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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne County Michigan

A Happier Life and a Better World

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. With the pandemic teaching us what truly matters, people are increasingly turning to simpler, sustainable, more conscious ways of living. What exactly does that mean? For different people it will mean different things, but for most, it’s about consuming less and living more mindfully—more quality time, and simply slowing down. Read on in our main feature, “Less Stuff, More Joy: Ways to Live Simpler and Lighter on Mother Earth.”

     Intuitive knowing, often criticized, was considered superior to knowledge by Albert Einstein. One study found that CEOs with high intuitive capacities doubled company profits within five years, and the military is now openly researching what it has termed “sensemaking”. Intuitive flashes of instant knowing come easier when we’re free of anger or fear, and they can be cultivated with meditation, creative projects, time in nature and social media sabbaticals. Get inspired and reconnect with what lives within you in “The Quiet Power of Intuition.”

            Michaeleen Doucleff, the NPR science correspondent, frustrated by her toddler’s behavior, took the girl to hunter-gatherer cultures around the world to explore how they raised happy, helpful children. She found that those parents treated their children in a gentle, calm and peaceful way by stressing cooperation versus the yelling and nagging common among Western parents trying to control a child’s actions. She advises children need more connection, more responsibility and more ways to contribute. Discover more in our Wise Words department.

            The founder of World Water Reserve explains how disruption of the planetary hydrologic system caused by the building of dams, waterway pollution, road paving, drilling and bottled water privatization is causing severe water shortages around the world that could leave half the world’s population unable to access the water they need by 2025. Find out how you can help in “Water Scarcity Woes: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse.”

            No exercise is simpler than walking, yet not many of us do enough of it, as the country’s climbing obesity rates demonstrate. To get in the recommended 30 minutes a day, it’s useful to schedule it. Walking a dog also conditions the body, and choosing the proper gear, perhaps flat-soled, barefoot shoes, can help prevent other causes of pain. Get in step with our Fit Body department, “Walk About: Simple Steps to Well-Being.”

            Pet owners report great success in using cannabidiol (CBD) to reduce anxiety and seizures in dogs, with it sometimes working within days to restore mobility to dogs hobbled by arthritic pain. Preliminary studies show this non-psychoactive part of the hemp plant can help dogs with arthritis, itchiness, aggressiveness and seizures. It’s best to choose a broad-spectrum product with third-party certificates regarding potency and heavy metal testing. Learn more to help elevate your hound’s health in “Cannabis and Canines: How Cannabidiol Benefits Dogs.”

            As the world around us changes into hues of gold, red and brown, enjoy the autumn season of mums, hay bales, Halloween decorations and chilly fall evenings. Remember, those hay bales make pretty awesome mulch once the decorative festivities are over. Our local farmer friends tell us that this upcoming winter will be one to remember. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the lovely days and the bounty of the season.

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Feel good, live simply and laugh more!