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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Healthy Escapes- June's Letter From the Publisher

May 31, 2012 08:43PM

Publisher Sharon Bruckman enjoying view of the Grand Canyon

While recounting tales from my weeklong Wild Dolphin swim adventure in Bimini last fall, my girlfriend commented about all the great explorations I embark on. It made me smile, because voluntarily forsaking the comforts of home isn’t easy.

During my Bimini escape, I was way out of my comfort zone, jumping into rough Atlantic waters on windy days and fidgeting with my snorkel and fins while being towed along on a group line, in the hope that the dolphins would find me interesting enough to interact with.

In Maui, Hawaii, a couple of years ago, that hammock (pictured to the right) was overwhelmingly inviting as I recuperated from a sick spell traveling the famous Road to Hana; a respiratory reaction to local volcanic ash? For a few minutes in-between expeditions I got to relax after a sleepless night in a primitive, off-the-grid bungalow, our latest in a trio of eco-communities. I sorely missed my own bed and home amenities that day. Yet I have never wished that I hadn’t taken any special trip.

This month’s Healthy Escapes feature article, introduces us to places that conjure other memories, like the time my daughter and I traveled to Costa Rica for an Omega Institute workshop called Dance Your Bliss. We flew along a zip line above the rainforest canopy, rafted whitewater and rode horses in the mountains. Closer to home, our Natural Awakenings family has gathered at Omega’s campus in upstate New York; I definitely recommend their workshops.

I realize that I’ve shied away from the kind of trips mentioned in this month’s feature that test one’s physical limitations and still regret sending my daughter off on a week’s hike up the Inca trail to Peru’s Machu Picchu without me. I think I could have handled it.

Joe Robinson, who contributed this month’s “Born to Explore” inspiration, observes that humans have a default setting deep in the emotional center of our brains that perceives the unknown as potentially threatening. The good news is that we can override this default and up our aptitude  for adventure.

We don’t have to travel to other parts of the world to step it up and live larger. Our staff asked the 14 Natural Awakenings Florida publishers to share their favorite Sunshine State escapes this month. The local beach, just five minutes from home, is my favorite place to hang out. My favorite daytrip is an hour north, at the Warm Mineral Springs Spa, in North Port. I book a massage, enjoy an organic lunch at their natural foods café and swim for hours in the highest mineral content soak in the country. I’m so mellow that it’s hard to task myself with driving home.

My all-time favorite escape is Higgins Lake, in Michigan, where my family has had a summer lake house for over 50 years; it’s the next best thing to being home. This summer will again find us all there.

Whatever it is that helps you unplug, recharge or make the most of summer, I encourage you to keep moving forward into the new—just do it. It can be as simple as stepping into a yoga class for the first time, renting a paddleboard for the afternoon or inviting a new friend to dinner.

While you’re on a roll, why not treat the special man in your life to something that helps him expand his horizons this Father’s Day? We’ve got him covered in more ways than one via June’s annual Men’s Wellness focus.

Here’s to happy trails and making life a daily adventure,





P.S. I’m now eager to hear tales of our national editor’s Alaska cruise this past month. It’s on my bucket list.

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