Happy New Year,
It seems unbelievable that we are ready to embark on a new year—full of new adventures and the potential of great change. Despite the overwhelming evidence that new year’s resolutions are most likely abandoned by February, I believe it is a good time for us to assess changes that would make us healthier, happier, more fulfilled in our work and in our relationships.
For those in the greater Washington, D.C. area, the lure of goals and benchmarks are a key to vocational survival. We show our worth but proving how “good” we are at what we do. We are a busy, busy people and show how indispensable we are, on a daily basis. Yet, what affect does that busy-ness have on our health. I remember a time in college when I had something like the flu. I went to university health center, looking for the magic pill that would make me feel better and enable me to get back to my coursework and all my extra-curricular activities. My very wise doctor sat me down and told me that I would not get better unless I slowed down and figured out a way to be less stressed.
At that moment, I scoffed and told my friends, “this doctor doesn’t know me. He doesn’t understand the type of pressure that I am under to get everything done.” Looking back, I know that he not only understood my personality but also had an understanding that the rising tide of illnesses among busy people was stress. Furthermore, he knew that no “magic pill” was going to make me better.
Now, I won’t tell you what year that was (because it has been decades) but since then, the research on stress and its impact on an individual’s health has come full circle. Our great-grandparents knew that sleeping a full night, working a regular day, tending solid relationships, nurturing one’s soul, remaining active and eating a diet rich in grains, fruits and vegetables was the path to a long and happy life. Nowhere in that equation was working until you dropped over from exhaustion.
Now here we are again, in 2018, unwrapping the mystery of a healthy life as one that incorporates those elements, and keeping free from stress. Our feature this month highlights the staggering toll stress takes on our bodies and on our communities and provides us with ways that we can dial-down stress, without any magic pill.
Also in this issue, you will find our annual Natural Living Directory, with a robust resource guide and spotlights on a number of amazing local practitioners, teachers and businesses that are available to help you and your family find a better way of living in 2018. We are blessed to live in a region of the country where whip-smart people come to live and share their wisdom with the rest of us. I feel blessed to be able to share their stories and their gifts with you. I encourage you to keep this directory edition all year long and refer to it often.
Mark Twain once wrote “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.” Rather than resolving to lose five pounds or learn to speak Italian, perhaps this is the year to turn inward. My hope for each of you is to make the space in January to ask new questions that support your health and then abide in the answers. I hope that these answers will lead you to a life that is balanced, and at the same time, fulfilling and laced with gratitude for your many blessings.