November 2016 - -

My grandmother was one of the first woman business owners I ever knew, and as an ambitious young girl myself, I had great admiration for her. I would work for her during my summer vacations, and I still remember asking her, with sincere curiosity, what her accountant did for her. “He does all my worrying for me,” she said. Amazed that someone actually got paid to worry, I asked, “How much do you pay him?” She answered in her wise voice, “Over a hundred thousand dollars a year—and that’s his first worry.”

Lately many small business owners, concerned with making ends meet, have been keeping a watchful eye on the elections, trying to anticipate any changes that may be on the horizon. As small business owners ourselves, my husband and I are often burdened with the same concerns, which are shared by many of the advertisers who support our publications. Over the last six years, I have been amazed that each month we are blessed with exactly what we need to keep going and growing. And we are so grateful for that!

This time of year we should all make a concerted effort to support the small businesses on the Emerald Coast. Sure, it’s easy to make purchases online or by phone, but when it comes to gift giving, we have many fabulous local options through which we can give back to our community and keep these businesses and practitioners healthy. Our daily and seasonal purchases are just one way we can make sure our neighbors are employed, with new jobs opening every day. 

I’m also grateful for the fact that, as the publisher of Natural Awakenings, I constantly meet new people who share my passion for healthy living. It seems that every day I learn about a different modality or nutritional philosophy or exciting new product, and hearing other people’s experiences expands my own perspective on the world and my life. That’s one of my favorite things about what I do. I love making new connections and learning to be more proactive about my well-being. I also love introducing you to the wonderful practitioners and business owners in our area by sharing their extensive knowledge and expertise through the pages of this magazine. 

This month we offer a holiday shopping guide filled with ideas for conscious gift giving. Along with the “One-Person Pamper Party,” with suggestions for how to renew mind, body and spirit with spas and self-care regimens, we’ve included a list of Northwest Florida’s natural and organic beauty salons and spas. We explore a new twist on fitness, “Pilates Fusion”, which is designed to excite almost any wellness enthusiast. And don’t miss our features on essential oils, which do way more than just smell good. These are versatile tools you can cook with (see our recipes), clean with and even diffuse to relieve stress and alleviate depression. You can learn more about essential oils throughout this month’s edition.

It’s our goal to help you discover new ideas, products and modalities that will enhance your life and the lives of those around you. There are so many tools that we all can use to stay centered, grounded and inspired—and that’s a gift we can appreciate all year long.

With joy,

Scott & Daralyn Chas

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