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Natural Awakenings Ann Arbor Michigan

Gifts of the Heart

Nov 28, 2017 09:45AM

Trina Voell, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor, and, John Voell III


Winter holidays are a perfect time to pause for reflective breaths and quietly express gratitude for all the gifts and experiences we’ve been given. Good moments weave into our life’s tapestry, giving us much to be thankful for now and always.

The world needs all the good we can recognize, magnify and give. Serving the greater good doesn’t need to be grandiose; it can begin with simple acts of kindness like a sincere smile, opening a door for someone, picking up litter or helping a stranger. Just choosing to be the best version of ourselves is where it all starts.

Taking the time to give gifts from the heart manifest cherished experiences, charitable works and considerate gestures—they show respect and recognize others in meaningful ways. As a bonus, they resonate within us to create a deeper sense of fulfillment. As the prophet Khalil Gibran observed, “It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

Local and global peace and goodwill toward all are the gifts most of us place at the top of our wish list for humanity. In Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Peace on Earth: Conflict Resolutions that Work to Bridge Divides,” we learn about the healing power of recognizing our core oneness. Leading thinkers throughout the centuries ultimately come to recognize that everything and everyone is linked in a coherent whole.

It’s been an amazing year in our community and as publishers we’re honored to be able to help spread the word about all the good, healthy things happening here. We are excited and grateful for the abundance of quality connections, helpful editorial content, personal growth and well-being that results from maintaining and building the Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor healthy living, healthy planet network and know that through our partnership with our conscious living community, we’re helping to make a positive impact here and all around the world.

The Greater Ann Arbor area has led the way in green living for decades and this month’s Wise Words department interview with Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor in “Taylor Takes Leadership Role as an Environmentalist,” shows why we continue to do so. This visionary Mayor has an admirable plan to take our community to the next level of sustainability. For the full video interview, visit our new website,, the mindful living hub for healthy happenings and resources in Tree Town and the surrounding areas.

We are grateful to all of our advertisers for making this publication possible each month and for providing the goods and services that help each of us on our way to an ever healthier and happier body, mind and spirit. Gratitude also goes to our printer, designers, editorial team, distributors and distribution centers and, of course, most importantly to you, our loyal readers without whom we wouldn’t be here. Each of you is why this magazine is a blessing to our wider community.

We speak for the entire team when we say, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the role you play. We celebrate you all. As you read this month’s pages, we trust you’ll find ideas that enable you to embrace the spirit of the season, discover stillness and healing, and share blessings and gifts that nurture yourselves, your families and your neighbors.


Wishing you the happiest holiday season ever,


Trina and John Voell III, Publishers

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