Letter from Publisher: Cherishing Summer Joys
Kim, Teona and friend Gary Ayres enjoying good times at Symphony on the Prairie this summer.
Not so long ago, childhood’s summer break invitingly stretched from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Outdoor pools opened and closed on the two holiday weekends, officially signaling the beginning and end of summertime freedom for kids of all ages. These days the start of each school year keeps inching further into August, urging us to squeeze in as much fun as possible while we can.
I’ve been reminding myself to focus on summer’s cup being at least half full, rather than half empty. I know it’s up to me to choose to make this shift, and most days I’m up to the challenge. Focusing on gratitude for the many warm days yet ahead and each moment enjoyed lazing at the pool, visiting farmers’ markets, taking in concerts and dining al fresco adjusts our attitude and expands our sense of summer’s abundance.
This month’s issue combines inspiring, hopeful and informative articles all reminding us how our own thoughts and actions inform and transform our life experiences. Mindfully staying aware of and magnifying the good enables us to make the most of every day, handling whatever changes in rhythm, routine, health, relationships or circumstances that might come our way.
As a long-term breast cancer survivor, I read with great interest Linda Sechrist’s August national feature article, “Live Cancer-Free: Natural Ways to Prevent and Heal Cancer” and our local companion piece by Allie McFee, “Routes for Overcoming Cancer: A Blend of Holistic and Medical Methods.” Both share encouraging examples of cancer patients and the enlightened practitioners supporting them as they’ve walked their path to healing through lifestyle, nutrition and mindfulness of crucial mind-body-soul connections.
Recalling the initial months of my own journey, I realize that it was then that I began to understand more about the importance of practicing mindfulness, gratitude, spiritual affirmations and supportive lifestyle choices. These factors have proved to be keys to healing. Happily, they are all within our power of influence. Since then, the results of maintaining positive thoughts and healing intentions and actions have shown me time and again how they guide toward increased contentment and wellbeing.
I remain grateful that combining medically sound protocols with good nutrition, walks in nature, motivational messages and constant prayer led me through a challenging chapter in my life. The experience taught me that each day is a gift.
Still, I also know how easy it is to slip into mindless routines with less selfcare when life feels like it’s going along smoothly. April Thompson’s Wise Words interview with Ellen Langer, considered the “Mother of Mindfulness”, explains how quickly undisciplined thoughts can lead us into a mindlessness mode. She poignantly observes, “What makes us mindless is the mistaken notion of already knowing, when everything is always changing.”
Recognizing that we are constantly surrounded by newness and change can result in a powerful mind shift toward embracing the fresh possibilities of the moment we are in.
Teona Wright, Publisher