T H E MAGAZINE
6 STEPS TO TACKLE
EMOTIONAL EATING By Dr. Bradly Nelson
FIGHT AND WHEN TO FLOW By Phyllis King
Blair UNDERWOOD Gratefully Acknowledging Wherever His Heart Takes Him
e t o N s ' r o it Ed Welcome to our November issue.
Human beings are social creatures. Connecting to other fellow humans is part of our nature and has its benefits. It releases our stress and anxiety, stops feeling lonely, and brings joy. Our new way of connecting is social media, and how remarkable it is to have the ability to communicate with your friends, family, or even bond with new people globally. As for us at The Eden Magazine, monthly, we are reaching millions of readers worldwide, which is incredible. Isn't it? But then, there is a contrary side to this new great way of communication. Just surfing in social media can convey depression, low self-esteem, a fear of missing out or being left out, and creating self-absorbed and self-centeredness. The list can go on and on. So, next time you are on social media, think twice and try not to lose your ground. Know who you are and why you are there, play your part, and don't let yourself shape into being someone else. Your life is yours. I hope you enjoy our November issue.
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The Eden Magazine
@The Eden Magazine
Photo by Jess Bailey
@The Eden Magazine
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MEET OUR TEAM
Photo by ISABELLE RUEN
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.
JOE SANTOS, JR.
MARCO NUNZIO ALATI
NANCY E. YEAROUT
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EDEN T H E
The Eden Magazine is a free online publication focuses on spreading compassion to all Sentient Beings living in a healing and peaceful world FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MARYAM MORRISON EXECUTIVE EDITOR/ CONTRIBUTING WRITER DINA MORRONE COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR/ CONTRIBUTING WRITER ALEXIA MELOCCHI CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MICHAEL SASHA GARY VITO TROTTA PHYLLIS KING JOE SANTOS, JR. ANGELA DUNNING NANCY E. YEAROUT SHELLY WILSON SHERRI CORTLAND MARCO NUNZIO ALATI JAYITA BHATTACHARJEE CONTRIBUTING STYLISTS + MAKEUP ARTIST EDWARD HAKOPIAN GRAPHICS & PHOTOGRAPHY GREG DOHERTY ISABELLE RUEN SHERI DETERMAN ARTIN MARDIROSIAN (Nexision) GRETA PAZZAGLIA WEBSITE www.theedenmagazine.com 325 N. Maple Dr. Po Box 5132 Beverly Hills, CA 90209 To purchase a copy visit us in www.theedenmagazine.com
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; email@example.com 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 NOVEMBER 2021
Table of Contents 10
6 STEPS TO TACKLE EMOTIONAL EATING
BLAIR UNDERWOOD By Dina Morrone
WONDERING IF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
6 STEPS TO TACKLE EMOTIONAL EATING By Dr. Bradly Nelson
WONDERING IF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE? By Diana Cole
RIDING THE EDGE; A LOVE SONG TO DEBORAH By Michael Tobin
AN INTERVIEW WITH KATE WALL SENIOR LEGISLATIVE MANAGER AT IFAW
EMA CELEBRATE GREEN EXCELLENCE AT THE 4TH ANNUAL ENVIROMENTAL MEDIA ASSOCIATION AWARD
HOW FLOATING IN QUIET DARKNESS BENEFIT THE BRAIN By Glenn Perry
FEEL FRAZZLED? GET GROUNDED By Amanda Hainline
SLEEP CYCLES By Dr. Mimi Guarneri
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FOLLOW THIS! By Joe Santos Jr.
Cover by Rochelle Brodin @RochelleBrodinPhoto
Edited by ARTIN MARDIROSIAN (Nexision)
Life is Essential, Feel it 58
POWER THROUGH AWARENESS By Sherri Cortland, N.D.
THE JOY OF LIFE, LIVING & BEING HAPPY By Shelly Wilson
EVERY DOG DESERVES A HAPPILY EVER AFTER By Indie Blake
THE ALCHEMICAL POWER OF HUMILITY HUMILT CAN BE FOUND IN THE HEART By Angela Dunning
HOME COMING WHERE SPIRITUALITY AND PSYCHOLOGY INTERSECT By Jayita Bhattacharjee
A CURE FOR DEPRESSION, THAT ONLY USES ENERGY
WHEN TO FIGHT AND WEHN TO FLOW A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL EXPANSION By Phyllis King
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY By michael
MY PERSPECTIVE ON MY UNCONVENTIONAL.....
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Life is your Creation
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Blair Underwood By Dina Morrone
Blair Underwood, an award-winning actor, who works in film, television, and theatre, and is also a director and producer, sat down with me to share a little bit about himself. The list of Underwood's projects over the years, and the accolades he has received, are long and impressive. He is a Member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences®, one of People Magazines "50 Most Beautiful People," a singer, dancer, father, and humanitarian who cares deeply about paying it forward. Underwood has just completed directing and starring in the feature film Viral, a psychological thriller, meets murder mystery wrapped in a love story, which is set to be released in 2022. My biggest takeaway from the interview with Mr. Underwood is that he's a true gentleman, with the soul of a pure artist, and that he's most proud of his children and being a father!
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Mr. Underwood, please share with us a memory from your childhood that brings a smile to your face whenever you think about it. When I think of my childhood, I think of happy times with my mother, father, brother, and two younger sisters. The one memory that stands out the most is that of Christmas morning every year. It was a huge deal at our house because it was my mother's favorite time of the year. She made it so inviting and exciting for us. She was all in: music, decorations, carolers, parties, and so many Christmas trees, 50 of them, and she would count them all. It was a really special time. Sadly, my mother passed away on October 20, 2020. Where did you get your love for the arts and your artistic abilities? Definitely my mother. She introduced my siblings and me to the Arts -Theatre, and Broadway specifically. She was a fashion designer but stopped doing that when she married my father and became a soldier's wife. But she was also an artist, a painter, played the piano, and loved musicals. It's poetic that my mother's last night on the town before she passed was to see me on Broadway in a play called A Soldiers Play. She was all dressed up in a gown, hair, makeup, and so happy to be there. It is so fitting that her last big hurrah would be at the theater. To honor my mother, I am writing a memoir about her life for Harper Collins, and coincidentally it is called A Soldier's Wife. When did you first get the acting bug? I used to watch a TV show called Eight Is Enough. One of the actors was a young boy named Adam Rich. One day he was being interviewed on the Mike Douglas Show. He was eight or nine, my age at the time. In the interview, he was asked how he got into the business. He answered that one day watching TV, his mom heard about some audition coming up and asked if he wanted to be in that "box," referring to the TV, and he said, "yeah, I want to do that." So, I turned to my mom and said, "I want to do that. I want to get in the box." My family didn't know what it would take for me to do that, but my mother told me if I really wanted to do that, I had to take it seriously. She laid it all out for me that I would have to go to school, train, do theater, go to college, and maybe one day go to Hollywood and Broadway. She didn't know how it was going to happen, but she assured me that she and my father would do what they could to put me in the right position to be able to pursue it. As an artist, do you tap into your inner child? I feel that, as an artist, it's important that we have a 12 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
side of us that does not want to grow up. Of course, we do grow up, and we become responsible adults, but to delve into, and navigate the imagination every day, and to extricate ourselves from this life, this reality and play in our imagination of the world, and become different people, is the magic of childhood. And as artists, we do want to be able to tap into that. Did you ever consider following in your father's footsteps to pursue a career in the military? I have tremendous respect for the military, but I did not see that as my career path. Although over the years, many times, I have created characters from the military in my acting work. I have played them on stage, television, and in film. What do you do to feel spiritually grounded? I try to start every day and end every day with Prayer - Meditation. I need that quiet moment to myself. It may be as short as 30 seconds, five minutes, or much longer. I try to center myself before I get out of bed and live in that space of gratitude, and I thank God for waking up and for the good health and happiness of my family. Which charities are dear to your heart and why? My mother had MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and I have been involved with Nancy Davis' organization called Race to Erase MS for many years. I was also involved, for some time, with Artists for a New South Africa, which was started in 1994 during Apartheid in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was still in prison. It was a way for the people here in Hollywood to keep a light and a focus on Apartheid. The organization then transitioned to Education and sending supplies over for AIDS and AIDS awareness. Unfortunately, the organization disbanded two years ago, but through that, I learned how I could be of service and find a way of giving back. Also, another thing I was involved with was something my business partner, Gary Reeves brought to me. It was this idea for a show called Give that aired on Saturday mornings. It turned out to be very successful and won an Emmy a few years ago. The idea was Shark Tank for Non-Profits. On every show, there would be one celebrity and two different nonprofits. There was also a gifting organization that gave in the form of training, money, maybe a car, etc. It was the celebrity's job to learn from the nonprofit's presentation what the organization needed. It helped me to achieve what I set out to do, and that was to give back. It was a win, win for all involved.
You were the co-narrator, along with Beau Bridges and Cynthia Nixon, for Al Gore's book An Inconvenient Truth, about the climate crisis. What was your biggest takeaway from this book? I got quite an education being exposed to the material in that book. I do my part about being aware of what is going on around me and globally. Thankfully, every year, we as a society are taking this issue more and more seriously. The discussion of this situation continued to open up so much more from when I first recorded the book. I hope that we all do our part and continue to take the climate crisis seriously as it is affecting our planet in ways, we are all witnessing firsthand now with all the weather changes. Growing up, who were the African American role models you looked up to? My role models in show business are Sidney Poitier and Cecily Tyson. But others who are not in show business include my mother and father, who have always been role models to me. And then there is Marie Maniego, my high school English teacher. She was also my mentor, and she had her own theater company off campus where I was able to perform. And Billy Wilson, who was my dance teacher at Carnegie Mellon. He introduced me to his agent when I first moved to New York.
Blair with Cicely Tyson
I LOOK BACK AT MY LIFE AND THINK, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW WHERE YOUR GUT AND HEART TAKE YOU, AND PEOPLE WILL RESPOND AND REACT; HOWEVER, THEY ARE GOING TO RESPOND AND REACT. SO, I AM GRATEFUL FOR WHATEVER THOSE CHOICES WERE AND WHEREVER MY HEART TOOK ME.
There have been so many people in my life and my career that have played pivotal roles. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about paying it forward when I can. Is there someone you met that had your jaw dropped in a "please pinch me" moment? It was 1988. I was doing press for a show in New York. When I got on the plane to return home to Los Angeles, I walked to my seat and saw this very tall, elegant gentlemen, legs outstretched, sleeping. It was Sidney Poitier. My seat was right next to his. I had one of those moments where I gasped, which woke him up. I went on to introduce myself. Because it was a five-hour flight, I didn't want to overwhelm him right away by saying I was a huge fan. So, I said hello, and sat down.
and worked with Cicely Tyson - I played her son – it was such an honor to invite Mr. Poitier to come see me in that play and to surprise Ms. Tyson with his presence. To see them greeting each other, jumping for glee, two icons, was something magical. The second "pinch me" moment came when I saw Nelson Mandela. I was doing some work for Artists for a Free South Africa event. After Apartheid was dismantled, we changed it to Artists for a New South Africa. I had met him briefly on a plane, and the moment really took my breath away. And then I met him again at a state dinner at the White House, under Bill Clinton, where he was the special guest of honor. Congratulations on your Tony Award Nomination in 2020 for your role in the Tony Award Winning Best Revival of a Play, A Soldier's Play. Thank you. Although I personally did not win in my individual category, I couldn’t be more excited that the play won the Tony for Best Revival.
Blair with Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson & Vanessa Williams
Before boarding, I had planned to use those five hours on the plane to write a thesis I was doing as a final paper for Carnegie Mellon. In my third year of studies at Carnegie Mellon, I had to drop out for financial reasons, but I was fortunate enough to start working right away. After several years of working and some success, Carnegie Mellon reached out to let me know they wanted me to get my degree and thought I too would like to do that. Since I had worked in the field for three years, they said they would let that serve as my credits, but to graduate, I had to write a final thesis on what I had learned working out in the field. Well, instead of sitting there on the flight back writing that thesis, I ended up having a conversation with Mr. Poitier. When I did finally write the paper, it ended being about the conversation I had with Mr. Poitier. I called it The Business of Show. He was so generous, open, and transparent and became a mentor over the years. At almost every major point of my career from that day forward, he was there. When I did a one-person show called I M 4 in Los Angeles, he was there in the front row on opening night. And when I did the play A Trip to Bountiful 15 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
With regards to the production of A Soldiers Play, thankfully we finished our run of the show on March 13, 2021, right when the pandemic hit. We were the very last play to run on Broadway! We were scheduled to do our Lincoln Center Archival performance on Friday the 13th, so we were allowed to go forward and do the show but without an audience. That felt very weird because we had packed houses during the run and had to go back to a rehearsal feel with no audience, except for a few friends in the mezzanine. What does it mean to you to perform live on stage, and when you are not performing live, what do you miss about it? What it means to perform live on stage, and what I miss is that communal fellowship between the artists and the audience that you don't get anywhere else in any other shape or form. To be in the same room with an audience, feel the same electricity, and ride that same wave with them, there is nothing else like that. It's a high, especially when you are in that zone. The ability and privilege to take the audience along with you it's magical. Suppose you could go back in time and speak to ten-year-old Blair. What would you say to him about what it means to be honored with 16 nominations and eight wins by the NAACP? I would say to him, be true to yourself, and remember that you don't only represent yourself. You represent so much more than just yourself. I say remember because my mother raised us as that soldier's wife. In the '60s, there were so few African American military officers, and so we were raised to carry with us a sense of dignity and honor and to know that we represent our father's rank, our family, ourselves, our family name, and our race. That was a lot for a ten-year-old to carry, but that's how we were raised. You did not leave the house and embarrass yourself, your father, his rank, and your race. That notion and that guiding premise have carried me and informed my career and life choices. I look back at my life and think, you have to follow where your gut and heart take you, and people will respond and react; however, they are going to respond and react. So, I am grateful for whatever those choices were and wherever my heart took me. I am glad that I get love from the African American community, my community, and where I come from. I am grateful that I am a man of African descent. What projects are you working on? I am currently in the editing process of a film I directed, and that I am also staring in called Viral. 16 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
It's a psychological thriller, meets a murder mystery, wrapped in a love story. It's intense, deep, and really well written. And it also stars Sarah Silverman, Alfre Woodard, and Jeanine Mason. I’m very pleased that the pilot of our re-boot of L.A. Law was finally picked up by ABC. We will shoot the pilot in February or March 2022. Also, I have joined the cast of Three Women for ShowTime. It is a 10-episode limited series that I started filming at the end of October. I will be in five of the 10 episodes. It is based on the acclaimed New York Times Bestseller written by Lisa Taddeo. I am a co-producer of the Broadway show Pass Over, which opened on September 12. It was the first stage play, back on Broadway, with a live audience since the pandemic shut everything down. I’m thrilled to announce that it was a rousing success. It’s one thing to open the curtain during a pandemic and global plague. It is another thing entirely to keep the curtain up. We’re glad the show ran its intended nine weeks and closed successfully on October 10th. And I have several other projects that are in various stages of development. What do you cherish the most about fatherhood? What I cherish the most is watching them grow and watching them blossom. As a parent, you water, nurture, cultivate, you input information, and then you watch it take root, and you watch them become their own people, making their own choices and decisions. It's not always heartening but more heartening than not. Watching them become their own people is extraordinarily gratifying. It's the greatest thing that I am most grateful for in my life. Is there an acting role you’d like to interpret? Yes. I would love to play Marvin Gaye in his life story. Special Thank you to: Blair Underwood Alexia Melocchi @TheHeartofShowBusinessRochelle Brodin @RochelleBrodinPhoto Lisa Joy Walton: Makeup Moda Color: Black Suit on cover Giovanni Testi: Suit on pages 12/13 Marika Soderlund (Kicka Custom): Styling Antonella Carlevaro: Location
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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM BLAIR UNDERWOOD’S FILMOGRAPHY Three Women: Richard Viral: Andrew LA Law: Jonathan Rollins Love Life: Leon Hines American Crime Story: Vernon Jordan Your Honor: Roland Carter Sex and the City: Dr. Robert Leeds Really Love: Mr. Solomon The Pack Podcast: Darren Self-Made (Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker): Charles James Walker The Lion Guard: Makuu Dear White People: Moses Brown When They See Us: Bobby Burns The After Party: Sgt. Martin Ellison Quantico: Owen Hall Sofia the First: Sir Jaxon Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Andrew Garner The Good Wife: Harry Dargis The Art of Getting By: Principal Martinson I Will Follow: Evan Law & Order (Special Victims Unit): Miles Sennet Covert One: The Hades Factor Palmer Addison Madea's Family Reunion: Carlos Armstrong Something New: Mark Harper Fatherhood: Dr. Arthur Bindlebeep LAX: Roger De Souza City of Angels: Dr. Ben Turner Rules of Engagement: Captain Lee Deep Impact: Mark Simon Gattaca: Geneticist Happily Ever After (Fairy Tales for Every Child): King Midas High Incident: Officer Michael Rhoades Mistrial: Lieutenant C. Hodges Soul of the Game: Jackie Robinson Just Cause: Bobby Earl Posse: Carver Father & Son (Dangerous Relations): Jared Williams The Legend of Prince Valiant: Harbormaster American Experience: Lewis Douglass A Different World: Zelmer Collier Heat Wave: Bob Richardson Murder in Mississippi: James Chaney The Cover Girl and the Cop: Horace Bouchet Mickey's 60th Birthday: Jonathan Rollins Downtown: Terry Corsaro 21 Jump Street: Reginald Brooks
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"Clean water, the essence of life and a birthright for everyone, must become available to all people now" ~ Jean-Michel Cousteau
Deborah Zara Kobylt
eborah believes everyone has a story to tell. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, she would interview friends and relatives about everything from where they come from, what they dream about, and how to make meatballs. She was a competitive figure skater and swimmer. Deborah would spend Sunday afternoons at the family dining room table writing about the latest news in school, around the neighborhood, or at home if she wasn't involved in sports. She loves art and was obsessed with Leonardo DiVinci. Naturally, this curiosity led to a career in journalism, writing for local newspapers, eventually landing her first TV job as a reporter and anchor in Atlantic City, NJ, covering crime, casinos, movie stars, and gangsters. She also worked at PBS station WNET/NJN before moving to LA for her husband's radio job, and ultimately hers on TV. Deborah's husband, John, is one of the top radio hosts in the country and has been nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame. Deborah felt at home reporting in Los Angeles from day one and found each community unique and exciting. She worked as a reporter at KCAL9 News, Fox11 LA, and CNN, covering LIVE breaking stories, entertainment, business, sports, trials (including OJ), movie premiers, fires, floods, celebrities, you name it. Deborah's work has earned her vari-
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ous awards, including her latest nomination for Journalist of the Year by the LA Press Club. Deborah created two Livestream audio/video podcasts: Deborah Kobylt LIVE, diving deep into the change-makers in society, from authors to philanthropists, moms, tech wizards, actors, athletes, and more. She's proud to say her show has millions of views and downloads and has brought attention to various causes. Being proud of her Italian heritage, she decided to start a second show, The Little Italy of LA Podcast, interviewing Italians from the world of opera, art, travel, food, science, and film who have made authentic contributions to Italian-American culture. Creating and hosting her shows have also allowed Deborah to build sponsorships and expand her business to include public speaking, hosting film and book festivals, conferences, and more. Deborah also built a niche media training business where she helps individuals present their best selves. Deborah has dabbled in acting along her journey so that you can find her in the final Nightmare On Elm Street movie. She also performs at the local comedy clubs throughout LA, testing out material for a book she's writing. Deborah is also proud of her work with Your Mom Cares, focusing on mental health issues and treatment for young people. Ultimately, she says, we are all connected, one story at a time.
A Journalist, Creator & Host
"WE ARE ALL CONNECTED, ONE STORY AT A TIME"
When did you know you wanted to embark on a career as a reporter/journalist, and what path did you take to make it a reality? I’ve known I wanted to be a journalist since I was a little girl. I was curious about each family member that came into our home. Everyone seemed so interesting, with colorful lives and personalities. So I started writing about them as a kid, asking questions about how and where they grew up, etc. I continued in college at Rutgers University, where I was the Arts Editor, covering stories at theaters and art galleries. It was fascinating. As my career evolved from newspapers to T.V. journalism, I found it exciting to interview an astronaut or senator one day, and the next day, I would interview kids in preschool. It’s an honor, and responsibility, to share these stories with the community, be it local, network, or international news. I especially enjoy interviewing authors, as they often have a story to share.
In August, you received three nominations for your work by the LA Press Club, including Journalist of the Year. Congratulations! What can you tell us about the awards gala held at the iconic Biltmore in DTLA? I was nominated by my peers at the Los Angeles Press Club for Journalist of the Year for my body of work interviewing people making an impact in areas of mental health, women’s issues, people in arts, entertainment, philanthropy, and those making a difference in the lives of others through the work they are doing. I’m proud to be recognized by my fellow journalists, who are also friends. We are a tight group and have been in the trenches for years together, covering everything from the O.J. Trial to fires and even the Oscars. We know and respect one another, so it’s a win for all of us.
the office of L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino would honor me for the work I’m doing to help promote our newly-formed Little Italy district in L.A., which is a vibrant community highlighting the arts, culture, and culinary contributions of Italians through the generations. I thought a great way to bring attention to the area would be through a podcast, which I started, about our Little Italy in Los Angeles. I’m a full-blooded Italian American, so I wear this award proudly in memory of my parents, Edith and Tony Zara, who were champions of our Italian heritage in every way. I’ve also been honored for my interview with actor Joe Mantegna, talking about his life as an Italian in Hollywood. Do you have any words of sound advice for young women who are thinking of pursuing a career in reporting/journalism? Always stay curious. Know that the hours may be long, but it’s a fascinating line of work where you get paid to ask questions and bear witness to so many exciting moments in life. And a great way to start? Get out there with a pen, pad, and phone, and start writing and recording stories on your own, post them to YouTube, blog about it, etc. There are so many ways now to get noticed for good work. But be there for the work, not the glamour, because this isn’t necessarily a glamorous field, but it is fulfilling. What is your favorite food? Hands down, broccoli rabe. I love that with cornmeal, which is how my mom would make it. I always enjoy a good hand-made pasta with a hint of olive oil, and I sincerely enjoy any food made with love. I think you can tell the difference.
Tell us about the Certificate of Recognition from the State of California and the Italian Spirit Award you recently received? What do these accolades by both the state and the local Italian/ American community mean to you and your family? I was so thrilled and honored to receive the call from 23 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
CLASSIC CRAFTSMANSHIP IN LUXURY MENSWEAR MEETS MODERN, FASHION-FORWARD SENSIBILITIES. BY FERNANDA PINHEIRO
The signature Giovanni Testi approach unites the traditional luxury principles of refined Italian tailoring and European materials with the latest innovations in textile trends to introduce inspired designs that stand apart in the typically monotone landscape of men’s suit wear. From subtle to show-stopping, the brand offers unparalleled versatility with styles to fit any occasion and taste. Through this attention to both quality construction and relevant design, Giovanni Testi has captured broad appeal among a wide array of tastemakers – from business executives to tv and film actors, rock stars, hip hop artists, and red carpets – yet has continued to focus on making menswear affordable and accessible.
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is KICKA CUSTOM Photos by Joe Garcia
wedish born Marika Soderlund is a fashion, costume designer and stylist
She loves to create and explore different kinds of looks that fit her client's personality. Marika is known to work with the latest innovations in textile trends and design garments that stand apart in the typically monotone landscape. She has an unparalleled versatility to be able to create styles to fit any occasion and taste. Marika is a talented stylist who designs and styles a red carpet look or costume design for a rock opera. Her clients vary from artists and people in the entertainment industry to anyone that would like a bespoke garment.
Marika recently also launched her resort brand under the name. My Club, the brand includes garments that are veritable and can be worn in many different ways. All fabrics used are vibrant and soft, perfect for packing in your bag for your vacation. She continues to take appointments for bespoke designs and styling work in her Atelier in Los Angeles. Follow and contact Marika under her company name Instagram @kickacustom. And for the newly launched resort wear brand at Instagram @shopmyclub
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STEPS TO TACKLE EMOTIONAL EATING
Want to Try Intuitive Eating? Address Emotional Eating First By Dr. Bradley Nelson 28 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Emotions influence our eating behaviors in complex and subtle ways, and emotional eating is linked to obesity, research has found. Dr. Brad discusses why it is so important for people to address emotional eating, and how it relates to intuitive eating. Intuitive eating involves people learning to listen to their bodies to decide what, when and how much to eat. This is something Dr. Brad teaches people to do — but only after they have addressed the emotional triggers behind their eating. So why do people need to address the underlying reasons why they eat before they try intuitive eating? “Human society is programmed to eat for a huge variety of non-nutritive reasons. We eat for fun. We eat to socialize. We eat because the TV is on. We eat because the clock says it’s time. And for a lot of us, we eat to subconsciously — or even consciously — medicate our emotions,” Dr. Brad says.
n recent years, there has been a lot of talk about intuitive eating. Advocates and experts hail this way of eating as a "revolutionary anti-diet" because it doesn't involve restricting what, when, and how much we eat. Instead, intuitive eaters simply listen to their bodies on those decisions. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? What could be simpler than getting in touch with your body's desire for healthy food and using that information to guide your eating choices? Unfortunately, as anyone who has tried and failed at any kind of intuitive eating plan can tell you, it can be difficult to distinguish what our bodies truly need nutritionally when emotions and habits cloud our choices. Human society has programmed us to eat for a huge variety of non-nutritive reasons. We eat for fun. We eat to socialize. We eat because the TV is on. We eat because the clock says it's time. And for a lot of us, we eat subconsciously — or even consciously — to medicate our emotions. Emotions influence our eating habits in complex and subtle ways. We may eat when we're sad, frustrated, disappointed, stressed, anxious, or angry. Anytime we allow our emotions to drive our eating, that interferes with our ability to eat intuitively. For instance, when we seek comfort in food, the foods
we choose are unlikely to be the ones our bodies nutritionally need. For many people, "comfort food" is food that is loaded with fat, sugar, or extra calories. Also, when emotions drive our eating, this impedes our ability to sense when we are full and stop eating. These are some of the reasons emotional eating can lead to overeating and obesity. In many ways, emotional eating is the opposite of intuitive eating. This is why it is important to address underlying emotions that drive why, what, and how much we eat before trying intuitive eating. Otherwise, we may ignore when our bodies are craving healthy foods such as vitamin-packed fresh vegetables and fruits and grab a slice of cake, pizza, or a toaster pastry instead. Then what do we feel? Guilt — another negative emotion that may reinforce the cycle of emotional eating. When we repeatedly engage in this kind of eating, we forget how great our body feels after eating healthy food. Yet this is one of the physical sensations successful intuitive eaters use to reinforce good habits. Address Emotional Eating First If these emotional eating habits sound familiar, don't despair. You can assess whether you have any tendency to eat emotionally and take steps to address those tendencies. Start by reviewing your current eating patterns and your relationship with food. Do you ever find yourself habitually eating at certain times of the day or eating certain foods during certain events or activities? For example, do you have a snack every night before you go to bed? Is that something you had every night as a child? Is it due to physical hunger or to habit? When we eat out of habit, we override the signals our body sends that tell us if we are truly hungry or not, and we eat whether our body really needs it.
Human society is programmed to eat for a huge variety of non-nutritive reasons. We eat for fun. We eat to socialize. We eat because the TV is on. We eat because the clock says it’s time. And for a lot of us, we eat to subconsciously — or even consciously — medicate our emotions.
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Learning to identify habitual eating is a good first step toward making more conscious and healthy eating choices. Here are some additional suggestions to help you tackle emotional eating so you can free yourself to start eating more intuitively: 1. "This Too Shall Pass." If you can resist the urge to eat for even 15 minutes, the feelings that are driving you to crave something might subside. At that point, you can decide if you're physically hungry or eating for some other reason.
sweetness of a peach or banana. You can also use muscle testing to help identify and release emotional baggage that may be triggering unhealthy eating habits. Mastering your emotions can help you clear a major barrier to learning how to eat intuitively. Then you can build healthy new habits, so your body can get what it really needs when it really needs it.
2. Keep a Food Diary. Keep a special notebook to write down what you eat, how much, and how you're feeling while you're eating. Note how hungry your body is. This can help you identify triggers and create an awareness of why you're eating. 3. Create New Habits. Instead of going for the chips when a family member yells at you or just because you're bored, try doing something else that actually makes you feel better. Go for a walk. Read a book. Write in your journal. Any of these activities can help make you feel better without the inevitable guilt that comes from emotion-driven eating. 4. Manage Stress. Stress is a common driver of emotional eating, but there are many more productive ways to handle it. Try some yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation. Keeping your stress level manageable can help you avoid emotional eating. 5. Don't Punish Yourself. It may be tempting to punish yourself with deprivation when you've eaten emotionally. But that usually backfires into a cycle of emotional eating. Instead of depriving yourself or dieting, eat foods that offer real satisfaction and nutrition. Your body may respond with a happier outlook that helps you eat more intuitively. 6. Release Trapped Emotions. Trapped Emotions are unresolved feelings from troubling and traumatic events that could cause you to eat when you don't really need to. Until these negative energies are released, you might find yourself in a perpetual cycle of emotional eating. Try using The Emotion Code® to identify and release these emotions. This might be your best defense against emotional eating. Part of The Emotion Code involves using muscle testing to get in touch with your subconscious. Muscle testing allows you to ask your subconscious yes or no questions about what your body really needs nutritionally, which can help you overcome your tendency to eat habitually or emotionally. Perhaps you feel like eating a piece of cake when your body is really craving the 30 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Dr. Bradley Nelson: Veteran holistic physician is one of the world's foremost experts on natural methods of achieving wellness. He has trained thousands of certified practitioners worldwide to help people overcome physical and emotional discomfort by releasing their emotional baggage. His best-selling book The Emotion Code provides step-by-step instructions for working with the body's energy healing power. A newly revised and expanded edition of The Emotion Code is now available from St. Martin's Press. For more information and a free Emotion Code Starter Kit, visit DiscoverHealing.com.
WONDERING IF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE? Here WAYS THAT Are IT DOES
Photo by Bobby Johnson
By Diana Cole
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’ve experienced a lot of pain in my life — both emotionally and physically. Broken relationships. A shattered career. A traumatic back injury. It took me a decade or so of living unhappily before I began to listen to the inner guidance I’d been ignoring — which then saved my life. From Breakdown to Breakthrough There was a time when I was living in an apartment with only my young daughter, watching my life collapse around me. I had just reconnected with the world of spirit, and I was experiencing a powerful upwelling of well-being and clarity through this presence. At a certain moment, I decided to change my thoughts and change my life. Urged by the invisible guidance I was receiving, I allowed myself to recognize myself as a creator without self-doubt or shame. All of the failures and pain I’ve experienced have been great gifts, and I have been able to recreate my life in miraculous ways. My life changed in four significant ways by connecting with spiritual guidance, and yours can, too. Connecting with spirit and trusting the messages and guidance you receive means: • You will experience less conflict, drama, and stress in your life. •
You’ll learn to stop staying stuck in the pain of the past and start recognizing the meaning, purpose, gift, and lesson in your experiences.
You will learn how to quiet your inner turmoil, so you enjoy more calm during the day, and better sleep at night.
You’ll learn how to pay attention to signs and intuitions, connect with your deep inner knowing, and bring more of what you want into existence.
When life got really tough, I got quiet. In the silence, I began to hear. During those hard days of weariness and worry, there really was nowhere else to go but inward — to the core of my very being. There, I pressed my ear to the ground to hear something real and true and beautiful. I wanted to hear the truth. I wanted to feel what mattered most. I had listened too long to the gossip and false stories of others and to my own negative internal dialogue. Now I only wanted to know the “secrets” to change what was no longer working.
The Shift Begins With Your Thoughts The first lesson I needed to hear and understand from the spirit is that my thoughts mold my life. If I could find positivity in every situation, then my life would produce more positive situations. For me, this was simple in theory but difficult in execution. So difficult, in fact, that I never followed through with this lesson — this essential truth — until my life crumbled. I didn’t follow through until nothing else made sense anymore, and I had nothing to lose. Make positive thought one of your highest priorities; it’s essential to achieving happiness. When your thoughts are positive, your energy is stronger. Choosing positive thoughts will become a habit that will serve you beautifully for the rest of your life. Avoid looking around you to try to find happiness “out there”; your happiness emanates from within you and is continuously influenced by your thoughts. What another person does, thinks, or feels cannot provide your happiness, nor can any of that take your happiness away. Once I committed and turned my attention to harnessing my thoughts and changing my life, it’s true that some of what I wanted to create was material, but most was not. I did want a home, a car, great shoes, and other material items that make life easier and more enjoyable. But most of all I wanted to wake up every day and feel happy, safe and fulfilled. I wanted to have an amazing love relationship, a happy daughter, and a happy family. I wanted friends who were positive and held others up — everybody, even the people they didn’t agree with or disliked. And now I can tell you that I have it all. I have it all because I desired it all, believed it, thanked it, and knew it was here for me. Then I let it all go, softly shifting my attention to seeing, acknowledging, and loving the beauty around me even when my preferences weren’t met. This is my practice every day. One of the greatest gifts available to us as human beings is consciously choosing our thoughts and perceptions, no matter what. I embrace this gift with both arms! Now I see the beauty I desire regardless of outer conditions. I don’t wait for the world to tell me that it’s okay to feel good, to feel happy, or to be well. And because my cup is full to the brim, I want nothing more than to give to others from that wellspring of happiness.
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THE BIG LIFE-CHANGING SHIFTS HAPPENED FOR ME WHEN I STOPPED DISCOUNTING THE MESSAGES I WAS RECEIVING FROM THE SPIRIT AND REALLY HEARD THEM WHEN I BEGAN TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE SPIRITUAL LESSONS I WAS GIVEN AND APPLY THEM TO MY DAILY LIFE
The Power of Talking With Spirit We all have questions. We all seek answers to why we experience difficulties and obstacles, why things are not going as we had hoped. We have problems finding good relationships, having enough money, feeling good physically, having enough energy to do what we want to do, navigating relationships with co-workers and bosses, knowing our purpose, and the list goes on. When we are given an answer, another question is born. The questions will never stop, and the answers alone will never really cure a problem. What cures our problems, what changes our lives, is a real, visceral connection with our spiritual guidance. I practice asking questions and receiving answers on a daily basis. The question and answer process calms me and allows me to feel connected with my spirit. It’s like a meditation practice in that sense. The big life-changing shifts happened for me when I stopped discounting the messages I was receiving from the spirit and really heard them when I began to pay close attention to the spiritual lessons I was given and apply them to my daily life. Now, I am able to enjoy my life, to enjoy this great adventure fully. I don’t have to hold my breath, hoping for sunny skies, fearing the next storm, wondering why I don’t have the life I want. The life I want is mine — and I wish that for you, too. May you be led to understandings and insights that bring you unimaginable peace and joy.
Diana Cole is a spirit translator, thought leader, and author. Passionate about spiritual guidance, she is committed to teaching people how to access it for themselves, so they may find freedom from pain and limitation and live a life of abundance, fun, and inspiration.
Photo by Dima DallAcqua
Diana offers her empowering tools for spiritual guidance in group settings, speaking engagements, live workshops, and through her vibrant Instagram and Facebook communities. She is the author of “Spirit Translator: Seven Truths for Creating Well-Being and Connecting With Spirit” (St. Martin’s Press, August 2020) and co-author of “Pillars of Success” (August 2020) with Jack Canfield. Diana’s first children’s book is “Alina the Positive Thought Warrior.” Learn more at DianaCole.com.
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A Love Song to Deborah By Michael Tobin, PhD.
orty-seven years ago, Michael discovered his soulmate Deborah on a dance floor in Keene, New Hampshire. It took her soul a few years and an around-the-world bike trek to fully reciprocate. Riding the Edge: A Love Song to Deborah is the astonishing tale of the sixmonth odyssey that profoundly shaped the next 564 months of their lives together. Taking place in 1980, Michael and Deborah—an American Jewish and American Arab, respectively—leave the security of their well-ordered lives as psychologists sleepwalking toward marriage and family to explore and take risks in search of life's larger truths. What they find is a story of magnificent vistas and memorable moments that open their senses to the beauty of the world, even as it also reveals the vilest of human cruelty. Simple meals become transcendent experiences; chance encounters are serendipitous markers along a road directing them toward personal and spiritual transformation. Each place leaves its mark—and
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each person an imprint even as Deborah and Michael struggle to find the truth of their love. Have they found a life partner or merely a stepping stone to another, deeper connection? It's a journey that has a mind and heart of its own—a travelogue of life's inner wisdom. In the end, each story, meal, kindness, and cruelty uncover the humanness that connects all living things, explains the author, and shows that love is perhaps the ultimate healing life force. There's a Talmudic expression that says, What comes from the heart, penetrates the heart. May it be so for this memoir which truly comes from the depths of my heart. Riding the Edge: A Love Song to Deborah? In a race against the ravages of Alzheimer's, Michael Tobin has written a beautiful memoir, "a love song," to his wife Deborah to celebrate the extraordinary days of their early courtship—and the transformational 6-month, 3000-mile bike trek that made them a couple for life.
Photo by ALEX KNIGHT/UNSPLASH
Middlebury, Vermont: Winter 1980 The endlessly ash-gray days hang over us like a heavy silent treatment—full of waiting, impossible to bear. The weather's inescapable during the first eighteen days of January, the cold is so raw that each time you inhale, it's like a razor ripping at the back of your throat; pieces of your bare skin freeze to the metal it touches; and, if you're like me, your nose bleeds. But it's the gray that makes your mind freeze up. It destroys distinctions. From our large bay window facing east toward the Green Mountains, I can barely make out the five apple trees that border our property and our neighbor's, a family of four that believes silence makes for cordial relationships. Jim Mack, my usually taciturn auto mechanic, tells me weather like this can make "ah man's mind to seize up" like "crack up." I can picture it: Jim Mack and his buddies at the garage shaking
their heads and saying, "Ain't it a shame about Lestah. The damn weather got to him. His mind seized up like a piston." During these grim days, a mind can turn in on itself. Thoughts run amok, coming without sense or reason. For some, the only escape is alcohol or suicide, like my former client Bob, who graduated from multiple shots of Southern Comfort to a self-inflicted shotgun blast to his head. And yet, as the Yaqui shaman, Don Juan, told Carlos Castaneda: clarity blinds. The shaman teaches us that the journey toward self-knowledge begins from confusion and doubt—those dark days when our minds struggle to find an exit. You could say a mind that turns in on itself might discover the way out. On the first Saturday in January, I convinced Deborah to take a much-needed break from slaving over her dissertation to join me for breakfast at the Frog Hollow Café, a counterculture hangout for the spiritually restless. 37 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
We're halfway through our whole-wheat blueberry pancakes when we overhear a Paul Bunyan guy—long red beard, matching red ski hat, brown logger's shirt— complain, in a surprising Brooklyn accent, about his "damn pipes that froze." Deborah and I give each other one of those knowing glances and laugh—a welcome relief. For a second, I wonder if my brilliant and beautiful Archimedes will explain to him about the ingenious hydraulic system she designed for our former home, a lakeside cabin, to keep the water flowing during those minus-twenty-five-degree days. It's a revelation to see her smile. For the last two weeks, she's been grinding her teeth, tensing every muscle from her stomach to her neck, and looking like she's ready to kill (me) over the slightest provocation. This "craziness" (my word)—this "understandable reaction" (her words)—began when the head of her doctoral committee called to inform her—for the fourth time— that she had to rewrite her thesis on psychotherapy and creativity. It doesn't help that I received my doctorate six months earlier. I gaze at her for a few long seconds. I love the way those intelligent contours of her face join to create striking geometric patterns. But it's the delicate curve of her cheeks, her sensual lips, and gentle eyes that soften her sharp, demanding features. I long for her curves, our circuitous routes, and those serendipitous moments from our former life before ambition and career overshadowed the unexpected and elevated the shoulds and the have-to to the position of command and control. Forget about those moments when our eyes lock, our breath quickens, and our bodies tingle. Now, our existence is stridently efficient, moving at linear velocity or Deborah's speed— the pace of a mind cluttered with case notes, research data, and arguments aimed at her doctoral committee. This life is straight like Route 7, the two-way road that connects our five-bedroom home in Middlebury to Deborah's office in Rutland. In two days, dressed in a fashionable tweed pantsuit straight from her parents' exclusive boutique, she'll drive her lemon-colored Toyota at one minute per mile, a speed fast enough to risk yet another ticket. Twenty feet from her office, she'll take two deep breaths, adjust her professional mask, sit down in her black swivel chair, and confront her therapy clients for demanding too much of themselves. Where is that wild siren?
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The one who lit me up in the summer of '74 as she spun around the Antioch dance floor like a God-intoxicated whirling dervish, throwing off beams of light from an insane quantity of multicolored Third World jewelry she wore from head to toe. I can't find her. That siren without shame told me she had purchased those beads, stones, and crystals from a souk in Fez, Morocco, at an embarrassingly low price. And then, like she was a goddammed improv actress, she pantomimed for me the scene with the merchant. Wordlessly, she showed how she bargained: Argue, flirt, feign disinterest, walk away, and then with a look of pained resignation, accept a price you tell the merchant is higher than any reasonable person ought to pay. Can't let him think, she told me, that a girl outsmarted him. My top was spinning; my sense of equilibrium—gone. On first impression, back in the summer of 1974, you might have thought I'd be exuberantly spontaneous— perhaps even passionate. I had a gypsy look about me with shoulder-length, black wavy hair, an abundant mustache, a ruddy complexion, and piercing black eyes. Yet, despite my fiery Leo energy, I monitored the flame—especially in the wake left by my ex-wife, Susan. But not this time. The graceful power in Deborah's tall, lithe body created an immediate destabilizing effect in me. Her spiritual presence captivated me—kind of like a Native American priestess—the exact image of how I envisioned Pocahontas. I said to her, the first words were, "Excuse me, are you an American Indian?" "Sorry to disappoint you," she answered, with a trace of a hillbilly accent. "I'm an American Arab." "Oh . . . really . . . that's interesting," I said, trying to find someplace in my cerebral cortex where Arab with a twang wo rks—maybe next to a rabbi with a long beard and side curls who plays quarterback for the New York Giants. And then, like she was a mind reader, she asked, "Having trouble figuring out what box to put me in?" "Yeah, you got me. No place in my brain for an Arab Dolly Parton. You got to help me out here." Between dances, I found out she was a Lebanese Christian. All four of her grandparents were born in Lebanon, and she was raised in the affluent Arab subculture of Charleston, West Virginia, a city she described
as "cut off from the rest of humanity by the Appalachian Mountains and a thick yellow fog of Union Carbide pollutants." Since graduating from Wellesley College, she had lived the last three years in France, Sweden, Italy, and Spain and was fluent in each of those countries' languages. She was a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, and before coming to Antioch, she had spent two of those three years in Italy and Spain meditating and working with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM. Lots of boxes. Lots of places to explore.
a gentle ripple contains a raging force and that the other side of the moon holds no light. NOTE: Ten percent of all royalties from Riding the Edge will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), which intruded as the imperative for publishing the memoir quickly, only surfaced in the final chapter of the book but tinged all that had come before. Today, over 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. Over the past 20 years, deaths from AD have increased by 145 percent. In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355B.
Five weeks later, on August 8, 1974, I invited Deborah to celebrate the long-awaited event with me on the occasion of Richard Nixon's resignation. As they say in social psychology, nothing can bring people closer together than a common enemy. Sitting in front of a roaring fire at my friend Zandy's ski chalet, we drank a magnum of expensive champagne. At the precise instant that Nixon tearfully addressed the nation and said, ". . . therefore, I shall resign the Presidency, effective noon tomorrow," we tossed our glasses into the fire, kissed, and said good riddance to the man who taught us an old lesson: You reap what you sow. By two in the morning, five weeks after first laying eyes on her, I showed my hand. The crazy thing was that my "I love you" was so unrehearsed and so unlike me to express that it had to be real—terrifyingly so. Like I'd just discovered the other half of my soul and came home. A lot scarier, in fact, because in a moment of health, you can always walk away from the madness of love. But how can you leave a part of yourself? She cried. I loved her tears. Partly because of the power of her vulnerability—each drop contained a world of love, fear, joy, and sadness—feelings that matched my own. And, partly, because of the message I heard in those tears: I don't need you to rescue me; I need to feel your presence. Over the next year, our relationship grew naturally without the need for assessment, definition, and that dreary work of searching under every emotional rock for that lost feeling of connection. So, in September 1975, we moved in together. No big decision, no terrifying sinkor-swim leap into the deep end of the commitment. Merely the next evolutionary stage in a relationship that—as I saw it—was meant to be, like the rhythm of the tides and the phases of the moon. But back then, when the river flowed by itself, I couldn't imagine that
Michael Tobin, PhD., has been a family and couples’ therapist for over 40 years. His new book, Riding the Edge: A Love Song to Deborah (River Grove Books,), chronicles the personal journey he took with his wife-to-be on their path to becoming one…over 40 years ago. Dr. Michael Tobin is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years’ experience specializing in marriage and family therapy. He has written extensively on couple and family dynamics and is the founder of the highly acclaimed website,www.wholefamily.com, where you can find numerous articles about relationships. He also consults to high tech companies on workplace relationships, leadership, and management issues. For more information visit www.drmichaeltobin.com.
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K WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT
SENIOR LEGISLATIVE MANAGER, AT IFAW
Photo courtesy IFAW/S.
(INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE)
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Hello Kate, thank you for your time. Your love and compassion for animals started when you were only two years old. Your love has been growing stronger through the years, and now you are a Senior Legislative Manager for IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare); please tell us how your life path led you to be part of IFAW. "Yes, it has! I adopted a kitten from my local SPCA when I was two years old and have deeply cared for animals ever since. While working toward an undergraduate biology degree in Philadelphia, I pursued my love for animals by working as a veterinary technician and volunteering at a wildlife rescue facility. I soon realized that my contributions to improving the treatment of animals would be through advocacy work, so I pursued a degree in law in Washington, DC, and have been advocating for positive animal welfare policies at the state and federal levels ever since.
"The wildlife trafficking industry is very large-scale. It is the fourth-largest criminal enterprise after narcotics, arms, and human trafficking. The United States is the second-largest market for illegal wildlife products, only surpassed by China. Specifically, within the U.S., we just conducted a 6-week investigation of 34 online marketplaces. The investigation found nearly 1,200 advertisements for almost 2,400 animals, parts, derivatives, or products of protected species. As the web has become more accessible and even second nature to its users, there has been an intense proliferation of the illicit trade in wild animals, bringing with it increased poaching and a resultant decline of imperiled species and their habitats. It's very important for us to shed light on this issue and continue to raise awareness to help stop animal trafficking altogether."
What is happening to animals is heartbreaking, from testing in the laboratory, hunting, dog fighting, and animal trafficking. The list goes on, as an individual, what we can do to help and serve our part to end the animal cruelty? "There are a few key things that individuals can do to start scratching the surface of ending animal cruelty. The first step is raising awareness. This can be done by educating yourself and sharing valid information online, signing and sharing relevant petitions, and reporting animal abuse if you come across it. Personal choices are also very important; from where you source your food, clothing, and cleaning supplies, to the plants you grow in your window boxes and yard, you can reduce animal cruelty and improve habitat for wildlife by making informed and thoughtful options. Additionally, engaging with organizations with a mission dedicated to helping animals either by donation or volunteering is a great next step to getting involved. Lastly, we always encourage contacting your representatives and lobbying for legislation that could enhance and progress animal welfare." A multi-billion-dollar industry of animal trafficking is a serious crime; what is the scope of the wildlife trafficking industry worldwide?
Photo courtesy IFAW/S.
In terms of my professional career, I started as Grassroots Outreach Coordinator at The Humane Society of the United States before transitioning into a senior lobbyist position, managing a diverse advocacy portfolio focused on key issues, including wildlife protection and animal testing, and agriculture. I have been IFAW's Senior Legislative Manager for the U.S. office for three years representing wildlife and habitat conservation, wildlife trafficking, and appropriations priorities before the U.S. Congress. I really love what I do!"
THE INVESTIGATION FOUND NEARLY 1,200 ADVERTISEMENTS FOR ALMOST 2,400 ANIMALS, PARTS, DERIVATIVES, OR PRODUCTS OF PROTECTED SPECIES 41 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Photo courtesy IFAW/S.
Photo courtesy IFAW/S. Cook
What are some actions people can take to curb the growth of illegal wildlife trafficking? "There are many actions needed to curb the growth of illegal wildlife trafficking. We really need to focus on reducing the demand for live wild animals and wild animal parts, as many who fuel the demand likely do so unknowingly—as consumers, not buying wildlife products can greatly reduce the market demand that fuels trafficking. Individuals can also commit to learning more and engaging with decision-makers and organizations to produce effective policies and laws that protect individual wild animals, wild populations, and their habitats. If they see suspicious activity, they can also report it to national law enforcement authorities." Between building more houses, roads, and commercial buildings, How can we stop disrupting wildlife habitats? "With industrial expansion never ceasing, wildlife corridors are a way for wild animals to get from one place to another. It's not enough to just have protected areas, because, like us, wildlife needs to be able to move around to access food, water, and others of their species. Corridors are pathways that connect protected areas so that we don't simply wind up with isolated islands of protected areas cut off from one another by development. They allow animals to move from one protected area to another in order to promote genetic diversity, pursue normal migration patterns, and respond to changing conditions – especially important during the era of climate change. Importantly, wildlife corridors can coexist with many kinds of human development; through a mixture of structures like overpasses and underpasses, native planting, creative fencing, and other measures. Corridors can help safely guide wildlife around and through developed lands." What are "Wet Markets," and why are they considered a prime suspect in many disease outbreaks? 42 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
"Wet markets," technically, are markets that sell fresh meat and produce outside a supermarket setting, much like the farmers' markets we're all familiar with. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the term "wet market" has been confused with live wildlife markets, where live wild animals are held, slaughtered, and sold. These live wildlife markets keep captive animals very close together in high-stress situations where they contact one another's saliva or feces. Live wildlife markets are veritable Petri dishes for the development of novel diseases, and the diseases can easily jump to humans through contact with infected animals, especially during slaughter and consumption." The IFAW mission is to help animals and people thrive together, and their focus is not only for the wildlife, instead, Animals, People, and Planet; please tell us more about it. "Everything is interconnected: animals, humans, and the planet we all share at IFAW. Our focus is on rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing animals; we restore and protect their natural habitats and work to ensure policies supporting animals and the planet. The problems we're up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. We are creating better outcomes for animals, for people, and for the places we call home. When we rescue one animal—a house pet abandoned in a hurricane, a cow displaced by an earthquake, a right whale entangled in a fishing line—we're doing much more than saving a life. We're reuniting a family. We're restoring a community's livelihood. We're saving a species on the brink of extinction. We're saving our planet.
Every year in the U.S., an estimated 1 to 2 million collisions occur between motorists and large animals, resulting in 200 human deaths and 26,000 injuries – costing the U.S. 8 billion dollars annually; what are the safety precautions that have been offered?
Photo courtesy © Jaymi Heimbuch / Urban Coyote Initiative
"The INVEST Act that was passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives includes 400 million dollars for wildlife crossings—structural elements like underpasses, overpasses, culverts, crosswalks, or animal detection systems, allowing wildlife to avoid road traffic. That makes everyone safer. And they are
wildly effective; studies demonstrate that wildlife crossing structures like these reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by up to a staggering 97%. Adding wildlife crossings can effectively save human and animal lives, produce cost savings for the nation to the tune of billions of dollars annually, and support more resilient landscapes by allowing wildlife to move more freely, particularly in the face of climate change." What is your day to relax? Passing conservation laws and policies in the United States takes a very long time - usually years of hard work and often lots of talking, writing, and intense negotiation. I think that's why when I step away from the computer, my favorite activities are physically tiring and have very tangible results. I love native plant gardening and never get tired of adding new plants to our little backyard habitat. I also enjoy woodworking and DIY projects around the house, as well as hiking and canoeing. Sometimes, though, I like to just curl up on the sofa with my husband and our cats and watch TV! What would you like to share with our readers if they want to be a part of IFAW to help? "There are many different initiatives IFAW is always working on, and there are multiple ways you can get involved. With so many threats against animal welfare worldwide, IFAW needs all the help it can get. One of the easiest ways to help IFAW is to give a charitable donation on our donation website. If you are unable to make a donation, there are various other ways you can give back. IFAW offers volunteer opportunities to help aid in their various programs. Volunteer work can be anything from collecting donations to working out in the field. If you are looking for a way to volunteer your time, sign up for our action alerts. These alerts will help you stay up to date on current animal issues and educate you on what you can do to help animals around the world."
Photo courtesy IFAW/S.
"California is facing a horrible wildlife fire, many, and this is disastrous for wildlife; how can we do our part as an individual to avoid it in the future? "Fires have been ravaging California for months. Long periods of severe drought, very dry fuels, dry soils, and excessive heat have contributed to these fires. Record-breaking temperatures, including days where weather conditions are considered "catastrophic," have also impacted wildlife, with animals suffering dehydration and birds and flying foxes (bats) falling dead from the sky. All of these factors have been compounded by climate change. If you're not in a position to donate to an organization on the ground in California (or other areas that are experiencing extreme weather), you can still help. Actions you can take include: • Consume less, recycle and re-use • Invest in renewable energy • Consider how you travel on holidays • (go local or take the train instead of flying) • Walk or bike instead of using a car, when possible • Lobby for more green space in your own neighborhood and plant more native plants in your own garden (if you have one) • Purchase local food from farmers and eat with the seasons Make your voice heard and vote for • legislation that supports environmental protection
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SARAH PAULSON, ZOOEY DESCHANEL, JULIANNE HOUGH, AND KARLA WELCH
CELEBRATE GREEN EXCELLENCE
AT THE 4TH ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA ASSOCIATION (EMA) AWARDS GALA CO-HOSTED BY JEFF GOLDBLUM, MALIN AKERMAN AND JACK DONNELLY
he Environmental Media Association (EMA) celebrated their 4th Annual EMA Awards Gala presented by Beyond Meat, H&M Foundation, Montage International, and Toyota and co-hosted by Jeff Goldblum, Malin Akerman, and Jack Donnelly at GEARBOX LA in Los Angeles. This invitation-only event acknowledged globally recognized trailblazers, icons, and film/tv productions for their tireless work protecting the planet. The star-studded event featured passion-
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ate speeches from honorees like Karla Welch and Sasha Markova. They discussed setting the green standard for women and girls everywhere as they accepted the EMA Innovator Award from client and friend Sarah Paulson. Other show highlights included Jeff Goldblum lighting up the stage as he presented the EMA Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime friend Ed Begley Jr. and a surprise live performance of “Here Comes the Sun” from actress and singer Antonique Smith. The evening ended on a high note with an unforgettable performance by DJ Samantha Ronson.
Other presenters, speakers, and notable attendees included: Jonathan Scott, Drew, and Linda Scott, Abigail Breslin, Baron Davis, Harlow Jane, Martin Starr, Rev Yearwood (Hip Hop Caucus/ honoree), Ronen Rubenstein, Wendie Malick, Angus Mitchell, Michaeline DeJoria, Simone Friedman, Emilie Goldblum and more.
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Floating in Quiet Darkness Benefits the Brain By Glenn Perry
The experience of floating in quiet darkness in a floatation tank produces several benefits, including reducing anxiety, increasing creativity, and spurring deep relaxation and restoration, research shows. 46 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Photo by LUA VALENTIA 47 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e November 2021
Neuroscientist Dr. John Lilly created the first tank in 1954 at the National Institutes of Mental Health Lab in Bethesda, Md., to probe the frontiers of human consciousness. In 1972, Glenn and his wife Lee worked with Lilly to perfect the floatation tank, founding Samadhi Tank Co. and the commercial float tank industry.
but here you are in control and can get in and out whenever you want and use it in whatever way is comfortable for you, with the door open, towel in the door, or closed.
Floatation tanks are soundproof, lightproof enclosures with less than one foot of water heated to skin temperature. Epsom salt dissolved in the water allows a person to float effortlessly in what feels like zero gravity.
Very soon, my mind goes to some garden projects. During the previous two days of this 5-day program of floating up to 2 hours a day, I had worked out what to plant, where, and when. Now I am working on the details of a new irrigation system. With an occasional distracting thought about a tank design question, which I shelve, I work out the watering system.
”The tank eliminates distractions including sound, light and the experience of gravity,” Glenn says. “This enables us to focus our mental energy intentionally or simply allow for drifting and exploration – an ultimate break from everything.” When the brain isn’t distracted by sensory overload (smartphones, laptops, email, newsfeed, TV, traffic, etc.), it becomes free to enter expanded states of consciousness. Researchers at Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have documented a number of benefits, including: • Huge reductions in stress and short-term anxiety. • A deeply relaxed meditative state. • Changes in brain networks that allow people to learn new associations between sensations such as breathing and heartbeat and relaxation. Experiences vary from person to person, and each float produces a different experience. In their new book, “Floating in Quiet Darkness,” Glenn and Lee Perry explain how floating helps people reboot the brain, access a sense of deep calm and reconnect with stillness and creativity.
open the door of the Samadhi floatation tank. I step in, kneel in the solution, reach my left arm behind me and roll back on my rear, and bob to the surface in the salt solution. This floatation tank is an enclosure a little larger around than a twinsized bed and chest high. It contains 10" of water and hundreds of pounds of Epsom salt. When you get in and lie face up, it pushes you to the surface, so you float like a cork, weightless like an astronaut floating in space. It has a door you can leave open or get rid of all distractions of noise and light; you can close the door. It is skin temperature, so you are neither hot nor cold. Many people have fears before trying something new,
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It is pleasantly cool. I like it that way. I assess my mental and physical states and find nothing unusual.
Then I address the pressing design question that has been wanting to grab my attention. I am working on designing a new tank model, which will be our best yet. I need to work out how to handle controlling a function the floater needs to be able to manipulate while floating. I define what I want the requirements to be. I do not need the answer now but only to define exactly what the problem is. I come up with all the requirements for the problem; I have developed the habit of asking the Universe to assist in helping me solve a specific or multiple problems. I lay out what I want and what I need and then let time go by. After I have completed that design question, I look around for what to handle next. Without floating, these problems would likely remain part of the incessant mental chatter we all experience. This chatter consists of all sorts of things; unprocessed events from the past, concerns about the future, unresolved project actions like what I have just been working on, and uncompleted aspects of relationships. Often the first thing that comes up when we float is thinking about these things. When the mental chatter subsides, the number of thoughts reduces significantly. I experience space. I move out of my mind into an altered state. This seems to be where my creativity comes from. I notice my breathing and put my focus there. After 15 to 20 minutes, I noticed two recurring areas of discomfort: in my left shoulder and along one side of my bicep. I focus on both of them, noting the exact sensation and where it is. After a while, the pain subsides. I move to a body position where the discomforts disappear. There is usually a position I can find that offers relief. Often if I wait a while and then go back to the previous painful position, the pain has amazingly disappeared.
Each day the discomfort of my shoulder and arm is less than the day before, and meditating on pain helps me develop better concentration, so distractions influence me less. I get an urge to get out. I think, "Can I stay a little longer?" Over the next 35 minutes, I do this three times, and the fourth time I get out. On this float, as I am scooting forward to the front of the tank and rolling onto my right side to sit up, the answer to the design problem pops up. Sometimes it happens in the shower or in another float, or during the day. It is seldom that I don't receive an answer. Often if an answer doesn't come, I have to change the question because I have been working on the wrong question. Centers are operating where people can experience floating. Most provide single occasional floats of 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The advantage of sequential daily floats is that there is a cumulative effect of doing it every day with extending the floats to 2-3 hours; the floater is able to access an altered state that is fleeting with occasional shorter floats. Longer floats and even sequential shorter floats increase the chances the floater will experience this altered state and that it will stay with them a while.
Important and useful to know and covered in our new book, Floating in Quiet Darkness, is that we can clear old mental, emotional and physical traumas that interfere with our current performance in this altered state. I think the most important result of this program is that it allows us to fall in love. What do we fall in love with? Everything, the whole Universe. What could be better? Perhaps even better is that being in this state is so much fun, like stepping into the shoes of your favorite actor. And when I get out of the tank, I am walking more gently on the earth, I am a little kinder to my fellow humans, and I appreciate everyone a little more. Everything is right with the world. I feel a deep, deep sense of inner peace like never before. And the influences of the outer world don't affect me.
This altered state has many wonderful benefits. It is one meditator's work to get to and often do when they make a five-day retreat with frequent meditations each day. In fact, meditators generally find it is so much easier doing while floating partly because, for most people, it is the most comfortable they have ever been, and there is a total lack of distractions. Lots of us have problems that need solving. When we are solving problems, generally, we do not think outside the box. We limit ourselves to what we are familiar with. When we are in this altered state, we are able to think outside the box. For creative problem solvers, it is an enormous asset to be able to do that. One floater who recently did this program said this ability to think outside the box lasted for several days after he had ended the program. Additionally, he said he could sense what was going on with people far more clearly than he usually could. It was all so important for his work that he is planning on doing this program once a month. Another floater who has done this for years attributes long floats to connect him to his real purpose in life and allow him to accomplish it better. He thought these benefits were so valuable he has since floated 2-4 hours almost every day.
Glenn and his wife Lee Perry founded Samadhi Tank Co. and the commercial floatation tank industry in 1972. In their new book, Floating in Quiet Darkness: How the Floatation Tank Has Changed Our Lives and Is Changing the World, they tell how floatation tanks help people reboot the brain, access deep calm, and invigorate childlike creativity. Learn more at www.samadhitank.com.
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FEEL FRAZZLED? GET GROUNDED u
Photo by VIKTOR VASICSEK
By Amanda Hainline
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DO YOU RUN AROUND LOOKING FOR YOUR PHONE WHILE YOU ARE TALKING ON IT? DO PEOPLE MOVE SLOWER THAN YOU BUT GET MORE DONE? ARE YOU IN A CONSTANT FRANTIC RUSH AND WISH YOU COULD JUST CHILL? IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU, YOU NEED TO GET GROUNDED, SAYS AMANDA HAINLINE. IF YOU ARE FRUSTRATED, EXHAUSTED, AND BURNED OUT, TRY THESE TECHNIQUES TO LET THE ENERGY FLOW THROUGH SO YOU DON’T GET ZAPPED.
ears ago, I was a frantic mess. It didn’t take much to get me into “stress case” mode. The smallest thing going wrong could ruin my whole day, leaving me tapped and weeping. Back then, I didn’t know why. All I knew was I seemed to be less stable than most people. I watched in awe as coworkers and friends moved through their lives, getting everything done with seeming ease. They didn’t get flustered and throw up their hands on a regular basis. They were just, as I would say, chill. And I felt like a trembling Chihuahua. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with this fundamental energetic wiring. But the good thing is, you can change it. The difference between calmly, productively moving through life, and feeling like a hot mess is energetic grounding. Energetic grounding is similar to the principle of grounding a building with a lightning rod. The rod goes into the ground and connects with metal parts of the building. When lightning strikes, the electricity goes through the rod into the ground, rather than damaging the building, electronics, or people inside. When we aren’t grounded, it can feel like we are getting “struck” by all the stuff that life throws at us. Unexpected problems, unwelcome news, distractions, and emotional outbursts from others can trigger an emotional reaction in us. Like lightning hitting an ungrounded building, these experiences fry and frazzle us and may prompt us to react in ways that trigger emotional reactions in others. To stop this kind of chain reaction before it begins, I teach people to get energetically grounded. This involves consciously redirecting the emotional energy that swirls around us each day into the place that can harmlessly absorb it — the earth beneath our feet. When we are properly grounded, we are more effective in our lives overall. Being grounded keeps us from ‘toppling over emotionally’ if something in life goes awry and allows us to keep a clear head when those around us get upset. Are You Grounded or Not? Take This Quiz. Consider the following scenarios and choose A or B for how you would likely respond. 1. Your alarm doesn’t go off, and you are running late, again!
A. Frantic, you jump up out of bed and get in the shower. In your frenzied state, you accidentally put shower gel in your hair instead of shampoo. You wonder what you were thinking even getting in the shower because now you are even later. B. You get up, realize you are late and think up a quick strategy. You comb through your hair and pull it back. Messy is the new neat. Throw on an easy dress and a little blush, and you are out the door in 15 minutes. 2. You have to give a big presentation at work. A. You go over it in your mind a million times and dwell on all the things that could possibly go wrong, even though you are over-prepared. Once you are in the meeting, you keep dropping everything and talk so fast your boss has to tell you to slow down. B. You prepare for the meeting and list any questions that you think might come up. During the presentation, you are calm and speak articulately. Some questions come up that you don’t anticipate, but you calmly explain that you don’t know the answer and tell them you will find out and get back to them. 3. You just mopped the floor after being up until 3 a.m. You feel so accomplished until your two-yearold starts dumping a gallon of apple juice on the floor five minutes later. A. You start screaming at the two-year-old, and they drop the juice, smashing the bottle. All this wakes the baby up from its nap. Then you start crying and just sit down in the apple juice. B. You manage to keep your wits and calmly walk over to the two-year-old, taking the glass jug and saving half of the juice. You lift them out of the puddle of juice. You throw some towels on the floor and take a break to watch a video with your toddler, letting the towels do most of the work. Later you toss the towels in the wash and mop. Again. Mom life! If you see yourself mainly in the A group, you tend to be ungrounded. This is usually due to a combination of nature and experience. We are each born with a particular energy makeup. As we go through life, experiences cause certain energy system habits to form. Some of these habits are due to imprints from traumatic events. If we are initially wired to be ungrounded and have traumatic imprints, too, we will tend to default to an ungrounded state when things get rough. We tend to “pull up our roots” and flee, either emotionally, physically, or both. We simply don’t feel safe. We must train our energy system to be grounded.
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Suppose you are in group B, congratulations! Chances are, you stay pretty calm most of the time, and things don’t rattle you that much. It’s not that you don’t experience stress, but you tend to handle it well, keeping your wits about you. Yet even if you are grounded by nature, traumatic imprints may prompt you to pull up your roots, making it harder for you to function. But no matter which group you fall into, you can train yourself to stay grounded with some simple exercises.
GROUNDING IS A KEY PIECE OF THE PUZZLE WHEN IT COMES TO EMOTIONAL STABILITY AND GETTING THINGS DONE. BY LEARNING TO GROUND, YOU CAN BETTER WITHSTAND THE WINDS OF LIFE WHILE MAINTAINING A LEVEL HEAD AND BEING MORE PRODUCTIVE. YOU CAN BECOME ONE OF THOSE SEEMINGLY SLOW-MOVING PEOPLE WHO ACCOMPLISH IT ALL. SOUND GOOD? GIVE IT A TRY
Grounding Your Roots 1. Ask yourself: “Do I feel grounded right now? Am I calm or nervous? Am I overthinking things, or is my mind clear?” Observe how you feel overall and assign a number from 1-10 in your mind, with one being ungrounded and ten being very grounded. 2. Use your intuition and envision roots coming out of the bottoms of your feet. How far in the ground are they? What color are they? Are they bright and looking healthy? If they are fairly shallow, envision pushing them further into the ground. Focus on them going deeper instead of just spreading out. How do you feel? Grounded Root Breathing 1. Perform the technique above and get your roots into the ground. 2. Take a deep belly breath through your nose and breathe up through your roots. Hold it for about eight seconds. Feel the energy coming into your body and calming you down. 3. Now, breathe the nervous energy out through your mouth. Repeat this a few times until you feel calm and your thinking is more clear and rational.
Energy System Anatomy: Your Roots What are these roots I’m talking about? Our energetic system is made up of chakras, points through which energy flows that affect our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. In addition to seven main chakras, we have chakras located in our feet.
Observe how you feel before and after these techniques. To retrain yourself to be grounded, it’s best to practice these exercises first thing in the morning, at night before bed (it helps you sleep), and during the day when you feel yourself holding your breath or running around frantically.
The chakras connect us to the earth through energetic “roots.” Think of them as your own personal lightning rods!
Grounding is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to emotional stability and getting things done. By learning to ground, you can better withstand the winds of life while maintaining a level head and being more productive. You can become one of those seemingly slowmoving people who accomplish it all. Sound good? Give it a try.
When your energy system is functioning correctly, your roots penetrate and draw energy from the earth, helping you to feel confident, clear, and strong. But when your roots are very shallow or don’t connect to the earth at all, your energy system is ungrounded. In this state, you may overthink things, freeze, or take erratic action. You may rush and make mistakes. People who are ungrounded tend to be nervous and often complain of anxiety and sleeplessness. When you are in a hurry, the best thing you can do is take a moment to make sure you are grounded before taking any action. Doing this may seem counterintuitive because it takes a little time, but it can help you avoid even more time-consuming mistakes and move forward with a clear head. Here are some simple exercises to try:
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Amanda Hainline is an emotional freedom mentor, intuitive healer, and author of the upcoming book Feel Better in Five Minutes — An Empowering Guide to Gain Control Over Your Emotions. She helps people find freedom from anxiety, depression, and stress through energy healing. Learn more at amandahainline.com.
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CYCLES By Dr. Mimi Guarneri
Insufficient or poor quality sleep not only leads to poor quality of life but can have a long term impact on health; how to fall asleep and stay asleep
leep is one of the fundamental pillars of health. Yet, according to the CDC, more than 35% of all adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Other surveys claim that nearly half of polled adults worldwide are not getting enough sleep! The question is, why?
The causes of sleep disturbance are numerous, and most are preventable. Due to the global epidemic of obesity, sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing are prevalent in over 50% of adults. Although not limited to overweight individuals, sleep apnea is a common cause of high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and even sudden cardiac death. Nocturnal snoring, daytime somnolence, and nocturnal arousals are just a few clues that an individual may have this health challenge.
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The lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis are also linked to sleep. Daily exercise prepares the body for rest. On the other hand, sugary beverages such as caffeinated soda and alcohol cause insomnia and are associated with sleep arousal. Heavy food prior to sleep will have the same effect. Although dark chocolate has health benefits, it is a frequent cause of sleep disturbance. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is linked to many medical challenges, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Poor sleep can make it harder to find the drive or energy to stay with your fitness routine. And sleep deprivation can limit your flexibility and range of motion. Sleep apnea is a cause of work accidents, auto collisions, and absenteeism from work. Not only will poor sleep bring poor physical performance, but it will also have an impact on cognitive performance. Your mental health and psychological state are very closely linked with good sleep. If you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll likely notice an impact on your ability to focus or find clarity and balance throughout the day. It’s well understood that increased stress — whether physical or mental — is not good for your psychological well-being. Stress hormones, which are usually meant to keep us alert and aware, can also negate the ability to rest and relax. Staying in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ can increase your blood pressure as well as anxiety — both of which will impact the quality of your sleepover time. Thankfully, getting into a rhythm with good sleeping habits might be easier than you think — and your heart, as well as your whole body, will thank you for it. Committing yourself to get more sleep is a great start, but ensuring that you’re getting better sleep is really where the magic happens. Optimizing your sleep habits is often referred to as practicing ‘sleep hygiene. Strong sleep hygiene includes having a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent and uninterrupted sleep.
Here are some sleep pearls: 1. Eliminate technology use an hour before getting into bed. The light from a computer or TV can turn off your melatonin, which is an important sleep hormone. 2. Keep your room cool, around 65 degrees. 3. Use blackout curtains to make sure that you do not have any light pollution disrupting your bedroom. 3. Try an essential oil such as lavender or geranium, which are known to promote relaxation. 4. Have your pet sleep next to your bed, not on it. 5. Take an Epsom salt bath before retiring. 6. Use a weighted blanket 7. Breath 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out. This will help put the body into a state of relaxation Do your best to establish a consistent routine. Go to bed around the same time every night, if you can. Your circadian rhythm loves consistency.
Dr. Mimi Guarnei Board-certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, nuclear cardiology, and Integrative Holistic Medicine, Dr. Mimi Guarneri is the President of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM). She is deeply committed to expanding integrative medicine, education, and research globally. A leading proponent of Integrative Medicine, she also serves on the Founding Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties in Integrative Medicine (ABOIM). She is Co-Founder and Medical Director of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc, at Pacific Pearl La Jolla in La Jolla, California since 2014, where she leads a team of experts in conventional, integrative, and natural medicine. Dr. Guarneri is Co-Founder and Treasurer of Miraglo Foundation, a non-profit public charity providing healthcare and education to the underserved in the U.S. and globally. A Clinical Association Professor at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), she also is the Past President of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM). She served as Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Health System of the Chambers Center for Well Being among other healthcare system advisory positions. She is an accomplished author and the Professor of the Great Courses video series The Science of Natural Healing.
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THE WAY I SEE IT By Joey Santos, Jr.
Photo by DAVID
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ith all the negative news of late regarding the internet (Facebook and Instagram in particular), I'd like to share a valuable lesson it taught me recently. Yesterday, I copied and pasted a random photo from Instagram of an obese woman proudly posing, bent over a bathtub. She was wearing false eye-lashes, hair extensions, heavy makeup, with an ultra-tight, revealing, low cut, mini dress & high heels. I captioned the image by saying, "this is what we call influencers." Mind you, I'm not a 13-year-old, high school "mean girl," a "troll," a misogynist, a racist, a "karen," or a bully. So, I claim. And yet, here is where the lesson comes in. Within 30 minutes of the posting, my page was flooded with comments. "What is that"? "She looks like a blimp!" "Oh my, what" "She's a moose." "Have another hamburger." The negative comments went on and on! Finally, someone called me out for posting the photo. At first, I was defensive. Replying, "I was just calling attention to what the media labels negative images on Instagram." He continued to berate me for my post, and I continued to defend myself and its intention.
WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT MINDLESS MOMENT OF MOCKERY JUST HELD UP A PICTURE OF MYSELF FOR ME TO SEE A PERSON I NEVER WANT TO BE I signed off in frustration. As I went about my day, the thought lingered and hindered. I replayed in my head what that stranger online implied. I replayed how I was defending myself, trying to convince him that I'm none of those things he was accusing me of being. It was gnawing at my brain! When I got home, I signed back on armed with all "I had to say" to this person. Instead, I began re-reading the ugly comments while looking at the image I had posted. I mean, really looking at it. Her! I started looking at her! Tears began to well up in my eyes. I stand by what I said above about not being a "certain" person, but by posting a photo of a person I did not know, I held her up to be ridiculed for a person she may not be or want to be. My simple
post was no longer "simple," especially as it bordered hypocrisy. The fact that I even LOL'd at some of the negative comments or "liked" some of the negative comments imply otherwise. Even my post implied otherwise. Did I have to like and giggle at those comments? Or was I doing it to add more "friends" and "followers?" And, are these the type of friends and followers I want in my life? A bunch of rabid dogs in a pack ready to attack or consume anything in its path? I think not. And what I think most of is how I don't ever want to be a leader of such a pack. It's past the time to avoid responsibility. There is nothing innocent anymore, and no one is innocent by the excuse. For all we know, the picture I posted of a stranger could be a wife, a mother, a good friend, or a decent human being who is kind, generous, and loving, and was just trying to sort out a reflection of herself or less deep, simply having a bit of selfie fun. Who knows? I sure don't. But what I do know is that mindless moment of mockery just held up a picture of myself for me to see a person I never want to be. So, to whomever that girl is in the photo that I posted, I'm sorry. It might be a good time to step away from the screen and take a more extended look at the real "selfie" we should become.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
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POWER THROUGH AWARENESS By Sherri Cortland, N.D.
“What should I do next?” “Is this the right choice for me?” Any choice we make for ourselves should be consciously based on the information at hand and our overall goals. Making conscious choices demands that we pay attention to what we’re doing right now, and that puts us firmly in the moment. If you’ve read any of my books or articles, you know that my Guide Group, the “GG,” is continually driving home the importance of living in the moment, aka the here and now.
• • •
Be present, Live in the moment, and… Watch what you think and say.
As we incorporate these three points into our daily lives and begin to make conscious choices, we are, in fact, practicing awareness. We can’t be present, be in the moment and watch what we’re thinking and saying without being aware of exactly what we’re doing, and if we’re aware of what we’re doing at any given moment, we will accelerate our spiritual growth. It all comes back to us. We have that power. And to remind us just how powerful we are, here are some channeled messages from my Guides Gilbert and Selena… 58 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Photo by VLADISLAV NAHORNY
Why are my Guides so vociferous when it comes to this subject? Because when we are firmly in the moment, when we consider all options and take in all that’s going on around us, we will make better choices. And the choices we make today affect our spiritual growth just as much as they affect us physically and emotionally. Three things that the “GG” say will help us make conscious choices, and therefore, considerable progress are to:
From Gilbert: “Greetings. Let us talk briefly about the importance of the Here and Now. Living in the present, living in the moment, paying attention to what you say and do BEFORE you say and do them—these are the things that will allow you to move forward much more quickly. The past is important as a marker, as a history lesson that we can learn from, but dwell in the past will keep you from progress. It is good to have a plan, but to live with your head in the future will not help you grow—it’s what you do today, in the present moment, that FORMS your future. Go in peace.”
From Selena: As a being of energy, it is important to understand that your decisions are energy and every word you speak produces energy that affects not only your own journey but also the journey of those around you. As your Guides, we often speak of the power of positive and negative energy in relation to raising one’s vibrational levels and the effects of positive and negative energy in relation to planet Earth—these are the macro consequences of producing energy. The micro consequences of producing energy include the ways in which one’s thoughts and actions affect your daily life and the direction of your ongoing journey. As in “The consequences of your actions,” the word consequences sounds threatening and perhaps negative, but it shouldn’t be so. Lightworkers continue to create positive energy and, therefore, positive consequences every day by consciously creating positive energy. Understanding that there are either positive or negative consequences to one’s actions is an important step in understanding the power of your energy and the power that you have to effect change. Go in peace.” From Gilbert: “Today let us speak of living in the moment, a phrase that has nearly become a cliché but a phrase that all should take seriously. The present is where important choices are made. The choices that were made in the past shaped your present, and the choices you make now will shape your future. You cannot undo the past, but you can learn from it and use those experiences and wisdom to help you make better choices today. There are difficult choices to be made every day, and you have your Higher Self to guide you, so listen to your little voice within when you have challenges in front of you, and you are not sure if you should turn right or left. There are also easy choices in front of you, such as smiling at or giving a kind word to someone. Your days are filled with choices that affect your future and choices that will create positive energy and increase vibratory levels. Such is the power of YOU. Go in peace.” There is no doubt that we are powerful beings and that we become more powerful as our vibrational levels increase. With that power comes responsibility, especially since the things we choose to focus on are what we’re going to co-create or attract into our lives. We can do or say one thing but think another, and it’s our thoughts that will prevail because our thoughts represent our true feelings, desires, and aspirations.
As we continue to practice awareness, grow spiritually and come to recognize our true power, we can join our thoughts and our words together and put them to work for us through a little process called intending. Being aware is an important aspect of intending so that we create affirmations and declarations to the Universe that encompasses exactly what it is that we truly intend. Here’s how to create an affirmation that the Universe will have no trouble deciphering: Lose the words “want” and “need.” They indicate a lack. Lose the word “hope.” It indicates doubt that you’ll get what you want. Use the word “Intend.” Replace want, need, and hope with your true intention. Choosing to make this small change in wording as we make an affirmation makes all the difference in manifesting the things we truly want in life and the changes that we want to make. One caveat: We have the power to manifest our desires, but we’re not necessarily awake enough to know if those desires will take us off track spiritually. To make sure that we don’t upset the Spiritual “To Do” list we set for ourselves, add this sentence to your affirmation: I intend [place your intention here] if it’s for the highest good.” To expedite our spiritual growth, practicing awareness and putting our power to positive use goes a long way towards moving us forward. Namaste.
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. www.Sherri-Cortland.com https://www.facebook.com/ChanneledGuidance 59 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
The Joy of Life,
Living and Being Happy By Shelly Wilson
appiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. Although happiness has many different definitions, it is often described using positive emotions. Often, when people talk about being happy and happiness, they could be sharing about how they feel in the present moment or they might be referencing a general sense of how they feel about life overall. At times, we may feel like we are simply existing and are having human life experiences but aren't fulfilled with the life we have been living. Sometimes, it may seem that we are functioning on auto-pilot and going through the motions of life but aren't truly living. Subsequently, it may feel that time passes quickly, and we wonder where the time went and what tomorrow will bring. How many of you remember the catchy song, Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin? This song was released in 1988, so it's been a few years. Nonetheless, it is a sweet reminder to
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let go of our worries and woes while focusing on being happy. Best-selling author Steve Maraboli has stated, "Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced." What are your thoughts on that statement? Do you agree? We don't often think of happiness as a state of mind. Instead, we view being happy as an emotion that may depend on a specific circumstance. If I were to ask you, are you typically happy? Is that easy for you to answer? By rephrasing the question to, what makes you happy? You might easily recall an event, experience, or relationship that provided feelings of happiness. True happiness is so much more than moments where we recognize that emotion. Happiness can be a real state of mind and being that's brought on by simply choosing to be happy. If you wait around for the feeling of happiness to occur, how will you ever know when you're going to be happy?
Being truly happy doesn't mean waiting for someone or something. Being happy isn't hinging our hopes on something to come along and bring joy to our life. We're going to have to create happiness for ourselves, and these are essential reminders to do just that. Happiness comes from within and not from external sources. As the saying goes, happiness is an inside job. We cannot expect someone or something else outside of us to make us happy. Learning to love yourself is the perfect start to being happy. Happiness can last as long as you would like. Some believe cultivating happiness is an art. Each and every moment, we choose what we want to focus on. We can dwell on past events that create the same emotional feelings we experienced before or choose to be completely present in our lives and see what transpires. Happiness is a decision you can make for yourself. The secret to happiness is to decide to be happy. You accept it and allow it to flow through you. Live to the fullest and make each day count. Don't let the important things go unsaid. Have simple pleasures in this complex world. Be a joyous spirit and a sensitive soul. Take those long walks that you would love to be taken. Explore those sunlit paths that would love to oblige.And don't ever forget that, eventually, dream chasers become dream catchers. ~ author unknown Here are 5 tips for living with more joy and happiness in life: 1. Do what you love. Take time to invest energy in the perceived small things, especially if they make you happy and bring you joy. A small-time investment has an immeasurable return of investment. 2. Know your energy investments. Each one of us must become aware of how we're investing our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy and then choose to recognize whether these activities bring us joy, connection, nurturing rest, and creativity to our lives. We must also become aware of who we invest our energy in. Understandably, this energy investment may not be reciprocated. Therefore, investing consciously and wisely is essential. 3. Explore more. You are an energetic being having a human life experience. Explore, discover and experience more of what brings you joy. Life is meant
to be lived, and emotions are meant to be felt. Fear tends to suppress living because we avoid taking perceived risks in life. We are fearful of the outcome or what others may think of us, so we may avoid opportunities altogether. Perhaps, we need to simply reframe our perception and choose to see perceived risks as being adventurous explorations. 4. Hone in on your happiness. Become aware of your energetic emission and create consciously by choosing to invest more time and energy in what brings you joy and feeds your spirit. Gratitude energy is high vibration and assists with creating more abundance, including financial prosperity, health, happiness, and well-being. 5. Pursue your passions. Initially, this process may entail connecting to the power of your heart to recognize what brings you joy, so you can determine what you are passionate about. You may be guided to foster creativity in others by encouraging them to pursue their passions as well. Choose to pursue what you are passionate about as often as you can. Sometimes, we fear making changes in our life because of the unknown or uncertainty in life. Are you going through the motions of life or truly living? Are you as happy as you could be? Remember, happiness is a state of mind that we are all capable of achieving. Life is too short, and we never know what could happen or when our last breath could be taken. It's time to live our best life and thrive! Say the things you want to say. Do the things you want to do. Most of all, be happy. Live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of every experience.
Shelly Wilson is an author, intuitive medium and conscious creator who is passionate about helping people wake up to their greatness. She supports others as they navigate their own journey into consciousness to experience aliveness. Shelly’s books, 28 Days to a New YOU, Connect to the YOU Within, Journey into Consciousness and Embracing the Magic Within are available in paperback and eBook. She is also the creator of Cards of Empowerment and Clarity Cards. ShellyRWilson.com EmbracingTheMagicWithin.com
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Photo by BAYU PRAYUDA
Make a Greater Impact on Your Life and Others
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By Ken Honda
hen it comes to money, I have heard many people say they want more, but rarely anyone says they have too much. And I’ve met only one man who said he had enough: my mentor, Wahei Takeda. Most people around the world are unfamiliar with this great man, but to put it in relative terms, he was like the Warren Buﬀett of Japan. I believe my success directly results from Wahei’s philosophy of saying “arigato” — thank you — consistently and applying his “maro up” philosophy to my own life and business. What Is Maro? The word is short for magokoro, which means true or sincere heart in Japanese. You could say maro is strong in those who have a pure heart and lead an upright life. Even in Japanese, it’s somewhat hard to deﬁne maro, but it could be called a state of selﬂessness — the opposite of ego. Wahei said that those who are in touch with maro always create win-win situations for themselves and the people around them. If you have a pure heart and true sincerity, not only will people treat you better, but you’ll begin to feel the whole universe support you as well. When your maro increases, Wahei says you “maro up” and invite many miracles into your life. “Maro Up” Through Giving Recent research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Northwestern University offers scientific evidence that giving to others increases happiness. The more often people give, the happier they become. That is the “Happy Money” mindset in action! All the money circulated with love, care, and friendship is Happy Money. Happy money makes people smile and feel loved and cared for deeply. It is, in many ways, an active form of love. Anyone can invite more Happy Money into their lives and increase their happiness by becoming a #givefluencer — making giving a way of life. 1. Help out a family member who is having a tough time financially. 2. Donate money to help victims of a recent tragedy. 3. Raise money for a local homeless shelter.
4. Invest in a small local business that needs support. 5. Buy a small gift for someone you love. 6. Donate your valuable time to a cause or individual in need in your community. We like to think that money is just a number or a piece of paper, but it is so much more than that. Money brings with it so many emotions — more than we even realize. So few of us see the potential that money brings us joy, gratitude, and happiness — especially when we give it away freely and with the same positive energy with which we receive it. “Maro up” and make giving a regular part of your life. You may be surprised to discover all of the positive shifts that happen for you simply as a result of becoming more selfless and giving to others. When your maro increases, you… •
Become more magnetic, both emitting and attracting positive energy. This surrounds you with good people and things you care for deeply, which then creates a cycle of happiness and abundance.
Become more passionate and more energized to do the things you care about most. You become more intuitive, and you can choose the best way for you to live your life. And since you are doing what you love most, you are constantly opening doors to exciting new opportunities and more abundance.
Express more gratitude for life. Say “thank you” more than ever before. Your gratitude is contagious, and you fill those around you with positive energy. As a result, others start to express gratitude and welcome more abundance into their own lives as well.
Life Is Something to Be Shared Sharing your joy with people and oﬀering your skills to them requires no hesitation. You know that sharing joy with people increases your own personal joy exponentially. Once happiness is experienced as something you do with others, you realize that there really is no other way to do it. Doing something solely for oneself is no longer interesting.
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Sharing should be part of every aspect of your life, whether you’re sharing joy, money, services, or your gifts or talents. All that matters is that you do it — that you share! And that means sharing with everyone you meet: with your family, your friends, your coworkers, your clients, your customers, and society. The more you share and the more generous you are with your time, talents, and gifts; the more abundance will ﬂow to you. Why? The principle of sharing is connected to natural law. The natural world is one of sharing. Everything is tied together mutually, and when one part suﬀers, the whole is thrown into oﬀ balance. If many people were to become more open to sharing and partaking in the joy of life together, many of the world’s problems would soon disappear. Be Open to Receiving, Too Giving and receiving are both integral parts of the cycle of Happy Money in and out of our lives. When we practice giving and remain open to receiving, both money and happiness flow easily to us and from us. Unfortunately, though, so many of us have been conditioned to think of receiving as associated with negative self-worth. We sometimes react with feelings of shame or guilt when someone wants to give to us. This blocks us from the Happy Money flow! To truly enrich your life, you must be willing to give and receive. If you aren’t willing to receive happiness and abundance, then no matter how much money you have and no matter what high status you attain, you will never feel happy and content. Receiving means allowing yourself the freedom to receive and knowing that you have inherent value that is worthy of receiving good things. I can’t express how important it is to be willing to receive gifts, opportunities, and chances given to you. Oftentimes, people fail to see the good things right in front of them instead of receiving them joyfully. They are so focused on a set outcome or their own negative beliefs that they miss amazing opportunities right under their noses and set themselves up for failure by chasing things that aren’t meant for them. Have you ever been so hyper-focused on getting something you think you need (whether an opportunity or a physical thing, like a product) only to find that it caused you to miss out on something else that might have been even better for you? If you shift your attention to notice everything that is available for you to receive, you can begin to realize just how much you are
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given. When you open yourself up to receiving, that is the beginning of realizing true abundance. Receive the love and support of others openly, with your sincere heart. With the love and support of others, problems that seemed big at the outset start to shrink to a manageable size and become easier to sort out and handle. If you allow yourself to receive support unconditionally, you will deepen your understanding that you can share and help others, as well. Give and receive; receive and give. The more you keep this flow open and moving seamlessly through your life, the more gratitude, joy, and abundance you will experience. Enjoy it! Experience both giving and receiving with a happy heart, and you will attract more such experiences into your life. The key is staying open to both the giving and the receiving opportunities that present themselves to you. From within this flow, the joyful life you have always dreamed of for yourself becomes possible. Always believe there is a better future. As you go ahead in life and business, fears and doubts will come into your mind, and it is at that moment that believing in the future is most important. Be open to receiving help from a mentor or friend when you cannot bring yourself to truly believe that a better future is possible; a good support network makes it easier to trust that a brighter future is possible. Life holds the opportunity for us to have all kinds of marvelous experiences. Truly trusting in life and its possibilities lays the groundwork for making your dreams a reality. And the beautiful thing is that when you trust in a better future, you are then able to give hope to others who are dealing with their own fears. And so, the circle of giving and receiving continues.
Money and happiness expert Ken Honda is a best-selling selfdevelopment author in Japan, with book sales surpassing seven million copies since 2001. His latest book is called Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money (Simon & Schuster). He is a founding member of The Givefluencer Network. Learn more at KenHonda.com.
THE SUSTAINABLE PARTY TUMBLER TO ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND
Pirani Next time you grab a cup, make it a Pirani. The minimalistic design makes them perfect for boating, camping, traveling, and on the beach. You can still enjoy the party - just do so sustainably! Small changes make a big difference. Pirani Life designs reusable, insulated tumbler cups to reduce single-use plastic and help people adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Bring it along next time you visit your fav barista, too. There has been much attention lately to the effects of plastics in the ocean. And for good reason. By 2050, estimates show that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. The news is catastrophic, so it is encouraging to see more companies committed to building their business around eco-friendly offerings. The brand encourages everyone to say no to single-use plastic and help reduce the 500 billion single-use plastic cups used globally that end up in our oceans and landfills each year. Pirani Life is doing its part to help consumers make a change away from single-use plastics. Take a look at these colorful selections made to
At-A-Glance Features: • Dishwasher safe • Easily stackable, perfect for storing or packing on the go • Skinny-walled triple insulation keeps drinks at a perfect temperature without a sweaty mess • Leak-proof and indestructible lid, premium quality 18/8 stainless steel, powder-coated finish, and lifetime warranty • Standard measurements built into the cup to fit all cup holders • Made in the USA • Available in many colorful offerings • Price: $24.95 each; $94.95 (4-pack); $185.95 (8-pack); $313.95 (14-pack) Giving Back: As a member of 1% For The Planet community, every Pirani purchase translates to a direct contribution to the environment. For more information, visit www.pirani.life
last a lifetime. Shopping sustainably starts here.
The Last Party Cup You Will Ever Need! Pirani Party Tumblers are 16 oz. stainless steel, triple-insulated, keeping drinks cold 12+ hours and hot up to 6. From tumblers to accessories, the brand designs durable eco-solutions to help reduce single-use plastic. Bring this Reusable Party Cup to your favorite game, tailgating outside a concert, into your college dorm, on your back deck, or wherever you choose to party. In the summer or winter, your drinks will remain perfect.
Growing up in South Florida and living an active outdoor lifestyle, founders Brandegee Pierce and Danielle Del Sordogrew tired of seeing litter scattered across their beautiful beaches. So they decided to do something about it, thus offering the first vacuum insulated red party cup. The duo’s efforts help put a stop to the billions of single-use plastic cups tossed away every year. Follow them on Instagram @pirani_life. 65 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Photo by MARCEL LANGTHIM | PIXEL
Why is it crucial for brands
to care about keystone species?
Organika vodka 66 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
here are around 8300 known animal breeds in the world, 8% of which are extinct. It might not seem like a lot, but there's a staggering 22% percent that is endangered. If we think about the fact that it was a much smaller number just ten years ago, the 8% does not seem so small anymore. We could be faced with the quarter of our animal kingdom going extinct really soon, and that's scary. These numbers show that the planet is on the edge of "the sixth mass extinction," as the scientists call it. Human activity is causing inevitable harm to ecosystems, and many species simply vanish. This brings irreversible harm to biodiversity and the environment. Let's take Siberian tigers, for example - with fewer than 580 of these iconic animals in the wild today; tiger populations have been in a rapid decline over the past century. They are a keystone species, crucial for the integrity of the ecosystems in which they live. As top predators, they keep populations of prey species in check, which in turn maintains the balance between herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. In short, when tigers thrive, the whole ecosystem thrives. Protecting tigers and their natural homes helps provide benefits for thousands of other animals and millions of people. Landscapes that tigers inhabit overlap with wildly important ecosystems, many of which are in Asia's last purely natural sights. These places filled with wildlife and fauna bring a wealth of critically crucial products and services that millions of humans depend on every day. Plus, healthy tiger habitats help diminish climate change, bring fresh water to other animals and people, reduce the impact of natural disasters, and improve the health of local people. If tigers are to survive this century and beyond, their home range urgently needs protection and restoration. This requires sustained support from governments, businesses, and communities. We could lose the impressive range of benefits present in tiger habitats if we don't act swiftly and effectively. Why should we care again? Saving tigers creates a snowball effect for governments, businesses, foundations, and companies to save crucial parts of our nature like forests, for
example. Forest trees and other plants soak up carbon dioxide—a heat-trapping greenhouse gas contributing to the planet's warming—and store it as they grow. Safeguarding tiger landscapes could protect the last remaining forests critical for this carbon storage, helping mitigate climate change. For example, forests protected for Amur tigers in Russia's far east can absorb 130,000 tons of carbon per year—the equivalent of more than 25,000 cars on the road. As if that wasn't convincing enough, tigers also play a key role in regulating the flow of water. Some forests, such as cloud forests, increase the amount of water flow while others, such as humid forests, reduce the flow. This natural regulation helps during times of drought or heavy rains and benefits people downstream. Protecting tigers means protecting vital freshwater sources and functions. Hundreds of millions of people depend on water from places where tigers roam. Last but not least, protecting tiger landscapes, when done with sensitivity, contributes greatly to preserving endangered cultures and languages. Our "biocultural diversity"—the range of society, culture, and language on the planet—is disappearing as fast as our biodiversity. Linguists predict that between 50% and 90% of the world's languages will disappear by the end of this century. Surely, all of this seems overwhelming, and even foundations like the WWF need our help. It's absolutely necessary for big brand names to get in the game with no dependence on the industry they come from. It's a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. Fortunately, a hands-on attitude and a goal seen ahead make things much more feasible and realistic. Here's one example of how one brand can change the life of hundreds of tigers and help the world be a better place, one step at a time. The brand took part in the WWF-Russia project to preserve the Amur tiger home. The company purchased equipment for the Kedr system, created to combat illegal logging in the habitats of rare cats. For the free existence of one adult individual of the tiger, at least 450 square kilometers are needed for a hundred tigers - already 5 thousand square kilometers, which is approximately equal in area to two territories of Luxembourg.
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IS DEDICATED TO RARE AND ENDANGERED SPECIES OF ANIMALS LISTED
IN THE RED BOOK
AND IS CONSTANTLY CREATING INITIATIVES TO SAVE THEM. IT’S THE ONLY ALCOHOLIC BRAND WHOSE CREATION WAS MOTIVATED BY A SOCIAL MISSION Uncontrolled or illegal deforestation actually jeopardizes the restoration of the population - thanks to the joint work of conservation organizations and the business of tigers, there are more tigers, but the territories in which they can freely live are shrinking. To combat illegal logging in the south of the Far East in the cedar-deciduous forests where the Amur tiger lives, the brand donated drones and drone control pads to WWF Russia, which will be used in the Kedr system. It is illegal deforestation that causes the greatest harm to the Amur tiger today, and with the help of drones, forest rangers will be able to quickly detect it in hardto-reach regions and stop the actions of violators. The name of this brand is Organika vodka. From the beginning of its existence, the Organika brand was associated with rare natural resources: vodka made from Baikal water contained Siberian larch extract, which is considered a real storehouse of strength and benefits of natural elements the nature of Siberia has to offer. Later, a version for gourmets also appeared with a truffle - a valuable delicacy and a powerful aphrodisiac that Napoleon Bonaparte adored. The image of the Amur tiger, a majestic and rare inhabitant of the Far Eastern expanses, assisted by the company, was chosen as a bottle decoration to emphasize the value and power of natural resources in Organika vodka. As an official partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Amur Tiger Center, Organika vodka annually donates more than 1% of its turnover to charity. By its example, Organika vodka encourages people to protect the world around them and contribute to the protection of wildlife.
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Essentially, being motivated by nature and giving back to nature, Organika vodka couldn't stop saving one rare species and had to expand its efforts even further. The snow leopard (Irbis) is one of the least studied and rare felines on the planet. In Russia, 50% of the total snow leopard population lives in the Altai Republic, and the Saylyugem National Park protects them. The low density of the species and the secretive lifestyle in the highlands up to 6,000 meters above sea level are why no more than 14% of the snow leopard's range has been studied in the world so far. However, it was only thanks to these conditions that the snow leopard survived in many regions. Today the snow leopard is one of the rarest large cat species. According to WWF-Russia estimates, over the past 16 years alone, the number of snow leopards in the world has decreased by 20%, leaving from 4,000 to 7,500 snow leopards on the planet. Today, the main threats to the snow leopard are the destruction of habitats of a rare predator in the context of climate change, an increase in the number of livestock, poaching, and a decrease in the number of wild ungulates. Organika vodka donated a UAZ car with a trailer to Sailyugem National Park to support the Mountain Patrol, a WWF project to preserve the snow leopard. One of the areas of the WWF-Russia Mountain Patrol project is to conduct anti-poaching raids in snow leopard habitats and search for and prosecute violators of environmental legislation. For the effectiveness of these works, it is necessary to provide the inspectors of the Saylyugemsky National Park with equipment and transport that will allow them to move off-road, as well as transport snowmobiles and ATVs. Organika vodka purchased a reliable UAZ vehicle with a trailer for the national park. This will allow for more raids in the snow leopard habitat and control a large area, preventing poaching. The car was personally handed over to the national park by the co-founder of Organika vodka, Renat Khuzin. "In Altai, in an amazing way, you can find landscapes from different parts of the world: there are mountains, forests, swirling rivers in gorges, steppes, and mountain tundra. As if he made a trip around the world! In addition, there is a special atmosphere here - it is not for nothing that Altai is called a place of power. I want to come back here again, comments Khuzin. "At Organika, we believe that when we take resources from nature, we must give it something in return. For our products, we use Baikal herbs, plant extracts, water, but we return the "debt" by supporting rare and endangered species of animals. "
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ackyard Candles is Justin’s dream come true, realized into a brand that evokes elements from nature to create handpoured candles made with love and intention. The name Backyard Candles comes from the belief that we all share a collective backyard! The brand’s goal is to represent ALL backyards and in every form. Hence, why their candles are inspired by the elements - Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
Taking the brand’s purpose one step further, Backyard Candles is dedicated to giving back to the planet. The brand uses up-cycled coconut shells, recycled wine bottles, and reusable materials to lower their carbon footprint. Not to mention, 5% of every sale is donated to an organization that gives back to the environment.
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Backyard Candles makes beautiful coconut candles that naturally fit in with any home decor. Enjoy the brand and know that each item is handmade with up-cycled coconut shells that otherwise would have been tossed away, polluting the environment. The unique aromas invigorate a room while creating a serene environment for relaxation and comfort. Boost your self-care regime with a dreamy bath and coconut candles that float! The brand sets itself apart by offering fragrances numbered to match the weeks in a year. With each week having a different scent depending on the season (i.e. the week of Valentine’s has a scent dedicated to love), it’s easy to find an affordable gift for family and friends, just don’t forget yourself, too! The company’s commitment to having a low carbon footprint coupled with its giving back initiative is truly noteworthy. Five percent of profits from the coconut candles (a water symbol) are donated to organizations committed to ocean cleanup and coral reef conservation.
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The 14th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic was held at Toluca Lake’s most prestigious golf clubs. The sold-out’ tournament, benefiting The George Lopez Foundation, included Doris Bergman’s Fourth Annual “Gratitude Lounge,” co-hosted by Casa De Campo® Hotel Resort & Villas, Twisted Silver Jewelry & Caribbean Living Magazine. Bergman showcased an incredible array of luxury gifts -- including fashion-forward footwear, the finest in beauty and skincare, men’s and women’s California casual wear, cannabis topical & edible products, exotic Mexican chocolate, stunning jewelry collections, the latest in electronics, delicious soy candles, over-the-top golfing get-a-ways to the Dominican Republic, organic Tequila, delectable gourmet sweets and much more. George Lopez, Lu Parker, Adrian Gonzalez, Andy Vargas, Brian Krause, Cedric The Entertainer, Celine Pelofi, Christopher Judge, Derrex Brady, D.L. Hughley, Debbe Dunning, Dennis Haysbert, Dondre Whitfield, Dr. Jason Diamond, Galen Gering, Joe Mantegna, Joe Pesci, Kelly Sheehan, Kim Estes, Lizza Monet Morales, Lizzy Small, Mark Rolston, Michael Irby, Momo Rodriguez, Norman Nixon, Omarosa Newman, Oscar DeLaHoya, Pat Monahan, Patrika Darbo, Peter Mackenzie, Richard Karn, Robby Krieger, Roland Martin, Steven Michael Quezada, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tim Allen, Tom Ellis, William Wilson, Yancey Arias, Alysha DeValle, Jonathan Antin, Chris Spencer, to name a few, were among the cadre of celebrities who were treated to the best of the best.
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HITS A HOLE-IN-ONE AT THE 14TH ANNUAL GEORGE LOPEZ CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC
The mission of The George Lopez Foundation is to create positive, permanent change for underprivileged children, adults, and military families confronting challenges in education and health and increasing community awareness about kidney disease and organ donation. georgelopezfoundation.org
Gifts and services were provided by: Hypercel Corporation; Naztech; Chokolatta; Dulce Vida Organic Tequila; Twisted Silver; Hypofootwear; Raw Gear; Caribbean Living Magazine; Casa De Campo Resort & Villas; Mperial Sportswear; Beauty Kitchen Skin Care; Hint Water; Milena LA; The RDC Collective; The Syndicate; Zirconmania; Diamond Veneer; Popcornopolis; Actual Veggies; Simply Gum; Liquid Death; Essentia Water; La Flore Skincare; Kamshield; Doll Babee Cheesecakes; Chipz Happen; C20 Coconut Water; Earth Bands; Peatos Healthy Snacks; Swipz Wipes; Zevia; and The Ultimate DJ – Mr. Craig Scime. VIP Gift Bags were provided by Twisted Silver. 73 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
By Meg Nocero
s a forty-something Italian-American immigration attorney, Meg moves through unimaginable grief and sadness watching her beloved mother lost her battle to breast cancer. Questioning her life choices and opening herself up to her soul’s calling, Nocero brings readers along on her journey through a dark night of the soul. We experience with her the grieving process, a toxic work environment, and intense stress that results in depression and anxiety, along with a somatic nervous disorder called tinnitus. Meg never gives up and– instead– looks for the help she needs to start to heal and find her light. In the end, like the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, her story is a beautiful love letter honoring her mother’s legacy while detailing the awakening of her own. Among the many stories about breast cancer and grief, none are quite like this one. After resigning as a federal prosecutor, she searches for the lighthouse she saw in a vision when her mother died. Embarking on an inspiring spiritual pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain to get to the lighthouse at Cap Finisterre, she sets out to wake up and 74 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
live again. The butterfly connection and stark honesty of her writing offer readers important lessons learned from moving through grief so that each person can shine their light again. Melide to Arzua At seven o’clock, I woke once again and met everyone in front at eight. Diligently wrapping my blisters, still gross, I readied myself for the 15 km ahead of us. It was another beautiful morning, cool under a clear blue sky. We photographed a gorgeous sunrise over the vista below. Heidi announced that she would be walking in the back, and Rita took the lead today. Our first stop was Santa Maria de Melide church, not even 1 km down the road. Classified as a national monument, a gem of Melide’s Romanesque style, Vicky pointed out St. Anthony on the right and Our Lady of Sorrows, its patron saint, in front. Today I dedicated my walk to spreading the love with the Love Button Global Movement. After I loaded up my group with a ton of Love Buttons, the faster hikers took off.
When we got to the split point to veer right uphill, a huge sign in the middle drew our attention to twomile markers, one for bicycles and the other for hikers. Uncertain, we turned toward the path to the right. At route marker 49,577, I saw a Love Button on top, smiled, and knew we were going the right way. We started the steep uphill climb toward Boente. We were on our way to Arzua, Cheese City. Rita said that Arzua had a number of legends associated with the city and its oak trees. I googled one called “the legend of the pilgrim”: There was a passage of a hungry pilgrim through the town of A Coruna. When he knocked on the door of a bakery where they had just warmed up the bread, the lady of the premises replied that they did not attend to thieves, that if he wanted bread, he would have to pay for it. The poor man on the pilgrimage knocked on another bakery in the village, where he was given more fraternal assistance, offering bread from last week, since the day was still baking. In a moment of carelessness, the pilgrim disappeared mysteriously without a trace, and at the time of taking the bread out of the oven, the buns of the first bakery had turned to stone, while those of the hospitable bakery had turned to gold. (taken from vivcamino.com) Then I read about the famous cheese of Arzua. They even have an annual Cheese Festival in its honor. Accompanied by folkloric festivities, people from near and far would come and delight in eating Arzua’s cheese. Together with four others in our group, Vicky said, “I guess we will be eating cheese today!” I was glad to be with these ladies on this route, lined with beautiful oak trees acting as a natural canopy. Once we left the forest, Alicia and I noticed that there were more tiny butterflies and small finches hovering around us. Alicia said, “That is how my mother has shown up for me since she passed away. She’s a beautiful little finch.” I replied, “Really? What a beautiful and colorful little songbird. My mother shows up as a butterfly.” She said, “I know. I remember you telling your story. You know, I have loved you and your mom from the first time I heard you talk about her at the Emmaus retreat where we first met. I even googled her.” I replied, “Really? That is so amazing!” “Luckily, I found a photo of her, so I could put a face to the beautiful person you adored. I adored my mother, Mery, too. It was so hard when she got sick. I remem-
ber that she was a fighter. She loved life so much.” “Alicia, you definitely are a lot like your mother: smart, full of life, and a bright white smile that lights up every room you enter. I always wanted to get to know you better. I didn’t know I had to go on a 77-mile torture hike to do so. Life is so funny, right?” She laughed, “Yep, life is so funny that way. All of us are walking the same Camino yet encountering different characters. Each life is a unique unfolding, so blessed to live it to the fullest.” I nodded in agreement, “Look, there is another finch and butterfly; I think our moms are watching over us to tell us that they are proud of us.” “Yes, they are!” We both smiled. As we entered another hamlet, there were traditionally dressed women selling tourist mementos at the outskirts. We watched them approach the pilgrims in front of us, haggling for sales. The young one cajoled the pilgrim with trinkets, bracelets, and the like. Alicia looked at me, “I think she’s a pickpocket. Did you see her hands were hiding under the shirts?” “Oh my, I think you’re right.” “Yeah, I put the Love Button in her hand so she couldn’t steal from us.” “Way to go, Alicia!” Check not being pickpocketed off the list of possible disasters. On the way up the next hill, we saw a wall labeled Comida Para El Alma, Food for Thought. The fence was lined with orange and yellow cards that contained inspirational thoughts. I read the first one: There is fast food, but there is no fast wisdom. How appropriate. Seven years ago, I would not have been ready for any of this. Whatever wisdom we gained certainly did not come fast. After reading the rest of the cards lined up against the fence, we saw a table covered with stones. For a small donation, you could take a “sorrow stone” and leave it wherever you like, symbolically leaving sadness behind you. Traditionally, pilgrims would leave sorrow stones at Cruz de Ferro, the Iron Cross located in the Leon mountains outside of Astorga. I bought two, one to take to El Monte do Gozo, Mountain of Joy, and the other to gift to my soul sister Teda when we met in Madrid at the end. At one o’clock, I got my daily check-in call from Frank and Ava. It was the highlight of my day. No sweeter words than, “Go, Mommy, go!”
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We crossed the medieval bridge over the River Iso, 11 km into our walk. We had another uphill climb awaiting, but until then, the sightseeing in Ribadiso was magical. Some took advantage of the cool water and soaked their feet. I was too afraid to take off my shoes, worried that it would do more harm than good.
theless, She Persisted. “Okay, Mary Jo,” I said, looking at her purple butterfly, “we will find a way.” Checking the Health app on my phone, I saw I had walked 9.7 miles—25,495 steps and 26 floors. Two days left.
When we arrived in Arzua, Vicky and I caught up with three more of our group at Café Louie. We sat down and ordered a huge dish of Arzua’s cheese. The cheese was soft like muenster and just salty enough. Building up a decent thirst, we washed it down with the restaurant’s delicious signature sangria. Plenty full and a little tipsy, we wanted to stop at the nearest pharmacy before we got ready to call a taxi. After I grabbed my backpack and walking sticks, I turned around to make sure we were all together. Then without looking, I went to step off the curb and landed on the edge of a storm drain cover. I lost my balance for a moment, and my right ankle turned on its side and twisted. I tried to put my weight on it and winced in pain. “Vicky, I think I did something to my ankle.” She replied, “Oh no. Well, we are going to the pharmacy anyway. You can get something for it. Then we can take a cab and get ice at the hotel.” “Thank you.” I wiped the tears from my eyes, wondering why everything I do has to be so dramatic. I was actually enjoying myself, and now this. I hobbled with Vicky over to the pharmacy across the street. One of the other pilgrims went in and bought Voltaren gel, an anti-inflammatory. Then we found a chair to sit and wait for the taxi we called to take us to the hotel. We arrived at Casa Brandariz to drop off those staying there and waited for transportation to take us down the hill. Our group was staying at two separate locations. It was such a beautiful place. There was a bell tower located beside the main cobblestone building. We stayed at Casa Corredoira, a chalet of rooms alongside a granary and working farm. Roosters were running all over the place. The manager grabbed a traditional pilgrim’s hat, cape, walking stick, and gourd so we could all play dress-up in front of the old building across the way. Laughing and playfully as we dressed the part, parading across the small enclave, it was lovely. After checking into my room, I took off my shoes to inspect the damage. On top of the rash and blisters, my right ankle was really swollen. I wondered if it would be smart to walk on a sprained ankle. I looked down at the words on my T-shirt before I changed: Never76 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Meg Nocero is a former Department of Homeland Security attorney. After 19 years of federal government service, she resigned to pursue her dream as a writer, inspirational speaker, a success coach, and attorney for justice.Nocero is an avid learner who holds a BA in Spanish, with a concentration in Italian from Boston College; an MA in international affairs from the University of Miami; and a JD from St. Thomas University School of Law. She is a member of the Florida Bar, serves on the Wellness Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and holds certifications as a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center instructor, as a Professional Coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, and as an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation. She has a Certificate in Happiness Studies through Harvard Professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar’s Happiness Studies Academy and a Certificate for the Science of Well-Being from Yale University.In addition to being named Miz CEO Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, she appeared on CNN Español with Ismael Cala and hosts her own YouTube channel and a podcast called Manifesting with Meg: Conversations with Extraordinary People.
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DESERVES A HAPPILY HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER
EVER AFTER By India Blake
pproximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. (ASPCA) Giving a fourlegged friend a second chance is an important decision. Beyond just helping an animal in need, you’re allowing a rescue dog to find its voice and enjoy a second chance in life.
Blake’s expert scene-setting and clearly defined characters will draw young readers into the strong emotional content- loneliness, fear and trust, giving way to feelings of love and commitment that accompany successful pet rescue. 78 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Photo by MICHAEL DZIEDZIC
Beautifully illustrated, Gypsy to the Rescue follows the tale of a small German shepherd’s journey to find a forever home in this heartwarming tale of courage and companionship. After a series of unsuccessful adoptions, Gypsy escapes to the working waterfront of the Florida Keys. There she meets a young fisherman named Charlie, who offers the starving dog part of his sandwich. Just as she begins to feel trust for the first time in her life, she witnesses a robbery at Charlie’s family business. Gypsy can catch the thief and protect her new friend. Will this brave pup finally find the family she has been searching for?
As an animal advocate for many years, I recently released my first children’s book about that very topic. Gypsy to the Rescue tells the story of a smaller than average German Shepard pup who is looking for her forever home.
If your home is not ready for a pet, or you’re still on the fence about adding a new furry family member, there are plenty of other ways to support local animal shelters in your area. Some of the many shelter needs include:
After a series of failed adoptions, Gypsy meets a genuine friend in a young fisherman named Charlie and his uncle that she found at a pier in the Florida Keys. Gypsy took fate into her own paws and throughout the story, Gypsy shows her kind heart and good intentions, defying the odds that were set against her from the very beginning.
Fostering: For a variety of reasons, shelters and rescue centers are always in need of foster homes for pets. There is no such thing as a perfect foster home, and of course, there are many things to consider before signing up for this type of responsibility. However, fostering allows a rescue animal to get out of a cage and provide the positive reinforcement that will set up the animal for what life could be like in a home, even if it is temporary. If you have experience taking care of a pet and your heart is open to it, fostering can make a huge difference for the animal and potentially for your family as well.
Although this book is fictional, my inspiration came from the true story of when I fostered a small German Shepard pup from a shelter in Florida. I named her Gypsy because she went through quite a journey before we met. When the volunteers at the rescue told me what they knew of her story, it broke my heart. All dogs deserve a chance to live a happy, safe, and loving life with a caring family. Adoption should be a solution to animal homelessness and a way for people to connect with future pets that need forever homes. Unfortunately, there are too many unwritten stories about animals that are rescued and then returned to shelters. Luckily, most animal shelters and rescue centers are managed by compassionate animal advocates that give these animals the love they may never have had before their arrival.
Transporting: If you are not ready to foster, consider transporting rescued animals to their destined foster home. Transportation can be a limited resource for shelters and rescue centers. By providing a safe ride to a foster home, you are giving a rescued animal the chance to avoid being indefinitely placed in an overpopulated shelter that may or may not have room for them. It may seem like a simple act of kindness, but becoming an animal transporter can be a huge help.
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Volunteering: There typically is an age requirement to volunteer with animals, but it could also be a fun and enriching experience to do while accompanying your younger children. If you do not have a pet at home, by volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue center, your children will be in a safe and controlled environment where they can learn more about animals and how to take care of them. Volunteering could include dog walking, animal socialization, cleaning and kennel maintenance, or helping with odd jobs around the shelter. There may also be opportunities like the “Dog’s Day Out Program” at Second Chance Animal Shelter in Massachusetts. This amazing program gives a rescue dog the chance to spend an adventurous day with a registered volunteer. Donating: Donating your time is free but donating money and/or resources to rescues and local shelters is a welcomed and generous gift. Check with your local shelter to see their donation policy and what they are willing to accept. A few of the most common items that most shelters will accept are: towels, leashes, toys, brushes, beds, food & dishes, cleaning supplies, and newspapers. Most animal shelters even have Amazon wishlists that they organize themselves. The benefit of Amazon wishlists is that you can have the order shipped directly to their facility while donating those items from the comfort of your home.
ADOPTION SHOULD BE A SOLUTION
TO ANIMAL HOMELESSNESS AND A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH FUTURE PETS THAT NEED
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By helping your local shelters, rescue centers, and foster families, you too can play an integral part in providing a better life for innocent animals in need. Gypsy’s courage and ability to trust humans after all that she had been through are admirable and rare. Not every dog has as much fortitude as Gypsy, but all dogs in the rescue and shelter system deserve the chance to find their happily ever after.
India Blake is an award-winning photographer, writer, and animal advocate. Before the Curtain Goes Up, her work includes a photographic journey behind the scenes of smalltown theaters that shares intimate moments of preparation before a performance. Her book, Captured, combines her talents in photography and poetry, earning the Indie Excellence Award, Reader’s Digest Critics’ Pick, and has received praise from Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kirkus Reviews. Gypsy to the Rescue is India’s first children’s book. For more information visit: www.indiablake.com
RECLAMING YOUR TRUE SELF
Photo by SWAG STYLE
By Angela Dunning
TheAlchemical Powerof HUMILITY HUMILITY CAN BE FOUND IN THE HEART
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e do like to think we are always right; it's a human tendency, it seems. We convince ourselves that our way and our beliefs are right and others are always wrong. We love to keep ourselves elevated; above correction, we often find it difficult to admit when we are wrong or have made mistakes. It is extremely painful to our ego to admit defeat, failure and that just basically, at times, we all get things wrong. Enter the attitude of humility. To counter the above rigidity, we need to learn how to access and embody humility. To be able to admit our errors and to dismantle our castles-in-the-sky of rightness and certainty. A little doubt can go a long way to bringing us back into balance and, well, more human again. Humility and humbleness are also the opposites of arrogance, which is the most dangerous of attitudes, particularly in our relationships. Pride makes us artificial, and humility makes us real. ~Thomas Merton It's easy for us to confuse adopting a true and healthy attitude of humility with our fear of humiliation. To our ego and persona, to be humiliated is a kind of death, and so we try to avoid this at all costs. And yet again, to be human is to err, and sometimes we have to be brought low and knocked off our self-positioned pedestals. The root of the word humility comes from 'humilis', meaning "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground"; from humus" earth. Humiliation, in addition, means "to humble". And it is to be humble in one's attitude of one's self and others that we can act from a place of humility. Curiously, when we do so, we never cause humiliation to another, nor do we feel this ourselves. In fact, the opposite seems to occur.
When we come from a mindset of humbleness, we keep ourselves and our egos grounded. The ego has a tendency to inflate itself. This begins quite naturally in early childhood and is indeed essential for helping to build a strong and healthy ego which we all need to function in life. Every child should get to experience being "King of the castle" at least once; otherwise, they will constantly strive to feel this way even late into life, causing tremendous problems for themselves and others, especially if they are in a position of power. If sufficient early ego-building gets halted or distorted in some way, then as we grow up, we can easily fall into a state of permanent ego inflation. Being inflated is conversely a sign of deep in security. Gilbert K. Chesterton wrote: It is always the secure who are humble. What appears as grandiosity and inflation is in fact, a stark revelation of deep self-doubt and weak ego. And even though our inflation tries to mask this, others sense our masquerade, bluster, and falsity. Pride and other psychological defenses, which is a state of inflation, build up an overblown image of ourselves in our psyche. We see ourselves as better than others. We look down on others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves. I believe being humble has such a powerful alchemical effect on us because it keeps our attitude and thus actions in their correct place and at the right level. In other words, it keeps us grounded, relatable, and appreciatively respectful of others.
The best spiritual teachers and practices are those which encourage us to stay grounded and in a humble position. This keeps our ego in check and stops us thinking only we can do a certain thing; that we are better than others, or if we are in the helping professions that we have special healing capabilities
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Photo by ROBERT GOMEZ
The best spiritual teachers and practices are those which encourage us to stay grounded and in a humble position. This keeps our ego in check and stops us thinking only we can do a certain thing; that we are better than others, or if we are in the helping professions that we have special healing capabilities. During a shamanic practitioner training I undertook a few years ago; we always started the day sharing how we were feeling on our knees. This ensured that we started from a grounded and humble place. Just simply kneeling and facing others enables us to reveal in a much more authentic way how we are really feeling. It is a very simple and powerful act. I encourage you to try it yourself, and if you lead, groups get your participants to do this and see the difference. After all, we kneel when we pray to God as it keeps us in our right position of deference and respect. In her stunningly beautiful movie Dancing in the Flames, Marion Woodman recounts being instructed by a feminine spirit guide to go "lower, lower"; to touch the earth and be humbled. Her guide was firm in this demand; she had to be truly humbled to break through her defenses and lifelong habits of thinking she was in control of life. Animals don't have the same challenges as we do as they are without a persona and ego to contend with every minute of the day. They simply are naturally who they are. They live from their instinctual roots and needs. And most animals are more immediately and intimately connected to the earth, much more so than we are. Four-legs makes them naturally more earth-bound, whereas being upright on two legs takes us dangerously away from the ground and up into the air, the place of inflation. This is why kneeling or sitting on the earth is such a powerful counter-action to our normal daily lives. Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation on bare feet are ideal ways to practice this.
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I know that my own insecurities tend to give me an inflated sense of self. Even though I try to deny it, there is often a continuous program running in the background that tries to convince me that I am better than others, and when this is challenged, it is incredibly difficult for me (my ego) to tolerate such truth. Yet, to be human is to be like others. Even though we are all unique and special in our own way, we are also part of the human race, and, in truth, we are no better or more important than anyone else; remembering this helps keep our feet on the ground. It also stops us from scapegoating others and seeing others as fundamentally different from ourselves. We could all do with practicing more humility. As a species, we need to embody this attitude, not least of all, to cut through our very powerful beliefs that we have a right to have dominion over this planet and all life on it. But also in finding enough compassion for ourselves and all peoples. I think there would be a lot less scapegoating and "othering" in this world if we could dig deep enough into our hearts, the place where being humble resides, and let it speak our truth for once.
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: ebook.com/thehorsestruth. You can learn more about Angela and her work helping people and horses at: www.thehorsestruth.co.uk.
he past year and a half have held challenges that are both unique to the individual yet potentially universal to people around the globe. As mental health and coping strategies have become more accepted, we can’t help but wonder if there are better ways to heal depression without using medications that potentially alter the mind and have negative side effects. People for centuries have explored natural alternatives to calm the soul, including meditation, and in modern times therapy and even selective medications have come into the mainstream. But what if there was something else that could fill that difficult void when struggling with depression? There is never a one size fits all solution, and many of us have likely chosen to avoid certain medicines altogether for obvious reasons. The technology behind Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was introduced in 1985, and while far from mainstream, has undergone extensive research and advancements over the decades since. In more recent years, the team at Success TMS, a top provider of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments, has been making a large impact around the US with their depression treatment alternative centers. While the technology has largely been a last resort for many struggling with the disease, this has been more so an issue due to insurance and industry barriers that have prevented it from being a first or second step strategy for patients. Thankfully, the walls have been coming down in recent years, and the technology has grown in popularity as people seek solutions outside overly prescribed medications.
TMS uses energy to activate regions of the brain that have seen low activity (which causes issues with depression). The non-invasive TMS process delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the area of the brain involved in mood control and, ultimately, the resulting depression issues. The technology uses just that, energy, and has proven to be a preferred alternative for thousands and has quickly become a preferred route for patients who struggle with depression. The company is now the 2nd largest TMS provider in the United States, is FDA approved, and covers current patients and potentially millions of others with insurance providers including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Medicare, and more. This revolutionary therapy is praised by those in the alternative medicine and healing community because it has no systemic side effects, is often more effective than medication, and uses naturally occurring energy to stimulate the areas of the brain that cause depression.
Founding partner Jonathan Michel launched Success TMS after the tragic loss of his sister to the disease and is committed to supporting those who cope with its challenges. Along with his growing team, Jonathan built out Success TMS in Florida as an alternative for treating depression. With 32 offices and more planned around the United States, Success TMS continues to help treat patients by using this growing technology that truly utilizes energy to heal the mind. Speaking on the company and technology, Jonathan Michel contributed:
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DEPRESSION That Only Uses
Photo by MALICKI M BESER
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In 2017, my sister Alex committed suicide. We were close, and I was involved in her care. She was getting the help she needed, so we thought she was not taking her medication, and no one knew about that. She took her life, left me a note, and asked me to please help find a cure for depression. I have made it my mission ever since to bring this treatment, Success TMS, out in the open. This treatment had been used before but was not mainstream. Our plan is to open Success TMS offices in every city in the country and beyond. People have to have options and know that there is hope.”
Photo by CHRISTIN NOELLE
The pandemic has been eye-opening when it comes to mental health awareness. So many people experienced the pain
of depression and other mental health challenges during this time. Think about it - when no one knew what was going on; literally, everyone experienced anxiety. It often takes a tragedy to wake us up. The tragedy was a pandemic - but it allowed us to learn about mental wellness, and mental illness was no longer taboo. Rich, poor, young, and old, we learned that anxiety affects everyone, and so does mental illness. The world as a whole was anxious, and it lasted for three weeks when we all really did not know what was happening. Imagine if you had to feel that way your whole life. The pandemic gave us all perspectives on what people who struggle with mental illness feel like all the time.
Success TMS was inspired by Alex – a beautiful, vibrant, smart, and ambitious woman. Plagued by debilitating depression for over five years, Alex continually sought out new treatments, hoping to find one that would finally defeat her depression. After years of trial and error with therapy, medications, and risky treatments like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), hopelessness finally set in. Feeling like she had no choices left, Alex gave in to the only solution that guaranteed the relief she was looking for… On July 12, 2017, Alex took her own life. Before her passing, Alex wrote a letter to her brother Jonathan. In it, she asked Jonathan to do two things: “First, take care 88 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
of mom and dad. Second, find a cure for this terrible disease and get it out to the people. You are the only one who can.” Jonathan took his sister’s wishes to heart and spent months researching new and different ways to treat depression. Finally, he discovered TMS – a non-invasive and proven solution to battle depression. Jonathan reached out to some of his closest business partners and friends to join him in fulfilling Alex’s last wish. Less than one year after Alex’s death, Success TMS was born in her honor. Today, Success TMS is one of the largest and fastest-growing TMS providers in the country, having helped thousands of people in their battle with depression.
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and psychology intersect
Phtoto by MOJTABA MOSAYEBZADEH
By Jayita Bhattacharjee
Homecoming where spirituality 90 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
t calls you to be free from the shackles of your basal desires as the earthen magic pales as the otherworldly beauty pulls you into something higher. That is how your ascension begins. You rise above the separation and duality. Without grasping duality, you fail to understand the meaning of life. Duality is the most profound learning tool. You begin to grasp that every aspect of life is created from an interaction that is balanced, and it emerges from the opposite and competing forces. Besides that, the forces are complementary. They do not nullify one another; rather, they balance each other. You can’t grasp one side of the dual nature of something without having it compared with the opposing side. One of the most consequential aspects of your existence is life and death. Just as it is precious to experience this physical world, it is equally precious to feel the non-physical world. Your entire existence in this world is based on duality. The opposing values are both integral aspects of a ‘whole.’ The majority of the value-based conflicts are rooted in this concept. A lack of perception makes us unable to understand the opposing forces. But by expanding your consciousness, you can have gratitude for the life you have and are living in this moment. It is because of the existence of death that there is the existence of life. But as you understand this concept of duality, you begin to rise above the separation and duality of this world. Nothing binds you anymore. For the first time in your life, you become courageous. In that light of consciousness, you begin to whirl. You become self-pivoting which raises the awareness, bodymind integration, and wholeness experience. This is the journey where the meeting begins between
sin and the sacred in search of ‘self ’ as this is where the pious and impious, real and unreal, truth and falsity torment each other, and the war begins for a discovery. The sacred encounters the opposition and hostility of the sin, and the two conflicts with one another out on the battlefield, there begins a raging war. Eventually, the truth emerges in your soul with an incandescent glow. The neuro-scientific studies very well reveal that there are different routes for the discovery of this Self, like meditation, chanting, whirling that brings harmony between the dualistic intellectual, reasoning side of the brain’s left hemisphere and the holistic, hushed, poetic intuition of the right. This way, we have conquered the tyranny of the ego. The search for this light is a secular spirituality, as the quest for personal wholeness and integrity nullifies the need to belong to a particular religion. This search brings out the humanitarian and a spiritual seeker in you, transcending the egoistic perception of differences and any consequent grounds for conflict. During the quest of homecoming, we rise to our higher selves, crossing the delusions of exclusivity or superiority or ignorance. From this perspective, the homecoming becomes a journey of healing. Many wayfarers who were left unmoored and exposed to looming darkness are now thrilled at the advent of light. This is where spirituality and psychology are related to each other. There is a gradual build-up of spiritual unfoldment. There are many seekers who are in search of a soul, a place to find where the inner and outer worlds meet. Crucial to this understanding is the experiencing of heavenliness in the Self, divinity mingled with the Self. Then begins the exploration of a mystical realm, where you find yourself moored and that embraces the sacred marriage.
YOU ARE NO LONGER WRAPPED UP WITH A STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY AS YOU REACH A HIGHER FUNCTIONING STATE, AN INCREASED SENSE OF CONNECTION TO THIS EARTH AND TO OTHER HUMAN BEINGS
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Homecoming is a quest for a spiritual identity. For the illumination, the ego dies, and the dark night of the soul ceases. A seeker’s longing to reach the Self at a deeper level gradually sees the dawn. The light begins to peek, albeit faintly. As you connect more and more, it becomes a path of effortless healing for you. Once the pilgrim realizes that the sacred spirit is at the center of this universe, the same spirit is deep-seated within them. From this perspective, there is no separation between the seeker and this universe. It is a search you aren’t meant to extinguish, rather walk through it, as it gives you the answers unquestioned in an undemanding way. The very process transforms you into the truest version of yourself. Homecoming is a journey that needs to be understood. And that breakdowns and breakthroughs are a part of this journey. To reach the light at the end, darkness needs to be felt and understood. As to see the dawn, you need to see the night. The experiences along the way will expand your consciousness. They act as the steps to be crossed for psychospiritual health.
servance of the Self. So the conception of these’ selves’ can be projected onto a higher self. The possibility of a union confirms the existence of a unique higher Self above the sub-selves. It is the soul, the sacred space which holds our deepest dreams; that is the light we see in a pilgrimage. And a lotus blooms again, striking all the differences in your subpersonal to bring all of your traits into a harmonious whole. In the eyes of psychology, the spiritual health here is reshaped, and the entire perspective is reframed.
THE CENTER IS THE PUREST SELF,
THE PUREST REFLECTION OF THE SELF. THE CENTER, IN MOST CASES, IS IDENTIFIED
AND COLORED WITH THE SUB PERSONAS
Consequently, it is essential to be conscious of all these subpersonalities, so they can lead to psychosynthesis. Acting with awareness, we can synthesize these subpersonalities into a greater organic whole without repressing any of the essential traits. The revelation of different roles, traits leads to the ob-
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Photo by DARIUS BASHAR
You are getting wedded to your soul. Thus, the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the myriad experiences can be integrated with the framework of psychology. This is where it is called ‘spiritual psychology.’ Herein comes the concept of subpersonalities. It is essential we recognize and transform them. For example, we behave differently at different places. The behavioral patterns at the office, home, social interplay, solitude, and worship centers are different. Yet, at the same time, we are led to a conscious recognition that we play different roles as the place needs. These differences are very much normal. We completely immerse in each sub-personality, being very well aware of the unalike situations. Though humans are destined to play different roles in his/her life, yet the presence of these subpersonalities can be baffling at times. Unknowingly, we shift from one to the other without clarity, and all there remains is a thin thread of memory, loosely dangling. As they are different traits, so we act differently. It is like a die splitting, so one’s personality into greater numbers, and the warfare begins between the personality and the subpersonality.
Thus begins the awakened consciousness. The multiple traits all originate from the same fountain, you. They have no separate identity without your existence. Conceptually, the ‘you’ is bigger, higher than the anomaly set between the smaller traits. They all need to be harmonized to bring you into harmony. As deep within you is the soul, the illuminated place. It can never fall into a chasm of darkness. The higher self ‘I’ should be freed from the subpersonalities which are off the center. The subpersonalities can be wither to the left or right or downward. Normally, a typical person is never at the center of the sacred space. The center is disidentified Self. It should not have any connection with the successive subpersonalities and should not be pulled by them. The center is the purest Self, the purest reflection of the Self. The center, in most cases, is identified and colored with the sub personas. For example, when we make a statement about someone that he/she is self-centered, we mean he is focused on himself and concentrated on his needs only. So, he is not purely personal in this case. Normally, the “I” reflection is a colored reflection, not a discolored one; it is identified with some lower subpersonality trait, not freed completely. It is pulled almost always either leftward, or rightward, or downward. If the “I” remains disidentified, even if for a short time, then we are at our highest selves. Therefore, communication with ourselves gets simpler. In that state, the pull of the Self is definitely stronger than the pull of the subpersonalities. The presence of all these pulls builds an existential crisis. But as the pull of the disidentified Self gets powerful, it defeats the lower subpersonalities. And ultimately, the higher Self conquers. It becomes a story of conquest for the pure personal” I” and failure of the lower subpersonality traits. Those failing traits are lower unconscious. Eventually, they rise to the middle unconscious as you love a person and then to the higher unconscious as you go through a transpersonal experience. It is then that your emotional state is centered on the spiritual aspects of human life. You enter the higher dimension quietly. You become more than your mind and body, as some intangible, transcendent factors build up your wholeness. In a transpersonal approach of freeing yourself from the lower subpersonalities, we can draw in some of the traditional spiritual practices into modern psychology, so they may shed light on our lower levels of consciousness and pull it to a higher one. You go through
an exploration of various levels of consciousness and take refuge in spirituality to pull you out of your challenging times. Psych experimentation goes through psychedelic experiences, like meditation and several other consciousness-elevating approaches. These are the attempts to grasp the different states of consciousness, which reveal different states of reality. Integrating these spiritual practices in the realm of psychology is to explore how far a human can reach. In this sense, you can become more expansive with higher states of awareness in specific circumstances. For example, when practicing Eastern spiritual practices, like meditation or Sufi whirling, you come to an ecstatic point where you become free of the lower subpersonalities and the grip of what is basal. Those are the times when you have awakening experiences. From this perspective, transpersonal psychology guides a psyche to reach the farthest. You are no longer wrapped up with a strong sense of identity as you reach a higher functioning state, an increased sense of connection to this earth and to other human beings. Your perception changes, and you go through a gradual transformation. You become altruistic, and this becoming is a process of experiencing the immensity of your own nature. Your sense of perspective widens as authenticity makes its way into you. So being in this world, you stay above the world, and that is a revelatory experience. Awakened to this state, you have returned to your soul. Your search is over. You have come home.
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 life...it 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." 93 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Abundance Corner By Phyllis King
WHEN TO FIGHT WHENA Guide TOtoFLOW Spiritual Expansion
The word spiritual has become diluted. It has become a word that connotes attachment to nothing and acceptance of everything. On the one hand, acceptance of everything and no resistance to life is a state of being we all want to master. Acceptance is an act of getting out of resistance to life. Resistance separates us from the divine flow. The ability to accept “what is” is the first step to receiving any form of abundance. We cannot reject life and still receive. We can only expand our awareness that divine guidance sees more than we do. In that trustful collaboration, know our needs will be met. In that trustful collaboration, our role is to maintain mastery over our personal universe. Keep ourselves in the right relationship to goodness.
Acceptance is step one. Step two is knowing how and when to respond to the moment we are in. Often spiritual people believe that if they respond with anything other than a smile and a wink, they are no longer spiritual and that somehow, they are bad people. This is an erroneous view perpetuated by a well-meaning but misguided spiritual community. Other times spiritual people want to enlighten others. In this, they can often justify callous and controlling behavior by calling it spiritual or in the best interest of the person they are belittling. This is a common tactic utilized by well-meaning spiritual people.
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HIGHER GROUND VIEWPOINT ONLY WORKS WHEN THE CONTRIBUTION WE MAKE TO THE SITUATION ACTUALLY MITIGATES THE ENERGY OF THE
CIRCUMSTANCE.THE ACTION OF STANDING TOE TO TOE WITH COUNTERCLOCKWISE PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS CAN BRING UP A LOT OF EMOTIONS What is required is that we develop discernment to understand the difference between aggression and contribution to a collective or individual. Hence the title When to fight and When to Flow. Flow means that we do not engage. We observe and honor the moment for what it is, and we remain non-reactive. Fight means we observe, but we also bring attention to the moment in a definitive way. I call this turning a counterclockwise moment into a clockwise moment. Our discernment is at its best when we are not judging but perceiving. When we are not reacting but observing both the stimulus and our own reaction to it, that is what we all continue to work to master. If we notice that stimulus is of a counterclockwise nature, meaning in opposition to goodness, truth, and love, we have an obligation to stand next to it and hold space for what is good and true. Not our own agenda, but what is actually good and true. Higher wisdom itself. Higher wisdom does not belong to an individual. It belongs to the collective. In layman’s terms, what this means is that sometimes we have to put up our fists and say, “no more.” Sometimes we even have to strike. Those are the most spiritual acts we can take. There are distinct moments when holding counterclockwise people accountable is the best thing we can do for them. It may be the hardest thing we do in our lives. If a counterclockwise person has injured us or offended our sensibilities, it can feel very personal to us. It isn’t. Spiritual people often say, “I’m going to take the higher ground.” Sometimes that is appropriate. What hurts the individual hurts the whole. When toxic behaviors occur, it is incumbent upon those who recognize toxicity to stand for what is good and true, despite their
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own personal discomfort about the experience or the person. We want to bring balance and truth to the situation, not dominance. This is not a completely foreign concept to many. We hear phrases such as “evil occurs when good people stand by and do nothing.” Energetically it is the same idea. We have to be clear enough with our discernment to know the difference between our impulse to control and a true desire to stand up to darkness. This is how we contribute to expanding consciousness. These are the highest acts of abundance when we can silence fear. Silence falseness. Add volume to the truth. That has nothing to do with the ego’s point of view about right and wrong. Higher ground viewpoint only works when the contribution we make to the situation actually mitigates the energy of the counterclockwise circumstance. The action of standing toe to toe with counterclockwise people and situations can bring up a lot of emotions. Such as sadness, self-doubt, and anger. We may question our own ability to get through it. It can take everything we have to face it. This is where the rubber hits the pavement. We find out if we do truly honor higher wisdom and if we are willing to do our part to contribute to the collective. We discover we must become advocates for truth and abundance, not just passive onlookers to energy. Each of us has the power to have influence in the world. It only requires that we manage our own lives with the utmost integrity and commitment to higher wisdom. Then to have the courage to act on behalf of it in the spirit of love, truth, and divine wisdom.
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. www.phyllisking.com
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The Power of MUSIC TO HEAL By Samir Bodhi
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t was 1984, and I had just entered college studying engineering in India. We lived in south Calcutta, and it was a 20-minute walk from my home to the university. One day as I was walking, I came across a beautiful ashram which also housed a temple. Upon inquiring, I came to know that a man named "Ram Thakur" used to live here who had great "God" like powers to heal. I entered the ashram and was awe-struck at how calm, serene and peaceful the place was. The main temple was built with white marble; the floor was cold, the garden was green with some flowers scattered here and there. I decided to sit down, and for the first time, I felt a kind of tranquility that I had never experienced before. A priest was chanting "OM," and my mind was in harmony with nature. For the next several years, this became a favorite place of mine to stop by.
Fast forward to 2019; I am sitting in my home studio in Los Angeles. Now I am an endowed chair and professor at a prestigious private university, an internationally recognized scholar in the field of Information Technology, and busy with writing and composing music. I am a naturalized citizen of my adopted land, which I now call home. I feel lucky to have had the most enriching immigrant life in the US. Yet, something was going on which bothered me. For the first time, I felt the rise of fascism, anti-immigrant rhetoric on political discourse, and racism raising its ugly head. My mind took me back to the ashram in Calcutta. There was an intrinsic urge to create music that would heal and bring peace. This was the genesis of my debut new-age album, Stairway to Nirvana. My initial vision was to compose and produce tracks that would create a journey full of peace, harmony, and tranquility towards the notion of transcending beyond this life into Nirvana.
and authenticity of the diverse ethnic musical instruments (such as sarod, sarangi, khol, and flute) used in the album. I flew to Calcutta, and in early January 2020, we recorded the five tracks in the studio. My musician crew and I immersed ourselves in a spirited yet relaxed atmosphere within the studio, spending countless hours creating the music I wanted, intermixing with spicy conservations, Darjeeling tea, and some mouth-watering Indian food. Within the halls of academia, I often teach and write about how we can solve societal problems using a method called "design thinking." The first step is always "empathy." You have to feel for the person who is facing the problem or issue at hand. My musician crew concerns or frustrations about my adopted country were a distant thing that they had no empathy or compassion about. But I talked to them so that they could begin to feel what is driving my commitment to this album. I could see a subtle change in the feel of their performance. While we were finishing recording the five tracks, none of us had any idea about an impending COVID-19 pandemic that would forever upend our lives and spark anxiety about the future. The title and vibe of each track on Stairway to Nirvana reflect one aspect of what I and my ensemble believe the world needs to work through these troubled times and achieve an enduring sense of Nirvana in the here now. This project fulfills my vision for creating beautiful music that brings serenity and enlightenment to people of all cultures. I am indebted to my incredible collaborators for blessing me with their tremendous talent and unique ideas. On the day before I was planning to fly back to Los Angeles from India, I visited my favorite “Ram Thakur” ashram. The place was still the same, surrounded with tranquility and peace. I prayed that my new album would do the same to people’s lives. Music has the power to be a great healer of the body, mind and spirit, and beyond providing a meaningful listening experience, I would love this album to serve as a healing agent for people during this challenging time in world history.
For the next several months, I started working and collaborating with some of the top musicians in India who also happen to be close friends. I was committed to a life in the studio album. I could capture the intense energy 99 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
A resident of Southern California for several decades, Indian-born musical visionary and tenured professor Samir Bodhi's multi-faceted life and career reflects the classic immigrant experience of thriving in the pursuit of his creative and academic dreams. While building his resume as an internationally recognized scientist and scholar, under his real name Samir Chatterjee, he applied his virtuosic talents as a guitarist, composer, producer, and recording engineer to a multitude of projects involving legendary Indian musicians – including several for his wife, Madhumita Chatterjee, a renowned Bollywood singer.
Stairway To Nirvana is a mix of traditional Indian instruments blended with synthesizers, studio effects and electric guitar. There’s 5 tracks (“Tranquility,” “OM,” “Harmony,” “Peace,” and “Nirvana”) all live instruments, which span from lounge, ambient warmth, new age, and to acoustic instrumentation. It is Samir’s debut album as a new age artist/ producer under his own name. He’s got a good story to tell about it: In 2019, Samir’s sorrow and concern for all the political and civil unrest in the U.S. inspired him to reach out to some top India-based musicians and collaborators to realize his vision for Stairway To Nirvana. Samir recorded the music LIVE in Calcutta in late 2019 and early 2020, just before the pandemic shut down travel. With these musicians, Samir created the melodically, rhythmically and harmonically transcendent Stairway To Nirvana as a musical roadmap to peace in these troubled times.
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In 2019, long before COVID-19 upended our world and sparked anxiety about the future like never before, Samir's sorrow and concern for his adopted home country inspired Samir to reach out to a cadre of top Indian based musicians and collaborators to realize his vision for Stairway To Nirvana, his debut album as a new age artist/producer under his own name. Fusing Eastern (Indian) classical music and instruments with modern Western music, Bodhi and his ensemble create a melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically transcendent album that offers a musical roadmap to peace in these troubled times. Samir's array of achievements in academia includes being Professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Design, Technology & Management at CGU's Center for Information Systems & Technology (CISAT) and serving as an Adjunct Professor of Design and Innovation at the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation (established by music industry legends Iovine and Dr. Dre). Samir is also considered a leading technology designer and scholar in the area of healthcare informatics, design science, and networking/cybersecurity. In 2017, he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman by the NRI Welfare Society to recognize Indians who have made their country proud abroad. For more information visit https://www.samirbodhi.com/
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HIGH ROAD TO HUMANITY By Nancy Yearout
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don’t know about you, but I love the seasons. All four have something unique to offer us; however, something about Autumn warms my heart.
It’s amazing how the universe operates, you wake up one day, and the leaves on the trees have changed to bright golds and brilliant shades of red and orange. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where you experience the four seasons, you know what I am referring to when I say it’s a magical time of year. It’s that period of time when the weather is not quite cold, yet you can sense a crispness in the air. A freshness, it’s a sure sign that Autumn has arrived. Fall brings us the warm afternoons and chilly evenings, reminding us that winter is around the corner. You can smell the pion wood burning in fireplaces throughout the land in my neighborhood to take the chill out of the air. You know fall is here when you begin to see the bright orange pumpkins dotting the fields with their curved green stems ready to be harvested. The excitement builds as we carve a new face on the round orange fruit, only to be placed on the front porch with a candle inside its lid. The pumpkins alert us that Halloween draws near. Autumn is that one time of year when the kids get to dress up in costume and yell trick or treat as they run door to door to gather their goodies. Throughout the globe, people celebrate Autumn in various ways. In Mexico, October 31st is known as the day of the dead. This is the day when deceased loved ones are celebrated. The people follow their ancestor’s traditions and honor their loved ones who have passed. The Celtic people end their year with Samhain on October 31st, with the Celtic New Year beginning on November 1st. The Druids (the Celtic wise elders) developed a significant relationship with nature. They established a connection to the tress. Sharlyn Hidalgo, the author of Celtic Tree Ogham, says "The Celtic people followed a system of ritual and ceremony that honored nature, the trees, and the movement of celestial bodies in their annual cycles.”
She goes on to say that “it became clear that the ancient teachings of the British Isles are all about the human connection to nature’s mysticism.” Trees hold much wisdom from years gone by and are beautiful designs of nature. Autumn really is their time to shine and show off their brilliant colors and bring joy to our hearts and soul. Autumn is defined in the dictionary as “a time of full maturity.” My definition is a beautiful time of year to witness the beauty of nature in all her glory before old man winter comes to call. Take some time this year to enjoy the colorful days of Autumn in all her glory.
Nancy Yearout is the voice behind the popular podcast High Road to Humanity. www.HighRoadtoHumanity.com On YouTube and Bit chute, you will find her video presence on Nancy Yearout’s High Road to Humanity. This is the platform that she uses to interview experts from across the globe in various fields of expertise, health, religion, energy healing, yoga, dream experts, astrologers, mediums, psychics, and seekers of the truth. She is the author of Wake Up! The Universe is Speaking to You. Nancy is a psychic empath and an energy healer offering assistance to all who seek the truth. You can book a session with Nancy on her website to ask her questions. She will provide insight to enhance your journey in life and guide you in creating your dreams. www.NancyYearout.com. Nancy is an Inspirational speaker and will book by appointment. Nancy is also the owner and qualifying broker of a real estate company in New Mexico. Nancy will bless your home or land. Visit her website to book an appointment.
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Photo by ENGIN AKYURT
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY By michael
LOVE, what is this absurd topsy turvy emotion that turns one inside out, causes our greatest pain, and at the very next moment, intensely lights up one's universe to transport one into a space where the rest of the world just disappears off into the background. As one reflects on that special love that got
away, are we still guessing at what the outcome might have been? Yes, maybe, never? When contemplating some 30, 40, 50 years later, is this not the nature of just how most humans function. After reaching this one verdict, finally, the realization hits home, how we allowed "the one" that got away.
Watching the childlike behavior of innocent lovers in public can only bring on warm fuzzy feelings, engages a smile on one's face, and opens up past memories, now forgotten, hidden away on some lost memory shelf. Are you not still glad
to be their observer, to feel once again that intoxicated energy is rising from deep inside. Reminiscing, one's face, now covered in tears of heartfelt joy, doused in reliving, many shared remembered days. When LIKE shows up in a relationship, as the mirror image of LOVE, one talks/walks with reasoning, into that revolving door. Unable to bounce back, one can easily settle into what's portrayed as the acceptable thing to do, and the deal is sealed, real or otherwise. This does not imply any form of judgment! After all, human comfort zones vary to fit each independent's needs. From that moment, moving forward, one adjusts the self to fit each situation within the given boundaries each couple's relationship requires. Expected or not.
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Don't be scared, there will be better days for you and me and you. Lost opportunities function in exactly the same manner as the above. We create them to fit the self in order to please one's needs and unseen special desires. Or one somehow falls into opportunity, and behold everything is coming up roses. Then there is the educated calculated approach where one follows the previous path of another's adventure, and through hard work and hope, finally, you're in the relationship business. Lastly, who has ever been trained, never even known of its existence, that invisible education on how one can spot those, specific to you opportunities, gifted by whom, and from where? Now that's training worth pursuing. Choose wisely, and not all trainers have the capacity to function outside of their scripted set of notes! Backtracking for a moment to love, like, and relationships, who has been so over the moon, that internally, it becomes super complicated to function? For instance, an overly sensitive human, so blessed by another's presence, unconsciously creates personal experiences powerful enough, they become overwhelmingly embarrassed, to the point they are unable to respond? Wow, that's intense. We live in today we don't live for today we live for tomorrow it's the nature of an educated beast As a nation and as an independent, we lean towards investing in ourselves, striving for our ideal future, setting steps within steps within goals; it sounds about right, sounds logical. It's natural, and for a good reason, it fits with our well-trained thinking mechanism. When it comes to self, it's eating healthy food, exercise daily, dress the part, fill the wrinkles, along with an endless array of engaging social activities. When one observes the opposite side of the coin, unfortunately, this is only about collecting stuff, applying the stuff. One constantly pursues things to satisfy the mind, which has nothing to do with supporting/recognizing our inner being. Sadly the real human is hidden, lost within the tangled web of past dreams and unhealthy emotional memories. We are an I We are Singular. Then there is the other version, feeling so glad this one got away. Ever had your phone, computer, business, the relationship involved with a scammer? As someone pointed out in conversation recently, don't you mean creep? 106 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Yes, it's easy to assume when looking through one's own rose-colored mindset. Take notice, in today's unsettling times, we humans are allowing judgments to come and keep coming, by the bucket loads, hard and strong from all directions. Is it not stated, this is a world for humans to have experienced. Are they not living out there experiencing, as are we? Do you long for peace, quiet, long summer days, minus the hustle and bustle? When did those once simple pleasures getaway? When do you think, human programing, that binding culture one was born into, will you ever be the one capable of getting away. Do you think it will ever be possible? To escape from those thousands of mindset cycles that have us running round in circles, entrapped from one's first breath to our last. And all the while, we thought this was us being progressive at the moment, when in reality, the delusion had us for lunch, bam. It's all in our heads. Tomorrow is not the next day; it is the first new beginning after realizing that everything one strives for may not serve one's inner being. And the best way of knowing where it is we stand in our independence is simply to ask this one very short question? Whatever it is I do in life, how do I function/process/respond? And the answer is, am I following a process to achieve, to BE whatever? Or am I leading this mindset creature in a process, functioning/responding as creation, in all my thoughts/feelings/actions? You are the only one who knows the correct answer? Am I the one doing? On the flip side, let's ponder this word "being to be" so popular in today's culture. People talk about, respond, to being in the flow. "What am I" is the big question? Being is the fool's fool. Consumed by validating the self, while definitely being a follower within someone else's designed system, and not, never being the wiser. Leaders do not function within a system. They exist fully within their awareness. Their personal abilities distinguish the difference automatically, and as such, function from a steadfast, deeper connected sense of self. Facilitating specifically from every previously explored source, and the remaining unknown, within their born universe. By being true to self, one has complete access to their mindset creature's totality on offer. SELF-LEADER-ING THIS IS THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
The Healthstyle Emporium Sasha Gary
CURIOUS LIVING T
here is a vast movement called sober curious happening worldwide. It has brought some amazing new ways to enjoy a mindful cocktail and look at your relationship with alcohol.
I went sober for eighty days when I did the 75 Hard Challenge. It's a mental challenge created by Andy Frisella. I start-
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ed in 2021 experiencing this challenge and testing my limits. Suppose you fail at any of the daily challenges you have to start over from day one. What I enjoyed was discovering new mindful activities to replace my happy hour glass of wine. I didn't miss the alcohol as I wasn't a big drinker, to begin with.
The sober curious movement is just being more intentional with your drinking. With many health-conscious people and people who do not have alcohol addictions, living a sober curious life means taking a look at how alcohol fits into your lifestyle and perhaps taking a break, cutting back, or for some, quitting altogether. It all began with the book Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington, "[Being sober curious] means, literally, to choose to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture." Drinking alcohol is the most socially acceptable drug around. Our society drinks every weekend, every night after work, every celebration. It's an unconscious habit. I delved into trying new products that substituted alcohol. It was a lot of fun because there are so many companies that have embraced sober living. I tried non-alcoholic wine, which wasn't a bad substitution, but it was hard to convince me since wine is my favorite. I enjoyed the non-alcoholic rose, which was the closest to real wine. I enjoyed non-alcoholic beer, and now there are so many to choose from. Many of the craft beer companies have made one. You have to have an alternative for your customers, or else they will buy another brand. I loved coming off the beach and having a cold non-alcoholic beer. For me, that was no difference, except I had no buzz, which I didn't want in the middle of the day. Then, I discovered these companies that make non-alcoholic spirits. I went to a friend's house, and she made me a non-alcoholic gin and tonic! I couldn't believe how delicious it was. I was hooked. I ordered a bottle the next day. I've been drinking it ever since. It's much nicer than having a boring club soda! It tastes like gin, and I have no hangover. Many health enthusiasts have really taken to these brands because if you go out, you want to feel like you are part of the party, and when you have a drink that tastes like a drink, you feel like you are included. I've made non-alcoholic margaritas, non-alcoholic tequila soda, and I also enjoy kombucha, which gives me a nice fizzy drink that I feel is a fun drink to sip on.
There are even sober bars popping up across the country because the millennial generation is really embracing the sober living lifestyle and yogis, many women. And fun communities like Daybreaker, a sober early morning dance party that had events in Los Angeles and many other cities across the country before Covid. They will again, and you might catch me greeting you at the door. It's a movement. The overconsumption of alcohol and binge drinking may still exist, but I see a future of more holistic practices becoming more popular all the time. If you have ever been sober curious, I definitely encourage you to try. It's not only a good break for your body, your liver; it's good for your brain and will help you become more mindful of your sobriety. We don't even realize how much alcohol can affect our mental health as well. It allows you to be more present in your life and your loved ones. Is it possible to lose a few friends over your new sober curious lifestyle? Absolutely, but if they are only in your life for a drinking good time, then it might be time to meet new sober curious friends. I'm not your get drunk at the club girl, and I'm your meet me for yoga and a non-alcoholic mimosa girl now! It doesn't mean forever, and believe me, I still enjoy my wine with friends once in a while; having an alternative, a choice, and awareness brings you more peace of mind!
Sasha Gary is Gratitude Life Coach. actress, and writerin The Healthstyle Emporium www.theHSE.net. at is a 16 week online health program for women that shows you how to implement small sustainable changes one by one to help you with whole food nutrition, self-love and a conscious movement. Sasha is a yogi of 25 years, a crystal healer, and an avid sound bowl meditation participant and lives in Venice California!
109 THEEDENMAGAZINE.COM e NOVEMBER 2021
Stories Worth Telling
Deborah Kobylt LIVE, diving deep into the change makers in society, from authors to philanthropists, moms, tech wizards, actors, athletes, and more. I'm proud to say our show has millions of views and downloads, and has brought attention to a variety of causes. Being proud of my Italian heritage, I decided to start a second show, and founded The Little Italy of LA Podcast, interviewing Italians from the world of opera, art, travel, food, science, and film who have made authentic contributions to Italian-American culture. I’m deeply proud of both programs, and the significant impact each guest has made to community and society.
Deborah Zara Kobylt
JOURNALIST, CREATOR & HOST