April is a month of new beginnings. With April comes spring and Easter, a time of rebirth, renewal and recovery. It’s a time of awakening. People often ask us about the significance of our name Natural Awakenings. An awakening is a time of intensified perception. There are signs to look for when realizing that an awakening is taking place.
1. Being in the present. Instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future, people that are experiencing an awakening are more likely to appreciate and live in the NOW.
2. Being aware of the shared life force in all of nature. It’s feeling connected by this life-force energy and having a sense of harmony.
3. Having a sense of inner calm. Rather than the chatter and confusion of thoughts, an awakening brings about an inner peace and quietness.
4. Sensing what others are feeling. The enlightenment that comes with awakening provides a better sense of what others feel. This connection breaks down barriers.
5. Broadening views of the world. Awakened individuals move beyond group identity and ego and look at the world through a broader lens. They become aware of how they impact the world through the choices they’re making. Our world becomes a better place when people experience this awakening.
Earth Day is honored on April 22. Sustainability isn't a vague, esoteric concept, but a critical factor in our very survival. The Earth Day Network has chosen to focus this year's campaign on the protection of species to raise awareness of the crucial roles that plants and animals play in the ecosystem and the current threats faced by many of them. This web of life is inextricably woven into the habitats that form our planet's life support system. Each link in the chain that is lost or broken—from the smallest microbe to the largest mammal—will have a profound effect on future generations. And so, sustainability is the watchword of this issue of Natural Awakenings, beginning with the excellent feature Power Switch: Taking a Home Off the Grid. Writer Jim Motavalli delivers an in-depth dive into sources of alternative energy, costs, technologies and special considerations—including the availability of government tax credits and the option to make a partial transition to green power, without leaving the grid entirely.
What we eat, how and with whom also contributes to the idea that we're all in this together. Wise Words to that effect can be found in Ocean Robbins on Personal and Planetary Health, by April Thompson. Thompson takes this a step further in another article that explores a growing trend across the nation and around the globe in Potluck for the 21st Century: Breaking Bread, Building Community.
April’s edition brings several enlightening and innovative ways to connect with people and the planet. Whether plunging into the woods, establishing a sacred spa
ce inside the home, exploring creative art therapies, or taking kids on extraordinary outdoor adventures, this month’s magazine is sure to provide some incentive to get out there and enjoy life.
With our heartfelt gratitude,
Beckie and Bud Kowalski, Publishers