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Talk to Us: July/August 2018

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Page spread from March/April issue

I gave you a second chance …

I am a newcomer to your magazine. Upon reading my first issue (March/April) I was also “shocked” and disappointed to read the entry “Our President.” Meaning to write & respond, yet life got in the way, I was pleased to read a brave soul DID make the time to write. I agree wholeheartedly with the reader’s response and had the exact visceral impression of your editor’s very biased, mean-“spirited” comments.

In our present-day physical realm there are far too many sources of injustice, division, and lack of peacefulness. Too much anger and unforgiveness. We (hopefully most of us) are seeking a better life, a kinder existence, a higher plane, which I believed your magazine could provide a bit of. This, my dears, was not thoughtful, whatsoever. That said, I am thankful that I did not make a snap judgement based on one person’s OPINIONS, because in this issue I read [name withheld]’s letter.

Opinions are not necessarily facts. Interestingly, I have also learned by your response that I am a “reader with radically different viewpoints and beliefs.” Me, “a radical”—really? You don’t know me. —Culture Shocked God Continue to Bless America

Never Not Broken

First, I would like to say how I much I love that you share less-than-positive feedback in your letters to the editor. I have been reading your magazine since its inception, and while I don’t like every article, I love what your magazine brings to the table. I just finished reading “This Goddess Is Never Not Broken” and I just want to say thank you. I know I spend so much time trying to be perfect and never stumble because I don’t want to be vulnerable. I guess that comes from years of having my vulnerability exploited. The article immediately sent me on a search to learn more about Akhilandeshwari Ma. I mean, if a goddess can be imperfect, why can’t I? I also shared this article with a dear friend and her daughter, who struggles with anorexia. We have so many distorted definitions of perfection in our society. Thank you for this wonderfully new perspective.—Jacki Mallett

Hoopiness at 60

A few years back I ventured into the mindfulness hype that was not exactly taking schools by storm but was definitely a movement in education. I started my own practice, read books, and took classes and workshops. I attended retreats led by some of my favorite teachers and authors, got Reiki certified, and it didn’t take long to realize that this stuff works. I felt compelled to share what I was learning, and the school where I teach was supportive. I wasn’t naive enough to think it was a panacea, but in my own small way, I felt I was moving the needle in a forward direction.

And yet, a piece was needed to complete the puzzle. Three years ago, I picked up my first Hula-Hoop (I’m not counting elementary school) at a workshop offered by a perky young woman who decided not to become a math teacher. Her story had me enthralled. She loved the freedom of hooping and introduced me to the mindful movement of hoop dancing. I’m not a dancer and neither was she, but somehow that was okay. After completing an intensive, online program emphasizing tips, techniques, and goal setting, I became a certified teacher.

I realized that in picking up a hoop in the first place, I was listening to that small voice that took me by the hand and said, “Follow me.” It provided no explanation about where we were going or why we were going there. I trusted that voice simply because it felt right. It felt good. Yet, there is another voice that sometimes tells me how embarrassing it is to see me dancing and hooping as if I’m 18 again. (At 18 I would have been much too self-conscious to hoop!) I still need to learn to silence one voice and follow the other because the good one leads me into flow and passion. As strange as it sounds, I know what comes next is none of my business. Staying the course is the hard part. —Carol Caruso

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