president of health and safety at Beautycounter, who is expecting her first child, sees it as a resource for parents to find a full complement of safe products for their families. “More than ever,” she says, “people understand how important it is to shop with companies they trust and to support businesses working to create truly safe products.”

Power Walking

Shoe Insert Generates Electricity Two Carnegie Mellon graduates, Matt Stanton and Hahna Alexander, are the founders of SolePower, a company making a shoe insert that stores the power generated by walking and running into a battery that can be instantly accessed via a USB port. Beta testing on the prototype has begun, with release expected next summer. The insert can be paired with any shoe type and feels like a regular, cushy insole, according to Stanton. The battery attaches to the ankle or the top of the shoe, and is charged after 2.5 miles of footsteps with enough power to run an iPhone. Runners needing to power heatproducing mittens in the winter could also benefit. Another application is emergency charging of cell phones and radios during power outages. People in developing nations likewise will have a reliable power source for mobile phones and other essential small electronics. Source: natural awakenings

December 2013


ecotip Family Games Generate Goodwill All Year


Become a citizen scientist: At, players travel back in time to investigate how a lake became polluted and what can be done today to protect our waterways. Developed by the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, it illustrates business, lifestyle and social factors that can harm the environment.

un family games based on cards, trivia and charades are quintessential holiday activities. Now a new generation of games adds fresh dimensions of interest and goodwill. Online games—some are free—extend good tidings to people around the world, as well as our environment. Santa is thrilled. Eco games galore: From determining our family’s carbon footprint to making ethical decisions as a business leader or learning how to help child populations vulnerable to pneumonia, is a gateway to enriching experiences. More than 20 entertaining websites employ informative, eco-related calculations, games and quizzes.

Learn and feed: allows players to automatically help feed hungry people with rice donations through the United Nations World Food Program. Players select from specific subjects: art, chemistry, geography, English, other languages and math. Each correct answer donates 10 grains of rice as participants watch the contents of a virtual bowl gradually fill.

Assist African farmers: Heighten awareness and empathy by experiencing on a virtual basis the immense challenges of life on an African farm, including dealing with disease, drought, a lack of resources and war, at 3rdWorldFarmer. com/About.html. Free trials are available, plus links to international nonprofit organizations and relief groups.

Tabletop games: Bioviva (, Destruct 3 (, ReThink: The Eco Design Game (, Xeko ( and Endango (search are all new takes on the traditional pastime of board games. Some are made of recycled materials, to boot.

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The Miracle of Midlife Being Exactly Who We Need to Be by Marianne Williamson


ow would we live, were we not afraid of death? How would we live if we gave ourselves permission to give to life everything we’ve got? In The Longevity Factor, Lydia Brontë, Ph.D., observes that we’ve added 15 years to our lives… but in the middle, not at the end. No longer identifying ourselves as “over the hill” at whatever age, we are simply removing the hill. We are forging a different conversation and a new vision to take us beyond the limited thought forms that have defined the parameters of age for generations. For the first time in history, we can realistically view the first half of life as a kind of gestation period, preparing us for an even more productive second half. Midlife is like a second puberty, a point at which one persona falls away and another comes to take its place. What happens then is up to us. Some begin a long, slow cruise toward death at that point, allowing memories to become more meaningful than the present. Others, remembering that the spirit within us never ages, see the moment of midlife as a rebirth—the time to put our engines into high gear. Whomever it is we were born to be, whatever our soul was coded to accomplish, whatever lessons we are here to learn; now is the time to seriously get going. We may regret that we’re no longer young, but we’re ecstatic that we’re no longer clueless. We must be disciplined, though. We want to become precision instruments now, focused on exactly what we want to do and being exactly who we need to be. This requires separating from the person we were before to whatever extent that person was not who we know in our hearts we were created to be. There’s no more time for five-year detours. No more time for relationships that don’t serve us or for staying in situations that aren’t true to who we are. No more time for pettiness, false pride or whatever other dysfunctional roadblocks obstruct our higher destiny and the joy that’s meant to be ours. Our life might not be as fabulous as it used to be in some ways, but in other ways it’s even more fabulous. The Universe is constantly and infinitely elastic, responding not to our past, but to our present state of mind. As

we learn to reprogram thoughts—atoning for our mistakes of the past and embracing the endless miraculous possibilities of the present—we step into a time when we have every reason to look forward with genuine excitement to what happens next. Individually and collectively, we are now fitted to fearlessly forge new ground, wielding the power of what life has taught us so far and laying claim to the possibility of redemption, not only for ourselves, but also for the entire world. The planet needs a new story, aligned with a larger consciousness, and so do we. What we need now are imagination and courage. Many of us feel we’ve forever carried around a secret dream, rarely validating it even to ourselves and often denying its reality. Yet it has refused to go away and is ready to be born at last. Individuals that have spent decades achieving one thing or moving in one direction often take up something else entirely that gives them far more psychic satisfaction. They see achievements that were the height of their material success as preparation for an even greater one; the means by which they learned the skills ultimately needed to make their biggest contribution to the world. Divine law guarantees that the power of “now” presents an endless fount of miraculous opportunities. In God, there are no limits to how high we can go, ever. In God, there is no time… only the call of the soul. It is not too late; we are right on time and we are better than we know. Now, having visited so many other places in our journey of life, we seek our place within the collective heartbeat of holiness. When enough of us stand in the light of our higher purpose, seeking to be ever-greater servants of love, each consciously dedicated to creating a more loving world, then a new field of collective possibility will emerge among us. All that is not love will begin to fall away of its own dead weight. A profound moment of planetary renewal will occur then, after our having allowed it first to occur within us. Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed inspirational author and lecturer. Six of her 10 books have been New York Times bestsellers, including The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife, the basis for this article. natural awakenings

December 2013



Sweet Slumber Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed by Mark sisson


very young mammal on Earth sleeps in close contact with its mother and other family members. They’ve been co-sleeping for security, warmth, comfort and protection for millions of years of evolution. Although it is generally frowned upon in the United States, many human cultures, including most in East Asia, the Pacific islands, South America, Africa and much of southern Europe, have a rich tradition of co-sleeping. In At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson relates that until very recently, most domiciles centered around a central room, or hall, where everyone slept together. Even today, adults and children almost always sleep together in the same beds in non-industrialized, traditional societies worldwide. The modern practice of placing babies in separate rooms at night, often to cry themselves to sleep, appears to be a historical aberration. Co-sleeping, conversely, is the age-old norm because it offers so many benefits to both parents and children.

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Co-sleeping makes breastfeeding easier. Studies published by the Acta Paediatrica, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics confirm a consistent link between co-sleeping and breastfeeding in countries as disparate as Brazil, Britain, Malaysia and Sweden. Breast milk provides immunological benefits, transfers symbiotic gut bacteria and promotes bonding between mother and child. It’s especially nutritious if the mother’s diet is healthy, and breast milk is the only food experts agree the human body is unquestionably designed to consume.

Co-sleeping improves sleep. A mother that can

breastfeed without leaving the bed will get more sleep. Also, more research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a lower incidence of sudden infant death syndrome when breastfeeding is practiced. In the clinical experience of James McKenna, Ph.D., a University of Notre Dame professor and leading anthropologist in the field, “Breastfeeding mothers typically keep their babies away from pillows, positioning their infants on their backs, while placing them below the parents’ shoulders and raising their arms above them.” Plus, the adults “lay on their sides in ways that can prevent accidental overlays.”

Co-sleeping builds parent-child bonds. Research published by the Sleep Research Society shows that mothers that co-sleep with their babies are more attuned to their sleep/wake habits and can respond quicker to their needs. According to the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, skin-to-skin touch increases the secretion of oxytocin, a bond-building hormone. Co-sleeping fosters maturation. Studies in the Infant

and Child Development journal show that kids that share a bed or sleep in the same room with their parents grow up to be more self-reliant and socially independent, better behaved, less anxious about intimacy as adults and more likely to be happy. Parents that are nervous about sharing beds can try room sharing, where the baby sleeps in an adjoining crib or cot; family members will experience many of the same benefits. Mark Sisson is a former marathon runner and triathlete. He is the author of the bestselling health and fitness book, The Primal Blueprint, and publisher of the health blog,

Safe Co-Sleeping Habits by Mark sisson


✔ Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs that affect awareness and judgment, especially before bed. ✔ Don’t smoke tobacco. The tars and toxins cling to an adult’s body, hair and clothes, exposing the baby to dangerous chemicals that increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). ✔ Don’t co-sleep if the parent is sleep-deprived, a heavy sleeper, has sleep apnea or is obese. ✔ Don’t allow pets or other children to sleep next to babies. ✔ Don’t co-sleep on a sofa, loveseat or reclining chair. The cushions create crevices for infant heads to slip into and the elevation creates a fall risk. ✔ Don’t use overly soft mattresses that babies can sink into. Think firm. ✔ Don’t use thick bedding, which can cause rapid overheating or lead to smothering. ✔ Don’t co-sleep unless everyone is on board. If a spouse isn’t agreeable, try a room share instead.


✔ Provide a big enough bed to afford ample space for all co-sleepers. ✔ Keep the mattress low or place it on the floor. ✔ Eliminate all crevices that a baby might be able to fall into; push the mattress snug against one or more walls. ✔ Use a firm mattress, a tight-fitting sheet and light bedding. ✔ Place the baby on its back to sleep.



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December 2013


Near-Death Experiences Proof of Life after Death by linda sechrist

modern medicine to bring people back from a state that 100 years ago would have been labeled death,” observes Moody. Through his research, he has identified numerous common elements that occur in NDEs—an out-of-body experience, the sensation of traveling through a tunnel, encountering a bright light (usually interpreted as God, Jesus or an angel), communicating with deceased relatives, feeling emotions such as profound peace, well-being and love, plus a flood of knowledge about life and the nature of the universe. Perhaps the most significant element he reports is the supremely conscious and superbly blissful state that exists beyond both limitations of the senses and intellect and the confines of space and time— the pure conscious form of each one’s truly real Self.

Life as Love


he advice that the White Queen gave to young Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the LookingGlass might be some of the best to offer non-believers and skeptics that question the credibility of near-death experiences (NDE). When Alice protests, “One can’t believe impossible things,” the White Queen famously retorts, “I daresay you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Glimpses of Grace

The majority of physicians and clinical researchers in the medical community continue to consider NDEs as impossible and merely pure fantasies generated by a surge of electrical activity as a dying brain runs out of oxygen. However, according to a Gallup poll, the 8 million Americans whose transcendental NDEs freed their consciousness to leave the body and enter into a wondrous reality that exists completely free of physicality, believe them to be real, meaningful and lifechanging experiences. Recently, the renowned NDE narratives of Anita Moorjani, author 16

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I was overwhelmed by the realization that God isn’t a being, but a state of being… and I am that state of being… pure consciousness. ~ Anita Moorjani of Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death, to True Healing, and Dr. Eben Alexander, author of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, have sparked fresh public interest in NDEs, a word coined by Raymond Moody, Ph.D., in his 1975 classic, Life After Life. Moody, a psychiatrist and professor of philosophy who has spent nearly 50 years investigating what happens when people die, has interviewed thousands of individuals that have personally experienced an NDE. “Over the past 20 years there have been enormous strides in resuscitation technology. Defibrillators and public access defibrillation programs, as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, are major factors that allow

Rushed to the hospital in a coma, Moorjani, whose body had been devoured for four years by cancer of the lymphatic system, describes the real self that she discovered during her NDE. “There I was, without my body or any physical traits, yet my pure essence continued to exist. It was not a reduced element of my whole self; in fact, it felt far greater and more intense and expansive than my physical being. “I felt eternal, as if I’d always existed and always would, without a beginning or end. I was filled with the knowledge that I was simply magnificent,” explains Moorjani, whose cancer completely disappeared within five weeks after her release from the hospital. “Not only did I come back with a clean slate, I brought back one of my biggest lessons—to love myself and be an instrument of love. I also returned to life here with a sense of purpose—to fearlessly be as authentically me as I can be. This means,” she clarifies, “that in whatever I do, I am acting from my sense of passion and the sheer joy of doing it.” During Alexander’s seven-day coma in a hospital, brought about by antibiotic-resistant E. coli meningitis that attacked his brain, he left his mortal identity behind. “My brain wasn’t working at all,” he relates. “My entire neo-cortex, the part that makes

us human, was entirely shut down. I had no language, emotions, logic or memories of who I was. Such an empty slate granted me full access to the true cosmic being that I am, that we all are,” says Alexander. He further recalls that as his NDE unfolded, it occurred to him that he was being granted a grand overview of the invisible side of existence. He also had a lovely ethereal companion that floated along on a butterfly wing, telepathically teaching him to accept the universal truth that, “You are eternally loved and cherished, you have nothing to fear, and there is nothing you can do wrong.” “If I had to boil the whole message down to just one word, it would be Love—the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist. No remotely accurate understanding of who we are and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it and embody it in all their actions,” Alexander now understands.

“We need to accept—at least hypothetically—that the brain itself doesn’t produce consciousness.” ~ Dr. Eben Alexander

Prior to his life-threatening illness, this neurosurgeon’s sophisticated medical training had led him to dismiss the possibility of NDEs. Today, he works at returning to his NDE state of oneness and unconditional love by using meditation and sacred acoustics, as well as quantum mechanics, to explore the nature of consciousness and higher brain function. Like Moody, Alexander studies the ancient Greek philosophers Parmenides, Pythagoras and Plato, who took the notion of an afterlife seriously and questioned “what” survives bodily death. Alexander’s consequent nonprofit organization, Eternea, fosters cooperation between science and

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spirituality by sponsoring research and education about spiritually transformative experiences and holistic consciousness beyond conventional definitions. “I had to learn a whole lot more about consciousness than I had to know about neuroscience,” quips Alexander, who now believes that the brain blocks access to knowledge of higher worlds. “We need to accept—at least hypothetically—that the brain itself doesn’t produce consciousness. That it is, instead, a kind of reducing valve or filter that dumbs down consciousness for the duration of our human experience. “Neuroscience can’t give you the first sentence about how the physical brain creates consciousness,” he states, while many are finding how science and spirituality strengthen each other. At age 37, a blood vessel exploded in the left hemisphere of Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain. A Ph.D. Harvard-trained scientist specializing in anatomy of the brain, she was fascinated to observe the breakdown of her brain-related functions.

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natural awakenings

December 2013


“In touch with our wholeness, illness can’t remain—in ourselves, others or the planet.” ~Anita Moorjani As described in her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, she became the witness to her stroke, which initially left her unable to talk, walk, read, write or remember anything prior to that occurrence. As her left brain shut down, Taylor lost her ability to process all language; with her mind suspended in newfound silence, she experienced an unprecedented sense of deep peace. She also experienced an inability to visually distinguish edges and boundaries between herself and the outer world. Absent conventional orientation, “I could actually see that my skin was not my physical boundary. “As a result of such a glorious state of blissful realization that I am—as we all are—connected to everything and everyone around us, I no longer see myself as a single, solid entity, separate from other human beings,” advises Taylor. “Although my left mind still thinks of me as a fragile individual, capable of losing my life, my right mind realizes the essence of my being as eternal life.” She now understands that she is part of the cosmic flow of energy, which she characterizes as a tranquil sea of euphoria.

Present Possibility

In The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, author Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., suggests that each of us is a part of the universe seeking and finding itself. Could it be that without the mental filter and self-limiting beliefs, we are free to consciously know our higher state of wholeness and the truth of our magnificence? Upwards of 8 million people that have experienced their own NDE are trending the world toward a tipping point into the comforting awareness that anything is possible. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Visit ItsAllAboutWe. com for the recorded interviews. 18

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sked why she “I’ve become focused just my own enthought she ergy manifesting on seeing the perfection as cancer, because had cancer, Anita Moorjani, of life in this moment.” my fears weren’t author of Dying to allowing me to exBe Me, sums up press myself as the her answer in one word: Fear. “I was magnificent force I was meant to be,” killing myself, and cancer saved me,” advises Moorjani. says Moorjani, whose book documents She hopes that her presentaher near-death experience (NDE) and tions to medical professionals and the higher realm she encountered public speaking will influence how when her body shut down. Allowed the health profession views cancer to identify with her true magnificence, and other diseases and illnesses. undistorted by the fear generated “Treatment needs to be about more by her own lifelong self-judgment, than medicine, because so much of self-criticism, worry and lack of selfdisease has to do with our emotions,” forgiveness, she returned with a vital, she imparts, “especially the ones we heartfelt message. direct toward ourselves.” “Everyone is an amazing, mag Through this life-enhancing expenificent being, with great capacity for rience, Moorjani came to understand health, happiness and joy. Although why she owes it to herself, everyone we’ve been conditioned to believe that she meets and life itself to always exwe need to pursue success and learn press her own unique essence. “Trying to improve ourselves to be happy, such to be anything or anyone else doesn’t steps are unnecessary, because we make me better—it just deprives me already are all we are trying to attain,” of my true self and keeps me from she says. interacting authentically with others,” “I’d spent a lifetime feeling she explains. inadequate, beating myself up for Moorjani now knows that all life not meeting my own expectations,” in the universe is one and our core she continues. Through the clarity is love. “I was overwhelmed by the of dwelling in the NDE realm, she realization that God isn’t a being, but understood that the cancer wasn’t a state of being… and I am that state a punishment for anything. “It was of being… pure consciousness.”

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December 2013



‘Tis the Season to Be Wise A Prime Time to Rejuvenate and Birth Creativity by Lane Vail

Spring is a time for new beginnings, summer a time for growth, autumn for gathering abundance and winter for introspection. ~Joseph Cardillo

wisdom. “Winter is a perfect time to examine the myriad ideas you’ve dreamt up and assemble them into a new you,” says Cardillo. “Now you are prepared to use the robust energy of spring to scatter those ideas abroad.”

Reflect on Water


or California acupuncturist Daniela Freda, counseling patients that grapple with low energy during winter is routine. “They’re often concerned something is wrong, since our society expects us to feel the same way year-round,” says Freda, who maintains a private practice in San Francisco. “But in fact,” she adds, “everything is right.” According to a study published in Psychiatry Research, only 4 to 6 percent of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), characterized by a predictable seasonal pattern of major depressive or bipolar disorder. For the vast majority of the population, a slight seasonal variance in mood and behavior is normal, confirms Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and prominent SAD researcher at Pennsylvania’s University of Pittsburg. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), like Freda, view decreased energy in nature’s wintertime as a reflection of the season’s energy. In this philosophy, rising (yang) and falling (yin) energies cycle as the seasons turn. Winter is governed by quiet, slow, introspective and creative yin energy. As winter yields to spring, the bright, fast, expansive and extroverted yang energy gains momentum to peak in summer. “Nature expresses universal energies in a big way,” says research psychologist and mind-body medicine expert


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Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., author of The Five Seasons. Who can ignore a blossoming spring or an abundant autumn? “Those same energetic cycles,” says Cardillo, “are mirrored in the microcosmic human body and human experience.”

Chill Out

Although the December 21 winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, temperatures in most of the U.S. continue to fall through February. Cardillo advises embracing winter’s chill because it diverts our attention from daily activities so that we pause to consider what’s important. “The effect is similar to splashing cold water on our face,” he remarks. As the cold draws animals into hibernation and plants into dormancy, it also beckons us to enjoy extra sleep, notes Freda, as we follow the sun’s path: Earlier to bed; later to rise. She encourages her clients to incorporate restorative activities into daily routines. “Intentionally set aside time to connect with the breath and quiet the mind,” she counsels. Try gentle yoga or t’ai chi, listen to relaxing music, curl up with a cozy book or take nature walks, flush with fresh sensory experiences. Cardillo explains that slowing down naturally creates space for the contemplative and creative qualities of yin energy to rise. Meditating, visualizing and journaling promote access to one’s inner

In TCM, the element of water, symbolizing focus and purity, is closely associated with winter. Highly adaptable, water can be solid, liquid or formless vapor; it can flow over, under, around or through obstacles with ease; and it can be still and contained. Contemplating the power of water in any of its forms can help synchronize one’s consciousness with the season’s gifts. “When your mind is unstuck and flowing like water, your dreams start becoming real to you, simply because you’re in the flow, the present moment,” observes Cardillo, who also authored Be Like Water. He suggests looking to water for guidance in creating solutions, sharpening focus or moving effortlessly on to the next step.

Find Balance

Freda points out that within the strong yin energy of winter, “There are yang moments, celebratory moments, to keep us going.” An imbalance can occur when the slowness of winter is completely counteracted by too much high-energy socializing, working or rushing through the day. “An excess of yang during the winter,” counsels Freda, “rather than a glimpse of it, can deplete us,” contributing to stress, fatigue and depression. Conversely, for those with an already predominantly yin personality (quiet, introverted, low energy) that overindulge in the yin energy of winter, an attempt at restoration and quietude can lead to lethargy and isolation. “I

see this clinically,” says Freda. “Instead of embracing a little extra rest and relaxation, some people become exhausted and lose their motivation altogether. They become stuck in the yin.” Cardillo recommends that such individuals engage in mood-brightening outdoor activities to help restore balance. Roecklein agrees, noting that SAD sufferers undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (which emphasizes positive thinking and beneficial behaviors) likewise are encouraged to participate in physical and social activities that bring joy and meaning. Lane Vail is a freelance writer in South Carolina. Connect at


Be Happy Right Now The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

Rituals Reverse Winter’s Blues Unpleasant winter memories can affect one’s emotional experience of the season every year like clockwork, says Dr. John Sharp, a physician, psychiatrist and author of The Emotional Calendar. Fortunately, it is possible to take a personal inventory, be aware of such behaviors, innovate on traditions and create a new experience. Holistic Psychologist Joseph Cardillo goes further, suggesting that we create a “personal prescription” to mindfully manage difficult emotions during wintertime. He encourages activating the senses and combining two or more sensory experiences to amplify the effectiveness. Appealing options include: ■ Light scented candles or diffuse essential oils (citrus brightens; lavender soothes) ■ Invite bright colors into living spaces (reds excite; greens, blues and whites calm) ■ Nourish the palate with winter vegetable stews ■ Create a playlist of soothing nature

sounds or uplifting music ■ Warm up near a cheery fire after spending time in the frosty outdoors


eople grow a lot when faced with their own mortality. As a palliative caregiver for many years, I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for personal growth. After wrestling with a variety of intense emotions, every patient I saw found their peace before they departed. When questioned about regrets or what they would have done differently, five themes emerged. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and died knowing that it was due to choices they had made or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize until they no longer have it. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Every male patient that I nursed felt they had missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. They deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. Women also spoke of this regret, but because most were from an older generation, many had not been breadwinners. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace

with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. As a result, many developed illnesses apparently related to the bitterness and resentment they carried. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Many were disappointed they had not truly realized the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks, and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip away. Many deeply regretted not giving important friendships the time and effort that they deserved. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Many did not understand until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others and to themselves that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh with gusto and cultivate some silliness in their life. Bronnie Ware is the author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, a memoir of how people she cared for changed the way she lives. She blogs at

natural awakenings

December 2013



Too Much Togetherness?

Exercise Helps Keep Family Holidays Merry by Sarah Todd


iven family hopes and often unrealistic expectations that everything will go perfectly, holiday gatherings can sometimes be a recipe for untoward stress. One of the best ways to keep potential ’tis-the-season tensions under control is to carve out some time for exercise, a move supported by research findings at Princeton University. Other experts suggest that from practicing a favorite Eastern modality to taking a natural spin around the neighborhood, we all have instant access to foolproof tactics for staying relaxed, healthy and more even-keeled among kin this winter. To mend nerves frayed by debates at the dinner table, slip into a nearby bedroom for a calming yoga workout. Yoga’s emphasis on controlled breathing makes it ideal for treating family dynamics straight out of Silver Linings Playbook. The Mayo Clinic reports that deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream, easing headaches, muscular tension and chest tightness. Yogic breathing patterns also are shown to lower resting heart rates, which helps practitioners stay composed in the face of any intrafamily disagreements or other stressors. For a quick, relaxing yoga routine, begin with a 22

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few breathing exercises before moving into a sun salutation—a sequence of full-body poses, or asanas, performed in a smooth, continuous flow. Begin standing, palms pressed together in the tadasana, or mountain, pose. Then move through a series of motions that sweep the arms over the head, expanding the chest, before dipping into downward dog and plank poses, which help increase flexibility and strength. End lying down in the shavasana, or resting, pose with eyes closed and let the quiet settle in. Resistance-training exercises are another option. Release pent up tension by pushing against a wall. Stand about three feet away, lean in and push. Position feet at an angle so that a straight body line forms the hypotenuse of a triangle with the wall and floor. This activity drains the limbs of tightness and stretches out hamstrings and calf muscles, enabling us to walk away feeling light and limber. While some people can happily greet and maintain cheerfulness throughout holiday family times, others may feel a bit anxious. For a sure-fire endorphin boost, try a cardiovascular workout like running, which German researchers

published in Cerebral Cortex confirm produces a flood of euphoria on cue. A quick jog or spirited walk outside helps elevate mood while strengthening the immune system, helping to keep feelings of melancholy at bay. Before heading for the door, those stretching their legs outside in colder climates need to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than the thermometer reads. This helps prevent the body from overheating, especially after being sedentary for an extended period. To get the blood flowing beforehand, do some simple stretching or take a few trips up and down the stairs.

One of the best ways to keep potential ’tis-theseason tensions under control is to carve out some time for exercise, a move supported by research findings at Princeton University. Exercisers that prefer to stay sheltered from wintry weather entirely have a solid alternative; an indoor cardiovascular workout can mimic jogging’s mood-lifting effects. Try alternating 12 reps of jumping jacks, lunges, squats and crunches to get the heart pumping. Consider a second series for a higher intensity workout. All of it will give muscles that often go slack during holiday loafing a chance to flex. Because these moves don’t require any equipment, such electives are as portable as a travel hair dryer during holiday visits anywhere. After one or more of these solo workouts, many revelers may be ready to up the ante on family togetherness. For a healthy dose of quality time, round up the gang and enlist them in a high-energy outdoor activity like hiking, sledding or even Ultimate Frisbee. Participating in friendly family competition is healthy fun and gives everyone something else to talk about later. Sarah Todd is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. Connect at


fense Council. Plug lights and electronics into a power strip, and then unplug it when not in use to save “ghost” energy pulled by electronics that are plugged in, but not activated. Buy a live tree to later plant or recycle, Seo suggests. This supports regional Christmas tree farmers while retaining the integrity of local forests. Many communities offer recycling of holiday trees to provide mulch or habitat for aquatic life in local lakes.

Keeping the Feast

GREEN Merry Making

Retro-Fresh Family Traditions by Claire O’Neil


hroughout the year, Santa’s good girls and boys of all ages make every effort to buy only what’s needed, plus recycle, reuse and repurpose. Then the holidays hit and discipline often gives way to indulgences. The season seems consumed by up-tempo decorating, feasting, shopping, giftgiving and merrymaking at any cost. Yet, creative green living experts show us how easy it is to tweak time-honored family traditions to align with the green way we wish to live and feel even more satisfied with festivities.

Decking the Halls

For Danny Seo, author of Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining, “Upcycling is basically a form of recycling that elevates something to a better level than before.” Based in New York City and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Seo always has an eye out for green possibilities. “Opt for vintage pieces and re-imagine them in new and interesting ways,” he advises. For example, he likes to upcycle a vintage glass cake stand with a collection of bright ornaments for a unique holiday focal point. Michele Johansen, a lifestyle writer in Bellevue, Washington, suggests bringing in the outdoors. Instead of decorating the tree with tinsel and the home with plastic faux greenery, she suggests stringing popcorn and cranberries on the tree and decking the halls with fresh wreaths and garlands accented with boughs of holly. “Local nurseries are good sources for holiday décor that you can later mulch or put in yard waste bins,” she says. “The smells are much more authentic and festive.” Save energy by using LED lights whenever possible, suggests Sheryl Eisenberg, a writer for the National Resources De-

Organize a cookie exchange to get together and save time and energy on holiday baking, suggests Sara Novak, a food policy and health writer at, from Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. Generally, a hostess asks guests to bring several dozen of their favorite cookies. Once gathered, attendees share the treats and recipes, taking home several of each variety. To “green it up”, Novak recommends emailing the recipes rather than printing them, encouraging invitees to use fresh and local ingredients and bring favorite reusable containers from home, like a colorful, time-honored cookie tin. For the holiday table, mix and match settings of plates, glasses, linens and cutlery. “Use the real thing,” Eisenberg recommends, “and recruit guests to help wash up afterwards.” She recalls that while growing up, her mother supplemented her silverware with grandmother’s for large holiday dinners. Save your own energy—and sanity—by asking family and friends to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert. The hostess can assign a dish and corresponding recipe or use a potluck approach, says Eisenberg. Leftovers go home in nonplastic, reusable containers.

Gift Giving

Many families enjoy giving traditional gifts to children at certain ages, like dollhouses or train sets. Re-imagine these and, when possible, buy local to save energy and support area businesses, suggests Eisenberg. Cintia Gonzalez, an Australian mom, crafted a dollhouse from an old suitcase, inventively using black chalkboard paint for the exterior, wooden shelves as floors and fast food ketchup cups as lampshades ( Another mom transformed a discarded coffee table into a painted train table for her boys. Upcycle paint chip cards into colorful gift tags, suggests Seo. Plus, use gift wraps that become part of the gift itself, such as placemats swaddling a bottle of wine, fabric to encase quilting supplies or sheet music enveloping concert tickets. As a general rule, “Give experiences, not gifts,” counsels Eisenberg. “Giving loved ones experiences reduces wrapping paper, ribbon and packaging and is an easy way to be a bit more personal over the holidays. Your teenage niece may love a spa day, complete with hair styling, while your favorite aunt and uncle may be thrilled to attend a local wine tasting. If you think a young child can tolerate a few less presents in exchange for a pass to an ice show or dance class, go for it.” “It’s the holiday experience that counts,” counsels Seo. “It’s what makes memories.” Claire O’Neil is a freelance writer from Kansas City, MO. natural awakenings

December 2013


Peace on Our Plates Mindful Eating for a More Peaceful World by Judith Fertig


s Earth’s population grows to a projected 9 billion people by 2050, can our global community keep eating flesh like we’ve been doing for centuries? No, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations Environment Programme, an international panel of sustainable resource management experts. Examining the food demands of a growing population and associated environmental and sustainability issues, Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production recommends “substantial worldwide diet change away from animal products.” Making the case for a holistic view, Will Tuttle, Ph.D., suggests in World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony that we start to see the connections between our food choices and the health and well-being of ourselves, our families, communities and the world.

Web of Understanding

Western Mass Edition



Western Mass

At the center of the web of life is the food we all share to sustain our bodies. Tuttle insists that we celebrate this and regard each meal as a feast. “Food preparation is the only art that allows us to literally incorporate what we create. It is also the only art that fully involves all five senses,” he says. We honor this wonderful activity most by sharing our

cooking efforts with others, blessing the food and eating mindfully. The problem at the center of life, maintains Tuttle, is that we involve animals in our food chain, an act that “introduces suffering, whether physical, mental or emotional.” This is a truth we try to hide from, what he calls the ”cultural shadow”. “The worst examples include factory farming, but even the best methods ultimately involve killing other animals for food,” he says. One of Tuttle’s more controversial claims is that the herding culture—raising, dominating, selling, killing and owning animals—sets up a harmful physical, emotional and cultural dynamic, extolling domineering and aggressive behavior. “The herding culture requires male dominance and a mentality that might makes right,” observes Tuttle. “It also sees females as primarily breeders, not beings.” Based on contemporary research in anthropology, sociology and psychopathology, he maintains that the actions required to both dominate animals and eat their meat can lead to more aggressive and violent behavior. One recent study seems to support his claim. Dr. Neil Barnard, in his book, Foods That Fight Pain, remarks that, “Plant-based diets also help tame testosterone’s activity.” Barnard cites a Massachusetts male aging study

photo by Stephen Blancett


Tip: Cook whole-grain or spinach pasta, potatoes, rice or another recommended grain in a large quantity to store in the refrigerator for use in stir-fries, salads and other meals later in the week. of 1,552 men ages 40 to 70, which indicated that men eating more fruits and vegetables than meat were less domineering and aggressive, because the increased sex hormone-binding globulin produced by plants helps keep testosterone in check. “If we continue the meat-centric way of eating, we’re going to continue to have the problems that come with it,” says Tuttle. “The way forward is plant-based agriculture.”

Practicing a World Peace Diet

The Tuttles shop for fresh, organic and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) foods and favor what they call

“blueprint recipes”, that vary from day to day. Each outlines the makings of a dish and encourages cooks to be intuitive in how they fill in the details. For a typical breakfast, for example, Tuttle and his wife, Madeleine, will make a green smoothie that includes kale, banana, apple, grapes, ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon and fresh ginger. “It’s a flexible drink,” says Tuttle. “We will swap out whatever organic fruits and vegetables we have so that we vary the flavor from time to time.” For example, they might use parsley, spinach, or chard leaves in place of kale, or citrus in place of grapes. Lunch is usually a wrap-type

sandwich, sometimes using fresh leaf lettuce or a whole-wheat tortilla. One recent example of such a wrap combined tomatoes, peppers, sprouts, walnuts, tempeh and avocado. A dinnertime blueprint recipe involves a base of cooked rice, quinoa, pasta, mashed potatoes or polenta, topped with a vegetable ragout, cooked or raw. “You could live the rest of your life mixing and matching these ingredients and never have the same meal twice,” notes Tuttle. “We have been doing it for 30 years. If we all choose to eat like this, the world could feed everybody on a fraction of the land now consumed by agriculture.” Learn more at articles.htm. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood from Overland Park, KS.

Healthy World Shopping List by Madeleine W. Tuttle


llow an hour to explore and buy the following basics to stock the pantry, always choosing organic and foods that have no genetically modified (GM or GMO) ingredients. In certain Asian traditions, only the most enlightened members of a monks’ community are allowed to cook food for their fellows, with good reason. The more love that goes into meal preparation, the better the outcome will be.

Staples Grains: rice, millet, whole-grain spaghetti or angel hair noodles, couscous, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, cornmeal Veggies: (in season) pumpkin/ squash, leek, onions, garlic, kale, cabbage, ginger, horseradish, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, lettuce/greens, sprouts, edamame, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, avocado, cilantro, peas (fresh or frozen), yams, potatoes

Field Roast, Beyond Meat, Sun Burger, Fakin’ Bacon Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts; raisins; flax, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

Proteins: tofu, tempeh, seitan; lentils, split peas, beans and other legumes Dried herbs: peppermint, Italian seasoning mix, basil, dill, cilantro, paprika, cayenne, curry, turmeric, pepper, nutmeg powder, cumin seeds, rosemary, nutritional yeast Fruits: citrus, apples, bananas, grapes, berries, avocado and others

Additions Meat analogs: Gardein, Tofurkey,

Oils and sauces: tahini (sesame butter), Vegenaise dressing, tomato sauce, olive oil, coconut oil, tamari or shoyu Sweeteners: Sucanat, stevia, coconut sugar, rice syrup, date syrup/ sugar, agave nectar Dairy: plant-based milks (e.g., soy, rice, hemp, coconut, almond, oat, tapioca), cheeses, yogurts, and creams; and nut butters such as almond, cashew, and peanut butters and sesame tahini Others: spelt flour, Celtic salt, vanilla, cacao powder, shredded coconut

natural awakenings

December 2013


Peace Blueprint Recipes When sitting down to eat, look at what’s been created to nourish all those gathered. Enjoy the colors, smells, tastes and love that blesses the food. May the principle of Oneness govern all beings.

Yields two servings 2 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas 2 Tbsp Vegenaise 1 tsp prepared horseradish, or to taste 1 cup fresh lettuce, torn into pieces 1 /2 cup sprouts 1 /2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes 1 /2 cup shredded fresh carrots 1 /2 cup diced fresh cucumber 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced 1 /4 cup toasted walnuts

Green smoothie

To start the day, use a high-powered Vitamix-type blender to reduce whole fruits and vegetables to a smooth juice. If using a regular blender, cut the fruits and vegetables into small pieces and strain the purée after blending. Yields two servings 1 banana, sliced 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped 1 /2 cup seedless green grapes 1 cup chopped kale leaves 1 cup baby spinach leaves 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds 1 /4 cup ground chia seeds 1 /4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 /4 tsp ground cloves 1 cup purified water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Strain, if necessary, to remove larger pieces; pour into two glasses and serve.

Whole Wheat and Vegetable Wrap

For lunch, a simple wrap can provide a daily change-up mixing in different fresh ingredients plus a plant-based flavoring like dried herbs, spices or garlic stirred into the Vegenaise or homemade eggless mayonnaise.

Toast walnuts by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool, and then chop. Place the tortillas on a flat surface. In a small bowl, mix the Vegenaise and horseradish together. Spread the mixture on the tortillas. Top each tortilla with half the lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, avocado and walnuts. Roll each tortilla into a wrap and serve. Source: Adapted from Intuitive Cooking, by Madeleine Tuttle (

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Western Mass


Pet First-Aid Kits All-Natural Home Health Care by Sandra Murphy


irst-aid is the first thing you can do to help an injured animal if you are prepared,” says Dr. Jason Nicholas, owner of The Preventive Vet, in Portland, Oregon. Attention in cases of injury or sudden illness can help a dog or cat stay more comfortable, stop bleeding and provide temporary relief. A pet first-aid kit can resemble a pantry more than a medicine cabinet. Natural components include: Cool water. Purified water kept in a spray bottle can cool overheated pets. For the fastest results, spray near the pulse points, the “armpits” and where fur is the thinnest. Further, a vet will assess if clinical hydration is needed beyond the water bowl. Saline solution. Versatile saline is available at the vet’s office or any pharmacy, and also easy and inexpensive to make at home. Use it to flush debris from eyes, clean wounds and promote healing from incisions. Two teaspoons of non-iodized salt in four cups of boiled water mimics body fluids. The Ohio State University Medical Center website provides a recipe for normal saline solution at Vinegar. It acts as a drying agent, especially for floppy-eared dogs taking a dip in a pool or natural waterway, which can leave the inner ear moist. “Don’t use vinegar if the skin is red or broken because it will be painful,” says Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services

at Petplan Pet Insurance, in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Never use it more than twice a week. Honey. Apply this sweet unguent to gums to help counteract low blood sugar and shock, particularly when a diabetic pet’s insulin levels are off. Maple syrup is a good substitute. Sugar. Although not recommended in a regular pet diet, sugar can be a topical antibacterial for the short term. Sugar draws water from the wound and dehydrates bacteria, supporting growth of new tissue. Plain yogurt. Adding this healthy refrigerated topping to dry food will activate a sluggish appetite and supply needed cultures to help balance the digestive system. Cornstarch. This non-toxic remedy helps stop minor bleeding from cuts, scrapes and pedicure accidents. Calendula. Also known as pot marigold, calendula cream may be used as an anti-inflammatory. Bug bites, scrapes, sunburn and itching from allergies also benefit from its application. Aloe. Easily grown in a garden or pot and available in gel form, aloe sooths burns, prevents blisters and speeds healing. It also serves as canine Chapstick. “Older dogs often have cracked skin on their noses,” notes Benson. “Aloe helps to heal the skin and keeps the dog comfortable.” Rescue Remedy. Illness or injury brings stress, and one common solution is Rescue Remedy. To relieve fear or anxiety, rub it onto a paw, nose or ears or add the recommended number of drops to water, a treat

or food. It helps dogs, cats, horses, birds, fish and even iguanas. Dosage relies on the extent of stress rather than weight or species. Clean cloths. For bee stings or insect bites on the body, cool compresses can reduce swelling and itching. Wet a washcloth with cold water or for larger welts, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply for a few minutes at a time. For stings on the face or mouth, it’s best to go to the vet’s office immediately, so that airways don’t swell up and hinder breathing. Miscellaneous supplies. Keep on hand gauze, tape, small scissors, tweezers (for removing objects from the roof of the mouth or splinters), a small flashlight, clean socks to cover a bandage and disposable gloves to keep human germs out of open wounds. A dog in pain may bite without realizing it. Nicholas recommends a basket muzzle, so the dog can easily breathe and pant. When a pet eats or drinks non-food items or foods they shouldn’t, such as chocolate, grapes or onions, head to the local vet. Veterinarian Jeff Levy, in New York City, who is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist, counsels, “Always keep contact information for your vet, an emergency hospital and animal poison control center handy.” Also, find out where emergency services are located when traveling. Pets can go into shock just like humans. To prevent or reduce the impact, keep the animal warm and provide a deep massage of the ears, at the base, where ears meet the head. A couple of drops of lavender oil on a collar or bandana will help everyone relax. Do not put essential oils directly on the pet, especially cats, as it can be toxic. Just like children, pets may have accidents or get sick after office hours. Stay calm, head for the natural pet pantry and then call the family’s holistic veterinarian. Sandra Murphy is a freelance writer in St. Louis, MO. Connect at StLSandyM@

natural awakenings

December 2013


calendarofevents note: All calendar events must be received by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Review guidelines and submit entries online at (within advertising section).

Unity, Unity in Action. $25 per workshop, $285 for all. Angelic Stones, The Integrative Health Group, 1502 Allen Street, Springfield. For more info & to register, Lisa Wilson: 413-977-6837 or Lisa@


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21 Winter begins





Open House at The Integrated Health Group

10am - 3pm 10am Sign-ups, registration, coffee, meet and greet the practioners. All day healing sessions with Lisa Wilson, Rosemary Ryan, and Linda White. Bio Mat table sessions, reiki, chakra clearing, empowerment and meditation sessions. Mini massages with Alexandra Moriarty, and mini make-overs with Karrie Welch. Dr. Jus Crea Giammarino presents: “Staying Healthy, Stress Free”. Lunch: 12:30-1pm Every Day Healthy Foods by Henry and Luz Ramirez Tai Chi demonstrations with Stan Baker. Healthy Cooking Demonstrations Suki Skin Care Sampling Plant Fusion Protein and Acai Exotic Free Raffle - Gift Bags Give the Gift of Health - Gift Certificates Available Please call or come in to register. Seating is limited! 413-783-9424 1500 Allen St. Springfield, MA 01118

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5 Introduction to Sacred Geometry – 6-9:30pm. Perfect for those wanting to know more about what Sacred Geometry is. Shapes are powerful tools in our healing journey both in their image and symbolism. $35. 1502 Allen St, Springfield. To Register: 413977-6837. Lisa@AngelicStones.Net.

$ave time & energy! Call ahead to ensure that the event you’re interested in is still available and tell them you saw it in Natural Awakenings of Western Mass. 28

Western Mass


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 Steps to Transformation Spiritual Healing Weekend – Dec 6-8. 6-9:30pm, Fri; Dec 6, 9am-3:45pm Sat & Sun. Learn empowering techniques combining angelic connections and meditations to break free and embrace your potential. $170 for 7 classes or $30 per workshop. 1502 Allen St, Springfield. To register: 413-977-6837. Lisa@AngelicStones.Net

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (US) Open Studio Holiday Sale at Natural Vitality – 10am-5pm. Open House and end of the year sale. Free. 123 Union St, Easthampton.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10 Human Rights Day

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 Bright Light Therapy Talk – 7pm. Hosted by Holistic Health Association of the Pioneer Valley presents a talk by Reed Schimmelfing on bright light therapy, a medication-free treatment and wellness tool. Learn how it can be helpful to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Depression). Free. Community Room, Forbes Library, Northampton. Visit hhapv.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 Yoga – Holiday Prep Class – 5:30-7pm. Both new and experienced students are welcome. Students will practice restorative (easeful) poses to help us pause, relax and de-stress to be more mindful about meaningful ways they can choose to celebrate the holidays to manifest love, joy and peace during this sacred time. $20. Ingleside Therapeutic Massage & Yoga, 415 Ingleside St, Rte 5, Holyoke. 413-313-5769. Pre register at

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 Winter’s Farmers’ Market – 10am – 2pm. The Gardens of Wilbraham. 2301 Boston Rd, Wilbraham. Heartlink Steps to Transformation Weekend – Jun 28-30. 6-9pm, Fri; 9am-8pm, Sat & Sun. Heartlink is pre-requsite for all workshops. Activate your 12 Strand Spiritual DNA, Karma Clearing, Forgiveness, Empowered Heart, Future Life Progression, Freedom from Codependency, World Angel Grid Healing, Pure Joy, Compassion, Journey Into

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26 Kwanzaa begins

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27 National Fruit Cake Day


plan ahead THURSDAY, JANUARY 9

markyourcalendar THURSDAY, JANUARY 9 Beauty Is An Attitude Sessions Start Quantum Leap Dynamic Life Coaching 6:45pm $85 2 Conz St. Ste. 2C, Northampton 413-727-3794 to Register or visit


markyourcalendar JANUARY 23 - MARCH 20 Crystal Healing Basic Certification – 9 Week Course Thursdays, 6-9pm With Lisa Wilson Become a certified crystal practitioner. Crystal lovers learn the healing properties of 25 crystals and energy healing basics. $900 1502 Allen St, Springfield To register 413-977-6837



NOTE: All calendar events must be received by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Review guidelines and submit entries online at (within advertising section).

sunday Strong, Soft and Sweet Yoga – 6-7:15pm. All levels of experience and ability welcome. Class starts with passive stretching, builds to active stretching and ends with restorative poses. $14/drop-in; student, senior, veterans, teen discounts available. Serenity Yoga, 15 College St, S Hadley. 413-563-3678.

Dance Fitness Class – 5-6pm. Featuring music from 4 decades, this dance class will get your feet moving, heart pumping and calories burning. This easy-tofollow class is great for new and experienced dancers alike and can be done at low or high intensity. Must have dedicated indoor shoes. Outdoor shoes scratch and damage dance floor. $7/drop-in, $50/10 classes. LifeDance Studios, 22 Cherry St, 2nd Fl, Westfield. 413-579-7870. Friday Night Flow – 5:30-7pm. End your week, start your weekend right with some sweet flow. Be appropriately challenged and rewarded with some sweet, juicy winding-down postures. $14/drop-in; student, senior, veterans, teen discounts available. Serenity Yoga, 15 College St, S Hadley. 413-5633678.



Slow Flow Yoga– 5:30-6:45pm. A moderate to intermediate practice done at a slower pace. Attention paid to individual expression of each pose. Deeply relaxing and transformative. $14/drop-in; student, senior, veterans, teen discounts available. Serenity Yoga, 15 College St, S Hadley. 413-563-3678. Dance Fitness Class – 5:30-6:30pm. Featuring music from 4 decades, this dance class will get your feet moving, heart pumping and calories burning. This easy-to-follow class is great for new and experienced dancers alike and can be done at low or high intensity. Must have dedicated indoor shoes. Outdoor shoes scratch and damage dance floor. $7/drop-in, $50/10 classes. The Pilates Studio, 353 Walnut St, Ext, Agawam. 413-579-7870. Yoga Level I-II – 6:30-8pm. Class for continuing students, both Advanced Beginners and Intermediate students that have a good understanding of alignment, have attended class for at least one year. All types of asana (poses) practiced including inversions and arm balances. Helps to build strength, endurance and flexibility and to be inspired to aspire to new possibilities both on and off the mat. $20/drop-in, $18/per class paying monthly. Ingleside Therapeutic Massage & Yoga, 415 Ingleside St, Rte 5, Holyoke. 413-313-5769.

tuesday Gentle/Chair Modified Yoga – 10-11:45am. Adapts yoga positions and poses through creative use of a chair. $14/Drop-in; student, veteran, teen discounts available. Serenity Yoga,15 College St, S Hadley. 413-563-3678.

Qigong & Tai Chi – 9-10am. See Wed listing. Abundant Wellness Center, 94 Chicopee St, Chicopee. 413-592-2828.

wednesday Yoga Level I-II – 6-7:30pm. Class for all Levelsboth Beginners & Intermediate Students. All types of asana (poses) practiced. Helps to build strength, endurance and flexibility and to be inspired to aspire to new possibilities both on and off the mat. $20/ drop-in, $18/per class paying monthly. Ingleside Therapeutic Massage & Yoga, 415 Ingleside St, Rte 5, Holyoke. 413-313-5769. Qigong & Tai Chi – 6-7pm. Also Sat, 9-10am. Relax, move, flow. All levels. Draw from ancient traditions and make it relevant to modern life, focusing on healing, growth, opening, connecting, working towards embodied wholeness and relaxation, while feeling grounded and centered.With Michele Grassi. $10/drop-in, $50/6-wks. Abundant Wellness Center, 94 Chicopee St, Chicopee. 413-592-2828. Advanced Tai Chi – 6:30-8:30pm. Chen-style t’ai chi is the most dynamic and athletic. One of the unique attributes in relationship to other styles is the emphasis on “spiraling” energy, called Reeling Silk. The practice confers strength, flexibility and the generation of energy that greatly enhances health and longevity. Instructed by Stan Baker, Licensed Acupuncturist. Shaolin Kung Fu Center, 284 Bridge St, 2nd Fl, Springfield. Master Lisandro Vega: 413504-3253.


o not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~Buddha

Yoga: All Levels – 9:30-11am. For those new to yoga and those that are learning the poses and alignment. Primary focus on opening the shoulders and hips and focusing on the breath. An intro to asana (poses) including standing poses, hip openers, backbends, forward bends and twists. $20/drop-in, $18/per class paying monthly. Ingleside Therapeutic Massage & Yoga, 415 Ingleside St, Rte 5, Holyoke. 413-313-5769.

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natural awakenings

December 2013


THINK BEFORE YOU BUY: 1. Is it recycled or made from sustainable materials?

2. Is it resource saving? 3. Is it vintage or pre-owned?

Asking these questions before you buy can help you make a green choice.

communityresourceguide Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email to request a media kit. ACUPUNCTURE ACUPUNCTURE OF GREATER HARTFORD & SPRINGFIELD

Stan Baker, LAc, Dipl. Ac. Integrative Health Group 1502 Allen St (Bicentennial Plaza) Springfield, MA 01118 413-782-9800 • Thirty years experience in the Oriental healing arts and specializing in difficult cases. Presently he uses in his practice the major modalities of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese dietetics, Chinese massage and bodywork. See ad, page 8.


Sue Gorman Wilbraham, MA 01095 • 413-478-2506 Look better, live better, real results with Nerium AD. Nerium AD is an amazing breakthrough, anti-aging skincare product. Look younger in as little as 30 days. Trying is believing. See ad, page 14.


Lisa Wilson, RMT, IET-MI Crystal Master/Teacher Integrative Health Group 1502 Allen St, Bicentennial Plaza Springfield, MA 01118 413-977-6837 •


Michelle A. McCarthy, IET-MI/Trainer, RMT 299 Walnut St, 2nd Fl, Agawam, MA 01001 413-737-9443 • Healing sessions and certification classes in Integrated Energy Therapy and Reiki. BioMat Powernaps that offer total relaxation, reduced stress, pain, better sleep and more. See ad, page 9.

Western Mass

Kerrie Bodendorf Agawam, Westfield, Southampton, MA 413-579-7870

Reduce joint pain and muscle tension with self-treatment that re-hydrates connective tissue and alig n s jo in ts f o r p ain - f r ee movement. Feel immediate response in your body.

HEALTHTRAX FITNESS AND WELLNESS Mariola Jarzynska, Membership Advisor 45 Crane Ave, East Longmeadow, MA 01028 413-525-3931 •

Healthtrax in East Longmeadow has 26,000 sq ft of fitness space, including an indoor lap pool and whirlpool, group exercise, racquetball courts, and new Xpress Training, offering free trainer assistance. Family friendly services include family locker rooms and kidzone. See ad, page 14.


Support your personal healing journey through personalized private energy healing sessions and transformative self-healing and certification classes. Call or visit us on-line for the full class/ service schedule. See ad, page 9.




Lillian Moss, MSW, CHT 2 Conz St, Ste 2C Northampton, MA 01060 • 413-727-3794 Specializing in hypnotherapy and support for medical patients and their loved ones, including pain relief, anxiety control, and enhanced healing. I help people thrive and enjoy life in spite of illness.


30 N King St, Northampton, MA 01060 413-587-0100 • Our group of integrative health practitioners and counselors are experts in the fields of regenerative health and provide you with the tools your body needs to heal itself m e n t a l l y, p h y s i c a l l y a n d spiritually. See ad, page 7.





Michelle Grassi Chicopee, Southampton, Southwick, MA 413-636-3205 • We provide therapeutic massage and energy work for the enhancement of health and well-being to health-minded individuals. We are dedicated to provide our clients with nurturing treatments and continuing education to promote relaxation and self-healing. See ad, page 7.

MEDICAL SUPPLIES BAYSTATE HOME INFUSION & RESPIraTORY SERVICES 85 South St, Ware • 413-967-2855 489 Bernardston Rd, Greenfield • 413-773-2378 211 Carando Dr, Springfield • 413-794-4663 See ad, page 18.

Holyoke, MA 01040 413-519-3438

Currently specializing in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy). ART is the directive eye movement therapy that provides rapid recovery for trauma and other mental health problems. ART uses Gestalt, cognitive behavioral therapy, guided imagery, psychodynamic therapy, combining elements of the these approaches with eye movements so that the sum of ART is more than its parts. 35 years experience as a psychotherapist in Western Mass.

Valley Massage Therapy

Theodore M. Schiff, LMT, CR, CST 39 Main St, 3rd Fl, Ste 34A Northampton, MA 01060 413-687-7878 Reflexology on the feet brings the body back into harmony. Valley Massage Therapy. See ad, page 5.


Carleen Eve Fischer Hoffman East Longmeadow, MA 01028 413-525-7345 •

PHOTOGRAPHY Suzanne Larocque East Longmeadow, MA 01028 413-525-9089 Over 13 years experience and creativity to every assignment, works with talented artists, stylists and designers to help bring your vision to life.


John Hoime 208 College Hwy, Southwick, MA 01077 413-569-1155

CLINIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES Jennifer Nery, Lac, 98 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060 413-341-5224

Clinic is a multi-disciplinary healing arts center. We support not just individuals’ healing, but the community that emerges when people come together to heal.


eace begins with a smile. ~Mother Teresa

Specializing in menopause, PMS, sexual dysfunction, depression and anxiety by treating the mind, body and spirit as a whole. Offering bio-identical hormones and breast thermography. See ad, page 11.

YOGA Michele Lyman 15 College St, S Hadley, MA 01075 413-563-3678 • Serenity Yoga is a peaceful, cozy environment where the focus is on accessible classes, skilled teachers and the health and wellness of the community. Serenity Yoga offers a variety of ongoing classes that include gentle and beginner yoga, moderate yoga, yoga for teens and advanced Vinyasa yoga. For the full schedule, call or visit the website. See ad, page 14.



Alternative Health, Inc. is dedicated to the health, vitality and wellness of our clients. Our goal is to help the body heal itself naturally. See ad, page 6.


Max Chorowski, MD, FACOG Jenifer Fleming, MSN, CNM 175 Dwight Rd, Longmeadow, MA 01106 413-567-WELL (9355) •



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Fee for classifieds is $1 per word per month. To place listing, email content to Deadline is the 10th of the month. OPPORTUNITIES AD SALES REP – If you are good with people, motivated, live a healthy lifestyle and you would like to help grow the natural, healthy and green living business community here in Western Mass, Natural Awakenings may be the magazine for you. We are looking for a talented person to help with our growth in the area of advertising sales. If this sounds like you, please contact us today. Sales experience preferred, but will train the right person. Must be able to manage your time well and be self-motivated. If you are already involved in the green and natural health community here and love talking with people, you’re already on the way to making a successful ad sales person. Full or Part time, commission based position. Make your own hours, meet interesting people. Email cover letter and resume to: ALTERNATIVE PRACTIONERS WANTED – Independent practitioners wanted for a collaborative work environment. Focus on client care a must. CLINIC Alternative Medicince will help with accounting, scheduling, reception, linens, cleaning and maintenance of the space, and outreach to clients. Chiropractors, talk therapists and movement therapist are wanted. Contact Jennifer Nery at 413-341-5224 or email

natural awakenings

December 2013



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Natural Awakenings of Western Mass - Dec 2013 Issue  

Healthy Living, Healthy Planet, Awakening Humanity, Marianne Williamson, Green Holiday. Be Happy Right Now

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