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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

December 2012

Dec 02, 2012 03:00PM ● By Ana Rincon

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

~Napoleon Hill

I’m feeling a little unsettled this month. Compared to others, Hurricane Sandy disrupted my life very little; I had only a short outage of power, phone and Internet, and suffered no damage at all to my home or property. But even the minor disruptions made me long for my usual routine.  I’m looking forward to the family traditions we hold dear around the holidays to help center me again.

Of course many people will be spending the holidays trying to restore their lives. They have been displaced, lost precious things and perhaps loved ones, and have had their lives thoroughly disrupted. I hope they, too will feel the comfort of family, tradition, and community this month.

I believe they will, because catastrophes bring about opportunities for the spirit to shine and for communities to come together. Like blue sky after a storm, spirit shows up in the presence of disaster—courage, compassion, and generosity appear where they were out of sight before. Larissa Stewart, publisher of Natural Awakenings in Atlanta, says “It's nature's way of breaking down the barriers between us, so we can see the strength of our togetherness, to recognize we have more in common than not and to explore a deeper side of what it means to be human.”

So, if you’re able, take a moment to hold those affected by Hurricane Sandy in your thoughts and lend a hand by contributing time, money or resources to help them. 

If you’ve been left relatively unscathed by the storm, it’s a wonderful time of year to think about our blessings and how we can strengthen our own family traditions and connections. You can start small by celebrating Mindful Holiday Traditions (page 20), creating homemade and heartfelt stocking stuffers (page 22), and doing some healthy holiday baking (page 27). When you’re doing your holiday shopping this month, consider visiting the local vendors featured in the Naturally Perfect Gift Guide and elsewhere throughout the magazine. Shopping with them is shopping local, and serves to strengthen our communities.

Wishing you peace and a joyful holiday season,