Wednesday , August 5 2020

Publisher’s Letter – Mindfulness and Gratitude

By Kasia Szumal

Katarzyna (Kasia) Szumal Publisher

Life-Changing Practices

Mindfulness and Gratitude

I am so excited to share our November issue with you because it is all about two life-changing practices—mindfulness and gratitude. These two powerful words can change not only your life’s experience for the better but also change your consciousness.

The first time that I heard the word “mindfulness” was in 2012 when I became the Circulation Manager for Conscious Community Magazine, (Formerly The Monthly Aspectarian). The first month working at the magazine was very overwhelming for me. I knew that I needed to contact writers for articles and contact advertisers for ads and much more. There were hundreds of phone calls to make to get the magazine to print on time. My mind was full of ideas and projects to do. I could not calm down my mind in the evening before I went to bed, and I was going to sleep around 3 a.m. from being exhausted from my thinking. I realized that I needed to find something to clear my mind.

At the same time I started working at The Monthly Aspectarian, a Bikram Yoga studio opened in the same building. I did not know what kind of yoga Bikram was, but I decided that I would try anything to calm my mind. For people who do not know, Bikram yoga is a style of hot yoga where you do 26 postures twice in a room heated to 105ºF. During the class, the teacher said something like, “First timers be mindful of your practice and stay in the class ‘til the end of the class.” Right away, I noticed that it was really hot and I couldn’t stop sweating. My mind started finding all these excuses to leave the room. I think my mantra for that yoga practice was “It is so hot here.” But, I stayed in the room for a whole practice. After a few practices, I noticed my thoughts really disappeared, and I was more present with my body. I started sleeping like a baby, and I was waking up fresh for my daily tasks. Today, I continue to practice Bikram yoga, and I am so grateful for this practice in my life. For more about mindfulness and its importance, read Jakeb Brock’s article The Importance of Practicing Mindfulness and Georgia Jones’ article Mindfulness: Toward Freedom from Anxiety and Depression.

On Thursday, Nov. 22, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the US. It is the time of year when we gather around the table and share food with family members and friends. It is a time of the year when we express gratitude for the things we have and the experiences that we’ve gone through this past year. Gratitude is a very powerful action, which we can take every day of our lives, that brings us closer to the things we want. By saying, “Thank you,” we are letting the Universe or God/Goddess know that we love our lives, and we want more good things to happen. For more about Gratitude you can read our interview with legendary journalist and hostess, Sally Quinn, Gatherings and Gratitude. 

To show our gratitude to you, we would like to invite you to our Holiday Party! It is potluck-style dinner with great music and great conversation.

When: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at 5 p.m.
Where: Journey to Wholeness Center, 9501 S. New England Ave., Oak Lawn, IL 60453.

Please RSVP by Nov. 28, 2018 by calling 847-966-1110 or by emailing

Space is very limited, so RSVP early to guarantee a spot. We hope to see you there and celebrate the holidays with you and gather as a community.

Happy Thanksgiving all year around!

The Best,
Kasia Szumal

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