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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Letter From the Publisher

Jul 29, 2016 10:44PM
Dear Friends,

Parenting for every generation and to any age child is a challenge. I know that my mother kept very busy as a full-time school teacher (who even worked in the summer) and mother of three. She and my father equipped each of us to be self-sufficient in making our own fun and keeping ourselves occupied. Out the door in the morning and not due back until the streetlights were on (or the dinner bell rang for supper), we were left to create our own adventures.

I was a girl on the move with my pals and my three-speed bike. We explored the woods for bugs and rocks, built forts from fallen trees, played “school” with my mom’s cast-off mimeographed worksheets—our stuffed animals serving as students. We would bike for hours throughout the neighborhood and beyond, keeping tabs on new families moving in (hopefully with new potential playmates) and going to the soft-serve stand at the end of the street to spend our saved pennies on raspberry-vanilla twist cones. Many years, I spent my summers up on Crow Lake in Ontario, Canada, without regular friends nearby. Climbing trees, catching frogs and minnows and watching the clouds go by were the highlights of my day.

Creatively was the core of our world—without television (which only played soap operas and game shows during the day) and any type of electronic device. Our theme in this month’s Natural Awakenings is empowering youth and helping to discover the path to creativity in the age of 24-hour children’s television programming and Disney movies on demand, robotic Legos and Pokemon Go.

As parents (and grandparents), it is a challenge to balance between giving children too much and doing too much for them, while equipping them with the foundation and tools to be creative, confident and giving members of the community. Author April Thompson offers some great suggestions in our Healthy Kids’ article this month, Yay for Play, on inspiring children (and adults) to engage in creative play. Perfect timing as the luster of the long summer vacation has completely worn off. Just as important, Judith Fertig examines the path to empowerment—exploring some of the ways that parents and organizations are helping children of all ages learn to take brave and important steps for their future and for their communities. The key to nurturing thriving children is rooted in positivity, so that they can move ahead with confidence, and empathy, learning that serving others can be a way of serving the self.

Looking ahead to the fall—we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Montgomery County Parks. There will be a series of free events for the community, starting with free seated massages and a Doonya Bollywood class in Bethesda and an introduction to Tai Chi in Cabin John. Visit our website for dates and times. All are invited, even if you aren’t a resident of Montgomery County.

Finally, our next Healthy Living Expo will be held at Unity of Fairfax on September 17. This will be our first event in northern Virginia and will feature many of the area’s top natural health professionals, body workers, creators of healthy foods and drinks, both as exhibitors and speakers. Unity of Fairfax, our great partner for this event, is a wonderful spiritual home to many in the area and we are excited to be working with them. For more details and tickets, visit our event website at

As the last days of summer roll like a heat wave over us, make time to be creative—even if you don’t have children. Creativity is just as important for adults as it is for children!




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