This is the time of year when I relish my morning meditations, whether it’s 10 minutes or 20, I strive to take that time, even when I feel much too busy. This is also a time I reflect on the year past and begin setting my intentions for 2023 and beyond.
In our December feature: “Transforming Our World,” Linda Sechrist, looks at the turbulent times we live in, when old boundaries are unravelling and old certainties are dissolving, there is possibility for creative transformation if we work together. Institutions charged with cultivating consciousness—schools, families, religious institutions, and organizations—are set in the 19th and 20th centuries while trying to tackle 21st century challenges. We need to access innovative methods of learning, discovery, and connection, such as systems thinking (an approach to complexity that looks at the whole and analyzes relationships, rather than splitting it into smaller pieces) and Indigenous wisdom (which focuses on the interconnectedness of things). A case study in Saint Petersburg, Florida illustrates collective intelligence in action, as residents invest time and money to co-create resiliency using tools like The World Café conversation model to foster the emergence of “Warriors of the Human Spirit”.
Healing Ways: “Good Vibrations: The Healing Power of Sound,” by Gayatri Bhaumik. For centuries, sound and vibrations have been used to heal both mind and body, and they are increasingly being used today by practitioners and individuals seeking stress relief, emotional well-being, mental clarity, release of trauma, dissipation of pain, improved sleep and metabolism, better focus, and other benefits. Singing bowls, gongs, vocal toning, tuning forks, solfeggio frequencies and binaural beats are discussed. It is up to the individual to see which type of sound healing will work for them. With regular practice, benefits may be cumulative and long-lasting.
Green Living: “Sustainable Holidays: Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Season,” by Kirby Baldwin. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than at any other time of the year, amounting to 1 million extra tons each week. Recommendations for reducing waste include buying holiday meal ingredients from nearby farms rather than the grocery store; using recyclable or reusable gift-wrapping; gifting experiences rather than material items; buying locally produced gifts handmade with natural materials; and decorating a live tree that can later be planted in the backyard. These easy swaps will reduce consumption and lessen environmental impacts without subtracting any of the joy.
My family changed our gift giving habits years ago. Today we focus on perishables, so a trip to the nut store or favorite chocolate shoppe, perhaps it’s homemade jam, honey or elderberry elixir, baked goods, or a nice loose-leaf tea from one of our favorite tea houses—all simple, but lovely gifts to give and receive.
To conscious living,
Pamela Gallina, Publisher