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Letter from Publisher

I love to ask people: “If you could wake up in the morning and do the work you love and are most passionate about and you didn’t have to take into consideration a paycheck or status or what others think, what would you choose to do? What would make you the most happy?” Often, they pause, smile and get an enchanted, dreamy look in their eyes as they journey into their imagination.

It’s interesting to learn that not everyone wants a complete change. More often, it’s a matter of thinking more expansively about a present career path. A therapist friend, Neta, dreams of opening a home-based private practice. David, an engineer, reminisces about the creative excitement of writing groundbreaking software code in the earlier days of his career. Entrepreneurially spirited Elizabeth is taking steps to open a sustainable, community-oriented hostel downtown to provide affordable and fun accommodations for young visitors to our city. My sister, Danielle, is leaving the security of an established practice of traditional acupuncture in San Francisco to start her own clinic where she will practice an acupuncture method called 5 Elements, which better speaks to her heart.

For me, the defining moment—when I knew that publishing Natural Awakenings was clearly what I wanted to do more than anything else—came with this thought:  “If I won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work another day in my life, I would still want to publish this magazine.”

In this month’s feature article, “True Wealth: Living a Life We Love is Real Affluence,” Judith Fertig explores additional facets in living a life of true abundance that enable us to take joyful satisfaction to the next level. Considering Arianna Huffington’s term “time affluence” as a real option particularly gave me pause; so often, I feel overwhelmed by all that must be accomplished in a single day.

Neuroscientist and author David Eagleman studies time perception, including why it seems to fly by as we get older. He’s discovered that time feels shorter as our daily experiences become more familiar and our brains are not taking in as much new information. Engaging in mindless distractions contributes to the feeling that we’re losing hours and days. His recommended solution is to practice mindfulness and actively notice more as we go about our day.

Practicing mindfulness focuses our attention on the here and now, which helps our brains store more information and, therefore, alters our perceptions of how fast time is passing. We end up more fully appreciating the events and people surrounding us.

Today, I find myself gazing out the window, noticing the vibrant colors of changing leaves, laughing at a squirrel digging in my pot of kale, and checking out the birds hopping on the patio table. Rather than wasteful daydreaming, those refreshing few minutes of mindfulness cleared my mind, preparing me for my day.

May we all discover true abundance,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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