Letter from Publisher, February 2014

A new year, another full year of life usually prompts us to pause and see where we’ve landed and how we’re doing. Because it was one of those milestone markers, my recent birthday brought my usual annual re-evaluation in spades. It happens every time I feel that I am leaving one “place” or era and entering another. My updated Facebook profile now carries the unconventional profile photo accompanying my
publisher's photo for feb letter this month. Friends’ responses have been encouraging, with comments ranging from, “This is great,” and, “It made me laugh,” to, “Your photo shows the adorable, fun side of your personality,” and, “You’re brave.”

In most life situations, I work to maintain a certain level of modesty, but what to do when a girl wants to let down her hair? It is my hope that with this silly picture, you now know more about who I am. I like to think it captures my attitude, my acceptance of who I am and my heart. Why not align special moments, if not daily life, with who we are? I’ve learned that giving one’s self the great gift of unconditional love is key.

In the realm of good self-care, have you treated yourself to a massage lately? I highly recommend it. Tightness and tension in the body cause stress, which we all know has unfunny repercussions. Beyond feeling like you’re indulging yourself, therapeutic massage and bodywork are proven ways to release tension and keep the energy flowing, helping to keep your body balanced. In these pages, you’ll find many other feel-good ways to take care of your personal health and wellness.

Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Rethinking Heart Health” explores other dimensions of wellness, focusing on the heart/mind emotional component of cardiac health to good effect. I learned a lot in this follow-up to our popular “Rethinking Cancer” article last August.

In the spirit of embodying the Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—I encourage you to try out our chocolate recipes with someone you love this Valentine’s Day. It’s so much more fun to live with an open heart.

To living out loud,
Audrey Chen, Publisher


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