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Letter from Publisher

As I worked on this month’s issue, I kept being distracted by headlines inundating us with reports of hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes and shootings along with the untimely passing of familiar faces. Suddenly unimaginably awful events “out there somewhere” struck home. My neighboring Napa community was incinerated, fellow publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico struggle to find balance for their family and help rebuild their island’s natural living community in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island had her home burn to the ground from an electrical fire.

As a teen, I experienced a fire in our home and the recent events triggered a deep grief and sadness for displaced neighbors. Another sister publisher shared a comforting quote by Fred Rogers that’s held true this year,  “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me: Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” We know that thousands are also praying for the many communities in upheaval, sending love and healing energy.

Serendipitously, along comes April Thompson’s article, “Sacred Silence: Discover the Benefits of a Silent Retreat.” I have been craving this very thing for some time and am now mapping out my next meditation adventure to help counter the general mental chaos. My first 10-day silent retreat several years ago was life-changing. Its initial gifts included a nurturing sense of solace and healing. Witnessing myself move through this experience was fascinating and ultimately stirred an undeniable shift in my perspective on just about everything. I left there with the desire that everyone would give themselves this uniquely individual gift.

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
~Tom Petty


I crave silence now—relishing quiet and alone time for just being. Previously I preferred to always be busy, companioned by people and on the go. Now I bask in every bit of peaceful calm in my life and find myself wanting more. It’s all a result of participating in silent retreats and stretching past old comfort zones. I have found much healing in silence (for an inspired treat, see NaturalAwakeningsMag.com/Natural-Awakenings/March-2013/The-Healing-Power-of-Silence).

I feel like I’ve discovered the keys to heaven’s kingdom right here, under my nose the whole time. Embracing it has been a simple choice.

Many blessings,

Celeste Signature

Celeste Souza, Publisher

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