Sooner or later we all face our own special kind of scary. The kind that causes you to reach down and see what you’re really made of; an unexpected event or circumstance that catches you off guard, takes your breath away, and then patiently awaits your next move. It might be a divorce, broken heart, career shift, accident, diagnosis, the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, or physically or emotionally traveling far outside your comfort zone. If it doesn’t bring you to your knees or make you tearfully question everything, then it’s not the kind I’m talking about. 

Publishing this magazine is my special kind of scary. 

I lost the love of my life nearly a year ago. My mom was my home base, guiding light and North Star—every cliché in the book. I couldn’t imagine a world where she wasn’t just a phone call away. Witnessing the moment she transitioned on and confronting this new world changed everything for me.

It forced me to ask core life questions about identity, purpose and meaning. I had no choice but to go inward to uncover feelings, thoughts and emotions buried deep in my heart and soul.

Fortunately, I found guidance, resilience and courage that surprised me. I found this amazing magazine which really surprised me. My sister, Shannon, started publishing Natural Awakenings Charlotte two years ago; after reading an issue for the first time cover to cover, I told Mom, “We need this magazine here!” I love the natural health and holistic living content, combination of informative national articles and local features, educational approach and overall positive, inspiring messages.

So after 23 years working in international education including 14 years with Gonzaga University, I left it all behind and transitioned into publishing Natural Awakenings Inland Northwest. Frightening, right?

But here I am, learning, growing, adapting and evolving daily through an exponential number of life’s unexpected twists and turns. And here you are, doing the same! High fives and fist bumps my friends. We’ve got this.

Browsing this premiere issue you’ll find articles on natural body detoxification, diet detox for dogs, floatation therapy, eating vegan on the road and sustainable and affordable fashion. You’ll also find local news briefs and calendar events plus our Community Resource Guide of healing practitioners. Each month we’ll spotlight healthy living businesses as well as nonprofit and community groups at work in our region.

I am also happy to introduce our “Reader Awakenings” department, which profiles the wellness journey of individuals ready to share their story. Check out Drew Smith’s floatation therapy journey – and if you have a story to share, I want to read it. Please email Publisher@inwAwakenings.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read our premiere issue. We look forward to accompanying you on your journey as your go-to resource for naturally healthy living. Maybe this won’t be so scary after all.

In health and wellness,
Amber McKenzie, Publisher
Natural Awakenings INW