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letterfrompublisher F

rom the germination of the idea for this month’s fea- ture article to its completed layout, I fully resonated with the concept of “Whole Being Workouts: Moving the Body Opens the Door to Spirit,” by Lisa Marshall. It helped me understand why I have always been drawn to mind-body- spirit workouts instead of treadmills, and introduced me to fresh ways people are infusing their fitness programs with

spirit. After all, our body is a living temple. It makes sense to integrate ways of meeting our physical, emotional and spiritual needs—it’s a much more efficient approach in today’s busy world. When I discovered yoga in my early 20s, I realized how my mind could be still while my body was active, something I was trying to achieve in daily life. Today, it’s the foundation of my fitness program, supporting all the other activities I love to do. My favorite forms of exercise always involve being in nature. All summer I am blessed to be within reach of a body of water. At home in Southwest Florida, it’s usually the Gulf of Mexico. At our family’s northern Michigan lake house, I regularly walk to the end of the dock and jump on my paddleboard, extending my whole-body workout until I’m ready to dive in for a refreshing swim. Kayaking nearby rivers and hiking woodland trails are high on my list, too. For me, the highlight of any weekend summer music festival is creative

movement dancing under the stars. It recalls the blessings of an Omega Institute workshop my daughter, Alina, and I attended in Costa Rica, called Dance Your Bliss. During the course of the week, we danced our prayers, shared our hearts and stories in our small group and decorated walls with artful expressions. Such shared experiences enrich and connect us in deeper ways. Lately, I’ve been noticing how so many people seem to hold back from fully

embracing life’s new and meaningful opportunities because they are stuck in a comfort zone where they feel safe. Experts in this month’s special Fitness issue suggest that moving our bodies in new ways can bump us into new spheres of be- ing, perhaps by activating or creating new neural pathways in the brain. When life feels too busy to make an effort to expand beyond our present boundaries, it helps to just take that first step. I have found that whenever I create a strong enough intention to grow, the Universe steps up to present opportunities. You don’t need to leave town to gather friends or family for a sunset paddleboard or kayaking adventure. Why not call a friend to go dancing tonight? Move your body in a new direction that honors your spirit and who knows

what else will shift? Perhaps your mind will step off the treadmill and be quiet long enough to let an inspiring new idea emerge. What else might you do this month to move in a new direction? Take action and see what happens. It will be fun.

To flexibility in body, mind and spirit,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher 6 Collier/Lee Counties

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