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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for October 2020

Sep 27, 2020 11:14AM ● By Dana Boulanger

Fall has arrived, with all its glory and shifting energy. Nature exemplifies the beautiful process of change. I love how the leaves turn colors and drop to the ground to end this season, leaving us with barren trees and cooler temperatures. Autumn forces us to choose warmer clothing and different foods. We live in the beautiful Hudson Valley, a seasonal climate, so adapting our lifestyle to what nature provides is part of who we are. I’ve always cherished seasonal shifts, especially fall, my favorite time of year to get out and hike. I find tranquility on the trail. My moving meditation of choice is walking in nature, which keeps me healthy and balanced and helps me deal with everyday stress. Other people turn to yoga, tai chi, qi gong, biking, running or other outdoor activities. I think any of these is great; the key is finding something that allows you to unplug from the demands of daily life and look within, to quiet your mind and take the time for self-care.


This month we take a look at how stress can affect us on so many levels. This month’s Wise Words article, “Living a Wholehearted Life” (page 32), by Mark Nepo, resonated with me. Like him, I learned a lot along the journey of battling cancer. I am 19 years cancer free—and so much the wiser. Nepo beautifully explains the power in acceptance and being present, and how practicing authenticity allows us to stay in our truth. I have learned that by simply making small pivots, I can stay focused on what feels good and proceed with joy.


Our feature article, “Calm Down: Taming the Flames of Stress-Related Illness,” by Marlaina Donato, is an eye-opening examination of emotional stress. As Donato writes, “Whether we see it as a blessing or a curse, we’re hardwired to embody the sacred fire of our emotions.” Just a few years ago, my body was hurting, my muscles ached, my digestion was a mess, and my ability to sleep soundly and feel happy was negatively affected. I can thankfully share with you that by releasing negative energy, making lifestyle changes, focusing on self-care and working with several local wellness practitioners, I resolved those issues naturally. I feel great and enjoy my life now.


I have hope and trust—especially now, in our ever-changing landscape of life—that everything is always working out for me. Thus far I have successfully navigated many challenges, as many of you have had to do, so I know I’m not alone. I plan to keep my mind focused on learning and looking for lessons; I know I’m capable of giving and receiving with grace. I’m excited to keep showing up as the best version of myself each day. That’s something we can all do—learn to embrace who we are and show up as the best version of ourselves, for the betterment of all.


I encourage you to check out our monthly calendar (page 40) and our online calendar at to find wonderful classes and practices that can help you live a healthier, more balanced life.


Happy fall,