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DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 12 inspiration 7 event brief 13 resource guide 11 healing ways 15 classifieds
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SAN DIEGO EDITION
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letter from publisher
h my! If you could see me now. My mind is racing faster than I can type—and for good cause. I have a toddler to tend to while I try to capture my thoughts and put them into words. I’ve been thinking a lot today about politics and truth. Authenticity and vulnerability are strong words that hold such meaning. If they were the main theme of politics, I imagine we would have one leader we could all trust. The truth prevails and yet we must dig and search so hard to find it. The truth resides within all of us. The trick is getting to it through all the layers of cultural shaping, self-deception and emotional pain. We all envision life through our own lenses; yet Earth has one global, unbiased lense. It reacts to truth rapidly. COVID 19 hits, the earth reacts, regenerates and heals. It follows what comes naturally. If only humans could do the same. I have been told over and over again that I’m an open book. For years, I wasn’t sure how to take that. I do now. I can tell it “like it is” without shame and without caring anymore what others think. Isn’t that how our precious Earth heals itself? This month, we feature an article on sharing our narrative with our children. Kids love to hear about their heritage. It gives them such a feeling of belonging. And isn’t that what we’re all after? Feeling like we belong, like we are loved and valued by our tribe? Speaking of tribes, since coronavirus hit, I’ve reunited with many family members and friends from my past. They are my teachers and I am theirs. If we could be like the earth and see each other’s thoughts and actions through each other’s eyes we would all be sympatico, compassionate and forgiving. It must start with the truth. Knowing who you are and why you are is so crucial to healing. Mother Earth is our global teacher. I think about what we are up against right now. We are not all in the same boat. Some are sailing in yachts and others are in dinghies without oars. However, we are all the same. I had a friend ask me many years ago, who would you be if everything you owned was taken away? Great question to ponder. I believe many rich will get richer and the poor will grow poorer. On the upside, I see these times as an opportunity to reinvent the way we navigate through our lives and livelihoods. Virtual businesses may save a lot of overhead. Out of the box thinkers and entrepreneurs can excel in times of vast rapid changes. It’s happening right now in my tiny little world. Instead of focusing on what you’re losing, think about what you can gain from change and how to employ those who can’t think that way in lieu of making them slaves of labor. Offer them a piece of a pie! Create synergistic teams. Every downside has an upside and these times are no different. We just need to think more like Mother Earth. Our beautiful planet does not capitalize on the weak; she reinvents herself in harmony, restores what was destroyed, and comes out more magnificent than ever before.
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Where to Find Print Copies of Natural Awakenings
Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. Partners with KnoWEwell Collaborative
n light of the coronavirus, Natural Awakenings has increased the magazine’s online HOW TO TRAVELING VACATION media presence to continue to IN PLACE LOCALLY offer local readers the healthy BRAIN PLEASERS living news they have been 6 FATHERS KNOW accustomed to reading on a FATHER BEST KNOWS monthly basis for more than a BEST decade in San Diego. In addiPower Up tion to ramping up the digital Your Brain and social media presence, Natural Awakenings continues to serve the community with print editions of each monthly issue. The June issue can currently be found at Frasier Farms in Vista and Oceanside, Lazy Acres in Encinitas, the Seaside Market in Cardiff, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market in Ocean Beach, D.Z. Akins restaurant in La Mesa, Windmill Farms in La Mesa, and Eldahmy Wellness Pharmacies in Barrio Logan and La Jolla. “We will continue to add more distribution locations as more businesses open their doors,” assures Elaine Russo, Natural Awakenings publisher. “And please don’t hesitate to let us know of any stores, farmer’s markets, and other essential services that would be open to having copies of Natural Awakenings. We’ll ensure that our wonderful distribution company, AA Distribution Services, delivers copies of the magazine to any location that’s willing to distribute our beloved magazine.” In addition, Natural Awakenings offers a monthly subscription for those interested in home delivery. “There are so many ways for you to stay connected with us. Reach out to us if this sounds like the right option for you and we’ll get your subscription started,” says Russo.
atural Awakenings Publishing Corp. (NAPC) is entering into a partnership with KnoWEwell, P.B.C., and a Founding Patron of The KnoWEwell Collaborative. KnoWEwell, a B Certified Pending and 1% for the Planet company, received the Top 50 Healthcare Companies award from the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Whittle says, “It’s one centralized private, secure online platform to inspire and empower individuals with today’s knowledge, evidenced-based resources and collaborative ‘wholistic’ community to help them address the root causes of chronic diseases and achieve optimal health and well-being.” Whittle points out thats KnoWEwell is “the missing link designed to provide people with peace of mind throughout their life journey—a collaborative with personal and professional benefits for all in the ‘wholistic’ ecosystem: individuals, families, providers and organizations. Our purpose is to improve the health of humanity and our planet.” NAPC and KnoWEwell are perfectly mission aligned, adds Whittle. “Natural Awakenings’ well-researched, practical information about the latest natural approaches to nutrition, fitness, personal growth and sustainable living played a significant role in fueling the wellness revolution. We’re grateful to collaborate with them.” NAPC Chief Executive Officer Sharon Bruckman says, “Our Natural Awakenings family of 60 publishers is excited about the new resources and opportunities this new partnership brings to our community of readers, providers and organizations. We are honored to be playing such a significant role in the launch and future growth of this incredibly sophisticated platform which will result in tremendous benefits to members.”
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Virtual Networking for Female Entrepreneurs
omen’s Wisdom will host a virtual networking event for female entrepreneurs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 11. This online event, held the second Thursday of each month, features breakout room introductions, a guest speaker, sponsor showcase, member announcements, gratitude shout-outs, gifts and an optional after-party for women seeking additional networking opportunities. This networking and relationship-building group was designed for purpose-driven, soul inspired female entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurial women love the buzz and success of other women. They find the creativity and movement exciting, inspirational and they give back to help one another,” says Women’s Wisdom founder, Judy Ann Foster. “Who wouldn’t want to get to know power women like that?” For more information and to register, call 760-703-9941 or visit WomensWisdom.net.
Transformative Staycations Finding Respite and Adventure Close to Home by April Thompson
San Diego Edition
Colorado Parks and Wildlife. In Colorado parks, people can, for example, river raft in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area; boat, fish and hammock camp in Jackson Lake State Park; and rock climb in Eldorado Canyon. Parks can be discovered and trail maps downloaded by visiting TrailLink. com, run by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. It provides searches for nearby trails using parameters such as distance, types of activity and wheelchair accessibility. Its smartphone TrailLink app is free to download and $30 per year for unlimited customized use. State, local and regional parks across the country offer rich educational opportunities for kids and adults alike, including naturalist-guided activities, bird and botany walks, lessons in local history, ecology and geography, and more. Several states offer free admission to all state-run parks, including Hawaii, Tennessee and Illinois. Stateby-state listings of fees and policies can be found at Tinyurl.com/StateParkPasses.
Making a Quick Getaway
Weekend forays into natural and rustic settings can be ideal escape valves for people needing a simple, quick change of venue. Camping, of course, is always an option, but for those that want to be in nature in a more comfy fashion, using “cabin” as a search word works well in websites like Airbnb.com and TripAdvisor. com. The option of glamping—or glamorous camping—offers surprisingly luxurious stays outdoors in tents, pods and domes; check out Glamping.com. Getaway.House offers woodsy outposts in 10 locations equipped with “tiny house” cabins around the country designed for quick escapes from cities. “If you were at your desk in need of an escape, you could cut out early and be there by 6 p.m.,” says Vice President of Marketing Rachel Mansfield. The private experience, with no check-in desk or communal areas, enables it to continue operating safely during the pandemic. The cabins, designed to blend in with their natural surroundings, are
taycations—sticking close to home for new travel experiences—was a growing trend even before the COVID-19 pandemic turned it into a practical necessity for many of us. Staycations reduce costs, minimize travel time and also lower our carbon footprint by eliminating international travel. Happily, they don’t reduce the pure pleasure of finding new adventures, exploring untrammeled nature, seeing the familiar with fresh eyes and meeting people from all walks of life. All of that is close at hand, and especially when compared to foreign jaunts, the price is right. A good place to start is by checking out state and regional parks, often overlooked gems offering scenic miles of trails for hiking, biking, birding, fishing, picnicking and other activities. “Whether mountains, prairies, rivers, forests in the country or heart of the city, there is always a state park waiting to welcome you, no matter what kind of recreation you enjoy,” says Jason Clay, spokesperson with
equipped with food for purchase, stove, books, radio, firewood, fire pit and Adirondack chairs, as well as a map for local hikes and adventures. “I did a getaway at a point in my life where I wanted some time alone, away from commitments, to figure out what my next chapter in life was going to be,” says Paige Conner Totaro, of Alexandria, Virginia, the founder of Unquote Travel, a web-based tour agency focusing on small group, off-the-beaten-track adventures. “You can change your environment without going very far, and that in turn can change the way you think about things. Little things like sleeping on the other side of the bed can help you shake up your brain.”
run the gamut from neighborhood tours on foot or bikes with athletes to museum tours led by local artists or art historians. Many include a hands-on learning component, like how to make mosaics in a community art space or cook a local delicacy from a family recipe. Similar tours and experiences can be found on TripAdvisor’s Things To Do listings. WithLocals.com, whose mission is “to break down the barriers between travelers and locals worldwide,” also offers foodie fun and off-beat adventures.
Kelly Kniewel stumbled onto tour guiding after experiencing burnout in her previous career in the beverage industry. An Airbnb Experiences host, Kniewel now leads small group tours of Chicago, introducing locals and visitors alike to many of its little-known facets. “I’ve fallen in love with my city all over again doing these tours,” says Kniewel, a self-proclaimed history geek. She loves to take guests inside Art Deco and Beaux Arts buildings they may have passed before without realizing the
Local-led excursions are another way to see our home turf through a new lens. Airbnb Experiences, offered virtually everywhere that Airbnb lists lodging, are one-of-a-kind tours and classes designed and hosted by locals with unique expertise. Experiences
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gorgeous art and architecture that exists inside, such as the library-turned-cultural center, Chicago Cultural Center, boasting two impressive glass domes, one designed by Tiffany Glass. Another favorite excursion is taking guests on a water taxi tour. “It’s a cheap and unique way to see Chicago. The water, both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, is so much a part of who we are as a city.” During the limitations imposed during the COVID-19 period, Airbnb and other websites began offering experiences online, allowing people from all over the world to connect and make pastries with a Swedish baker, draw with a Mexican cartoonist, learn about apartheid from a South African or experience a day in the life of an American Olympic bobsledder.
Traveling the World Without Leaving Home
Hosting travelers can bring new meaning to a staycation, offering a rich opportunity for cross-cultural exchange without any exchange of currency. The popular CouchSurfing.com connects travelers with locals offering free use of a couch, air mattress or spare bedroom. Available in more than 200,000 cities worldwide, it has 14 million members and sponsors local language exchanges, dance classes, hikes and dinners, so there are opportunities to make new friends and have new experiences even without offering a place to sleep. (During
COVID-19 restrictions, these activities were moved online.) Similar organizations that offer opportunities for local hosting (including low- or no-cost lodging) include Servas. org, established in 1949, which stresses world peace and cultural exchange, and pre-interviews potential guests and hosts to ensure safety; GlobalFreeloaders.com, a free registry for hosts and guests that do their own online screening and matching; and EvergreenClub.com, in which hosts provide a bed-and-breakfast homestay for travelers over age 50 for $20 a night. An exciting option for homeowners is HomeExchange.com, a $150-a-year service that allows people in far-flung places to switch homes, either directly or through a staggered point system so they can truly live like locals. John Fackenthal, of Rockville, Maryland, has hosted more than 100 couchsurfers from 29 countries, and loved every experience. “I had a big apartment in the heart of Washington, D.C., when I first started hosting, but lived alone and felt a little isolated. I wanted to bring back the youth hostel feel from travels in my younger days, where you’d hang out with fellow travelers and go hiking, share a meal or play cards,” he says. A web developer, he recalls such memorable guests as a carpenter in his 60s from the Pacific Northwest that helped him with fixer-upper projects, a pair of pro volleyball
players from the Czech Republic and two young women from China that prepared him a massive traditional Chinese feast “with all four burners going,” he says. “It’s restored my faith in humanity. I’ve encountered nothing but wonderful people, all with such different personalities and backgrounds.”
Be a Weekend Farmer
Agrotourism, in which working farms open the barn doors to visitors for day or overnight trips, has the added advantage of supporting local agriculture. AgritourismWorld.com and FarmStayUS.com provide listings for farm stays worldwide searchable by type, such as Christmas tree farm, vineyard, orchard, dude ranch or alpaca farm. The 40-acre Taos Goji Farm and Eco-Lodge Retreat, in Taos, New Mexico, is one such venue. “My husband and I returned to the land nine years ago after many years working as professionals in stuffy offices. The farm has been developed for our family and others who wish to be close to nature and to live off of the land,” says co-owner Elizabeth vom Dorp. The farm is open for paid guests, as well as to the volunteers known as “Wwoofers” that come through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms to help raise goji berries, fruits, vegetables and free-range chickens. All cabins date from the early 1900s, including an old dairy barn converted into a duplex and five sheep herder cabins. The farm is surrounded by a national forest, so many guests visit to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, rafting and ballooning. “Families with children love to come and pick berries, collect eggs and pet the animals. We have rescue alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens and turkeys,” says vom Dorp. While the world may still be at the mercy of unfortunate circumstances this summer, travel is ultimately a state of mind. By staying open, curious and present, there are always new encounters and discoveries underfoot very close to home. Connect with Washington, D.C., freelance writer April Thompson at AprilWrites.com.
San Diego Edition
POWER UP YOUR BRAIN Six Ways to Boost Blood Flow Orla/Shutterstock.com
by Ronica O’Hara
meat for soy and fish protein, eating antioxidant-rich produce such as pomegranate, blueberries, spinach and kale, and consuming lots of nitrate-rich food like celery and leafy greens which are converted to NO in the body. He especially recommends beets—one study reported that in juice form, it increases nitric oxide levels by 21 percent in 45 minutes—as well as dark chocolate. In a Harvard study, older people that drank two cups of hot chocolate a day for 30 days had improved blood flow to the brain and better memory.
Take amino acid supplements. “Consuming supple-
ments containing both L-arginine and L-citrulline are welldocumented to boost the production of endothelium-derived NO,” says Ignarro. “Adding antioxidants to the amino acid mix provides added benefit by increasing NO levels.” He recommends pomegranate extract, cocoa flavonols and omega-3 supplements.
Move the body. Fast walking, running, cycling, swimming,
ur brain has many well-known structures like the amygdala that detects danger and the prefrontal cortex that enables planning, but we often take for granted the 400 miles of blood vessels that push through a liter of blood per minute, carrying in oxygen and nutrients, and porting out wastes. “Our brains are highly metabolic organs, so they require lots of nutrients and oxygen to function properly, and those can only get to our brain when we have good blood flow,” says naturopathic physician Emilie Wilson, of the Synergy Wellness Center, in Prescott, Arizona. When that blood flow is optimal, we feel energized and clear-headed; when it’s low, we feel foggy and listless. Low levels of cranial blood flow have been linked in brain imaging studies to strokes and dementia, as well as bipolar disorder, depression and suicidal tendencies. The first imperative for healthy cranial blood flow is to make sure our blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol numbers are in a healthy range. Health practitioners can help us address that, as well as the conditions linked to reduced blood flow—heart disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, anemia, depression and smoking. To boost brain blood flow, specific lifestyle strategies have proven to be highly effective:
Eat strategically, especially beets and chocolate.
Nitric oxide (NO) is made in the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line blood vessels; it relaxes the inner muscles of those vessels, maximizing blood flow. “The continuous formation of NO in the brain is essential to life,” says prominent pharmacologist Louis Ignarro, Ph.D., who received the Nobel Prize in Science in 1998 for discovering that humans produce NO and that it lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow. He advocates passing up
ball playing, weight lifting and yoga all help improve cranial blood flow, says Ignarro: “Physical activity stimulates the production of NO in all arteries, including those in the brain.” In one study, women over 60 that walked for 30 to 50 minutes three or four times a week increased ongoing cranial blood flow up to 15 percent. Yoga exercises like downward dog and shoulder stands also raise blood flow in the head.
Play music. Research using functional magnetic resonance
imaging published in Scientific Reports found that blood flow in the brain increases when people listen to music they love, whether it’s Mozart or Eminem. In a recent study, Weightless, a song written by the British group Macaroni Union along with sound therapists, reduced participants’ anxiety levels by 65 percent and physiological resting rates by 35 percent.
Do a chanting meditation. Kirtan Kriya, a 12-minute
daily meditation that includes chanting, finger movements and visualization, “has been researched for over 18 years and has documented benefits in increasing blood flow to the brain,” says Krystal Culler, senior Atlantic fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute, in San Francisco and Ireland. YouTube offers several versions, as does the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (Tinyurl.com/12MinuteYogaMeditation).
Consider acupuncture and craniosacral therapy.
“Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to boost blood flow, and it can also relax tense muscles in the neck and head, which can impair blood flow more than we realize,” says Wilson. She also recommends the gentle, hands-on-head approach of craniosacral therapy: “It can directly improve blood flow by removing restrictions, and it can also rebalance sympathetic and parasympathetic functions, which has beneficial effects on our nervous system and on blood flow.” Ronica O’Hara is a Denver-based health writer. Connect at OHaraRonica@gmail.com. June 2020
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Fathers Know Best
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by Neal Allen
ads, lighten up. Yes, all dads project their own fears and hopes on their children. If Dad dreamed of becoming a first baseman for the Yankees, he’ll push Johnny into baseball, ignoring his son’s preference for woodworking. If Dad harbored hopes of being the next Hemingway, he’ll praise Mary’s poetry, and maybe skip a few of her tedious soccer games. Those are the facts, ma’am. Dads have a habit of imposing their own success goals on their kids. It’s not built into fatherhood to let kids willy-nilly develop their own talents and dreams. Does that ruin the kids? Who knows? It happens in just about every family, so good luck finding a control group for the experiment. There may be no hope for the kids, but how about the dads? What might happen if they notice this odd behavior and how might that lighten their own loads? Most of us dads, most of the time, initially take on the responsibility of fatherhood—income, protection, education—with drive and purpose. We make compromises with our pre-dad selves. The sports car gets traded in for a minivan. Playing guitar becomes a hobby, not a professional goal. We sign on at the warehouse. New dads around the country are making these changes every day, and mostly with alacrity. It’s later, when the perfect infant becomes the complaining toddler or
rejecting teenager, that the vexing notion arises that another life could have been lived. This form of nostalgia—for what never came—is bitter. The word “nostalgia”, after all, comes from the Greek for “the pain of going home”. But by seeing himself project his dreams on his children, a father can also see how he’s holding onto a suspect belief that another life would have been better. With maturity, a dad can revisit his adolescent dreams; not nostalgically, but with the wisdom that comes with age. Did I really have a chance at the Yankees? Be real. Weren’t there two guys in high school alone who had more talent? Asking these questions, a father might even notice that no one in the family measures his worth in worldly achievements. A dad is best remembered in his capacity for love, kindness, forgiveness, everyday strength and friendliness. Your child may know you’re a master carpenter. But what she remembers is that day when you gently showed her the right way to hold a hammer. Neal Allen is a spiritual coach and author who shares seven children, step-children and grandchildren with his wife, writer Anne Lamott. His book on a new path to personal freedom will be released by Hierophant Publishers in spring 2021. For more information, visit ShapesOfTruth.com.
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