Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Letter from Publisher

Living Courageously

When my first child was born, I wished I could protect him from the inevitable trials and disappointments that would rise up to meet him on his path. So while I tried to shield him and his younger sister from the big things, I also worked to help them build their own means of resilience.

Up through my 30s I felt fairly blessed, facing only an average quota of the “normal” growing pains most of us encounter. But then several midlife biggies came along, including divorce, cancer, my son’s passing and hefty doses of business and financial setbacks. They’re the kinds of things that bring you to your knees, ready to surrender to something bigger and, if ready, to turn to divine intervention and guidance. Such opportunities are where real inner growth takes place as we search for answers and a willingness to heed the right ones.

I love April Thompson’s February feature article, “Rising Above Adversity.” We are reminded through multiple first-person examples that “Challenges don’t define you. How you respond does.” Strengthening our own “resilience muscle” comes with practice through many avenues. One I particularly like is remembering to find things I am grateful for several times a day.

A sincere meditation practice also provides preparation and protection, helping us to regulate our emotions and relax the nervous system. To find the right style of meditation for you, see April’s second article.

Participating in our local Women’s March last month made it crystal clear that if the world is to shift from its current debilitating course, we must rise above the adversity we see and experience. This includes a shift in the fundamental relationship between men and women, and recognizing the deeply complementary synergies of masculine and feminine qualities of being.

Men and women need each other to create a healthy, balanced society. As societies have shown throughout history, maintaining a patriarchal mode alone will almost inevitably drive us toward division, violence and war. Women’s natural tendency to nurture the higher impulses and initiate conversations across divides helps mitigate polarization and rebalance social culture.

In this month that finds a big heart right in the middle of it celebrating LOVE on February 14, I am reminded of how vital healing and opening my heart has always been in strengthening my own resilience in the face of challenges. I’ve found that the more I love and forgive myself and others our flaws, the more peace I feel and can spread to everyone.

To a heart-opening month,

Sharon Signature

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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