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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Welcoming the Unknown

Dec 30, 2022 06:30AM ● By Marlaina Donato
Sun setting over body of water near pier


Ushering in a brand-new year can be filled with hope, but it can also feel as daunting as a blank sheet of paper. We might pause at the threshold with pen in hand, recounting past mistakes and failures, hesitant to make our mark. The unforeseen is like a stranger, easy to mistrust. Dreading the unknown can be a self-sabotaging habit that obstructs the view and keeps us wishing instead of living.

Nature’s great gift is her constancy of seasons, but she thrives on change. Despite the human propensity for clutching what is familiar and predictable, we do best by leaving the door ajar for the unexpected. If we are fortunate, we will have 12 more months to have another go at it.

Setting a place at the table for delight shifts our frequency from resistance to receiving our highest good, and swapping anxiety for excitement can be a spiritual practice during our most uncomfortable moments. Instead of making a resolution, what if we made the simple decision to not believe our fears?

With no concept of limitation or worry of scraped knees, we once learned to walk, happily undiscouraged when we stumbled. That first spark of eager curiosity remains deep in our memory, not confined to youth. Embracing possibility this year can be a subtle, mantra-in-motion as we go through our days, a cellular willingness to expect an outcome tailored specifically for us. Here are some prompts for embracing possibility:

  • On scraps of paper, write down 12 things you have postponed doing or trying and keep them in a special canister. Pull one out each month and follow through with joyful anticipation.
  • Witness the sunrise once a week and designate it as an opportunity to open your heart and mind to the new and glorious.
  • Change things up in the kitchen: Buy new dishes and donate the old to a local thrift store. Try a new food every week and explore herbs and spices not usually in the cupboard.
  • Notice something in your daily surroundings that might have gone unnoticed before.

Marlaina Donato is an author, painter and composer.

5 Top Tips to Finding Your Next Doctor

1 Keep an Open Mind! Healthcare has come a long way. Today, you have access to practitioners that branch outside of traditional medicine and aim to identify the root causes of conditions while using alternative treatments that may help you get the relief you need. Just because it’s not a pill, doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

2 Build Your Health Care Team. There is no one doctor that can be the be-all-end-all for your health needs. Be sure to have a team of practitioners with different “lenses” and areas of expertise who will treat the root cause and not just the symptom(s).

3   Environment Influences Healing. Health is multi-factorial. Your mental and emotional environment plays a pivotal role in your healing potential. Your doctors and their staff should create an office atmosphere filled with positivity so you can get the most out of your care.

4 Your Story Matters.  Before you begin any treatment, be sure to have a comprehensive consultation to discuss your health concerns. Find practitioners who welcome questions and will take the time to listen and treat you with respect.

5 Report of Findings. When it comes to our health, we often make decisions without understanding the risk versus benefits. Knowledge is an important part of the healing process and is essential to make conscious, informed health decisions. Find practitioners who take the time to explain their exam findings and the recommendations for treatment in ways that make sense to you.

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