December 2022 Upcoming Issue of Natural Awakenings Charlotte
DECEMBER UPLIFTING HUMANITY ISSUE
Feature: Together Thinking: Meaningful Conversations That Can Transform Our World
Byline: Linda Sechrist
In these turbulent times when old boundaries are unravelling and old certainties are dissolving, there is possibility for creative transformation if we work together. Institutions charged with cultivating consciousness—schools, families, religious institutions and organizations—are set in the 19th and 20th centuries while trying to tackle 21st century challenges. We need to access innovative methods of learning, discovery and connection, such as systems thinking (an approach to complexity that looks at the whole and analyzes relationships, rather than splitting it into smaller pieces) and Indigenous wisdom (which focuses on the interconnectedness of things). A case study in Saint Petersburg, Florida illustrates collective intelligence in action, as residents invest time and money to co-create resiliency using tools like The World Café conversation model to foster the emergence of “Warriors of the Human Spirit”.
Healing Ways: Good Vibrations: The Healing Power of Sound
Byline: Gayatri Bhaumik
For centuries, sound and vibrations have been used to heal both mind and body, and they are increasingly being used today by practitioners and individuals seeking stress relief, emotional well-being, mental clarity, release of trauma, dissipation of pain, improved sleep and metabolism, better focus and other benefits. Singing bowls, gongs, vocal toning, tuning forks, solfeggio frequencies and binaural beats are discussed. It is up to the individual to see which type of sound healing will work for them. With regular practice, benefits may be cumulative and long-lasting.
Conscious Eating: Merry Brunching: Put a Healthier Twist on Favorite Recipes
Byline: Sheila Julson
When hosting a holiday brunch, it may be tempting to serve breakfast and lunch classics like quiche and eggs Benedict, but many of those dishes are full of hidden calories, unhealthy fats and too much sodium. With a few modifications, healthier versions are possible. Read nutrition labels and recommended serving sizes, add nutritious alternatives, remove empty calories, avoid fried foods, limit sauces and build a balanced brunch menu that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy or plant-based substitutes. With recipes for sheet pan protein pancakes, shakshuka, cranberry mimosas and homemade cranberry juice.
Fit Body: Pickleball is Booming: Get into a Pickle for Holiday Fitness
Byline: Jyl Steinback
Pickleball is booming in popularity for people of all ages. This simple-to-learn sport that requires less running than tennis and can be played indoors and out is an excellent option for getting in shape, increasing happiness and bonding with family and friends. Players use ping pong-style paddles to hit a wiffle ball over a low net on a badminton-sized court. Being a super athlete is not a prerequisite. A physical therapist offers warm-up, strengthening and stretching exercises to get ready to play the game.
Byline: Madiha Saeed
Teaching children the value of generosity and kindness is not just good for the world, it’s good for our kids, too. Being charitable and volunteering offers kids many benefits including improvements in physical biomarkers; increased self-esteem; a reduction of depression and stress; the release of “feel-good” chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin; and a sense of belonging. Parents can encourage the giving spirit in their children by displaying generosity and empathy in their own behaviors and giving them plenty of love and positive experiences.
Eco Tip: Holiday Volunteering: The Gift of Giving
The holiday season is a time for giving. To get into the spirit, people can volunteer time and treasure to meaningful causes and underprivileged individuals. Readers are invited to donate toys and warm clothes; handcraft greeting cards for seniors, U.S. armed service members and children in hospitals; donate food or help soup kitchens deliver holiday meals; and give charitably to help neglected pets and imperiled wildlife.
Jeffrey Rediger on the Science of Miraculous Recoveries
Byline: Sandra Yeyati
For almost two decades Jeffrey Rediger has studied spontaneous healing, pioneering the use of scientific tools and personal interviews to understand the causes of surprising recoveries from incurable diseases. He discusses why some people beat the odds in four categories: nutrition, the immune system, stress response and identity and beliefs. In addition to being a board-certified psychiatrist, Harvard assistant professor and medical director at McLean Hospital, he has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and explains why spirituality is an integral part of the healing process.
Green Living: Sustainable Holidays: Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Season
Byline: Kirby Baldwin
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than at any other time of the year, amounting to 1 million extra tons each week. Recommendations for reducing waste include: buying holiday meal ingredients from nearby farms rather than the grocery store; using recyclable or reusable gift-wrapping; gifting experiences rather than material items; buying locally produced gifts handmade with natural materials; and decorating a live tree that can later be planted in the backyard. These easy swaps will reduce consumption and lessen environmental impacts without subtracting any of the joy.
Natural Pet: Holiday Treats for Cats and Dogs: Easy-to-Make Festive Recipes to Delight Pets
Byline: Tonya Wilhelm
Attention publishers: The holidays are a great time to share special treats with family pets, but not all foods on the holiday table are safe for dogs and cats. Common foods like dairy, raisins, chocolate, onions and garlic are harmful to dogs, while wheat, eggs, corn and soy may cause allergic reactions. Pet-safe and nutritious ingredients include cranberries, coconut flour, beef gelatin, sweet potatoes and turkey breast. With recipes for healthy cranberry muffins, turkey jerky and sweet potato gummies.
Inspiration: A Feast of Light
Byline: Marlaina Donato
Throughout the year, many of us invest in making healthy choices but neglect soul sustenance. To close the year with grace, December invites us to kick off our shoes, curl up in our favorite chair, sip hot cocoa and drop into our heart space. Recommendations include choosing joy today, letting go of a grievance or outdated belief, telling someone they bring light into our life, sharing a favorite book, querying a new source of light and leaving an uplifting voicemail for a loved one.