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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

August 2021 Upcoming Issue


Feature: Boost Happiness and Well-Being                     

Byline: Ronica O’Hara

Thanks to two decades of research in Positive Psychology, we now know more precisely how to attain and sustain happiness—and it’s clear that when we change our thinking and act repeatedly in positive ways, our brains rewire themselves and happiness settles  into our daily life. Study-proven strategies include aiming for a three-to-one ratio of positive to negative experiences and reframing them, invoking self-compassion, questioning painful assumptions, deepening gratitude and practicing meditation, prayer and mindfulness. A sidebar includes research on well-being basics such as diet, exercise, sleep, loving relationships and nature.


Healthy Kids: Back-to-School Wellness                                                

Byline: Ronica O’Hara                        

It’s been a tough year of up-and-down schooling situations for many children, but as they strap on their backpacks and head back to classes, parents can help prepare them for success by holding a family sit-down to talk through priorities and scheduling; resetting the summer bedtime creep to ensure they get the long hours of sleep they need; buoying them with a good breakfast; making sure tasty and healthy treats are there for the grabbing when they are home; and covering the bases for allergies.


Fit Body: Water Sports                                                                                                                                  

Byline: Marlaina Donato

Whether it’s rafting down a river, surfing at sunset or waterskiing on a mountain lake, a vigorous water sport can be the highlight of any vacation, plus it offers a good workout disguised as play. These activities engage the core more than many other sports, build  muscle tone and raise the spirits. Waterskiing can be done by people of all ages with proper instruction, standup paddle board yoga challenges the abdominals and cultivates balancing abilities, and rafting requires some minor advance preparation with squats and lunges.


Healthy Ways: Life Coaching                                                   

Byline: Sandra Yeyati                        

Life coaches may specialize in business, parenting or weight loss, but their real function is to help clients access their deeper wisdom and make better choices that align with what they truly want in life. Coaches are skilled at helping clients generate new ideas, set goals and identify limiting beliefs that block forward momentum. With a sidebar on how to find the right coach.

Here’s your opportunity to tap into the many types of life coaches in your market. Consider these specialities: transformation, empowerment, dating, sex and relationships, business and career, weight loss, health, fitness, sales, spirituality and more.


Wise Words: Alberto Villoldo on 21st Century Shamanism                     

Byline: Marlaina Donato

The bestselling author and medical anthropologist discusses how shamans mediate between the visible world of matter and the invisible world of energy and consciousness through the luminous energy field, which contains codes for how each of us lives, heals and might die. Shamans today combine ancient wisdom teachings with cutting-edge neuroscience to heal by exploring the soul’s journey through infinity.

Seek out local shamans to bring additional and personal perspectives to this topic.



Conscious Eating: Preserving the Harvest                                 

Byline: Julie Peterson

As the crops roll in from fields this time of year, we can make sure we enjoy their tasty goodness all year round by using five strategies: dehydrating, which can include seasoning or marinating foods beforehand; canning jams, jellies and pickles, being sure to use safety precautions; pickling vegetables like green beans, carrots, onions and cauliflower in dill, spicy or sweet brine; fermenting to make foods more digestible and nutritious; and using cold storage outdoors or in the basement for crops like onions, garlic, potatoes and apples.

Green Living: Gardening for Pollinators                                            

Byline: Betsy S. Franz

Pollinators such as bees, moths, wasps, flies, hummingbirds and other insects and even mammals ensure the future growth of 75 percent of our crops and flowers, yet their numbers are slowly declining worldwide due partly to habitat loss and pesticides. If we leave part of a lawn and garden less tidy by allowing leaves and sticks, mowing less often, choosing native plants and avoiding pesticide use, we can provide a safe refuge for pollinators and help the biodiversity of the planet.


Natural Pet: Building Immunity for Dogs                                                 

Byline: Shawn Messonnier, DVM

Helping a dog maintain a healthy immune system will help it resist disease and prolong its life. For optimal wellness, it’s wise to minimize vaccines by using a simple blood test to decide what’s necessary along with chemicals like flea preventives and medications like steroids, replacing them with natural options if possible; feed the dog a natural-food diet free of animal byproducts, chemicals and colorings; enable everyday exercise; and use supplements to enhance wellness, such as enzymes, probiotics, choline, tryptophan and olive leaf extract.


Inspiration: The Physiology of Smiling                                            

Byline: Julie Peterson

When we are happy, we naturally smile, and smiling itself, even if it masks a grumpy mood, can induce happiness. The muscles used in smiling are connected to nerves that send signals to the brain, which then releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin throughout the body. The resulting wave of well-being in itself can make a forced smile real. What’s more, because of mirror neurons, being around smiling people makes their smiles contagious.


Eco Tip: Best Bug Juice                                                                         

DIY insect repellents made from essential oils smell great, but for effective protection, a better natural choice is products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus extract (PMD), which are as capable as DEET at deterring mosquitoes and better at keeping away ticks. An increasingly popular option that’s also as effective as DEET is products based on Picaridin, which are not oily or smelly and deter mosquitoes from landing.


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