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December 2011 Publisher's Letter

How inspirational and symbolic that our community’s seventh issue of Natural Awakenings is dedicated to the uplifting of humanity. The number seven has held significance throughout history across many cultures and world religions.

Maimonides, the preeminent 12th century Jewish philosopher, scholar and physician, for example, explains the beautiful Kabbalistic concept that, “Seven is the number of the natural world.” There are seven days in the week, seven directions that comprise everything in the physical world (left, right, up, down, forward, back and center) and seven core notes on the musical scale.

Music universally speaks to the soul and to the body because everything in the universe is comprised of vibrations. When we are exposed to healing sounds it creates harmony within us and promotes health and well-being. Erin Lehn Floresca discusses the intriguing power of sound healing in “Good Vibrations,” on page 24.

My son, Yonatan, who is 7, recently began receiving a weekly allowance. We decided to give him $7 a week, according to his age in years. That amount is allocated 3 ways as an opportunity to teach some important early lessons: $4 is invested in a bank account, to teach fiscal responsibility; $2 goes into his piggy bank so that he learns the perks of saving up to treat himself to something special and shows him how it feels to take care of his own needs; and $1 is placed into a charity box.

Yonatan’s 4-year-old cousin, Leo, recently spent a day playing at our house. Later, when I was chatting with Leo’s grandmother, she enthusiastically told me that Leo was so excited about his cousin’s charity box that he decided he wanted his own. So he made one and decorated it himself.

I was moved by the fact that neither boy was obsessed with what he would buy for himself with his share of the money. What motivated and excited them was the concept of the charity box, and thinking about who they would give the money to.

With this experience fresh in mind, I found Lisa Marshall’s article “The Helping-Health-Happiness Connection” highly fascinating (page 20). Most of us have experienced at one time or another that surge of joy and satisfaction that comes from our own true giving; now research shows why helping others can improve our health, provide relief from chronic pain and disease and even extend our life. Imagine a world where, instead of chasing our own endless needs, wants and desires, we all consistently give to each other with pure love and generosity! What a powerful message to take with us as we enter 2012.

We also learn that natural empathy and altruism exist in all sorts of species, ranging from squirrels to sea lions. Learn more about the gifts of interspecies friendships on page 30.

This month again brings deep gratitude to our advertisers. Your support of these local businesses and practitioners that support us enables us to bring this magazine free to you every month. Thank you all for bringing health, healing and sustainability to our community.


Wishing you love, peace, health and happiness this holiday season,


Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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