Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2014

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Page 5 of 43

Dear Readers, Transformation can occur in a variety of ways, from a change of diet to starting a meditation practice, organizing finances to falling in love. In the context of this issue we're exploring the transformation of the way we approach our spirituali- ty, and one thing has become clear: We may like connecting casually and spon- taneously via texts and social media, but we still long for meaningful one-on-one connection. The eyeball-to-eyeball con- versation, the touch of a hand or a hug, that palpable energy that bounces from one human body to another just can't be replaced by a digital connection, despite what the film Her may suggest. Yesterday I had an MRI scan and pe- riodically the technician squeezed my body in one place, probably to push more blood into another, simultane- ously turning up the sound, and at these times I could hear, greatly amplified, my blood rushing through my veins. It was an exciting re- minder of the won- drous functions my body performs all by itself, every moment of my life. The blood and breath that course through us get scant attention, but are essential to our lives. In the same way, there is an en- ergy that connects all living beings, and we need that flow in order to thrive. Isn't it interesting that the whole con- cept of festivals—now a big part of our social landscape—began less than half a century ago? Part of it is economic—peo- ple began to have more leisure time— but I believe that to some extent festi- vals have replaced churchgoing in many people's lives. Instead of praying with our tribes via an intermediary inside a build- ing, we create our own tribes and rituals in natural settings. Remember that big brouhaha in Or- ange County, parents suing the school district for teaching yoga, which they per- ceived as a religion? It's not, of course, but you can see where they might be confused, because in some ways it may have replaced religion. Music columnist, yoga instructor and festival alum Derek Beres posits some provocative theses about all of this starting on pg. 22. Sometimes people look for community "in all the wrong places," to borrow from a well-known country song, and get in- volved with groups that actually suck the life out of them. Conservative estimates show there are now 2 million adults in- volved in cults in America. See what hap- pened to one writer who got caught up in a cult, albeit briefly (pg. 26). Of course, we could argue that some traditional reli- gions exhibit characteristics of a cult, but that is another conversation. The bottom line is that group energy is like anything else: it can be used for good or ill. It's depressing to see herd mentality take over in broadcast television, and even among supposedly intelligent, thoughtful elected representa- tives in Congress, but group energy can also create positive, specif- ic change (pg. 24). It's scientifically proven! We can't promise that this issue will transform your life, but it may. A reader called this week wanting to reconnect with WLT and told us it had literally done just that for her several years ago. Phone calls like that make our effort feel so worthwhile. Thank you for reading and supporting WLT and please, if you love us, love our advertisers. They need to hear from you to know their money is well spent in our pages. So call them, find out what they're about; they're all interesting, creative people doing their part to help transform their world. Who knows? One of them might even help to transform yours. From my heart, from the editor be high print All Inclusive 3-Day Event $249 6 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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