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Natural Awakenings Richmond

Letter from The Publisher

Publisher of Natural Awakenings Richmond, Jessica Coffey

Jessica Coffey, Publisher

Dear Readers,

Who would have thought that we would be in this for a year already?! If you are anything like me, you have been riding a rollercoaster of emotions—anger, sadness, hope—any one day I can feel all of them. I simply cannot wait until we turn the corner on this pandemic and can begin gathering in bigger groups and socializing more frequently. If I have learned anything, it has been the importance of human connection. Zoom has been wonderful, and I am thankful for all of the technologies that connect us as no people in any other time have been connected. But none of it replaces the power of human touch—a hug, a hand held, gazing into another’s eyes when they are right there with you ... So, as we patiently wait for that day to come when we can get more of what we crave, I would like to encourage you to become more heart-minded. As Sarah Blondin, Insight Timer meditation teacher and author of Heart Minded: How to Hold Yourself and Others in Love, so aptly puts it …
We already know what it feels like to be in our hearts. Although we may feel disconnected from it and at times doubt ourselves, most often all we need to do to awaken it is become still and quiet, and it will do the rest. When we draw our attention inward and focus on our heart center, it will calm and reassure us, often instantly.

This may sound too good to be true, but this is exactly what happens when we invite and allow it. When we inhabit the heart, we awaken to our aliveness. We spontaneously arrive like a bolt of lightning in the present moment and all our arguments against ourselves and life go quiet. Goodness pushes up through the chaos of our internal world and we feel lit from within by a light we had no idea was there.

At any time, no matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, we can touch this place in ourselves and activate the benefits of the heart space. Try practicing now by placing a hand on your heart, breathe in and notice now this small act sends a message to soften and disarm. It is that simple. It’s about shifting and moving ourselves into this place of love and acceptance, allowing ourselves to be infused with the consciousness of our heart.

If we look within, most of us can identify a vision we have, an image of who we want to become, an enhanced version of ourselves—something like You 2.0. This image is often kinder, more loving, openhearted, accepting, inspired and creative; it’s often less self-conscious and more gallant. This self doesn’t succumb to fear, anger or hardship and rises above everything with ease. This vision we have in our mind’s eye is the best representation of our heart-minded selves. It is the call of our heart.

When we see this version as our potential rather than a reminder of our shortcomings, we can use it as a way—a tool—to help us move in the direction of our light. Take time throughout the day to bow our head and take three conscious breathes into our heart. Let its current feed us. Remember we are wise. We are soft. We are brave. Let all other noise stop. Re-enter the kingdom of our heart.
Breathe into your heart and into this moment. Relax into yourself. And I encourage you to take advantage of the change in seasons to get outside more—move your body, get some fresh air and become more connected with the healing powers of the natural world. Enjoy this issue and all it has to offer, from articles about more natural farming methods and indoor gardening to Earth Day and farmers’ markets. I encourage you to try something new this month that will help you live a healthier life, and please support our advertisers who can help inspire and facilitate positive change.
Happy Reading and Happy Spring,