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Natural Awakenings Jacksonville-St. Augustine

May This Holiday Season Be An Opportunity

Welcome to our final edition of 2021, focused on uplifting humanity. Our editorial team’s offerings will fill you with inspiration and creative ideas to enjoy this holiday season. Be sure to visit our website for the full array of content.

In these days when so many of us are feeling separated and isolated from each other, approaches that bring people together in small groups offer valuable opportunities. These community gatherings known as wisdom circles, support groups, and prayer circles offer creative solutions to societal issues. Linda Sechrist beautifully presents this theme in our main feature, Uplifting Humanity.

Maintaining a strong immune system is so important, especially during the cooler winter months when our natural intake of vitamin D from the sun is reduced. Ronica O’Hara explores immune boosting in Healthy Ways. In addition to getting enough sleep, exercise and plant-based foods, we can boost our immunity by adding specific supplements to our daily routine.  Adaptogens such as astralagus and panax ginseng, mushrooms like reishi and turkey tail perform specific functions in the immune system that keep our body in balance and boost our resistance to illness. As powders, they can be easily added into drinks or foods, and they can also be taken as tinctures or pills.

Sugary treats are embedded in our holiday traditions, yet they do little to actually make us feel merry and bright in the long run. The corrosive effects of a high sugar diet are at the root of many chronic conditions. Reading labels to avoid hidden sugars is one of the suggestions for reducing your overall sugar load in Conscious Eating. Substituting herbs and spices for sugar in homemade recipes is another option. Chromium picolinate as a supplement is known to reduce cravings. Check out the recipes for baklava cookie cups, baked apples, dark chocolate bark and honey lavender cookies.

Explore the art of listening in Wise Words, as Thomas Moore, author, Jungian-based psychotherapist, musician and former monk discusses why too often we debate rather than converse. Only by finding peace in ourselves can we listen well. Moore is optimistic that we are slowly evolving into a more humane community of earth beings.

Let this holiday season be an opportunity not just to make sustainable choices, but to take action that positively impacts the planet and inspires friends and family. Choose wrapping gifts with fabric instead of paper, avoid toxic glitter that adds to the microplastics problem, decorate with a potted living tree, and give gifts like hiking shoes, plants and donations to earth-friendly causes.

Something inside our ancestral memory makes us crave connection and celebration as we recognize the year’s end. From our family to yours, may you have the merriest of Christmases, surrounded by the love of family and friends.

We look forward to journeying into 2022 with you, our valued readers.

Rebecca Young, Publisher