H E A L T H Y
L I V I N G
H E A L T H Y
P L A N E T
feel good • live simply • laugh more
As a Way of Life
Isolation Tanks Induce Deep Rest
AGING Gloriously Enriching Our Later Years
September 2017 | Englewood • North Port • Port Charlotte • Punta Gorda • Venice | PeaceRiverNA.com
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s we prepare to move from summer into autumn (which, let’s be honest, doesn’t feel much different here on the Suncoast!), our schedules are getting busier, we’re helping the kids settle into a new school year, and we’re starting to plan ahead for the holidays in just a couple months. During this transitional season, it’s almost too easy to forget about our commitment to wellness and balance in the hectic pace of life, but these elements can’t be overlooked. This month, Natural Awakenings is shining a spotlight on the importance of self-care and its role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this issue, you’ll find insights and inspiration for re-connecting to a more centered, grounded version of yourself––regardless of how old you are or what’s happening in your world. Let’s take a peek inside... Our feature article for this month is all about “Artfully Creative and Enriching Elderhood” which promotes the idea of creatively-conceived aging through a positive attitude, spiritual connection, artistic expression and self-acceptance. This article shows that discovering purpose and meaning within yourself is attainable, no matter what stage of life you’re in right now. Next, in an excerpt from her best-selling book Love Warrior, South Florida based author, blogger and activist Glennon Doyle Melton discusses the true “Essence of Beauty.” This article encourages us to look past each other’s––and our own––appearances and focus instead on what makes us glow from within. In a culture where external standards are over-emphasized, we could all use a reminder that inner beauty is what makes us most attractive, noticeable and engaging to the people we care about. If you need a healthy dose of self-love, this article is for you! Finally, throughout September, we celebrate National Yoga Month, and this is particularly meaningful in our area where the yoga community thrives. This issue’s “Fit Body” article points out the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of a consistent yoga practice. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about this ancient healing art, this article can give you the resources to get started on a mindful yoga path. As usual, that’s just a snippet of everything this issue has to offer, and I hope you find both enlightenment and pure enjoyment inside these pages. Please don’t hesitate to send any comments, questions or feedback to Publisher@NASRQ.com, and here’s to a season of loving ourselves!
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contents 6 newsbriefs
8 13 wisewords
Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.
13 ZAYA AND
Joining Science to Spirituality
14 AGING WITH PASSION
19 inspiration 20 healthykids
by Linda Sechrist
Finding Fulfillment, Creativity and Meaning
by Deborah Shouse
17 RODNEY YEE ON YOGA AS A WAY OF LIFE Simple Strategies for Staying on Track
12 25 consciouseating 29 calendar 18 FLOATING AWAY STRESS 31 resourceguide
by Marlaina Donato
advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 941-564-0885 or email Publisher@ nasrq.com. Deadline for ads: the 15th of the month.
Isolation Tanks Induce Deep Rest and Healing
by Gina McGalliard
19 BEING BEAUTY
What Makes Us Glow by Glennon Doyle Melton
20 NATUREâ€™S CLASSROOM
Email articles, news items and ideas to: Publisher@nasrq.com. Deadline for editorial: the 10th of the month.
by Meredith Montgomery
Outdoor Learning Engages the Whole Child
22 FLUORIDE ALERT
Email Calendar Events to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for calendar: the 12th of the month.
Excess in Food and Tap Water Harms Pets
23 SOLAR HEATS UP
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by Karen Becker
Demand Surges as Prices Fall by Jim Motavalli
25 FABULOUS FAN FARE
Healthy Tailgating Foods to Cheer For by Judith Fertig
newsbriefs Summer Workshops at the Women’s Resource Center
he Women’s Resource Center in Venice has an exciting lineup of programs to keep you cool and in the know all summer long. These include classes and workshops on nutrition, life skills, smart divorce, books and financial management. Group and one-on-one career coaching and counseling are also available. Here is a sampling of the programs you can expect to find here throughout the month of September: • “Gluten-Free Nutrition,” September 11, 11 a.m. to noon: Facilitated by author Marilu Thornburgh, this workshop teaches women to embrace a healthier lifestyle through nutritious and gluten-free recipes. Cost: $2. • “Book Club,” September 18, 1–3 p.m.: This monthly book club is open to anyone with a passion for reading. Cost: $2. • “Astrology: Journey to Your Well-Being,” September 27, 2–4 p.m.: Certified astrological consultant Dianne Eppler Adams demonstrates how to utilize astrology to achieve physical and emotional wellness. Pre-registration is required. When you sign up, provide your birthdate, location and the exact time of your birth in order to receive a personalized chart. The Women’s Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to empowering and supporting women during all circumstances and life stages. Ongoing programs are offered in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice including career development, mental health counseling, health and wellness workshops, guided meditation, peer resource advising, mentorship and family law consultations. Location: 530 US Highway 41 Bypass S, Suite 5A, Venice. For more information, call 941-485-9724 or visit TheWomensResourceCenter.org.
“Take a Child Outside” Week
aking place from September 24–30, this annual nationwide program is designed to encourage children and adults to spend time together outdoors. By giving parents, grandparents and teachers information on outdoor activities and places to visit, our goal is to help children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment and an enthusiasm for exploring the natural world. This weeklong celebration will occur for approximately one hour after school each day. The Crowley Museum and Nature Center will be featuring different program for children and adults throughout the week which include the following: • Children’s Safety in the Outdoors • Nature Games from “Sharing Nature with Children” • Nature Scavenger Hunt • Fox Walk, Deer Ears, Owl Eyes Location: 16405 Myakka Rd., Sarasota. For more information, call 941-227-9003, email ACederberg@CrowleyFL.org, visit CrowleyFl.org or “like” Crowley Museum and Nature Center on Facebook.
Peace River Edition
Yoga Lessens Back Pain and Opioid Use
ith the U.S. opioid epidemic reaching a boiling point, insight into the effectiveness of alternative methods of pain relief has become increasingly relevant. Scientists from the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System have found yoga to be an effective technique to reduce back pain. The researchers divided 150 California veterans with chronic low back pain into two equal groups. One attended two yoga classes per week— comprising postures, movement and breathing techniques—for 12 weeks in addition to their more conventional treatment. The other continued such treatment without yoga. Scientists measured pain levels before and after the core study period and again six months later. After only 12 weeks, those that participated in the yoga practice experienced a 2.05 point reduction in Roland−Morris Disability Questionnaire scores, compared to a 1.29 reduction for those that received only usual care. After six months, this difference increased, with the yoga group’s scores decreasing 3.37 points compared to only an 0.89 reduction in the usual care group. In addition, pain intensity scores were reduced by 0.61 in the yoga group and 0.04 in the group receiving usual care after 12 weeks. Opioid medication use declined among all participants, from 20 percent to 8 percent after six months.
Monsanto Faces New Scandal The Monsanto agrochemical company, long cited for its ubiquitous toxic Roundup herbicide and pro-genetically modified organism (GMO) science, is reeling from the disclosure of internal communications that indicate it suppressed knowledge of the potential dangers of its herbicide and received insider help from U.S. regulators. Many documents have been made public by attorneys involved in a personal injury case involving cancer, just one of hundreds pending (reference nonprofit U.S. Right to Know at usrtk.org). Attorney Brent Wisner states, “These [documents] show that Monsanto has deliberately been stopping studies that look bad for them, ghostwriting literature and engaging in a whole host of corporate malfeasance. They have been telling everybody that these products are safe because regulators have said they are safe, but it turns out that Monsanto has been in bed with U.S. regulators, while misleading European regulators.” Monsanto is currently seeking to merge with Germany’s Bayer AG, another industry giant, but the deal is subject to government review. It remains to be seen if these revelations will interfere with the process or prompt other actions by such regulating bodies as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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Yoga Increases Healthy Brain Marker
study from Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, in São Paulo, Brazil, suggests a link between regular yoga practice and an increase in brain cortical thickness, associated with memory and attention. The researchers used brain imaging scans (CT) to measure the cortical thickness of 42 Brazilian women older than 59. Twenty-one of the subjects had practiced hatha yoga regularly for at least eight years. These women were compared to 21 other women matched for age and education that engaged in other physical activity comparable to hatha yoga. The researchers found that the cortical thickness in the yoga practitioners was significantly greater in the left prefrontal lobe of the brain. This portion of brain gray matter is linked to awareness, attention, executive function and memory, suggesting that hatha yoga practice may be associated with cognitive preservation. The scientists added, “The present results parallel those previously reported in which younger yoga and meditation practitioners had greater gray matter volumes than non-practitioners compared to non-practitioners in the following brain regions: larger gray matter volume in the right anterior insula and right inferior temporal gyrus.”
Less is only more where more is no good. ~Frank Lloyd Wright 8
Peace River Edition
esearchers from several international universities have found that seniors that provide caregiving services live longer than those that do not. The scientists analyzed survival data and information collected from the Berlin Aging Study on 500 adults over the age of 69 from 1990 to 2009. They compared survival rates from the subjects that provided caregiving for children, grandchildren and friends to those that did not. Of the subjects analyzed, the half that took care of their grandchildren or children were still alive 10 years after their first interview in 1990. Caring for non-family members also produced positive results, with half of the subjects living for seven years after the initial interview. Conversely, 50 percent of those that did not participate in any caregiving had died just four years after their first interview. The researchers warn that caregiving must be done in moderation. Ralph Hertwig, director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin, explains, “A moderate level of caregiving involvement seems to have positive effects on health, but previous studies have shown that more intense involvement causes stress, which has a negative effect on physical and mental health.”
LESS SALT REDUCES NIGHTTIME POTTY VISITS
study from Nagasaki University, in Japan, has found that reducing salt in the diet can cut down on the number of trips to the bathroom during the night. Researchers followed 321 men and women with high-salt diets and sleep problems for 12 weeks. Of the subjects, 223 reduced their salt intake from 10.7 grams per day to 8 grams and the remaining 98 increased their salt intake from 9.6 grams per day to 11 grams. The nighttime urination frequency rate for the salt reduction group dropped from 2.3 times per night to 1.4 times, while the increased salt group’s rose from 2.3 to 2.7 times per night.
EARLY BIRDS EAT BETTER AND EXERCISE MORE
esearchers from Helsinki, Finland, analyzed data from 2,000 people to find out how sleeping patterns affected their food choices. They discovered individuals that wake up early make healthier food choices throughout the day and are more physically active. “Linking what and when people eat to their biological clock type provides a fresh perspective on why certain people are more likely to make unhealthy food decisions,” explains lead author Mirkka Maukonen, from the National Institute for Health and Welfare, in Helsinki.
Caring for Others Prolongs Life
Yoga Eases Eating Disorders
Studio Grand Ouest/Shutterstock.com
esearchers from Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, have found that regular yoga practice can help reduce anxiety and depression in young women with eating disorders. The scientists followed 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 18 that were enrolled in an outpatient eating disorder clinic that comprised the larger control group. Those selected agreed to participate in a weekly yoga class and complete questionnaires after six and 12 weeks, assessing their anxiety, depression and mood. Of those that started the study, five attended all 12 yoga classes and six completed between seven and 11 classes. Researchers found decreases in anxiety, depression and negative thoughts among those that participated in the yoga classes, with no negative side effects. Another study from the University of Delaware, in Newark, supports these results. Half of the 38 residential eating disorder treatment program participants did one hour of yoga prior to dinner for five days and the other half did not. The yoga group showed significant reductions in pre-meal anxiety compared to the control group.
Meditation and Music Aid Memory in Early Stages of Alzheimer’s
new study from West Virginia University, in Morgantown, reveals that listening to music and practicing meditation may help improve memory function for those in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers asked 60 adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a common predictor of Alzheimer’s, to engage in kirtan kriya musical meditation or listen to other music for 12 minutes a day for three months, and then consider continuing for an additional three months. Scientists measured the memory and cognitive function of the 53 participants that completed the six-month study and found significant improvements in both measurements at the three-month mark. At six months, the subjects in both groups had maintained or improved upon their initial results.
Beetroot Juice Helps Older Brains Act Younger
Tonsillectomies Help Only Temporarily
esearchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, examined the effectiveness of tonsillectomies in children with recurring throat infections. Using data from nearly 10,000 studies of tonsillectomies, the scientists analyzed illness rates and quality of life for young patients following the surgery. The analysis found that children experienced a notable drop in school absences and infections in the first year after the surgery, but that these benefits did not persist over time. Dr. Siva Chinnadurai, an associate professor of otolaryngology and co-author of the report, believes, “For any child being considered a candidate for surgery, the family must have a personalized discussion with their healthcare provider about all of the factors that may be in play and how tonsils fit in as one overall factor of that child’s health.”
eets contain high levels of dietary nitrate, which can increase blood flow and improve exercise performance. Researchers from Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tested the impact of consuming beetroot juice prior to exercise on the somatomotor cortex, the part of the brain that processes information from the muscles. Twenty-six older adults with hypertension that generally don’t exercise were split into two groups. Half were given a beetroot juice supplement with 560 milligrams of nitrate prior to a thrice-weekly, 50-minute treadmill walk for six weeks. The other half were given a placebo with very little nitrate. The beetroot juice group showed substantially higher levels of nitrate after exercising than the placebo group. “We knew going in that a number of studies had shown that exercise has positive effects on the brain,” explains W. Jack Rejeski, director of the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Wake Forest and study co-author. “We showed that compared to exercise alone, adding a beetroot juice supplement for hypertensive older adults to exercise resulted in brain connectivity that closely resembles what is seen in younger adults.”
News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.
Organic Milk Producer Under Pressure The Aurora Organic Dairy pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colorado, are home to more than 15,000 cows—more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of the company that supplies milk to Walmart, Costco and other major retailers. They adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations, but critical weaknesses exist in the inspection system the government uses to ensure that food is organic; farmers are allowed to hire their own inspectors to certify them, and thus can fall short of reaching standards without detection. Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season rather than be confined to barns and feedlots. Although the USDA National Organic Program allows for an extremely wide range of grazing practices that comply with the rule, Aurora was observed onsite and via satellite imagery by the Washington Post as having only a small percentage of the herd outdoors on any given day. The company disputes the data. U.S. organic dairy sales amounted to $6 billion last year; although it is more expensive to produce, the milk may command a premium price of 100 percent more than regular.
Gestalt-Based Curricula Emerging Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.com
Finland, internationally renowned for innovative educational practices, is poised to become the first country to eliminate school subjects. Officials are making changes to be implemented by 2020 that will revolutionize how the school system works by allowing pupils to absorb a body of knowledge about language, economics and communication skills. “We need something to fit for the 21st century,” says Department of Education head Marjo Kyllonen. The system will be introduced for seniors beginning at age 16. They will choose which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions and capabilities. “Instead of staying passively in their benches listening to the teachers, students will now often work in smaller groups collaborating on projects, rather than just assigned classwork and homework.” Another new model of learning sparked by XQ: The Super School Project (xqsuperschool.org) is underway at New Harmony High School, housed on a floating barge at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans. They’ve received a $10 million grant to work on environmental issues when it opens in 2018. “High schools today are not preparing students for the demands of today’s world,” says XQ Senior School Strategist Monica Martinez; she notes that about a third of college students must take remedial courses and are not prepared to thrive as employees. 10
Peace River Edition
Plutonium Problem Glass or Cement May Encase Nuclear Waste
Congress might consider authorizing the U.S. Department of Energy to encase much of the nuclear waste at the Washington state Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s largest waste repository, in a cement-like mixture, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. It states that when burying the waste, cement would be less expensive and faster than vitrification, an alternative process currently used to turn the waste into glass logs. A $17 billion vitrification plant, one of the federal government’s most expensive construction projects, is intended to separate much of the waste into high- and low-level radioactive material, but construction has stalled over design and safety concerns. After the highly radioactive waste is immobilized in the glass logs, it would theoretically be shipped to an as-yet-nonexistent national repository proposed for Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. The 56 million gallons of waste in question is left over from plutonium production for nuclear weapons since World War II, and the site itself has a history of leaks. The Department of Energy likes the cement burial, but state officials believe the best way to safely deal with the waste and protect the environment is by turning it into glass. Source: enews.earthlink.net
The Egyptian fruit bat is a highly social mammal that roosts in crowded colonies. A machine learning algorithm helped decode their squeaks, revealing that they speak to one another as individuals. The research appears in the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, discovered that the bats exchange information about specific problems in four categories. Ramin Skibba, at Nature, notes that besides humans, only dolphins and a handful of other species are known to address individuals, rather than making broad, general communication sounds. Studies allow that it may eventually be possible to understand nuanced communications in other species.
Winnebago Assists Computer Literacy Librarian Shannon Morrison drives the Digibus, a new, 40-foot-long Winnebago computer classroom that hit the road in January bound for Fresno County, California, communities with the goal of bringing free computer literacy and job searching skills to the public. It employs 12 computer tablets with keyboards and staff that include bilingual interpreters. The library bus was scheduled to spend one week at each of two different communities each month.
Milkweed Mittens Leene/Shutterstock.com
Common Weed Is Lightweight Insulator The Canadian Coast Guard is testing milkweed pods as a source of potential environmentally friendly insulation in partnership with Encore3, a manufacturing company in Québec, Canada, in prototype parkas, gloves and mittens. The plant is roughly five times lighter than synthetic insulation and hypoallergenic. The Farm Between, in Cambridge, Vermont, harvests the plants and sends the material to Encore3. Co-owner John Hayden says, “Milkweed is grown as an intercrop between the rows in our apple orchard to increase biodiversity and provide a host plant for monarch caterpillars. Monarch populations are in serious decline, and the two things we can do to help on the land we steward are to not use pesticides and provide milkweed habitat.”
Computers Decipher Animal Language
Architecture Becomes Portable Innovative, moveable mini-houses, tents and wagons are gaining advocates amid a trend toward traveling light with style. Designs range from the functional to the outlandish, and also encompass forms of transport from tugboats to tractors. The four-wheeled Collingwood Shepherd Hut wagon has a shingled exterior and wood-burning stove. Some options can provide ready shelter during a crisis or protection in extreme weather. The Rapid Deployment Module temporary dwelling can be assembled in an hour; DesertSeal’s inflatable, lightweight tent can ward off extreme heat. The experimental Camper Kart turns a shopping cart into a mini-home with a roof, sleeping deck and storage, all of which can be folded right back into the cart. The Portaledge is a small hanging tent that climbers can affix to a rock face and sleep in safely partway up the rock. Golden Gate 2 camper features a rounded timber frame, portholes and a spot for a surfboard. Find fun pictures at AtlasObscura.com/ articles/mobile-architecture-tiny-houses.
Easy Mark kaipadhking/Shutterstock.com
Lasers Stamp Prices on European Produce Food retailers are aiming to cut plastic and cardboard packaging by ditching stickers on fruits and vegetables, instead using high-tech laser “natural branding” and creating huge savings in materials, energy and CO2 emissions. Pilot projects are underway in Europe with organic avocados, sweet potatoes and coconuts. The technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once the skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or produce quality. The laser technology also creates less than 1 percent of the carbon emissions needed to produce a similar-sized sticker. Source: The Guardian natural awakenings
Cannabinoids are the Most-Studied Therapeutic Compounds on the Planet by Linda Sechrist
undreds of abstracts published on the results of cannabis research can’t be wrong. The links to 567 of them posted on GreenMedInfo.com, give viewers the opportunity to click their way to research that demonstrates the wide range of healing attributes and therapeutic properties of Cannabis sativa. This important herbaceous species, which was used in conventional medicine until the 1930s, is a virtual treasure trove of phytochemicals, antioxidants, essential oils and cannabinoids—a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on specialized receptor cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. In 2016, Frontiers in Plant Science named cannabis “the plant of the thousand-and-one molecules.” From the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology in Germany to Israel’s prestigious Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which opened a cannabis research center and joined a consortium of 19 research teams at local academic institutions to study cannabinoids, the compounds of Cannabis sativa have become the most studied group of compounds on the planet. One of the most active of these cannabinoids is cannabidiol. Referred to as CBD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration legalized it in 2014 and categorized it as a supplement. It was the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, a leading pioneer in cannabis research at Hebrew University, that first alerted medical science to the largest receptor system in humans, and the fact that the human brain produces its own cannabinoids that stimulate this receptor system.
Peace River Edition
This revelation is essentially what legitimized the study of a substance previously only on the margins of scientific research. The reason that Cannabis sativa works so efficiently is because of the human body’s ECS and its series of receptors that are configured only to accept cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Until recently, the focus was largely on THC, because of its mindaltering effects. That focus has now shifted due to the fact that CBD, the major non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, has acquired a long list of medical benefits. According to a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential remedy for the treatment of neuro-inflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia. “To activate the body’s endocannabinoid system, an individual needs to consume a minimum of 20 milligrams of CBD per day. We suggest front loading for four to five days to activate the system by taking 20 milligrams three times per day. Then find the milligram strength that works for the specific condition. Begin with more than needed to get desired results. After you get relief, reduce the strength and frequency to find the dosage that works best for the individual condition,” says Walter Wright. He is the Marketing Director for Wright Marketing & Consulting, and a spokesperson for Sunshine Global Services, a producer of premium, highly researched hemp CBD and skincare products backed by a minimum of three independent lab tests and field testing. They are the first in the Eastern United States to achieve a completely THC-free (no traces) phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. Some scientific reports even demonstrate that CBD benefits include anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic effects that inhibit cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that CBD selectively and potently inhibited the growth of different breast tumor cell lines and exhibited significantly less potency in non-cancer cells. In the future, it is possible that cannabis-based remedies could take their rightful place in the worldwide pharmacopeia once again. In the meantime, with the proliferation of CBD products in health food stores and online, it is important to research the quality and potency of what is offered. Read labels and look for third-party International Organization for Standardization (ISO) lab testing for purity, as well as supercritical CO2 closed-clod extraction, a non-toxic and environmentally friendly botanical oil extraction method. Laboratories that are ISO-accredited have demonstrated that they are technically competent and able to produce precise and accurate test and/or calibration data. For more information about CBD, call 800-334-1236 or visit SunshineGlobalHealth.com.
wisewords Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo
JOINING SCIENCE TO SPIRITUALITY by Linda Sechrist
n 2008, the Sebastopol, California, filmmaking team of Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo created Science and Nonduality (SAND), which later became a nonprofit organization aimed at fostering a new relationship with spirituality that is free from religious dogma, based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science and grounded in direct experience. The next year, they organized the first SAND conference, exploring nonduality and the nature of consciousness. Since then, the duo has been producing short films that contribute to the expansion of human awareness, and hosting annual conferences in the U.S. and Europe involving leading scientists, academics and other pioneering thinkers. Thousands of participants from around the world interact in forums and respectful dialogues with luminaries such as Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., a professor of computational physics at Chapman University, in Orange, California; Peter Russell, a theoretical physicist and author of From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness; Robert Thurman, Ph.D., professor of Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, in New York City; evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution; and Robert Lanza, physician, scientist and co-author of Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.
Where do revelations about a deeper reality begin? MB: Individual and communal explorations often occur around life’s big
questions, such as what it means to be conscious and to seek meaning and purpose; the possible place of intuition as the edge where knowledge meets the unknown and unknowable; and how crucial individual awakening is to social transformation.
What is meant by nonduality? ZB: Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual and scientific understanding of fundamental oneness in which there is no separation. Through quantum mechanics, Western science has reached an understanding of what Eastern mystics have long understood. Duality, generally determined in terms of opposites such as self and other, conscious and unconscious, illusion and reality, as well as separation between the observer and the observed, is an illusion. Nonduality is the understanding that our identifying with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality. Until recently, human sciences have ignored the problem of consciousness by calling it the “hard problem”. This has led to our present fragmented worldview rife with chaos, conflict and crises. It may be time for scientists to accept the discoveries of the mystics and consider consciousness intrinsic to every observed scientific phenomenon. Understanding that consciousness is the key to the universe, reality and ourselves may be the missing link in bridging science and spirituality.
What difference can exploring the nature of consciousness make?
ZB: Understanding the new science that points to consciousness as allpervasive and the fundamental building block of reality—that we are all made of the same essence, like drops in the ocean—can change how we approach and harmonize day-to-day living. We can be far more open, peaceful and accepting of others. Absurd violence, as well as economic, social and political crises, could all be things of the past, based on a new quantum understanding of our interconnectedness and oneness.
How has the nonduality movement evolved? MB: SAND has evolved into something we never imagined when we began discussing the ideas that the true spirit of science and spiritually is best supported by an open mind and a non-dogmatic inquiry; while science seeks to understand our external reality and spiritual thinkers seek to understand our inner, personal experience of consciousness, these seemingly different disciplines rarely come together in open dialogue. It became more evident that we weren’t looking for scientific answers or proof of what spiritual wisdom traditions teach, but rather to expand the questions asked of both science and spirituality. Open-ended questions arise such as: What if space and time are just useful maps and quantum mechanics is pointing us to a deeper reality more mysterious than we can ever imagine? What if science and spirituality, while responding to our collective aspiration to grow and progress, would no longer need to carry the burden of having all the answers? What if we considered our search open-ended, rather then having to arrive at a grand theory of life or final state of enlightenment? What if, while we probe deeper into reality and who we are, we realize that knowledge gathered will always be just a stepping-stone? For information about the 2017 conference in San Jose from Oct. 18 to 22, visit ScienceAndNonduality.com. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at ItsAllAboutWe.com.
Aging with Passion and Purpose Finding Fulfillment, Creativity and Meaning by Deborah Shouse
ant to age well? The answer isn’t in your 401k. Self-acceptance, a positive attitude, creative expression, purposeful living and spiritual connections all anchor successful and meaningful aging. In fact, these kinds of preparations are just as important as saving money for retirement, according to Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, in Durango, Colorado, and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging.
While most people believe adulthood is the final stage of life, Dr. Bill Thomas is among the creative aging experts that identify another life chapter: elderhood. “Elders possess novel ways of approaching time, money, faith and relationships,” says Thomas, an Ithaca, New York geriatrician and fierce advocate for the value of aging. “The best chapters may be near the end of the book,” Thomas continues. “Once you appreciate yourself and your years, you can relinquish outdated expectations and seek to discover your true self. Then the world can open up to you,” says Thomas. “Living a rewarding life means we are willing to say, ‘These chapters now are the most interesting.’” During this time, rather than feeling consumed by what we have to do, we can focus on what we want to do. 14
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Fill the Funnel of Friends
For older people, relationships offer foundational connections; but as we age, friends may drift away, relocate or die. “Successful aging requires refilling our funnel of friends,” says Thomas, who considers socially engaged elders with friends wealthier than a socially isolated millionaire. “Notice opportunities for interacting and connecting,” advises Shae Hadden, co-founder of The Eldering Institute in Vancouver, Canada. Talk with the checkout person at the grocery store or smile at a stranger walking her dog.
Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Our beliefs about aging shape our experiences. A Yale University study found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer than those less so inclined. Connecting with positive role models helps us release limiting beliefs and embrace an attitude of gratitude instead. Other life lessons can be gleaned from observing how negativity affects people physically, emotionally, and socially. Holding onto regrets traps us in the past zapping energy and self-worth; it also keeps the best in us from shining out says Pevny. He suggests a simple letting-go ceremony, with friends as witnesses. If possible, hold it in a natural outdoor setting.
At one of his conscious aging retreats, Pevny created a fire circle. Mike, 70, had been a dedicated long-distance runner for most of his life. Now plagued with mobility issues, Mike decided to let go of regrets. He brought a pair of running shorts into the circle and talked about what the sport had meant to him—its joys, challenges and camaraderie. Then he tossed the shorts into the fire, telling his friends, “I am letting go so I can find a new purpose and passion.”
Understand Our Life Stories
Creating our own life review helps us acknowledge and understand our most significant experiences and reminds us of all we’re bringing to our elder journey. Pevny offers these approaches: n Develop a timeline, dividing life into seven-year sections. For each, write about the strongest memories and most influential people. n Consider what matters most, from people and values to challenges and dreams. n Write to children and grandchildren, sharing tales of our life’s most significant events and lessons. n Record key stories on audio or video.
Explore the Arts
The changes that aging brings can mire elders in depression and isolation. “Older people need to be brave and resilient,” says Susan Perlstein, of Brooklyn, New York, founder emeritus of the National Center for Creative Aging, in Washington, D.C., and founder of Elders Share the Arts, in New York City. “To age creatively, we need a flow of varied experiences, exploring new activities or reframing longtime interests from a fresh perspective.” Expressive arts can engage people’s minds, bodies and spirits. A George Washington University study shows that people engaged in the arts are happier and healthier. Perlstein understands this firsthand, having begun taking guitar lessons in her 70s. Motivated to play simple songs for her new granddaughter, she subsequently learned to play jazz and blues tunes and joined a band. “I’m doing something I love,” says Perlstein. “I’m meeting diverse people, learning new things and enjoying a rich life.”
The answers can lead to fresh settings, including local community centers and places of worship. Many universities have extension classes for lifelong learners. State arts councils support programs, and museums and libraries host helpful activities. Shepherd Centers encourage community learning and Road Scholar caters to elders that prefer to travel and study.
Older people are our greatest resource. We need to nurture them and give them a chance to share what they know. ~Susan Perlstein, founder, National Center for Creative Aging and Elders Share the Arts Musician John Blegen, of Kansas City, Missouri, was 73 when he realized his lifelong secret desire to tap dance. When Blegen met the then 87-year-old Billie Mahoney, Kansas City’s “Queen of Tap,” he blurted out his wish and fear of being “too old.” She just laughed and urged him to sign up for her adult beginner class. He asked for tap shoes for Christmas and happily shuffle-stepped his way through three class sessions. “Tap class inspired me, encouraged me and gave me hope,” he says. “Now I can shim sham and soft shoe. It’s a dream come true.” To unearth the inner artist, ask: n Which senses do I most like to engage? n Do I enjoy looking at art or listening to music? Do I like sharing feelings and experiences? If so, a thrill may come from writing stories or plays, acting or storytelling. n As a child, what did I yearn to do; maybe play the piano, paint or engineer a train set? Now is the time to turn those dreams into reality. n How can I reframe my life in a positive way when I can no longer do activities I love? If dancing was my focus before, how do I rechannel that energy and passion? If puttering in the garden is too strenuous, what other outdoor interests can I pursue?
Discover a Purpose
Upon retirement some people feel purposeless and lost. They yearn for something that offers up excitement, energy and joy. Hadden invites people to be curious and explore options. “We’re designing our future around who we are and what we care about now,” she says. Try keeping a journal for several weeks. Jot down issues and ideas that intrigue, aggravate and haunt. After several weeks, reflect on the links between concerns that compel and those that irritate. Perhaps we’re intrigued by a certain group of people or a compelling issue. “A concern points to problems and people you want to help,” Hadden observes. This can range from lending a hand to struggling family members, maintaining our own health, volunteering for a literacy project or working to reduce world hunger. “Choose what inspires you to get out of bed each day, eager to move into action.”
Develop Inner Frontiers
People in their elder years may still be measured by midlife standards, which include physical power, productivity and achievement. “They come up short in the eyes of younger people,” dharma practitioner Kathleen Dowling Singh remarks. “But those standards do not define a human life.” Rather, aging allows us to disengage from the pressures of appearances and accomplishments. As we release judgments and unwanted habits, we can increase our feelings of spirituality and peace. “When doors in the outer world seem to be closing, it’s time to cultivate inner resources that offer us joy and meaning. We have the beautiful privilege of slowing down and hearing what our heart is saying,” says Singh, of Sarasota, Florida.
Acknowledge Our Shelf Life
“We cannot speak about aging and awakening without speaking about death and dying,” Singh believes. “We need to confront our mortality.” Meditating on the coming transition opens us up to the blessings of life. We can ask ourselves deep questions such as, “What am I doing? What do I want? What does this all mean? What is spirit?” Singh believes such searching questions are vital. None of us knows how much Earth time we have to awaken to a deeper, fuller experience of the sacred.
Help the World In today’s world of chaos and crisis, the wisdom of elders is more important than ever. “Older people need to be engaged, using their insights to help the Earth, community and world,” Pevny says. Creative aging is about improving the future for subsequent generations. In 2008, longtime educator Nora Ellen Richard, 70, of Overland Park, Kansas, wanted to be of greater service.
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Nearly three-quarters of America’s adults believe they are lifelong learners. It helps them make new friends and community connections and prompts volunteerism. ~Pew Research Center She asked herself, “What if I housed a foreign student?” and found the International Student Homestay Program. She embarked upon an exploration of cultures from around the world without leaving home. Today, Richard has hosted more than a dozen female students and each relationship has expanded and enriched her life. “We talk about politics, food, religion and cultures; we even pray together,” Richard says. She points to memorable moments of bonding and
Coming Next Month Chiropractic plus: Transformative Travel October articles include: Selecting a Chiropractor, Bone-Density Exercises Life-Changing Travel, and more!
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Creative Aging Resources Center for Conscious Eldering CenterForConsciousEldering.com Changing Aging ChangingAging.org Dr. Bill Thomas DrBillThomas.org The Eldering Institute Eldering.org Elders Share the Arts Estanyc.org From Aging to Sageing Sage-ing.org Kathleen Dowling Singh KathleenDowlingSingh.com National Center for Creative Aging CreativeAging.org Shepherd’s Centers of America ShepherdCenters.org
respect, appreciation and celebration, and says, “As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned how vital it is to nurture the world I am in.” Deborah Shouse is a writer, speaker, editor and dementia advocate. Her newest book is Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together. Connect at DementiaJourney.org.
Meditation is one way to deepen spiritually as we age. “Sit in solitude, gather your scattered thoughts and set an intention,” Singh suggests. “A daily practice shows what peace, silence and contentment feel like. As you become more comfortable, add time until you’re sitting for 20 to 40 minutes.”
Rodney Yee on Yoga as a Way of Life
You can blink and half your life is gone. You can’t always be busy, busy, busy; you have to decide how to fill your life.
Simple Strategies for Staying on Track by Marlaina Donato
enowned yogi and international teacher Rodney Yee, of New York City, has maintained an inspired yoga practice for 37 years while juggling career obligations, fame and family life. While the benefits of yoga are increasingly well known—from stress reduction and pain management to a more limber body and inner peace—Lee is also aware of the challenges to maintaining a consistent practice. Here he shares insights on the pitfalls encountered by both beginning and advanced students. “My advice is to first get rid of self-berating behavior, including judgmental inner dialogue. In many aspects of life, we are constantly measuring ourselves against a standard, which is a waste of time and energy,” says Yee. With a professional background in classical dance and gymnastics, Yee decided to give yoga a try at a nearby studio when he craved more physical flexibility. “As many people do, I came to yoga for a reason. I was a dancer with tight joints. After the first class, I couldn’t believe how I felt. It was not at all like an athletic high; I had a sense of well-being and knew what it means to feel peaceful and clear.” For people with jam-packed lives, finding time for exercise can be daunting. Yee suggests a relaxed approach to scheduling yoga into a busy day. “As the rishis [Hindu sages] say, we shouldn’t ‘try’ to meditate, not try to force a natural state. To say, ‘I have to do yoga,’ just puts another thing on our to-do list. Sometimes discipline is needed, but another part of discipline is not about force.”
Different approaches to yoga abound, and part of staying motivated may include exploration of a variety of traditions as individual needs change due to lifestyle, health, interests or simple curiosity. Yee reminds us to go with the flow and follow how we feel in the moment. “Different schools of yoga exist because each offers something different. There is a form for all of our moods and a practice for how you feel at any given time.” Reflecting on how his own practice has evolved through the years, Yee recollects, “In my 20s and 30s, my yoga practice was arduous, including three to four hours of strong, physical work and a half hour of pranayama [breath work]. Then for 20 years, it involved a lot of teaching. Over the past 17 years, my practice has become more subtle, with a focus on sequencing and meditation; it’s about how to do this all day long in the context of my body and my life; about being both centered and in the world. In some way, we’re always doing yoga, as we already take 20,000 breaths a day. From a philosophical and ethical point of view, yogis have no choice but to practice.” Because many American women have found their way to a yogic path, men often assume it’s primarily a women’s niche. But yoga has been a male practice for nearly 2,500 years in other countries. Yee encourages men to not feel intimidated. “Why not try something that can help you improve your business, family life and even your golf game?” he queries. While Yee believes in a no-pressure approach, he also suggests inviting ways to foster consistency. “If you are just beginning, set aside a half-hour before going to bed or get up a half-hour earlier. Also note that pain is less to be avoided than learned from.” Wisdom can come from dedication to a yoga practice. Yee’s philosophy is, “You can blink and half your life is gone. You can’t always be busy, busy, busy; you have to decide how to fill your life. As spiritual teacher Ram Dass counsels, ‘Be here now.’ Train yourself to bring body, mind and heart together and fully drink from that.” Learn more at YeeYoga.com. Marlaina Donato is a freelance writer, author and multimedia artist. Connect at MarlainaDonato.com. natural awakenings
ciency.The mineral is also essential for heart health, strong bones and central nervous system function, as reported in The Magnesium Miracle, by Dr. Carolyn Dean, a physician and naturopath in Kihei, Hawaii.
FLOATING AWAY STRESS Isolation Tanks Induce Deep Rest and Healing
by Gina McGalliard
ensory isolation in a floatation tank is known for inducing deep relaxation with subsequent improved health. A 2014 study published in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry investigating the effects of a series of flotation tank treatments for 65 participants, showed it to be an effective measure in decreasing stress, depression, anxiety and pain, while enhancing a sense of optimism and quality of sleep. The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea, by Michael Hutchison, reports on 20th-century research suggesting the therapy can help allay ailments like chronic pain, migraines and sore muscles. There’s also evidence for enhanced meditation, creativity and spiritual experiences. Float therapy was invented by Dr. John C. Lilly, a neurophysiology specialist. The individual enters an enclosed tank containing 11 inches of water heated to 93.5 degrees—a normal temperature for human skin— and some 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt. The effect is like buoyantly floating in the Dead Sea, but in a clean, quiet, private realm. The water is typically filtered three to five times between each session and sanitized using UV light; some also use peroxide and ozone gas to purify the water. Without any sensory input—no sight, sound or tactile sensations—the floater typically enters a profound
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deeply calm state of theta brain waves that tends to bring the subconscious to the surface. It can take experienced meditators years to learn to consistently achieve this condition, remarks Bryan Gray, of Float North County, a spa in Solana Beach, California.
Ultimate Meditation Venue Scientific research has shown that floating can release the feel-good neurotransmitters endorphins and dopamine, and lower the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Studies performed by the Laureate Institute of Brain Research, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which maintains a float clinic, have found the therapy is an effective treatment for patients with anxiety disorders. “It frees your mind of distraction and puts it in a zone,” explains Gray. “It removes the need for fight or flight, so those hormones are reduced. That part of the brain mellows out.”
Lying for an hour in water infused with Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, the body receives a huge infusion of magnesium, a mineral essential to optimal health. While calcium and vitamin D deficiencies get more attention, it’s even more likely most of us are low on this element due to magnesium-depleting drugs and inadequate farm soils. Many ailments shown by research to be helped by floating have also been linked to magnesium defi-
Chronic pain sufferers often find relief through floating because the lessened gravity allows the body to fully relax. The accompanying serenity releases the brain’s natural endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, into the bloodstream, reports Hutchison. The sheer tranquility of floating can alleviate some mental health issues. “We’ve had several people with post-traumatic stress disorder. One man has returned six times and says he’s advanced more in the last three months while floating than he did in the prior five to 10 years,” says Andy Larson, owner of Float Milwaukee. Athletes also appreciate floating because it shortens injury recovery periods through enhancing blood flow, helping to heal sore muscles. The way it facilitates a calm state ideal for implanting ideas into the subconscious mind enables them to better visualize improved performance.
Floaters can fall into what sleep specialists call the hypnagogic state, meaning they are apt to have lucid dreams while awake. Also known as Stage 1 sleep, it is the drowsiest condition we experience while still consciously aware. This is the scientific explanation for reports of visions or “Eureka!” problem-solving moments in the tank, says Hutchison. This phenomenon can be especially beneficial for creative artists. “We have a girl that always emerges from the tank with an idea for a new painting,” says Gray. He also regularly hosts a composer that has worked with famous singers, who has experienced innovative musical breakthroughs while floating. Floating is among the rare healing modalities that can benefit body, mind and spirit in just one hour, with repeat benefits. Gina McGalliard is a freelance writer in San Diego, CA. Connect at GinaMcGalliard.com.
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by Glennon Doyle Melton
lenty of people are pretty, but haven’t yet learned how to be beautiful. They have the right look for the times, but they don’t glow. Beautiful women glow. That’s because beautiful is not about how we look on the outside; it is about what we’re made of and being “full of beauty” on the inside. Beautiful people spend time discovering what their idea of beauty is on this Earth. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day. When we are with a beautiful woman, we might not notice her hair, skin, body or clothes, because we’ll be distracted by the way she makes us feel. She is so full of beauty that some of it overflows onto us. We feel warm and safe and curious around her. Her eyes typically twinkle a little and she’ll look at us closely—because a beautiful, wise woman knows that the quickest way to fill up with beauty is to soak in another’s beauty. The most beautiful women take their time with other people; they are filling up. Women concerned with being pretty think about what they look like, but women concerned with being beautiful think about what they are looking at, taking in the loveliness around them. They are absorbing the whole beautiful world and making all that beauty theirs to give to others. Source: Adapted excerpt from Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton (Flatiron Books). She’s the founder and president of the nonprofit Together Rising. Read more at Momastery.com/blog.
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Kindergarten means “children’s garden” and originally took place outdoors. It’s commonplace today in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
Public School Programs
Outdoor Learning Engages the Whole Child by Meredith Montgomery
Nature-based schools provide a child-centered, guided discovery approach to early learning that appeals to kids, parents and teachers and offers far-ranging benefits.
or youngsters at Tiny Trees Preschool, in Seattle, nature is their classroom— rain or shine; tuition even includes a rain suit and insulated rubber boots. At Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool, in Milwaukee, children use downed wood to build forts and fires. Students of Vermont’s Educating Children Outdoors (ECO) program use spray bottles of colored water to spell words in the snow.
Forest Schools Based on the publicly funded forest kindergarten model used by Scandinavian countries since 1995, Tiny Trees encompasses seven urban park locations throughout the city, ranging from 15 to 160 acres. With no buildings, playgrounds or commercially produced furniture and 30 percent less overhead, “We can make exceptional education affordable,” remarks CEO Andrew Jay. “Most of the day is spent exploring the forest. If children see salmon in the 20
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stream, we observe them from a bridge, and then search out the headwaters to see where they’re coming from,” explains Jay.
Nature Preschools The launch of Earth Day in 1970 and America’s nature center movement in the 1960s yielded another immersive nature-based model that includes indoor learning. The preschool at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified Schlitz Audubon Nature Center includes three nature-focused indoor classrooms and three outdoor areas— two with manmade structures like a slide and picnic tables, and one left completely natural. Founding Director Patti Bailie says the children spend most of their day outside and teachers can take them beyond the play areas to explore 185 acres of prairie, forest, wetlands and lakefront beach habitats.
ECO currently collaborates with seven Vermont public schools from preschool to high school, offering year-long programs for students in inquiry-based outdoor learning for up to four hours a week. “We immerse ourselves in nature with a 10-minute hike into the forest,” says program coordinator Melissa Purdy. Students first learn safety protocols and how to set up camp. Introducing skill-appropriate tools, preschoolers whittle sticks, third-graders build teepees and lean-tos, and high school students build bridges across streams.
Building Resiliency Sharing space with insects and plants requires special safety protocols and preparation, but the injury rate of outdoor learning is no higher than that of indoor schools. “Children are building risk literacy—they climb trees, but only to safe heights; they step on wet rocks, but learn how to do so without falling,” says Jay. Classrooms without walls work because students have a sense of freedom within reasonable boundaries. “In winter, we dress warmly and do more hiking to generate body heat. We use picnic shelters in heavy rains. Children don’t have anxiety about the future—rain means puddles to splash in and snow means building snowmen,” says Jay.
Developing the Whole Child Outdoor learning naturally creates knowledge of local ecosystems, environmental stewards and a sense of place, but teachers also observe many other developmental benefits. At the Magnolia Nature School, at Camp McDowell, in Nauvoo, Alabama, Madeleine Pearce’s agile and surefooted preschoolers can hike three miles. Located in a rural county with
a 67 percent poverty rate, the school partners with Head Start to secure tuition-free opportunities for families. Pearce attests how exploring the 1,100-acre property fosters language skills. “With less teacher instruction, children have more time to talk freely with each other.” Instead of loudly calling kids in, Purdy uses bird calls or a drum, which fosters a sense of peace and respect. During daily sit time students observe themselves as a part of nature. “As birds sing and wildlife appears, children see the rewards of quiet and stillness, so self-regulation becomes natural,” agrees Bailie. Bailie sees how children in forest kindergartens express better motor skills, physical development and cognitive abilities than those restricted to traditional playgrounds. Natural playscapes change with the season, are sensory-rich and provide extra oxygen to the brain—all factors that correlate to brain development. Such benefits are reported in Brain-Based Learning by Eric Jensen, Brain Rules by John J. Medina and the Early Childhood Education Journal.
Parents and teachers often describe nature preschool students as being more observant, confident, inquisitive and engaged. Outdoor preschools also foster microbial exposure, essential for healthy immune system development. “Without this exposure, children are at increased risk for developing allergies, asthma, irritable bowel disease, obesity and diabetes later in life,” says B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., author of Let Them Eat Dirt, which cites supporting science. Kindergarten readiness is a goal of all preschools, but Pearce doesn’t believe a traditional academic focus is required. “By putting nature first, children are socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten,” she says. “They know how to conquer challenges and are ready to take on academics.” Meredith Montgomery publishes Natural Awakenings of Gulf Coast Alabama/Mississippi (HealthyLiving HealthyPlanet.com).
OUTDOOR PLAY “We are innately connected to nature, but need to provide opportunities to make that connection,” says Patti Bailie, former assistant director of Antioch University’s nature-based Early Childhood certificate program, in Keene, New Hampshire. Here’s how. Get wild at home. Hang bird feeders, grow wildlife-attracting plants, start a compost pile and designate an area of the yard for natural play where kids can dig and the grass isn’t mowed. Explore a forest instead of a playground. Without swing sets and toys, children create imaginative play, build forts and climb trees. Incorporate active transportation into the family routine. Walk, bike or paddle. Rain gear and flashlights enable rainy and after-dark explorations. Join a family nature club. At ChildrenAndNature.org, connect with other families that value and use the natural world for playing, growing and learning via their Natural Families Forum.
NATURE JOURNALING TIPS by Meredith Montgomery
ature journal content is highly personal, ranging from scientific species accounts to wildlife-inspired stories. With just a notebook, pencil and fully engaged senses, nature enthusiasts of all ages can foster observation skills, creativity and outdoor exploration. Prompt open-ended questions. “Nature journals encourage children to ask questions and search for answers,” says Tiny Trees Preschool CEO Andrew Jay, of Seattle. Ask why flowers are blooming, how slugs suddenly appeared and what type of tree a leaf came from. Build upon findings with drawings and notes. Make a sound map. Project Learning Tree, a nationwide environmental education program funded by the American Forest Association, suggests drawing an “X” in the middle of the page to represent where the child is sitting. Then use pictures, shapes or words to show the relative
locations of surrounding sounds. Consider the macro perspective. Vermont’s Outdoor Education Coordinator Melissa Purdy shows students close-up shots of moss or sticks without revealing what the abstract image is. Students note what they observe and wonder as they try to solve the mystery. Alternatively, challenge children to draw their own macro images by looking at an object with a magnifying glass. Find a sit spot. Give children the time and space to write and draw freely in their journal as they sit quietly in nature. “Return to the same spot regularly and see how things have changed,” advises Patti Bailie, a professor of early childhood education at the University of Maine, in Farmington. If kids are too busy exploring and learning while outside, reflections can be captured once they’re back inside, too.
Fluoride Alert Excess in Food and Tap Water Harms Pets by Karen Becker
n 2009, an Environmental Working Group (EWG) study found that bone meal and animal byproducts in eight of 10 major national dog food brands contain fluoride in amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended maximum dose in drinking water. Some fluoride from tap water used in the manufacturing of pet food contributes to this. Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., lead researcher of the study, remarks, “A failed regulatory system and suspect practices by some in the pet food industry puts countless dogs at risk of ingesting excessive fluoride.” Fluoride occurs naturally in rocks, soil and thus some food plants and water supplies. More enters food via use of fluoride-based pesticides and commercial processing facilities. The EWG advises that two-thirds of all Americans, along with pets and farm animals, are exposed to artificially fluoridated tap water.
Fluoride Dangers to Humans While fluoride exposure hasn’t been studied in dogs or cats, according to 22
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Dr. Joseph Mercola, ample research points to the dangers of fluoride to human health, including: n Arthritis n Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) n Bone fractures n Brain damage and lowered IQ n Damaged sperm and increased infertility n Deactivation of 62 enzymes n Dementia n Disrupted immune system n Disrupted synthesis of collagen n Genetic damage and cell death n Hyperactivity and/or lethargy n Impaired sleep (inhibits melatonin produced by the pineal gland) n Increased lead absorption n Increased tumor and cancer rate n Inhibited formation of antibodies n Lowered thyroid function n Muscle disorders
Fluoride Dangers to Canines Dogs are at substantial long-term risk for exposure to unacceptably high levels of fluoride. They are, for example, at
significantly higher probability for bone cancer than humans, with more than 8,000 cases diagnosed each year in the U.S., compared with about 900 human cases. According to the EWG, a dog drinking normal amounts of tap water would be exposed to 0.05 to 0.1 milligram (mg) of fluoride per kilogram (kg) of body weight daily. A 10-pound puppy that daily eats about a cup of dog food would ingest approximately 0.25 mg fluoride per kg body weight a day, based on average fluoride content in the eight contaminated brands it tested. Altogether, the puppy could be exposed to 3.5 times more fluoride than the EPA allows in drinking water. Large breed puppies may be exposed to even more fluoride due to higher water intake. Whatever the size and the appetite of a dog, combined fluoride exposure from food and water can easily become unsafe. Eating the same food every day, they may be constantly consuming more fluoride than is healthy for normal growth, leading to health problems and higher veterinary bills later in life.
Prevent High Ingestion of Fluoride
The EWG recommends owners purchase pet foods free of bone meal and other meals made from animal byproducts. It also suggests that government set fluoride limits in pet food that protect both puppies and large breeds most at risk for bone cancer. Dr. Michael W. Fox, an internation-
Fluoride-Free Feeding Tips n In homemade food preparation, avoid Teflon-coated pans, which may increase the fluoride levels in food. n Avoid cooking with fluoridated water, which concentrates fluoride in the food. n Avoid toothpaste or oral rinses intended for humans, to brush canine teeth. Dental health products made for pets are fluoride-free.
Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative veterinarian in the Chicago area, consults internationally and writes Mercola Healthy Pets (HealthyPets.Mercola. com).
SOLAR HEATS UP Demand Surges as Prices Fall
ally recognized veterinarian and former vice president of the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, recommends providing pets with fluoride-free water; spring water or reverse osmosis filtered water also works well. In preparing homemade food for a pet, make sure any added bone meal is free of fluoride and lead. Ethical bone meal producers will test for these contaminants; verify with the source. Fox suggests a good bone meal substitute might be fossilized oyster shell, dolomite or a synthesized or refined calcium supplement like calcium citrate, ascorbate, stearate or gluconate. Or, consider a pure tricalcium and dicalcium phosphate, blended with magnesium. Fox attests that bones from longer-lived food animals such as dairy cows, laying hens and breeding stock likely contain higher levels of fluoride than shorter-lived animals like chickens, calves and lambs. In his article “Fluoride in Pet Food: A Serious Health Risk for Both Dogs and Cats?” he writes: “Fluorides accumulate in farmed animals over time from phosphate fertilizers, phosphate supplements, bone meal and fish meal supplements and pesticide and industrial-pollution-contaminated pastures and animal feed. The bones, fins, gills and scales of fish are often high in fluoride.” He recommends raw food diets that avoid ground bone from older animals like beef cattle and adult sheep.
by Jim Motavalli
ow is a good time to buy a solar system and get off the grid. Solar photovoltaic prices have fallen 67 percent in the last five years, reports Alexandra Hobson with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). It’s a boom period for solar—a record 14.8 gigawatts were installed last year in the U.S. Solar represented 39 percent of all new electric capacity added to the grid in 2016, surpassing natural gas (29 percent) and wind (26 percent). In the first quarter of this year, solar and wind together comprised more than half of all new U.S. power generation. The Solar Investment Tax Credit was extended for five years at the end of 2015, so homeowners and businesses can qualify to deduct 30 percent of the installed cost from their federal taxes. Also, there’s no upper limit on the prices for the qualifying panels. There are 1.3 million solar systems in the U.S. now, with a new one added every 84 seconds. Some 260,000 people currently work in the industry, double the figure of 2012. California is the leader in installed capacity, followed by North Carolina,
Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Utah.
In 2016, the average residential solar system produced seven kilowatts, at an average installed cost of $3.06 per watt, according to Hobson. A system costing just over $21,000 before taking the income tax credit yields a final net cost of $15,000. “It’s a perfect marriage for residential customers,” says Bill Ellard, an energy economist with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). “The systems will produce electricity for about five cents per kilowatt-hour year-round compared to the average electric price of 10.34 cents per kilowatt hour tracked in March 2017.” New solar panel designs coming online mean even greater savings. Panels with built-in micro-inverters are cutting home installation costs for large central units (although their longterm, all-weather durability isn’t clear yet). A breakthrough at Japan’s Kobe University means single solar cells could achieve 50 percent efficiency, up from the 30 percent formerly accepted as the upper limit.
It’s a boom period for solar—a record 14.8 gigawatts were installed last year in the U.S. Solar represented 39 percent of all new electric capacity added to the grid in 2016, surpassing natural gas (29 percent) and wind (26 percent). In the first quarter of this year, solar and wind together comprised more than half of all new U.S. power generation. Ugly panel frames may also be a thing of the past. More aesthetically pleasing frameless panels are expected this year from big players like SolarWorld, Canadian Solar and Trina Solar, with adapted mounting hardware. Producers like Prism Solar and DSM Advanced Surfaces are also working on frameless clear panels, with cells bound between panes of glass. These attractive clear panels are highly resistant to fire and corrosion. Tesla, which recently acquired SolarCity, is marketing tempered glass photovoltaic shingles that integrate with tile roofing materials to make the installation nearly undetectable. Tesla claims they’re three times as strong as standard roof shingles and guarantees them for the life of the house.
Solar Works for Many Now
For an average household electric load of 600 kilowatt-hours per month, for example, a daily dose of five hours of direct sunlight and four-kilowatt system will likely
meet demand. For households with higher usage, especially in the South and West, bigger installations are the norm. “Solar system sizes have been growing fairly steadily as the price has come down,” Hobson notes. Thanks to Google Earth, solar installers usually know if a property has the right conditions; avoiding the fee for an onsite inspection. Houses with a southern orientation within 40 degrees of direct southern exposure are golden. Those with flat roofs work well because the panels can be tilted for maximum effect. Adjustable panels can also be adapted to the best angle per season. Panels can’t be in shade for a significant part of the day. Rooftop installers can work around vent pipes, skylights and chimneys. If major obstructions are a problem, ASES suggests a ground-mounted array or solar pergola, a freestanding wooden frame to mount panels. Solar systems heat swimming pools, too, offering huge operational savings over conventional heaters. They start at around $3,500 and average $5,500, compared to an average $2,664 for a fossil-fuel heater, reports HomeAdvisor.com. Determine if a state has net metering laws, which make it easy to sell excess power from a whole-home system back to the grid. Check for local tax subsidies on top of the federal 30 percent. The beauty of solar is that once the system is in place, operating costs are negligible. The lifespan of today’s panels is two decades and the payback is just two to three years. Jim Motavalli is an author, freelance journalist and speaker specializing in clean automotive and other environmental topics. He lives in Fairfield, CT. Connect at JimMotavalli.com.
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Peace River Edition
photos by Stephen Blancett
FABULOUS FAN FARE Healthy Tailgating Foods to Cheer For by Judith Fertig
at, play, party… and repeat. We may call it tailgating, fangating, homegating, a watch party or simply eating with friends before a big game. According to the American Tailgaters Association, in St. Paul, Minnesota, an estimated 50 million Americans tailgate annually. Whether we’re on the road or at home, making the menu healthy is a winning strategy for hosts and guests. Here, two experts divulge their winning ways. Says Debbie Moose, author of Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home, Ivy League schools like Princeton and Yale claim credit for pregame picnics that 19th-century sports fans packed into their horse and buggy for local road trips. Moose lives in the tailgate trifecta of the North Carolina triangle, home to Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest universities. She enjoyed discovering that University of Washington sports fans from the Seattle area like to sail to their chosen picnic spots, while
University of Hawaii folks grill fish on hibachis in Honolulu. Moose naturally prefers healthy, Southern-style fare such as deviled eggs and marinated green bean salad, which can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. “At the game or at home, your guests will be moving around, so go for foods that can be eaten with one hand,” she suggests. She also plans her menu around color, universal appeal and variety because it’s healthier than just serving a mound of barbecued chicken wings and a big bowl of potato chips. She likes recipes that can do double duty; her black bean summer salad with cherry tomatoes and corn can function as a colorful side dish or as a salsa for non-GMO blue corn chips. “Recipes that you can do ahead of time make things easier on game day; just pull them from the fridge and go,” says Moose. Daina Falk, of New York City, grew up around professional athletes because her father, David Falk, is a well-known
sports agent. Excitement-generating sports are in her blood and inspired her to write The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook. She knows that most of the tailgating in her area takes place for football and baseball games and NASCAR races. On HungryFan.com, Falk serves up tips for every fangating/homegating occasion, from the Kentucky Derby to the Super Bowl. “Keep your menu interesting,” says Falk. “I always like to feature a dish for each team. For instance, if you’re hosting an Alabama versus Washington watch party, you could feature an Alabama barbecue dish with white sauce and oysters or other fresh seafood. Both dishes are characteristic of the local foods in the universities’ respective hometowns.” Falk recommends buying more local beer than needed to make sure not to run out. Game day guests can get hot and thirsty, indoors or out. Supply lots of filtered water in non-breakable containers. For easy entertaining, Falk recommends biodegradable dishes and cups. “Whenever there are a lot of people in one room, especially when they’re drinking, a glass will likely be broken,” she says. “Save yourself cleanup and the risk of glass shards by committing to temporary cups and plates that are Earth-friendly and compostable.” Judith Fertig writes cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS (JudithFertig.com).
Aging is not lost youth,
but a new stage of opportunity and strength. ~Betty Friedan
Natural Awakenings recommends using organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) and non-bromated ingredients whenever possible. natural awakenings
Healthy Tailgating Recipes bowl or large re-sealable plastic bag. Pour the dressing in and mix with the vegetables. Refrigerate four hours or overnight, stirring or shaking occasionally. Let come to room temperature before serving. Courtesy of Debbie Moose, Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat them all. Then stir in the cilantro. Refrigerate from 1 to 3 hours to let the flavors come together. Note: If using frozen corn, drain it well and lightly sauté in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil before adding it to the salad. This removes moisture that may make the salad watery. Courtesy of Debbie Moose, Southern Holidays: A Savor the South Cookbook.
Crowd-Pleasing Marinated Green Beans Yields: 8 servings This simple salad is easy to double or triple. Make it the day before the game and refrigerate. ½ large red onion, thinly sliced 1 /3 cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup herb-flavored white wine vinegar or regular white wine vinegar Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed, but left long Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the sliced onions in a colander over the sink. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until combined. Stir in the garlic. Set aside. When the water comes to a boil, add the green beans. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or just until the beans are bright green; do not overcook. Pour the beans and hot water over the onions in the colander. Rinse under cold running water to cool down. Drain well for a few minutes. Place the beans and onions in a large 26
Peace River Edition
Black Bean Summer Salad Yields: 8 side dishes or 4 light meals This salad is easily doubled to feed a crowd. 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and well drained 5 or 6 green onions, white and green parts, chopped 1 large sweet banana pepper, seeded and chopped 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp lime juice 2½ Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp chili powder Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 /3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves In a large bowl, toss together the corn, black beans, green onions, banana pepper and tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, chili powder, salt and pepper.
Chilled Red Bell Pepper Soup Yields: 4 small servings Quadruple this recipe to make soup for a larger gathering. Serve in small sipping cups—cold for games in hot weather or hot for games in cold weather. 1 red bell pepper, stemmed ½ cup low-fat Greek or dairy-free yogurt ¼ yellow onion 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 small/mini-cucumber ¼ cup rice vinegar 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 4 large garlic cloves
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Garnish: Flat leaf (Italian) parsley (minced optional) Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds Blend all main ingredients, except garnish, in a high-speed blender into purée. Serve topped with the parsley and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. Adapted from Daina Falk’s HungryFan.com.
bine the barbecue spice, flour and nut milk until smooth. Dredge each piece of cauliflower in the batter before placing it on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the cauliflower with barbecue sauce and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the baking sheet and plate alongside a dipping sauce of your choice. Adapted from Daina Falk’s HungryFan.com.
Michelada Yields: 8 servings Mix this cocktail in a pitcher and serve over ice. Part bloody Mary and part beer, the umami flavor comes from Maggi Seasoning, a bottled condiment available at better grocery stores.
Vegetarian-Friendly Barbecue Cauliflower Nuggets Yields: 8 appetizer servings Plant-based barbecue is a home run or touchdown. 1 head of cauliflower 1 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour 1 Tbsp barbecue spice blend 1 cup nut milk of choice 1 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce Accompaniment: Dipping sauce of choice Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and separate cauliflower florets into small- to medium-sized pieces. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com-
Coming Next Month Transformative
Travel Plus: Chiropractic October articles include: Life-Changing Travel Selecting a Chiropractor Bone-Density Exercises and so much more!
Glass Rimmer: Lime wedges (plus more for serving) 2 Tbsp kosher salt ½ tsp chili powder Michelada: 1 (32 oz) bottle of chilled Clamato (about 4 cups) 1 (32 oz) bottle or 3 (12 oz) bottles chilled Mexican lager ½ cup fresh lime juice 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp bottled hot sauce 1 tsp bottled Maggi Seasoning For the glass rimmer, mix the kosher salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub rims of pint glasses with lime wedges and dip in salt mixture. Set aside. Mix Clamato, lager, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and Maggi Seasoning in a large pitcher. Fill glasses with ice, top off with Michelada mixture and garnish with added lime wedges. Adapted from Judith Fertig’s 500 Mexican Dishes.
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One Essence Universal Mind and the Infinite Frontier
by Juliette Jones “Want the change. Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears. The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much as the curve of the body as it turns away.” ––Ranier Maria Rilke
onduality is the philosophical, spiritual and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness* (Science and Spirituality, a non-profit organization). The realization that everything exists in relation to everything else has been an underpinning of mystical traditions and God realization since the dawn of time. Until recently, the relatively young paradigm of modern mainstream Western science, which emerged around the time Issac Newton formalized the law of gravity, has not accommodated this awareness. However, the appearance of quantum mechanics and the superstring theory has birthed an expanded model of science that now challenges materialistic assumptions about reality. “We have no idea how deep the connection between us and reality goes.” ––Gregg Braden In 1944, inspired physicist and Nobel prize winner Max Plank, generally credited as the father of quantum mechanics, is quoted as having said, “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clearheaded science, to the study of matter, I can tell you that as the result of my research about the atoms, this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Spirit. This Spirit is the matrix of all matter.” “We all look forward to the day when science and religion shall walk hand in hand through the visible to the invisible. ––Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind For three hundred years, science has told the story of separation. Thankfully, the new science is based on connectedness. The day has already come when science and spirituality walk hand-in-hand, but typically, the leading edge discoveries about science and spirituality don’t make it into churches, classrooms or mainstream media.
Peace River Edition
In this cycle of world history, people know that something is wrong. Unsustainable systems of thinking and living are based on a perception of disconnectedness, fostered by a mainstream science which is now obsolete. Prior to modern mainstream science, for thousands of years, the human race had recognition of a nondualistic universe. For example, the indigenous Hawaiian culture understood that we live in an all-encompassing field of energy that permeates the material dimension, and various levels of reality were common knowledge. On the physical level, people and things appear separate. Everything has a beginning and ending, and every effect has a cause. Because in our culture, we still accept this view as the basis of reality, we see the world through a material lens. On the second level of reality, however, everything is connected to everything else through a vast matrix or web. On this level, we experience thought, feeling, ESP and forms of energy healing. In the Hawaiian culture, the essence of this was perceived, experienced and supported through rituals. On this level, time is now––there are no beginnings or endings, only cycles and transitions. Cultural agreement supported a different sense of being and augmented identification with the infinite Energy that cannot be created or destroyed. Accordingly, there are other levels or dimensions which become increasingly difficult to explain in words. On the third level, everything is part of a pattern that is in relationship to everything else. On the fourth level, everything is One. The basis of perception in this culture appears parallel to revelations of the new physics, suggesting descriptions of implicate higher dimensional realities. Dr. Eli M. Kolp is a psychiatrist residing in the Sarasota-Manatee area who specializes in unique methodologies to facilitate psycho-spiritual growth through the integration of body, mind and soul (KolpInstitute.org). I asked him to share a few thoughts on this subject:
Natural Awakenings: For hundreds of years, modern medical science has taught a doctrine of mind-body separation. Now quantum physics is beginning to assert a non-dualistic view. Do you think this will open the door to greater understanding of the mind-body continuum? Dr. Kolp: The vast majority of medical professionals continue to postulate that body (brain) is primary, and mind is the by-product of a working brain. In other words, it is brain that generates mind (consciousness). Of course, there is a respectful minority of the medical professionals who postulate that brain is not a “generator” of mind, but rather a “tuner” that converts consciousness into an individual mind. Materially oriented physicians believe healthy body creates healthy mind. Meanwhile, spiritually oriented physicians believe that healthy mind creates healthy body. I advocate both hypotheses and encourage my patients to take care of both mind and body.
NA: As the new science penetrates deeper levels of consciousness and connectedness, might medical science acknowledge internal methodologies such and prayer and meditation as recommended healing methods? Dr. Kolp: The idea of interconnectedness between humans and nature has been steadily gaining the recognition of science. Nevertheless, it is only a minority of mental scientists who desire to forge a working relationship with spirituality. The vast majority of scientists continue staying away from religion and seeing it as an oppressive tool. Personally, I do accept a sentiment that “religion and science are the two wings upon which human intelligence can soar into the heights.” It is a well-established fact that non-ordinary states of consciousness (NOSC) have great healing properties. Meanwhile, the two most popular tools for evoking NOSC (especially transpersonal or mystical experience) are prayer and meditation. Personally, I fancy mediation, as I’ve never been able to induce a mystical experience through prayer.
NA: Has quantum physics opened the door to mysticism? Dr. Kolp: In physics, a unified field theory attempts to describe the four fundamental forces (electromagnetic, gravitational, weak and strong) and matter (elementary particles) in terms of a single field. In other words, everything is made from something, and the universe is made from fields and nothing else (i.e. fields are not made from any smaller components). However, fields are not necessarily the most fundamental thing that exists in nature since there are the rules that these fields must obey. As a mystic, I envision universal consciousness to be the source of the rules of the unified field that holds the universe together. “You can talk about people like Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Confucius, but the thing that convinced me that such people existed were my conversations with Niels Bohr (eminent Nobel prize winning physicist).” ––John Wheeler, physicist and colleague of Einstein
calendarofevents FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 Guest Reader, Sherry Lord - 10:30am – 5:30pm. Sherry is a Reiki Master, Ordained Reverend, Teacher, Psychic Intuitive and Deeper Trance Channel. She can see angels, guides and auras as well as channel loved ones who have crossed over. Sherry is a versatile channel who can answer your questions, both business and personal, and help you on your spiritual path. *Deep Trance Channel sessions, in which Sherry allows Namara, a group of non-physical beings of pure love & light, to speak through her, are 50 minutes and charged at a higher rate. 15mins/$40, 30mins/$75, 60mins/$125, *Deep Trance Channel Sessions - 50mins/$175. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
SATURDAY, SEPTMBER 2 Shaman Journey – 2-5:30pm. Similar to a guided meditation, enhanced by the heartbeat of the large mother drum. An evolving experience into a parallel reality of the wonderful world of the Shaman’s dream, where the seen and unseen, known and unknown open up for you for guidance and insights, healing, guidance and clarity. RSVP, $25. At Rising Tide, 5102 Swift Rd. Sarasota, Rev. Zan Benham aka Butterfly Deerwoman, 941-922-7839. Zan@ Woman-Spirit.com, Woman-Spirit.com.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 ECK Light and Sound Service – 11am-noon. How Does God Speak to Us? God speaks through dreams, intuition, and sometimes the voices of other people, but we must have an open heart and the discrimination through singing HU to know wisdom when we hear it. Free, Charlotte County Cultural Center, Rm A, 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte, 941-358-0325, Meetup.com/EckankarInSarasota.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 “WOW! Way of Wholeness” Voyager Tarot Class with James Wanless – 7-9pm. Elysian Fields welcomes back James Wanless, internationally-acclaimed creator of the Voyager Tarot deck for this engaging class. Experience “Whole Self Mandala” – the signature Voyager Tarot roadmap for creating a life of wholeness for being happy, healthy, balanced, and wealthy. In today’s changing, complex, demanding, and uncertain world, it’s essential to have a personal growth path and practice to be whole, synergized, and to live a life of purpose. Learn this empowering manifestation formula, have fun, and take home your complimentary Voyager Card as your guiding light! Pre-registration is required, $40. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 Guest Reader, James Wanless - 10:30am–5:30pm. James Wanless, internationally-acclaimed creator of the Voyager Tarot deck, will be available for private readings at Elysian Fields for two days only. Readings, $75/30 minutes, $135/60 minutes. Sessions are very popular, so be sure to reserve your appointment in advance. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-3613006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 Community HU Chant – 11am-noon. Need help in dealing with every day or difficult situations? Singing the word HU, a love song to God, can help.
Come experience it for yourself by listening or chanting HU with others for 20 minutes. It is for everyone of any background or religious belief. Light refreshments follow. Free, Jacaranda Library, Children’s Activity Rm, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd, Venice, 941-358-0325, Meetup.com/EckankarInSarasota. Guest Reader, James Wanless - 10:30am – 5:30pm. James Wanless, internationally-acclaimed creator of the Voyager Tarot deck, will be available for private readings at Elysian Fields for two days only. Readings, $75/30 minutes, $135/60 minutes. Sessions are very popular, so be sure to reserve your appointment in advance. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Monthly Anchoring Light Channeled Meditation Charlotte County - 6:45pm. With Rev. Sharon-Elizabeth James - Serving the Ascension of our planet with the Ascended Realms as Anchors of Light every Monday since July 16, 2007! Love Offering. Port Charlotte Beach Park, Room A, Port Charlotte.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 Guest Reader, Deborah Chadwick - 10:30am– 5:30pm. Using a deck of regular playing cards, Deborah is able to communicate with her guides and angels, quickly receiving very specific information for her clients. Throughout her readings, Deborah brings forth humor and healing to aid her clients in achieving a higher level of understanding and focus.15mins/$30, 30mins/$60, 45mins/$80. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Elysian Fields – 26th Anniversary Sale!! 10am–6pm. Elysian Fields invites the community to join them at their 26th Anniversary Sale. As a “Thank You” to their loyal customers over the years, all merchandise will be 20% - 70% off storewide. (Not valid on readings or prior purchases.) Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 Elysian Fields – 26th Anniversary Sale!! 10am–6pm. Elysian Fields invites the community to join them at their 26th Anniversary Sale. As a “Thank You” to their loyal customers over the years, all merchandise will be 20% - 70% off storewide. (Not valid on readings or prior purchases.) Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 Elysian Fields – 26th Anniversary Sale!! 10am–6pm. Elysian Fields invites the community to join them at their 26th Anniversary Sale. As a “Thank You” to their loyal customers over the years, all merchandise will be 20% - 70% off storewide. (Not valid on readings or prior purchases.) Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 Free Pain Elimination Seminar and Demonstration – 6-7pm. This technique will balance the energy in the body and delete the discomfort. Join Heidi for a powerful and rewarding experience with a with a non-invasive, no hands technique. Heidi will remove the pain caused by energetic blockages and improve the quality of life. At Wild Ginger Apothecary, 6553 Superior Ave. (Gulf Gate Shopping Village), Sarasota. RSVP, for more info, 941-544-8388, Heidi@LifeBalance.life. Have You Had a Spiritual Experience? – 6:307:30 pm. Have you had dreams of a departed loved one, an out-of-body or near-death experience, wonder about past lives? Learn more with like-minded people. Receive a CD with special techniques given as a gift to all attendees. Free, Elsie Quirk Library conference rm,100 West Dearborn St., Englewood. 941-358-0325, Meetup.com/EckankarInSarasota.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Dances of Universal Peace - 7pm. Dances and Phrases are taught along with simple steps. Combining folk dancing, kirtan chanting & meditation. No experience required. Tamara Short-guitar and Susan Slack-drums, $10 suggested. Venice Gardens Civic Assoc, 406 Shamrock Blvd, Venice, VenicePeaceProject.org.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Have You Had a Spiritual Experience? – 11 am - noon. Have you had dreams of a departed loved one, an out-of-body or near-death experience, wonder about past lives? Learn more with like-minded people. Receive a CD with special techniques given as a gift to all attendees. Free. Mid-County Regional Library, Meeting Room B, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte. 941358-0325, Meetup.com/EckankarInSarasota Have You Had a Spiritual Experience? – 11am - noon. Come share and/or learn about spiritual experiences such as coincidences, guidance from departed ones or angels, dreams, past lives, soul travel. These topics come from the Spiritual Experiences Guidebook which will be given as a gift to attendees. Free. Woodmere Park, Rm B1, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, 941-358-0325, Meetup.com/EckankarInSarasota.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 360 Degree Wellness Open House - 6-8 pm. Learn about natural approaches to health and wellness including Acupuncture, Homeopathy, and Qigong. No Charge. 7053 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite A, 941-525-3752, 360DegreeWellness.com. “How to Connect with Ascended Beings of Light and Forge a Personal Connection” class with Indira - 7–9pm. In this interactive and lively class, we’ll learn how to connect with the Ascended Beings of Light - our elder Brothers and Sisters who’ve grappled with many of the same issues we are facing. Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Mother Mary, Kuan Yin, and St.Germain are but a few of the Ascended Hosts who desire to help us along our spiritual paths. Learn how these Light Beings can assist you to move through challenges quickly and discover which Being is offering to personally mentor you. Indira will lead a beautiful, deep meditation to the 5th Plane of Existence and each attendee will receive a personal and timely message. Please bring a notepad, pen, water bottle and a crystal of your choice. Prepayment required, $25. Elysian Fields, Midtown Plaza, 1273 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota. 941-361-3006, ElysianFieldsOnline.com.
Peace River Edition
ongoingevents sunday Sunday Services Cosmic Center – 10am Hands on Spiritual Healing. 10:30am Open Arms Metaphysical Spiritualist Service: Inspirational lectures and messages from your loved ones and friends on “The Other Side”. Reverends Thomas & Mary Linn Clarke. The Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light, 5041 Ringwood Mdw, Bldg G-2, Sarasota. 941-3719333. ccosl.com. Unity of Sarasota-10:30am. 3023 Proctor. Rev Elizabeth Thompson shows the expressions of God we are. Music: Rob Satori. 3023 Proctor Rd., Sarasota 941-350-3301, UnityOfSarasota.org. Sunday Worship Service – 10:30am. Start your week renewed and encouraged. Join the CMF for a morning of inspiration, spiritual healing, inspirational talk, special music and Spirit messages. Fellowship period follows the service. Center for Metaphysical Fellowship, 2044 Bispham Rd, Sarasota. 941-266-8435. cmfSarasota.org. Chess – 11am-3pm. The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte. Info & sign-up 941-625-4175. A Cosmic In-Service Gathering of Lightworkers – 12:15pm. A call to Planetary World Servers to Anchor Light and work with our Family of Light to bridge Heaven and Earth. Reverend Dr. Sharon-Elizabeth James. The Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light, 5041 Ringwood Mdw, Bldg G-2, Sarasota. 941-371-9333. ccosl.com. Open Heart Divine Healing Service – First Sunday. 12:15pm. Through the Gathering of the faithful, experience and co-create the Anchoring of Powerful Divine Healing Energies within the Sacred Circle. Expect miracles! Reverend Dr.Sharon-Elizabeth James. The Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light, 5041 Ringwood Mdw, Bldg G-2, Sarasota. 941-371-9333. ccosl.com. Buddhist Wisdom for Everyday Life, Meditation, and Dharma Talk - 4-5:30pm, first 3 Sundays. Venice Holistic Community Center, 714 Shamrock, Venice, 941-323-8033, Vvhcc1@gmail. com, VeniceHolisticCenter.org.
monday Gentle Mixed Yoga – 9:30-11am. Gentle mixed level yoga. All levels and bodies welcome. $10. 238 W Tampa Ave, Ste 250, Venice. 941-468-0403.
The Greater Charlotte Harbor Group of the Sierra Club – 7-9pm. 3rd Tuesday monthly. Open to the public, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to discover what your local Sierra Club is all about. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd, Port Charlotte. Info, 941423-2713, AllainHale@hotmail.com. Anchoring Light Channeled Meditation Charlotte County – 7:45pm. 2nd Tuesday monthly. Reverend Sharon-Elizabeth James. Serving the Ascension of our planet with the Ascended Realms as Anchors of Light since July 2007. Love Offering. The Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light, 5041 Ringwood Mdw, Bldg G-2, Sarasota. 941-371-9333, ccosl.com.
wednesday Free Healing Clinic – 4-6:30pm. Our Masters tap into the Divine Source of energy to balance and heal your being. Relax and enjoy this renewing and enlightening experience. Love Donation Appreciated. Angel Ministries, 2269 S Tamiami Trl, Venice. Rev Patricia Charnley, 941-492-4995, email@example.com, angelministriesfl.org. Square Dancing – 7-9pm. The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte. 941-625-4175.
thursday Kundalini Yoga/Gong Meditation – 8-9:30am. A blend of postures, mantra & gong meditation offering a technology that aligns with the ever-evolving universe. All levels. $15; $52/4; $88/8. Moving Toward Stillness Wellness Center, Osprey. 941812-8695. Zumba/Yoga Class with Allison – 9-10am. Feel young & energetic on Venice Beach. Dance & relax. Donations. W Venice Ave, on the Beach, Venice. VeniceInformationCenter.com. Englewood Farmers’ Market – 9am-2pm. Find a wide range of fruits, organic vegetables, fresh baked German breads, gourmet French foods, fresh seafood, bonsai plants, orchids, garden plants, kettle corn and much more! Olde Englewood Village, W Dearborn St, Englewood, EnglewoodFarmersMarket.org. Gentle Mixed Yoga – 9:30-11am. Gentle mixed level yoga. All levels & bodies welcome. $10. 238 W Tampa Ave, Ste 250, Venice. 941-468-0403.
Deep Water Aerobics – 10-10:45am. Some swimming ability required. $3. S County Regional Park, 670 Cooper St, Punta Gorda. 941-629-0170, 941505-8686.
Gentle Mixed Yoga – 9:30-11am. Gentle mixed level yoga. All levels & bodies welcome. $10. 238 W Tampa Ave, Ste 250, Venice. 941-468-0403.
Awakening Spirit Kundalini Yoga – 11am12:15pm. Awaken spiritual energy with breath, movement and meditation, with Jana and Hannah. $10. Venice Holistic Community Center, 714 Shamrock Blvd, Venice. Register 941-488-1828.
Transformative Yoga – 5:30-6:45pm. The literal translation of Nidra is sleep. However, Yoga Nidra is a dynamic state, not the unconscious sleep of nighttime. It has the ability to alter your unconscious programming. You tap into creative powers beyond the ego-mind and have access to healing on physical, mental and emotional planes. First class complimentary, $10 thereafter. Venice Holistic Community Center, 714 Shamrock Blvd, Venice. Register, Facilitator Rick Rabalais 941-539-9149.
Mindful Movement – Noon-1pm. Qigong with Daniele. $10. Sarasota Mindfulness Institute, 1530 Dolphin St, Studio 6, Burns Ct, Sarasota. Details SarasotaMindfulness.org/calendar.html. Open Gym Basketball – 5-8pm. Drop in & enjoy a game of indoor basketball. Shoot some hoops. Play 3 on 3, 5 on 5 or a pickup game with friends. Times subject to change. $2/player. Tringali Recreation Ctr, 3460 N Access Rd, Englewood.
Gentle Restorative Yoga – 6pm. Unwind the body with this gentle restorative class. All levels. $15/first class free. Moving Toward Stillness Wellness Center, Osprey. 941-266-6962. Law of Attraction Class – 7-9pm. Jan 12 to May 25. This class takes you to the leading edge, working with the Principles of the Laws of Cause/Effect or Sow/Reap. We are entering a study series of intention for living life as masterfully as we can, given our various quirks and preferences. $10. Unity of Sarasota, 3023 Proctor Rd, Sarasota. Rev Zan Benham, 941-922-7839. Zan@Woman-Spirit. com. Woman-Spirit.com.
friday Mindful Basics at SMI – 8:30-9:45am, Yoga Basics with Larisa, $10. Noon-1pm Sitting Meditation, Donation. Sarasota Mindfulness Institute, 1530 Dolphin St, Studio 6, Burns Ct, Sarasota. Details: SarasotaMindfulness.org/calendar.html. Astrology Fridays at the Power of One – 11am3pm. Know thyself and know what’s coming in your future. New relationship, order a synastry chart. Accurate, affordable prices. Call for an appointment or stop by the store to talk. Ask for Astrology Bob. $35/Natal or Progressed chart. The Power of One Metaphysical Shop, 238 W Tampa Ave, Venice. 941-493-6096. Private Readings Walk-in – 6-7:30pm. End your work week on a pleasant note, and with helpful guidance from your spirit guides and angels! Come and receive a 15-minute message from a loved one or guide from one of our gifted workers. Stop anytime during 6-7:15pm on Fridays, no appointments needed. Two workers available; minimum wait time, if any. $20 donation. Center for Metaphysical Fellowship, 2044 Bispham Rd, Sarasota. 941-266-8435. cmfSarasota.org. Friday Night Concert – 7-9pm. Join us in Downtown Venice for our Free Friday Night Concert series at the Gazebo in Centennial Park, 200 W Venice Ave, Venice. Info MainStreet.com.
saturday Punta Gorda Farmers Market – 8am-Noon. Voted the ‘Best Small Market in Florida’ and 15th in the USA, we have a large number of vendors offering fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, Italian bakery, fresh homemade pasta, kitchenware, cupcakes, beef and fresh seafood, fresh citrus, jewelry, candles and soaps, dip mixes, Florida arts and crafts, cheese, French bakery, baguettes and olives, homemade pies, orchids, organic produce, personalized pens, kettlecorn, coffee beans and drinks, native and exotic plants. Taylor St (across from Historic Charlotte County Courthouse), Punta Gorda. 941-391-4856. Info@ PGDowntownMerchants.com. Venice Farmers Market – 8am-1pm. Every Saturday morning, local farmers, fisherman, craftsmen, bakers, artists and others gather in the heart of historic downtown for a weekly celebration of the best of Venice where you can get fresh seasonal Florida fruits and vegetables direct from local farms. You can’t find any fresher shrimp or seafood. There’s incredible tasty homemade baked goods, trinkets, crafts, soaps, flowers, plants, locally roasted coffee, and more. Tampa Ave between Nokomis & Nassau. 941-929-5304. TheVeniceFarmersMarket.com. Bradenton Farmers’ Market – 9am-2pm. Over thirty-five vendors offering locally-grown fruits, vegetables, plants, organic products, fresh seafood, prepared foods, as well as the s of local artists, craftspeople and musicians. 1005 1st Ave W, Bradenton. 941-932-9440. RealizeBradenton. com/our_vendors. Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market – 9am2pm. Featuring a special activity including guest chefs, raffles, arts & crafts vendors, children’s activities. Old Main St, Downtown parking/free on weekends. Dogs on leashes welcome. 941-744-7484. Psychic Fair – 10am-3pm. 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Are you searching, questioning and seeking answers? Choose from some of the best Intuitive Artists in the area! See what your future holds! Complimentary refreshments. Private Readings $1/Min. Angel Ministries, 2269 S Tamiami Trl, Venice. Rev Patricia Charnley, 941-492-4995, firstname.lastname@example.org, AngelMinistriesfl.org.
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