Expecting Perfection

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I’m always amazed at the amount of time we devote to criticizing ourselves. It seems to me we give this cranial activity way too much power. Our areas for self-criticisms are usually quite predictable—the ways we have somehow failed to be perfect in social interaction, parenting, work and public image.

Why is it so important to us that we present this perfect person? Certainly, some things are worth striving for, and the journey toward achieving a great outcome can bring out the best we can be. There is much merit in doing things right and holding ourselves accountable. But “perfect” is a hard and often impossible expectation. It always leads to dissatisfaction in self. And expectations don’t end with ourselves… they expand to include others. We are often harsh to those we should be nurturing the most, expecting them to be perfect. But the perfection we demand is not “their” perfect, it’s “our” perfect. Continue reading

The Journey of Acceptance

I struggled my whole life with feeling less than. I covered it with phony, always thinking I should be someone else. I never really had a direction, so being left to my own thinking I was lost before I was a teen. I was chosen last in the playground, I never made teams. I sat on the bench and never played. No one paid attention to me.

When we stop and ask our kids how does sitting feel and they tell you “It’s okay, I don’t mind,” I would think about that. I doubt that it’s okay. We all need recognition. We all need someone to tell us we matter. Continue reading

Start a Movement of Nice

Inspiration! The process of being mentally stimulated to do something, especially to do something creative. Finding something everyday can be challenging, so let’s make it simple—look for opportunities to be kind.

As the saying goes, “just do it.” Reach down into your heart, take a risk, break the norm of watching and just do it. Take some action, no matter how small, to make someone’s day a little bit brighter and make someone smile. Continue reading

The Fall Shift

October represents change to me. The colors of fall are infectious as I watch the dramatic changing of leaves. Pumpkin patches glow in the fields, and apple trees sparkle as they wait to be picked. Sunsets become works of art. A new and invigorating energy seems to grip the air. Everything about fall and the change of seasons brings a new fresh energy to my life.

It is fascinating to watch how nature deals with change so effortlessly. If only it were the same for us. Nature moves without a push back—it simply adjusts and makes the necessary next move. I am amazed at the order of the universe—how complexity and simplicity work together to deliver exactly what is needed for the planet.  Continue reading

Letter from the Publisher, February 2018

Hello! to anyone reading this letter. My name is Joe Dunne, and my wife, Asta, and I are the new proud owners of Natural Awakenings magazine of Bucks and Montgomery counties of PA.

Before I start on me and my background, I would like to thank Karen for the more than spectacular work she has performed over her three-year ownership. Not only has she grown the magazine, she has also recruited a talented and dedicated support staff in Melanie, Julie, Kevin and Megan (all of whom are staying with us), and together they have made a difference. Karen’s outreach to the community, her dedication to her advertisers and her attention to editorial content so our readers continue to love us, are second to none. I am almost scared to try to fill her shoes. I know you will all join me in applauding her efforts, and wishing her well, as she designs her new life’s path. Making a difference matters in my world. And Karen, you have made a difference; we thank you. (I know she will still be an avid reader of this magazine.)

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