Letter from Publisher: Spacious Grace
Some of my fondest memories are of simple family times with my two children when just the four of us headed to the beach on Sunday mornings with breakfast and beach gear in tow. Swimming, shelling and just relaxing together in easy playtime fed us on many levels, breathing needed space into busy weeks.
On many weekends, we boated to our favorite off-the-grid screened bungalow on Little Marco Island. Nature activities filled our days, and card or board games kept the fun going at night by the light of oil lanterns. Being free of TV and cell phones, gentle woodland noises and the sound of lapping water drew us close in our happy cocoon.
Can having less and doing less help create more happiness? This month’s feature story, “Simplified Parenting: Why Less Means More Happiness,” by Deborah Shouse, makes a good case for it as a cure to today’s overstimulated and overscheduled families.
From learning and practicing your child’s love language to appreciating them for the just being the individuals they are, we discover the power of trusting our intuition. Creating rituals and de-cluttering every facet of life, too, can bring more peace and balance to the household.
My daughter Alina and I visited an off-the-grid intentional community a couple of years ago for their annual Harvest Festival. Earthaven Ecovillage, outside of Asheville, North Carolina, readily illustrates the rich benefits of living in a holistic, sustainable culture. Yet what impressed us both the most was the young people’s verbal and social skills; we loved sharing thoughtful, lighthearted conversations and were struck by their confident freedom of expression.
Freely roaming Earthaven’s 329 acres provides the luxury of silence for its inhabitants. Explorer and author Erling Kagge observes that external places of silence have become nearly extinct, but that we don’t have to go as far as we think to find silence. After walking alone to the South Pole for 50 days and nights in search of total silence, he says he never found it until he turned inward toward the inner silence that can be achieved anywhere. He maintains that silence is essential to our sanity and happiness.
Such internal discovery is what Linda Sechrist explores in “Multilevel Healing: Embracing All Dimensions of Well-Being,” on page 26. Dr. Wayne Jonas emphasizes, “Healing emerges when we strengthen the connections within ourselves.”
Cultivating the inner silence and well-being that sages have taught through the centuries usually requires a commitment to designing our lives in ways that support that desire. Since my child-rearing days, I’ve discovered new tools along the way to nurture my internal well-being. Some days I do better than others, but when I silently tap into my wise inner witness, my life is much more in the flow.
You’ll find plenty of resources in this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings to help keep you in the flow.
Sharon Bruckman, Publisher