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Natural Awakenings Richmond

Letter from The Publisher

Publisher of Natural Awakenings Richmond, Jessica Coffey

Jessica Coffey, Publisher


It’s hard to believe that 2021 is actually here. What a year 2020 was. It tested us in so many ways. We had to pivot, reinvent, quarantine, adjust, learn, grow ... in ways we weren’t always prepared for and that didn’t always feel good or right. Challenges came steady from all directions and we were forced to change the way we did things. And change is never easy. We resist it more often than we embrace it and that can cause fear, anxiety, anger, depression … so many emotions. If you felt (or feel) any of those, you are not alone. As isolating as things can be at times, we are all in this together and the stories and experiences we share can unite us. Our stories are powerful tools that help us process grief and trauma, heal wounds, pave paths to self-discovery, create connections and more. What story do you have to tell?

I hope you enjoy the feature article’s focus on the new stories we are writing and telling that reinforce our essential interconnectedness. It’s this interconnectedness and sense of community that I want to focus on in 2021. How can we best support one another? How can we learn to focus more on our shared values and dreams? I hope you’ll join me.

And hope is what will drive me through this long winter. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I know it will take time. So, I will hunker down and settle in and keep searching for the silver linings. One of my silver linings was a poem shared during an Innerwork Center meeting I “attended” in December (thank you, Aubrey!)—it really resonated with me; I think they are words to live by. It was inspired by the Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai (well known for his painting, The Great Wave of Kanagwa). It’s called Hokusai Says by Roger Keyes …

Hokusai says …  look carefully.

He says pay attention, notice.

He says keep looking, stay curious.

He says there is no end to seeing.

He says look forward to getting old.

He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.

He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient,
           every one of us has a body.

He says every one of us is frightened.

He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive—shells, buildings, people, fish,
           mountains, trees.

Wood is alive. Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.

Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.

It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.

It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your
veranda or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.

Joy is life living through you.

Satisfaction and strength is life living through you.

Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.

I wish you all the best in 2021. May it be filled with stories and good health and life living through you. Please let this magazine help guide you on your path to wellness. And please support our advertisers who make this free resource possible.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!