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Natural Awakenings San Diego

February 2012 Publisher Letter

Feb 01, 2012 01:30PM

For the past six winters I’ve created the space in my schedule to spend time in Utah. Of course, one of the highlights of each trip is hitting the slopes on my snowboard. But my soul also appreciates the tranquility, the wide-open spaces, and simplicity of this magical place. My euphoria only increases with each visit.

I took the trip with my daughter. Beforehand, we decided to leave our work behind and focus on quality time together. We both agreed it was our best vacation yet. A new chapter in our lives is opening up as she prepares to depart for her study abroad program in Europe and I prepare for my empty nest. Due to her schedule, she had to leave Utah before I did. At first, I struggled. But eventually, I embraced the sadness, reflections and loneliness that came upon me. The experience led me back to my passion regarding mental wellness and the significant roles that dark moods play in our lives. It’s OK to be depressed or sad. Not only is it OK, it’s a natural progression and necessary for our overall well-being.

Having a healthy mind takes work, just like having a healthy body. We have to feed it, exercise it, honor it and avoid toxicity. Many of us tend to take care of our mental health last. It is usually a tragedy in our lives that brings us to our knees before we seek help. Words like alcoholism, addiction and mental illness carry such stigma in our culture. They are only labels, like obesity, yet we hide from them. To recognize weakness is to discover strength. To live in the light, we must know the dark.

Oftentimes it is the embracing of our depression, anxiety or fear that helps bring us back into the light. I have helped and inspired many people overcome the fear of marketing themselves. I watched them struggle with all of the human emotions we wrestle with when setting out to start something new. If you do nothing, nothing happens. If you do something, something will happen. It may not be what you planned; it may be better or worse. Whatever happens, you will grow from it and an opportunity will arise if you are mentally aware and healthy enough to recognize the message. Eating all the organic fruits and vegetables and being physically fit cannot teach this. Embrace it, trust it and let your passion and creativity lead you to do the things you always wanted to do. Talk to someone if you feel stuck, frightened or depressed. These feelings of despair have led many of us to some of the best endeavors of our lives. I find gratitude in the inspiration I share and receive from all the people in my life and through Natural Awakenings. Open your heart and minds and love what is and what can be.

Health and smiles,

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