November/December Publisher Letter

Wow! How quickly this year has gone by. I truly can’t believe it is already November—the elections are here and the holidays are upon us. I kind of want to slow down time—it’s my oldest son’s senior year of high school and while I know Davis will be ready to head off to college, I’ll be so sad to have him go (and I’m sure his brother isn’t ready for all of his parents’ attention!).

Something that helps me slow down and find a sense of calm in the hectic, busy days of work, school, activities, shopping, chores and the extra stressors that can pop up when we’re least expecting them, is meditation and mindfulness. As meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg, so aptly states, “In the space created by mindfulness we remember our true identity.” We wrote about meditation and mindfulness in our last issue, and I try to make it a regular practice—to slow down, breathe and focus on the present moment. I don’t manage to do it everyday, but I am always amazed at what a difference it makes when I do make it a priority. It can be as simple as becoming aware of the breath, taking a walk in nature, observing the details of a beautiful flower or coloring a mandala like the one you will find to color on page 28. There are so many easy ways to get lost in the moment—to switch from do-ing to just be-ing. I find that when I give myself the gift of solitude and stillness—even for just a few minutes—I am able to be kinder to myself and those around me. 

Lucky for us, kindness isn’t lacking in RVA, especially during the holiday season. Staff writer, Clair Norman, highlights several Richmonders who are spreading peace and love in the article, “Generosity is Contagious—Catch It.”

I hope your holiday season is filled with generosity and kindness. Try to find some moments for yourself, to slow down and be present. Take a deep breath right now—breathe in, hold it, exhale slowly. And consider these words by Danna Faulds –

This is what I have to say to you. Throw off the bonds of your conditioning and fear and celebrate the wonder of being here. Experience this moment as it is, connected by breath and essence to the whole. You couldn’t separate it if you tried.

Live this day as if the Earth exhales blessings in your direction, as if trees speak their deepest secrets in your ear, as if bird songs can lift you outside your ordinary state of mind and bring you into truth.

Be the creative juice flowing through the universe. Be compassion in action and wholeness in motion. Be silence and stillness, the ocean of love so palpable that not one cell of you disputes the truth that you are that. Be so open to your destiny that it unfurls like a banner in the sky, a sign saying “Live until you die with gratitude, generosity and grace.”

Happy Reading!

Jessica Coffey Natural Awakenings Richmond Publisher

Jessica Coffey, Publisher

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