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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Rekindling Wonderment

The kids are headed back to school, and because we all get ready to hit the mental reset button, our August issue is here to help—chock-full of great ideas to support a shift in perspective, open us more to life’s mysteries and encourage us to recognize that not everything needs to be explained or understood fully. Let’s embrace the uncertainty and marvel in the inexplicable. Allow your imagination to wander into the realm of possibilities and see where it leads you.

            If you need a little nudge, this month’s Inspiration department, “Walking in Wonder,” encourages us to reconnect with a childlike sense of awe and curiosity. As adults, it’s easy to become so consumed with the demands of everyday life that we forget how soul-fulfilling and awe-inspiring it is to literally stop and smell the roses. Marlaina Donato’s list of suggestions is well-matched with this month’s theme of lifelong learning because we really must rekindle wonderment to experience true enrichment. Exploring the thrill and magic of life and all that we can learn on a daily basis is even better when shared with kindred souls.

            Lifelong learning is a philosophy and approach to education that emphasizes continuous renewal and personal development at every age. In our main feature, “Lifelong Learning: Benefits of Being the Forever Student,” we discover that learning does not need to be confined to the classroom, but can take place in different contexts at any stage of life. Lifelong learners are generally curious, self-motivated and passionate individuals. Their continued scholarly pursuits have also been shown to lead to mental and emotional benefits including a healthier, more fulfilling life. It’s true that the ongoing pursuit of knowledge, passion and purpose will keep you motivated, inspired and connected to your authentic self.

            The here and now is always an opportunity to envision what you’d like to accomplish in the next chapter of your life, so take a moment to reflect on your achievements and experiences thus far and gather up new goals for the future. Is lifelong learning in the plan? The first step may involve rekindling a sense of wonderment and reconnecting with that which inspires you. Consider subjects, experiences and environments that resonate, and make a conscious effort to incorporate the awe and curiosity they instill into your daily life.

            Speaking of the next chapter, I am turning 60 this month! As I take stock of the meaningful moments and experiences that have shaped my life, it seems incredible that so much time has passed by. I know I have so much to be grateful for: the good, the bad and everything in-between that has brought me to where I am now. I am excited to embrace the start of this new decade filled with hope for new adventures and possibilities, armed with plenty of wisdom to “just go with it.” God is good!

            As always, we urge you to make your best effort to step outside each day, observe the season’s natural progression; look for monarchs and other butterflies; dance in the rain if you’d like; and savor the blessings of late summer. Carve out time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. Appreciating the small joys and blessings in your life can help you see the magnificence of everyday moments. Plus, mindfully staying aware of and magnifying the positive enables us to make the most of each day, whatever changes come our way.

Here’s to focusing on what really matters!

 John and Trina Voell, Publishers