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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Finding Joy and Gratitude in Less

Our feature story this month, “The Joys of Minimalism, A Rich Life with Less Stuff,” by Carrie Jackson, struck a chord for me as I sit to write this month's letter with a dumpster in the driveway

A broken water heater led to the lifting of what were discovered to be asbestos floor tiles in my basement. After all the water was cleaned up and the water-damaged mountain of accumulated “stuff” was identified and isolated, I had the idea that I would hold off on having the asbestos abatement done until I was able to go through the rest of what lurks beneath the main living area in my home.

That was late March. Springtime came and my dreams of dutifully clearing what amounts to a lifetime of clutter dashed away like a firefly on a summer night. I’ve had this dream before. You may know the one; “I’m going to go through one box a week and make those hard decisions of what to keep, give away or discard.” It sounds good, but for many of us, we never quite get around to it.

While the presence of the dumpster is a good indicator that there’s been some progress, there’s still a long way to go. My favorite advice from the article is to find someone who is not attached to all the memories that have been stored away in the dark to help. As Jackson shares, unbiased guidance can help diffuse any emotional conflicts that may arise from the attachment we feel to our stuff.

As I think about the memories attached to those hidden away belongings it brings up a feeling of gratitude. I am grateful that I still have the memories in my heart and mind when so many are afflicted with the horrifying effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia. And this says nothing of the burdens these diseases lay on patients’ loved ones.

Last month, in partnership with our parent company, KnoWEwell, Natural Awakenings sponsored a screening of the new documentary film, Memories for Life, Reversing Alzheimer’s. The film features hope-offering stories of the first patients successfully reversing their symptoms using a personalized health protocol developed by neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen.

The accumulation of Bredesen’s life’s work presented in the film offers compelling evidence that those in the early stages of the disease’s progression have much to be hopeful for. If you or someone you love falls into this category, I’d recommend checking it out. Starting on November 15, 2023, the film will be available for streaming at

May you be blessed this holiday season by the creation of joyful memories with your loved ones, far and near.



Maisie Raftery, Publisher