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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Pivot to What Makes You Happy

Sep 30, 2022 05:14PM ● By Dana Boulanger

Dana and Marilee

I’ve always loved change—change of routines, change of perspective and, of course, change of seasons. Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the Hudson Valley. The leaves tend to peak in October, and the hiking and biking trails offer fabulous ways to connect with nature, my favorite pastime. 

However, this October, I know I will be walking the trails with the spirit of my mother, Judy Johnson, who passed at the end of August. She was blessed to live 95 years and was thought of as a go-getter. She loved to dance; ballroom dancing was her passion. It was quite something to watch her glide gracefully across the floor to a waltz or effortlessly get into the groove of a Latin beat. It kept her young, and it was definitely one of her many joys. 

She would have loved reading the article in this month’s Fit Body section, “The Joy of Movement: Dancing Boosts Our Health and Happiness.” Like my mom, I also love to boogie, but instead of grand dance halls, you’ll find me in the kitchen instructing Alexa to turn up the volume as I “get down” while cooking something delicious and nutritious. 
I told my mom when she was transitioning that I would meet her on the trail so she could finally walk with me and see what I see in nature. Funny thing is I think she’s too busy enjoying dancing in spirit and really loving finding her new groove. Although, she does cross my path often these days as a dragonfly or feather, which is comforting and makes me smile. 

The theme of this month’s edition is Healthy Planet, and we have several great articles that I hope you will enjoy, including our feature, “Sustainable Sanctuaries: Supporting Human and Planetary Health at Home.” My home is definitely my sanctuary, and I try my best to create spaces that bring me joy. Yet in today’s world, we need to be mindful of electromagnetic fields, toxins, being eco-friendly, choosing sustainable products, and not shying away from upcycling.

In addition to being a resplendent season, autumn is also a great time to enjoy the harvest of root vegetables, like beets, which are packed with nutritional goodness. I plan to try several of the scrumptious-sounding recipes featured in the article in our Conscious Eating section on page 22.

It’s also a popular time of year for events and classes. Please check out our news briefs, starting on page 8, and our calendars, starting on page 42, for info about local happenings. Also be sure to visit our online calendar on our website,, for even more classes and events. Most of all, enjoy life and pivot to what makes you happy. 

“So whatever cycle of seasons we find ourselves in—from one identity to another, from innocence to maturity, from arrogance to humility, from codependence to individuation, from numbness to compassion, from apprentice to master, from master to beginner—we are being steadily prepared for the Fifth Season, being slowly stripped of our resistance to the Heavenly Pivot.” 

– Mark Nepo 

RIP Mom.

With gratitude,