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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Happy New Year!

Jan 04, 2014 04:39AM

Happy New Year, Dear Readers,

For many of us, January is the time of the year when we take stock of the year that has just passed, and imagine new possibilities for the days to come. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, knowing that the average life span of these lofty goals to lose weight, wake up earlier or kick a bad habit is short. These healthy habits are usually abandoned in a few weeks or a few days.

When I used to belong to a large gym in Annapolis, the regulars (myself included) found January to be the least desirable month to go for our daily workouts. The gym was packed with people who didn’t know how to use the elliptical trainers, all the lockers were taken and there was no space in the Zumba class. Magically, by February 1, all was back to normal. Thank goodness, we thought, for the fickleness of those who gave up their goal to get fit. At least there is an open locker now.

I am not proud of my arrogance toward my temporary gym mates. They had a real desire to make a change in their lives and even took positive steps to make that change possible. What they didn’t have, for a host of reasons I imagine, was a plan to make those desired goals an indelible part of their lives. It isn’t easy to change ones’ habits. There is comfort in the familiar.

Our January issue offers some insights on how to make real change in your life. This month’s feature, Our Own Health Plan by Kathleen Barnes, provides important insights on how and why to develop a team of individuals that can help each of us live a healthier life. Our bodies are complex systems, and it is helpful to have a number of skilled professions to encourage us in a way that is individual-specific, to find true health. This piece is complemented by two others that share information about the value of finding a health coach, someone who is trained to develop sustainable systems for each patient. Local health coach and instructor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, Linda Mastro, offers a behind-the-scenes look at a typical coach-patient relationship, while writing of the value of individual coaching for the patient.

Beyond seeking healthy change for our physical bodies, local author of The Voluntourist, Ken Budd, shares insights in Volunteering Abroad, on seeking a personal quest. His journey to six countries was inspired by his concern that his life should stand for something more than his daily work and personal relationships. There is a whole world out there and many in it could use an extra hand. Budd inspires with practical information to change the world, while changing ourselves–a value I appreciate and support with ongoing work in Haiti with my husband, John.

Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.” My hope for each of you is to make the space in January to ask new questions and then abide in the answers. 

Peace and Light –



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