By Deverick Martin
A month ago, after the October issue was distributed, our small staff were guests at Joan Dever's Encouragement Lodge for 24 hours of relaxation and brainstorming. It was an opportunity for introspection and contemplation and an incredible treat to be pampered after ten days of draining production and distribution work.
Although the deadline-driven life of publishing seems to limit the time for seemingly discretionary activities, our retreat presented a beautiful opportunity for stepping away from the press of business. In neutral surroundings, we reexamined our goals and discussed what we want from the position of having created many successes and yet finding too many opportunities to successfully pursue.
One of the outcomes of our time away was a reexamination of our overall purpose and how we present that, particularly to the first-time reader. Below the masthead of this issue, we have updated our description of this publication, something that I believe clearly states our intent in our work here.
To support that, we are developing an editorial calendar to ensure that our readers are offered practical tools to support authentic living in our changing times. We always welcome reader input, and are generally quite resourceful in our response.
This month marks the last regular column by longtime "Sacred Feminine" rotating columnist Tess Sterlinge. Sophia has also advised us that she had been planning for her December "Sacred Feminine" column to be her last. Starfeather, the remaining rotating "Sacred Feminine" columnist, has expressed feelings of lack of inspiration over the last several months (although I've found her columns, particularly last month's, inspirational). Her final article for the column will run in January.
It seems clear that this is an opportunity to redefine our direction. After each of our three columnists finishes her last article, the "Sacred Feminine" column will no longer be published. Many lives have been blessed by the healing words written under the "Sacred Feminine" (and her predecessor, "Emerging Woman") banner(s), and I know that we will continue to offer new and relevant resources that will guide us through the times ahead. I also sincerely hope that all three women will, once the onus of deadlines is behind them, continue to contribute articles to The New Times as they are moved by the spirit.
November, for me, is a month for gratitude. When I count my blessings I start with the many loving, supportive relationships that have blessed my life. I count the time however brief that I have set aside to nourish my spirit, my body and my mind. Often I spend time anticipating that my needs will not be met generally leaving me in a state of anxiety. When I spend time noticing the ways small and large that my life is truly blessed I feel a state of grace and deep contentment. May this issue bless your life with a great awareness of gratitude and deep sense of grace and contentment.