September 2019 Evolving Magazine

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September 2019 ~ Volume XI, Issue 7

Evolving A Guide for Conscious Living



Synchronicity and Travel

Plus... The End of Alzheimer’s MENTAL HEALTH:

Finding the Eye of Wisdom


Evolving Magazine Presents...

Conscious Living Festival October 5, 2019 11a.m.-5 p.m. Our 10th year at Unity Temple on the Plaza 707 W. 47th, KCMO FREE admission, free workshops every hour, plus Sans Bar KC will host a booze-free bash with live entertainment on the patio! RSVP at the Facebook event, or visit for more info. EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Dear Friend, While I have never traveled to what is traditionally considered a sacred site, I have experienced sacred moments during my travels. For the past four and a half years, I have traveled the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico, often by train. It was on the train—rather than a specific destination—that I found what was sacred to me. Traveling from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, NM, rather than taking Amtrak’s direct route, I took the New Mexico Rail Runner commuter train. Because the train travels through Tribal Reservations, cameras aren’t allowed. The view outside was picture-worthy, for sure, but the view inside the train was what inspired me to take mental snapshots. The passengers were in stark contrast to the opulence I’d just left in Santa Fe. Many Native Americans take the Rail Runner each day to sell their handcrafted items on the Plaza at the Santa Fe Indian Market. I studied the man next to me. His weathered hands. His worn boots. His quiet exhaustion. I watched as he stared out the window and wondered what he was thinking: Was it about that night’s dinner? Or perhaps recounting his day’s work? I, in contrast, sat with five pieces of luggage, taking up the space of four travelers...and was uncomfortably aware of my excesses. My eyes were drawn to a woman who appeared to be near 100—she sat peacefully n a wheelchair and dozed throughout the journey. There was a weariness in the air that touched me. And I knew I was blessed to have this unplanned, authentic journey through life in New Mexico. Sometimes the sacred comes just from getting a chance to actually observe, and take a mental snapshot of, the lives of others. Sacred journeys, while often an actual trip to a sacred site, are also, and just as importantly, an inner adventure of the soul. Our theme this month focuses on Sacred Journeys. I believe a sacred journey can be metaphorical of our path through this lifetime; and, it can also be a literal exploration of a sacred area. The articles this month take a look at both.



A Wonder-Filled Trip to India 10


Life is a Sacred Journey 11

Jill Dutton

Inspirational Escapades

Stay Connected all Month! *Read the magazine online: *Like us on Facebook: *Follow us on Twitter: @EvolvingMag


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

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

4 6 8 9 13 15


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.


The Northern Lights in Gram's Backyard I Oil on canvas by Jamie Winter Dawson. "This painting blends a composite of memories: a late night watching the Northern Lights, my grandparent’s stories of a wild Norwegian landscape, and countless horizons I have traveled to see." - Jamie Winter Dawson



Students, Adults and Military Members Will Get Their Moods Elevated at Life Fest

Psychiatric Hospital. On the music stage you'll hear The Ragged Few, Tamicka Monson and the student jazz band from NKC High School. In the Student Union area, students can hang out while hearing from advocacy groups such as GLSEN, which promote a safe learning environment for all students regardless of sexual orientation. Life Fest is a mental health mixer and In the holistic tent, participants can suicide nixer that will be held at The Village at experience sound therapy by Amy Rice; Reiki Briarcliff from Noon to 6 PM on Sat., Sept. 21. services by Laura Mullinnex; drumming by The event aims to raise the gross domestic Rachelle Norman of Soundscaping; and happiness in Kansas City by providing free Chanting by Victor Dougherty of the Temple counseling for all who ask. Buddhist Center. (NOTE: Aromatherapy and “Life Fest is a cross between a blues fest, health fair, pep rally and TED talk,” says event CBD provider not confirmed at time of this release). organizer Brenda Geiger of Signature In the speaker's tent, knowledge seekers

5 Reasons Why Sacred Travel Changes Lives—By Dr. Rima Bonario

can hear "Trauma and the Brain," by David Strother. "Mental Health and Your Gut," by Dr. Yakel and a local artist speak on their latest work surrounding mental health and mental illness. Bring your dog, bring your family and bring your kids who can hang out in the Kid Zone sponsored by Ross Construction. Life Fest is presented by Signature Psychiatric Hospital and benefits Tri-County Mental Health Services. More than 20 mental health and wellness organizations will provide education and resources throughout the event. Come as you are. Come who you are. Leave happier and more connected. For more information and a full line up of happy activities, visit

to contemplate something new. The Power of Sacred Action—Once out of your routine, spiritual travel provides you with rituals to heighten your connection with your Higher Power and Essential Self (or soul self) for clear guidance. It can be hard to make a big change even when you know you need  The Power of Sacred Space—Visiting potent power places with to, especially when everything in your life is set up to keep you doing spiritual and mystical histories taps into ancient fields of what you have always done. Your daily routine acts as a kind of consciousness allowing your unconscious mind to be supported at numbing agent making it difficult to get the fresh start you need. depth in creating a new vision for your life. Transformational travel uses 5 powerful principles to help you dissolve  The Power of Perspective—Meeting new people who are also your blocks and transform your life: seeking new perspectives widens your own viewpoint and allows  The Power of Yes—Pushing past the fear of saying yes to a you to make new friends who will reinforce your new vision going significant travel event primes your brain to say yes to the shifts forward. you need but may be afraid to make. Dr. Rima Bonario leads sacred travel journeys for those seeking  The Power of New Experiences—Getting away from your familiar surroundings allows you to detach from your life, making it easier transformation and vacation. Join her in ancient Egypt: March 6 – 17, 2020. Visit to learn more.

Siena Designed by Scala

Jill Dutton sports her Siena hat in La Paz, Mexico. There has never been a lovelier way to enjoy the beach or the warm summer air. With this handcrocheted straw round crown hat, you are set for the summer and spring and all your sun protection hat needs in between. Greatness is in the Details: Hand Crochet Raffia  3 1/2" Brim  Sizing Tie Band  Petite Sizing

Trailhead Shorts

There’s something about the great outdoors that brings out the minimalist in all of us. We no longer need “things” to be happy. We want the very basics that do the most for us so we can get back to what we’re here to enjoy. Inspired by adventure and made with sustainable materials, Coalatree creates apparel and accessories that are versatile enough to work exceptionally wherever life may take you. From Mountain to City, get the most out of your summer activities with these must-have products. Trailhead Shorts: With a style for men and for women, these breathable, four-way stretch shorts are for your grueling hikes, climbs and biking trails and for your lazy time in the shade. For extra versatility, they pack down into the front right pocket for easy travel or a small pillow. Other reasons you’ll wear them all summer long:  Waterproof  Stain-resistant  Tear-resistant  Antimicrobial - Doesn’t ever Smell EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Alio Scented Freshener Pouches Scented Freshener pouches are perfect in small spaces such as drawers, laundry bags, closets, and stinky shoes for a hint of fragrance and odor neutralization. They are great on the go as well, just toss one in your car or gym bag and fresh air will follow!  ODOR ELIMINATING TECHNOLOGY Removes unwanted odors.  ECO-FRIENDLY - Made from all-natural cotton, filled with natural wood resin beads harvested from locally sourced, sustainably raised trees.  VERSATILE – For at home or on the go, Compact design can be slipped into backpacks, travel/gym bags, drawers, closets, and more!  FRAGRANCE INFUSED Available in 6 light scents: Soft Blanket, Garden Mint, Cedar & Teak, Clean Shave, Vanilla Cream, and Fresh Citrus Utilizing modern technology, alio has created products that literally remove unpleasant odors from the air and leave behind just a subtle hint of scent. Alio pouches don’t mask smells, they neutralize them. Trust us, there’s a difference. And once you enjoy the fresh light fragrance (minus any unwanted odors) you’ll notice the difference too!

Into the Mystic 5727 Johnson drive Mission Ks, 66202 913-766-9906 Open 7 days a week Into the mystic is one of the first CBD shops in the greater KC area and still one of the best. We offer a large variety of crystals, tapestries, classes, incense, Signing bowls, alter accessories, Tarot and tarot card readers as well as astrologist and intuitive readings. Into the Mystic, home for all your spiritual needs.

“One will bleed until wounds from the past are healed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with sex, with work, but eventually it will ooze through, and stain one’s life." — Iyanla Vanzant Take your awareness deep within to heal the wounds, and free your future! 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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Journey to Wholeness

Mental Health: Finding the Eye of Wisdom BY JUDE LACLAIRE, PH.D.


hen thinking of good mental health, I am reminded of Viktor Frankl’s experiences in a German concentration camp, described in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. On a work detail, thinking of his wife, he says, “A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire…love goes far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self.” His wife, father, mother and brother died in the camps. He and his sister were the sole survivors in his family. You might expect that he spent his life in suffering, depression and hopelessness. Viktor Frankl died in his mid 90’s, very ‘sound and vital.’ He was recognized world wide as the founder of an approach to psychotherapy called, ‘logotherapy.’ Facing suffering as an inescapable reality of life he discovered that finding meaning and purpose in the suffering is key. This requires a seeking spirit, openness and the choice to be responsible for one’s life and its direction. His turning point was the transforming experience of love beyond himself for the other, which was also love for his greater self. We live in a time when fear and ‘terror’ are marketed, put into sound bites and endlessly detailed in the media. This can effect our personal and collective mental health. If we succumb to the outer world of fear, hopelessness and, even despair, we too will feel like victims, with no tomorrow. The anecdote is to follow the lead of

“If we succumb to the outer world of fear, hopelessness and, even despair, we too will feel like victims, with no tomorrow.” persons like Viktor Frankl and find the deeper meaning of life. Confronting pain, suffering and problems with a responsible, open attitude is very difficult at times. There is the need for the wisdom to discriminate between what is essential and what is transitory. In most spiritual traditions, there is reference to the eye of wisdom that is able to discern what is important and what is not. Often a spiritual awakening, an inner turning point is reached, which activates the transforming energy of pain and despair to well-being and hope. Bill J, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Carl Jung, a Swiss psychoanalyst, exchanged several letters discussing this spiritual awakening that an addict must experience in order to become sober, productive and hopeful. It may not be spectacular. It may be as simple as looking at the morning sky, or hearing

encouraging words from a stranger or just having ‘enough of it.’ This knowledge can give us the courage to face the pain and suffering. The trick is not to get stuck there as a permanent residence. With help from our wise inner self, the boundless Power of the Universe, by whatever name we choose to call it, we can move through the pain, the suffering, the despair to find some meaning and hope. From there we can construct a specific, concrete plan to move forward, step by step. There are many authors offering the steps to ‘recovery.’ Certainly, the Twelve Step program for addicts can be powerful. There are others who have taken these twelve steps and adapted them to different spiritual traditions and different problems. Robin Norwood, in her book, Women Who Love Too Much,


outlines steps to recovery for ‘love addicts.’ The seven-step journey from “The American Dream Home”, through relationship breakdown and division is outlined in Nina Ricci’s book, Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Shared Custody Work. Each of these persons offers constructive steps to better mental health. Mental health does not mean freedom from disease, pain or suffering. It comes from the ability to confront, challenge and transform pain into an experience of well-being. This can only come from within the depths of one’s life. My great wish is that you and I can confront our difficulties fearlessly, asking for help when we need it, finding this ‘eye of wisdom’ within our lives. We will take the daily steps necessary to move from pain and problems to a greater sense of well being, soundness and vitality.

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, speaker’s bureau, or information on Neurobehavioral Programs and Imago Couple’s Therapy, call 913-322-5622 or;

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Holistic Health

The End of Alzheimer’s BY NANCY RUSSELL, M.D.


he End of Alzheimer’s, The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline, a book by James Breseden, M.D., presents an integrative, functional medicine approach to preventing and reversing memory loss. David Perlmutter, M.D. says of this book, “Dr Bredesen completely recontextualizes this devastating condition away from a mysterious and unsolvable process to one that is both preventable and yes, reversible. Mark Hyman, M.D. says, “The End of Alzheimer’s, for the first time, synthesizes the latest science into a practical plan that can reverse Alzheimer’s and dramatically improve brain health and function. If you have a brain, read this book!” Dr. Bredesen describes three different medical reasons that memory loss begins to affect a person. These three categories include: 1) inflammation and hidden infections, 2) nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances and 3) toxicity to the brain. The first medical reason of inflammation relates to what we put into our bodies and how the body deals with infections. Inflammatory foods consist of trans fats, processed foods, and most importantly, sugar. Excess sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. All three of those issues increase the risk of memory loss. Hidden, or not so hidden infections cause inflammation. Some examples are gingivitis, reactivated Epstein Barr virus, and gut infections such as candida yeast, parasites, or bacterial overgrowth. Tests to assess for inflammation include: hs-CRP, homocysteine, omega three index, fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol, food sensitivity testing, and stool tests for infections. If you are starting to have problems with memory or cognitive issues, an individual assessment can be found online; MoCA or Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Other tests to assess brain function include MRI of the

fasting for a least 12 hours between your last meal of the night and your first of the next morning. Consuming fats such as MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides oil) or unsaturated fats such as olive oil or avocado or nuts will also promote mild ketosis. This will switch your metabolism from carbohydrateburning and insulin resistance, which promotes Alzheimer’s disease, to fat burning and insulin sensitive, which helps prevent it. The flex in ketoflex 12/3 refers to a flexitarian diet. This is largely a plant-based diet with an emphasis on vegetables, especially non-starchy ones. Some fish, “To promote ketosis, combine a low-carbohydrate poultry and meat are fine, but remember that meat is a diet (minimizing simple carbs such as sugars, candy, condiment, not the main course. A of thumb is to consume one cakes, and processed foods), moderate exercise (at rule gram of protein for each kilogram least 150 minutes per week of brisk walking or of your weight. The 12/3 part of ketoflex 12/3 refers to fasting something more vigorous), and fasting for a least 12 the times. Fasting is a highly effective hours between your last meal of the night and your way to induce ketosis, improve insulin sensitivity, and thereby first of the next morning.” enhance cognition. In addition to having the 12 hour fast each day, brain with volumetrics, PET scans dental fillings are the most the three is for three hours as the (positron-emission tomography), common sources of mercury. minimum time between the end of and possibly an EEG or spinal tap Dr Bredesen touts the antiyour dinner and bedtime. That to obtain spinal fluid. Sleep apnea Alzheimer’s diet as the ketoflex will keep your insulin level from also needs to be ruled out as this 12/3. This nutritional plan spiking before bedtime, not only increases your risk for presents well rounded, delicious something that can contribute not memory loss but also heart attack meals that can be followed only to insulin resistance but also and stroke. whether you are a vegetarian or to the inhibition of melatonin and The second type of memory loss omnivore. The first part of the growth hormone, which aid in is due to nutrient deficiencies and ketoflex 12/3 plan refers to sleep and immune function, as hormone imbalances. The most ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your well as repair. important nutrients to have liver produces specific chemicals The earlier you start treatment, assessed are Vitamin B-12, called ketone bodies by breaking the greater chance for complete Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin down fat. This occurs when you reversal and greater chance of D, magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and are running low on carbohydrates, prevention. Change your life and selenium. The most important your body’s first source of energy. change your health today. hormones to be assessed are Mild ketosis, it turns out, is cortisol, DHEA-sulfate, optimal for cognitive function: pregnenolone, estrogen, beta-hydroxybutyrate increases progesterone, and testosterone. production of the important Nancy Russell, M.D., Discuss with a functional neuron and synapse-supporting is a holistic Internal medicine provider as to the best molecule BDNF (brain derived sources to replace any neurotrophic factor), among other medicine physician, blending traditional and deficiencies. effects. alternative medicine in The third type of memory loss is To promote ketosis, combine a her Kansas City related to toxic exposures. The low-carbohydrate diet northland practice for most common exposures are lead, (minimizing simple carbs such as over 30 years. For more information on mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. sugars, candy, cakes, and getting to know Dr. Russell, visit her These toxins can be assessed with processed foods), moderate website, or special laboratories using urine exercise (at least 150 minutes per call her office at Nurturing Optimal with oral chelation assist or blood week of brisk walking or Wellness at 816-453-5545. tests. Fish and amalgum (silver) something more vigorous), and EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Eating Well in Kansas City 9

The Sacred Journey to Eating Well


efitting the theme of this Evolving issue, Sacred Journeys, I share my journey as I pondered the following question, “How the heck am I going to write an article about Eating Well in Kansas City and join it with the theme of Sacred Journey?” I needed an idea. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “sacred” as: being dedicated or set apart for service or worship, worthy of religious veneration, holy, entitled to reverence and respect, of or relating to religion, not secular or profane, highly valued and important, i.e. a sacred responsibility. That was a start. However, I am aware that nothing is as pure as this definition suggests. In our daily lives we try to reconcile the tension among concepts that are presented as having to be only one or the other, never both. Regardless, many times we live in the space of paradox or the inbetween. I remembered the words of The Very Reverend Brian G. Grantz at a wedding when he said, “Love lives in the space between the sublime and the ridiculous, between poetry and prose, between art and science, between the divine and the mundane. Love lives in the space between claiming our highest calling and doing the dishes.” I felt hopeful that I was onto something and turned to the next word. Merriam-Webster Dictionary was again helpful defining “journey” as: travel from one place to another, such as a trip; as passage from one place to

another, such as a journey from youth to maturity or a journey through time.” Further, I recalled the words of Dan Millman in his book The Peaceful Warrior, “The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.” How often in my life had I struggled with circumstances or relationships only to finally remember it was about the process, not merely a solution? And to also recognize that while I had to explore the tensions that presented themselves, I also had within me a sense of grounded knowing from the onset, reminiscent of T.S. Eliot’s words in “Little Gidding.” Elliot reminds us, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I was feeling I had a shot at linking the thoughts thus offered with the notion of “eating well.” Whatever that was going to be, I knew it had to be out-of-the ordinary, i.e. not mundane and have a purpose or support a transformation. I also knew that it didn’t have to be linked to a specific faith tradition yet had to incorporate a spiritual dimension. There also had to be a paradoxical or counterintuitive sense to this next step. Deep breath in, deep breath out; invite the idea and YES! The focus of the article appeared, “The Sacred Journey of Fasting”: the benefits of not eating. Appreciation and a deep bow. Fasting refers to the deliberate abstinence from food and drink for a set period of time; i.e. total

BY SANDRA SILVA abstinence from any and all calories. Typically allowed are water, green tea and black coffee. The set period of time can be intermittent periods of fasting and non-fasting within a 24-hour period, or one may elect to eat normally for five days and then fast for two days. The notion of fasting has a rich history in religious traditions and is still practiced today. Most religious traditions support fasting as a method of purification, coming into closeness with God and as a way to enhance concentration during meditation or worship. Of the seven major traditions reviewed, fasting is associated with either phases of the moon, in preparation for specific feasts and holy days, or linked to the calendar with fasting practiced on specific days each month. One of the longest periods of fasting is Ramadan (Muslin) that calls for fasting beginning at dawn and ending at sunset for an entire month. Intermittent fasting has recently come into its own with significant research setting out its potential benefits. Some benefits can be experienced after fasting for twelve to sixteen hours. Dr. Stephen D. Anton led a group of researchers in Silver Springs, Maryland, who published their work, “Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting.” At the twelve to sixteen hour mark is when liver glycogen stores are depleted, and fatty acids are mobilized. Not only are some benefits

almost immediate, the overall health benefits are broad and have the potential to extend not only quality of life but longevity as well. One of the most readily observable benefits of fasting is weight loss. All things being equal, including a nutrient rich diet, weight loss is experienced without any other changes in lifestyle when intermittent fasting is introduced. There also exists a plethora of research indicating that fasting lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, increases insulin sensitivity and enables the body to metabolize fat and glucose quicker than with other diets, which in turn reduces important risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. My writer’s journey is now complete. While this article often times ends with a recipe, today I’ll simply leave it to the reader to savor your favorite water, cup of green tea, or mug of coffee. Enjoy your fasting journey! Perhaps it will be a highly valued and important passage akin to a sacred journey. Sandra Silva, J.D. is the Store Manager of GreenAcres Market in the Village at Briarcliff. Sandra has a deep commitment to healing and healthy eating. She and her staff are available to speak at community gatherings, small or large. Contact Sandra at the Market, 816-746-0010 or Good health!

Evolutionary Soul Guide

Laura Wolf “Love your Self Love your Life!” Spiritual Counseling Shamanic Breathwork™ Sacred Journeys & Retreats 913-721-6655

Join us at the Conscious Living Festival on October 5. See ad on page 2.


10 Feature

A Trip to India Proves Life is Sneaky, Mysterious, and Filled with Wonder BY PAM GROUT “Joy is the ultimate act of defiance.”—Bono

expressed interest when I first signed on with Tribes, but because hen TribesForGOOD, an the date fell around Thanksgiving, inspiring new program in she eventually declined. India, invited me to join their After Taz died, I asked her to maiden social impact journey, reconsider. I knew it was a big ask. I didn’t hesitate. I’d always wanted to visit India Luckily, Mary is a loyal friend who and Tribes’ mission, to empower changeintuitively knew the 222 Foundation makers and uplift the world, aligns perfectly I was creating in Tasman’s honor with mine. would give me a much-needed sense Mandeep Kaur, the young dynamo who of purpose. started this innovative enterprise, had read a My big-hearted daughter and I had a thing couple of my books, knew I was an avid traveler about 222. We often texted each other photos of and seemed convinced I needed to play a part in our special number. We frequently got room the first of her seven-day social 222 at hotels on our many travels. change expeditions. Giving a grant each year on “Are you kidding me?” I February 22 (2/22) was something I responded. “Of course, I want to could do to keep her vision alive. spend a week boosting my social Everything Taz did was some media skills, learning about version of this theme: Create sustainable development. Of relentlessly, love fiercely and do course, I want to participate in a quiet, kind things for the underdog. program that’s working to disrupt I always marveled that this amazing the status quo.” spirit chose me as her mother. Little did I realize how In my books, I talk a lot about dramatically my own life was synchronicity and signs from the about to be disrupted. universe. But how could I have But on October 14, a few short guessed, when I agreed to travel weeks before I was headed to halfway around the world, that I Mumbai, the unthinkable would be needing the skills to start a happened. My gorgeous daughter, Foundation? Taz, my only child, died And why did Mandeep feel unexpectedly of a cerebral impelled to invite a self-help author aneurysm. It was exactly one week from Kansas to a grassroots program after her 25th birthday. We had for startups in India that address been texting back and forth about urban poverty, sustainable fashion, going to see the movie, “A Star is and women’s empowerment? Born.” I was sitting at the kitchen How could I have known how table, vaguely aware she hadn’t relevant my week in Mumbai was answered my last text when a going to be? How could I have policeman came to the door, predicted that Tribes’ workshops, informing me she was at field visits to schools and slums, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital, about to be lifehackathons with young, ambitious social flighted to KU Medical Center. entrepreneurs would prove to be so useful? The I won’t get into the details (since this, after universe can be tricky like that. all, is a tale about India), but my life was completely upended. Nothing made sense. How The synchronicity didn’t stop there could I fly halfway around the world to India when I could barely hoist myself out of bed? After our week with TribesForGOOD in How could I possibly go alone and be with Mumbai, Mary and I, of course, played tourist. people I didn’t even know? We visited emperor’s palaces, bought carpets, My best friend from college who, like me, had high tea in fancy hotels. And, despite our longs to make a difference in the world, had reservations that India’s top tourist attraction


222 Foundation The 222 Foundation was started to honor Tasman McKay Grout who spent her 25 short years on the planet inspiring everyone who knew her to live and love better. Everything she did was some variation of this theme: create relentlessly, love fiercely and do quiet, kind things for the underdog. Each year on February 22, a $10,222 grant will be given to an innovative project or person with a big idea to change consciousness and therefore change the world. We look for projects that support the following ideas:

1. A change in perspective is our greatest need. We believe all people (no exceptions) long to be generous and create beautiful things. 2. Today’s hopelessness is based on false premises. We look to defy the old story of scarcity, lack and the need to fight for resources. We look to prove that the universe, once liberated from no-longer-working paradigms of scarcity, is generative and endlessly abundant. 3. The us against them model is kaput. We believe all humans are interconnected and that even tiny actions have great significance.


would be claustrophobically busy and potentially cheesy, we decided to visit. I knew Taz, an avid adventurer, would kill me if I went all that way and didn’t pay homage to the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s seven wonders. I could almost hear her whispering in my ear, “Mom, where’s your sense of fun?” Little did I realize, she also had other plans in mind. The Taj Mahal and its 42 white-marble acres is magical, spiritual, truly unique. It was designed as a tribute to love and to Moghul Shah Jahan’s favorite wife who, get this, was named, MumTaz. But when our guide (who besides English and Hindi, spoke Spanish, Taz’s major) informed us it took 20,000 workers 22 years to build, Mary and I practically fell over. My Taz couldn’t have been more clear that part of her ashes should be memorialized there. Taz also led us to the first recipient for her 222 Foundation: a nearby café/coffee shop run by victims of acid attacks, 10 women whose lives were turned upside down when men who allegedly loved them threw acid that melted their skin, burned their eyebrows, and disfigured their lips, faces and necks. Geeta and her two daughters, for example, were attacked by Geeta’s husband, their father, while they were sleeping. He was mad his wife hadn’t produced a male heir. Rather than hide, rather than feel like outcasts, these amazing women offer coffee and free food to anyone who stops by, no questions asked. Rather than protest their unfortunate situations, the women at Sheroes Hangout, as the café is called, choose to give, choose to love, choose to exemplify that, despite being culturally shunned, they are beautiful and worthy and bursting with important gifts to bestow upon the world. Because of their difficult circumstances, these eloquent women demonstrate the importance and truth of inner beauty. They demonstrate unconditional love. They inspire all of us to turn tragedy into something that helps others. Which is exactly what my journey to India ended up being about. On the material level, neither Mandeep nor I had any idea what was about to transpire in 2018. But that old trickster universe was working behind the scenes, lining up much-needed proof that life is eternal and far beyond my comprehension. My only choice now is to bow to the mystery, to recognize that life is far more profound than I—at least while in this body— can begin to understand. Pam Grout is a hopeless romantic who still believes the world is a beautiful place, that people are noble, and that anything is possible. For a living (and she always wonders why people think that's such an important question), she writes books and articles for such places as People magazine, Men's Journal, CNN Travel and Huffington Post. She has written 20 books including the #1 New York Times bestseller, E-Squared. Find out more about Pam at her sometimes updated website at

Feature 11

“Life is a sacred journey that occurs with or without your conscious awareness.”

Life is a Sacred Journey BY EILEEN PATRA


he words “Sacred Journey” may bring to mind an expensive trip to Machu Picchu or a lengthy stay with a guru at the top of some desolate mountaintop. That kind of journey can, in fact, be enormously helpful in gaining a greater understanding of and sense of transcendence over human experiences. But there is another sacred journey taking place all the time. It is the evolution of the soul, a continuous return to the Sacred Self. This is a journey that occurs not despite our human experiences, but often because of them. A familiar proverb from the Tao Te Ching is often quoted as, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The more accurate translation, however, ends with “... begins beneath the feet.” This more correct version implies that the greatest of all journeys is not to some distant destination, but rather, right where we stand, amid both life’s triumphs and challenges. Life, it seems, is a sacred journey disguised as a series of ups and downs–and sometimes, abrupt turnarounds. Life ... is a sacred journey disguised as a series of ups and downs–and sometimes, abrupt turnarounds. The deepest, most sacred journey you will ever embark upon is the one that begins not with a single step, but with a single shift—a shift from the world of outer appearances to the infinite place of wholeness and Light within you. You are, essentially, an expression of the Divine, blessed with the innate attributes of Spirit. Therefore, by nature, you are sacred, and your experiences in this life are all about returning to and reconciling your human expression with your original state

of sacredness–your Sacred Self. disappointments, and challenges You and your life journey are surfaced for release and sacred, though the ups and downs transformation. Spiritual of life may tell you a different commitments were renewed and story. reinforced. And, one of Steve’s A great example of returning to deepest wounds, the postthe Sacred Self is illustrated in the traumatic effects of his service in process of healing. All healing, Viet Nam, surfaced for healing. regardless of the outer steps taken The mountains of paperwork to achieve it, begins in the related to Steve’s stay in the VA invisible realm of the Sacred Self, hospital opened the door to a which is always whole. The return deeper conversation about his to this awareness service than we had “Old wounds, of wholeness is ever had before. I then made disappointments, and knew that Steve had manifest either in served as an aircrew challenges surfaced member delivering the body or in its transcendence to a supplies to troops for release and higher realm. on the ground, and transformation.” In 2016, my sadly, removing husband, Steve, body bags. As we was diagnosed with lung cancer. It sifted through photographs, was a frightening time of ups, gathered flight records, and downs, and unexpected photocopied commendations and turnarounds. The disease was the flag he had carried in case of detected early, and the small capture, Steve shared for the first lesion was not likely to take his time his worst fear—that one day, life, but the biopsy nearly did. one of the body bags he loaded During the biopsy, Steve’s lung would contain the remains of a was accidentally punctured, friend, of someone he knew and releasing infectious fluids into his loved. Speaking those words chest cavity, resulting in a sepsis aloud, I believe, cleared a dense infection and a sixteen-day stay in energy that had clung to Steve for the intensive care unit. years, perhaps suffocating him for As Steve lay in a tortuously a very long time, and ultimately uncomfortable gurney-style bed manifesting as a lesion on his with tubes and leads all over his lung. body, I sat in the recliner that Today, Steve is two years cancer became my temporary home. He -free. Although he is still slept, moaned, developed recovering from the physical additional problems and ever so trauma to his body, the experience slowly began to heal. But the real opened the door to a much higher healing was not happening in that healing–the ability to voice his room. It was happening in a greatest fear from the traumatic sacred dance between our Sacred effects of war. It was a journey that Selves in another, invisible realm. opened both of us to a deeper The illness, though frightening, awareness of the sacred dance we provided us with an opportunity share. for deep spiritual healing. We were Life is a sacred journey that forced to slow down and spend an occurs with or without your unprecedented amount of time conscious awareness. Awareness, together, not just in the hospital however, is the singular shift that room, but later at home during his launches and hastens the journey lengthy recovery. Old wounds, to the Sacred Self. When life’s EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

downs and complete turnarounds present themselves, initiate this shift of awareness with these four simple steps: Embrace them and look for what your Sacred Self is calling into action. Breathe. If you’ve been busy with the doingness of life, remember to simply be. Release the need to control, and allow Spirit to work in and through you. Allow Light and love flow to and through you–often found in the faces and forms of friends and prayer partners, but sometimes in interactions with doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, complete strangers, or even mountains of paperwork. The world today is experiencing tremendous ups, downs, and startling turnarounds. Imagine the potential for our collective sacred journey if we released our tendency to judge these things as bad and embraced them for the opportunities they are to grow ever closer to our collective Sacred Selves. Life is a Sacred Journey continuously calling you to a greater awareness of your Sacred Self and to our collective Divinity. Enjoy the journey. It is uniquely yours, and it is unquestionably sacred. Eileen Patra, an award-winning author, minister, and inspirational speaker, has published dozens of spiritually-themed articles in local periodicals, online journals, and via her blog at She has recently published her first novel, The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings, a work of visionary fiction rich with transformational journeys. https://

12 Feature

Inspirational Escapades Relax and reconnect with your inner light at these enchanting locales BY LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, and the fabulous Lightner Museum, housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 by American – Marcel Proust industrialist Henry Flagler, just to name a few. love this quote because it speaks to the expansiveness of A Bird’s Eye View—Eureka thought desired by many of Springs today’s savvy travelers. Tree forts are not just for kids Whether in the United States or anymore! Adults can join in on the across international borders, we can find enchanting destinations, fun, too, at The Original Treehouse Cottages. accommodations, themed Located in Eureka Springs, getaways, and more to delight and Arkansas, the setting speaks inspire! volumes–designed and built by proprietors Terry and Patsy Miller IN AMERICA’S BACKYARD and skillfully set amongst the surrounding Ozark forest where guests are enveloped by the fresh mountain air, melodic aviary song, and abundant native wildlife. Each ensconced treehouse is designed for a solo getaway or romance for two (except for Hillside Haven with ADA accessibility and/or for families). Each is well-appointed yet Photo Credit: Lysa Allman-Baldwin unpretentious, and beautifully and comfortably decorated with A City of Firsts—St. its own unique flair and color Augustine scheme. Recognized as the oldest continuously occupied European The Hostess City of the settlement in North America, St. Augustine, Florida was founded in South—Savannah 1565 and served as the capital of Spanish Florida for nearly 200 years. In “St. Aug” (as the locals call it), you’ll find a distinctive flavor and flair in every aspect of the city due to its early British, Spanish, and U.S. occupation. Start in the St. Augustine Historic District, the oldest part Photo Credit: Visit Savannah and heartbeat of the city, Drawing more than 14 million peppered with beautiful global visitors annually, cobblestone streets, architecture Savannah, Georgia is one of the reflecting both the Colonial and most picturesque, historic, and Spanish Renaissance Revival periods, and an astounding array charming cities in the country. Yet, this “Hostess City of the of 1700s-era buildings at its historic sites, attractions, bed-and South” somehow manages to exude an endearing small-town -breakfast inns, restaurants, and charm that instantly draws you in, shops. The 21-stop, hop-on-hop-off Old mind, body and spirit. Home to one of the Town Trolley Tour reveals layer after layer of the city’s wonderfully largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United rich history at places such as Castillo de San Marcos, Ponce de States, Savannah was founded by

Recognized by some as The Rum Capital of the World, distilleries tours are immensely popular at places such as Cathedrale SaintLouis, Le Jardin De Bonneville, Fort Saint-Louis, and La Savane Des Esclaves, among many others. Captivating and culturally rich, Martinique is a beloved travel destination.


Photo Credit: Lysa Allman-Baldwin

British soldier and philanthropist James Oglethorpe. As “America’s first planned city,” it reflects his ingenious concept to design it around a series of expansive street grids incorporating 24 public squares and parks. Nearly all remain today, sprinkled with opulent Antebellum homes, noteworthy Revolutionary and Civil War-era monuments, symbolic churches, neighborhood bistros, and more. INTERNATIONAL ESCAPADES A Taste of the French Caribbean—Martinique Those interested in an aweinspiring, cross-cultural island experience must add Martinique to their globe-trotting adventures. This Caribbean island is brimming with French, European, Afro-Caribbean, and Creole culture dating back to its early roots. These influences are evident from the cuisine to the architecture, historic attractions, music, arts (famed poet Aimé Césaire was born here in 1913), and other aspects of the culture. Martinique offers something for every traveler, including pristine beaches gently embraced by warm, crystal-clear water on both coasts—the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Caribbean Sea to the west. Recreational and ecotourism activities are popular here midst Martinique’s magnificent rainforests, dramatic mountains, and breathtaking volcanic peaks.


Find Yourself at The Top of the Mountain—Costa Rica Simply stated, The Retreat Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful resorts in Central America. Nestled in Altos del Monte de Atenas (meaning “Top of the Mountain”), the Retreat focuses on restorative health and wellness to help you reconnect with both your inner and outer selves. Each of the 13 simply yet elegantly designed luxury rooms and suites at this secluded eightacre estate bear the names of plant life grown on the property— Cacao, Guanabana, Maca, Curcuma, Mucuna, Café, Chan, Coco, Guapinol, Maracuya, Moringa, Cas, and Mandarina— all accentuated with natural and organic lush bedding and décor. Eco-friendly materials and practices are used throughout the resort, and all meals are organic, naturally sourced and complemented by biodynamic, garden-fresh cocktails, organic wines and other gastronomic specialties. Options to engage and enhance your outer core encompass a variety of wellness activities, programs and techniques designed to soothe and reinvigorate. Lysa AllmanBaldwin is a soughtafter motivational speaker, author, workshop facilitator and feature and travel writer. Her mission, through the written and spoken word, is to help people create lives full of passion, authenticity and purpose. Lysa’s exciting new website is

Spiritual Horoscope 13

September Horoscope Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) Happy birthday Virgo! Please acknowledge your talents. When you downplay your gifts, you downplay your effectiveness to serve others. Meditate on releasing shame about being confident. It doesn’t mean you’re conceited or snobby; it means you’re expressing your divine energy! Even if negative thoughts come up (and they do when forming a new thought pattern), declare them untrue and breathe through them. Surround yourself with friends who give positive feedback about your strengths!

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) Be sure you’re not overreacting emotionally in relationships. Even if things are actually bad, and not just in your overwrought imagination, meditate about how to best approach the issue. This month’s full moon can wind you up, but other angles offer clarity. Take advantage of the internal guidance you receive when you are still and poised. Similar patterns can emerge at work as well. Avoid gossip or “blowing off steam” with colleagues in case you regret what you said later! Don’t avoid making changes, just wait until you aren’t volatile or anxious.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) There’s a saying “Think you can, think you can’t, either way you’re right. ”This month reveals that to you! Choose to believe the internal voices that tell you that you’re loved, valued and appreciated. Have the courage to cast worries aside as “mental static.” Your confidence will soar and relationships reach a new level of security and bonding. You can even get a work promotion or job offer without trying! Your grace and poise attract opportunity. Trouble sleeping? Try deep breathing or gentle yoga before bed.

Aries (March 21 – April 19) Like Pisces pals, the Full Moon can wind up your imagination and subconscious fears. Meditate and get grounded before you speak or act! Pay extra attention to eating a clean diet, getting enough sleep and reflection time. Getting a massage would be great. Having caffeine, sugar and junk food is not a good plan right now! When you energy is balanced, you’ll have breakthroughs at work that can lead to a promotion or new position. Give thought to keeping your body “clean” with good food when you get the steady mental results this month!

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) Don’t hold in stress! Open up to trusted friends for compassion, connection and solutions. Group meditation can also provide answers and relief. Really listen to what people say about you and take in their opinions. Your loyalty and inner strength give inspiration to many! You might also reconnect with siblings or extended family in a new way that heals the bonds and creates more connection. Treat yourself to a financial splurge or a minivacation. Indulgence isn’t usual for you, so allow some fun! Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) There might be confusion at work, but try to breathe through it instead of making hasty decisions. Ask for clear answers during your meditation time, and be patient for them to appear. You could even get a promotion because you’ve been poised under pressure and not

reactionary. When you’re grounded and centered you’ll also make good choices with family issues too. Blow off steam with trusted friends who help you laugh about the chaos! Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Your meditation gives clear guidance for others, but they might not be ready to listen. Later this month you’ll know when to plant a seed gently in their mind. In the meantime be a role model through your actions. It’s a great time to do any short vacations, especially if it’s a yoga/spiritual retreat or spending time in nature. In general you’ll feel burdens coming off your shoulders and that your efforts are being recognized and are bearing fruit! A budding relationship can solidify. If in longterm partnership, you’ll feel quiet gratitude that builds even more security and connection. Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) You’re so friendly that most people wouldn’t know that it’s hard for you to truly open up the depth of your heart. Meditate on feeling and releasing times when you experienced rejection or betrayal. Don’t just think and remember — really feel the pain so it can be fully purified out of your energy field! This process helps you trust your own heart again and be able to love at a deeper level that you ever have before. You’ll also open avenues of prosperity and abundance!

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) You can be very serious and overly focused on accomplishing goals, especially right now. Allow yourself to play! Having fun gives your brain a break and lets your intuition to “download” fresh energy and ingenious solutions that won’t come if you just “power through”. Even in your meditation practice, change it up by spending time outside, especially by water if you can! Everyone in your life trusts you and knows how much integrity you have. Let go of proving your value all the time, so that anxious energy is freed up for enjoyment and bliss! Gemini (May 21 – June 20) You might feel stressed about creating balance between work and family/relationship. Don’t get caught up in chaos or hopelessness about job situations. Meditation helps you


find the strength (and humor!) to get through challenges. Your intuition also brings solid solutions that reveal themselves over a few weeks. Keep imagining how you can “have it all”! You can have prosperity without being a slave to a job, and you can have enough time for a fulfilling bond while being successful at work. Regular gratitude lists will be amazingly helpful right now! Cancer (June 21 – July 22) The full moon this month is almost like a Mercury retrograde for you. Please meditate before you speak, since you can be reacting from past issues or just misunderstanding someone. Run your “manifesto” by a trusted friend before you say things you regret! If partnered, see if s/he is open to a regular meditation practice together, which will increase the bond of trust between you. Career-wise, an awesome opportunity that is super meaningful can come your way at month’s end! Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) Watch for temptations to overspend or to make impulse shopping decisions. If you focus on divine abundance and meditate on prosperity, powerful solutions will come about handling money in wise ways. It’s also good to have solid financial guidance from an advisor to plan for the future and to eliminate debt. You’ll also have major improvements in self -esteem, and even body image if you have issues in that area. Praise your body for the miracle that it is so you have better health physically, emotionally and spiritually! Aluna Michaels is a secondgeneration 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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