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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Continuing to Carry the Torch

This month marks the 13th anniversary of our Boston edition with Rhode Island coming up on 16 years in September. To say it’s been a long and winding road is an understatement.

Being recently reminded of a conversation I had with then and since passed Vice President and Director of Franchising for Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation John Voell, I’m grateful to have continued carrying the torch along with my fellow publishers across the country.

It was somewhere around July 25, 2010; the day I handed over my signature on the franchise documents along with what was for me, a big fat check. As I handed over the check and documents, John said the following words, “Okay, I can tell you now.”

Standing there right after making such a commitment and then hearing his comment made me immediately wonder what I had gotten myself into!

After a brief pause, allowing me to have that experience which I think was playfully on purpose, he said, “You have no idea how much you have just changed the trajectory of your life.” He added, “You are going to meet people who are doing things and helping others in ways that are going to blow your mind.” Boy, did he know his business!

After seeing the visible relief in my body language and facial expression, John reached out, opened his arms out wide and gave me one of the best bear hugs ever. Regardless of his “warning”, there is nothing that could have prepared me for the experiences I would have and the people I would meet over the next, nearly 14 years.

A special thank you to our advertising partners both past and present in both MA and RI that make this publication possible. I know I can speak for my dear friend and colleague, Maureen Cary, the former RI publisher, as I offer these words of gratitude. We exist because of you. These are your pages to share your gifts with the communities we serve, and we appreciate you.

To our readers, we are equally grateful to you and your readership, your sharing of the magazine with others and your patronage of the businesses we serve.

Not gonna lie. I’ve thought about “escaping” many times over the years. Like most, I ride that rollercoaster of love/hate relationship with my work sometimes. And then, something happens, and I fall back in love.

Meeting and supporting people and businesses that are doing the work of helping others, our pets and our planet heal has become most fulfilling and I’m happy to share this special edition with you.

To hope and healing for all who seek!



Maisie Raftery, Publisher