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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

My Gratitude Attitude

Oct 29, 2021 10:27AM ● By Nancy Seigle

November seems to always inspire us to be more mindful of—and thankful for—various blessings in our daily lives. The very word, "Thanksgiving," sets the tone. It's important to be grateful, not only because your parents raised you with values and manners, but because it's good for your health. According to the American Heart Association, the habit and practice of gratitude may actually change your perception of well-being. Our brains have a natural tendency to focus on negativity in order to avoid the possibility of future pain. We can balance this by practicing gratitude. Because, after all,  

"A Grateful Heart is a Healthy Heart."

 Shae Markus, Publisher

One year ago, I made the decision to buy a Natural Awakenings franchise and publish this magazine I am so passionate about. I can’t say that starting a new business in the heart of a pandemic has been easy, but it’s been so worth it! I am grateful for the holistic community who have embraced me, my advertisers, who without them it would not be possible to publish, and for my very talented team with their positive energy and creative minds that always makes putting this magazine together FUN!  

Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul ~ Amy Collette.  


Theresa Archer,  Calendar Editor 

The one-year-old little boy in the picture is now a very energetic six, and what I am most grateful for in my life. Holding my son in my arms was a long and arduous journey. A little over nine years ago my daughter, Cecilia, was stillborn. On January 1, 2013, I put a purple and pink ribbon around a Mason jar and began a year of writing down on a piece of pink paper one thing I was grateful for every single day. It helped me beyond words and has become a daily practice to remember to love and have gratitude for the journey. 


Sara Gurgen,  News Briefs Editor 

Gratitude is my elixir—a pandemic panacea! Since I was a young adult, I’ve understood the importance of taking stock of all I have to be grateful for, especially during difficult and uncertain times like those in which we are living.  

Let’s face it, life’s tough and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and find yourself looking at the glass half empty and wondering how your default setting switched from happy go lucky to doom and gloom. However, over the years, I’ve found that following a three-step gratitude formula really helps center me and quiet my mind. 

First, I make a mental list of everything I’m thankful for, like my family, boyfriend, dog, nature, work, dancing, painting, coffee, wine…; secondly, I make a point of finding time—even if it’s just 10 minutes—to engage in something I’m grateful for, like painting or sipping wine, or both; and finally, I do something kind for someone whom I’m grateful for, like restocking the wine fridge.  


Sheila Julson, Editor  

When I think about gratitude, good health immediately comes to mind—especially during the ongoing pandemic of this past year-plus. But in the broader picture, practicing gratitude daily and focusing on my blessings, rather than obsessing about missed chances or what my life might be lacking, has improved my mental wellness and boosted relationships. As Mick Jagger once sang, “You can’t always get what you want,” and by making peace with that, I can focus on the people and things that truly bring me joy. 

Randy Kambicc,  Editor & Proofreader 

To me, expressing gratitude is an important part of living, both for self-care and helping others. Along with giving thanks for the health of myself, wife, family and friends, I like to look at it more broadly and in a historical perspective. 

We should be grateful for the genius, hard work and dedication of scientists and others whose inventions we often take for granted that have made our lives so much more comfortable than for previous generations. And we should appreciate the quality of life we enjoy in America compared to many other regions of the world. 


Kristin Kelly, Bookkeeper  

Last year, we moved to a new state. I experienced heartache as we had lived in Tulsa for 25 years, and my oldest children were staying behind. What I learned about gratitude is profound. Once I stopped trying to make the sadness end sooner, I saw with new eyes.  

I’m thankful for texts sent by longtime friends. Smiles. The magnificent Ozarks. Closer family relationships. Autumn leaves. Winter storms. New neighbors. Simple pleasures made me grateful for my new life.  

You, too, can be grateful wherever you are. People are hurting everywhere. Today, may you return kindness and show them infectious gratefulness. 


Dana Larkin, Sales & Marketing Consultant  

Each day, I aim to take a moment and acknowledge what I feel gratitude towards. These daily acknowledgements have created a change in me that is truly undeniable. It has offered a shift of positive energy which has attracted more wonderful experiences for me to be grateful for.  

At our core, we are all beings of happiness, and that is what we are ultimately here to experience. Gratitude to me is simply the presence of anything that feels good. I encourage everyone to take time each day to recognize where in your life you find gratitude, and watch how your experiences evolve.

Kristy Mayer, Digital Marketing Manager 

Gratitude has been a game changer in my life. When I feel lost, confused or sad, the one thing that can always bring me back to center is gratitude. When I look at gratitude and what I am thankful for, all of a sudden, my feelings of “lacking” disappear.  

Sometimes I find gratitude in the big things—my family, my home, my loveable pup, Rumi. 

Sometimes I focus on the small things—the warmth of the sun, the color of the fall trees or the taste of a good cup of tea. 


Jaycee Miller  Editor 

The road has rarely been smooth for my friends and family in the past year. I am forever in gratitude for the lessons of resilience, determination, kindness and love that have emerged from these struggles.  

I am also grateful for being able to learn amazing things and then share that knowledge with thousands of people, and in gratitude for the hard work of others that enables the United States to be as great as it is. 

(Jaycee Miller, who is also grateful that her colleagues at Natural Awakenings accept her for who she is, including the fact that she’s camera shy.) 


Matt Presto, Contributing Editor  

The best thing about gratitude is how it can manifest in different ways. Take passive gratitude for example. If you just had a normal day, but still want to show appreciation for eating good food, drinking clean water and getting a hot shower, it may not be natural to show active gratitude for such experiences, especially every day. However, quietly acknowledging these vital things daily shows you, those around you and the universe that, indeed, you’re grateful to be able to engage such great things. 


Gina Saka, Contributing Editor 

Gratitude is the way to peace. As humans in the modern world, we spend so much of our time in the mind of judgment rather than the heart of gratitude. When we are in the judging mind, we fragment our lives, our loved ones and ourselves. But when we are in the grateful heart, we see everything as whole, complete, lacking nothing. Practice every day moving from a state of judgment to gratitude, of fragmentation to wholeness, of mind to heart—noticing the impossibly precious gift of everything from the faintest star to the nearest tree. 


Nancy Smith Seigle Communications 

Reporter, copy writer, editor, public relations and marketing specialist are some of the professional hats I’ve happily worn over the years. A peek into my heart will show a little breakage and wear along with a ton of love for my family and friends. My daily intention is to treasure the moments I’m able to harvest the joys, recognize the many miracles and blessings, and appreciate the sometimes-difficult contrast that losses and unexpected change can bring. I’m grateful for it all. 


Suzzanne Siegel, Design & Production 

The year 2020 was exceptionally difficult for me; several of my clients went out of business due to Covid-19 and expenses mounted that I couldn't afford. Not to mention, my "language" took a decidedly bad turn as I grew more and more angry at my situation. Seriously—I was making truckers blush! 

So I decided that in 2021, I would make a profound change. I sold my home for a "very pretty penny," paid off all of my debt and relocated to a beautiful little town only two hours away, where several old friends had also moved.  

I'm THANKFUL for having patience and fortitude, enabling me to see myself through difficult times. I'm also GRATEFUL for finding new and rewarding work, along with this wonderful new life in my beautiful new home! 


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