The Eden Magazine May 2022

Page 1





crossing ground-breaking ceremony

YOU ARE WORTHY! By Mari D. Martin



By Barbara Y. Martin & Dimitri Moraitis



The Eden Magazine

@The Eden Magazine

Photo by Jess Bailey

@The Eden Magazine



Maryam Morrison



















Discover the path to a peaceful life among other living beings. We are all made of vibration and light in the universe to manifest our energy around all livingness.



Since 2010


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Eden Magazine is a non-profit monthly online magazine. We aim to create a better environment where we live among other living beings in peace and harmony. We support artists that their work matches our criteria. If you would like to submit your artwork, article or/and your photography for our future issues please contact Maryam Morrison at; The Eden Magazine reviews article content for accuracy before the date of publication. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials, and all other content is published in good faith. 5 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

Table of Contents 10

RUTA LEE By Dina Morrone




















WHAT IS SPIRITUAL GROWTH? By Barbara Y. Martin & Dimitri Moraitis


A MOTHER-IN-LAW By Joe Santos Jr.




Cover by David Blackstock

Life is Essential, Feel it 58








BE A LADY, THEY SAID By Deborah Cole





YOU ARE WORTHY! By Mari D. Martin



66 76




82 98


"Clean water, the essence of life and a birthright for everyone, must become available to all people now"


~Jean-Michel Cousteau

8 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e Seprtember 2021


Glamorous, beautiful, funny, talented, spirited, generous, and kind are just a few adjectives I would use to describe Hollywood star, Philanthropist, and animal lover, Ruta Lee. Her career spans more than 60 years of work on stage, film, and television as both an actress and dancer, and she has no intention of slowing down. She has worked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Vincent Price, Jerry Lewis, and James Garner, to name a select few, and she has received both a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Golden Palm Star on the Palms Springs Walk of Stars.

LEE By Dina Morrone




Ruta Lee, I read that you were born in Canada. Please tell us about your time growing up in Montreal and some of your fondest memories of your childhood? My Lithuanian-born parents were smart enough, even in their youth, to recognize that America was the land of opportunity where streets were paved with gold for those who worked hard. However, the immigrant quotas to the U.S. and those golden streets were closed in the late 1920s. Canada offered jobs in its Western wheat fields, so my dad took the opportunity and signed on for a year's labor. The following year he had earned enough to bring my mother over. Canada, that beautiful country, was very good to my parents - Greenhorns, from Lithuania. They lived and thrived in Montreal, where I was born. I remember that my first steps in show business were on the church stage and local amateur contest stages. I owe my career to my kindergarten teacher, who urged my mother to give me music and dancing lessons. That's right. I was a ham at the age of four. Thank God my mother agreed, and hard-earned money was spent on those lessons and practice, which I hated. To this day, I do not love rehearsals, but I do love performing! In looking back at my childhood, my peasant-born parents made my life somewhat privileged. We had a lovely single-family home (row houses were the norm) on the St. Lawrence River. Summers were spent fishing, picnicking, wild berry picking, and laying on haystacks looking at the clouds, daydreaming of the future. All of this in lieu of movie entertainment as in Montreal, movies were off-limits until 16 years of age. This regulation was brought on by a deadly movie theater fire in which many children perished in the exit melee. Once, to bypass the regulation, my movie-loving mother dolled me up with lipstick and an upswept hairdo, and I put on one of her fur coats. This 10-year-old passed for 16! Good make-up, good wardrobe, and good acting! That movie starred heartthrob Rory Calhoun. Who knew I would wind up co-starring in a future movie, The Gunhawk, with him. What brought you to Los Angeles? Eastern Canadian winters were brutal, and my father sought a warmer climate. My mother, however, clearly felt that I was Lithuania's answer to Shirley Temple. She knew nothing about Theater, or we would have wound up in New York. Because she knew only of movies, the warm climate she sought was in Hollywood. Once again, quotas to the U.S. after WW2 were closed to my parents. They were given only to displaced emigres. She moved mountains with prayers and positive thinking and got us to Hollywood.


I reflect on how brave my parents were to sell off everything they had built in Montreal, load up their new Buick, and head for the wild-wild west. The famous Route 66 adventure was unforgettable. One of the passengers was our parrot, uniquely named Polly, who sat on my father's shoulder, shouting directions all the way. My mother gave thanks and heaved a sigh of relief when she finally saw the tall California palms waving hello. Route 66 took us to Hollywood via the bountiful orange groves of San Bernardino, where we had to stop in awe to photograph orange trees at the foot of snowcapped mountains. That was the sun-kissed start of my life adventure in Hollywood.

What was your first professional acting role? What did you learn from that experience that stayed with you throughout your career and carried over to future roles? The first job I got paid for was a TV series called The Adventures of Superman (1952), from which I almost got fired! Being a novice, I knew nothing of Union regulations and plugged a Victrola into a wall socket (so that we could rehearse during lunch). An electrician bellowed a very loud reprimand. I promised I would never do that again and was allowed to stay.

This television role was followed by The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1953-1955), which at the time was absolutely huge. George Burns and Gracie Allen took a kindly interest in me and often invited me to join in their glamourous Maple Drive gatherings. I thought I'd gone to heaven as these were star-studded events. I was a novice at sophisticated patter as well, for as I stood chatting with an elegant gentleman, I commented somewhat cattily, "Oh lord, do you believe the outrageous outfit that woman is wearing?" To which the gentleman replied, "Yes, that's my sister." I covered my faux pas by immediately saying, "Oh Lord, isn't she lovely." I learned from George and Gracie that kindness and interest in young people are very important traits. I also learned that being non-judgmental is a trait that serves everyone well. You were in the Academy Award-nominated musical film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. As a young starlet, that must have been lifechanging. What was the most significant change after the high praise and recognition of your performance? To this day, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers remains my all-time favorite experience because I learned just what it takes and that filmmaking is damn hard work and not all glitz and glamour. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was made in the mid-'50s, which meant a six-day workweek, 12 hours a day. Six weeks were spent rehearsing the rigorous dance sequences that made this film iconic. At the daily warm-up with choreographer Michael Kidd, I wondered how did I get here, working with some of the best dancers in America. I recalled my big audition at MGM for the role in which I was asked to do a little ballet, a little jazz, and a little freestyle country dancing. I guess I excelled because my Lithuanian roots took over, and I polkaed up a storm! Perhaps my mother lighting candles and praying in the church across the street from the studio helped as well.

The most significant change was the change of my name Ruta Kilmonis which became Ruta Lee. After a rigorous P.R. campaign across the Western U.S. and all of Canada promoting Seven Brides as Ruta Lee, I found, much to my dismay (at the premiere), that someone forgot to make the name change on the movie end credits. This mistake, however, helped in getting my grandmother released from Siberia/Lithuania. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of the rare films that was allowed to be shown in The Soviet Union at those times. As a result, I became well known there, and my much-heralded call to Khrushchev in the Kremlin allowed me to visit Lithuania, where foreigners were not permitted entry unless they were high party officials. While there, I gained permission to bring my 95-year-old grandmother to the United States. I had been struggling with that for at least 12 years. For more details on this communist drama story, please read it in my book, Consider Your Ass Kissed!


MY DEAR FRIEND DEBBIE REYNOLDS, WHO WAS PRESIDENT, WAS THE ONE WHO INVITED ME TO BECOME A PART OF THIS IMPORTANT CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. THE THALIANS ARE NOW FOCUSED ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF OUR RETURNING VETERANS You worked with the legendary "Rat Pack." Please share with our readers a colorful story or incident you were a part of during that magical time? Long before I knew Frank Sinatra personally, I loved his music. I was too young to have experienced the screaming, fainting, and idolizing of Frank in his heyday, but I loved his albums of unrequited love songs. I was invited by a dear friend to join his table for Frank Sinatra's opening night at The Mocambo (then a Hollywood hot spot). The place was filled beyond capacity. We had a front-row table. Mr. Sinatra was working on a small dais in front of a stage-filled orchestra. Needless to say, he was, as always, mesmerizing. A note was delivered to our host asking to meet me. The sender introduced himself and his wife. He said, "I'm Arthur Hornblow Jr. I am producing a film called Witness for The Prosecution. I have just given you a unique screen test. I watched you watch Frank Sinatra, and I think you would be a good love interest for Tyrone Power in my movie. Can you come in and meet director Billy Wilder?" That is how I got to be in this iconic film with Tyrone Power, Marlena Dietrich, and Charles Laughton - all thanks to mesmerizing Frank Sinatra. Fade out, fade in. Frank Sinatra's favorite good evening was a small group of friends in for a good Italian dinner and a screening of a new movie for dessert. The movie one night was Witness for The Prosecution. Among his guests was Howard Koch, then a partner of Frank's. Frank commented to Howard during the screening, "I've been seeing this Ruta Lee chick a lot on T. V. what do you say we put her in an upcoming movie we're making?" Howard replied, "She's my favorite... let's do just that." That's how I wound up as leading lady to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. They made me feel like I was part of that incredible pack. Working with them was filled with nonstop laughter and joy.


The Hollywood Walk of Fame bestowed you with a Star for your long career in show business. Looking back on the day you received your star, what moved you the most about this acknowledgment? To be given the prime spot in front of Grauman's Chinese theater and have my dear friends, Alex Trebek, with whom I had worked as a co-host for many years on the game show High Rollers, and Debbie Reynolds, whom I'd known since the '60s, as my speakers, was an incredible honor for me. To have my star laid directly in front of the box office from which I was fired 16 years of age (because of my math issues) was the icing on my cake.

You have been involved in many charity organizations over the years. Please tell us about those dearest to you and how others can learn more about them? The City of Hope and The Cancer Fund have been very important to me for many years. But THE THAILIANS (Hollywood for mental health) is the charity organization that I have committed my life to support. It was started in 1955 by many notable Hollywood actors. Many more Hollywood personalities have come on board and devoted their time and energy to shining a spotlight on that dark abyss known as mental illness and bringing it into the light of healing. My dear friend Debbie Reynolds, who was President, was the one who invited me to become a part of this important charitable organization. The Thalians are now also focused on the mental health of our returning Veterans. Its mission is to raise enough funds to educate and enlighten the world about mental illness and eliminate its stigma. In addition, we have teamed up with UCLA'S OPERATION MEND, which provides advanced surgical and medical treatment for post-9/11-era warriors injured during combat operations or while training for service, and psychological healthcare for both vets and their families. Operation Mend heals the fractured and broken bodies, and The Thalians heal the broken and fractured mind and spirit. You can learn more and help us with our cause by going to our website or What have you always loved about living in Los Angeles that you can't find anywhere else? Climate and lifestyle! And it is the home of movie making and television clearly, the main source of entertainment for the world. Los Angeles has been home to so many legends and icons of cinema, television, and music, and you don't find that anywhere else in the world. My beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills has some of its own Hollywood history. It's where Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles lived! In 2021, you moderated a post-show of the critically acclaimed LGBTQ+ comedy /drama Electricity in Palm Springs. How did you become involved with this production? LGBTQ+ has always been a big part of show business and, therefore, a big part of my life. I never considered the wonderful, gifted, talented, artistic people who color my life as INITIALS and never will. They are dear friends and people I love!

Is there something on your bucket list you yearn to do and wish to accomplish this year? Yes, I wish to receive a call from Spielberg or Eastwood offering me a small but Academy award-nominated role. Please tell us about your special bond with Texas. Texas has provided me with 60 years of performing in front of the best audiences, who don't defy you to entertain them. They just come along for a great ride. It has also given me a lifetime of hospitable and loving friends. I am most thankful to Texas for the love of my life and husband of 46 years, Webb Lowe. How we met is another excellent story that is in my book. When you look back over your career, what do you want actors who are just embarking on their journey to take away from your life? My advice to young actors is be kind, non judgmental and get educated. All will help you through life in and out of show business.


Is there a particular hobby you enjoy doing? I enjoy dancing, crossword puzzles, and reading. But I especially love painting. Kirk Douglas once bought one of my works of art. *Side note, he still has not paid me, not even in his will! Two of your dearest friends were Lucille Ball and Debbie Reynolds. What are the qualities you admired in these two women, and what are some of the fun things you enjoyed doing with them away from the spotlight? Both Lucy and Debbie were beautiful, talented, exceedingly generous, and above all, these ladies were graceful survivors! Whether we were working on stage or sitting in the backyard together, laughing was what we loved most and did best.




What is a perfect day for Ruta Lee? I am blessed with a very busy and fulfilling life, so any day at home, inside or outside, with my dogs, cats, and very loud bird (all rescues), is heaven.

Special Thanks to: Ruta Lee Photography by: David Blackstock and James Franklin 16 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022


WHEN IT’S TOO TOUGH FOR THEM, IT’S JUST RIGHT FOR US A Foreword by Marv Levy with The Honorable Mayor Byron W. Brown

In “Thunder Snow of Buffalo: The October Surprise Storm,” Don Purdy, former Director of Football for the Buffalo Bills, and Billy Klun, licensed mental health clinician, provide the first official book about the famous surprise snowstorm that toppled trees and power lines all over the city, leaving over 70 percent of residents without power for days. With a foreword by Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy and input from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Purdy shares how the most destructive storm in the region’s history affected him and his family, his community, and the National Football League (NFL), and Buffalo’s landscape. Detailed contributions from the leading meteorologists at all three of Buffalo’s major television networks explain how it was truly the “Storm of the Century.” These players, coaches, and staff recount their own memories and never-before shared insights into the inner workings of the NFL and the Buffalo Bills organization. Their quick thinking and innovative operational adjustments helped the team handle the epic storm, as the entire city and Western New York region struggled with the overwhelming aftermath. The city’s recovery efforts were boosted by volunteers who were determined to replant the more than 55,000 lost trees and give the downed tree carcasses a proud second life – “Buffalo-style.” “It’s a unique blend of weather, history, and professional sports,” Klun said. “It’s a memento for the people who lived it, and a peek into how an NFL team handled an epic crisis.” 18 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022


irst, it was so nice to hear from Don and to admire his energy and the progress he has been making on the book now that he has finally finished shoveling away all that snow from the 2006 October Storm. I imagine he’s still got fourteen more years of shoveling to do before he catches up with the next inevitable and swiftly approaching winter, but, with his energy, I’m placing my bet on you, Don. When I first was offered the job as head coach of the Buffalo Bills back in 1986, team owner Ralph Wilson cautioned me that there were just two seasons a year in Buffalo. They were: 1. The Fourth of July 2. and Winter Over my coaching years there, I learned that, at times, it could seem to be that way, but I also jumped on the fact that we could adapt and that we could turn adverse weather to our team’s advantage during those stormy January-type days - inspired by our fantastic fans. We savored when we could play some games during that kind of weather, and it, in addition to our fans, inspired me to say, as I pointed across the field at our opponent’s bench just before the kickoff on many of our game days when the snow was pelting down when it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for us.


As I’ve often said, “Football doesn’t build character, it reveals character.” During those most unusual and treacherous mid-October days in 2006 (my first year back as General Manager), rather than lending itself to a competitive home-field advantage, the weather instead posed extraordinary operational and logistical trials. We, as an organization and community, faced an unexpected, uninvited, and unconventional opponent. But not surprisingly, the special challenges presented by this massive storm did indeed reveal great things about the collective character of the Buffalo Bills organization and the proud citizens of Buffalo. Readers are certain to enjoy learning about the details behind these efforts as well as the accompanying insightful “supporting stories.” It was also very thoughtful of Don to offer to donate some of the proceeds from this collection to a charity of my choice; if that all does work out, I happily mentioned the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital as a worthy recipient, which Don and Billy were more than in agreement with as well, in addition to plans for other local community organizations.


“Hi, Don, So great to hear from you again. I hope all is going well for you and Amy during this horrendous coronavirus pandemic fiasco. I am happy to report that Fran and I and all of our family members have been able to do the necessary “broken field running” needed to avoid contracting it. There is some benefit in flying past that 95th birthday (for me, not Fran. She’s still a young chick). Your progress in getting that exciting book out to the public sounds exciting, and I sure will look forward to receiving it and reading it. If I have any trouble with the big words, I’ll give Thurman Thomas a call. Best wishes to you, Amy, and all from both Fran and Me,Marv” - email from Marv Levy on March 25, 2021. Shortly before finalizing Thunder Snow of Buffalo, we were contacted by Lorey Schultz, Deputy Director of Communications for the office of the Mayor of Buffalo, the Honorable Byron W. Brown. We had reached out initially a few weeks earlier, as he, in his capacity as mayor, played a critical role in the response and recovery of Buffalo from this storm and as well as the continuing renaissance and revival of the Greater Buffalo Region. Given the demands on his time, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, we would have completely understood not receiving a response, but during the call, Lorey asked if there was still time for the Mayor to contribute a statement as the October Storm, particularly about how the response by the city’s citizens, businesses, and government, remains a deep source of pride and meaning for Mayor Brown. Lorey and the Mayor were relieved to learn we hadn’t yet gone to print and naturally, we were equally enthusiastic to hear his level of excitement for the memories and experiences of the Western New York community to be compiled collectively, including his own. 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OCTOBER STORM CONTRIBUTION FROM THE HONORABLE MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN When I think back to the “October Surprise,” I am reminded that every storm and every challenging circumstance has a way of bringing people and communities together. 15 years ago, I was just settling into my new role as Mayor of the City of Buffalo when this powerful early Lake Effect snowstorm snuck up on all of us, toppling trees, bringing down power lines, and leaving 70% of our residents without electricity for days. It was a severe situation and the first major storm emergency for my Administration.


I’ll never forget that first morning, driving into work and seeing the extensive damage and later urging residents to remain calm and patient, reassuring everyone that we would get through this together. The approach that helped me lead our community through this realized that, in situations like this, clear, consistent communication was critically important. Public safety was our first priority. Buffalo’s dedicated employees worked around the clock in the early days of the recovery. It was all hands on deck, with various city crews removing the hundreds of trees that were blocking streets or plowing our main roads, secondaries, and residentials.

We, as an organization and community, faced an unexpected, uninvited, and unconventional opponent. But not surprisingly, the special challenges presented by this massive storm did indeed reveal great things about the collective character of the Buffalo Bills organization and the proud citizens of Buffalo. We learned many lessons from this storm, including the importance of collaboration. Thousands of residents, businesses, and organizations volunteered to assist every step of the way. Nowhere was this more evident than in the rebuilding of our tree inventory. We lost hundreds of trees in this storm and had to work through years of lingering effects. Today, I’m pleased to say that, in partnership with Re-Tree of WNY and the Buffalo Green Fund, as well as a coordinated effort between City agencies and our local, state, and federal partners, surviving trees have returned to full growth, and the overall street tree population is now the same as it was before the Storm. As we reflect on the 15th anniversary of the “October Surprise Snowstorm”, I encourage all of our residents to think about the tremendous progress we have made while remembering the ways we came together, helped each other, and revealed the best in our people, reinforcing Buffalo’s reputation as the City of Good Neighbors. Just another day…? It was a dark and stormy night... Time out. Nope. Cue the record scratch.

That tired cliché will not begin this story. Despite the epic weather event that began on Thursday, October 12, 2006, and continued through the dark morning hours of the imminently ominous Friday the 13th, this story began instead most innocently... So, let’s start over as we, along with many other Western New Yorkers both near and far, share the remarkable events and their experiences surrounding the October Surprise Storm of 2006, one that actually crippled the tough, resilient city of Buffalo, New York, at least temporarily. Late on a Friday afternoon in October 2007, one year after the Storm, my friend Anthony had just landed at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on a flight from Tampa, Florida, where I picked him up for our third annual “Guys’ Weekend” or ironically, “The October Weekend,” as we dubbed it. Shortly after we pulled onto the New York State Thruway, Anthony looked out his passenger side window and remarked, “Oh my gosh... Wow.” Turning to look out his side of the car, I expected to see perhaps a deer or an accident, but I saw only green grass and lightly falling leaves – a normal, Buffalo autumnal scene. That normalcy alone was the reason for his amazement because, as Anthony remarked, “The last time I saw this place, it looked like Mad Max,” a fact I had forgotten about. He was now witnessing the mundane remnants of what he had last viewed as a post-apocalyptic wasteland: a few crooked trees that nature had chopped off at the knees surrounded by an otherwise normal landscape, at least to the locals who had adapted after recovering leaps and bounds from what Anthony had seen just one year before. Despite what we as locals saw as progress and normality, scars remained as Anthony then said, “You can still tell that something happened.” Like other Buffalonians, I’d become acclimated to the slow, gradual recovery over the past year, so my “wow factor” had faded. But Anthony’s reaction to the simplicity of seeing grass or just the repaired building roofs made me further appreciate what an amazing, collective job the citizens of the Greater Buffalo area, its businesses, and local governments did to regain this level of recovery. As a teenager, I too often recall ending up in an emergency room after breaking a bone, dislocating a joint, getting stitches, or suffering some oth-

er nasty sports injury and reflecting at day’s end, “When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that my day would end up here.” On October 12, 2006, the people of Greater Buffalo experienced that same scenario on a collective, grand scale. That is – they simply had no idea that their day (and the several days after) would end up like this. That Thursday was a fairly typical autumn morning in Western New York…….

Don Purdy was an executive with the Buffalo Bills Organization for 27 years, his last role serving as Director of Football Administration. Purdy saw the Bills through four Super Bowl appearances and managed a $20 million annual budget, expenses and Worker’s Compensation cases for the team. He is currently Senior Advisor for MVProspects, as a primary contact for the NFL and other professional sports franchises. He serves on the President’s Advisory Board for Houghton College, his alma mater. Purdy lives in West Seneca, N.Y., with his wife of 31 years, Amy. They have two daughters, Anna (McTigue) and Claire.


Billy Klun is a Licensed Mental Health Clinician (LMHC), specializing in addiction, geriatric and personality disordered populations, practicing at Column Health and Renz Counseling, outside of Boston, Mass. After receiving his degrees in Psychology and English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, Klun attained his MA in Mental Health Counseling at the Boston College Lynch School of Education, as well as his second master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston, in Management of Aging Services. He enjoys genealogy and spending time on Florida’s Gulf Coast with his dog, Alfred.


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PLANT SPIRITS By Lisa Estabrook


Each flower or plant species has its own plant spirit, or deva, who radiates unique healing energy and embodies specific soul qualities and universal spiritual truths. These soul energies are also present in each one of us like tiny seeds, dormant and waiting for the right conditions to sprout and grow. In this high-vibration, full-color deck, artist and plant whisperer Lisa Estabrook presents 44 beautiful and vivid Soulflower oracle cards and empowering and insightful messages from each card's plant spirit to help you tend the garden of your soul. The cards are designed to help you remember the simple truth that all of Nature is sharing—that we are cyclical beings intimately entwined with the Earth and all of life. Working with the cards will help you connect directly to your inner wisdom, your intuition, like a mirror reflecting at you the truth of what's in your heart. For example, Chamomile reflects the soul quality of stability, and its plant spirit reveals how, even on a cloudy day, the sun is still shining—it is just obscured. For Bleeding Heart, the soul quality is independence, and its plant spirit helps you to recognize and strengthen the true source of your heart's power. In the accompanying guidebook, Lisa offers ideas on using the Soulflower cards for daily self-reflection and personal growth. She includes a longer, more profound message from each Soulflower plant spirit and suggestions to help you embody the lessons shared. She shows how working with the cards provides potent plant spirit medicine to help you reconnect to Nature, recognize patterns in your thoughts, words, and actions, and expand your awareness of what is happening around and within you. By working with the Soulflower cards, you can learn from the plant spirits and awaken the seeds of your inner wisdom and intuition. As your understanding of the flowers and the interconnectivity of all of Nature deepens, your knowledge of yourself. And understanding yourself is true empowerment.


can't adequately express how hard it has been to write this moon cycle Deep Dive with Red Clover. The chaos that I am seeing and feeling all around in the external world is equally felt within me. I also know that the chaos showing up around me exists BECAUSE of the chaos within me. And so here I am with a desperately unsettled feeling inside that things are spinning out of control. However, I know enough by now, i.e., been through this too many times before, to recognize that the idea of control is really an illusion, and well, this feeling of uncertainty is more of an invitation and an indication that it is time to change, to expand, to grow further. The problem is, as always, that what that looks like is not clear. Red Clover's deliciously sweet blossoms are made up of many tiny, tubular dark pink (not red at all) flowers, literally whirling like a tiny tornado around a singular central base. Looking closely at the flower reminds me of how easy it is to get pulled away from our center, our truth, by all human existence's inherent chaos and confusion. There is no "spin" in Nature, however. Just the simple truth is that growth and change are inevitable and constant. In fact, it is the very basis of the Universe. It is always flowing, expanding, spiraling around to experience the next highest version of itself and the next bringing us right along with it. There is no separation. The spinning feeling, the uncertainty, and chaos that we feel are born from the belief that, as humans, we can somehow control the flow of life itself. Direct it to our will if we adhere to the "right" spin, the "right" way to go about life.

We like a plan—a nice comfortable, clear one. :) And we go out of our way to avoid pain and discomfort of any sort. We are trying to fix what we perceive as external problems when in truth, our own resistance to change (to growth) is creating the problem in the first place! Growth is always uncomfortable. Red Clover reminds me that in order to find my truth, I first have to detach from everyone else's. You can not underestimate the power of your BREATH to create the spaciousness that is needed to experience your life from a higher perspective. Honestly, you don't have to look too hard or go too far these days to find yourself surrounded by a gazillion conflicting ideas, opinions, and expectations flying around—making even the most steady of us feel dizzy and offbalance, especially when we allow all that energy and information to dominate our daily experience. The more we engage, the more we attempt to control, fight, or even make sense of what is happening the more we get pulled into the chaos. Eventually, it becomes hard to differentiate what is our own experience and truth and what is someone else's. So Red Clover asks us to disengage from what may be happening around us with the power of our breath and spiral into our centers where we can become fully present with what is happening. She asks us to find our "centers of truth" and create from and flow from that place. I take a closer look at Red Clover's flower, and each little tubular petal feels like a potential "rabbit hole" to me—a fearbased attachment that can pull me away from my peaceful center if I allow it.

Humans do not like uncertainty!


I remember to breathe. And with every breath, I ask myself, where am I directing my energy? Am I being unconsciously pulled in a direction I do not desire, or am I consciously choosing what I engage with? This is perhaps the only thing we do have any control over—that is, HOW WE CHOOSE to respond to what is happening. I remember to breathe. Again. How I choose to respond requires an enormous amount of self-honesty because what it boils down to is whether my choices are rooted in fear or come from my center of truth, which is always LOVE. When I am not flowing with my center of truth, I can feel it!

experience is for your own highest good so that you can grow into the next highest version of yourself. Evolution. And that is what we are going through, individually and collectively. And all this feels hard to express! But what I do know clearly is that if we want to find PEACE, if we are going to grow as a society, as a human race, we will have to let go of control, find our centers and let our hearts lead the way. Red clover asks us to find our center amidst the spin. Be in the world but not of the world and remember that peace—Sanctuary—is ALWAYS found within.

And then (and this is the hard part) I have to honor what I feel! Our bodies are so, so wise. They let us know what is aligned and resonant and equally what is not right away. Only the problem is that our minds— filled with fear-based programming, judgments, labels, and ingrained beliefs—literally override the messages our bodies are trying to convey. {FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real} If we feel bad, we think something must be wrong, and usually, that leads to blaming an external source for our pain. We immediately move into judgment. Red Clover gently supports us in remembering how to FEEL everything yet not attaching to each feeling. Simply witness, observe, and allow everything we feel about move through us. It's not easy! Ah yes, this thing is happening right now, and it doesn't feel good, but in this next moment, or this one perhaps, we breathe back to center and move on through it all. Flow. To be in flow means you can move through your life without judgment, knowing everything you


Lisa Estabrook is an artist, wayshower, herbalist, and plant whisperer who has spent the last 30 years remembering how to create a meaningful, heart-led, healthy, and joyful life with plant spirits as her loving guides. The founder of the online Soulflower CommUNITY Garden, Lisa lives in Yarmouth, Maine.




HERE’S WHY By Amy Neswald



t twenty-eight, I was older than most of the other students in beauty school when classes started. A few girls had just graduated high school, and others had already worked in salons. And then there were a few like me, people looking for a different way to make a living. I’d tried being an actor in New York City for eight years, to no avail. I’d found myself stuck in the dream machine, feeding money to the shady industry that dangled vague promises of success in front of hopeful actors like a carrot. On the first day, we received our kits, including two mannequin heads, a set of plastic rollers, cheap scissors, a comb, a brush, a jar of Queen Helene green gel, and another pot of cholesterol. There was a smock with the school acronym LIBS and a cutting cape - everything a beginner at beauty school might need. The teacher, Ms. Evalyn, said in her Staten Island accent: “If you finish this course, you’ll never be without five dollars in your pocket.” To this day, I’ve found this to be true. I finished the course. I earned my license. And I don’t think I’ve ever been without enough scratch to buy myself, or someone else, a cup of coffee. I didn’t feel it at the time as I suffered through getting lost in a haircut on the school’s salon floor or

lumbering through a poodle perm, but taking the chance on beauty school not only changed the trajectory of my life. It allowed me the space to be as uncomfortable and bad as I needed to be as I embarked on learning a skill I had no talent for and no earthly idea of how even to start. But it did present the tools I needed to learn how to learn. Each new step launched a new challenge, and with each new challenge, I found myself a perpetual beginner again, caught in an endless loop of pushing forward and circling back. Every long journey was comprised of a series of mini-journeys reliant on my willingness to listen not only to my human teachers but also to the materials I was working with, who were the real teachers. The benefits of the beginner’s mind are well documented. The absence of expectation is a boon to the human experience; an open mind is key. But aside from all that, being a perpetual beginner has other benefits as well. A life of learning keeps things fresh. The connections between disparate ideas and skills become apparent. And when a hopeful beginning ends in abject failure, as it did when I earned my motorcycle license, despite driving a scooter into a ditch, one not only learns about the benefits of failure but that a whole new beginning lays in wait.





Some beginnings are simple. Learning to bake bread. Hiking Maine mountains. Reading a book in a genre, you’ve never read before. Some are more complex. They are adopting a pet and, learning to drive, getting married. They are starting a new profession. And other new beginnings are thrust upon us – the times in life when a person doesn’t choose the beginner’s path, the path chooses them. The new experience of having a child, for instance. Or ushering a loved one into death – the sort of new beginning that occurs when something else ends. What if the practice of beginning and of learning is also the practice of humility? What if living life as a perpetual beginner teaches us to weather the hardest beginnings with a little grace, a little kindness, and maybe, even within the pain of loss, a tiny, perhaps nearly invisible, glimmer of hope?

isn’t afraid of failure. And with those evolutions, you live and see a brighter life.

It might not seem logical but stepping into LIBS that first day of classes released a chain of events, beginnings, endings, and middles that forked like rivers or cracks in the glass. It led me to work backstage on Broadway, a whole new world that I explored for over fifteen years. Working in theater is one of the very few places where working on a different job every year is an asset as opposed to a liability. Every new show was a fresh, new beginning and required new ways of thinking, new strategies, new experiments, and new subtle and surprising teachers. I suspect this practice and profession of beginnings and endings led me to graduate school, which led me to write a book, which led me here, writing this article, another new beginning, for I’ve never written on being a perpetual beginner before. Ms. Evelyn knew the score as she led us through unpacking our kits, counting our rollers, and setting up our mannequin heads that first day. In my memory, she had a slightly mischievous quirk at the corner of her mouth as she watched us struggle to comb our mannequins’ knotted hair. None of us were good. All of us were beginners. This moment, she knew, would be the beginning of things we never saw coming. This New Year, dare to become a perpetual beginner. Learn a new skill, start a new hobby, and pick back up the instrument you played in high school. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. You’ll become a better listener...with a more open mind...who


Fiction writer and screenwriter Amy Neswald was awarded the New American Fiction Prize for her debut novel-in-stories, I Know You Love Me, Too. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Normal School, Bat City Review, and Green Mountain Review. Her screenplay The Placeholder was awarded the Best Screenplay award at the Rhode Island Film Festival in 2008. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maine when she is not writing and continues plugging away at her animated short films about monster children.



Essentials of

Medical Intuition: A VISIONARY PATH TO WELLNESS By Wendie Colter, MCWC, CMIP


he illuminating skill of medical intuition is designed to provide fast, pertinent intuitive health assessments that can be used as both a standalone practice and as a powerful support to the healthcare of every kind. Medical intuition is intended to uncover the hidden sources of energetic resistance that may be blocking optimal health and to create an essential and practical roadmap for full-spectrum wellbeing. The skill of intuitive insight has been part of the human experience for millennia. Throughout history, oracles, sages, and seers have used intuitive skills to help people interpret the deeper meanings hidden within the events of their lives. In every era and culture across the globe, those gifted with “second sight” were the trusted cornerstones of their communities, embodying the roles of healers, leaders, and counselors. Socrates wrote about an “inner voice” that gave him valuable instructions, which he claimed he could hear as clearly as any conversation.1 Painters, poets, authors, and musicians refer to their muse, the mercurial energy that overtakes them when deeply engaged in

the creative process. Inventors, scientists, and physicists, including Faraday, Kelvin, Gauss, and Tesla, were familiar with Archimedes’ eureka effect – a powerful “Aha!” moment of lucidity that brings sudden clarity and inspiration. Albert Einstein wrote, “It is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity,” and famously relied on frequent power naps to intuitively spark his scientific theories.2 Many great thinkers and cultural leaders have also openly acknowledged the importance of intuition in their work and their lives, including physician Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine; psychologist Carl G. Jung; media executive Oprah Winfrey; and entrepreneur Richard Branson. Intuition permeates our lives. We may recognize it as gut feelings, hunches, or uncanny, even illogical, occurrences of knowing, feeling, or sense. Although this may be new to you, intuition is being used every day by medical doctors, nurses, and mental health therapists in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. Holistic health providers, such as naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and energy-based practitioners, may also use their intuition. These wellness professionals have that “special something” their patients and clients all seem to appreciate.


The word “intuition” comes from the Latin intuits, meaning “to gaze at or contemplate.” It is defined as “a direct perception of truth, fact … independent of any reasoning process.”3. Perhaps the reasoning process appears to be missing because our intuitive perceptions can’t be pigeonholed into our five universally accepted senses of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Intuition truly is our “sixth sense.” Misconceptions, Myths, and Taboos There is a great deal of misunderstanding about natural intuitive abilities in our modern world. When I discuss the misconceptions surrounding intuition with medical professionals, I ask them for the first image they think of when they hear the word “psychic.” Take a moment to imagine in your mind’s eye what you think of when you read that word. For most people, the flashing neon sign of a storefront palm reader or the iconic image of a mystical woman with a crystal ball springs to mind. People are understandably wary of this kind of connotation, especially in the critical area of healthcare. Societal and cultural taboos have marginalized the field of intuitive development for centuries due to superstition, fears of charlatanism, religious stigma, and passed-down cultural beliefs. Over the years, as the advancement of medical science has allowed us to enjoy longer and healthier lives, it has also ingrained the idea that its methods are the most rational and effective. As a result, anything claiming to support health that isn’t part of mainstream medicine is likely to be considered ineffectual or fraudulent. Yet when I ask wellness providers if they’ve ever acted on their intuition, even as a hunch or gut feeling about a patient or client’s issues, which proved to be accurate, there are nods of recognition all around. Frequently, when I speak at health conferences, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals approach me to share their own extraordinary intuitive encounters in confidential but excited voices. Some tell me they have worked with a medical intuitive at least once in their practice, often to consult on a difficult case. Many want to learn more about how to grow and develop their own intuition. They are highly supportive of the need for more peer-reviewed research, transparency, and acceptance of the skill.

Perhaps the reasoning process appears to be missing because our intuitive perceptions can’t be pigeonholed into our five universally accepted senses of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Intuition truly is our “sixth sense.” 36 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

It is important to remember that even a relatively short time ago, the topic of intuition would never have been deemed remotely appropriate for a healthcare conference. That we can now talk about intuition in a brightly lit conference hall and not huddled in a basement somewhere – the way doctors had to hide their discoveries in centuries past – I consider a major leap forward! But within the confines of typical conventional medicine environments, the atmosphere to discuss intuitive observations is still so stifled that most healthcare professionals are afraid to mention any of their experiences to colleagues. It’s not hard to understand their concerns. From my perspective, though, it is just as important to be open-minded as it is to be skeptical. After all, science is constantly evolving. What was once off-limits is now a key part of thoughtful, integrative care. For example, when combined with the advances of Western medicine, clinicians are seeing significant benefits for patients using holistic disciplines such as acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal medicine, whole-food nutrition, and evidence-supported energy healing methods.4. Even the United States Veterans Administration has adopted a cutting-edge initiative called Whole Health, which incorporates meditation, nutrition, yoga, and more.5. These innovative concepts are transforming healthcare by emphasizing a “whole-person” approach to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. In this new frontier, medical intuition has a fundamental role to play. Aren’t You Just Born With It? “What’s the symbol?” my sister asked, holding up a Zener card but hiding the image from my view. I scrunched up my face in an eight-year-old’s approximation of deep concentration, trying to “receive” the image she was sent to me with her mind. “A circle?” I asked. “Right!” she exclaimed and turned the card around to reveal a circle symbol. Then it was my turn to pick a card for her, and the game continued. Even though I didn’t always get the correct answer, it was thrilling when I did – and I loved the challenge either way. Just as some children show an early aptitude for scholastic abilities such as math or sports, many display a natural talent for intuition. Parents and teachers usually encourage kids who excel in their favorite subjects. However, a child who excels in intuition may be shushed, thwarted, or ignored because of a lack of understanding. This might even have been the case for you. That doesn’t mean your intuition can’t be

re-ignited or even developed later in life. It just indicates that our society currently knows very little about the value of intuition.

It isn’t only for a select few or uniquely gifted individuals. We are all born with it.

In many ways, I was lucky. Intuition was not openly discussed in our home, but it wasn’t discouraged either. My mother, an artist, fostered an open and tolerant atmosphere for all creative pursuits. I found out much later that one of my mother’s dear friends, the photographer Hella Hammid, who took beautiful pictures of our family, was also a renowned psychic. Hella worked with extrasensory perception (ESP) researcher Russell Targ on his experiments in remote viewing for the U.S. government. She also accompanied researcher Stephan A. Schwartz on his archaeology endeavor, the Alexandria Project, where she helped to intuitively locate the ruins of the palace of Cleopatra and other phenomenal discoveries. Zener cards were invented by perceptual psychologist Karl Zener and parapsychologist Joseph B. Rhine for their legendary ESP experiments at Duke University, North Carolina. I believe Hella gave me the Zener card set to provide quiet encouragement in developing my intuition. However, for many of the people I teach, intuition was not discussed or even understood in their upbringing. People most often experience intuition as an intuitive “hit” when they least expect it. Without warning, like a bolt of lightning, we sense, feel or “get” information that we had no way of previously knowing. I call this having a “flash of insight” – a random moment of intuitive clarity. Flashes of insight are wonderful and can be quite profound. But they can also be unpredictable, unrepeatable, and incomplete. Medical intuition is a systematic, deliberate method of asking for and receiving information directly from both the physical body systems and the subtle energy systems of the body, also referred to as the “biofield.” Medical intuition may sound like an incredible superpower, but I believe intuition is a hardwired, natural human trait that anyone can develop and optimize into a practical and useful skill. Simply put, learning how to build your intuition is much like learning how to speak a new language, play an instrument, or strengthen a muscle. It takes correct instruction, plenty of practice, and time.

Wendie Colter has been a professional medical intuitive for more than 20 years. The founder/CEO of The Practical Path®, Inc., her accredited certification program, Medical Intuitive Training™, has been pivotal in helping healthcare professionals develop and optimize their intuition. Wendie’s trailblazing research in medical intuition has been åpublished in the peer-reviewed Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. She is the author of Essentials of Medical Intuition: A Visionary Path to Wellness (Watkins Publishing).






s it possible to go beneath the practical, day-to-day use of money to find holistic and spiritual ways in which the symbolism of money can be used for self-exploration and a deepening of our sense of self and our connection to community? Aesop tells the story of a miller who sells everything he owns to buy gold which he buries in a field. One night a thief steals this treasure. When the miller complains, an un-


sympathetic neighbor suggests the miller replace his lost gold with a stone since he never used the gold for anything. Such an ordinary stone would certainly appear to be valueless, but often valueless things come to have value if seen in a new light. Part of this process may involve seeing ourselves in a new light and unearthing inner riches of which we were previously unaware.

Famed psychologist C. G. Jung tells of a game that he played as a boy of eight or nine. In the family garden, a large stone jutted up. As a boy, Jung felt this stone belonged to him. In his game, he would think: "I am sitting on top of this stone, and it is underneath." But the stone could also have an "I," so the stone could say, "I am lying here on this slope, and he is sitting on top of me." Jung would then struggle with the question of whether he was sitting on the stone or whether he was the stone on which he was sitting. The question fascinated him, and the answer was ambiguous, a pleasing mystery that led the boy to sit for hours speculating on his stone. The image of a stone is that of an eternal substance. The stone will last after the flesh has vanished, so the stone will long outlast the boy. If the boy, on the other hand, is the stone, some life of the boy will survive the frailty of his own flesh. In other words, as Jung later recognized, his meditations on the stone were meditations on his soul, a soul as yet unnamed by the boy but existing nonetheless and awaiting the journey of discovery that became the central drama of Jung's life. Most of us experience trials of the soul as inner struggles. Often these struggles lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the life to which each of us is best suited. But when that potential is buried, the miller, or anyone like him, experiences the painful loss of not being all that person might be. The relationship between money, which is outer richness, and soul, which is inner richness, can easily confuse us. When we imagine, like the miller, that gold is all-important, we lose connection to our inner riches. The Bible frequently delves into this paradox which has always been so much a part of all of our lives. As Jesus Christ starts for Jerusalem, he is approached by a wealthy man who asks, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him to observe the Commandments, but the man says he has observed them from his youth. Then

Jesus says, "sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But the man has great wealth and departs in sorrow. Of all those whom Jesus specifically invited to follow him, only this wealthy man refused. Jesus then observes that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." So, the largest beast in Judea can more easily pass through the smallest opening than a rich man discover the wealth of his inner life. Why should this be so? The problem is easy to state but not so easy to understand or resolve in our daily lives. Money lends itself to the belief that it is the source of well-being and abundance. In this way, money appears to be the divine source. Thinking this way makes us worship money rather than the richness within ourselves. So money presents a paradox. On the one hand, the very nature of money lends itself to use as a symbol for spirit. On the other hand, money is merely a symbol and cannot truly be a substitute for inner resources. As Jesus declares, "You cannot serve God and mammon." The danger facing those with wealth is that they may worship it as a false god. This worship of money places the divine realm outside of the seeker, who loses the ability to search for and develop inner resources. Money, gold, and property will always be external to us and subject to the vagaries of good and bad fortune. If we trust that we have within us the capacity to live a spiritual life, that we possess an inner stone which Jung called the Self, then in the natural process of living that inner life, we will also take care of our outer needs. The inner search is not a denial of our outer needs but rather, in part, a way of learning the right attitude and actions with which to deal with the outer world -- including money and ownership.


No perfect model is offered here. We cannot find rules that will absolve us of the effort to undertake our own inner quest. On the one hand, Jesus tells of a man who stores enough food and drink to last for years and intends to take it easy. But God calls the man a fool because his very life is to be taken from him that night. This Parable of the Rich Fool concludes, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." Whether outer riches should be kept or given, and to what degree, will vary from person to person. What does not vary is the need to embark on the journey of self-discovery.

our own consciousness, which he describes as "spiritual, infinite, and ever-present." If we are aware of this inner richness, this inner source that is continuously fruitful, we can come to accept money as "the natural and inevitable result of the law active within." If this infinite supply is indeed within us, we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We are used to dealing with limitations; we are comfortable with the familiarity of limitations. We have only so much money; we have only so much food, so much clothing, so much space in which to live. However, if we find a source of infinite richness within, we are no longer dealing with limitations. Suddenly the very nature of wealth changes. The wealth of the outer world is increased by receiving: by wages, by profits, by income, by possession. The wealth of the inner world begins by being boundless. It cannot be increased by receiving. To enjoy the wealth that is inner richness, we must seek a way to circulate what we have. Goldsmith states this very well in The Art of Spiritual Healing, "If you want to enjoy the abundance of supply, you must open a way for that supply to escape."

We will inevitably take care of our material needs if we remain aware of the richness that lives within us. That richness is the source of our supply, not money, houses, clothing, and all the other manifestations of our energies working in the world. In The Infinite Way by Joel Goldsmith, this concept of supply is expressed as follows: "money does not supply, but is the result or effect of supply. There is no such thing as a supply of money, clothes, homes, automobiles, or food. All these constitute the effect of supply, and if this infinite supply were not present within you, there never would be the added things in your experience." This concept of supply is difficult to understand in age so devoted to mass production, mass consumption, the advertising which seeks to link consumption and production, and laws of supply and demand seen in the marketplace. In contrast to all this, Goldsmith views the law of supply as


In cultivating an attitude of giving, whether what is given is small or great, we learn how giving increases our awareness of our own richness. In giving, we may feel gratitude for what we have already received, but to hope or expect either material or spiritual rewards will diminish the realization of our inner richness. Of course, we might speak of giving love, understanding, support, shelter, or food and as well as speak of giving money. Giving money does not replace the flow of other kinds of giving but may teach us about the nature of giving itself. Also, money has the unique power to represent everything that is marketable, whether goods or services and so can purchase what is necessary to meet innumerable needs.


Money is a marker in the experience of giving. Where we make our money flow -- whether to those in need or to endow charitable, religious, and educational organizations--we realize that our love, understanding, compassion, and selfless volunteer work can flow as well. These sacrifices move us away from the worship of money (which is only a tool) and reveal to us the reality of human interdependence and inner richness. Charitable giving springs from human compassion, the natural concern that we feel in response to the suffering of others.

we dare to respond, who knows what riches may be unearthed.

At the source of our inner wealth, we are rich in so many ways. Giving money is one way. Giving of our feelings and time is another way. But there are even more inward routes to this richness: prayer, meditation, the joy of artistic creation, and the exploration of the imagination. One important gift is the one we give to those aspects of ourselves which are poor. Just as Jung learned from the stone of his own eternal nature, so we can seek to heal ourselves by what we learn from the experience of our own inner richness. Even in the richest society in the world, many of us experience poverty within The feeling that we are not worthy, that we are not loved or capable of loving, that we are not all that we might be, that we are not whole. This article began with the story of the miller who sold all he owned to buy gold. Being a miser, he then buried this precious substance and refused to circulate it in the world. Since he could not move his energy into the world, he could not receive back the replenishment that we find in exchanges with others (whether of money, food, or emotions). He had buried his soul and lost the potential to grow inwardly. In the realm of the soul, there is no resting place. If we do not grow -- growth being the realization of our natural richness, the coming to know and the acceptance of what we most truly and deeply are -- then we lose our precious treasure. One night, or night after night, a thief comes and steals what might have been ours. But if we are fortunate enough to take the advice of a wise neighbor, we may bury a stone in the empty hole that the thief has pillaged. One day, we may hear the stone speak a few words, and, if

Tad Crawford is the author of many nonfiction books and his writing has appeared in venues such as Art in America, The Café Irreal, Confrontation, Communication Arts, Family Circle, Glamour, Guernica, The Nation, and Writer's Digest. The founder and publisher of Allworth Press, he lives in New York City.” Or, if you prefer: “He is the founder and publisher of Allworth Press. He lives in New York City


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MOVING BEYOND YOUR PAST "Sooner or later, she had to give up the hope for a better past." ~Irvin D. Yalom


turned 50 last year, and it was nothing less than a massive and rather painful wake-up call. As I quietly reflected on my life to date, I was filled with sadness and anxiety about all the life I had not yet lived and all the years wasted due to my tendency to always look back instead of forwards. At the same time, I had also finally come to the realization that what I had been experiencing for so many years were symptoms of complex trauma as a result of my early childhood deprivations. These two huge realizations coalesced in me and gave me a renewed sense of determination to finally pursue the life I am meant to be living. In his book on trauma, 'The Body Keeps the Score,' Bessel van der Kolk reminds us, "Being traumatized is not just an issue of being stuck in the past; it is just as much a problem of not being fully alive in the present ."This hit the nail on the head for me and consolidated my turning point.


Being stuck in the past is very common for people as most of us have suffered something traumatic at one time in our life, particularly in childhood which continues to leave long-lasting damage in peoples' lives. Furthermore, faith in ourselves to feel any different or better, or to even dare to want a better life, often feels very out of reach for people with a history of trauma. As if they don't deserve to even desire a happier life. This belief is deeply entrenched and causes a myriad of problems in its wake. Yet, it IS possible to move forwards and desist from staying stuck in the past and on an endless loop of ruminating and analyzing what happened to us long ago. Please take it from one who has very easily fallen into this trap and spent years of my life stuck in the pain, sorrow, and anger of my past: That it is possible to stop this cycling, and it is possible to start to move forwards.

Photo by Sergei Solo

I think that this is actually where the real healing starts to happen. I don't mean by ignoring or denying what has happened to us, but rather by fully accepting that was my past and owning it, feeling the pain and emotions connected to what happened, but then really making a commitment to yourself that you will move beyond the pain. That you will commit to yourself and your life now and start to build the life you've so longed for. As existential psychiatrist and author Irvin D. Yalom suggests, a big part of this process is to stop wishing our past had been a different one and instead accept what happened to us in all of its rawness. To face the truth of how our life has been up until now so that we may finally find the strength and determination to create the life we want. How this happens in practice is by starting to shift the amount of time spent thinking about and putting energy into our past and those connected to it. Cutting necessary ties to anyone who wants to keep us stuck in this cycle is vital, and this can include close family members more often than people like to admit. But it can also include the types of therapy or support we choose to commit to. We need to find the helping professional and approach that fits with our true, most authentic selves. One which acknowledges, honors, and supports our innate capacities and qualities. Someone who sees immediately who we really are at our deepest core and who can offer support and guidance which bolsters these qualities in us, rather than criticizes, misunderstands, or seeks to make us live a life that is out of synch with who we actually are. One of the many positive benefits of my equine partnered work is that when engaging with horses, we have to be much more focused on the present moment, the here and now, than on what happened to us in the past. Indeed, horses aren't at all interested in our backstory. Rather, they are much more interested in how we feel right now, what thoughts are blocking our energy and focus, and what is lodged in our body that needs help to be faced and released. And specifically, what we can do at the moment to change this in ourselves. Then, the second we make a change in the right direction, the horse affirms this to us through a positive response, often in the form of making a closer connection or initiating touch and affection. In this moment of close connection, we feel wanted, supported, and loved, all of which


is immensely healing, and we start to build faith in ourselves that moving forward in a more positive way is something we are allowed to want and can achieve. As humans, we can get so utterly stuck in our own thought patterns and beliefs, which in turn create emotional patterns such as depression, guilt, shame, and sadness. And it simply doesn't help to keep endlessly talking about the same issue again and again. However, by working in a gentle, experiential, and embodied way with horses, we can learn to unlock these patterns and actually experience what it feels like to move forwards. Often in a session, this can involve us moving physically forward or being able to encourage the horse to move, which indicates physical energy being unblocked once an emotion is fully felt and/or a thought pattern or belief is changed. Then participants actually experience and feel a sense of forward movement and an accompanying sense of relief, which they can also metaphorically take into their lives afterward; a sense of more purpose, direction, power, and relief. There are many steps involved in recovering and creating the life we want, and the above is but a snapshot of some of the key areas that need focus and attention. Ultimately, however, if we find the right support and start to align our core innate self with the life that fits for us, we can't help but be on the right track. And maybe finally, we can dare to dream of living the life we want instead of endlessly repeating what has been up until now.

Angela Dunning is a regular contributor to The Eden Magazine. She is the author of The Horse Leads the Way: Honoring the True Role of the Horse in Equine Facilitated Practice. Angela writes regularly on Facebook: You can learn more about Angela and her work helping people and horses at:

Spiritual Growth Checkpoint: By Sherri Cortland, ND

Conscious Transformation & The Evolution of our


hen we speak of evolution, we are speaking about transformation. We are speaking about becoming more than we currently are.

Consciously transforming ourselves, consciously evolving into something more than we are today, takes resolve, focus, and hard work. But it's worth the effort for us to take action (s) that will bring us closer to being the people we want to be and living the lives that we want and deserve, don't you agree? The definition of transformation is 'change in form, appearance, nature, or character,' and I can't help but visualize butterflies emerging from their cocoons whenever I hear or read the word transformation. For me, each syllable exudes positive energy, inspiration, and the possibility of shifting and changing into something new and better.



Photo by k_yu/Adobe Stock

AS WE CONTINUE TO WAKE UP TO WHO WE TRULY ARE (AN ASPECT OF GOD/ GODDESS/SOURCE/ CREATOR), WE UNDERSTAND MORE AND MORE THAT TO CONSCIOUSLY MOVE OURSELVES FORWARD, TAKING ACTION IS NECESSARY As we continue to wake up to who we truly are (an aspect of God/Goddess/Source/ Creator), we understand more and more that to consciously move ourselves forward, taking action is necessary. This understanding, coupled with the knowledge that because of who we truly are, we have the power to mold ourselves and make positive changes, places us firmly at the wheel when it comes to conscious transformation. So how do we get started? According to my friend Paula Renaye, author of Living the Life you Love (The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation), we can create new versions of ourselves by recognizing the negative life scripts we've immersed ourselves in and taking action to "…stop doing the

same old things we swore we wouldn't and repeating the same old dramas we know the outcome of." Paula states that when we stop repeating old patterns, we will gain new perspectives and new freedom; that by being willing to do what we've never done, by willing ourselves to be different, we will take the first step towards who we've always been meant to be. When Paula shared with me that we need to "become willing" to move forward, it resonated on a soul level with me. I quickly realized that Paula's words of wisdom are another way of saying what my Guide Group (The "GG") has been channeling for the last 30 years about Windows of Opportunity.


According to the "GG," as we outlined the chapters of our current incarnation, we decided what we wanted to learn and experience. We then created many Windows of Opportunity for each instance so that eventually, we would accomplish the task. When we miss windows, we create life scripts, and as the saying goes, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." The solution: taking the time to do a quick life review in order to spot negative life scripts is an excellent way to prepare ourselves for when the next window opens. At that point, we can change the way we've been dealing with the situation and create the desired outcome. For more on Windows of Opportunity, please visit my website Have you heard of the Universal Law of Soul Evolution? This law is not one that's in the forefront of our thoughts like the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) and the Law of Attraction (as in The Secret), but it's important to every soul incarnated on Earth because we are all here to evolve. I love how the folks at define this law: ' Everyone on Earth shares the goal of Soul evolution whether they realize it or not. We have reincarnated because we desire to evolve spiritually. By rising above all of our fear-based emotions and, in so doing, learning how to express unconditional love, we raise our vibrational rate and move closer to a state of harmony. Even where it appears that we are not evolving, we are, in reality, making progress. We learn through the pain of our disharmonious acts, which can be viewed as our mistakes or failures. This is the law of soul evolution.' Dr. Frank Alper also wrote about this law in his book, Universal Law for the Aquarian Age, and gives us further insight:' …The law states that when a soul has evolved to a predetermined level, it has earned the right to end its series of karmic physical incarnations and assimilate within the vibrations of the Spirit Core. At that point, it is the soul's choice either to begin new levels of evolution immediately or to voluntarily remain within the present vibrations to do service in assisting other souls who have not yet completed their patterns. A soul may not avoid its obligations of growth.'


So, what does all of this mean to us with regard to conscious transformation and the evolution of our soul? Here are three things (a Spiritual triple "BOGO") we can do immediately to help us use the power we were born with to move forward… -As Paula says, "Become Willing." One way to do so is to become aware of what's going on in our lives, search out those repeating patterns, and change up the way we view and deal with repeating situations. •

Make this quote from Sean Patrick Flanery a daily affirmation: 'Do something today that your future self will thank you for.' It's an excellent motivation to help us make positive changes.

- Cliché as it may be, paying attention to our thoughts, words, and actions is something that will allow us to make immediate and continued progress. This is universal wisdom that will set us firmly on the road to consciously participating in our evolution. Dear Readers, you have within you the power to move forward, to consciously transform, and expedite the evolution of your soul—that is the power of YOU!

Sherri Cortland has been communicating with her Guide Group, the “GG,” since 1987 via automatic writing. Much of the information she has received is included in her four books, which were originally published by Ozark Mountain Publishing and are currently available on her website and on Amazon. On Sherri’s website, you will find several free classes and meditations, along with more articles and workshops on video.


World premiere of ground-breaking ‘one world’ oratorio

Saturday, May 14th, 2022, 7.30 pm in London and streamed live & on demand

The Eden Magazine featured another creative inspired by Ken Wilber’s life and work as the cover story for our June 2021 edition: Sebastien Siegel directed the film Grace and Grit, based on Wilber’s book, the deeply moving and profound story of Wilber’s wife Treya’s journey with cancer.


he world premiere of Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio, a ground-breaking and inspirational new sacred choral work, will be on May 14th at St Giles’ Cripplegate in London, by the London with Mozart Players, Excelsis, and Vox Farnham Chamber Choirs, conducted by Rob Lewis. The concert will be streamed live and on-demand for seven days. Blue Pearl is the first choral piece composed by Steve Banks, a successful classical and folk musician, and songwriter. The central image in this inspiring major new choral work is the earth seen from space: a Blue Pearl, a fragile, beautiful, living planet, a unity-in-diversity. Steve is part of the emerging ‘Integral’ movement in the arts, inspired by the comprehensive map of human potentials pioneered by American philosopher Ken Wilber (you don’t need to know Wilber’s work to appreciate the piece). A central theme of Blue Pearl is that we are at a time when humanity needs to act ‘in concert’ as never before, understanding the earth as a whole.


“Blue Pearl is the first sacred choral work inspired by the Integral vision,” says Steve. “If ‘world’ music celebrates the diversity of cultures, then Blue Pearl is ‘one world’ music, celebrating the unity which embraces all of that diversity.” “Blue Pearl conveys a spirituality rooted in a rational worldview and open to anyone, from an existing religious tradition or none. It’s rooted in the western classical tradition, yet boldly innovative, and genre-defying.” Ken Wilber was thrilled when he heard Blue Pearl, describing it as “A wonderful, exciting musical composition; a superb, exhilarating, magical piece of music.” When Rob Lewis was invited to conduct the world premiere, he was particularly excited by the vitality and variety of the mu-

sic: “Blue Pearl is a wonderful and moving celebration of our shared humanity. Steve has used different styles of music to great effect to evoke the full compass of human experience: from joy, humor, and sexuality to the opening of our hearts in compassion, to the spiritual mystery we encounter in stillness and silence.” Blue Pearl includes text from the writings of Ken Wilber, an American philosopher, and writer on transpersonal psychology and Integral theory: a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, the much-loved Vietnamese Zen monk who recently passed away; with the remainder by Steve Banks. Tickets for Blue Pearl are available at, where you can also listen to a demo recording of the piece. You can watch in person at St Giles’ in London or online – the high-quality live stream or on-demand for seven days after the concert. Steve is offering The Eden Magazine readers 15% off any tickets. Just enter the coupon TheEdenMagazine at the checkout. The concert is at 7.30pm UK time (11.30am PDT, 2.30pm EDT).

THE MUSIC Blue Pearl is in the western tradition of sacred music for choir, soloists, and orchestra, such as Handel’s Messiah and the Requiems – Fauré, Mozart, Verdi, Karl Jenkins, etc. But it is also something radically new. Its newness stems from the revolutionary understandings which Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory creates – of spirituality that is integrated with the whole Blue Pearl includes: of human development and that • The 13.8 billion years of evolution in 5 minutes of human development is seen as the music (‘Evolution 5’). ongoing evolution of the Kosmos. • The evolution of human consciousness (‘Anamnesis’) In composing music to express from near-ape (pre-personal) these new meanings, Steve into modern rationality (pertuitively developed new musical sonal) to the spiritual realm forms. He has used varied styles (transpersonal). of music to convey different lev• Sexuality; in a spiritual oraels of consciousness and used key torio?! Yes, because it’s Intechanges in particular ways, for gral spirituality. A celebraexample, in Evolution 5, to give tion of sexuality and sex as the sense of the Kosmos ‘winding experienced at different levup’ through evolution. He has inels of consciousness (‘Sex’). tegrated silence within the music • The earth speaking to huas a musical ‘form’ which leads the manity, saying “We are one.” listener towards the depths of spir(‘Blue Pearl’ – which gives its itual experience. name to the whole piece). • A celebration of humaniTHE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY ty as a unity-in-diversity, as Blue Pearl takes the listener on a evidenced by DNA research journey into the mystery of the (‘One Mother, One Father’). Kosmos, into the depths and • Silence is integrated within heights of consciousness, into the the music at a number of heart of what it is to be human, points, guiding the listener and into the transformative wontowards spiritual depths. der that is to be found in sacred silence.

“Blue Pearl is a wonderfully creative new piece that integrates diverse influences to shape a musical, reflective journey that is consoling, challenging, witty, tuneful, and inspiring. The piece beautifully enacts the profound, contemporary and perennial philosophy that underlies it, opening up an experience of enlightening, transformative potential.” – Chris Cullen, Oxford Mindfulness Centre; teacher of Insight Meditation.

Blue Pearl is a wonderful, profound, and uplifting piece for our times. And thanks to the live broadcast, we can all listen in to this exciting and historic world premiere wherever we are in the world.

Blue Pearl conveys a spirituality rooted in a rational worldview and open to anyone, from an existing religious tradition or none

Steve’s career is a tapestry woven of three main threads: music, psychology and spirituality, and economics, but music and psycho-spiritual development have proven to be his calling. Born in New Delhi, India, he grew up in North London, learning violin from age 7. Steve’s musical journey has been eclectic. In addition to his orchestral career with the London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, Steve learned to play the west African djembe drum to a high level. He was for 20 years a percussionist, violinist, and singer in the early/world music ensemble The Carnival Band. He went on to play with folk bands, including his own band, Blue Jewel, a vehicle for his songs and arrangements. He continues to play classical violin in the Haldon String Quartet and other ensembles.

A personal crisis led Steve into psychotherapy and thence to training as a Psychosynthesis counselor, where he discovered and became immersed in the work of Integral philosopher Ken Wilber. He composes music inspired by Integral spirituality and his psycho-spiritual exploration and practice journey. Through Wilber, he found a way of understanding and integrating his deep personal experience of psychology and spirituality, which made rational sense, a revelation that Wilber’s work has brought to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Music is a superb medium for expressing profound and holistic (or Integral) psychospiritual depths. Feedback from people who have listened to the demo recording has shown that this is the case with Blue Pearl. 53 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

ere is so much more to who and what oy u are than oy u may realize. While oy u have a physical bo, dy that is not the real oy u. oY u are an immortal soul grow not just on this physical Earth but through the many ascending dimensions of life that exist in the world of spirit.

Whatis M

spiritual growth?

ore people are having their spiritual awakening than ever before. Yet with all this enthusiasm, many do not have a clear picture of what the spiritual path actually looks like and what the steps are to reach their soul’s potential. Exploring the process of soul evolution is a monumental task as many aspects of metaphysics need to be woven together to tell the story.

There is so much more to who and what you are than you may realize. While you have a physical body, that is not the real you. You are an immortal soul nhabiting a physical body. Your soul is on a glorious pilgrimage to learn and grow not just on this physical 54 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

By Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis

t the real you. You are an immortal soul nhabiting a physical body. Your soul is on a glorious pilgrimage to learn and

Earth but through the many ascending dimensions of life that exist in the world of spirit. You are unfolding your soul’s potential by evolving through these many dimensions while here in the material world. Each dimension gives you an opportunity to awaken and express a new facet of your soul. The process of spiritual maturation can be likened to a seed planted in the ground. All the potential for the seed to become a mighty oak or radiant rose is already held within. What is needed are the right elements in which to grow: if nourished and undisturbed, the seed cannot help but become that great flower or tree. The soul of man is like a seed that the Divine plants in the garden of creation. All that is needed for the soul to grow is already contained in the core of the soul. To fulfill that potential, the soul must embark on a pilgrimage through creation where it unfolds, eventually making its way back, fully realized, to the Divine source. In this cosmic picture, life on Earth is a schoolhouse, and all our experiences are part of our spiritual growth. The soul cannot possibly learn all the lessons of life in a single lifetime; it must come to Earth many times to forge its spiritual mettle. Lifetime after lifetime, the soul comes to experience existence in all of its wonders, vicissitudes, and contrasts. Yet, behind all of our experiences lies our greater spiritual purpose. Whether pleasant or painful, the things we go through in life are learning experiences. From the spiritual perspective, what is happening to us matters less than how we are handling what is happening; that is the true barometer of our spiritual maturity. From the metaphysical perspective, each soul is precious and essential. Love is always the bond that unites us to the divine. No one is past forgiveness, redemption, and enlightenment. Since we are endowed with a mind, the gift of free choice, and the will to carry out that choice, we are accountable for our actions and deeds. Yet, regardless of what we have done and gone through, we are always given a second chance in life. Mistakes and missteps are part of the growth process. In this spiritual process, the aura and the Divine Light are essential. The aura is the register of where you are in your consciousness, the fertile ground in which your spiritual unfolding germinates. The fruits of your spiritual evolution are all the things we admire and search for: strength of character, wisdom, inspiration, talent, compassion, and greater creative expression. Through your spiritual development, you “pierce the veil” of matter and gain enlightenment, which opens the door to the mysteries of the inner worlds, communication with the divine, visions, and spiritual revelations.

In your spiritual evolution, there are three mystical dynamics that support your soul: • Power to grow – It takes spiritual energy to evolve. Your forge your spiritual mettle through your auric field, which is the register of the spiritual light you have earned. The more Divine Light you earn in your aura the higher in consciousness you climb. Spiritual energy is the most precious thing you possess. It’s your passport to eternity. •

Time to grow – The soul has so much potential, and so many life-enriching experiences to go through it cannot accomplish all that in a single lifetime. So the concept of reincarnation comes into the picture. Reincarnation offers the soul time to return to Earth in successive bodies, so it can gather new experiences in order to perfect itself.

Divine support – You do your own growing, but you are not evolving unaided. There is an extraordinary, loving support system through what is called the spiritual hierarchy of angels and archangels who orchestrate your evolutionary process.

Steady meditation practice is fundamentally important in your evolution because it helps you tune into your inner, spiritual nature. It is so easy to get caught up in the cares of life that you can forget what is really important. Meditation is your one-on-one time with the Divine. Through meditation—and prayer—you connect with and receive from the Divine to empower you in your life journey. By making your spiritual growth an even higher priority, all facets of your life will be richly blessed.

Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis are cofounders of Spiritual Arts Institute. With over 50 years of a clairvoyant experience, they have taught thousands to better themselves by working with the aura and spiritual energy. Their award-winning books include the international bestseller Change Your Aura, Change Your Life, Karma, and Reincarnation, The Healing Power of Your Aura, Communing with the Divine, and their newest book Heaven and Your Spiritual Evolution: A Mystic’s Guide the Afterlife and Reaching Your Highest Potential. 55 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

THE WAY I SEE IT By Joey Santos, Jr.





hey say the grandmother is twice the mother, and depending on whose "mother-in-law" you ask, a mother-in-law is thrice!

I only speak what I know. I've had a few relationships where I got to know some of my former partner's mothers. Most were simply that—their mother. One was a monster-inlaw, another a mother in-FLAW, and the other a mother out-law! It wasn't until I started dating and eventually married my current husband that I became blessed with a true mother-in-law. She has never faltered from the day I met her eight years ago. I see how consistently and seamlessly she juggles a 30-plus year career as a nurse and how she manages her home daily, always making family time a priority. She is a mother of three, grandmother of two (so far), makes time for her husband of 30-plus years, supports her Church every Sunday, and at hello, has never shown me anything but love and kindness. She is the same person when no one is watching (rare in this world). To this day, I've never heard her raise her voice ( except in laughter ) use a profane word (except for "oh, crap"), and that was during a College Football game fumble she was watching on TV. There's much to be said about my mother-in-law, and if and when she reads this, I know what she'll say, "Ohhh, Joey!" Undoubtedly, she will feel embarrassed by the attention and the praise, but few people deserve it as much as she does! Her youngest son has Down Syndrome. He has become my chosen brother. When Andrew and I would go to visit for the Holidays, he would always ask me, "when are you going to marry my brother?" I'd laugh it off and say, "Oh, Michael, we're good. We don't need all that noise." During one particular visit, his Mom took me aside and asked me the same question. Are you going to marry my son? (Mind you, we had been dating for four years by this time) As I thought about it, I answered, "soon." Very soon,". She replied, "that will make me, my husband, and our whole family very happy"! So at midnight on New Year's Eve 2017, on a snowy night in downtown Saugatuck, Michigan, I popped the

question. He said, "by a mile, yes!" And we rushed home to share the news. First, Michael hugged and thanked me, then his parents congratulated us and welcomed me into the family. We set a date for September 22nd, 2018 (it would have been my mother's birthday). She died in 1988. As men, especially gay men, we're not accustomed to the concept of planning an actual wedding of our own. ( In most conventional Weddings, the groom just shows up wasted at the altar four minutes before having to say "I do") I mean, only until 2015 has it become legal in all 50 states and, as of now, in 30 countries. Regardless of all that, I now had a future mother-in-law who was more than happy to walk me through all of the planning and decision makings, the whole time holding my hand and making me believe they were all my ideas and decisions. (She's that good). I tell you, I love this woman. To any and all of you who are lucky enough to find the "one" in your partner and he or she is lucky enough to have a mother that he or she is happy to share with you, I hope you all treat her with kindness, compassion, patience, love, and respect. Remember, she is trusting you with her child. Never underestimate her worth and her generosity. Remember her on Mother's Day and every day. For me, she is a blessing. By the way, my father-in-law isn't bad either!

Joey Santos is a Celebrity Chef, Life Stylist & Co-Host of The Two Guys From Hollywood Podcast on iHeart Radio. A Columnist for The Eden Magazine since 2016. Joey was raised in NYC, Malibu, and West Hollywood. He is the son of Film & Television Actor Joe Santos, and his Grandfather is World-Renowned Latin Singer Daniel Santos. To follow Joey on IG: @jojoboy13 To contact Joey;



Crossing Groundbreaking Ceremony


he Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing bridge plan provides a lasting benefit to wildlife for generations to come. This project has been in the study and development phases for Two decades by the National Park Services. And on April 22, 2022, it had finally come to the ground-breaking ceremony for the start of the construction phase. This massive 210-foot expanse over ten lanes of traffic on US 101 in Agoura Hills, CA, is just the beginning of more wildlife crossings. A MESSAGE FROM P-22

This project has been a long journey that raised $85 million. This is one of over 100 required crossings and not just for P22. Unfortunately, the ground-breaking ceremony took place a day after P-97 was struck and killed on I-405 near Brentwood. We need more wildlife crossings that could have allowed P-97 to cross safely.


The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization with over 6 million supporters nationwide, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing is a public-private partnership of monumental scope that has leveraged the expertise and leadership of dozens of organizations and institutions. It serves as a project for the next century and will provide a lasting benefit to the wildlife and ecology of the area for generations to come. Spanning over ten lanes of the 101 freeway in the Los Angeles area, when complete the crossing will be the largest in the world, the first of its kind in California, and a global model for urban wildlife conservation.

Photos credits #SaveLACougars Campaign


An interview by Phyllis King

MARCI Glidden Savage

M Marci Glidden Savage is the CEO of a family-owned packaging supply company. After experiencing the catastrophic impact of suicide twice, Marci emerges as a fierce proponent for eliminating the "social stigma" attached to mental illness which keeps many individuals battling depression and anxiety from seeking help.

Background photo by shahin khalaji

Marci lives in Southern California where she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and endless hours of genealogy research.



arci, you have a remarkable story of love and loss, coping and healing. To do it justice, could you share your story in your own words. Well, I was married to the love of my life, Paul, for almost 35 years. We were together for forty. Met when I was 17; he was nineteen. We went to UCLA together and got married. We had three exceptional children, started a business together, and I came home one day, August the 13th of 2014. Like any other day, I walked in and thought I would sit down and have a conversation with him, and I found him dead on our patio in the backyard. The most traumatic event I've ever gone through. I can't even imagine, frankly. ost of us cannot. I guess life just stopped. You went numb at that moment, I would assume. You know, I've seen in movies and on TV that people are so terrified, they can't scream, and that is absolutely the truth. It's amazing how your mind kind of stops to try to take in what you're seeing. And I, again, was aware that certainly, my husband was a Type A personality. We ran our own business; the stress of business and those types of things, but no one ever imagines that someone that you love and have loved for 40 years would lose a battle to mental illness in such a dramatic way. And to die by suicide.

There was an incident a few years before this where it was unclear if he took pills on purpose, and he was put on a 5150 hold. That was the first awareness that he was struggling with depression? If he did, he wouldn't admit it to himself. For the next seven years, he explained that it felt to him like an outbody experience - he was not trying to kill himself. I fell into a pattern of every day, "How are you? How're you doing today? You feeling okay?" And to the point where it aggravated him quite a bit. Yes. He was on the spot. "Aren't you going to let that go? Aren't you going to trust me?" But I slept kind of with one eye open, always trying to take his temperature on how he was feeling. But he never, not one time, admitted to anyone, much less, I think to himself, that it was an attempt. When you reflect now, what would you tell people in this circumstance? Right. Well, certainly say, men - he was 58 years old and men, in particular, have a hard time discussing any mental health issues whatsoever, for a variety of reasons; the stigmas and everything else that comes along with that. He was taking prescription medication prescribed by doctors. Sleeping pills for helping put a CPAP machine on, anxiety medication for the stress at work, and I would say to people to be very mindful of those so many take.

Yes, we've normalized it. A doctor gave it, so let's consume it. One of the things I loved about this book I would call a tribute. Numerous people in his life wrote remarkable things about him. Pages and pages of people who adored this man. And how would anyone recognize depression when seeing this stellar human being who was such a leader. It is reminiscent of the Robin Williams situation. Someone who is making us laugh every day, suffering in silence. Absolutely. Robin Williams, in hindsight, I remember sitting and watching CNN. It was two days before Paul took his life, and I remember thinking and saying to him, "Robin Williams, what could have gone wrong? He had everything. Fame and fortune, and he made people laugh." But that was my uneducated opinion at the time. I mean, I certainly learned a lot 48 hours later.

look like. But my immediate reaction was to forgive him. He did the best he knew how to do. I know that. I know that. And so, forgiving him was a burden I didn't have to carry. And that was huge in my healing.

So take us back to that moment when you are paralyzed; how did you progress from there and eventually move your life forward to fall in love again? Well, I just kind of surrender. I have a - my faith is essential in my life, and I knew that this was way bigger than I could handle on my own. And I just surrendered to letting God take hold of it, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say, what to do, how to feel. My biggest pain was having to tell my three adult children and fall to the floor with each of them as they came to the house, trying to shelter them from--A lot of love immediately surrounded me, but at the same time, I felt the most vulnerable because the last thing I wanted anybody to believe of my husband, this remarkable man who had been an Eagle Scout and a successful businessman to consider was this.

That's beautiful --So between matchmaking and online dating, you found your next love Mr. Savage, and you got together pretty quickly. We did. And it was a fairytale romance. He whisked me off to Europe and proposed in Italy and all those things.

I felt naked as I stood in front of everyone. I couldn't yet take in their love, disbelief of their own, and grief. I felt some judgments and this speculation about just how could this be? Were there marriage problems, financial problems, and other questions that I heard in the following days? We owned a business, so we had employees dependent upon us. How did you move forward after all that happened? Marci Savage: Well, the first thing I did, Phyllis, before the coroner removed him from our home was - I leaned down. I forgave him. I loved him. I loved him for 40 years. And the day I married him, I said that I would love him through all things, good and bad, sickness and health. I don't think when we're saying those vows, we think about what that could

Okay. All right. So fast forward, you survived, you got through it, and then at one point, somehow you're alive enough again to say, okay, I'm going to open my mind and my heart to love again. Right. I permitted myself to heal. What I've learned, Phyllis, is that when you grieve, and you've had such trauma, it pushes your heart and expands it in ways that you think it's going to break. It leaves that much more room for joy, love, and peace to enter again. It's bigger.

We were married for eight months. One day he drove to Palm Desert, checked into a hotel, and overdosed. Had he not left me a note, the coroner would not have been able to check the suicide box on the death certificate. Because there was a note, it was pretty straightforward. You couldn't believe that this had happened again. I thought for a brief moment that I would not tell this story that I would say he left me, or he ran away because I knew that there was a lot of anger fixing to fill my space. I thought about trying to avoid that, but I couldn't, and I thought, I've done this once, and I don't know if I want to do it again. It's hard work. Just grief, loss, in general, is hard, hard work. You add deaths by suicide on top of it, and it's this extra layer that you just - it's exhausting. He wasn't a hundred percent truthful with me. This is a component I did not include in the book, but it was about three months after his passing that I was ready to have a memorial service and his family was coming into town, and I was gathering his things up. I came across a piece of paper from a hospital in Chicago. And it was a release from an emergency room—a diagnosis of depression and suicidal ideation. I sat literally -- I fell to the floor next to my bed and just started crying. I thought, why couldn't he tell me that? 61 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

I'd like to hear about what you've learned and what you want to share about mental illness, grief, and suicide. Well, thank you for pointing out in the book that - I opened the book with all those tributes to Paul because what I've heard from my children, in particular, is that they didn't even want to go into counseling and get some help after their father died because they wished to the counselor to know the man he was and not his action on one day. That was hugely important. So I wanted people to see that these are wonderful, great, loving, caring, intelligent people who battle an illness we can't see. And sometimes they've grown accustomed to -- You live with depression or anxiety for so long, it's part of your fabric, and they learn to manipulate it and certainly spend a lot more energy on what they project on the outside than doing what's on the inside.


I've learned that mental illness is as dangerous and deadly as some of the worst cancers or the heart attack, a widowmaker where everything closes, and there's - there's no time to save anybody. It's as deadly as that. So what has your life been like since you wrote the book? What's it done for you? Well, it allowed me to now take those stories, my story, and also put it over here, and it let it have a life of its own. And again, I'm still here. I'm still living, and I will embrace life and live life. I have more love to offer, and I have a lifetime of joy and happiness, and I'm dating again. I can't thank you enough for this beautiful read, for your courage and vulnerability in coming out and talking about this incredible experience. I'm grateful that you allowed me to get my message out. We typically hear on the media as celebrities, but you don't often see the regular folks. There's an average of 132 people every day in the United States that die by suicide, but you don't hear those stories of-- It's just celebrities, and they stay on the subject for a hot minute and then move on. But we have to destigmatize it. It's an illness, and we need to treat it as though it is. And those that lose someone- a loved one, we need to treat it like they died of a heart attack or cancer and not speculate or judge. Well, you've shown us how in the book, and thank you for your courage. Thank you for your strength and your vulnerability. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.


On August 13, 2014, Marci found Paul, her beloved husband of thirty-four years, dead by suicide. No warning. No explanation. No final good-bye. Less than five years later, on March 15, 2019, the unthinkable happened again. Michael, Marci's second husband of only eight months, was found dead by suicide as well. In And No One Saw It Coming, Marci vulnerably shares her journey from anger, hopelessness, and sorrow to acceptance and joy while offering hope to others facing similar situations today. TURN PLAIN WATER INTO FRESH SPARKLING WATER IN SECONDS




Abundance Corner By Phyllis King

Elements to Master




here are two dominant misconceptions when it comes to abundance. The first is that it is not something we get or something we make happen. It is something we allow in. We allow it in by rejecting limited thoughts and beliefs. We also allow it in by rejecting those things that are “less than” what we want. When we fill up our minds and life with things we do not want, there is no room for what we do want to come into our experience. Most of us have so much fear around risk and letting go of what we have that we opt to cling tightly to things that do not fit in lieu of making space for greater things that will fit. I refer to this as settling for the comfortable “known” rather than the uncomfortable “unknown.” In that resistance to step into the unknown, we unintentionally fragment our manifestations or exclude them entirely.

we do not yet know and only envision. Without stepping into the unknown, we will not realize our dreams. Trust in the relationship we have to the greater reality. Trust is the glue that keeps us centered inside of the “unknown.” I- Trust is built through experience, not through hope. The more we develop a conscious connection to the greater reality, the more we will trust. Experience will prove that our needs are always met beyond what our minds can conceive. II- As we learn to invite the “unknown” into our lives and we develop trust with the greater reality, we are more able to maintain inner balance. With inner balance, we maintain high-level frequencies, which is what causes us to attract high vibration experiences, i.e., make us good receivers.

The second misconception about living in abundance is that it is a way of being we tune into and match. It is not something we do. Specifically, in Western culture, we are taught that hard work and effort are the pathways to success. Of course, we need to move our energy in various directions to create outcomes. The idea of effort and hard work is an ego-based point of view. It is a limited method to provide fulfillment. The effort is a mid-level frequency vibration on the spectrum of vibrations. The effort will never produce the highest vibration outcomes. Only joy and enthusiasm produce high vibration outcomes.

When these three elements are intact, attracting positive experiences becomes normal. It is not that challenging experiences will never cross our path. As we stay in a state of receiving, challenges resolve more quickly and benevolently, and we discover that our needs continue to be met beyond our expectations.

At moments we may need to direct more energy than at other times. The point is to direct energy, not to bear down on ourselves in a manner that takes us out of balance. Once we are out of balance, our ability to receive becomes limited. We cling to frequencies that reduce our ability to receive our highest good.

The art of receiving is just that, an art. Each situation requires a different level of concentration, adjustment, or recognition. This is the path of living a spiritual life in the human body. If we perceive our experience as an art, then we stop identifying abundance as a black or white scenario. We see it more as a state of being that we work to stay tuned into as much as possible.

When we consider the art of receiving, it is a mastery of three elements: I- Openness to the unknown. We must learn to manage our discomfort with what we do not know. It is outside of “what we know” where our dreams live. It is a place

When we are tuned into abundance and a state of receiving, we rarely require a certain thing make itself manifest. We focus on maintaining the three elements that cause us to be receivers and allow life to support us.

As the old saying goes, how do we get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Before we know it, we are living the dreams previously we could only envision.

When these three elements are intact, attracting


experiences becomes normal. It is not that challenging experiences will never cross our path. As we stay in a state of receiving, challenges resolve more quickly and benevolently, and we discover that our needs continue to be met


our expectations. Known as the Common Sense Psychic (tm), Phyllis King has worked with tens of thousands of peoplein 25 countries. She is known for her practical and down to earth approach. She has been featured on, ABC, CBS and NBC TV, radio programs across the country, and has been published in over 70 print and online publications. She has four books, including Bouncing Back, Thriving in Changing Times, with Dr. Wayne Dyer. Her latest book The Energy of Abundance is available in bookstores now. Phyllis holds a B.A. in Sociology. 65 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022


Photo by XtravaganT



n a café, you sit, two pumpkins resting peacefully on a table. One sits quietly on top of the other, facing you. Is this coincidence, synchronicity, or both? What does this meeting have to offer? Maybe it's a hidden agenda; what is the message these two pumpkins are willing to convey? Is it past, present, or future? And the next riddle is, what language will bridge the gap between this unimaginable relationship? Energy is everything right. It's everywhere, and it's in everything; those listening are constantly reminded. It's one of the sciences of this age and the cool-aid for a logical attraction to the mammalian mind unapologetically. Humans are so blessed with copious amounts of knowledge due to the many energetic structures about our existence, cultures, and our surrounding world, the universe; it's absolutely massive. But, in real-time, do we have any understanding, even the slightest


inkling of the term "everything is energy"? Coffee in paper cups it's a gift, a modern-day blessing. Wandering lost among our complicated array of language terms used to describe today's human behaviors is in itself functioning as an energy disease of the human mind. Each term that an individual hide within, unseen, unspoken out loud, carries their own respective undivided DNA energetic structure. First, let's consider "how do you become your better best," and the amount of positive/negative energy-time one puts in when engaging in this quest? And what is the driver that sends a person over the edge when looking to be accepted by self and others? Driven at what lengths to achieve whatever that single person may need for connection. The energy driver will always be different for each individual.

Up to this time-moment, we have only heard the rooster's crow.

world continues to throw at us. You gotta love those rose-colored glasses individuals.

Upon hearing an idea or representation disguised as knowledge or some opinionated sounds spewing out of a dark opening, a human's first response may assume it as a negative. By some strange misunderstanding, it may not be negative. The energypower of a listening pause allows the incoming data the ability to energize a conscious, alert mind into the present time. Now one can grasp the hidden concept and fully comprehend it with a positive understanding? An awareness of one's communication just may be the making of your day.

Courage Strength Endurance are we Trained leadership is a binding rule-based structure. Follow the procedures, and stay with the program, which lacks any regard for the individual. True leadership has no boundaries and is never about procedures; it relies totally on the individual in the present time and adjusts when the incoming time tides alter the direction needed to obtain a greater successful outcome.

It's important in this period of reoccurring changes and the what's next unknowns to look deeper within and discover where it is; you actually feel at home with the self. Ask the question, does/can my specific likes (not needs) create the perfect structure that will embrace oneself to a personal energy acceptance, regardless of what is happening in one's surrounding world? Do we comprehend the power that is, a logical thought. There is so much good in the world. Thousands of people are going out of their way to support others in all their flavors. Not to be the catch-cry of "being on purpose," not even as a service to humanity, just simply doing what comes naturally. Bless you, friends. And when you come in contact with these wonder-souls, you can't but help to notice their aliveness. They are humans traveling with a free mindset, not needing to see the world through their defensive past. It's an amazing example of allowing free-flowing humanistic energy, completely disregarding any influence existing in their own personal condition. One cannot help marvel at the capacity which exists when facing what the

Alphabet Calling is a way to bring home where you are in this present moment, in every area of your existence. You start with five areas that matter to you and only you right now. Don't ask another to help or guide you; keep this process your secret. Each of the five is a single category; there are no crossovers. Example one may be about only the self, how you judge yourself, confidence, failure, self-doubt, shyness, communication, success, and so on. Another category will involve how you interact with only one person, intimate relationship, work colleague, parent, sibling; you get the idea. It's important that each category is of your own choosing, and always five is the limit. Choose a different letter from the Alphabet to face off each time within the same category. There is this relationship going on inside our heads. One side has this intelligent structure of never stepping outside of a constantly reborn past mindset. Always remaining to stay on the straight and narrow, believing you will receive? On the other side of our conehead is an equally intellectual presencethat functions totally free in exploration, unchained by the boundary pegs placed by fear and false trust. These select humans are the Columbus of their future, our future, and mankind's future.



Once chosen, you will research, discover, enhance, reduce, move from, and finish off each category at a time of your choosing, tackle o9ne area at a time. When satisfied with the result, celebrate and move on to the next. There will be times when you may feel stuck; ok, no biggie, let it sit until it reawakens, and in the meantime, choose another. As with the self-category, there may be a number of focus areas, so finish one and then add another, never from a list. Only rethink your situation from where I am now and what you need to acknowledge at this moment in time. Each category is open; it's where I am now and who am I in this area at this time in my life, got it! Remember to keep it to yourself, and this is your journey. You are at the helm! Do the distance you can In this world, we tend to view all from a singular perspective; we love to divide, is this a good or bad idea. Who knows? How many are capable of finding the straw amongst the complexity we have built within the mindset structures that now function on automatic? Take growth and recession; are they total opposites, or could they be one and the same, just each end of the same stick, the front and the rear of the same car. When we take our eyes off the ball and only focus on one end, it does not negate the other twin. Look with your mind's eye, open and look with your physical eyes and you may see or hear these two energies bound as twins, calling, never apart, always together. Yesterday we played the separation game; tomorrow, we have an opportunity to play a new game.


The energy and personal powers required will determine how the 'I" and the "collective" shine. What begs an introduction to mankind's forward motion are the twins of "fear" and "trust." At this moment, they are locked within one's heart and also locked within the mindset of the past. How will you choose, or will you allow another to choose for you? Whatever the decision, it will lay the foundation of one's future path for the "I" and for the "collective." Alphabet Energy is Calling each and every one of us back home. There is no sales pitch here; it is a reoccurring natural phenomenon built in as a guide post when children get lost in the forest maze. First, to discover new pathways, one freely grasps their presence, fully knowing there is much to see beyond the forest of yesteryears. Focus is flow, and what humans have done throughout the ages is travel to new frontiers. The only remaining question to answer is, like in the past, do we keep going it alone, or have we matured enough to collectively go together. Humanity is awesome. Breathe; the next generation chapter has begun in a galaxy far, far away. What part will you play, young Yoda?




Chadda-Gupta | @kanikachaddagupta

digital streams last year and can be heard on the major podcast players (Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher) as well as DASH Radio’s South Asian station Rukus Avenue Radio. On her podcast, Kanika interviews thought leaders, experts, and everyday parents with extraordinary stories. Digging deep into topics like what to expect when you’re done expecting, rediscovering your identity after kids, teaching children emotional intelligence, rekindling your marriage and dividing the workload at home. Recent guests include: Rebecca Minkoff, Bobbi Brown, Chriselle Lim, Reshma Saujani, Natalie Morales, Daphne Oz, Dee Poku, and many more impressive thought-leaders. The podcast has also partnered with brands such as HOMER, Manhattan Toy Company, Mommy's Bliss, Gaiam, StoryWorth, Nanit, Sambucol, and Wander Beauty.

THROUGH MY INTERVIEW STYLE, I CREATE A NARRATIVE WHERE MY GUEST EXPLAINS WHERE THEY CAME FROM AND HOW THAT INFLUENCED WHAT THEY WENT ON TO ACHIEVE IN THEIR LIFE. Kanika Chadda Gupta is a broadcast journalist, entrepreneur, wife, and mom of three. A born storyteller, she has worked for CNN International covering the gamut of news stories from the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars and has on-air interviews with Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Lilly Singh, Mira Nair, and Kate Hudson. She has parlayed her work as a television anchor, executive producer and CEO to help others facing the sudden uncertainties of parenthood. Kanika now hosts the popular podcast That’s Total Mom Sense and What Matters Most with Maple feat. Michael Perry (tech founder and father of two), which amassed over 1 million


Kanika has moderated and served on numerous panels, including nationwide Mom 2.0 Summit, March of Dimes’ “It Starts with Mom” alongside keynote speaker, Kelly Rowland; PowerToFly Summit “The Changing Landscape of Parenting” panel; and a recent talk with actress America Ferrera hosted by the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services. Work aside, Kanika is also a trained Indian classical dancer with 13-years of experience, which she is now passing along to her daughter. She enjoys teaching her children about their Indian heritage, traveling, and reading. Kanika was born in Bombay, India – and throughouther life has lived in Maryland, Boston, Miami, New York, and now calls New Jersey home.

Kanika, please tell us more about yourself. I am a deeply empathic soul, storyteller, wife, and mother. How did the passion for being a journalist start in your life? I have a fervent belief in the power of storytelling and human connection and have built my life and career around that. I was born in India and immigrated to the US with my parents when I was two years old. I fondly remember my grandmother recounting stories from the Bhagavad Gita to teach me life lessons and morals. I smile when I think back to how the women in my family (spanning three generations!) and I would religiously watch Oprah. Weekdays at 4 pm - that's where you’d find us! I knew from that point on that I wanted to be a journalist and focus on human interest stories and interview format. I began my career at CNN in India (funny how life comes full circle!) and covered the gamut of lobal events from Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars to the 26/11 terror attacks. After moving back stateside and working as an executive producer and director of programming for an international network, I got married and had my three kids within a year and a half. Yes, thatincludes twins. I felt overwhelmed, burnt out, and confused. I listened to podcasts but heard a lot of complaining and commiserating. So, I aimed to shift the narrative by launching a show that is I) informative, II) insightful, III) inclusive, and IV) inspiring. And just like that, my fourth baby, That's Total Mom Sense podcast, was born! How has motherhood changed your life? Motherhood has given me a newfound purpose in life. Not only do I want to unlearn the behaviors that were not serving me in my past, but I also seek to model a better way of being for my children. When I see them laugh, play, learn, and take risks, I realize that we, as parents, are very much the students

in the equation. We are learning to find joy, spend time and energy on the things that we love and fuel us, be curious, be carefree and make every moment count. You were born in Bombay, India, and you are a trained Indian classical dancer; how did you decide to become a dancer? I trained in Kuchipudi Indian classical dance for 15 years. There's actually an interesting story about how I started. When I was five years old (and to this day!), my mom helped run India School, a cultural hub for Indian languages, dance, and music in our hometown in Maryland. She couldn't help but notice that parents were enrolling their girls in more popular dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kathak, not Kuchipudi. She reassured my Guruji, Smt. Anuradha Nehru, "Don't worry. My daughter will be your first student." I grew to love the art form for its expressive nature and fluidity and went on to perform at prestigious venues, including Smithsonian and the Sackler Art Gallery. Post-college, I was inspired to travel and experiment with new styles, including Bollywood fusion and hip-hop. While working at CNN in India, I trained with Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar's academy. I often found myself comparing my classical training to commercial choreography and have come to realize that I enjoy embracing the best of both worlds!


I went on to perform with Payal Kadakia's Sa Dance Company which was a company of trained dancers and an amalgamation of traditional and folk dance styles. It was a colorful celebration of our roots, and we had the opportunity to perform at Alvin Ailey and the Museum of Art and Design. To me, dance is a way to express your feelings and emotions through movement. Each time I perform, I leave my heart out on stage.


In your podcast, What do you hope your listeners take away from each episode of That's Total Mom Sense? On That's Total Mom Sense, I interview public figures and industry leaders who happen to be parents by design. I feel that if they had the grit, tenacity, and faith to become successful, how are they passing on those values and virtues to their children? Through my interview style, I create a narrative where my guest explains where they came from and how that influenced what they went on to achieve in their life. Listeners can glean interesting perspectives and tangible takeaways from these experts. Now, they can make positive changes in their own lives by learning from others' life lessons. I recently launched a monthly spin-off series called What Matters Most with Maple with my co-host Michael Perry, who's a tech founder and father of two. We want dads to pull up a seat at the table and have open discussions around infertility, fair play at home, and challenging gender norms as we raise the next generation.

the Life of Rubina Ali, the young girl who was cast from the slums in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, and interviews with South Asians who went against the grain and made waves in mainstream media like Lilly Singh and Kunal Nayyar. I'm always iterating and reinventing, so I launched Kronologie Agency, a full-service digital marketing firm, to help SBOs share a compelling narrative through their online footprint. Now, with my podcast, my interview skills, scriptwriting, design, branding, marketing, and social media know-how all come to play. My website is a destination for my audience to dive into a variety of topics, interviews, and video series with like-minded brands. I love engaging with my tribe and serving and supporting them the best way I can.

Whether you're a mom, dad, caregiver, entrepreneur, or Gen Z who wants to drive change, there's something for everyone on my show!

As a journalist and entrepreneur, you are working with CNN India, Zee TV, and as a CEO/Founder of Kronologie Agency, a digital marketing firm based in New York. How have these careers translated into your future projects? Storytelling has always been the common denominator in my career. In television, I found ways to tell untold human-interest stories like A Day in 72 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

You are also a founding member of RISE100 by Sundara, a program that works towards providing mentorship and resources to female entrepreneurs in low to middle-income countries. Please tell us more about it. RISE100 by Sundara, the brainchild of Erin Zaikis, is a women-led non-profit dedicated to finding solutions to the global water and hygiene crisis. We appoint female leaders in countries like India, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Armenia, and Kenya, to come up with sanitation solutions in their communities. As founding members, we hand-select these community leaders from hundreds of applications and fundraise for their cause. I also serve as a mentor. One of my mentees, Shreya Krishnan, is an MBA student and Co-Founder of the Better Design Foundation, based in Bangalore, India. She and her team aimed to create shifts in culture through better habits and habitats and built the first toilet for a slum community, leveraging greywater reuse and off-grid management. It's groundbreaking to be a part of.



Adventurous Children’s Tale Seeks to Identify


Moon Thief



Something terrible is happening in a small rural town! A very adventurous little boy with a fantastical imagination discovers that the moon is getting smaller by the day, and a mysterious thief must be stealing it! It is up to him and his dog, Luna, to bring it back. The Moon Thief ignites our children's imaginations to ponder the wonders of the world in which they live. When a courageous young boy becomes fascinated with the changing moon, he discovers a dark and mystifying land of shadows, dancing, and laughter. It is here he is faced with The Moon Thief.

At the story's end, you'll find an educational explanation and diagram on why the moon really changes, along with a fun calendar to track the moon's phases. The Moon Thief targets kids ages 6-12 and encourages them to read, explore, and wonder! I would be thrilled if you would please consider The Moon Thief for acquisition. I'm also available for virtual events and would love the opportunity to share my book with children and their families!

You'd never guess that this single mom, running a multi-million-dollar lumberyard in a male-driven industry, tucked away in the small mountain community of Truckee-Tahoe, CA, would spend her free time goofing off with her kids, Abigail and Kaelem (rhymes with Salem), perfecting the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and writing children's books. Kristine Keck is an author that aspires to encourage kids of all ages to read, explore, and wonder. She feels that when we bring mystery, intrigue, and excitement to reading today, we nurture the curiosity that creates the discoverers of tomorrow.



They Said Photo by deagreez/Adobestock

By Deborah Cole

"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change." ~Sheryl Sandberg


e a lady. This message was loud and clear from an early age. I cannot recall what any of the circumstances might have been, but if I heard this once, I heard it said a thousand times during my growing-up years. I had tucked it way back in the memory bank of annoying and nagging things that were said to me as a child. In fact, I hadn’t even thought of it peripherally until recent months when I read a blog post by Camille Rainville (aka Writings of a Furious Woman) with that title. Reading her words was like being hit with the proverbial ton of painful and emotional bricks. “Be a lady.” I had not heard that phrase for decades, but the reading of it sent me into a painful spiral of unworthiness. You know the one. Where you are happy and confident self is suddenly sent into a dark place of remembering and believing you are not enough and will never be enough. Rainville’s somewhat lengthy blog post hit all of those buttons, long since forgotten yet still sensitive. As children, our ideas of who we are can be bolstered or demolished by those around us whose words have power. Parents, relatives, siblings, teachers, and friends all help to either confirm or deny how we feel about ourselves. As little girls trying to sort out the meaning of the mystery, self-worth can be sent soaring or dashed against the rocks.


Be a lady. This phrase and, in fact, any statement like “Be x or y or z” implies that the listener is not x or y or z and that there are guidelines and rules to follow to become that. As children, all we have are the words and actions of those around us to reinforce our place in society and in the world. And we tend to believe those who have power over us. We think the “big” people have all the answers and know all the rules. And we listen. And listen. Be a lady. Is being a lady the ultimate perfection of who I want to become? Are the actions and activities involved in being a lady in agreement with how we see ourselves as young girls/women? And frankly, what exactly does being a lady mean? To top it all off, I grew up in the South without many financial resources. In the humorous book “Southern Ladies and Gentlemen,” originally published in 1975, Florence King writes about how, as Southerners, women (and men) are supposed to act. I read this book soon after it was launched and laughed through it while feeling the pinch of truth in the expectations of little Southern girls. The book, albeit funny, was somewhat embarrassing. Could it be because I saw a shred of truth in writing? The author’s description of the possibility of self-rejuvenating virginity is laughable, but as a Southern girl, I understand. The author’s statement, “A lady is required to be frigid, passionate, sweet, bitchy and scatterbrained all at the same time. Her problems spring from the fact that she succeeds,” now makes me wince. To think that these attitudes existed (and still exist) is pretty painful. And to think that some of the standards of proper Southern lady behavior, which are so humorously described, are still in full-blown execution today is shocking. Be a lady. Do this, don’t do that, think this way, say this, look like this, don’t look like that, what will others say, what will so-and-so think, follow this recipe, and you will be

that pinnacle of all-glorious deities … a lady. I hope not to be misunderstood in this rant on ladylike behavior. I respect many of the attributes ascribed to ladies (and gentlemen as well), such as kindness, compassion, concern for others, and friendliness. But some of the unwritten rules don’t work any longer, including hiding your true feelings, shunning your own needs, living the life of a centuries-old model for ladylike behavior because your great-grandmothers/ fathers acted this way, and doing it without question or consideration of self. Generations of unhappy people with unfulfilled dreams and aspirations are left languishing on the sidelines of life when women aspire to be ladies and men struggle to be gentlemen. The prescriptions for success in those two categories are outdated and should be left in the past. Be a lady. Ladies act in certain ways. Ladies look a certain way. Ladies are never too showy, never too smart, and never better than others. They are always polite, always put everyone else first, and always good at only ladylike things. And if you don’t or can’t, if all else fails, hide it or reject it. What if these rules don’t fit (and I’m here to say they often do not)? What if what we are meant to do, be or say simply does not fall into the category of what the “be a lady” advocate intends? In the past, women and men were out of luck. There were few avenues for being different and not toeing the line of proper behavior. Being perfect without being too obvious about it sets girls and women up for massive disappointment. But that was the past, and this is the now. Living a life of “doing the right thing” and fitting into someone else’s mold is neither satisfying nor purposeful. We occupy our place on earth for such a short period of time, and we are in this incarnation for a reason.


Carmen Davailus is Founder and President at Doggies for Dementia Foundation

Nelly Garcia is the Co-Founder at Rocheli Patisserie.

Most often, we do not know that purpose for many years, and it finds us before we find it. This discovery of life’s purpose might involve not merely uncovering what we might become but also peeling off layers of notions about ourselves—notions that do not serve us toward that end goal. In a section of “Be a Lady They Said,” Rainville writes, “Be a lady they said. Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a nightmare. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be soemotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife someday. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will someday. You’ll change your mind.” How I remember all of these admonitions, don’t talk too loudly. Don’t talk too much. Don’t be full of yourself. Being too outspoken or saying what you think or feel are simply not the marks of a lady.

Lindsey Hohlt, a successful diamond jeweler and designer based in Houston

Be a lady. Some admonitions are good and have merit: “Be safe. Watch out for harm. Don’t be out too late. Don’t act inappropriately.” But their intention is not because we should value our own wellness and safety but that if we head down the sketchy path, we will not be seen as ladylike. A lot of “don’ts” fulfill the goal of being a lady.

Jamie Klingenberg and Sandra Hutchens, owners of Gardens for Texas - Landscape Design Firm 78 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

Be a lady. I now see that the love for our brothers and sisters on earth (as long as they were the “right” brothers and sisters) was an unspoken and very wrong message. It goes without saying that compassion and consideration of others are important. But at what cost to ourselves? Prioritizing others in our thinking, being, and doing because it leads to acceptance as a lady or gentleman—these messages are without merit. It was quite confusing as a little girl. I had many questions with no answers. The reminders to be a lady always seemed to come at a time when I was having fun and following my natural inclinations. Did being a lady mean I shouldn’t be too loud or too quiet but just the perfectly curated decibel level? Lesson learned. I could be bubbly and outgoing with friends at school (this often resulted in “talks too much” on my report cards), but at home, where ladylike attitudes were valued, being quiet was most important. Being curious, questioning, and eager to learn new things were a part of my uncelebrated life outside my family. These did not fall into the ladylike column. As the younger sister of a brother five years my senior, I saw and perceived differences in how we were treated. Some activities and attitudes were acceptable for my brother but not for me. Young children learn quickly how they receive praise and how they receive corrective direction. I realized that my brother, who played baseball, and my dad, who coached it, were the perfect combination that the family celebrated. I created a girls’ softball team. I organized the girls, gathered up equipment, and the girls showed up, but my dad did not. He was a loving dad but not a supporter of activities that fell out of the scope of molding my “lady skills.” He had a plausible reason for not doing the practice, but I recognized that a girls’ team was never going to happen.

Be a lady. We all need role models and mentors as we learn new things. The admonition to act like a lady came from my dad, and the role model he always (not in so many words) set on the pedestal was his mother. She was an amazing grandmother with lots of love and affection for all four grandchildren, especially for the sole granddaughter—me. If being a lady meant a lot of “don’ts,” the “do’s” came from watching how my grandmother conducted herself. She was a true Southern lady. She was a good cook, a great seamstress, active socially with lots of lady friends, impeccably dressed, and the one who introduced me to drinking tea. Attending a tea or drinking tea were prime examples of how ladies acted. Long before my time, most ladies drank tea wearing hats, gloves, and girdles. I was exposed to these trappings at an early age and came to realize that if I wanted to be a lady, I needed to conduct myself (and dress) like my grandmother. I was moldable and compliant. Becoming a lady? Yes, please, if that yielded approval and acceptance in the world of adults, I knew best. Be a lady. And let’s go shopping. Who wouldn’t say yes to this? As a child, I received two pairs of shoes (one in the fall for the start of school and a new pair of nice shoes at Easter) and six dresses per year. I was ecstatic to be invited by Grandmother to go shopping for something new to wear to an event packed with adults. I was putty in her ladylike hands. At the end of the day, my 12-year-old self had a new dress in a goldish-greenish color with a dark green ribbon around the bodice (bodice is a very ladylike term for breast coverings), a pair of very uncomfortable pointy black shoes, a white hat and white gloves and the ultimate of all ladylike possessions—a pair of hose and a girdle. What the heck was a 12-year-old girl doing in a girdle? Yes, it was needed to hold up the hose (on my unshaven, hairy girl legs), but more to the point, this was the uniform of a lady. I do not remember many events from childhood other than feelings and a few occasions, but I do remember my grandmother giving me the instructions that I should always wear a girdle in public situations because to be without one was just “slouchy.” I loved my grandmother deeply, but the message that was etched into my brain was that without a said restrictive garment, I would always be slouchy. Sigh. I do not fault myself for not having the chutzpah to stand up for myself. This was how I was raised from a young age. Be a lady. Act like a lady. Do the things

that ladies do (and this list is narrow). The voice in my head hammered home what was expected. As a child, my power was in others’ hands and would stay there until, little by little, I began to redefine how living a purposeful and successful life might unfold. The unfolding did not come in one brilliant flash of light or major aha moment but rather in the acceptance of how things could be, how alternatives to being ladylike could also be satisfying while doing no harm to others. Everyone develops and uncovers purpose and fulfillment at their own pace. I believe that today’s young women can be all that they want to be, do all that they want to do, and do so with the approval and acceptance of their families and support systems. Times have changed. Above all, “Be a lady” has morphed into “You can be whatever you want to be. And while you are accomplishing this, be kind and give it you are all. We love you no matter what.” Words, as well as actions, support women in their growth and development. Outward appearances are no longer the gold standard for how to grow up and mature into a fully functioning, happy individual. Are we completely there yet? No. The world still portrays women as “acceptable” according to body image, grooming, and adherence to female norms. But we have come a long way, baby!

Deborah Cole is on a personal mission: Growing her business to the top 25 list in the industry. Serving on community boards. Using her teaching, writing, and photography to inspire and educate. She is a frequent speaker focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, specifically women empowerment. As a graduate of the Seminary of the Southwest integrating her knowledge of how the business world moves, Deborah helps others get to where they are meant to be in life.




By Heidi Connolly


Photo by Elia Pellegrini

t’s taken years to even begin to get accustomed to knowing the difference between acting on my thoughts and following guidance. What I now call my Intuitive Guidance System or IGS. So when I ask a deliberate question and get— you guessed it—a whole lot of nuttin’, well, it feels like something’s gone awry like in a really big way.


This is what happened last night. I’d traveled to the Oregon Coast to do one of my metaphysical Afterlife Meetups, which had begun several years ago in the tiny coastal town where I lived with my husband and after he made his transition to the Great Beyond. After moving to Washington State a few months ago, it felt like it was time to head back, to see as many as I could in my beloved community, and maybe even put a little bit of a period at the end of that decade’s sentence. I asked my team in the Up There to support me in whatever way was in the best interest of everyone: me, all the participants, the friend with whom I was staying, Source, the drivers on the road…you get the picture. I also asked for some suggestions—a good solid download would be nice—on what to talk about. I mean, I assumed I’d be doing some mediumship because that was always in the cards (so to speak), but what would I talk about? What did I have to say that might be inspirational, that might get minds, bodies, and souls up and doing a little jig or maybe a two-step?

point where you’re pretty darn sure you’ve used up your allotted supply, and your Guidance ATM account is empty.

I asked the week before. Then every day up through my landing at my friend’s house the night before go time. At that point, only the tiniest of little red flags were only beginning to show up on the horizon. Yet, as I unpacked my suitcase, I wondered why a room full of people would show up (sans masks for the first gathering of its kind in over two years, I might add) if I had nothing to say?

It’s when you realize, just as you do during meditation that there’s more in the “nothingness” than you could ever have imagined.

I was sharing that fact with my friend and expressing that I was still waiting—patiently, I thought, IMHO.

And where, if your IGS is invited to steer the car for you, you can actually relish the ride.

It’s like the old Gerry Seinfeld series: the show about, you guessed it, nothing. How does a show about nothing end up running for a gazillion or so seasons end up being one of the greatest shows ever? You guessed it. Because in the very nothingness, there is also everything. It’s where you have “nothing” to talk about until the last minute, and it reveals precisely what’s been on your mind and in your heart and your soul. It’s where your ego/shadow side decides to rear its snide little self and scream (or whine, as the case may be), “I’m not good enough. What am I doing here? And here I thought I had something worthwhile to share?”…and demands you take a good hard look at what’s driving you.

Maybe it’s even where if you settle in, your mind takes a break, and your spirit gets to shine. Where, if you’re willing, you can find and trust—your true, highest Self.

She only laughed and said, “It’ll come to you. It always does. You just have to trust it.” Duh. Maybe it was a good time to send up a little white flag instead? Cut to the next night. Library. Afterlife Meetup night. 5 PM. Turns out the person who was supposed to post my flyers in town had been busy with other things and forgotten. It occurred to me that maybe that’s why I had a basket so overflowing with nothing—because no one was going to show up. But then one person strolled in. And another…and another, until every one of the 50 chairs was filled. Suddenly, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Because all I needed to do was be there and reflect and express gratitude for all the love that was being generated in that room. To talk about how, in the midst of nothing, everything gets a chance to surface. How validation that you’ve been listening to your IGS shows up when you least expect it when you’ve reached the

When her husband Randy transitioned in 2012, Heidi Connolly’s life took a dramatic turn. Owner of Harvard Girl Word Services for over 20 years, Heidi focused on the work of others; now, through the writing with Randy of her award-winning book Crossing the Rubicon, Heidi understands that she is capable of much more than she’d ever given herself credit, including her ability to communicate with the Other Side. Currently, her multidimensional compass is set to the practice of writing, intuitive/mediumship coaching, spiritually guided healing music, and living life as a “Vacationing Angel.” Heidi’s newest book, The Gateway Café, is the enticing story of a teenager’s journey of awakening through inter-dimensional travel and angelic intervention. 81 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

Photo by BalanceFormCreative/Adobestock


WORTHY! By Mari D. Martin

A devoted wife and author, Mari D. Martin, has released her inspiring new book Come Home Alive: The Power of Knowing How to Work Together to Make it Through the Crisis of Cancer, which details the difficult journey she and her husband Chris went through after he was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. At the heart of the book is the couple's love story, shared by the caregiver, to provide inspiration to other family caregivers that what they do day and night matters and to encourage the patient to never give up. Determined not to let the cancer diagnosis take control of their lives, Martin and her husband set forth on a plan for him to come home alive. Their plan, rooted in faith and hope with daily time together and ended with a practice of thankfulness and expecting a miracle. Now they are sharing the steps that allowed them to get through their crisis. Still, in love as ever before, to encourage other couples and families facing similar health challenges so they may learn from their experience and have the faith to come out stronger in the end.



often misplace things. The reason why is that I “casually set” items down; when I come into the house, the keys land on the counter, and my purse might drop to the floor.

Over the years, I have misplaced sunglasses, purses, and even credit cards. If it is not permanently attached to my body like mittens as a child that were clipped to the sleeve of my winter coat, I will tend to misplace it. My husband keeps saying, “if you would just put it in its place.” Oh, believe me, I would if I could, but my brain doesn’t work like that. Over the years, with my husband’s help, I am getting better. He is creating more places where things belong. When I do misplace something, I have what I call the eighteen-inch rule. When I think about where I was last, it is there, probably right within those eighteen inches. That makes the search so much easier. If it is not there, then now that item may truly be lost. There is another rule, and that is The Rule of Eighteen Months. People, in general, get misplaced when we have to operate against our grain for over eighteen months. At first, we power down with willpower, gumption, and chutzpah. We can do anything we put our minds to doing. We compensate by using the stores of energy that we already have. We might tackle the effort differently just to accomplish what is necessary. But eighteen months seems to be the witching time—the outside barometer of tolerance. At that point we are broken and no longer have the fortitude and energy to keep pushing the water uphill. As a society, from our experience of the last two years with COVID, we are on the outside limit of tolerance. Some have already been fully broken. We have been misplaced. I had this conversation with my husband the other day.

He is in the second round of recovery and rehabilitation from Stage Four throat cancer. The first round was with radiation and chemotherapy in 2014. From that journey, he came home alive. This round, he is now recovering from a complete laryngectomy. The tumor came back in the same place, and the only option was surgical removal of the cancer. His vocal cords have been removed, and he needs to learn a new way to speak and communicate so those around him will understand. He is not making the progress he had imagined for himself. He is on the outside barometer of tolerance. He has reached the Rule of Eighteen Months. When we feel misplaced, we feel undeserving, valueless, worthless, and downright no good. We feel invisible. Having worth means, we are deserving; we possess merit; we have value. When you feel worn down, and you can’t stay afloat, even if it feels pointless, just keep staying afloat. If you are in that place today because of your role in your work, or in your church, or in your home, or as a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, or a caregiver, keep staying afloat. You are important. Your life is important. You are not invisible; you are real. You have worth. You are worthy.

WHEN YOU FEEL WORN DOWN AND YOU CAN'T STAY AFLOAT, EVEN IF IT FEELS POINTLESS, JUST KEEP STAYING AFLOAT. Start with getting a Win; even a small win can turn the ship around. If you have to write a list and put three things on it that you already did, do that so you can check those three things off. Small wins help you feel like you are accomplishing something. Getting a win reduces stress. The late basketball coach, John Wooden, had many principles on winning that don’t just apply to the basketball court; they apply to all areas of life. One of them, “little things make big things happen.” Seeking a win brings out the best in us because it engages our need for purpose. Winning through others brings on that same good feeling. Winning feels good because it releases chemicals in our brain.


“Serotonin is that good feeling,” says Loretta G. Breuning, Ph.D., and author of Habits of a Happy Brain.

Reading helps you develop your own way of thinking and point of view.

fiis is why when my beloved Packers are poised to lose, I leave the room or switch the channel.

It gives you knowledge, broadens your horizons, and keeps your mind active and entertained. Reading reduces stress because you are forced to be still.

Look to fie One who is in control. Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, or pressed on every side, you are pliable for a powerful time of transformation. Don’t ffght this, be open to it no matter the pain. To walk in a manner worthy of our calling is to act a certain way, by choice. When our lives are lived with a constant eye to pleasing the Ruler of our Life, we will be walking in a manner worthy. Live now in a way that brings glory to your Maker.

Photo by surachat/Adobestock

Read. Reading oThers so many rewards that build your worth.

Reading takes your mind oTh of rejection. It helps to build your vocabulary, your communication, and language skills. It improves focus and concentration. You can look to books to help you when you are upset, depressed, lonely, or bored. Good books can alter the course of your life because they lead you in the right direction and guide you to the correct path in life. Christopher Reeve said, “once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Reading gives us hope and makes anything possible. During this season of health turmoil and flux, I have especially appreciated the words of John Eldredge in, Get Your Life Back; and The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. My advice: go find a romance novel about redemption and experience your own redemption. Be Grateful and Thankful. Being thankful brightens our spirits, makes a difference in the lives of others, and who knows, it might even change the world. Amy Morin writes in Psychology Today that seven scientifically-proven benefits of practicing thankfulness, “opens the door to more relationships improves physical health, improves psychological health, reduces aggression, helps improve sleep, improves self-esteem, and increases mental strength.” In Come Home Alive, I wrote, “we believed


that God would heal Chris, but we needed to be a part of the equation. During our routine of praying together each morning, we gave thanks for each small yet potentially significant step in the healing process.” Offload any Heaviness that you have. For years, a mother was carrying the burden of a lie that her daughter told her. She was waiting for her to come and make it right. Her daughter never did. On the mother's dying day, she looked up and said, “what really happened on that night?” The daughter immediately realized her mistake. Absolutely, her mom knew her lie. How could she have thought otherwise?

Mothers know a lot of things! Only at that mo - you get your beloved, and he gets you. Love is ment did she realize the magnitude of her -ac an enigma, a beautiful mystery. Love is extend tions that weighed heavy on her mother. She ing yourself and refreshing the other. Love is was devastated because she had made her mom knowing and doing something about it.” When carry that burden for eleven years. After her you extend yourself in unrestrained love to -an death, she no longer would have the ability to other, you too will feel worthy. infiuence her daughter’s life, and she wanted this to be a deThning moment to reThne her daughter and build her character for the life she was cho sen for. ffle amazing thing is that by starting the conversation, both of them were released. She could look her daughter squarely in the eye and say, “I forgive you. Be at peace. All is well. Live your life worthy of your calling.” Practice sayingYes. When we say y“ es” or hear the word yes to our thoughts and ideas, that signals interest and respect. Yes is positive and invites possibilities. When I nod my head in-af Thrmation when others are speaking, that gives them fuel for creativity. It creates a safe space for being valued and trusted. It says, y“ ou matter.” If you think about it, the art of improv is to agree and add on. When we ourselves feel unworthy, getting into the practice of saying yes infiuences not only those around us but also ourselves. Life is Improv. Agree and add on. By saying y“ es,” you can be a change agent in someone’s life by championing for them at a time when they feel especially vulnerable. Make it a regular prac tice to seek opportunities to say the word-Yes.

Mari D. Martin is president of Performance Strategies Group, Inc. (PSG), a Demonstrate Love. We feel especially vulner consulting and coaching able when there is little or no love in our life. organization. She is the first Love someone, even though they appear unlov recipient of the Kolbe Proable with tubes coming out of their nose, or their fessional Award and of the stomach, or their mouth. During our two walks Mari Martin award, given to with the cancer diagnosis and treatment, a beau - a community member for their help to reduce tiful blessing that we had was abiding love. domestic and sexual violence. Martin is a child of God, wife, mother, grandIn Come Home Alive, I write, “Love is wonderful mother, sister, and daughter. She is an avid yet scary, passionate yet loyal, complicated yet reader, runner, golf enthusiast, and football fan. simple, tender yet playful, silent yet loud, dif - Martin and her husband Chris currently reside Thcult yet easy, indescribable yet intuitive, com - in Holland, Michigan, and Come Home Alive is pulsive yet compassionate, hurt yet healed, -ro her first book. mantic yet realistic, together yet not forfeiting Martin wrote Come Home Alive in part to raise selfhood, submitting yet not giving in, eternal awareness of head and neck cancer. With more yet Thlled with today—the here and the now, thisthan 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually in very moment. Love is giving your whole heart the United States alone, head and neck cancer away—every piece, every cell, every iota—know - is now the 6th most common form of cancer ing that it will be broken, aching and smashed worldwide, based on information from The to smithereens. Love is being so connected that Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.


Experts reveal how to sleep better when flying By April Mayer

As covid restrictions lift and the opportunity to travel returns as countries open their border, more people are flying again, whether it be for pleasure or for work. Health expert April Mayer from Amerisleep, reveals tips from frequent and experienced travelers on how to sleep better in the sky. Do I need a flight pillow? Investing in a decent neck support pillow for flying will be a lifesaver and can help stop any neck pain as it will properly support your neck. It will also help you sleep as you won’t feel the need to fidget to get your head comfortable regularly. You may also find an eye mask useful for light exposure and if you are unable to get a window seat and have control of the blind. How should I buckle my seat belt? How you buckle your seatbelt is important for any chance of a good night’s undisturbed sleep in the sky. The idea is that you should buckle it over your blanket instead of under it; this way, flight attendants can see you are wearing it and won’t need to wake you in the case of any turbulence. This will also stop the buckle from feeling uncomfortable and awkward whilst you sleep. What clothes should I wear? It’s very important to wear something comfortable, and that isn’t too restrictive or stiff such as tight jeans. Layers are important also as it can feel cold after time on a long-haul flight; this way, you also have the option of removing layers if you get too hot. How and where should I sit? Try to reserve a window seat if you can; this way, you can lean on the window if need be and be in control of your light exposure. It’s a good idea not to cross your legs either, as this can reduce blood flow in your legs and make you susceptible to blood clots or being in pain when you wake up. Also, make sure to recline your chair, as this will put less pressure on your lower spine, ensuring a better night’s sleep. What should I eat? Try not to overindulge before a flight and go for something light, so you’re not bloated and can doze off easier and avoid being kept awake by feeling too full. What should I listen to? Find a podcast you find relaxing and listen to it several times before bed in preparation for your flight. This way, you will be familiar with it and associate it with sleep when the time comes to sleep. Noise-canceling headphones will also help you get a more undisturbed sleep. Is there anything I can take to help me sleep? Our experts suggest taking a dose of magnesium before take-off. It’s a natural supplement that will make it easier for you to rest easy.



ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES Such As CBDA Offer Solution To Mental Health Crisis

By Inesa Ponomariovaite


ince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have reported increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In fact, last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at least 41 percent of U.S. adults struggled with their mental health, with 31 percent reporting anxiety symptoms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents of school-aged children have been hit especially hard, with many having to make substantial adjustments in their lifestyle in order to juggle working from home while also helping their children with remote learning. Economic challenges and geopolitical tensions haven’t helped either.


With so much uncertainty, it’s not surprising that many people are worried about their future and are reporting an increase in symptoms related to stress and anxiety. These types of mental health challenges often manifest in difficulty sleeping or concentrating, emotional distress, feelings of worry or sadness, increased substance use, changes in appetite, overthinking, and can even lead to depression. Pharmaceuticals, such as sleep aids and anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications, might be effective for some; however, the negative side effects and the possibility of addiction are common fears and occurrences.

Despite these worrying trends, not all is lost. Thanks to the growing popularity of alternative therapies, such as hemp-based products made with CBD and, more recently, CBDA, many people are finding relief. For those who haven’t heard of CBD before, also known as cannabidiol, it is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis after THC. Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant during the extraction process or manufactured in a laboratory and does not cause psychoactive effects—in other words; it won’t cause you to get high. For many, CBD is associated with the healing properties of cannabis, whereas THC is the psychoactive property found in the plant. While CBD has become popular with people looking for alternative therapies, in recent years, more and more research has shown that CBDA is much more effective than CBD. The big difference between CBD and CBDA is that most CBD products use extreme temperatures and other harmful processes to extract cannabinoids from the hemp plant through the extraction process, to produce hemp extract, also known as hemp oil. CBDA, on the other hand, is a natural precursor cannabinoid to CBD and is found in unheated raw cannabis flowers. In fact, CBD is a compound formed in cannabis plants under certain influences like heat or solvent processes and doesn’t appear naturally in the plant. Put more simply - CBD is derived from CBDA. Millions of people around the world have begun using CBDA to deal with a wide range of mental health challenges, including helping to promote better sleep, stabilize their moods, ease mental tension, increase focus, and help cope with stress. The health benefits offered

by hemp are also backed by a growing body of research that shows products that use CBDA can help improve the amount of serotonin activity in the brain, which helps to moderate emotions and balance people’s moods. CBDA has also been shown to have 100 times the serotonin receptor (5-HT) affinity compared to processed CBD. The 5-HT receptor is the active target for the popular class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI. SSRI drugs affect depression by causing the brain to maintain higher serotonin levels, which can give a lift to people who may feel depressed. Serotonin is also one of the molecular messengers in the central nervous system known scientifically as neurotransmitters because they provide instant messaging services to hundreds of thousands of neurons. This means that CBDA can provide a new, helpful and plausible solution for people afflicted with stress, anxiety, and depression, in addition to those who suffer from seizure disorders. There is a multitude of additional benefits to using CBDA. One of CBDA’s therapeutic powers is that it helps relieve inflammation and pain. CBDA works by blocking enzymes and receptors that cause inflammation after infection or injury. Other prescription and over-the-counter medications can be harsh on people’s stomachs. Thanks to the potential of CBDA to influence the activity of 5-HT serotonin-producing receptors, medical practitioners believe that it can be used as a way to manage nausea and vomiting, one of the leading side effects created by pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, when it comes to concerns about side effects caused by CBDA, they are largely dose-dependent and are easily tolerable. To date, there is no research that suggests there are adverse side effects related to the consumption of CBDA after normal use.


With so many cannabis options now available, it’s important to find a high-quality CBDA product; however, due to the lack of regulatory oversight, this is often easier said than done. To make sure you are purchasing the right hemp extract, you can take various steps. First and foremost, it is good practice to buy CBDA products online rather than in physical stores. This allows you to look at third-party lab test reports to verify that the product contains the right levels of CBDA, which is impossible to confirm when you’re buying in person. Third-party testing is one of the most important factors when buying any type of cannabinoid-rich hemp product. Since there’s very little regulation of the CBD industry, these tests are the only thing that protects you from low-quality products that contain little or no CBD at all. If you buy a low-quality product, you may also be ingesting additives or toxic chemicals.

Photo by Verne Ho

In the case of CBDA, third-party tests are even more important because some products contain very small amounts of this cannabinoid. How and where the hemp was grown also has a big effect on the quality of the final product. Knowing the source of the hemp used in making the product can give you insight into various components. Source information can indicate whether the hemp is sustainably farmed, organic, contains pesticides or other chemicals, and has been tested by a third-party laboratory. Examine the product’s label to help determine if you are purchasing legitimate CBDA. Top-tier companies will always clearly state this information and certification. Best of all, look for a “sealed” product, like Nesas Hemp.

The extraction process is also a key indicator for buying the best CBDA. The extraction process refers to the method used to isolate CBD and other beneficial compounds from hemp plant material. Currently, the two cleanest, most effective methods are CO2 and ethanol extraction. Similar to the hemp source, information about the extraction process should always be clearly stated. Don’t get tricked into buying expensive and ineffective CBDA products. Do your research and ask questions if you’re unsure. The bottom line is to shop for the most natural, unprocessed CBD and only purchase hemp oil that contains CBDA. Given the growing body of scientific research and anecdotal evidence that shows CBDA’s therapeutic potential, it’s not surprising that so many people are now using CBDA hemp extract to help improve their mental and physical health.

The author's opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints on this article do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of The Eden Magazine. and strickly is the author's opinion.

Inesa Ponomariovaite is a holistic health expert who, after years of improving the lives of her clients through her alternative and holistic health consulting services, became frustrated with the inability to source pure CBDA products that met the highest quality standard. To change that, she launched Nesas Hemp, which has quickly become a dominant player in the CBDA hemp industry. Nesas is the world’s first full-spectrum hemp extract to be certified with a safety seal by an FDA-registered laboratory. It is created through a unique process to preserve the healing compounds of the hemp plant, which bring optimal health and healing and restore the body to its natural state. Inesa’s ethos, “doing right” for humanity, continues to propel her to develop products and services that are good for the environment and good for the mind, body, and soul.


Relatability and vulnerability,


By Jayita Bhattacharjee

t gives you strength as it invites another person out there in the universe to give you the hands when you are desperate to reach out to someone. It awakens the feeling of something called love. You sense that you belong somewhere somehow in this universe and that you certainly are not alone as another empathizes with your situation. It becomes the beginning of something beautiful, a place from where joy in the profound sense arises; only through allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of the world that you begin to understand the feelings of empathy, forgiveness, love, and belonging. From this perspective, as you own up to the story of your life, it becomes an act of courage. Along the way, you become expansive in joy. The most profound emotions laid beneath the layers in sharing your feelings, that emotional courage truly surfaces. As you ac-

cept them, those feelings are validated, and you recognize their significance. In addition, vulnerability pushes you to perceive new horizons and think of ideas that you never thought of before. You begin to see new possibilities that remained unseen before. Though you risk that your vulnerability will be judged, you are still willing to take the risk. You risk all those feelings so you might have a chance of success. You are not letting them perceive you as a weak creature on this earth; instead, you beautifully unfold yourself. The world gets to feel you, and thus you become relatable to them. You become felt, seen, and heard, which is a powerful thing that overcomes many suppressed feelings of shame and uncertainty. Embrace your own vulnerability as it is a beautiful mess; you are beautifully disheveled. Allow yourself o share things with this world and allow others to share theirs. In this letting loose

how are they connected 92 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

of your being, you become relatable; as others get to see you, they get to feel what makes you laugh, what makes you weep, twhat is your place of strength, and what becomes your place of weakness. You become relatable to others, and the bridge is being crossed as one soul reaches out to you and then another and eventually this world. Through this process of emotional vulnerability and relatability, what happens that unknowingly, you become dynamic while bypassing the rocks that once stood along the

way of your flow. You need to grasp your own emotions in order to understand them; read them carefully as you sit with them. What sort of emotions flow from which experiences? As you understand what you are feeling, then tell it and retell it to yourself about the nature of your emotions as you feel them. While you share them with others, you move through them, and others are able to connect with you. Through this connection, you get grounded in confidence, and you learn to trust yourself again while becoming anchored to the ground.

To be vulnerable emotionally without any hesitation

CAN TAKE A LOT OF STRENGTH FOR YOU to go there out in the open and let the world see how you feel

As others learn your story, it gives you the courage to walk alongside them. As they listen to you, they become the trusted shelters of your story. You know, there is someone out there who is listening to your fears and desires. It is then that your story becomes sacred in their eyes and yours. Unknowingly they develop a sense of respect for you as you emerge from your cloak. Your experience becomes their experience as they identify themselves with your experiences and feelings. In the process, you become a part of them, and they turn to be a part of you. It arouses a connection and awakens the sense of a sleeping kinship. This sharing drives connection, and much more goes on beneath the surface. Rather than choosing a path of utter shutdown in the face of sadness or anger, despair or fears, if you choose to share your side of the emotional experiences, that builds up your grounded confidence. It encourages your self-trust to grow again in light of their companionship. Not hearing someone else’s story can feel like deserting someone in need, and walking away from sharing our own story can feel like deserting ourselves. Your lived experience becomes a place of connection between you and others, and through the questioning and answering ll those, the sharing gets richer. They are all centered on your experiences, pushing aside their ego, behaviors, and pride. They find themselves struggling with your experiences, and with this identification, a relatability arises. They learn to trust you as you emerge raw and real. It’s about building trust as you

share your own experiences, and in it arises the sense of building humanity and strengthening it. It makes you singularly beautiful. You need not pull yourself back in shame or fear for any visible sign of mistake, as they will precipitate signs of constraint in you that will hinder your growth, as it is an insult to your soul. However unwelcome they are, still be receptive to all the feelings that come and go and let not any embarrassment take away the spurt of your growth. What you think of as moments of drawback make you eventually more generous and compassionate as the mistakes that create a series of wounds leave you with something. And that something is called humility and wisdom. Your mistakes and successes make you who you are today, and throughout the journey of your soul, you need not look down for any embarrassment. And this is where some of the steps need to be taken for you to keep flowing, as flow you must. You need to share the story of your heart as from such a place of sharing, the river of healing will flow. But, oversharing might put you in a difficult situation. As the world out there might be tender and savage both. When people choose to be otherwise, then sharing the details of your heart with them might be unwise, but when people become receptive as you try to reach out to them, it can bring immense healing. As they stay around and give you their listening ears, unknowingly, what precipitated in your deeps begins to clear, and the river flows again inside you.

As you do not have to push it aside, instead of push yourself through it, so it helps the absorption easy, and you can keep floating and moving with the currents of life. It becomes a process of absorption, acceptance, and endurance. It is not a task to be completed instantaneously, rather a process of alteration of your very being, a new way of living, a new way of self.

thing enduring. It creates fulfilling relationships. This fine release is healthy for the unrestricted flow of your being.

There may be, at times, an inclination to err on the side of your oversharing, but it also has something to give. What does it give? It can build some of the most beautiful relationships and deepen the already existing ones. With such building and deepening, your life begins to flow again as the moss is unknowingly getting cleared, and your pathway is getting cleared unknowingly. Still, in the process, you need to have some social filter. Or else you might at times get under the deep dark waters of trouble. As per the social penetration theory, the slow revealing of every detail of your life becomes the pathway to developing closeness and trust. You emerge from the superficial layer to the place of authenticity, and that takes a leap into the uncharted area.

When an emotional vulnerability is without any reserve, it becomes the beginning of a friendship, a connection so real. The very vulnerability you fear becomes the place of strength and courage in an authentic relationship. To be vulnerable emotionally should not be compared to a sign of fragility or fright. Being open emotionally and vulnerable may be unsettling at the very beginning or somewhat uncomfortable, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable emotionally without any hesitation can take a lot of strength for you to go there out in the open and let the world see how you feel. It takes courage, and right then, it becomes the beginning of a connection, newly found. It takes emotional showing as the world gets to see you unearthing every single layer of your emotion. Finally, you get to the point where you unveil your feelings, and they come out beautifully uncovered. When you realize this, it no longer makes you feel stressed or anxious as to how society is going to perceive the matter, as you reveal yourself layer by layer, knowing there is uncertainty in the process along the way.

Being on the edge of vulnerability, you may wonder about trusting or about keeping inside, and ultimately it might push you to let it out all in the open air. It may go to the ears of those you trust, but it will dissolve the walls and allow an authentic relationship to grow beautifully. Though none can forge immediate and lasting friendships with anybody on this earth, still those who are not hesitant to be vulnerable can create opportunities for developing meaningful connections with others through their openness as it builds trust, the primal element in forging a friendship. In such a sharing, you might meet genuine friends who might warn you of any potential dangers that might be around your bend. So you do not become a victim of any unforeseen danger as that which may lie around the twist or the next curve and might trap you. At times friends come as angels in your life who might warn you of what lies ahead, and the road might be slippery. No matter what lies ahead, the pathway might become clear if you are reminded of what an avalanche of danger might slide next. You can be vulnerable yet so powerful at the same time. At the same time, too much honesty can land you in trouble, but it also signals the fact that they can trust you as you are a person who is expressive from a place of authenticity. Rather than just expressing out fear, you also share from a place of concern and worry your fears and hopes. Similarly, they also tend to share their own stories as you seem to be so open with them. This mutual openness creates some94 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e MAY 2022

If someone looks up to you, they might see a virtue in that vice and tend to look past your failures, as in such an ability to see beyond the errs lies a magnanimous relatability.

Jayita Bhattacharjee was born in Calcutta, India and later on pursued education from University of Houston in Economics, she had chosen her career as a trustee and teacher. Her Indian residence is in the vicinity of the famous Belurmath. Currently, she is settled in Tampa, Florida. Her love for writing on a journey of heart and soul was hidden all within. Looking at the moments captured in love and pain, joy and grief, the hidden tragedies of was a calling of her soul to write. Her books "The Ecstatic Dance of Life', " Sacred Sanctuary", " Light of Consciousness", "Dewdrops of Compassion" are meant to shed light on what guides a person to respond to the mystical voice hidden inside, to soar in a boundless expansion with the limitless freedom of spirit."It is in the deepest joy that I write with every breath of mine."




The Sixth Mass Extinction is happening now, and it doesn’t

look good for us


pecies are going extinct at an unusually high rate. Our efforts now will prevent a future too ghastly to contemplate.

Mounting evidence is pointing to the world having entered a sixth mass extinction. If the current rate of extinction continues we could lose most species by 2200. The implication for human health and wellbeing is dire, but not inevitable. In the timeline of fossil evidence going right back to the first inkling of any life on Earth — over 3.5 billion years ago — almost 99 percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. That means that as species evolve over time — a process known as ‘speciation’ — they replace other species that go extinct. Extinctions and speciations do not happen at uniform rates through time; instead, they tend to occur in large pulses interspersed by long periods of relative stability. These extinction pulses are what scientists refer to as mass extinction events.


The Cambrian explosion was a burst of speciation some 540 million years ago. Since then, at least five mass extinction events have been identified in the fossil record (and probably scores of smaller ones). Arguably the most infamous of these was when a giant asteroid smashed into Earth about 66 million years ago in what is now the Gulf of Mexico. The collision vapourised species immediately within the blast zone. Later, species were killed off by climate change arising from pulverised particulates suspended in the atmosphere, as well as intense volcano activity stimulated by the buckling of the Earth’s crust from the asteroid’s impact. Together, about 76 percent of all species around at the time went extinct, of which the disappearance of the dinosaurs is most well-known. But dinosaurs didn’t disappear altogether — the survivors just evolved into birds. To be classified as a mass extinction, at least 75 percent of all the species on Earth must go extinct within a ‘short’ geological period of less than 2.8 million years. That timeframe seems long to us because modern humans have only existed for about 200,000 years so far.

WITH A LITTLE EFFORT AND LONGER-TERM PLANNING, WE COULD MAKE OUR FUTURE JUST THAT LITTLE BIT LESS GHASTLY. As a species, humans have been implicated in smaller extinction events going back to the late Pleistocene (around 50,000 years ago) to the early Holocene (around 12,000 years ago) when most of the ‘megafauna’, such as woolly mammoths, giant sloths, diprotodons, and cave bears, disappeared from nearly every continent over a few thousand years.

er noticed by humans. Even accounting for undetected extinctions, the modern era still cannot be classified as a mass extinction event.

Much later, the expansion of European colonists throughout the world from about the 14th Century precipitated an extinction cascade first on islands, and then to areas of continental mainland as the drive to exploit natural resources accelerated. Over the last 500 hundred years, there have been more than 700 documented extinctions of vertebrates and 600 plant species. These extinctions come nowhere near the 75 percent threshold to include the modern era among the previous mass-extinction events.

If past mass extinctions took nearly three million years to ensue, then we should instead examine how many species go extinct per unit of time relative to the ‘background’ extinction rate that occurs between mass-extinction events.

But those are just the extinctions humans have recorded. In fact, many species go extinct before they are even discovered — perhaps as many as 25 percent of total extinctions are nev-

But it’s not the total number of extinctions we should focus on; rather, it’s the extinction rate.

According to the fossil record, the average ‘lifespan’ of a species is around one million years, which equates to a background rate of about 0.1–2.0 extinctions per million ‘species-years’. This makes the number of observed extinctions in the modern era 10 to 10,000 times higher than the background rate. Even the most conservative estimates that ignore undetected extinctions firmly place the modern era well within the expected range to qualify as a mass extinction.


An optimist might contend that surely the rate of loss will decline with time, such that we’d be unlikely to meet the 75 percent threshold. However, the outlook is not at all rosy. The devastation wrought to date means the extinction rate is only likely to accelerate. Most of the damage to the Earth’s life-support system has happened over the last century. The global human population has tripled since 1950, and there are now approximately one million species threatened with imminent extinction due to massive population declines, representing about 10–15 percent of all complex life on Earth. Since the start of agriculture around 11,000 years ago, the total amount of vegetation on Earth has halved. Less than 15 percent of all wetlands recorded 300 years ago are still present today, and more than two-thirds of the world’s oceans are compromised to some extent by human activity. Not to mention climate change. Recent evidence suggests global warming causes up to ten times more extinctions than we might expect by looking only at a species’ upper temperature limit. In fact, when we take the relationships between species into account — such as predators depending on their prey, parasites depending on their hosts, or flowering plants depending on their pollinators — near-future extinctions are expected to sky-rocket. A truly indifferent person might also claim that as long as the species that provide resources for modern societies survive, there’s no reason to consider extinction a problem. The evidence suggests otherwise. Species loss also erodes the services biodiversity provides us. These include reduced carbon sequestration that exacerbates climate change, reduced pollination and increased soil degradation that compromise our food production, poorer water and air quality, more frequent and intense flooding and fires, and poorer human health. Even human diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19 are the result of our collective indifference to the integrity of natural ecosystems.


You could be forgiven for thinking that in the presence of overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the necessity to change our course, human societies and their leaders would prioritise damage control. In fact, the opposite is occurring. Short-term interests, an economic system that concentrates wealth among a few individuals, the rise of right-wing populism with anti-environment agendas, and financed disinformation campaigns designed to protect short-term profits, mean it’s unlikely we’ll be able to make changes at sufficient scale to avoid environmental catastrophe. A ghastly future seems almost assured. However, the grim outlook does not justify inaction. On the contrary, we could potentially limit the damage if societies around the globe embraced certain fundamental, yet achievable, changes. We could abolish the goal of perpetual economic growth, and force companies to restore the environment using established mechanisms such as carbon pricing. We could limit undue corporate influence on political decision-making, and end corporate lobbying of politicians. Educating and empowering women, including providing greater self-determination in family planning, would help stem environmental destruction. With a little effort and longer-term planning, we could make our future just that little bit less ghastly. Corey Bradshaw is the Matthew Flinders Professor of Global Ecology at Flinders University, Adelaide. This research was funded by the Australian Research Council.

This story originally appeared in "360INFO” It is republished here as part of The Eden Magazine partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration to strengthen coverage of the climate story.