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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Loving Friends

Nov 04, 2013 01:50PM

While preparing for this month’s special Personal Growth edition, my dear friend and business partner, John R. Voell, transitioned to the other side. I already dearly miss him in many ways. Perhaps more than anyone, he has been a major catalyst for personal growth for me for the past 15 years.

As an avid reader of the first Natural Awakenings magazine (the original Naples/Ft. Myers edition I launched in 1994) John always loved to repeat the story that, “God told him in a dream that he was one of his greatest salesmen and should help me multiply this magazine.” His previous experience developing a new franchise business into a well-known international company, combined with his enthusiastic spirit, enrolled me in the vision, in spite of my naiveté about what I was getting myself into.

I quickly discovered that I had signed on for the most challenging personal growth course of my life. So I accelerated my ongoing enrollment in personal growth sessions and workshops like the resources you’ll find sprinkled throughout this issue. The goal has been to keep my inner growth on par with our company’s outer growth.

John saw everything in the world through the filter of his big, helping heart, perceiving unlimited potential in the people and projects the Universe sent his way as his to do, sometimes blissfully blind to inherent challenges. Many an argument stemmed from my more “realistic” approach in face of his idealism. He often smiled and said that he was the accelerator and I was the brakes. Together, we formed an ideal balance.

Serendipitously, John considered Marianne Williamson, who graces this month’s cover, as one of his inspirational mentors. In her article, she asks: “How would we live if we gave ourselves permission to give to life everything we’ve got?”

Our Natural Awakenings family of 90 franchise publishers, brought on board with John’s adventurous assistance and blessing, are a testament to the fact that my loving friend and partner did just that. We know his expansive life mission of helping others fulfill their own potential and dreams continues. How blessed we are to have had him among us.

With love,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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