September 2014 Publisher Letter
Reading Deborah Shouse’s September feature article, “Conscious Caregiving,” reminded me of an incident that occurred with my family about a year ago. My father, now 80, had been slowing down yet insisted on continuing to perform many of the same activities and household chores that he always had done, which really concerned my sister and me. Because he had developed a hernia, I didn’t want him engaged in any heavy lifting. So, when our parents’ five-gallon water bottle needed to be replaced, I asked my sister’s fiancé, Ben, to help.
Ben cheerfully went into the kitchen and stood by quietly, watching my father roll the bottle across the floor, lift it first onto a chair and then into the dispenser. I felt myself getting annoyed that the younger man wasn’t jumping in to take over the task. However, as I watched, I realized the wisdom of the alternate approach. Ben was simply making himself present and available if help was needed and wanted, and at the same time, he was respecting my father and managing not to infringe on his sense of empowerment. It was a huge lesson for me that proved to be necessary preparation for what was to come just a few months later.
These days, my father finds himself more disabled than before, as he recovers from a stroke in November 2013 and a triple bypass surgery in March. Thankfully, I’m now better able to respect the importance of allowing him to have a voice in how he lives his life, and I rejoice to see the difference such an attitude makes in all of our lives. When Dad is listened to and heard, his mood is so uplifted and energized that it affects his entire state of well-being and promotes his recovery.
Trying to get my stepmother, Carol, to take proper care of herself is another issue. She has so selflessly devoted herself to caring for my father that it’s taken a toll on her personal well-being. I’m glad she’s now returned to working one day a week and goes out for walks as often as possible. I hope this month’s issue will inspire her and our readers to try a weekly yoga class, too. I look forward to sharing it with her.
Here’s to cultivating our patience, empathy and respect towards ourselves and others,
Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher
Edit ModuleShow Tags
More from Natural Awakenings
As we wrap up another year, many of us find ourselves again asking, “Where did this year go?” Myriad articles have tried to explain why we often perceive time—and life—moving by too quickly, especially as we age.
Through awareness, education and action, we can all form healthy habits to protect our most vital, life-sustaining resource: water.
“Game Changers,” one of Natural Awakenings’ themes for October, focuses on the youth of our nation taking the reins to make a difference in social and environmental areas.
Natural Awakenings is just one of many publications delivering cutting-edge information about natural, noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical health remedies presented by health and wellness advocates, scientists and researchers.
As we strive to stay true to our values and ensure that our children feel loved, we need to model this behavior by applying those values in our interactions with others.
Wisconsinites are fortunate to have an abundance of local, organically grown choices. In its 2017 organic agriculture status report, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems reported that, nationally, Wisconsin is second only to California in the overall number of organic farms and in the number of farms adding organic acres.
While Milwaukee has had its share of unraveling over the years, today activism abounds as community leaders strive for healthy, livable communities that include safe, friendly neighborhoods; public access to green space; thriving, locally owned businesses; and transportation alternatives such as mass transit, cycling and walkability.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that extraordinary health benefits may be achieved through fasting, a practice long revered throughout the world for its spiritual benefits.
For years, scientists and climatologists have been warning that the world will face severe water shortages resulting from a combination of climate change and the irresponsible overuse of precious water.
Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.
We may expand and grow by giving, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, taking responsibility for our own lives, creating strong social networks, and having a sense of purpose.
Read this issue to become inspired about reducing plastic waste, walking to improve physical and mental health, and keeping pets healthy and happy through responsible feeding.