Unexpected Blessings




I love March with all its messiness. Trekking muddy pathways amidst windy New England weather, we never know whether the birds will be out singing up a storm or a late winter blizzard will blow in and change our plans. Still, we begin to mentally defrost and wake up with expectancy each day as spring approaches.

The blessings of the Northeast’s change of seasons serve as a metaphor for the unexpected blessings we receive from changes in our lives, especially those arriving after some emotional storm. Through my work as publisher of Natural Awakenings of Boston, I am beyond blessed in having repeated opportunities to meet incredible people with telling stories to share about events that have forever altered the course of their lives. A common thread I hear is how dramatic shifts brought on by a single crisis or series of seemingly awful situations turn out to be blessings in disguise.

People often ask what led me to publishing and each time I share the story, it becomes clearer to me: It’s embracing life’s deepest challenges that leads us to greater possibilities.

In just 17 months, from May, 2009 through September, 2010, I experienced a floodtide of significant changes. Some appeared to be positive while others left me feeling my world was crashing down inside and all around me.

Amid the whirlwind I got hooked on reading the Natural Awakenings of Rhode Island edition. I went out of my way to pick up a copy if my favorite rack was already emptied. Little did I know this evolving passion was seeding my future prospects. Every day, they continue to germinate and multiply possibilities through listening to readers’ and advertisers’ stories of trials and transformation, and how they found themselves doing what they’re doing and being today.

The overarching moral of all these stories is to never give up looking for a silver lining. Every hardship we face affords, somewhere beneath its surface, countless opportunities for realizing growth and greater inner peace when we look for and open up to receive them.

Thank you for the opportunity to share the passions of the amazing human beings you meet through these pages each month. I love the hope they present.

To embracing change and finding your “next”…

Maisie Raftery, Publisher

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More from Natural Awakenings

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.

Go for Flow

I love how simply noticing a negative emotion before it has time to take hold and expand in my thought and life made it easy to skip right past it.

Inner Whispers

I’ve come to believe that every human being battles a belief of duality, an outward egoistic personality along with another mindset that exists beneath it. It’s like there are two of us: a rational mind and a quieter inner mindset that speaks through our gut instinct, intuition and heart.

Inner Calm

This month’s feature story, “Dial Down Stress: How to Stay Calm and Cool”, by Lisa Marshall got me thinking a bit about how I deal with anxiousness.

Feeling Uplifted

Two of the trickiest topics to discuss are politics and religion. I’m giving myself a pass this month because what’s resonating within feels deeper than what the general term religion evokes for me.
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Archive »This Month

Personal Care Product Safety

Action Alert
Ask Congress to help protect our families from common harmful ingredients used in everyday personal care products.

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Natural Allergy Control

Rather than spraying steroids up our nose, there are a number of herbs that when absorbed by the membranes of the nasal passageways can enter the cells and cause them to produce their own antihistamines.