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letter from the publisher O


ne of my favorite things to do is choose cover art. I chose this Owl art piece for good reasons. For me, owls represent wisdom, protection


and bravery…the very things we need these days. Some cultures associate owls with death though. However, the death word need not be taken literally. Here, in this context, death represents transition. T is is a time of renewal—to let go of old patterns that do not serve


a higher purpose. (Note: I always feel blessed when hearing (or seeing) owls, and especially when there becomes a cacophony among them in our neighborhood trees. It’s a good omen.) Springtime is here—the perfect time to cleanse, move forward—to feel


rejuvenated and alive! T is edition focuses on how to honor our beautiful planet Earth, too. From diet and home improvements to revisiting ancient wisdom from our elders, you will fi nd many helpful tips to improve your quality of life. Enjoy! I have a pet-peeve quote: “Ignorance is Bliss.” T is could be true for


some people, like me, who suff er from TMI (Too Much Information); however, claiming blissful ignorance is a real cop-out, in my opinion. For publishers and journalists, TMI can be exhausting and stressful, especially if daily judgments need to be made. Is the incoming information true or false? It’s oſt en hard to know. Gratefully, I have many respected friends and natural health advocates


who help guide me. I consider these mentors my “human owls.” T ere is no way I could do my job without their input and support. Yesterday I read a great quote by Bruce Lipton (from T e Biology of Belief): “You know why it’s hard to be happy—it’s because we refuse to LET GO


of the things that make us sad.” Basically, our emotions control our level of happiness (or sadness,


whichever you choose). My saddest emotions arise when I think of the torturous conditions at factory animal farms and slaughterhouses. Even the human workers experience severe depression and mental illness. How could anyone (with any sense of compassion) not feel sad? T erefore, for me, it is very Easy to LET GO—and stop buying all meat products. For the animals, our planet and our own personal health, this choice is the most intelligent thing we can do. Beatles musician Sir Paul McCartney comments that when he sees a


slice of bacon, he sees the whole intelligent pig, who he also considers “my little friend.” Friends don’t eat friends. Friends nurture friends. Friends support each other. T at’s just what friends do. I hope you LET GO of all things that bring you sadness. Don’t be afraid


of TMI—educate yourself—make wise decisions with new friends—and choose happiness! T e rewards are countless.


Here’s to all my (two-legged and four-legged) friends out there— Let’s share Happy Days,


Margaret Mary Jones, Publisher


cover artist


Burrowing Owl Stephen Blancett


C


over artist Stephen Blancett has been making art since childhood, but his style and


subjects are ever- evolving. Animals are a new favorite subject of the artist, who typically paints both abstracts and figures portrayed realistically in form, but in bold, unreal colors. “I’ve always had a love for animals,” says Blancett, a resident of Alva, Florida. “I see a lot more wildlife now that I live near a river, especially fish, manatees and alligators, which inspires me to paint them.”


Burrowing Owl was commissioned for a fundraiser for Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT), an organization that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. “It’s a great reward to know that my art benefits another person in some way,” says Blancett, a longtime supporter of ACT.


A former creative director in the advertising and publishing fields with a degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Blancett serves as national art director for Natural Awakenings. His work has been featured in numerous publications and galleries around the world, including recent exhibitions in Miami, London, Vienna and Strasbourg.


Visit the artist’s portfolio at Blancett.gallery.


April 2018 9


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