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December 2014 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

December 2014



West Michigan Edition

contents Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more 9 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 9 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 12 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 18 FIND YOUR 18 fitbody 18 FITNESS STYLE Workouts that Suit Your Personality 12 20 healthykids 22 healingways 28 inspiration 20 CAN-DO KIDS Changing Our World 32 consciouseating at Any Age 36 wisewords 22 FIGHTING A COLD 14 38 naturalpet 20 OR THE FLU 40 calendar 7 At Home Tips 44 naturaldirectory 47 classifieds 24 SACRED ACTIVISM by Wendy Worrall Redal

by Ellen Sabin

by Kelly Hassberger

advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-656-9232 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

NEWS BRIEFS & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Email articles to: Deadline for articles is the 5th of the month prior to publication. Submit News Briefs online at Deadline for news briefs is the 12th of the month prior to publication.

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Love in Action Can Change the World by Judith Fertig




Tasty Rituals that Deepen the Holiday Spirit by Lane Vail

36 JACK CANFIELD Success Stories by Karen Adams



Is Sleeping Together Healthy?

by Erik J. Martin

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December 2014




contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Assistant Publisher Amanda Grasmeyer Photo: Allyson Regan

Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings 484 Sunmeadow Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Phone: 616-656-9232

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2014 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

met Julie at the recent Medicine Beyond Medication conference in Grand Rapid. As we talked, we walked from place to place, up and down stairs, conversed with groups of people and even directed people just coming in on where to go. About 30 minutes into our visit, she mentioned that she had become visually impaired through the years to the point where she now sees only shapes without details. I was amazed that I’d never suspected and proceeded to ask numerous questions that she graciously addressed. After the conference, I couldn’t stop thinking about Julie and my encounter with this remarkable woman. Driving home, I cried tears of dismay, not because I felt sorry for her, but because of how much I take for granted. I have good vision, but too often fail to observe and appreciate my surroundings. I hear just fine, but wonder how much I really listen. I have able legs that take me on hikes, bike trips and just about anywhere I want to go, and yet I complain about being too tired to work out or go for a run. So many people can’t see Michigan’s beautiful changes of season or hear nature’s amazing concert of sounds. My Dad, who lost his right leg to a land mine in Vietnam, would probably give just about anything to run, play football again and do many things I have come to take for granted. My niece, MaKenzie, was born with an eye disease that has gradually taken her sight over the years. Although she can have difficulty navigating unfamiliar places, she’s another remarkable individual you’d never know was daily overcoming a seeming limitation. I love that she was on the sideline and competitive cheer team at Kenowa Hills from the time she was in rocket cheer all the way through her senior year of high school. She now attends Michigan State University and has participated on their competitive cheer team. She gets around campus with little problem and exceeds at everything she does. She has not let a disability slow her down for one minute. As I prepare to embark on a vacation, I plan to use the time to totally unplug from electronic devices and plug into conscious living, to reflect and meditate on how I am living my life. I am not sure why I take so much good in life for granted but I plan to figure it out and come back a more wide-awake person. I want to start seeing everything good around me rather than just what’s in front of me, to tune into nature’s symphony and other people’s heart-songs, and own the discipline to work out daily. This letter is dedicated to all those that know what it takes to overcome something that is unimaginable to the rest of us; know that you have inspired me as you do others, showing us all that how we choose to live makes all the difference. Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Never Glossy. Always Green. Natural Awakenings practices environmental sustainability by printing on post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink. This choice avoids the toxic chemicals and high energy costs of producing shiny, coated paper that is hard to recycle.


West Michigan Edition

Amy Hass, Publisher

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


First Anniversary Open House

Fight Holiday Weight Gain


oin Missy Hacker during the month of December and learn how to fight off the typical holiday weight gain that comes with all the meals, parties, goodies and Holiday Cheer. This group is structured to not only help you not gain during the Missy Hacker holiday season, but actually start your healthy weight loss before you set those New Year’s resolutions. Participants are added to a private Facebook group where they receive daily one-onone support in the group, daily motivational emails, fitness and nutrition guidance and learn how to incorporate healthy living into their everyday life. Participants work towards realistic and sustainable goals, and ongoing support continues even after this support group ends. Enroll and receive a special Christmas gift valued at over $60! All fitness levels welcome, as each individual receives a fitness and nutrition plan that is structured to their goals and needs. For more information and costs or to enroll, email or connect with her on Facebook and message her there at MissyCoates. See ad, pages 19 & 45.


odhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio will be celebrating their First Anniversary with an Open House on December 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Snacks, studio tours, chair massages, mini Reiki sessions, prize drawings and other fun things will be taking place. The grand prize is a one year unlimited yoga membership. Other prizes will be gift certificates for spa services, yoga classes and more. The Bodhi Tree community is committed to making people stronger, helping people enjoy a more peacecentered life, allowing people to be clear in purpose and helping people strive for balance in their lives. Come join the community, see what it is all about and celebrate the First Anniversary. Everyone is welcome - students, friends and family, new and old. For more information call 616-392-7580 or visit See ad, page 17.

Grand Opening


he Remedy House is now open! Located at 5150 Northland Drive NE, Suite N, Grand Rapids, The Remedy House offers a full line of Nature’s Sunshine products, Young Living Essential Oils, homeopathic remedies, flower essences, natural health books, and more.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

Mary A. DeLange C.C.T. L.M.T. 616-456-5033

Some Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy: ~ Remove Toxic Waste from ones body ~ Eradicate Constipation ~ Removes Stomach Bloat ~ Increase ones Energy

Therapeutic Massage also available natural awakenings December 2014


newsbriefs The Grand Opening is set for December 13 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Come check out the new place and enjoy door prizes, refreshments and Grand Opening specials and deals. Chair massage, reflexology, reiki sessions and angel card readings will be offered for donations. For more information call 616-443-4225, visit or stop in at 5150 Northland Dr. NE Ste. N in Grand Rapids. See ad, pages 37 & 45.

Celebrate the Season Without Weight Gain


ith the holiday season beginning, it’s time to get food cravings under control and jumpstart weight loss before the traditional holiday bloat, weight gain and typical failed New Year’s resolutions begin. Doctor, health, medical TV correspondent and author, Dr. Ginger, has just unveiled her 30-day Fat Funeral Detox program here in Michigan to jumpstart weight loss. The program provides all the tools necessary to control holiday food cravings and detox the body of the toxins that have accumulated over the years, helping people finally release that unwanted weight, balance their bodies, get glowing skin and feel great—all before the first of the year. The program utilizes Dr. Ginger’s 20 years of experience in natural health and healing and her teachings at the world renowned Hippocrates Health Institute and Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts along with her top recommended nonGMO, organic foods, products and recipes that help detoxify and nourish the body from a cellular level. For more information, visit See ad, page 21.

Welcome Art by Era


rt by Era, an art school/studio is now open in Grandville. Art By Era is an open, creative space for all to share their love of art, creating, growing, learning and discussing all that it has to offer. Art classes are available for kids, teens, adults and seniors and meet weekly throughout the year. Options offered include drawing, painting, ceramics, crafts and more with a schedule available online. Among the many opportunities at the studio, they host fine art, gallery events, senior programs, field trips, art camps and a student gallery. Owner, Summer E.A., is a highly educated art teacher and professional artist and recently had one of her dog portraits entered into ArtPrize 2014. She also paints dog portraits for interested customers to capture the memorable moments they have with their dogs in a beautiful piece of artwork for the home or office. For more information you can find us on Facebook : ART-BY-ERA , email, visit ArtByEra. com or stop into the studio at 3141 Broadway Ave., Grandville. See ad, page 34.

12-Step Program for Overeaters


ave you ever considered that a weight problem may be the result of an allergy? Overeaters Anonymous (OA) has discovered that when certain foods are ingested, those substances can stimulate the body and brain in a way that makes people think they’re hungry. OA considers this an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind, very similar to the way alcohol affects an alcoholic. Therefore, they offer a 12-step recovery program for compulsive eaters - those struggling not only with obesity, but with bulimia and anorexia as well. For more information or to find a local OA group, visit


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The Benefits of Hemp

Now Offering Sophyto Pro Products


heightened awareness of the serious side effects caused by popular medications has sent many on a pursuit for alternative remedies from plant-based sources. One such plant is hemp; a crop so fruitful that it was once deemed illegal for farmers not to grow. Unlike the ill-conceived marijuana plant, industrial hemp can be legally imported, sold and consumed throughout the United States. Hemp also has no potential for abuse because it lacks significant amounts of THC, the compound responsible for causing a “high”. Instead it’s abundant in cannabidiol (CBD), which research suggests has various medical benefits including antiinflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-spasm effects; and may even neutralize the psychoactivity of THC. Even as a seed, hemp provides a healthy alternative source for fiber, protein and essential fatty acids. Michigan Herbal Remedies strives to help educate the world about this beneficial plant while offering the highest quality hemp products on the market; starting with Tasty Hemp Oil branded “Tasty Drops”. This sublingual tincture is an all-natural, perfected blend of CBD-rich hemp oil with no artificial coloring or flavor. It comes in an easy to use dropper bottle for a personalized dosage. To find out more about CBD supplements and protein rich hemp foods, visit us online at See ad, page 48.

ancy Despres is now offering the Sophytopro line as a great skincare option. Cosmetics are the least regulated products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The European Union bans more than 1,400 chemicals from personal care products, while the US only bans 5. The skin is the body’s largest organ and prolonged chemical exposure from personal care is a significant health concern.

The Sophytopro products are gluten free, wholefood based and have an average of 90% certified organic ingredients. They are designed to transform the skins environment and encourage its innate restoration and renewal mechanisms. For more information, call 616-453-4215, visit or stop in at 363 Cummings Ave. NW in Grand Rapids. See ad, page 6.

Mid-Life Coaching


id-life brings to conclusion many of life’s earlier chapters. Kids are grown and out of the house or otherwise in transition towards independence. What was once a person’s primary identity as a parent starts to look and feel very different. Sometimes restlessness might set in. Careers that once seemed fulfilling don’t seem that

natural awakenings

December 2014



way anymore. Sometimes, change can feel unsettling, even overwhelming. Some people even experience a “mid-life crisis”. Change is inevitable, of course, but it does not have to be a “crisis”. In fact, it can be a very exciting and rewarding time of life. With a plan and intentional energy put towards new goals, it can be a time of creating and finding new and deeper meaning, experiencing joy, love, compassion, and kindness, a time of refreshing and redefining of oneself. Scott Mutchler is a CTA Certified Coach, specializing in helping mid-life adults create what’s next. Having successfully navigated various career changes, family growth and empty nest, he founded Wellspring Professional Coaching Services LLC with the mission of helping other adults in mid-life define and build the lives they desire. For more information, call 616-901-6885, email Scott@ or visit See ad, page 26.

Embark on the Next Holistic Holiday at Sea


et sail aboard the luxurious, eco-friendly, Italian MSC Divina on the 12th Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise for life-transforming discussions on the benefits of a plantbased diet, plus a host of other health and wellness activities with a community of 1,700 fellow passengers. The 35 expert presenters and teachers will include Ann Crile Esselstyn, known for her life-changing plant-based meals and author of the new book, The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, a current bestseller on; husband Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, whose

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West Michigan Edition

groundbreaking research and dietary advice found the book’s 125 recipes; plus Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Chef AJ (Abbie Jaye) and Bhava Ram. More than 130 classes cover food preparation, yoga, Pilates, meditation and other topics related to natural wellbeing. Cruise passengers will dine on non-dairy, vegan/ natural cuisine, expertly prepared under the supervision of Mark Hanna, an internationally known natural food chef. Evenings bring opportunities to socialize in the Golden Jazz Bar and enjoy nourishing time in the Aurea Spa. The next cruise is March 14 to 21, 2015. Passengers depart from and return to Miami and dock en route at Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. For more information or to register, call 1-828-749-9537 or 1-800-496-0989, email Info@HolisticHolidayAtSea. com or visit



he Yoga Studio is thrilled to announce that Kat McKinney is officially a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher since completing the rigorous assessment process governed by the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States ( Certified Kat McKinney Iyengar Teachers are held to an unusually high standard of knowledge and training that requires years of practice and study. McKinney says she is honored and humbled to be part of the worldwide community of Iyengar teachers. For more information and the latest class schedule, visit See ad, page 16.


Calcium Supplements Raise Risk of Brain Lesions


Duke University study published in the British Journal of Nutrition this summer found that calcium supplements taken by elderly persons may increase the risk of brain lesions that are identified as hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans. The researchers studied 227 adults over the age of 60. The patients were assessed for supplemental calcium intake and received brain scans via MRI. Those taking calcium supplements had more lesions of a volume typically associated with hypertension. They noted no dose-dependent relationship between lesion size and the amount of calcium being supplemented. The scientists commented that other studies have found calcium supplementation also associated with greater risk of artery disease. Hyperintensities are observed in normal aging, plus several neurological, psychiatric and autoimmune disorders that affect the brain. They constitute damage to brain tissue caused by restricted blood flow and have been linked to mild cognitive deficits and disturbances.

Whole U GR Grand Rapid’s 2nd Annual Holistic Expo January 24, 2015 | 10am-4pm

Spirit, Mind & Body



vidence of the effects of wireless technologies on human health continues to be controversial, with agreement on results remaining elusive. Now a new study published in the Journal of Plant Physiology found that humangenerated microwave pollution can potentially be stressful to plants. Researchers from Romania’s Estonian University of Life Sciences tested three common garden plants—parsley, celery and dill weed. They exposed each to the types of microwave radiation equivalent to those produced by cell phones and wireless routers. Then these radiation-exposed plants were compared with identical plants not exposed to the radiation. The scientists noted that the irradiated plants had thinner cell walls; smaller chloroplasts (cellular sites of photosynthesis); smaller cell mitochondria (centers of energy production); and greater emission of volatile compounds, particularly monoterpenes and green leaf volatiles, which are protective, life-promoting components of the plants’ essential oils. The effects were stronger for the type of radiation produced by wireless routers. While essential oil production overall was increased by the frequency of the microwaves produced by cell phones, it was decreased by the frequency emitted by the routers.

natural awakenings

December 2014



Hospice Care Adds Months for Cancer Patients


esearchers from Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center determined that hospice care significantly increases survival rates among patients with metastatic (stage IV) melanoma, a difficult-to-treat form of cancer that occurs when melanoma cells have spread through the lymph nodes to other parts of the body. The study’s authors followed 862 metastatic melanoma cancer patients. Of these, 523 patients received one to three days of hospice care, 114 patients received four or more days and 225 people received no hospice care through their survival period. Those that received four or more days had an average survival period, which typically dates from the original diagnosis, of 10.2 months, while those that received none averaged 6.1 months. In addition, the end-of-life hospital costs for those receiving the most hospice visits were nearly half of what was incurred by patients not receiving hospice attention.

Button Batteries Imperil Bambinos


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

Mistletoe Extract Benefits Pancreatic Cancer Patients


study published in the European Journal of Cancer revealed that a mistletoe extract may lengthen life for patients with severe pancreatic cancer. German researchers tested 220 patients with advanced stage pancreatic cancer, an aggressive, often fatal disease. The patients were divided into two groups; one was given up to 10 milligrams of Viscum album (European mistletoe) three times a week for up to 12 months. Both groups received supportive care throughout the study period. The average length of survival for those taking the mistletoe extract, 4.8 months, was nearly twice that of the other group, 2.7 months; a survival period typically dates from the original diagnosis. Within a group considered to have a good prognosis, the survival period for those that consumed the extract, averaging 6.6 months, was more than double that of the no-extract group, which averaged 3.2 months.


West Michigan Edition

The Art of Energy Healing


o heal is to make whole; to restore purity and prosperity. “Healing” is a creative process wherein one is re-established in his or her organic, natural state of well-being. Universal life energy (sometimes referred to as spirit) is circulating through every living thing and verily coursing through each man and woman. However, due to a myriad of causes, one can experience energy blockages and excesses within his/her system, yielding imbalance and disease. The imbalance or disease can manifest in physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual form. This is where a Practitioner of Energy Healing can be of assistance, serving as a vessel, a living instrument, for the spirit of life, this universal life energy, to essentially flow through. The practitioner directs his/her attention within his or herself, to realize that deep inner silence and stillness, underlying all in existence. This state of awareness or consciousness is usually paired with a laying-on-of-hands being applied to the client/receiver, though this work can also be conducted at a distance, as the universal life energy knows no bounds. Along with it being vital that the practitioner be living a surrendered, (personal) agenda-free life committed to truth, the client/receiver should also be as open and surrendered as possible, so that the highest good may be manifested in his/her life. The omniscience, or all-knowing-ness of the spirit will yield the timing of and the transformation into the highest good to be realized.

Nutritional Supplements Aid Regularity


onstipation, a common health concern, may cause more than just discomfort. Chronic constipation can lead to problems with the epithelial lining of the intestines that secrete and absorb nutrients, and even to colon cancer, according to a 2012 study conducted by the American College of Gastroenterology. Passing overly dense fecal waste can also aggravate hemorrhoids. According to Steven Frank, founder of Nature’s Rite, an herbal remedies company, two key nutrients can contribute to a solution. For most people, ingesting 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day through food sources and/or supplementation is sufficient to soften stools. In addition to oranges and a variety of citrus, good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, chili peppers, red and green bell peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Still, many need something more to accomplish the goal. Magnesium, critical in supporting muscle movement as well as heart health, may aid with peristalsis, the involuntary contractions of the intestines and colon that move fecal matter along. Magnesium also helps with the production of lubricating mucus. Magnesium food sources include beans and nuts, fish, avocados, bananas, yogurt, dark leafy greens and dark chocolate. A daily dose of 500 milligrams of magnesium is usually sufficient for good health and regularity. For more information, call 888-465-4404 or visit See ad, page 39.

For more information, visit or call Healing Ways at 269-221-1961. See ad, page 46.

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December 2014



Cultural Roots

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

Status of Religious Diversity in the U.S.

Youth Activists

World Peace Caravan to Travel in the Middle East in 2015 The World Peace Caravan, founded by the nonprofit D. Gary Young Foundation, is a global peace movement scheduled to conduct a 12-day camel caravan from Petra, Jordan, to Jerusalem, Israel, from December 15 to 26, 2015. It will be spearheaded by a delegation of 12 youth ambassadors, ages 16 to 24, selected from a worldwide pool of candidates. Their goal is to foster an online youth community to provide young people everywhere a platform to share ideas, voice opinions and educate and learn from their peers. The youths intend to collaborate on solutionscentered projects to help eradicate poverty and hunger, ensure environmental sustainability and attain healthy lives for all. Inspired by a recurring vision, D. Gary Young, CEO of Young Living Essential Oils, chose the ancient Frankincense Trail upon which the Queen of Sheba once journeyed to bring peace offerings to King Solomon. This modernday journey for peace invites people of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds to retrace the steps of that pioneering peace movement, culminating in a blockbuster World Peace Caravan Concert for Peace in Jerusalem. For more information, visit


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The United States is often described as a religiously free and diverse country, but a new Pew Research Center study reveals that 95 percent of the populace identifies itself as either Christian or unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic or having no particular religion). This ranks the U.S. 68 out of 232 countries and territories in the Pew Religious Diversity Index. Singapore is the world’s most religiously diverse country, followed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The study treats Christian denominations as members of the same religion, which if counted separately, would increase the ranking. But Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism all have internal diversity, as well, and are considered as single religions in the study. There’s an important distinction between religious diversity and religious freedom, which the report does not measure. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free exercise of religion, which is not always the case in other countries.

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Planet Power

Scientists May Harvest Energy from Earth’s Infrared Emissions Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are developing a device described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that would harvest energy from Earth’s infrared emissions into outer space. The power is modest, but tangible. Steven J. Byrnes, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS, points out, “The device could be coupled with a solar cell, for example, to obtain extra power at night without extra installation costs.” Heated by the sun, our planet is very warm compared to the frigid depths of space. Thanks to recent technological advances such as plasmonics and nanofabrication, and new materials like graphene, the researchers say this heat imbalance could soon be transformed into direct current (DC) power, taking advantage of an untapped, virtually limitless energy source. Source:

Green Envy

Don’t Be So Quick to Bash the Rich A survey at social research site reveals that stereotypes of the richest class of society as being uniformly selfish individuals are not entirely accurate. It seems that having money does not necessarily mean that a person has an overactive ego. Actor Will Smith, with an estimated net worth of $200 million, observes, “Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” Queendom data shows a difference of only a few percentage points between respondents of varying income levels in matters of altruism such as doing and returning favors, putting themselves in others’ shoes, sympathy and empathy. The area where those in a higher socioeconomic status rank at the top is in charitable contributions. Ilona Jerabek, president of parent company PsychTests AIM, says, “Our personality impacts every aspect of our life—the choices we make, the people we surround ourselves with, the career we pursue, the way we respond to life experiences, the way we manage our finances and whether or not we share our good fortune.”



Take the survey at

Feeding Hope

Recognizing Restaurants that Support the Homeless Food Recovery Certified is a new program that rewards restaurants that donate their extra food to those in need with a sticker on their front door. It’s a project of The Food Recovery Network, a national system of college students that takes cafeteria leftovers to homeless people. Founder Ben Simon started the group in 2011 at the University of Maryland, and the network has saved more than 320,000 pounds of food from the dump in its first three years. If a restaurant donates unsold food to the hungry at least once a month, it can apply for the certification. Then Food Recovery Certified verifies with local nonprofits that the donations actually occur before awarding its approval. Simon states, “Every food business should be donating its extra food.” For more information, visit natural awakenings

December 2014


ecotip Tweet Treats Trim a Tree, Feed the Birds

Favorite Quote of Kat McKinney of The Yoga Studio

“What I was is unimportant, what I am now is important.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

From December 14 through January 5, citizen scientists of all ages will participate in the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count ( Count), the country’s longest-running wildlife census. Audubon and other organizations use the data collected by volunteers to monitor population trends and guide conservation efforts. Whether or not families plan to help Audubon volunteers keep track of feathered visitors, they might consider providing backyard birds with gifts of food during the winter, when natural food sources can be scarce. Adorning outdoor trees with edible decorations can also help brighten landscapes, reduce kitchen scraps, creatively involve children in nature and make yards more bird-friendly. Salvage citrus rinds for feeders. Poke holes along the edge of hollowed halves of grapefruit and orange peels and run twine through them so they can hang from a branch. Fill with bird seed or suet. Create ornaments from bread heels or stale loaves. After cutting out shapes with a cookie cutter, spread them with unsalted nut butter and cover with birdseed. Bagels, rice cakes and pinecones can be frosted and sprinkled in the same way. Avoid using anything moldy. For more colorful ornaments, hang orange and apple slices. Drape edible garland around tree branches. Thread unsalted popcorn (stale popcorn strings more easily), fresh cranberries, citrus slices, unshelled peanuts, dried apples or grapes into a garland. Use natural string, wool or raffia for hanging decorations. Wild Birds Unlimited suggests selecting these materials so they can be used by birds as nesting materials in the spring. Collect seed heads and berries to tuck among the branches. According to the National Wildlife Federation, good food sources include seed heads from flowers such as goldenrod, sunflower, coneflower, sumac and mullein; seed heads from grasses such as millet, wheat, foxtail and switchgrass; and berries on sprigs of holly, juniper, cedar, hawthorn and mountain ash. Make sure decorations are hung on a tree or shrub near a window so the whole family can enjoy watching the wildlife they attract. Contributing source: The Humane Society

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West Michigan Edition


by Mandi Grasmeyer


n a building near downtown Holland that once housed several different fast food restaurants now resides Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, an advocate for an intentional, communal slowing down. Bodhi Tree is a community committed to making people stronger, to help them enjoy a more peace centered life, to be clear in purpose and to help people strive for balance in their lives. The studio’s namesake is cultivated from a fig tree, native to India and Southeast Asia, which is reportedly the type of tree Buddha sat under when he was enlightened. The tree is a symbol of the ultimate potential that lies within us all. In order to achieve that ultimate potential, we must focus on health and wellness in all aspects of our lives – body, mind and spirit, which typically requires us to slow down and find a certain level of peace that is often hard to come by in our day-to-day lives. With a schedule of numerous yoga classes (typically two to four classes, each day of the week) that offer many opportunities to slow down, Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio is much more than just yoga. They also offer services in massage, Reiki, skincare, nail care, waxing and, as of recently, even nutritional counseling classes. The mother/daughter duo of owners, Loraine and Melanie Griffin work hard to make sure they are providing their clients with a well-rounded, all-encompassing health and wellness experience that will make them feel good. Therefore, they are adamant about not treating services as inand-out appointments, but more so treating

them as experiences. They have created a space that embraces and thrives on community, peace and wellness. The Griffins dream of a yoga community throughout Holland and the surrounding West Michigan area where people join in to better themselves and their community. To further promote that community, Bodhi Tree offers a Sunday Community Class at 4:00 p.m. each Sunday for just $5 and then donates the proceeds of the class to their Charity of the Month. They strive to have their yoga community make a difference in the greater local community to better the quality of life for all. Creating the space as discussed above has been the goal of the Griffins from the very beginning. They are proud to be a stand-alone studio that cultivates relationships. They are happy to see people come in the door as clients and leave through the door as friends. They are happy to see the change their business has made and will continue to make in individuals and the community. Because of the changes Loraine has seen in those practicing yoga at Bodhi Tree, she believes that everyone should almost be required to do yoga. She has seen, first-hand, client after client going through a progression toward peace and leaving their yoga class feeling better, re-energized and at a peace that seems almost unattainable in this busy day and age. She has come to realize that it is not uncommon for their clients to see

Bodhi Tree as a sanctuary, a relaxing place or a safe place to simply just be. Melanie, herself, has gone through the progression mentioned above. She needed a practice that could calm her down and better the quality of her life. She says, “Personally, yoga has calmed me down. I’m always on the go, but when I’m here at the studio, I just feel it has brought some kind of calming stability or peace to my life. I think everybody lives over-stressed lives – I’m lucky to be able to like coming to work each day.” The Griffins have both experienced the many benefits of yoga and focusing on health and wellness. They are happy to be able to share those benefits and the importance of them with others as a result of all of the services offered at Bodhi Tree. They also frequently host classes and workshops that focus on health and wellness that further promote the benefits and educate participants on the importance of living well-balanced lives. This month, Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio celebrates their one year anniversary with an open house on December 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They will be raffling off various prizes, including a year of unlimited yoga. During the open house, they’ll also be offering mini Reiki sessions, chair massages, food and more for the whole community to get a taste of the Bodhi Tree experience and all they have to offer. As their mission statement emphasizes, Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio truly does seek to “promote wellness in mind, body and spirit in a safe, warm, welcoming and fun environment where friendships happen and self-enlightenment grows”. Bodhi Tree has made, is making and will continue to make a difference in individuals, the yoga community and the community as a whole. For more information or for a class schedule, call 616-392-7580, email or visit See ad, page 17. Mandi Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

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December 2014


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Find Your Fitness Style

Workouts that Suit Your Personality by Wendy Worrall Redal


hile some people find repetitious workouts boring, others like doing predictable routines at regular locations. Ensuring that our fitness regimen jives with our “fitness personality” is integral to making exercise a consistent part of our lifestyle, a concept that has traction among exercise experts. Jonathan Niednagel, founder and director of The Brain Type Institute, in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and an athletic consultant for professional teams, explains in his book, Your Key to Sports Success, that understanding our inborn brain type can help us to determine which sport is best suited to motivate us. In Suzanne Brue’s book, The 8 Colors of Fitness, she applies principles from the Myers-Briggs personality inventory to help readers develop a personalized exercise program. Susan Davis-Ali, Ph.D., in St. Paul, Minnesota, a professional coach for working women, created a Fitness Interest Profile survey for the Life Time Fitness health club chain. She points to research that suggests people that engage in activities appropriate for their personalities enjoy their workouts more and are likely to stay with them longer. Identifying our fitness personality can help us find a program that suits our rhythms and interests. Based on com-

posites from growing research, here are six categories that assess and capture the way we may feel about exercise; more than one can apply to any individual. Disciplined and driven. This is an image to which many of us may aspire, even though not everyone fits the mold. These exercisers are self-motivated and goal-oriented. Commitment and consistency go hand-in-hand. They like to use devices to track progress, maintain a training log and/or work with a personal trainer in systematic workouts geared to measure improvement. Disciplined types are often early risers; starting the day with regular exercise is second nature. Compatible fitness regimens include cardio workouts, interval and weight training, running, swimming and martial arts. Relishes routine. While these folks are disciplined and driven in some ways, they tend to be more relaxed about regimens. The key to success here is consistency. They like order and familiarity in exercise settings and practice and may enjoy reading or watching a screen during workouts. Whatever the preferred approach, whether it’s a favorite training video, Wii Fit video game, favorite teacher or memorized Pilates moves, these exercisers like to stick with it, even working out at the same time every day—often first thing in the morning or after work—finding that regularity can be habit-forming.

Conscious contemplative. Reflective individuals enjoy quiet, solo activities like long-distance running, biking, hiking and swimming, that allow opportunities to look inward, often without thinking too much about the physical details. Exercise offers a chance to clear the mind and renew the spirit while strengthening the body. These types naturally gravitate to outdoor pursuits, but some indoor practices may also suit them, like yoga, Pilates, tai chi or even karate, which incorporate a strong mind-body component. Workouts are often soothing, rather than intense. Plays well with others. For many people, exercise is best enjoyed with others, combining the social and fitness benefits of both. Connections and camaraderie get them off the couch, revved up and ready to go. Whether

it’s a committed group of friends chatting during water aerobics or a highpowered cardio class that compares notes, motivation comes primarily from the presence—and accountability factor—of others. A lunch-hour class at a nearby studio or gym may be a fun break in the workday. On weekends, consider golf, tennis, dance or a local recreation team. Compulsive competitor. While the communal aspect is appealing, the greater gratification for this type comes through the thrill and challenge of competition. Trying to win is the great motivator, unlike driven and disciplined types that are happy to push through to their personal best. Team sports are a natural outlet, including soccer, rugby, lacrosse, basketball or swimming, plus disc golf, tennis or racquetball matches and running events.

Avid for adventure. It’s tough for any formal exercise program to keep the attention of adventurers. They crave freshness and spontaneity in fitness venues, activities that engage their interest and animate enthusiasm. It’s crucial for adventurous types to mix things up and not rely on any one exercise practice. Outdoor endeavors such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, inline skating or mountain biking have appeal. They may gravitate to the variables of Nia, Zumba’s high-energy Latin dance groove, kickboxing, exercise balls or hot yoga. A midday exercise escape can break the work routine. Their key to keeping active is to keep things stimulating. Wendy Worrall Redal blogs at Gaiam Life (, from which this was adapted.

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December 2014




Can-Do Kids Changing Our World at Any Age by Ellen Sabin

This article is written especially for young readers eager to embrace the true spirit of the holiday season. Sharing it with them can help cultivate a lifelong practice of giving.

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ave you ever seen someone do something that changed a situation from bad to good? Maybe your parents helped someone whose car broke down, or a teacher spent extra time after class helping you with schoolwork. No matter your age, where you live or what you own, you have the power to do good, too. What you do can make other people happy and make the world a better place. Here are some ideas to help you figure out how.


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n A good place to start is to think about what’s important to you. This will help you find a way of giving back that you’ll enjoy and want to do again and again. For example, if you love taking care of animals, offer to walk an elderly person’s dog for them. If you get sad when you think about someone being lonely, visit a neighbor that lives alone

or send a special card to a relative as a way to show your love. n It’s nice to help strangers, but you can also do little things close to home that’ll make life easier and better for your family. You can call your grandma to say hello, help your mom or dad with the dishes or play a favorite game with your little sister or brother. n You can also use your own special talents to help others. If you are a good cook, bake a healthy holiday treat to bring to someone that is feeling sick. You can read out loud a story to a younger child. If you’re strong and have lots of energy, you can help your neighbor take out the trash or do other household chores. n You can have fun and make an even bigger difference by doing good things with others. One way to get your friends excited about joining you is to plan a “Giving Party”. Ask your parents to help you download a free guide ( parents.html) that has fun ideas and activities for creating a holiday-time or birthday party or rainy day get-together.

n Giving to other people is important, but the planet needs us, too. You can practice giving by picking up litter, recycling and even turning off lights when you leave a room. When we pay attention to the environment around us, we can learn how to respond in a giving way. Ellen Sabin is the founder and president of Watering Can Press (WateringCanPress. com), a publishing company committed to growing kids with character. Her series of award-winning books include The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving; The Greening Book: Being a Friend to Planet Earth; and The Healthy Body Book: Caring for the Coolest Machine You’ll Ever Own.

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Here are some questions to ask yourself. After you have answered each question, think about what you can do to thank people for their kindness. Who shared with you? What did they share? Who taught you something? What did they teach you? Who showed you love? How did they show you love? Who made you happy? How did they make you happy? Source: Adapted excerpt from The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin. natural awakenings

December 2014



Fighting the Common Cold or Flu 7 At Home Tips by Kelly Hassberger


here is nothing quite as miserable as a sore throat, body aches, headache and the other wretched symptoms of a cold or flu. Uncomfortable symptoms make everything more difficult, from performing at work, to sleeping well at night. Antibiotics only fight against bacteria and, therefore, do not fight infections caused by cold and flu viruses, nor will these medications ease symptoms caused by these common viruses. Fortunately, one can relieve symptoms associated with a cold or flu by practicing some simple at home techniques that can boost the immune system, decrease symptoms and relieve any discomfort. Here are seven at home, do-it-yourself, suggestions to effectively combat cold and flu symptoms.

1. Garlic, Lemon and Honey Tea

Garlic, lemon and honey have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, meaning they kill or inhibit the growth of the microbes and viruses that are


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making one sick. In addition, honey and warm liquids are very soothing to an inflamed mucous membrane, like the throat. Heat one cup of water with one clove of fresh garlic and pour over your favorite tea; chamomile or green tea each have their own healing properties. Add a quarter cup of honey and the juice of ¼ to ½ lemon to taste. Sip while it’s hot. For convenience, make a large pot of tea and refrigerate unused portions to heat up later.

2. Cold, Wet Socks

Though the sound of this alone is not very appealing, it is very effective. Run a pair of thin cotton socks under cold water. Wring out the socks and place them in the freezer. Stick your feet in warm water for a few minutes then pull the icy cold socks onto your feet; cover with 100 percent dry, wool socks and go to bed. Though it may be uncomfortable for a little while, the socks will become warm and cozy. When wearing cold, wet socks to

bed, the body has to work hard to warm up the feet. This jumpstarts the immune system and pulls congestion from the head, which in turn works all night to relieve congestion and other cold/flu symptoms.

3. Neti Pot

Use a neti pot to rinse thick mucus from the nose and sinuses. Use sterile, lukewarm water (not tap water) and non-iodized salt, which is sold at most places where neti pots are available. To optimize results, some naturopaths suggest adding antiviral and antimicrobial agents to the water, but consult a Naturopathic Doctor before any additions. Bend the head down towards a bathtub, sink or basin. Pour water from the neti pot into one nostril and allow the water to flow back out again from the nostril closest to the tub or sink.

4. Steam Inhalation

Certain herbs and essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lemon, thyme, sage,

rosemary, ginger, Echinacea and lavender are soothing to mucus membranes inflamed by cold or flu and have antiviral effects, but it can be tricky to deliver these therapeutic herbs and oils to the inflamed tissue. Steam inhalation allows the therapeutic ingredients of these herbs and oils to come up through the nasal passages, where they can do the most good. Use a humidifier, diffuser or vaporizer to fill the air at home with steam inhalation therapy. A pot of boiling water infused with these herbs can also be used for a concentrated effect; drape a towel over the head and breathe in deeply.

5. Elderberry Syrup

Available at nearly any health food store or drug store, elderberry syrup contains the antiviral properties the body needs to fight off symptoms of cold and flu. Appropriate for adults and children, elderberry syrup is also an antioxidant so it fights off the free radicals that can occur with illness and create symptoms. For best results, take one tablespoon of elderberry syrup every couple of hours as soon as symptoms of cold or flu appear. Talk to a Naturopath about proper dosing.

6. Consume Soup and Liquids, Avoid Dairy and Sugar

Fighting off a cold or flu is a full time job that saps your body of the strength it needs to perform other functions. The struggle to fight off the virus takes a lot of the body’s energy, so it is important that the body doesn’t waste too much energy on things like digesting large amounts of food. One might experience a lack of appetite while sick. That’s ok. The body is smart and is expressing it needs a break to focus on fighting the illness. Listen to the body and choose food carefully. Eat food in small amounts and focus on consuming clear soups and liquids. Drink water to flush the toxins from the system. Avoid dairy products and creamy soups, as they can create mucus that worsens congestion. Stay away from sugar as it can suppress the immune system.

7. Take Supplements

Arm the body with the nutritional supplements it needs to fight cold and flu bugs. Echinacea, zinc and vitamins A and C are especially supportive of immune function. There are also many more virus fighting nutrients out there, but talk to a Naturopath to get the best individualized treatment. It is suggested that individuals talk with a naturopathic doctor to learn which supplements and at home techniques may be right for them. A naturopathic doctor can even find a personalized homeopathic remedy to help overcome colds and flu. It is also suggested that individuals always consult with a physician before starting any therapy. These remedies do not take the place of medical care and a proper work up. Kelly S. Hassberger, ND is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Grand Rapids Natural Health. For more information, visit See ad, page 23.

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December 2014


Sacred Activism Love in Action Can Change the World by Judith Fertig

the Santuario de Guadalupe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that’s also reflected in his book, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism. Born in India, educated at England’s Oxford University and in the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, he now resides in Melbourne, Arkansas, where he’s founder and director of the Institute for Sacred Activism. The goal of his international travel is to bring concerned people together to proactively face global crises. Says Harvey, “Sacred activism is a fusion of two of the most powerful fires of the human psyche—the mystic’s passion for God and the activist’s passion for justice.”

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“Sacred activism is the fusion of the mystic’s passion for God with the activist’s passion for justice, creating the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve and nurture every living thing.” ~ Andrew Harvey


he butterfly, a universal symbol of transformation, reminds us that becoming our best selves is an ongoing process. Yet these delicate, fluttering creatures are suffering a decline, especially the vivid orange and black monarch butterflies that depend on milkweed flowers for sustenance during their migration to and from Mexico and Canada. “When I heard about the monarch butterfly crisis, I also noticed that I had milkweed vines all along my back fence,” says Karen Adler, a Kansas City, Missouri, gardener. “In years past, I 24

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would have pulled them out because they can strangle other plants. But I talked it over with my neighbor and we agreed to let them grow. This year, we had more monarchs than ever.” These two women might not realize it, but they had engaged in spiritual activism. They became aware of a problem, approached it with compassion, learned about the issue, realized life’s interdependence and committed themselves to positive action for a result that is good for all. It’s a process that Andrew Harvey first described in a 2005 talk he gave at

The Awakening – Progressing from concerned citizen to spiritual activist is a gradual process. It may begin with an issue to which one feels called. “Our life in the world is a continual call and response,” observes Kabir Helminski, of Santa Cruz, California. He authors and translates books on the Muslim Sufi tradition, which tends to have an open relationship with other religions, and is a core faculty member of the Spiritual Paths Institute, which encourages seekers to find the sacred traditions that speak to them. “Sometimes events are a waking dream calling for interpretation, and sometimes the heart is directly addressed from within,” says Helminski. Compassion – Once an event moves us, prayer can be a pathway that opens our hearts to compassion, according to Jagadish Dass, of Granada Hills, California. The healer and teacher wrote The Prayer Project: The 3-Minute, 3 Times a Day Solution for World Change, which encourages involvement with something bigger than ourselves. Dass maintains that praying for three minutes, three times a day, will help us transmute into expressing a quiet power. “As we take responsibility for our lives, a transformation occurs within,” he says. We begin to inspire others to also take up the cause of working for change and bringing more peace, joy and love to the world. Likewise, Harvey urges each of us to make a real commitment to

“When you put spirit and activism together, you realize that all actions are connected to spirit. It makes you think about your duty in every instance—from how you treat people throughout your day to how you treat the environment. It becomes a satisfying way of living.” ~ Carla Goldstein daily spiritual practice on the road to spiritual activism. He suggests, “Start with a short prayer that aligns you with the pure deep love that is longing to use you as its instrument in the world.” Options include prayers from many of the world’s spiritual traditions shared in Dass’ book; a free download is provided at Interconnectedness – Just as everything in the universe is connected by the simple act of being, like-minded people can connect to do good in the world. Sacred activists pursuing their own spiritual paths need to work with others, according to Harvey. “They form empowering and encouraging networks of grace—beings of like heart, brought together by passion, skill and serendipity to pool energies, triumphs, griefs, hopes and resources of all kinds. When people of like mind and heart gather together, sometimes miraculously powerful synergy can result.” Harvey has found that groups of six to 12 people become the most efficient and productive, whether joined together through a profession (such as physicians on medical missions), a passion for animal rights or the environment, or a strong sense of social justice. Knowledge – Knowledge, both inward- and outward-seeking, is another key to doing good for all. Carla Goldstein, JD, chief external affairs officer at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, in Rhinebeck, New York, and

cofounder of its Women’s Leadership Center, used her interest in women’s empowerment issues as a springboard to spiritual activism. “For the first 20 years of my professional life, I focused on public policy and politics,” she says. “But something was missing in the rhetoric of taking care of each other.” Practicing yoga and meditation and receiving support during a personal health crisis prompted what she terms “an awakening understanding of a gap between personal change and systems change.” Goldstein came to question her own “rugged individualism” versus the interconnectedness she felt when people took care of her. “Can we actually move towards integrating these two ideals?” she asked herself. Knowledge about issues is readily available from experts and organizations that experts recommend; she observes, “The big question is: What is needed for us to be of help?” Sometimes listening and understanding can be powerful. Under the auspices of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, Goldstein invited women on both sides of the reproductive rights issue to meet in 2005. They had been part of the Public Conversations Project in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts, begun after medical staff members were killed and wounded at an area women’s health clinic providing abortions in 1994. “Women from the divided commu-

nity initially came together to tell their stories,” Goldstein relates. “Over time, they developed a deep love for each other. Nobody changed their positions, but they did change how they interacted with one another.” They experienced a shift from emotional and verbal turbulence to, if not agreement, feelings of peace and understanding. Since then, the project has grown to facilitate such conversations in 38 states and 15 countries ( Positive Action – While many thorny issues take long-term, dedicated efforts to be resolved, others only need smaller individual or collaborative actions for positive outcomes. For Mark Nepo, a New York City poet, philosopher and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening, kindness is the force behind positive action, no matter how modest at first. “Kindness reveals kinship. It gives us connection to everything greater than us and everything else that is kind in the universe,” he says. “I think it’s powerfully effective, yet it’s such a small thing.” Nepo is active in Bread for the Journey, an international nonprofit that encourages community grassroots philanthropic projects that generate micro-grants. One involved a small town in northern New Mexico that sought to improve the lives of local teenagers when the town’s elders wanted to open a youth center as a positive alternative to the drug scene. Just before the center was scheduled to open, the project ran out of money for required floodlights, so Bread for the Journey funded them and the center opened. “Within a few years, the whole culture shifted,” reports Nepo. This small contribution made a big difference to the whole community. Once awakened and nurtured, spiritual activism can become an omnipresent part of our lives. Says Goldstein, “When you put spirit and activism together, you realize that all actions are connected to spirit. It makes you think about your duty in every instance—from how you treat people throughout your day to how you treat the environment. It becomes a satisfying way of living.” Judith Fertig is a freelance writer from Overland Park, KS.

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December 2014


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olunteering provides rewarding satisfaction and progress for adults and children alike. Seniors stay involved and parents work alongside kids to experience the value of helping others. Local places of worship often maintain a list of opportunities to serve a community through helping and healing ministries and special projects. The Red Cross is best known for supplying aid in emergency situations, but many needs are year-round ( A call to city hall can steer willing participants to the right local organization. Here are other examples from around the country to spark love-inspired ideas.

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Meals on Wheels does much more than deliver lunches to those in need ( In Austin, Texas, the Healthy Options Program for the Elderly program brings a bag of groceries monthly to clients most nutritionally at risk, plus Groceries to Go volunteers shop for or with clients every two weeks. Minor safety-related home repairs are provided through the Handy Wheels project. In Seattle, community helpers paint classrooms, install new playground equipment and donate books and supplies at the city’s public schools. Berkley, California, YMCA volunteers teach classes like mindful meditation or restorative yoga, work


Homeless dogs in shelters learn leash manners while participating in the Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound program at South Carolina’s Aiken County Animal Shelter. Leashes and treats are supplied to encourage volunteers to walk dogs at least once a week. It’s healthy exercise for both dogs and humans. To calculate the calorie burn, visit Tinyurl. com/WalkOffCalories. Shelter cats need socialization, too. Visits that include playtime and gentle petting make them more adoptable.

New York Cares has family projects available with no minimum age requirement ( Either on an ongoing or a one-day basis, volunteers improve parks, plant community gardens and refresh public spaces. Trails require refurbishing after bad weather. Streams and waterways need a good cleanup after floods. Check with the park ranger for more information. With a little research, volunteers can find the right activity, whatever their location, interest, age or abilities. Another good place to start is, which is easy to search by zip code and personal interests. A perfect opportunity to help others awaits.


by Julie Reynolds


aving a baby is a sacred, natural and life-changing event in a woman’s life. From the beginning of a pregnancy until the end, mothers make hundreds of important choices in preparation for the birth of the child. Today, women have more options than ever before for prenatal care, delivery options and after care services. Midwifery Matters offers help with some of those choices. Leslie Cornwell, director and creator of Midwifery Matters, is a licensed nurse midwife who makes this profession her life’s passion. Since her teen years, Cornwell knew this was the path she wanted to lead. She notes that she became a nurse specifically to later become a nurse midwife. “I feel very passionate about women’s health. There are a lot of barriers for women. I felt like I wanted to stand up for women’s rights and equality.” Cornwell works with a birthing assistant and office manager. Although the center is new, her experience is not. Cornwell has a formal nursing degree and worked for five years in labor and delivery in a hospital. In addition to her formal education and hospital work, Cornwell also spent time gaining experience as a practicing nurse midwife in Fairbanks, Alaska, due to the lack of midwives in this area. Ultimately, her goal was to come back to Michigan to begin her own practice here. That place she created, Midwifery Matters, is a special place for moms. It consists of a birthing center in Greenville, Michigan, and will add an ad-

ditional facility in Grandville, Michigan in January. The Grandville location will have part-time hours, offer classes and feature prenatal care to community members. Midwifery Matters also offers services and informational classes for expecting and new mothers. Although Midwifery Matters has a comfortable home-like birthing center, there are also options for moms who wish to have a home birth. In the past six months, Cornwell says she has delivered more babies in a home setting, and it is becoming a more popular option. “My goal is to make things comfortable and relaxed,” she states. According to Cornwell’s own research, she has found that Kent County has the highest increasing rate for home births than any other county in Michigan. Cornwell states, “West Michigan has so many amazing, great things happening right now.” She is very excited about the changes going on in the area and is happy to be able to be a part of it as more and more people inquire about and are intrigued by alternative birth options. Having a baby at a true birthing center with the help of a certified nurse midwife can be a very personal and safe way to bring a baby into the world. Cornwell believes that a homelike center minimizes intervention and promotes the normal process. However, she only accepts low-risk, healthy women and has a partnering physician who can help if necessary. She feels that she has a nice balance between both sides of what can happen during

a birth and has the medical training to properly assess her patients both before and after the birth. “There is a hospital five minutes away, and if a woman has risk factors, I will transfer care. I take a team approach to care,” says Cornwell. Healthcare, insurance plans and general expenses are always on the rise and ever-changing. Babies are expensive both before the birth and after. Choosing a nurse midwife is a costeffective way to have a baby in a safe, natural manner. Cornwell mentions, “In European countries, midwives are the mainstream model.” The costs for using a midwife are considerably lower than a hospital birth, too. Midwifery Matters does accept some insurance plans and is considered a state licensed health care provider, as well. “I want to make this a resource for people. I do complementary consultations, as well. It’s about making births better for women,” Cornwell says. When a mother chooses Midwifery Matters as her source for prenatal and birthing care, regardless of whether it is a home birth option or a birthing center option, she will receive more visits than with a traditional obstetrician. “We screen them appropriately and offer high quality, cost-effective care,” Cornwell says. In addition to the home-like setting of the birthing center, Midwifery Matters has many of the facilities that a hospital would have. Clients also have access to Cornwell’s cell phone and can even receive out-of-office visits when necessary. Typically, four additional visits after the birth are included in the service to monitor the mother and baby. Of Midwifery Matters, Cornwell proudly states, “I have the only nurse midwife operated freestanding birth center in Michigan.” Midwifery Matters is located at 118 E. Benton St. in Greenville, MI. For more information, call 616-258-2386, email or visit See ad, pages 8 & 46. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

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Opportunities or Obstacles by Sherry Petro-Surdel and Kathy Horton


hat makes something an opportunity? What makes something an obstacle? As Aristotle said, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance is what determines your destiny.” In other words, excellence is the vision to see obstacles as opportunities. What one sees in life is a perfect example of what could be perceived as - either an obstacle or an opportunity. Many of our most difficult moments – the things that seem almost impossible or overwhelming – are really opportunities. There are always many opportunities to learn, grow, share, connect, develop compassion and empathy, develop new skill sets and/or see what stuff we are really made of. Joseph Campbell said, “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” Those challenging moments are called “trouble at the border” in coaching. Whenever you are close to coming into your promised land – the place of achieving your heart’s desires and allowing your spirit to soar – there will be trouble at the border. The good news is that those at the border are really close to achieving their goals because one cannot have trouble at the border, unless one is at the border. Often times the closer people are to achieving their goals, the

more likely they are to experience an “Oh no – I will never make it” attitude. At this time whether the border is an opportunity or obstacle will be decided. If it is crossed over, then it was an opportunity. If it remains in the way, then it becomes an obstacle, and unfortunately, there will never be a way to measure how many great visions were never realized or never developed into reality because the opportunity was seen as an obstacle. The primitive part of the human brain is all about danger and survival. It includes a radar system that is always scoping out danger, although most of the time it is perceived danger, not real danger. If one allows this most primitive mind, a mind disconnected from one’s spirit, to run the show, opportunities will turn into fear which will be perceived as danger or obstacles. Fear is not our spiritual birthright. Jonathan Lockwood Huie said, “Our opportunity is to soar our spirit. To see light and joy in everything. To spread our wings and fly boldly. To give thanks for rainbows and butterflies our symbols of renewal and rebirth.” Every moment of our lives we are called to make choices that create opportunities. We get to choose how we will respond to any given situation. We get to choose whether we see rain or rainbows. We get to live a life that is filled with possibilities and gratitude, or live one that is filled with despair and cynicism. It is our choice as to how we will

perceive any given situation. Winston Churchill described a pessimist and an optimist by saying, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Again, are we seeing opportunity or obstacle? Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us to, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful for beauty is the handwriting of God.” God’s handwritten messages are everywhere, all of the time. Our willingness to see them is our choice. We need to decide what we will do with those moments in life (and we all have them) when we get to choose to let our spirit soar. We must then choose to not allow fear and perceived limitations to stop us from crossing over into our own success, or the Promised Land. The phrase Promised Land comes from an Old Testament Bible story about Moses and the Israelites. For 40 years, the Israelites wandered in the desert looking for the Promised Land, the land that they believed their God had promised them. The more they grumbled and complained, the more they left the truth of who they were, what their birthright was and where the power to transform obstacles into opportunities comes from. There were a series of mountain top experiences and many valley experiences. Israel is not a large country, so some have speculated they were probably walking in circles. Metaphorically, they were unconscious of what was all around them. We need to become aware of when we are walking in circles. We need to recognize when we are working hard but not getting anywhere. Stop and take the time to remember who you really are and what you really want to accomplish. As soon as we recognize this, we often have an “aha moment”. When that happens we can stop the circling and get to our destination. Is that destination an opportunity or an obstacle? Sherry Petro-Surdel is the Pastor at Spirit Space and Kathy Horton is the Board President of Spirit Space, an Interfaith Spiritual Enrichment Center in Saugatuck, Michigan. For more information, visit See ad, page 26.

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December 2014





Tasty Rituals that Deepen the Holiday Spirit



Hunger, the body’s fuel gauge, manifests in physical symptoms like a growling stomach or low blood sugar, says May, citing a useful analogy. “You wouldn’t drive around and pull into every gas station you see; you’d check your fuel gauge first. Before filling up with food, pause and check your fuel gauge. Am I actually hungry, or is this desire coming from something else?” 32

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May suggests practicing FEASTing: First, focus on physical sensations, thoughts and emotions; perhaps we’re thirsty, rather than hungry, rationalizing that holiday foods are special, or feeling stressed or lonely. Next, explore why the feelings or thoughts are present, and then accept them without judgment. Strategize ways of satisfying the need and take a small step toward change.

According to pagan philosophy, sharing seasonal food with loved ones during the winter solstice on December 21 symbolizes the shared trust that warmth and sunlight will return. Eating warm foods provides physical comfort and eating seasonally and locally connects us to the Earth, observes May. Sync body and spirit with the season by stewing root vegetables, baking breads, sipping hot cider and tea, and nibbling on nuts and dried fruits. “The repetition of predictable foods is reassuring,” remarks Evans, and it celebrates nature’s transitions.



by Lane Vail

he holiday season is ripe with an array of spiritual, cultural and family rituals. We celebrate, reflect, give gifts and, of course, feast. Fortunately, the media also teems with tips on how to avoid high-calorie holiday goodies, says Dr. Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. For our diet-driven culture to resolve its struggle with food, she says we must learn to honor its intrinsic value. Ritualized eating can help; a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found that engaging in food rituals evokes mindfulness that enhances the enjoyment of eating.

“Food connects us with one another, our heritage and our culture,” says May. Heather Evans, Ph.D., a Queen’s University professor and a holiday culinary history expert in Ontario, Canada, suggests creating a food diary of traditions to reinforce a connection with the past and support a holiday food legacy for the future. Ask grandparents about their childhood culinary memories, peruse family recipe books or discover new dishes that honor everyone’s ethnic heritage. Then create an heirloom holiday cookbook with handwritten recipes arranged alongside favorite photos and stories.

Complex preparations for a major holiday can provoke anxiety and impatience, and likewise, feelings of longing or disappointment when it’s over. Sarah Ban Breathnach, bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Peace and Plenty, recommends allowing Christmastide to unfold at its own pace and celebrating all of December with a homemade Advent calendar. Craft a tree-shaped tower of tiny boxes or a garland of burlap mini-bags clipped with clothespins. Place an almond covered in organic dark chocolate in each container and use the treat as a daily mini-meditation. “Drop into the present moment, fully savor the luxurious, small bite and experience the pleasure of eating,” suggests May. Consider it symbolic of the season’s sweetness.

Stir-Up Sunday is a Victorian amusement filled with fun, mystery and mindfulness, says Ban Breathnach. Some December Sunday, have each family member help stir the batter of a special Christmas cake while stating a personal new year’s intention. Drop a clean coin, bean or trinket into the mix and bake. Serve it with a sprig of holly on Christmas Day, and the person with the piece containing the lucky charm will be rewarded with a prosperous, wholesome and positive new year, according to tradition. Evans remarks, “This is a wonderful ritual for nurturing the health and spirit of the family.”


Boxing Day offers something far more meaningful to celebrate than postholiday sales. Originating as a tradition that thrived during the 19th century,

“December 26 was a chance for landowners and homeowners to give back to household staff and local tradespeople,” says Evans. “It’s a tradition worth reviving to pause, reflect on our own good fortune and contribute to others’ comfort.” Consider serving a meal at a local soup kitchen, collecting items for a food drive or offering a box of healthy culinary treats to community stewards at a fire station, post office or library. On Christmas Day, says Ban Breathnach, “Our kids have the world lying at their feet.” Boxing Day, she says, provides a natural transition to reach out in charity. Lane Vail is a freelance writer and blogger at

A Revitalizing Ritual for the New Year Start the new year with a tabula rasa (clean slate) by hosting a New Year’s Eve Good Riddance Tea Party. Gather family and friends over warm ginger tea, spiced apple cider, hot chocolate and festive finger foods. Guests write down on slips of paper any mistakes, disappointments, regrets, hurts or failings they wish to be forgiven or forgotten. One by one, put them into a crackling fireplace or bonfire to symbolize surrendering of the past. “This ties the heart strings in a comforting bow,” comments author Sarah Ban Breathnach. Then, inscribe fresh intentions for the year to come and tuck them away in a special place. “This is the most mystical part, because so many prayers get answered,” Ban Breathnach says. Lastly, toast the new year with optimism and joy.

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Memory-Making Christmas Cake

1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg 1 tsp vanilla bean extract Zest and juice from 1 organic orange 3 Tbsp olive oil 3 organic free-range eggs 2 cups (200 gm) ground almonds (almond flour) ¼ cup (50 gm) walnuts Preheat the oven to 300° F. Line the sides and base of a 7-inch round cake tin with parchment paper.

This nontraditional, healthy Christmas cake is alcohol-, sugar- and gluten-free. It relies on fruit for sweetness, almond meal for moistness and vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange essences for a perfect mingling of flavors. Prepare the cake with the whole family as a Stir-Up Sunday ritual, and keep it tightly sealed in the refrigerator until Christmas Day. Serve in small portions at room temperature or warmed in the oven and alongside vanilla bean custard or plain yogurt swirled with orange blossom honey. Yields 20 servings 2½ cups (600 grams) mixed and chopped dried fruit (raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, currants, sultanas and/ or dates)

Combine the dried fruit, spices, vanilla, orange zest and juice, olive oil and eggs. Mix in the almond flour and walnuts, then spoon the batter into the baking tin. Bake for an hour-and-a-half. Insert a skewer or toothpick to see if it comes out moist, but clean; if not, bake for up to 30 minutes more. (Cover the top if necessary to prevent over-browning.)

West Michigan Edition

Melody Moonlight’s story, which birthed the potion 32 oz apple juice ½ cup dried holy basil leaf 2 Tbsp dried orange peel 2 Tbsp dried rosemary 1½ Tbsp crushed cardamom 1½ Tbsp dried ginger root 1 Tbsp dried peppermint leaves ½ Tbsp ground nutmeg 1½ cinnamon sticks 13 drops each of essences of chicory flower, beech flower and rose quartz (all available at natural grocers) In a large pot, bring the apple juice to a near boil. Add all the other ingredients and turn off the heat. Read Melody Moonlight’s story at to infuse it all with magic and meaning. Courtesy of Andy Bottagaro, potion maker at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, in Boulder, CO.

Courtesy of Teresa Cutter, author of The 80/20 Diet and founder of

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Yields 4 servings

After cooling, remove from the tin and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.

Dip a Brush into Your Soul

Melody Moonlight’s Magical Monster Loving Potion

photo by Carl Hogg

Creating a repertoire of delicious wintery foods can help evoke health, mindfulness and delight during the holiday season. Dr. Michelle May advises approaching the entire process of eating, including the menu planning, shopping and food preparation, with a spirit of mindfulness, which adds a deeper dimension of pleasure to the experience. “Cake becomes more than just cake,” she says. “It becomes something the family creates and enjoys together.” Savor these rituals and recipes with loved ones.

Courtesy of Teresa Cutter,


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December 2014


wisewords Success Stories: Jack Canfield Offers Chicken Soup for the World by Karen Adams


ack Canfield, who became a household name with the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul—a book filled with uplifting, real-life stories— has written scores of books that have changed people’s lives. But the books have changed his life, too. “When you read inspirational stories all day long, you come home inspired,” he says, speaking by phone from Santa Barbara, California, where he lives. He gave the astonishing example of a single mother who had lost both her hands, and yet who had relearned how to do everything she had always done despite her injuries: cooking, keeping house, working, washing her kids’ hair. “I asked myself, ‘What do I have to complain about?’” Canfield says. What moves us, he says, are real stories—not stories about celebrities’ escapades. “Human beings need that,” he explains. “We need things that speak to our soul.” We are hungry to be motivated and inspired, and to know that we, like others, can overcome obstacles. Canfield has heard stories about angels, transformations, near-death experiences that bring a new joy for life. “It really deepens the spiritual dimension,” he says. “I feel so blessed.” It furthered his own journey of appreciation, he says, and strengthened his ability to live in a state of gratitude. But the success of the Chicken Soup books (there are dozens now, in addition to the original) didn’t come overnight. The first book was rejected by 144 publishers before one accepted it. Canfield says he simply never gave up. That profound work, enriched by all those stories about people overcoming obstacles— combined with his own remarkable success—led him to write his book, The Success Principles. It’s a way of sharing what has transformed his own life, and Canfield says anyone can do it. “In writing that book, I lived those prin36

West Michigan Edition

ciples, so I knew they worked,” he says. He also teaches seminars about success, based on the book. And, perhaps surprisingly, most of his participants are women. What differences has he seen between men and women, and their definitions of success? “In general, women are more relational; it’s important to them that they cooperate,” he says. “Women want to be connected through relationship. They are cyclical.” Men can learn from women, he explains, using himself as an example. Canfield says he has learned a tremendous amount about relationships from his wife, Inga. She is featured in the film The Heart to Lead, a documentary about the worldwide spiritual and social movement borne of women’s unique gifts, a project that both Canfields support. “Inga has taught me to be more spontaneous and authentic, and to cherish family time more,” Canfield says. He believes that she has learned from him, too. “She is better at scheduling things now, and she thinks more systematically and logically when she needs to,” he says. The systematic approach to life is typical for men, he explains, as they generally want to go from Point A to Point B, in a linear fashion. None of this is news, Canfield says. But what’s interesting is that the desire for a purpose and the desire to make a difference is the same for everyone. So how can we make a difference in the world and be personally successful? Success traditionally has been about security, material goods, money and fame, he says. But each of us must decide for ourselves how we define success. “Success is actually fulfilling your soul’s purpose,” Canfield says. “Figure out what’s right for you. Ask yourself: ‘Where do I feel the most joy? What’s easy and natural for me to do? What’s my talent?’ That’s where you’ll

find your purpose, and your success.” It may be a simple undertaking that enables you to make the world better. “Take Inga, for example,” he says. “She makes people’s days. I call her a ‘daymaker.’ I think that’s her purpose. She comes into a room and everyone lights up and she uplifts everyone she meets, just by making their days better. She lives her purpose every day.” In making a global contribution, the same approach applies. “Simply ask yourself, ‘What am I drawn to?’ I may not be able to save the world, but if I’m upset about the radiation disaster in Japan, perhaps I can write a check to the Red Cross. And I can research what’s being done abut radiation risks in my own community.” Or, he says, if you’re a teacher or a musician, you can teach kids songs abut how to get along and take care of each other. You can help them organize a bake sale and send the money to a charity. Canfield mentions Ryan Hreljac, founder of Ryan’s Wells, a foundation that build wells to supply clean water around the world. In 1998, when Hreljac was in first grade in Ontario, he learned from his teacher that people in Africa were dying because they didn’t have access to clean drinking water. There was good water underground, but most people had no way to get to it. So six-year-old Hreljac did chores to raise $70 and sent that money to villagers in

Uganda, who built a well that still provides clean water today. The foundation that Hreljac established has helped more than 700,000 people worldwide so far. “You can’t do everything,” Canfield says. “We can’t all have an impact all over the world. But we can ‘think global and act local.’” We can choose one cause, he says, and get busy. He tells a story shared by spiritual teacher Ram Dass, about a man who said to his own spiritual teacher: “I go out into the village and I see thousands of starving children. How do I know whom to help?” The teacher replied: “One child will capture your heart. Help that one.” “That’s what we need to do, each one of us,” Canfield says. “Help that child. That’s success.” Jack Canfield is a life coach, motivational speaker and the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, as well as The Success Principles. For more information, visit

Jack Canfield’s guidelines for success Take 100-percent responsibility for your life. To be successful, one must get out of “victim mode.” If things aren’t going right in your life, don’t blame the government, your spouse, your boss, your parents or society. Simply take responsibility and move forward. What’s your purpose? Clarify it. Is it to have fun? Or to make a difference? Some people

know from childhood, but others have to discover it. Once you know, then every step you take should point to that purpose.

What do you want? Not what do your parents, boss, church, or anybody else wants. You. Seek clarity in these seven areas: work and career, finances, recreation and free time, health and fitness, relationships, personal goals and contribution to the larger community. What is your vision? Break it down into specific goals. “I want to lose weight” is not specific. But “I want to weigh 165 pounds by June 15 at 5 p.m.” is specific. Your unconscious mind will not kick in until you give it details to work on. Visualize yourself having reached your goal. Do this twice a day: once in the morning to set the course of your day, and once at bedtime to tell your brain to work on it. Take action. Most people don’t have an action plan. Keep track of what you do to move toward your goal. Also get an accountability partner and commit to a schedule for checking in with each other. Reject rejection. A lot of people are afraid of rejection so they don’t ask for help. The only way out is through. You have to do the thing you’re afraid of.

Respond to feedback. Not everything you do will work; keep trying. It’s the law of probability: the more things you try, the more things will work. Ask others, “How am I doing? How can I improve?”

Persevere. Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected by 144 publishers before it was accepted, Canfield says. Send your manuscript to one more publisher. Exercise one more day. Send out one more resume; many people who are unemployed have simply given up. If something is important to you, don’t give up.

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December 2014


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Pet Bed-Buddies

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West Michigan Edition

Is Sleeping Together Healthy? by Erik J. Martin


here was a time Staying in close bathroom in the bed if you when Eliska, don’t wake up.” contact makes it a three-pound Prague ratter, would curl easier to pick up Make a Good Choice up and sleep next to fleas, ticks or skin “Having your pet sleep owner Krista DeAngelis, and most of the time, she mites a pet may in the bed with you is a and the personal choice,” says hocarry, and can dog enjoyed a peaceful listic Veterinarian Patrick night’s slumber. worsen allergies. Mahaney, of California Then DeAngelis Pet Acupuncture & Wellmarried, and her husness, in West Hollywood. ~ Roger Valentine, band banned the dog holistic veterinarian By discouraging this from the bed for fear of behavior, “Your pet will unintentionally squashing Eliska in his be less likely to confuse your bed with sleep. After enduring a few sleepless theirs, and therefore prevent potential nights of canine whining and barking, territory-related problems.” By failing the Salt Lake City couple successfully to discourage it, “You not only face the curbed their pet’s protests by simply possibility of behavioral problems, you spraying Eliska with a misting bottle ev- could also face adverse effects to your ery time she acted up. After two nights own sleep and health,” he notes. of this routine, the pocket-sized pooch According to results published in was fully trained to sleep by herself in a survey of 300 sleep disorder patients another room. conducted by Dr. John Shepard, then “I originally thought letting my dog medical director of the Mayo Clinic sleep in my bed was a good idea,” says Sleep Disorders Center, in Rochester, DeAngelis, a communications director Minnesota, nearly 60 percent of the pet at Westminster College. “But I realowners in the study slept with their pets ized that they can keep you up when inside the bedroom. Twenty-two perthey rustle around, wake you up if they cent of the patients were likely to have have to go out and sometimes go to the pets sleeping on the bed with them.

Plus, 53 percent said their sleep was disrupted to some extent every night. Twenty-one percent and 7 percent of their dogs and cats, respectively, snored. Yet, a British study of 420 UK cat owners conducted by the nonprofit Cats Protection revealed that 44 percent of respondents (including 51 percent of women polled) said they enjoyed a better night’s sleep with a cat in bed with them than with a human companion. Benefits listed included an absence of snoring, more space on the bed and soothing purrs. “The advantages of letting your pet share your bed include companionship, warmth and a sense of security,” advises Mahaney. Among the drawbacks, he notes lack of space for people to sleep, interruption of normal sleep patterns and the pet’s confusion about its expected place to sleep.

Nip Problems in the Bud

To break a pet of a bed-sleeping habit, Mahaney recommends applying persistence, consistency and the following tips:

A pet’s companionship can reduce levels of stress hormones while enabling people to deal with their emotions and stressful situations.

n If problematic behavior persists, seek consultation with a veterinary behavior specialist.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If a family member decides to share a bed with a pet, Mahaney offers the following recommendations: n Let it sleep on top of the covers, instead of under them.

~ American Heart Association journal, Hypertension

n Be aware of the need to remove environmental debris, including fecal material, on its coat before bedtime.

the pet to sleep. A cat or dog bed can be as simple as a clean, soft blanket placed nearby. n Use positive reinforcement techniques. Offer a tiny training treat, “gooddog” clicker noise or praise when the animal is comfortably resting in its own bed, to reinforce this desirable behavior. n Immediately address any territorial aggression when co-sleeping with a pet, such as growling or nipping. First, authoritatively say, “No!” Then put the pet on the floor or into its own bed and give the command to sit and stay.

n Establish a separate area or bed for

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n Give the dog an opportunity to void itself within a reasonable timeframe before going to sleep. A typical healthy dog should not have to get up in the middle of the night to urinate or defecate. n Allow a cat the opportunity to exit the bedroom throughout the night to play, eat, drink and use the litter box. Cats are nocturnal animals and are more likely to be active during lights out. Erik J. Martin regularly contributes to, from which this was adapted.

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December 2014


$ave Time & Energy!


Please call in advance to ensure that the event you’re interested in is still available.

Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.


10% Off Coaching - Mention Natural Awakenings and receive 10% off your first three coaching sessions. Wellspring Professional Coaching Services, LLC. 616-901-6885. 10% Off Herbal Remedies- Receive 10% off your next order at Michigan Herbal Remedies with promo code, NADEC14. 6411 Bella Vista Dr. NE Ste. 1, Rockford. Massage Special - Purchase three one-hour massages or gift certificates and get the fourth free, purchase a single gift certificate at 20% off or schedule a kinesio taping session for just $10. 360 Massage and Holistic Care, 1514 Wealthy SE Ste. 218, Grand Rapids. December Special - Receive 10% off all Tri-Polar RF services. Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, 10500 Chicago Drive, Zeeland. 231-557-3619. Fit Mama Accountability Group - Join the new private Facebook fitness support group - The Fit Mama Way: Your Guide to living a fit, healthy, beautiful life! This group is designed for all women who are striving for a balance between health, fitness, life and self-love. Email MelissaHacker@ to join. Garden Of Life Demo - Garden of Life will be doing demonstrations once a month at Nature’s Market, 1013 Washington Ave, Holland. Contact Nature’s Market at 616-394-5250 or visit to find out which day they’ll be there each month. Fight the Holiday Weight Gain - Join a private Facebook Fitness Challenge Group and receive an at home fitness program, a complete nutrition plan, a 30 day supply of Shakeology and daily support, accountability, advice and guidance. Receive a special $60 Christmas gift for joining. To enroll or request additional information, email



Secrets to Healthy Sleep - 5:30pm. Do you feel tired and/or irritable during the day, have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, have a hard time concentrating, need caffeine to get going or need naps? This seminar is for you! RSVP to BrandiG@ or 616-974-9792. 4021 Cascade Rd. SE Grand Rapids. Mindfulness, Meditation & Mudras - 7pm. Experience a gentle way to end your day and prepare for the holidays. Classes include a variety of mindfulness exercises such as: yoga, qigong, breathing exercises, mudras, meditation and yoga nidra. No experience necessary. Regular class pricing/packages apply. Hearts Journey Wellness, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.


Uptown Holiday Shop Hop - 4-10pm. Join us at the stores, salons, galleries and design businesses on Cherry, Lake and Diamond for this festive event. Come enjoy specials, food, drinks, plus gifts galore for all members of your family. Maybe you can even sneak in a purchase for yourself. East Hills Business District, Grand Rapids. Skin Care Party - 6pm. Learn about a new skin care line. SophytoPRO® skincare is an all-natural European skin care system that actively transforms the skin with pH-optimized, nutrient-dense formulations for a more even, youthful appearance. Out of the Blue Inc., 363 Cummings Ave NW, Grand Rapids.


Healthy Holiday Pampering Event - 7pm. Come to The Gleason Center for a night of pampering, good food and fun. Tickets are $10, buy one get one free. 19084 N. Fruitport Rd. Spring Lake.

Mantra Sadhana - Dec. 6-7. Especially for students and practitioners of Ayurveda, take part in our Annual Mantra Sadhana at the Sambodh Center, 6363 North 24th Street, Kalamazoo and learn the Dhanvantari Mantra, patron deity of Ayurvedic Medicine for blessings of sound health for one’s self or others. New Frontiers of Yoga - 9am-2pm. One-day conference with presentations such as Yoga and Wellness, Yoga and Enlightenment, Yoga and Brain Science and Patajanli’s Yoga Sutras. Conference features Swami Bodhananda and Diana Wilson, eRYT along with other speakers. Vegetarian lunch included. Inquiries email SambodhSociety@ 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo. Community Quiet Day & Labyrinth Walk - 10am3pm. Come take a brief retreat to meditate, read and reflect and gain refreshment for the body and soul. Open to all faiths. Suggested donation of $5. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1006 Third St., Muskegon. First Anniversary Celebration - 11am-1pm. Celebrate with Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio with snacks, tours of the studio, chair massages, mini Reiki sessions, prize drawings and more. All are welcome. Come see what our community is all about. 208 W 18th St., Holland. 616-392-7580. Grand Opening - noon-5pm. Stop in and check out our new store. Door prizes raffled off throughout the day. Take advantage of grand opening specials. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. Ste. N. Grand Rapids. Sing Song Yoga - noon-12:30pm for ages 2-6, 12:45-1:30pm for ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Learn more and register on-line at The Yoga Studio, 955 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids. Bija Yoga Prenatal Program - noon-1:15pm. Experience the many benefits of yoga during pregnancy. Learn specific alignment, breathing,

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and relaxation techniques as well as how to modify postures and movements as your baby grows. See for details. $10 drop in, free to members. 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake.


EcoTrek Fitness - 8:15-9:15am. Outdoor group workout session at Duncan Woods with Cari Draft leading. $10 drop-in, RSVP at 616-291-2851 or 1113 Sheldon Ave. just north of Taylor St., Grand Haven. Sunday Service - 10:30am. Come join our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, for the 2nd Sunday of Advent Sunday Service as Rev. Dick Ammons empowers us with a message based on Peace and Unity Truths. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

ages apply. Hearts Journey Wellness, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.


Open Mind Fair - 11am-5pm. Listen to the Voice of Your Soul. Receive messages, relax with a chair massage and treat yourself to that special book, crystal, pendant, ring or that something special for someone special. Open Mind, 90. N. Main St., Cedar Springs. Health Solutions Seminar - 7:15pm. To meet Dr. Osterhout and learn how to recapture your health and create wellness, attend his next informative Health Solutions Seminar at the Center for Natural Healing and Nutrition. Call 269-323-4473 today to reserve seats for you and your loved ones. 5717 Oakland Dr., Portage.



Sneak Peak into Coaching - Dec. 8-12. Join Missy Hacker for a “Sneak Peak into Coaching” group on Facebook and learn what it means to be a Fitness Coach to determine if this is something that would benefit your life and financial picture. Spaces are limited. To reserve your spot email MelissaHacker@ Holiday Survival Clean Eating Group - Dec. 8-12. Join Missy Hacker Fitness on Facebook in a private group setting where she will hold you accountable to eating clean! Don’t use the Holidays as an excuse to ditch your healthy lifestyle. To reserve your spot, email


Learn Trigger Point Massage - 6pm. Free community workshop on how to do Trigger Point Massage. Learn what a trigger point is, what causes them, how to prevent them, how to get rid of them, hands on training. 4150 East Beltline Ste. #4 Grand Rapids. Seating limited to first 30 callers. RSVP to 616-447-9888.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10 Human Rights Day Mindfulness, Meditation & Mudras - 7pm. Experience a gentle way to end your day and prepare for the holidays. Classes include a variety of mindfulness exercises such as: yoga, qigong, breathing exercises, mudras, meditation and yoga nidra. No experience necessary. Regular class pricing/pack-

Ministry complemented with 2012 Jazz Musician of the Year, Mark Kahny. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16 Hanukkah Begins Energy Healing/Spiritual Life Counsel - By appointment. Need help letting go of ‘old patterns’ and clearing blockages so you can move forward with greater ease and clarity? Healing Ways is offering sessions in exchange for a voluntary offering to support you in your journey. Call 269-221-1961 to schedule a session. Kalamazoo. EcoTrek Fitness - 6:15-7:30pm. Outdoor group workout session at Stroud Family Playground Park, Kalamazoo with Kylie Schultz leading. $10 drop-in, RSVP at 269-919-2233 or

Holistic Fitness Workshop - 9-11am. Want more from your fitness routine? Learn how to use mindfulness and breathe during exercise. Discover how Ayurvedic principles can influence your workout to ENHANCE the mind-body connection, reduce fatigue & increase performance. $15/person. 1140 Monroe Ave SE #5201, Grand Rapids. RSVP or 616-889-9825, by 12/9/14.


Fresh Air Fit with Michigan DNR - 10-11:30am. EcoTrek Fitness outdoor group workout session. $10 drop-in fee. A Recreation Passport is required for parking. Please register by sending email to or call 517-243-6538. Class will meet and depart from the Sessions Lake main parking lot. Ionia Recreation Area, 2880 West David Highway, Ionia.

Mindfulness, Meditation & Mudras - 7pm. Experience a gentle way to end your day and prepare for the holidays. Classes include a variety of mindfulness exercises such as: yoga, qigong, breathing exercises, mudras, meditation and yoga nidra. No experience necessary. Regular class pricing/packages apply. Hearts Journey Wellness, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale.

Saturday Restorative Immersion - 1-3pm. All are welcome to unwind before the holidays with a soothing yoga practice to calm and renew the body. $30. Learn more and register online at 955 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids.


Second Saturday Sale - Shop at Global Gifts for 20% off any one children’s item. Find toys, wooden puzzles, hats, aprons and more. All items are Fair Trade. Your purchase supports artists in developing countries. 2055 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids.


Sunday Service - 10:30am. Join our warm, inviting, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all for a special Christmas Worship Service presented by the UGR Youth & Family

Healing Circle - 7pm. Following a discussion with Interfaith Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel from 6-7pm, join us in a Healing Energy Circle at 7pm to promote wellness for ourselves and others. Join us for all or part of the gathering. Call 616-836-1555 for more information. All healing modalities are welcome, Saugatuck.

Community Center Open House- 9-11am. Open house for natural or family-centered businesses interested in joining The Midwifery Matters Community Center. The center is a community supporting healthy pregnancy, gentle birth and natural parenting. There is nothing else like it in Michigan. 6293 Kenowa Ave. SE, Grandville.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21 Winter Solstice EcoTrek Fitness - 8-9:15am. Outdoor group workout session at Millennium Park with Kym Matthews leading. 1415 Maynard SW, Grand Rapids. $10 drop-in, RSVP at 616-485-5448 or

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December 2014


Sunday Worship & Youth Services - 10:30am. Join our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, for the 4th Sunday of Advent as guest speaker, Bill Diedrich delivers his message titled “Joy”. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 108 Sun Salutations - 6-8pm. Bring some light and warmth into the shortest day of the year with this time-honored practice of completing 108 Sun Salutations on the Solstice. Enjoy beautiful candlelight and a toast to the return of the sun! See for details. $15 drop in, free to members. 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake.


Holiday Break - Dec. 22-Jan. 3, 9am-2pm. The holiday break is a great time to connect with family, but it can also be a time when kids lose a lot of what they have learned at school. Sylvan Learning offers extended hours over the holiday break. Call 231-799-0613 for more information. 5890 Harvey St., Muskegon. EcoTrek Fitness - 6:15-7:30pm. Outdoor group workout session “Celebrating the Holiday Spirit” at the Leonard Road Boulevard in Lamont with Hanna Jones leading. Meet at Lamont Christian Reformed Church, 4745 Leonard, Coopersville. $10 drop-in, RSVP at 810-923-9084 or signup@

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24 Hanukkah Ends Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 6-7pm. Join us for a time to express gratitude while we celebrate the holiday season. Our traditional candlelight service is a time for song and readings. We also celebrate communion by communing with God and with each other. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 7pm. Join our warm, inviting, New Thought spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, for a joyful, uplifting Christmas Eve of carols and candlelight, as we re-tell the Christmas story and more. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Christmas Eve Service - 7pm. Join us for an authentic and positive Christmas Eve message where everyone is welcome! Rev. Gy Ludvig, Minister. or 616-682-7812. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day Christmas Message & Satsanga - 10:15am. A Satsanga is a joyous gathering of like minds, a time to share Song~Chants and spiritual insights – bringing blessings to all. Call 517-641-6201 or visit for more information. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath.


Burning Bowl Service -10am. Join us for our a ceremonial service of consciously releasing and letting go of that which no longer serve your highest good. Everyone is welcome! Rev. Gy Ludvig, Minister. Free. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids, 6025 Ada Dr., Ada.


Pure Meditation Foundation Class - 3pm. Conquer stress, improve concentration, find inner peace and much more! Includes book: Self Realization Through Pure Meditation by Mata Yogananda, follow-up appointment and continuing support. Pre-registration required. Call 517-641-6201 or visit for more information. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31 New Year’s Eve Alternative New Year’s Eve Gathering - 4:309pm. Top off the year and be ready for the new. Enjoy a spiritually-charged NYE at Sambodh Center, 6363 N. 24th St. Kalamazoo. Hatha Yoga, vegetarian pot luck, chanting & drumming, meditation, and eco-friendly film to encourage people in forming their New Year’s resolutions! Informal. Free. Donations welcome.

savethedate Save The Date Events

Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or above require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. If you are a current advertiser, distribution site or non-profit you just use this listing in place of two of your free listings.

savethedate January 1

Free New Year Yoga Class - 11am and 4pm. Create intention on the first day of the New Year with a practice designed to move and integrate you – mentally, physically and spiritually. See for details. Free. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake.

savethedate January 6

Living Downstream - 7pm. Come watch Living Downstream, based on Sandra Steingraber’s book. It’s a documentary breaking the silence about cancer and its environmental links. Sponsored by Michigan Land Air and Water Defense. 315 S. Rose St. Kalamazoo.

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West Michigan Edition

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savethedate January 8

Microbirth at Midwifery Matters Community Center - 6:30-9pm. We’d like to give back to the community through education with birth related movies and donations to local organizations. Second Thursday, bi-monthly. Please bring an item to donate to Pregnancy Resource Center, visit for list of items. Questions? 6293 Kenowa Ave SW, Grandville.

savethedate January 13

Kombucha Class - 7pm. Join Nature’s Market for this very popular and quite flavor-able class. All the participants will be given a free Scoby and starter tea to take home. Sign up in store, class fills quickly. 1013 Washington Ave, Holland. HypnoBirthing® Classes - 6-8:30pm. A complete 5-week childbirth education program. Learn relaxation techniques to give your baby a welcome that is calm, gentle and safe. Achieve birth fulfillment – awake and alert – in a totally relaxed state of mind and body. Visit 2119 Lake Drive SE, East Grand Rapids.

savethedate January 24

ongoingevents Note: Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. Events must be re-submitted each month by the 15th of the month. Events subject to change, please call ahead.



Sunday Celebration - 10am. Looking for an authentic and positive message without the fear and guilt? Welcome to Unity! Join us this Sunday to experience the difference. Rev. Gy Ludvig, Minister. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman 7:45-9am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Spirit Space Sunday Worship - 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck. Art Class For Kids - 1-3:30pm. Give your kids a Sunday afternoon creative getaway at the Art by Era studio in Grandville. All materials included. Contact Summer at for more information, or to RSVP. 3141 Broadway Ave., Grandville. Community Yoga Class - 4-5pm for $5. All levels welcome. All proceeds donated to the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 218 W 18th Street, Holland. Visit MiBodhiTree. com for more information. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, se lf-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see


Second Annual Whole U GR Expo- 10am-4pm. Whole U GR is an intimate expo that focus’ on mind, body and spirit. A day filled with exhibitors, speakers and workshops. Tickets on sale now or for more information go to Grand Rapids.

A Course In Miracles Healing Circle - 7-8:30pm. Want peace in your life regardless of the circumstances? Clarity? Inspiration? All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.



February 7

Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia 11am-noon. Experience what Nexalin Technology can do for you. For more information call Susie of Bethesda Health and Wellness at 616-594-9005 or visit Held at Bodhi Tree Yoga, 208 W 18th Street, Holland.

Morning Flow Yoga - 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Painting/Drawing for Kids - 4:30-5:30pm. Unleash the power of your child’s creative potential with weekly art classes. $29 for the whole month. Contact Summer at for more information, or to RSVP. 3141 Broadway Ave., Grandville. A Course in Miracles - 6:30pm. This self-study system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God. Also held Wednesday 9:30-11am. 616-682-7812. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Wednesday $20 off BioMeridian Assessments - Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-365-9176. Grand Rapids. Discussion and Meditation - 6-8pm. Discussion to promote spiritual enrichment. Questions are welcomed, followed by meditation at 7pm. Spirit Space is an interfaith church and spiritual enrichment center. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. 3493 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck. EmbodyGR - 6:30pm. Gather in community for yoga, music and justice. Bring your yoga mat,

March 13-15


West Michigan Women’s Expo - Over 400 exhibits and seminars tailored to women and their families, focusing on health, beauty, fitness, fashion, finance and fun! Tickets available at the door or in advance at Meijer. Devos Place, Grand Rapids.

April 22

Raw Food Show - Come celebrate Earth day with Chef Adams at Nature’s Market with a raw food show where he’ll demonstrate three raw dishes. Participants will taste and learn the nutrition benefits of eating raw. 1013 Washington Ave, Holland.

natural awakenings

December 2014


your amazing self and a friend who may need to connect, heal and serve! Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. Creation’s Lessons for Living - 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-856-4957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE, Grand Rapids.


thenaturaldirectory ...connecting you to the leaders in natural health and green living in West Michigan. To find out how you can be included in The Natural Directory log-on to


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac., Dipl. OM Acupuncture + Chinese Herbal Therapy 616-940-1177

Grand Wellness offers a holistic perspective on wellness and promotes healing through acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy and eastern nutrition. Set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad page 11.

Energy Healing Spiritual Life Counseling - By appointment. Sessions are available with Pastor Brian of Healing Ways in exchange of a voluntary offering. Don’t miss this opportunity! Call 269303-3523 to schedule an appointment. Kalamazoo. Morning Flow Yoga - 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Yoga with Weights Level 1-2 - 10:30-11:30am. Implement the use of free weights into our traditional yoga poses for variety and new challenges in your yoga practice. Class is designed to sculpt, lengthen and challenge every major muscle group. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. 616-392-7580. Candlelight Yin Yoga -7pm. Yin Yoga is a quiet, personal practice that provides a chance to slowdown from your busy life and focus inward. All levels welcome. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 218 W 18th Street, Holland. Visit MiBodhiTree. com or call 616-392-7580 for more information.



Spark of Life Studio 959 Lake Dr. SE, Suite 201, Grand Rapids 616-516-1479 Living organisms want to be in balance but everyday stress is preventing us from feeling our best. Let us restore balance to your body and thus maximize your well-being and your body’s own innate healing capacity.

Live Drawing for Adults - 7-8:30pm. Weekly live drawing classes for adults at Art By Era. $39 for the whole month. Contact Summer at ArtByEra@ for more information, or to RSVP. 3141 Broadway Ave. Grandville.



Art Class for Adults - 6-9:30pm. Looking for a fun, creative date night? Bring a beverage and enjoy $29 art classes at the Art by Era studio in Grandville, materials included. Contact Summer at to RSVP. 3141 Broadway Ave., Grandville.

Saturday Hatha Yoga - 9-10:15am. A Little more invigorating, this is a great class to learn the foundations of a yoga practice. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland.

MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-735-1285

Your Local Source for all things Natural and Botanical. Hand crafted bath & body products, tea, bulk herbs, essential oils, other raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad page 14.

Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market - 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.


West Michigan Edition


959 Lake Dr SE, Suite 2, GR 49506 *Second Floor of Blackport Building 616-419-8115 Your retail location for makeup, body care, & household products that are organic, nonGMO, vegan, gluten free & cruelty-free! Products offered score ‘0-2, Low Hazard’ on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.


Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 21.


Certified technician in Nexalin Technology, a medication-free t r e a t m e n t f o r a n x i e t y, depression and insomnia. The hypothalamus and mid-brain area are gently stimulated, supporting brain function resets. Treatments in your home or Holland office. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn at Susie Daubenspeck. See ad page 11.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Ronda VanderWall 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050

Family owned and operated in the heart of downtown Grandville, Dynamic Family Chiropractic focuses on lifestyle improvements through living a maximized life. A safe and natural approach to health through the combination of exercise, nutrition, detoxification and chiropractic care.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad pages 7 & 30.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY HARMONY ’N HEALTH Mary De Lange, CCT. LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 5.


Holistic Energy Therapies 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics since 1996: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 21.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members.





Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner #1024 616-481-8587 ”What you put on the skin, goes within”. Offering E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed essential oils, Non-GMO Protein Shakes, chemical free body products and nutrient dense whole food products. Zyto Compass scans and Ionic Detoxing Foot Baths. My goal is to offer you Life-Restoring and Life-Rewarding products and experiences! See ad page 38.


doTERRA Essential Oils IPC #406390 616-340-5115

1140 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-889-9825 NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Personal Trainer. Ayurvedic consultations for better health and balance through diet, lifestyle, herbs, exercise and more. Fitness regimens that are tailored to your unique needs. Exercise with a higher purpose. See ad page 18.


Our oils effectively reduce or eliminate many chemicals, pharmaceuticals and general medicines in your environment. I offer Zyto Compass biofeedback scans, AromaTouch Technique application and free educational oils classes. Call to schedule an appointment today.

3355 Eagle Park Dr NE Ste 107 GR 49525 616-262-3848

Hakomi Therapy can truly change your life. It’s a mindfulnessbased, experiential therapy for transforming the unconscious patterns that keep you from the love, joy, and fulfillment you deserve. Offered with exquisite care and attentiveness.


Barbara Borgeld Independent Distributor # 1182115 5 W. Main St., #8 / Boyne City, MI 49712 386-366-1903 Discover the high potency, 4,000-yearold therapeutic properties in Young Living Essential Oils. Learn how the oils enhance health--yours, as well as others who seek holistic options. (Seen on the “TODAY” show). Income Opportunities also available. Free Training. See ad page 12.




Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225 Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad page 37.




A fitness and nutrition coach, making your health and fitness a priority. Plans for people of all ages and fitness levels. Offering many free options, as well as cost effective solutions. Contact Missy to see how to achieve your optimal level of health & fitness. See ad page 19.

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. See ad in page 10.

natural awakenings

December 2014






Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo & Portage 269-221-1961 Massage Therapy, Energy Healing, Spiritual Counsel, Healing Services for Groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing Healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual...


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033

332 S. Lincoln Ave Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care. Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We use Clinical Homeopathy to assist traditional medications. We take most insurances. See ad page 10.


Shawn Merkel, ASID 616-916-1071 Complete Interior Design Services for your home or business. Specializing in creating, harmonious, nurturing spaces, by incorporating feng shui principals and repurposing your existing treasures. Let your space become a reflection of who you are. See ad page 28.


Over 21 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad page 5.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Vi l l a g e a r e a . w w w. See ad pages 7 & 30.



Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 21.

West Michigan Edition

I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts.




Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 616-531-6050

In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1450 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including Prenatal check up.

MIDWIFERY MATTERS Leslie Cornwell, CNM 616-258-2386

Looking for different care for your pregnancy outside the traditional maternity system, we have what you have been looking for. High quality care for preconception, pregnancy, and beyond. See ad page 8.


Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education, and choice. The first birthing center in Grand Rapids to add to women’s birth choices. Contact us for a free consultation 559-9075341. See ad page 23.

REIKI PRANA HOUSE REIKI & MASSAGE Jen Gemski, CMT, Reiki Master Practitioner 1345 Monroe Ave NE Ste 204 616-970-3003 Find relief from anxiety, depression, grief, chronic pain, or pain/ discomfort due to cancer treatment. See how Reiki can transform your life from chaos to harmony, you can find balance again! Awaken the healing within. See ad page 30.

SALON SERVICES CJ’S STUDIO SALON 5286 Plainfield Ave., NE Grand Rapids 49525 616-364-9191

An award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education, that uses and sells Organic Hair Care Products as well as uses a professional line of Organic Hair Color. Ionic Detox Foot Baths also available.


SCHOOL / EDUCATION BVI SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA Attn: Ruth Small, Director 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49004

State-Licensed Post-Secondary AYURVEDA SCHOOL Opening Spring 2015. One-year Certificate Program: healthcare/wellness educators and professionals, yoga teachers, massage therapists, chiropractors, dieticians, holistichealth advocates, and self-care. Highly qualified Instructors. Accepting Applications.


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. Offering high quality, affordable massage certification courses as well as NCBTMB continuing education courses for the experienced therapist. Located conveniently to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale.


503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 989-773-1714

Educational Programs Offered: Natural Health Program - Four Years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program - One Year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program - Six Months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad page 2.



10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp/Zeeland MI 49464 231-557-3619 Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad page 21.


Grand Rapids SE 616-690-3527 ”Rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit while nourishing your skin with customized, therapeutic facials using all natural Elina Organics Products. Individualized, professional treatments provided in a warm, caring environment”.

To place a Classified Listing: E-mail listing to Must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication. $1.00 per word; must be pre-paid.

CLASSES Energy Healings and Training, Reiki & Urevia Healings/Classes - held near Hastings at Subtle Energies w/ Ken & Dana Gray. Learn a variety of techniques that can heal your life. Reiki I & Urevia Practitioner classes are eligible for NAN 20% discount. Visit for more information.

FOR RENT Treatment Room for Rent - Looking for a certified massage therapist to rent space in our organic salon. Located on Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids. Please email Cynthia at cjsstudiosalon@

HELP WANTED Certified Massage Therapist - Busy Kentwood Chiropractic Clinic is looking for a part/full time Certified Massage Therapist. Competitive salary and benefits. Please submit resume via email to


3637 Clyde Park Ave., Suite 2 Wyoming, MI 49509 616-254-7350 Custom screen printed apparel using water-based and discharge inks. Earth friendlier screen printing with a different look and feel. Also offering promotional products with an emphasis on the environment.

Join our Natural Awakenings group on facebook and we’ll directly alert you of upcoming happenings and events.

Find us @: Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.

Have a Stubborn Skin Disorder and Tried Everything Else? Finally there is a solution, try Natural Awakenings DermaClear, a natural, affordable skin repair salve. Our all natural personal skin care product brings comforting relief to sufferers of many skin irritations. DermaClear will simply feel good putting it on. Cooling and soothing, the Calcium Montmorillonite/ Calcium Bentonite clay penetrates pores and open areas of the skin and pulls out toxins and inflammation. The proprietory blend of homeopathics go even deeper, address the root causes and assist to bring even deeper toxins to the surface.

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natural awakenings

December 2014



West Michigan Edition

Profile for Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ West Michigan

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ December 2014  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ December 2014  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

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