Publisher's Letter

Published on June 30th, 2017 | by Paul Chen, Publisher

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Introducing Our First Column

I am pleased to announce the debut of a local monthly column in Natural Awakenings Atlanta. Its purpose: to share stories of personal awakenings in Atlanta; to highlight paradigms, practices, processes, products and services that have worked for our columnist and others; and to be a point where we engage with readers. I’ll write more on that last point a little later.

While we may have the occasional guest columnist, the principal columnist will be staff writer Lucretia Robison. I introduced Lucretia a couple of issues ago, but would like to elaborate a little more on her.

I met Lucretia in May 2016 at Jeff Primack’s Qi Revolution. A neat coincidence around this is that Lucretia first attended this event a few years earlier, courtesy of a guest ticket, and my attendance was also courtesy of a guest ticket from the previous publishers of Natural Awakenings Atlanta.

As we first met over lunch, I was immediately impressed. I had bought my lunch from the food court, but Lucretia pulled out a mason jar of salad with beautifully layered ingredients arranged to preserve the consistency and textures of the various ingredients. She explained how she made a whole week of lunches like this at one time. And before long, she was explaining how attending the earlier Primack event led to her losing 60 pounds, which she’s successfully kept off.

We broke bread again the next day, and because of Lucretia’s open and sharing ways, I learned much of her life’s path, of horrible and harrowing events that set her back significantly, but far more importantly, of a resilience and determination that instigated, and continues to instigate ongoing transformation.

It wasn’t long after that weekend, now over a year ago, that I envisioned Lucretia writing a column for this magazine. The reason was simple: she had experienced, and continues to experience, the sort of awakenings that this publication is all about—the potential of our bodies to heal, the possibility of emotional health through learning to see things differently, and our power and responsibility to effect positive change in our world.

Moreover, Lucretia is a healer, a licensed massage therapist and a newly-minted health coach. And she manages to be positive and upbeat nearly all the time. In short—and I said this only half jokingly to her—she could be the magazine’s mascot.

With principal columnist chosen, the only thing left to do was to give our new feature a name. Lots of ideas were tossed around, but none of them satisfied. At the last moment, I reviewed the goals for the column. A primary one is to relate to readers in a personal way. Another is to constantly remind everyone that we are not alone on this journey to our higher selves. This brief review triggered a spontaneous and poetic answer: The words that opened my first issue of Natural Awakenings Atlanta was a quote from Ram Dass: “When all is said and done, we’re all just walking each other home.”

Dear readers, I hope you enjoy our new column, Walking Each Other Home.

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Now, about engaging with readers. I’m very keen on hearing from and engaging with you all, though I’ve been warned not to expect much.

Nevertheless, I know readers are engaging with the content. In these first few months, I’ve received inquiries about health care providers; we don’t recommend providers as a matter of policy, but we will share contact information of the people we know. And just today, I received a surprise request from a reader who asked for copies of the magazine to stuff into gift bags for a very large family reunion.

We have ideas on engaging readers on social media and then bringing the results into print, but that will take time to develop. In the meantime, I’d like to encourage a throwback practice: Letters to the Editor. React to what you see in these pages. Offer a perspective, an experience, more information, an opinion. Contribute your voice. Enrich others. We’d love to hear from you, and our managing editor can be reached at Sarah@naAtlanta.com.


About the Author

Paul Chen is the publisher of Natural Awakenings magazine of Atlanta.


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