November 2019 Evolving Magazine

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November 2019 ~ Volume XI, Issue 9

A Guide for Conscious Living


To Change or Not To Change?

SHIFT HAPPENS: Writing as Therapy

Being THANKFUL Out Loud HEALTHIER Holidays


"The desire to know your own soul will end all other desires." —Rumi Let me help you take your awareness deep within to know this hidden realm. Life Between Lives® Spiritual Regression Therapy Past Life Regression Therapy Clinical Transpersonal Hypnotherapy • Licensed Certified Member – The Michael Newton Institute (author of Journey of Souls) • Board Certification International Assoc. of Counselors and Therapists, and National Guild of Hypnotists

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Evolutionary Soul Guide

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Dr. Kat Bowie, Psy.D., E-RYT 200, YACEP Trauma Release Yoga Wellness Program

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Dear Friend, It wasn’t until recently that I started to realize the subtle differences between joy and happiness. For many years I focused on happiness — those transitory feelings based on external circumstances. Happiness frequently coincides with quickfix addictive habits like drugs, alcohol, and eating disorders, or a dopamine “hit” from social media, sex, accomplishments, and binge-watching television. These activities may bring feelings of happiness, but this isn’t

the same as joy. Whereas happiness comes from external events, joy brews from within. It’s a gentle presence, one that touches your heart more than your head. There are many more ways to cultivate joy, but some practices that have worked for me: Meditation. While I’ll never be a monk and able to sit for hours at a time in formal meditation, I have found ways to quiet my mind. Gardening, Tai Chi and QiGong, spending time in nature, long walks, or other repetitive physical acts all are moving meditations that allow me to find the gap between thinking and being. Another form of meditation I utilize is listening to visualizations and binaural beats for different purposes. Each night before sleeping I choose either music or visualization, depending on my needs, from the Insight Timer App. A few of my favorites are Yoga Nidra for Sleep, Floating to Sleep, and various Tibetan singing bowl recordings. The App is free to download and listen to on your phone. Or search YouTube for “binaural beats for ___” to find one that fits your needs. Consciousness or Presence. Becoming aware of my inner workings is also a tool for finding joy. When I feel unease, I remember that anxiety is caused by a dis-association from self. An indication that I am not being authentic and living with my purpose. By changing the focus and asking myself, “What am I feeling?” I can usually stop the anxiety and put myself back into alignment with what I value. A tool for consciousness that I’ve practiced for many years is journaling. Using stream of consciousness writing enables me to break past my thinking mind to discover my inner workings. Discovering what is going on inside leads to authentic living, which is so important for feeling joy. With attention to our inner workings, I believe joy can be cultivated from the inside-out – becoming not just a momentary state of mind like happiness, but a daily part of who we are. This month, Evolving Magazine focuses on the art of Joy.



Shift Happens: Writing As Therapy


Being Thankful Out Loud 12

Holiday Gift Guide 8

Jill Dutton Departments

Publisher Jill Dutton 913-944-1298 Editorial Assistants Judy Kirkpatrick Chrisi Spooner Polly Swafford

Web Layout/Design Christine Lamb Advertising Karen E. Cowdry Jill Dutton Kevin Hall

News Journey to Wholeness Holistic Health Eating Well in KC Horoscope Events

4 6 7 10 13 15


Monthly Columnists Jude LaClaire, Aluna Michaels, Nancy Russell, Sandra Silva

EVOLVING© 2019 all rights reserved. The opinions expressed are those of the authors. The articles in EVOLVING are not meant to represent any form of medical or psychiatric care. No portion of the publication may be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher.


Mother Mary in her Angelic form, color pencil on watercolor paper by Susan Walter Susan's art creates a healing, energetic and uplifting environment in what ever space it graces. Learn more about Susan's art and events at


News What if Empaths Were Here for a Reason?

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TwentyFifty Named after the year 2050 — the year the population is projected to reach 10 billion and when it’s estimated that the amount of plastic waste in the ocean will exceed the amount of fish — the brand has one mission: to stop, or at least significantly reduce, plastic pollution. They are doing this with cutlery. The first, and only, compostable alternative to single-use plastic you can compost in your own backyard compost pile. TwentyFifty differs from other supposedly ‘compostable’ brands whose utensils require industrial-scale plants to compost them. Others use cornstarch as a base for their products which requires the product to be broken down into extremely small pieces and then composted with a very high heat in order to biodegrade. Even then, a sticky, resin-like material is left that is both not good for the soil and also a cause of methane gas. If you were to discard them in a backyard compost it would take two years (or more) for them to fully decompose. A TwentyFifty fork, spoon or knife is composted in 30 days or less and according to founder, Zack Kong, actually provides a significant amount of nutrients for your plants. Forks and knives are coming soon, and spoons are now available on their website for immediate delivery. To learn more and to order your compostable spoons, please visit:

The Evolutionary Empath is a guide for empaths seeking to understand their unique nature, fully manifest their gifts, and embrace their role in the evolution of human consciousness. As an empath herself, Stephanie Red Feather has experienced firsthand the challenges of being extremely sensitive to subtle energies and the emotions of others. With this guide for anyone who’s ever felt out of place because of their sensitivity, Red Feather offers advice on how to manage life’s difficulties as an empath as well as insight into how these qualities are vitally important to the future of humanity. Red Feather explains not only that there are now more empaths than ever before, but that this surge in numbers is no coincidence. Empaths are the way-showers for the next step in human evolution, and they have a cosmic mission: to usher in a higher level of human consciousness, centered in the heart. With this hands-on guide, Red Feather provides empaths the tools they need to empower themselves and embrace their essential role in humanity’s evo­lution. “The wisdom and guidance Rev. Stephanie Red Feather offers is hard-won and will help illuminate the paths of many who are similarly challenged as well as gifted.” - Donna Eden, author of Energy Medicine Rev. Stephanie Red Feather, Ph.D. is an author, teacher, and founder of Blue Star Temple. As an ordained shamanic minister, her passion is to help fellow empaths embrace their soul’s calling to evolve humanity to the next stage of consciousness. She lives near Kansas City, Missouri. Visit Stephanie’s website at and download your free Evolutionary Empath Activation Manual. The Evolutionary Empath: A Practical Guide for Heart Centered Consciousness by Stephanie Red Feather. US price $18.00. Trade Paper ISBN 978-1-59143-350-7. November 5, 2019 Inner Traditions.

Fueled by a Passion for Helping People Heal Tammy Barton, opens Illuminating the Soul ~ A new holistic healing center in the Northland specializing in Cranio Sacral Therapy, Shamanic Healing, Medical Intuition, Reflexology and Therapeutic Massage Services Illuminating The Soul, is excited to announce its Grand Opening in the northland and is a holistic healing center committed to providing a sacred space for personal growth, healing and transformation through ancient healing modalities, inspirational workshops and spiritual retreats. Tammy Barton, is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Inspirational Artist, and believes in approaching bodywork from a holistic viewpoint. She is well versed in many bodywork modalities including Therapeutic Massage, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Intuitive Healing, Chakra Balancing, Shamanic Healing Work and Soul Retrieval. She believes in working with the body, mind and spirit as a collective whole through various bodywork and intuitive modalities and when appropriate Tammy uses crystals and essential oils in her practice to enhance the healing process. Tammy has 15 years of experience as a massage therapist and previously owned and operated, At The Healing Place, and strives to make Illuminating The Soul the best holistic healing center in the Kansas City area and is confident she can be your home for healing. Illuminating the Soul ~ 6904 Orchard Street, Pleasant Valley, Missouri, 64068 Contact Tammy 816-820-5644 or by email at: Schedule your healing session today and all healing sessions are by appointment only. Visit her website at: and Like her Facebook business page to stay updated on all her bodywork specials, workshops and spiritual retreats.




SQUEAK is a new line of parentapproved cleaning products that has ditched the toxins in favor of environmentally-conscious, safe and organic ingredients. And yes, they work! Tested and proven to out-clean some of the most popular brands in the natural space. This mom-created brand uses hardworking ingredients like reverse osmosis water, natural and organic essential oils, organic vinegar, organic witch hazel that contribute antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties to SQUEAK’s delicious smelling formulas. SQUEAK products can be purchased individually or in bundles for a whole house clean kit! You can also get ingenious little concentrated refills so you can continue to use the same bottle which saves you money and is kinder to the environment. Visit to learn more.

No matter how you feel right now, Ariane Resnick believes you CAN feel better “From the science behind gratitude to breathing exercises, this book is a valuable tool for all who seek better health.” ―Terry Wahls, MD, author of The Wahls Protocol Resnick spent half a decade seriously sick. Upon returning to health, she resolved to help others do the same. How to Be Well When You’re Not is a guide to facilitating the healing capabilities of your body. It’s all about the wellness mindset: the belief that you can feel better. When you believe you have the power to recover, you feel less stressed. You experience a sense of hope. You operate from a vantage point that your entire life cannot be summed up by your illness, that there is far more to you. And, according to research, your chances of recovery increase. This is a comprehensive guide for anyone who would like a boost in attitude and well-being. Whether you’re dealing with a chronic illness, occasional discomfort, or feeling the effects of aging, Resnick provides emotional coping strategies, writing exercises, physical practices, and soothing, restorative recipes to help you thrive. These are the tools to find hope and happiness despite physical challenges.


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Journey to Wholeness

To Change or Not to Change? BY JUDE LACLAIRE, PH.D.


s the days become shorter and holidays appear on the horizon we may be looking at our lives, reviewing things and thinking of change. It may remain in the ‘intention’ stage for much longer than you think. Dr. James Prochaska, co-author of Changing For Good, tells us that up to 80 percent of people wanting to change are not ready to go into action. Uh oh, does that spell trouble for your desire to change? Not necessarily as he also reminds us that, “Change is a process, not an event.” As I revisited the stages of change I was thinking about a recent change that happened in my life. As my spouse and I were contemplating re-doing the flooring in our home and found out we had to pack as if we were moving, we were triggered into thinking about down-sizing and purging. It took me months to ‘contemplate’ what I would do with hundreds of books I had collected. Then there was the preparation and the action. What a process. Six months later, with most books donated and gone, other things given away or sent to recycling, the floor change made me think about many other aspects of my life. What are the changes you may be contemplating? Usually we know where we are by results. I believe it would be safe to say that if nothing is happening, you aren’t ready. If you think you might be ready to start a new behavior in the near future, about six months, you are in Stage 1: Precontemplation (not ready.) Here you may be preparing, learning about the pros and cons, checking out the effects of the

change. Prochaska tells us that precontemplators usually underestimate the pros of changing and overestimate the cons. You need encouragement to become more aware of the benefits of this change. Readiness is key to success. Stage 2: Contemplation (getting ready) is the time when the person intends to start the new behavior within the next six months. At this state pros and cons are about equal. Ambivalence can stop you in this stage. You need help reducing the cons of changing your behavior. When taking action is within 30 days, the person is at Stage 3: Preparation (ready). This is the time for small steps that help you believe you can make the healthy behavior part of your life. You might start telling people, ask for help, make a plan and think about how you would feel if you changed the behavior. As you seek and get support your confidence will grow and you will prepare more fully for the task at hand. Now you are ready for Stage 4: Action! You have taken the steps you need to implement the change in your life. You are going to the gym each day, cooking better meals, writing in your gratitude log everyday or doing whatever behavior you chose regularly. At this stage, strategy, rewards, and staying with people who encourage you are very necessary. Finally, once a change is made Stage 5: Maintenance, is necessary to develop the new habit. Avoiding stressful and tempting situations, being with other people who support you in your new habit and engaging in alternative activities to cope with stress will guarantee success in

What are the changes you may be contemplating? making change that becomes part of you. You can facilitate the change process by using things like imagery, meditation, or mindfulness practices. When I teach people the skills of the Neurobehavioral Program created by Dr. John Leonard, they seem to move more readily through change. Anything that helps you reduce stress, negative emotions or trauma will help this journey. If you are struggling with making changes, check out Dr. Prochaska’s book. He also has a great website: that offers online, offline and manuals for working through the stages of change. As you look at small changes in your life or bigger ones that require deeper digging, I think


you will find the steps of change helpful. Enjoy each change in yourself and your life as a step in your personal development. Embrace change and use it! Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC is a counselor and educator at the Heartland Holistic Health Center. She is the author of the “Life Weaving Education Curriculum” that teaches creative, effective, holistic problem solving. For counseling appointments, seminars, training, speaking engagements or information on Neurobehavioral Programs and Imago Couple’s Therapy call 913-322-5622 or;

Holistic Health


Healthier Holidays BY EMILY DAY


s we transition into late fall, we look forward to holiday celebrations with family and friends. However, illness may also be an unwelcome guest into our lives during these times. Although illness may be related to close, indoor contact with others, it could also be related to changes in our lifestyle and nutrition that lower our immunity. I’m reminded of a quote by Louis Pasteur, the French microbiologist known for his work on the germ theory of disease and pasteurization. At the end of his life in 1895, he said, "I have been wrong. The germ is nothing. The 'terrain' is everything.” This quote suggests that illness depends on whom the germ affects, not just the germ itself. Our bodies have built-in mechanisms that help prevent us from getting sick due to the bacteria, viruses, parasites, and environmental factors that we encounter every day. However, the strength of our immunity can wax and wane. In Functional Medicine, we believe illness is related to both the germ and the host, and has much to do with a lifestyle and nutritional standpoint to stay healthy. What we eat and drink can have a direct impact on the function or dysfunction of our immune system. With holiday celebrations, nutritious food intake is often replaced to our detriment with processed, high-sugar foods. When our blood glucose is elevated from nutrient-depleted foods, our immune system is suppressed by 50 percent, and it takes approximately five hours to rebound. Amazingly, our neutrophils, the cells of our immune system that engulf and kill bacteria, prefer refined carbohydrates and sugars to bacteria. This change in function can cause us to negatively react to

a germ that, under healthier circumstances, would not have caused illness. Conversely, when we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, the phytonutrients (natural substances produced by plants) support our immune system, helping it to function optimally. Strive to eat seven to nine servings of vegetables daily, with a few servings of fruit, even throughout the holiday season. Remember, a serving is a half-cup of cooked vegetables, one cup of raw vegetables, or one cup of raw fruit. Adequate intakes of protein and healthy fats with each meal can help curb your intake of sugars and processed foods. Ideally, keep the sugary/processed temptations out of the house altogether. Alcohol consumption, which may increase over the holidays, can significantly weaken our immunity and predispose us to infection. It disrupts the immune function of our lungs, making us more prone to upper respiratory infections, and alters our microbiome–healthy bacteria in our intestines that help protect us from pathogenic bacteria. Enjoy holiday parties, but aim to keep your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks total. Keeping your gut microbiome healthy enhances the strength of your immunity. Two-thirds of our immunity resides in the intestines, and it cannot function optimally if compromised by chronic antibiotic use, overgrowth of yeast, bacteria, parasites, or from inflammation from food sensitivities. Your functional medicine provider can test for food sensitivities and intestinal pathogen overgrowth. But you can take action now to support a healthy microbiome by reducing processed, high-sugar foods, eating fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, or yogurt, and including high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains.

“With holiday celebrations, nutritious food intake is often replaced with processed, high sugar foods, to our detriment.” From a lifestyle standpoint, there is also much we can do to strengthen our immune system. Exercise promotes lymphatic circulation to help fight and rid the body of infection. Also, the more muscle you have, the more robust your immune system, whereas the more adipose (fat) tissue you have, the more inhibited your immunity. Caveat: While regular, moderate-intensity exercise is beneficial, prolonged periods of intense training can suppress immune function. Aim for 30-45 minutes daily of stability/strength training and cardiovascular exercise, even during the holidays. Most of us struggle with sleep difficulty at one time or another, and the holidays are no exception. Late-evening parties, alcohol, and sugar consumption all can disrupt sleep, and sleep deprivation reduces our mature neutrophil count and function, making us more prone to infection. Aim to take a short nap on days when you’ll be out late for a gathering, and work to improve your sleep overall. Contact your functional


medicine provider if you struggle to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep per night. Finally, while stress is hard to avoid, it’s important to manage, especially when around certain friends or family. Stress suppresses the response of our immune cells, both in the gut and throughout the body. Rather than trying to cope by reaching for sugar and/or alcohol, or by lashing out at others, we can manage stress in healthy ways by exercise, journaling, and not overbooking ourselves. There is much we can do to stay well this fall and winter—healthy eating, good exercise, improved sleep, and reduced stress are not just about a trim waistline! They are also about the health of our terrain!

Emily Day is a Family Nurse Practitioner and Functional Medicine provider at Nurturing Optimal Wellness with Dr. Nancy Russell.

Holiday Gift Guide

For Unique, Inspirational, Local, and Non-Traditional Gift Ideas Ascension Energetics James C. Rider II 816-379-6447 ~ Do you have a family member or friend who wants to connect in deeper and level up on their path of the awakening? Well look no further, Ascension Energetics is here for your spiritual development. We offer many ways to enhance your spiritual connection. Life is better with a strong spiritual relationship and bliss at your side. Come level up with us. Gift Certificates Available. Blue Star Temple Stephanie Red Feather ~ 913-515-3271 Give yourself or a loved one the gift of spiritual support. Craving a live workshop with personal attention? The Evolutionary Empath Live PractiCourse is Dec 6-8 at the Hollis Center. Love books? Check out my new book The Evolutionary Empath. Need to beef up your clearing skills? Purchase The Art & Practice of Energetic Clearing, a video home study program. Love meditations? I have lots to choose from. Want to be more fully embodied? My Embodiment How-To Workbook, a PDF download, can help you. All these tools and more available at Holiday KC Metaphysical Fair Welcome to Kansas City’s most exciting Metaphysical Fair! This is our Holiday gift giving event! Nov 22, 23, 24. Amazing variety of psychic readers, Astrology, Tarot, Lenormand, Mediums, Palmistry, Reiki, etc. KC’s best! So many unique hand- crafted gifts, Crystals, Gemstones, Jewelry, Herbal teas, and remedies! Handmade body products, artwork, statuary, books, t-shirts, magical tools, aura paintings and more Get Holiday gift certificates! Free Prize drawings every hour all weekend! WORKSHOPS EVERY HOUR! Cash or credit! Admission $8.00/day. Find $1.00 off coupons here and online! Kids under 10 free. Abdallah Shrine Center 5300 Metcalf OP KS 66202 Illuminating the Soul Tammy Barton, LMT 6904 Orchard Street, Pleasant Valley, Missouri, 64068 ~ 816.820.5644 Come relax and unwind from holiday stress with a peaceful massage and bodywork session. Tammy Barton offers a wide variety of therapeutic and holistic healing services, massage, cranio sacral therapy, Reiki, chakra balancing, reflexology, shamanic healing and more. Gift Certificates are available. Purchase online, by phone or in person for a level of holiday ease. Come shop the unique line of gifts ranging from inspirational artwork, buddha statues, handmade jewelry, crystals, and singing bowls. Take care of all your holiday needs. Visit for a full list of healing services, events, gift certificates and to schedule your healing session. EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Holiday Gift Guide

For Unique, Inspirational, Local, and Non-Traditional Gift Ideas Karen Elise 913-636-9502

Illuminating the Soul

The Right Guidance at the Right Time. Available in person or by phone. Tarot readings , Akashic readings Parties and Events. Intuitive Coaching Perfect Entertainment for your Holiday Party. Gifts Certificates available Radiate Wellness 816-388-0289 Does your boo need a break? Would your mom love to hear from her angels? Could your right-hand man (or woman) benefit from some energy healing? Know someone going through huge life changes? Did your sis (or bro) adopt a new fur baby? We've got you covered. Give a gift that is truly unique. Radiate Wellness gift certificates are available in any denomination and/or for particular services and packages. Give the gift that says “I get you.” Email us at or go to radiatewellnesscommunity/shop to purchase.

A sacred space for personal growth, healing and transformation. Tammy Barton, LMT, offers cranio sacral therapy, massage, reflexology, reiki, chakra balancing, shamanic healing , intuitive readings, workshops and classes.

816-820-5644 Wholehearted Wellness has your Mind, Body and Spirit covered for the Holidays

 Wholehearted Wellness Karen S Carmack LMT located inside The Wellness Wheel at 5742 North Broadway Kansas City, Mo. 64118 816-550-9620 ~ Wholehearted Wellness has your Mind, Body and Spirit covered for the Holiday’s with Great Stocking Stuffers! Make this Years Holiday Present an Experience! Holiday designed Gift Certificates for Massage, Energy Healing, HeartMath Life Coaching, Yoga Nidra meditation, Personal Essential oil blends and Yoga classes! Let’s spread the Spirit of Wellness, you will receive $10.00 off your Gift Certificate for all services provided

Great Stocking Stuffers Massages!

Let’s spread the Spirit of Wellness! You will receive $10.00 off your Gift Certificate for all services provided! 816-550-9620 wholeheartedwellness.

Whole Life Center Karen K. Harrison 816-523-4440 Gift your beloved with a session of Tantra coaching for $100 an hour to enhance your intimacy and spice up your sex life. Learn what essential oils can enhance libido and make intimacy last longer and be more enjoyable for both partners. Bring more love into your intimacy and learn new ways to pleasure each other. Learn how to breathe your partner to bliss. Find out how to create sacred space and stimulate your senses.


Ascension Energetics Ascension Master~James C. Rider II

Activations, Initiations, Trauma Relief, Awakening Energetic ModalitiesLight Divine & Phoenix Fire 816-379-6447


Eating Well in Kansas City



his month’s Evolving theme is “Joy” and while there is no recipe to “cook-up a pot of joy,” there are concepts to consider and foods that can support happiness and joy. For many of us the experience of “joy” is infrequent and usually fleeting. I do not have an expectation of living periods of extended joy. However, as I observe my life as a whole, I want to see a preference for positivity occasionally punctuated by the appearance of “joy.” This is my preference, in part, because I suspect “joy” is an infrequent visitor to naysayers and curmudgeons. There are four concepts that help support a positive outlook that invites “joy” to visit more often: choice, presence, happiness and optimism.


We each have a unique way of being. Whether for gain or for naught each person has a presence, i.e. an energy or power surrounding them that serves as their personal introduction to those with whom they are Choice interacting. Kristi Hedges, author The character of Travis Shaw of The Power of Presence, opens the 2016 film, The Choice, suggests that some may refer to with these words: presence as, “…confidence, or Now pay attention because I’m charisma, or being compelling— about to tell you the secret to life. but we experience it the same. Ready? The whole damn thing is And if the person is a leader we about decisions; little, seemingly are inspired by it.” Given the title insignificant decisions that clear of her book, Hedges acknowledges the road for monster-truck, lifethere is power in presence. Hence, altering ones. You see, every path a pattern is beginning to emerge: you take leads to another choice. choice, intention and presence. And some choices can change How do we use these energies to everything. Every damn moment add value to our life and those we for the rest of your life hangs on it. love? Simply, choices can alter our influence on our self along with those within our most intimate Happiness heart circles, professional spheres, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, has community and, ultimately the long been recognized as the planet and its residents. In this founder of positive psychology. over-stimulated society, even Ironically, Seligman’s early work when it is our intention to do so, it focused on the concept of “learned is difficult to pay attention to the helplessness” which was first tasks at hand let alone recognize a researched with laboratory life-altering choice lurking in the animals, the theories of which fray. It is easy to lose touch with were later applied to people who our own experiences. Some had experienced uncontrollable individuals have even abdicated events resulting in inappropriate their power to make a choice passivity and demoralization. about their degree of awareness Perhaps it is his deep appreciation and by extension, their degree of of the human spirit to persevere in being present to themselves and the face of disruption that has others. motivated Seligman to move in another direction.

Seligman now focuses on mental health (as opposed to mental illness) and explores the cultivation of happiness. He suggests that happiness can be experienced by nurturing existing strengths such as kindness, generosity, originality and humor which he calls signature strengths. He suggests the emphasis should not be on trying to correct weaknesses; the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction, i.e. happiness comes from building and using one’s signature strengths.

feel helpless and the mother remains optimistic. A week later, the baby responds to a loud truck outside. During that trying week, the father made a choice not to be present to his family, denying him of his innate presence and did not use whatever strengths he might have called upon. He lost moments of happiness with himself, his wife and his newborn daughter. I feel certain “joy” did not visit him that week. The mother chose optimism. She was present to herself and her baby, infused their lives with her unique presence, perhaps sharing some happy moments. Joy was waiting in the wings.

Foods to support happiness and joy

Key to experiencing happiness, joy and having an optimistic outlook is the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Foods that contain the amino acid known as tryptophan can help, such as salmon, eggs, spinach, seeds and nuts. Also important are the choices made around values and lifestyle such as a commitment to eat less saturated fat, consume probiotics, exercise regularly, sleep Optimism adequately, listen to music and Seligman’s step from happiness maintain regular contemplative as an experience, to optimism as a practices. way of engaging life, brings us full Remember, “…every path you circle to the importance of choice. take leads to another choice. And In his book, Learned Optimism, some choices can change he shares the story of young everything.” parents who are faced with the reality that their newborn is not reacting to loud noises, i.e. lack of a startle response. Armed with a Sandra Silva, J.D. little research from the internet is the Store and anticipating a physician Manager of appointment on Monday each of GreenAcres Market the parents makes a choice. The in the Village at father elects to wrap himself in worry, pulling away from both his Briarcliff. Sandra has a deep wife and baby. He feels helpless. commitment to healing and healthy The mother, with the same eating. She and her staff are available to information, elects to be optimistic. At the appointment the speak at community gatherings, small or physician reinforced their internet large. Contact Sandra at the Market, 816-746-0010 info asking them to be patient; or there is sometimes a lag in Good health! development of the startle response. The father continued to


Feature 11



hat if you could find a way to transform negative energy into positive, joyful energy? Meditation, medication, mediation… there are multi-million-dollar mega industries dedicated to profiting from of our need for positivity. We often avoid consciously processing what we perceive as negative emotions. Culturally, we are taught to ‘keep a stiff upper lip,’ and that we are most attractive when we smile. This is a wonderful sentiment, but not very practical—or healthy. It’s an unavoidable that bad things happen to good people. Despite building a safe space and acting with love, the world is not always a participant in our positivity mindset. Negative bosses can make life miserable. Toxic family can taint our peace. Just brushing against a random stranger’s bitterness can color an entire day. For many, the expectations of the holidays bring out the worst in our loved ones. I think everyone has wanted to just walk away from it all at some point and find refuge in a monastery in the mountains. For a select few, that might work. The rest of us need more practical solutions to process our less joyful emotions. Luckily, one of the most effective ways to transform our dark energies into creative ones is also one of the easiest and most accessible: writing. The simple and private act of putting our uncensored thoughts down in ink relieves the burden from twisting around in our minds. The paper won’t judge us. There are no repercussions for our private written thoughts. We don’t have to worry about censoring ourselves, hurting someone, or losing jobs. J.K. Rowling understood this concept. In Chapter 30 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, her character Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts wizardry school, removes his tangled thoughts from his head with a magic wand and drops them into a magical artifact called a “pensieve.” He is then free to sort his thoughts objectively once they are out of his mind. This is precisely what many of us do every day using pen and paper or a keyboard. We tease the tangled thoughts from our minds and set them on paper or screen where sort them out. It may seem counter-productive to achieving peace, but I advise my creative writing students to role play a negative response in their work. If a mother-in-law has been

pestering about a less than perfect house, burn marriage was doing a lot better and have it down in a story. If a boss has been unfair, decided to keep trying.” She attributed writing have him kidnapped in a story and sent to a to saving her marriage. Instead of keeping her deserted island. Release to paper the darkness anger bottled up where it was prone to blow, building up inside and experience the freedom she let it all out in words. that comes from it. This fictional mayhem Like a steam valve, it kept the pressure from really is therapeutic. It's good for the building while rewarding her with soul to write 'bad' things. some passionate writing. I discovered this for the She started the class first time years ago when I thinking she wanted “She attributed writing to had a terrible boss. He to hone her skills regularly humiliated his saving her marriage. Instead writing romance. subordinates, blamed “After killing my of keeping her anger bottled them for his lack of husband so many organization, and times, I realized up where it was prone to blatantly disrespected I‘m actually pretty blow, she let it all out in women. He made dark,” she says. everyone who worked And a horror writer words.” under him miserable. was born. Things had reached the point For those who become one night where my co-workers and I adept at this magical method of were half-seriously discussing violent and transformation, they find that life provides a anonymous repercussions for his actions. I never-ending source of material. Writing is a realized then that I needed to manage my positive and empowering step toward releasing anger, or it was going to manage me. pent-up negative energy. Just change the That evening, I went home and wrote him names and details enough so your story into a short story called the Injustice League. doesn't get taken as a threat, and then reap the Three managers are involved in that story, but therapeutic benefits of writing bad endings for I took particular pleasure and care to describe difficult people. my real-life manager, who comes to an Poetry and fiction are both brilliant ways to unpleasant end. Because I didn’t have to release negative emotion. Poetry allows us to censor myself, I could let all my pent-up anger tell the truth while retaining our privacy. and frustration loose. Fiction allows us to consider how things could The therapeutic effect for me was instant. be different and role play our thoughts. The manager never changed. His tirades, Journaling is a good way to work with the idiocies, and insults continued until the day he truth as it is, along with our responses to it. was finally fired. Although he still tossed Whichever way you decide to use it, writing for demeaning comments at me, I always smiled therapy is a powerful tool for processing life’s as I remembered the terrible end I’d written lemons. for him. The only thing that had changed was my attitude, but it made all the difference. Angela Yuriko Smith is an Years later, I sold the story and experienced American poet, publisher and great satisfaction when I realized I had author. Her first collection of transformed my negative experience into poetry, In Favor of Pain, was something very positive. When I related my personal example of nominated for a 2017 Elgin writing as therapy to one of my creative Award. Her latest novella, Bitter writing classes, one student decided to write Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker about her husband whenever he made her Awards® Finalist. She coangry. Her marriage was at the point of publishes Space and Time separation, so she really had nothing to lose. magazine, a 53 year old By the end of our semester, she came to me publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science with a stack of paper. fiction. For more information visit “I did it,” she says, “I killed my husband 16 or times in the past month, and now I have 34,808 words written. We also decided our




Being Thankful Out Loud An excerpt from Loving Out Loud BY ROBYN SPIZMAN


While it can be easy to feel like it is impossible to make a positive difference in these divisive times, the new book Loving Out Loud: The Power of a Kind Word by New York Times bestselling author Robyn Spizman promises that our words can go a long way in that regard, especially when we share them out loud.

ince I haven’t thanked you yet today, let me do so now. I realize you could be doing any number of things at this very second, but you chose to read this article. For that I am truly grateful. Having a mindful, kind attitude can change our view of life. I like to think of it as being a kindness “influencer,” as with social media. Imagine together starting a Loving Out Loud (LOL) campaign of caring about each other. Watch what happens when you share an attitude of gratitude in your world and show appreciation to others out loud — it’s electric and kinetic! Albert Schweitzer summed up gratitude when he said, “Often . . . our own light goes out, and is rekindled by some experience we go through with a fellow-man. Thus we have each of us cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” When we appreciate someone and become that spark, a thank-you becomes a gift and lights us up. We all have so many people to thank. How we thank someone becomes part of our signature style of kindness. Studies continue to prove that the more we do for others, the happier we feel. There is a direct correlation. Cultivating kindness is a wonderful opportunity to uplift others as well as ourselves. When we turn our attention to noticing what we are grateful for, we bring out the best in ourselves. If you stop and think of all the people you know who deserve a thank-you, you’ll be surprised to see just how many have an impact on your day, along with your life.

How a Thank-You Can Brighten Your Life There are days when we all feel down or blue. A thank-you “out loud” is a really nice way I know to shift a mood. It can begin with the power of a simple hello, showing your genuine delight and lift up another person, including yourself.

Make a Thank-You Date

A friend recently reminded me how special it is to thank others out loud with a scheduled “thank you” date or get-together. Every year, she takes her babysitters out for a thank-you lunch dedicated to expressing her appreciation. It makes her kids’ caregivers feel special, and they make new friends at these A kindhearted hello leads to friendships, dates, since they have so much in common. new contacts, relationships, and more. You are Whether it’s a lunch to thank a teacher, not just breaking the ice but are igniting an breakfast to thank Grandma for driving car opportunity when you take the risk to connect pool, a mother-daughter walk at the park, or a with another person and reach out first, dinner with a friend who volunteered to help sharing positive words or an observation. You you, thank-you dates are memorable and a create the possibility of making a new friend. tradition worth establishing. In return, you are also seen as friendly, Having written about the topic of thanks, outgoing, considerate, engaging, love, and kindness for decades, I’ve discovered complimentary, and interested. These good many clever ways to say “thank you,” some traits contribute to making a wonderful first that don’t even use those words. For example, impression. I loved it when a younger gentleman gave a handshake to an elderly coworker and said, “I Be Thankful Out Loud want to shake the hand of the nicest person The words thank you are universal in their I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. You ability to spread good feelings. It’s clear that are one generous soul.” when we thank the people who touched our I continue to marvel at all thank-yous that lives in little as well as powerful ways, we make us feel appreciated, but some hit it right celebrate a part of life that validates each other. out of the park. I’ll never forget one I received Think for a moment: that made me smile from ear to ear. It has  Who has helped you along the way in your stuck with me over the years as among the lifetime? most touching thank-yous ever to warm my  Who wrote recommendation letters on heart. your behalf? I sent a holiday gift to a friend of mine’s  Who took the time to teach you to ride a daughter. As she opened it, her parents bike, read a book, play an instrument, hit videotaped her reaction and sent me the thank a home run, play tennis, or cook a special -you video capturing her excitement. Her joy recipe? in unwrapping her present was off the charts.  Who makes your life easier or has come to That was one gift that kept on giving joy! your rescue?  Is there someone who has been there for Robyn Spizman is the author of you through thick and thin? Loving Out Loud. She is an award Do you practice saying “thank you”? winning, New York Times bestselling Every day there are opportunities around author and popular keynote speaker you, and when you seize them out loud, you who has appeared in the media for build and increase your LOL radar. When you over three decades, including NBC’s see someone in uniform who has served the Today show more than 30 times. She country or provides safety or a public service, lives in Atlanta. Visit her online at get in the habit of saying, “Thank you for your service.” Here are some other ideas. Excerpted from the book Loving Out Loud. Copyright ©2019 by Robyn Spizman. Printed with permission from New World Library — EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Spiritual Horoscope 13

November Horoscope Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) Happy birthday, Scorpio! Mercury is retrograde in your sign, which is better than it sounds! You can free yourself from negative patterns of selftalk. Meditate to see yourself with compassion. Practice thinking kindly toward yourself.You can also release resentments from the past two years. Now your heart is healed toward others, and you can draw new friends as well as new business or love partnerships! Also, doors to prosperity fling open since your “heart-wall” is healed, so it’s safe to receive! Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) Venus is in your sign, opening you to love! Relationships improve, and if single, you can meet a new partner! Practice affirmations about self-appreciation so you keep the positive energy going. Make a little mantra you can repeat throughout the day. Mercury retrograde asks you to meditate more, even if just 10 minutes a day. You’ll have great insights about money or work issues. You can also get divine ideas to heal communication blocks with family. Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Mercury retrograde stirs up family issues. You’ll need meditation each day to stay centered. When anyone starts in with “zingers” to make you blow up, ask your inner guidance to shed compassionate light on what this person’s need truly is. You’ll be surprised how taking a moment to respond after a few deep breaths and speaking in a soft tone can melt ice between the two of you, no matter how ancient. In other news, you could reconnect with an old love. Also, make sure to do fun things that you’ve been putting off! Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) Meditation reveals ingenious ways to improve career and finances as Mercury is retrograde! Also work with abundance affirmations. One of November’s snags can be feeling irritated from past issues. A current partner suddenly reminds you of an ex, and you react badly. Or you might sleep poorly because you’re replaying old problems in your head. Try to surrender these bits of

anger as they arise. Maybe make a “God box.” Let the Universe resolve the issues. Late this month, amazing insights will come into your mind that help you see things in a more balanced way. Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) Neptune, your ruling planet, moves directly, helping you see things clearly in regards to self-esteem, relationships and talents. It retrograded in June, so your perspective may have been skewed for awhile! It’s also time to reorient your spiritual path. You can re-dedicate yourself to yoga. You might try a new form of meditation. Why not delve into art as a way to reveal your inner world? Observe yourself about money when with friends. Don’t get pressured into spending. You might even ask yourself if these peoples’ values conflict with yours, and maybe they really aren’t friends after all! Make room for supportive people who are aligned with you. Aries (March 21 – April 19) This month’s Mercury retrograde is all about healing betrayals and building trust. Look at how you might have been over-eager to think someone is someone they aren’t. The truth is coming out and doesn’t match your image of them. Forgive yourself for your misinterpretation based on enthusiasm. See if you can start again with a balanced assessment of what they have to offer you. This can mean work situations, not just romantic partnerships. Take stock of your needs and present them clearly to rebuild common ground.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Your values are so important to you! Mercury, the planet of communication, is retrograde. Neptune, the planet of denial, is moving forward. Like Aries pals, you’re examining people in your life to see if they match your ethics. If starting a new relationship, ask pertinent questions. Current partnerships can deepen because you’re seeing there’s more to them! New work offers can come that treat you with greater respect. Practicing gratitude reveals inner guidance and calmness. It also opens doors for prosperity! Gemini (May 21 – June 20) If you’re having work issues, don't push for clarity. It’s better to meditate to gain inner vision on your needs. Try to observe the dynamics going on so you gain more insight. Trust that if things feel weird, they’re probably weird! After Thanksgiving, you’ll be less reactive and be able to approach the right people at the right time with the right approach. If single, you can meet a lovely new partner, or a current partnership deepens since they can offer support at this time. Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Relationships expand for you when there’s enough trust. Please bring spirituality into all of your connections, so you can open further! This can mean meditating with your partner, friends, or family members. You can practice deep breathing at work to relieve stress and to bring more human kindness to others in your surroundings. Explore methods of forgiveness, especially for family of origin issues. The results will be radiant health, financial breakthroughs, and better communication with loved ones.

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) This month’s Mercury retrograde can make you especially edgy! Be careful not to jump to conclusions, starting unnecessary arguments. Think back about ways you ate or cared for yourself in the past that made you feel really good. Maybe you’ll go back to a gluten-free diet, start those Chinese herbs again, or return to a yoga practice. Also forgive yourself for old patterns that can be recurring. Instead of


thinking that you’re not making headway, look at it as a deeper level of the issue is available for healing now. Reconnect with friends who inspire and soothe you, and soak in their love! Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) It’s a constant practice to forgive yourself for your “flaws” and to be alert to self-critical thoughts. During this month’s Mercury retrograde, meditate on how toxic thoughts bring you down. You wouldn’t knowingly eat rat poison, right? Think of your negative thought habits as the same thing! Also, your intuition gives solutions to money issues that can be affecting your partnership or your relationship with children or parents. Wait until later in November to reveal your ideas, when communication is easier.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) Mars is still in your sign, boosting confidence and self-esteem. During meditation you could face deep fears and heal old childhood wounds. Allow emotions to rise up, breathe into them, and then let them wash over you to be released. The most challenging issue for Libra is rejection. Heal that pain, but also give equal meditation time to soak in love from those who treasure you. Think of longtime friends, parents, siblings, cousins, colleagues, even pets! Also cultivate a sense of being held in the arms of divine love. You’ll be soothed and empowered to move in new, exciting directions that lead to fulfillment!

Aluna Michaels is a second-generation astrologer. She also holds a Masters in Spiritual Counseling and has been teaching and consulting for more than three decades. Her book “Spiritual Gifts of the 12 Astrological Signs” is now on Amazon in Kindle version and as an E -book on her website. Aluna is available for appointments in her home, by phone or Skype. Call (727) 239-7179 (no texting please), or text (248) 583-1663 or visit




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