Forsberg’s A New Leaf with Owner Sarah Balding

What’s Forsberg’s A New Leaf all about?

It’s overall a floral shop, but we also carry local gift items from all-local vendors, do event planning, coordinating, decorating, and also have rental items. It’s a one-stop shop for brides and for tourists.

In 2015, we moved into the UpFront building on the corner of Main Street and Front here in Marquette, and we love it! We loved our old location on Third Street, but it’s a new fresh feeling down here. In summer, it’s bustling with tourists. We never had any of the festivals up near our Third Street shop. Now we have Blueberry Fest right at our door ,and a lot of fun things going on.

How has it changed since you started operating the business?

Since I began running it in October, 2017, we’re much more hands-on with the weddings. I combined both of my loves—the wedding industry, providing floral bridal, with also doing the decorating.

Although, of course, it’s different with a younger mind and a younger group of people doing it, I’ve tried to keep the feel of how grandma had it—her style, a lot of her paintings are still in the shop that would be really hard to part with. She loved the artistic-ness of having the local artists featured at the front of the store.

Our family-owned business started in 1969.

My grandma would drive down to the wholesalers in Green Bay and buy the flowers for her orders outright. She was such a pioneer in the business field. She was the type of person that when you came in the store, you did not leave without buying something. Get in there and find out what the people are into, and what they love, and what they might buy that will keep them smiling—that’s what I learned in the family business.

Later, there wasn’t much local artists’ work on consignment in the old store. People would come in and look around, see it’s a flower shop, and leave. We also had friends looking for a spot to put their crafts. Now it’s done a complete 180—they come in and look around, and then go “Oh, you’re a flower shop!”

What do you enjoy most about running Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

It’s the interaction with the customers and the clients. I love putting together someone’s dream of what they’d like, whether it’s the wedding or the floral. Someone comes in and says, “I really love this and this; can you do it?” I really love seeing their face when it becomes a reality. I love the process of working with the brides and grooms, and helping them make the day their own.

What do you find most challenging about running your shop?

Keeping ahead of it all—it’s very easy in a floral business when it’s holiday time for something to fall through the cracks no matter how hard I try. I’ve got a way that I think is helping, but it’s still challenging. You want to be able to do everything for everyone, but when someone makes a request real close to when it’s needed during a busy season, it can be hard to get it all done.

What are your future plans for Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

Growing the decorating and coordinating. I want to enhance and grow with our weddings, and also enhance and grow the floral, to be able to do more high style, the different things the customer wants. I’m always looking to find things we don’t normally get from our wholesalers.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Extraordinary Endurance, Chandra Ziegler

positive parenting, U.P. holistic wellness publication, parenting challenges, U.P. holistic business

I’m not here to provide any life-changing advice on how to raise kids. The truth is, as parents, we make hundreds of decisions any given day. We answer questions, and ask questions, sometimes straight to our kids, and other times just in our minds. From the moment they wake up until they fall asleep, we’re on duty. There’s already enough people telling us what to do, and what not to do. It can all be very exhausting.

What I will provide is a simple story and some tips on how to stay fit for the marathon of parenting, a feat that truly tests our limits, and one that takes extraordinary endurance.

Should I really give her juice as soon as she wakes up? What kind of habit am I creating? Maybe I should wake them up with nice classical music. Why couldn’t she sleep for a little longer? Do you want to lay back down, sweetie? Why didn’t I douse myself in patchouli? What should I pack in their lunches? No, you cannot wear your pajamas to school. Why are you still in bed? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have your snow pants? Yes, you need to wear a hat and gloves; it’s 3 degrees outside! Check watch…7:07 a.m.

Fast-forward to 8:07 p.m…

I let the older two watch Sofia the First a little longer than they should, which led to them being tired and cranky, and not so kind to one another in the bathroom while getting ready for bed. I could’ve walked away, used a nice, calm voice, remembered to have a sense of humor, or had some empathy… all those great parenting and teaching tricks that I know work, and have used a thousand times. Instead, I got irrationally upset.

Once we all settled down, and I got them to bed, I heard yelling and arguing so I went back into their bedroom. I looked at Emma, who had a thousand things surrounding her and asked, “Emma, look around you! I just don’t understand. Why do you need all this stuff???” And as I watched the tears well up in her eyes, she proclaimed with enough drama to win an Academy Award, “It’s just that I love you so much that I have to build up all this stuff around me to try to replace you, and help me calm down!”

I seriously melted. I embraced her and said how much I loved her and how happy I was that she still loved me even when I yell at her. We were able to rewind the not-so-good bedtime, and end with peace and calm. Thank goodness.

Parenting is hard, and I believe we’re all doing the best we can.

Whether you’re a parent of little kids, big kids, furry kids, or no kids, I know you can relate. While there can be many rip-your-hair-out moments as a parent, there are far more joyous moments and reasons to celebrate. We can become inundated with information, but in the end we just need to trust ourselves.

Children are kind, intelligent, incredibly sweet, far more enlightened than we give them credit for, and simply hilarious. We need to stay in the moment, see the world through the eyes of a child, look for the pearl, and live more joyfully. Since I said I wasn’t going to give any advice, I’ll just call that homework.

Because parenting is the toughest job on the planet, and requires extraordinary endurance, and an exorbitant amount of energy, we must first show up for ourselves. We need to take care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies so we can more fully take care of the precious humans we’ve been gifted. So here are some things to consider doing:

– Rise at 5 a.m. to do some quiet reading or writing or anything else that you love.
– Rise at 5 a.m. to get a workout in to a) train for a marathon, b) burn off the calories from all the Halloween candy you stole from your toddler’s pumpkin or simply, c) stay sane and be a better parent, spouse, and person as a whole.
– Be happy with where you’re at and your decisions.
– If possible, take a day for you.
– Take any help that is offered.
– Get active in the outdoors. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul.
– Give a massage, get a massage.
– Play now, clean later.

7:07 p.m the next day..

Emma tiptoed quietly into Kate’s room as I was rocking her to sleep. She kissed her, squeezed her tight, and said, “You are so beautiful and kind! You will change the world. I just love you so much. You will make the world a better place because you’re so kind.”

The tears rolled down my cheeks. Emma noticed and asked, “Why are you crying?” All I could squeak out was, “I just love you so much.” But in my heart, I thought ‘Maybe I’m doing okay as a mom. Maybe the messages and lessons I’m trying to impart to my children are really sinking in.’ Because you know what? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they hear what I’m saying.

For instance, how many times have I said, “Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, that’s enough chips, hands are for helping, stop hitting your sister!” But tonight, I can pause and thank God that the things I’m saying and how I’m living are making a difference.

A child’s love is unconditional, so remember this:

“It doesn’t matter what color you are. The most special thing is that you have someone that loves you.” – Four-year-old

Your spirit is strong and vibrant, so when the going gets tough, tell yourself,
“I can do this. I just have to be brave.” – Six-year-old

You are extraordinary. And maybe you’re not an athlete, or active at all, but trust yourself that you have the endurance it takes to keep going and be the best parent you can be.

Chandra Ziegler is a Yooper wannabe in Crystal Falls with a Minnesota heart. By day, she is a mother of three girls and teacher to even more. By “night,” she runs non-profit Iron Endurance, teaches yoga and painting classes, trains for marathons, and writes.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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E-Bikes—Ride the Revolution! Steve Waller

green living, e-bikes, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

With a lithium battery and an electric motor, conventional bicycles become e-bikes, putting people with lots of excuses back in the saddle. Crank the pedals, the motor comes to life. The harder you pedal, the bigger the power boost. It’s easy. It’s fun! Europeans love e-bikes. Americans are finally gearing up.

All-terrain and road e-bike motors are limited to 750 watts (1 horsepower) so e-bikers can gain the power of a horse–you become a centaur with gears! No hill is too steep. No workplace is too far (20-50-mile range). No shower at work is no excuse because you won’t break a sweat unless you want to. E-bikes silently push you, almost pollution-free, with no more effort than an exercise bike on low.

Run errands. Haul groceries or schoolbooks. Add a bike rack, backpack, panniers, or trailer. The e-bike does the heavy lifting. You just ride. Get outside. Experience organic air conditioning. Joy ride on two wheels instead of four. Let fresh springtime air perfume your hair. Parking is free!

E-bikes cost more (about $2,500 on up, depending on options) because you get more. The bike is beefier to support the motor and horsepower. Battery and charger is included ($650 value). Fenders, LED lights, and digital displays are often included. Bluetooth is optional. Get healthier. Buy less gasoline. Minimize car miles and expensive repairs. That’s all worth something.

Michigan law defines e-bikes in three classes:

Class 1 – Provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to function at 20 mph. No minimum age, no helmet required.
Class 2 – Assists up to 20 mph whether the rider is pedaling or not (has a separate throttle), and ceases to function when brakes are applied. No minimum age, no helmet required.
Class 3 – Provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to function at 28 mph. Minimum age is 14, helmet required.

Class 1 e-bikes are the most versatile, and can be ridden on a multi-use trail or roadway that runs from point to point with an asphalt, crushed limestone, or similar surface, or a rail trail (a retired railroad route) unless prohibited by local agencies. Check local ordinances for Class 1 e-Bike availability on local trails.

Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes can be trail ridden as above only if authorized. Presume that it’s illegal to ride Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes on trails unless expressly allowed by local authorities. Michigan e-bike law specifically prohibits all e-bikes on nonmotorized mountain bike and hiking trails (trails with a natural surface made by clearing and grading the native soil with no added surfacing materials) unless local authorities allow them.

Michigan e-bike law does not apply to congressionally-authorized public trail systems such as the North Country National Scenic Trail. No e-bikes on Mackinac Island.

When e-biking, the rider has the rights and duties of a vehicle driver, and the same requirements as a bicycle rider. When riding an e-bike on the road, treat it like a bicycle and follow all traffic laws.

Insurance

Michigan law specifically excludes e-bikes from the definition of “motor vehicles.” Auto insurance for an e-bike isn’t required and it’s often covered in the same way as a bicycle. But, since e-bikes cost more, consult your insurance agent to ensure coverage under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If someone steals your e-bike, you want insurance! If not insured, consider purchasing a policy rider.

Yeah, you can google “e-bikes” but visit your local bike shops instead for details and local model options. Take an e-bike for an e-ride. Bike shops are excited about e-bikes. You will be too. Vive la révolution!

Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.

Reference: https://michiganbikelawyer.com/

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Inspired by Photography, Christine Saari

creative inspiration, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

After six years of living in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a graduate student’s wife, an Austrian immigrant finding her way in a new society and, finally, a mother of two young boys, I needed something for my soul. Maybe taking art classes would do the trick?

I learned silversmithing, weaving, enameling. I liked it all, but nothing stuck. Until I hit upon photography. After I learned how to expose and develop film, I went to Austria and took photographs of all I loved there.

Upon returning to the U.S., we moved to Marquette. I immediately set up a darkroom in our tiny bathroom, and taught myself to print. By serendipity, the person who taught photography at NMU was our neighbor. When he saw my work, he suggested I take classes. I did, and I was hooked.

That was in the early seventies. It was an intense time.

I met other women photographers, and we founded Interplay: A Women’s Photographic Collective. I took workshops in Minneapolis and New York with master photographers. I entered shows and got in. I helped organize exhibits, juried, taught workshops, gave presentations.

Initially, I took black and white photographs. I loved the darkroom work and shooting specific topics. During our travels, I enjoyed photographing people. Windows and doors became favorite subjects. I documented the Austrian mountain farming culture in which I’d grown up.

Finally, I expanded into mixed media with an emphasis on alternative photo processes, and embarked on a 20-year project, “Family Album” (Using family photographs, documents, and artifacts, I created 3-D objects that told the story of my family, and the “Family of Man.”

creative inspiration, photography, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

Now I am eighty, and production is not my thing anymore, although I still exhibit and sell occasionally. But I still love to shoot photos, and share my vision. When a friend pushed me to get on Facebook, I resisted. But by now I have found FB to be my preferred medium as a photographer. I can shoot every day, and share my work without expense, without printing, framing, and accumulating photos. I can post work and get feedback. I can work in a series, such as “Circles” or “Window Ice.” I don’t post just any pictures. I work on my posts, and have developed a following.

So, what inspires me when I photograph?

Sometimes it is the light. Sometimes it is color. Sometimes it is pattern (shadows, or tree branches, or architecture). Sometimes it is subject matter (Lake Superior, the ice, flowers, faces). The possibilities are endless! It is always a journey of discovery.

On the same walk from my house to my studio, I can see a myriad of different subjects to photograph. Things look different, depending on the weather, the time of day, the time of year, my mood. The sky, the light, the trees are never the same! Sometimes I get excited because the familiar looks different, sometimes because I see something I have not seen before. Sometimes I can’t help photographing the same thing again, year after year. Leaf prints on the sidewalk, the first green growth, ice formations, sun rays in my kitchen.

What I get out of shooting is that it makes me look and see. “You have such an eye,” people will say. But I think it is just practice, the practice of looking. And when I look, I find beauty. Beauty in the most ordinary thing right in front of me, beauty to share. I don’t want to keep all this beauty for myself. I want to share it. And shooting photos with my phone, and posting the results allows me to do that!

Christine Saari grew up on an Austrian mountain farm. She studied English and German in Austria and the U.S. As a journalist, she reported for Austrian media. In the U.P., she wrote for MM and Midwestern media, and published documentary photographs with her writing.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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How to Support a Pet with Loss in Hearing, Sight, or Mobility, Jenny Magli

holistic animal care, caring for disabled pet, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

With pets, as with all creatures, life happens! Along with the joy of having fur friends in our life, we need to understand that life challenges can and do occur, often without warning. You never know what is ahead in life, so making the most of every day with your pet will strengthen your relationship with each other.

This bond can be vital in helping you support your pet should an accident or illness occur. You want to be able to help your pet handle these challenges as safely, gently, and comfortably as possible. Examples of some unforeseen events include blindness, deafness, dementia, incontinence, limb loss, or loss of mobility.

Safety is essential.

Creating new barriers and reducing potential hazards can offer a sense of security as your pet regains confidence. Pet gates at doorways and stairways can help create a safe haven and reduce the risks of accidents. Leash walking is crucial in some cases rather than allowing your pet to roam freely. Fatigue can set in much quicker in pets faced with health challenges such as aging, arthritis, cancer, and heart issues.

Monitoring daily exercise/playtime is crucial so pets get some mental and physical exercise, but don’t overdo it. Over-exercise can perpetuate more damage, and increase pain.

Blindness

Health issues, old age, or traumatic injuries can cause either gradual or sudden loss of vision. If your pet exhibits loss of vision, such as bumping into things where he or she never used to do so, or if your pet experiences injury, veterinary care is in order, and adjustments need to be made to accommodate this new life challenge. Sticking to routine and keeping familiar objects such as water bowls, beds, and furniture in the same place will help with navigating the home safely. Guide your pet around the home so he or she becomes more familiar with the setting slowly and safely. Remove potential hazards. There’s also a device (halo) you can buy or make that attaches to a dog’s harness or collar. It offers head protection and acts as a bumper, allowing your pet to better navigate both familiar and new environments.

Loss of Limb or Mobility

This can occur due to aging, paralysis, nerve damage, arthritis, cancer, deformities, etc. Regardless of the cause, animals tend to adapt pretty well, provided we help them all we can through the process. Avoiding their becoming overweight is vital. For senior pets with mobility issues, or those with paralysis, nerve damage, or limb amputation, there are ways to help them get around, such as using slings and/or carts. I have a three-legged dog (amputated before six months old) that has gotten around very well over many years. She is 12 now and arthritic, along with having other health issues. She cannot walk long distances anymore, so we use a dog stroller for long walks. We also have an outside ramp for her to use to avoid climbing steps, and we lift her into and out of vehicles, or use a small ramp. We may consider a rear wheel cart for her in the future.

Hearing Loss

This can come on gradually due to aging, or occur from an injury or illness. Certain dog breeds are genetically prone to hearing loss. Senior pets typically develop a gradual hearing loss due to degeneration or chronic health issues. Regardless of how or when this occurs, your pet can live a very normal and happy life! Learning and then teaching your pet hand signals can be particularly helpful. Using other sounds like foot stomping, clapping, or using a flashlight, etc. can help get your hearing impaired pet’s attention. Fencing your yard and walking your pet on a leash at all times will help to avoid potentially dangerous situations. An “I am deaf” tag can be added to your dog’s collar.

Regardless of what may come along with your pet’s health, remember to enjoy every moment, and play and have fun!

*Readers are reminded it is entirely of their own accord, right,and responsibility to make informed and educated decisions/choices with their pets’ health care. Jenny Magli disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Jenny is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES Bioenergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and via email. To contact, call (906) 235-3524 or email at 1healthlink@gmail.com.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Veggies for Spring

healthy cooking for spring, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business, spring veggies

Springtime at last! The cold winter is coming to an end, and we can look forward to warmer temperatures and nature’s beautiful colors emerging once again. Our food should reflect that beautiful color, lighter energy, and refreshing taste associated with spring. Sour is the signature flavor of spring, and it nurtures our liver and gallbladder. To season our dishes with the refreshing tastes of sour, we can use lemon juice and vinegars.

Leeks are a signature vegetable of springtime.

Their beautiful white and green colors add a splash of spring color to any dish. Leeks are in the onion family, and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are high in vitamins C, K, and A, important for helping your blood to clot, and also high in iron, manganese, and fiber.

Asparagus is another signature spring vegetable, and one of my favorites. It can help lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and its high water content helps to cleanse toxins from the body. Asparagus is also high in vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and folate.

When cooking spring dishes, it is important to include green leafy vegetables such as escarole (high in calcium, iron, and chlorophyll) or kale, not only for their bright green color but also for their ability to help cleanse the liver.

You might also include high-protein green lentils. Just make sure you put in a small piece of kombu when cooking them. Kombu is a sea vegetable (seaweed) that helps break down the protein and aids the digestive process, thus helping to eliminate any gas that may result from eating beans or legumes.

Radishes and carrots are also a great complement to add color to your dish, as well as great flavor and freshness.

Green Lentils, Leeks, and Asparagus Spring Dish

1 cup green lentils
2 inches kombu
2 cups water
1 leek (cut in thin slices)
2 cups butternut squash (cut in cubes)
2 cups cauliflower (cut up)
1/2 lb. asparagus (cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 cup chopped escarole (or kale)
2 radishes (diced small)
1 carrot (grated)
1 T. olive oil
Approximately 3/4 loaf of sprouted whole grain bread
2 T. ume vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt

Put the water and kombu in a pot. Soak the kombu for a couple of minutes until soft. Remove kombu, cut in very small pieces, and put back in pot. Add the green lentils to the pot, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Layer the leeks, squash, cauliflower, and asparagus on top of the green lentils. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off heat. Add the escarole, radishes, and grated carrots. Put lid back on, and let sit for 5 minutes to lightly steam the vegetables. Add the olive oil, ume vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. Mix all together, and serve warm.

Article adapted from Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, copyright 2019, Valerie Wilson.

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her new cookbook, Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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“Finding Your Path to Fitness,” Dr. Conway McLean, DABFAS, FAPWHc, FAMIFAS

physical fitness, U.P. wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

Everyone knows of the many benefits of exercise. The news is all around us, from health segments on your evening news to the covers of glamour magazines. Exercise is health, and great expense is directed toward achieving it. From the latest elliptical machine to some ab-crunching gadget, diet books to weight-watching meal delivery service, fitness sells.

Anyone living in the modern world has heard of the benefits of exercise, from improved heart function to more stamina on the square dance, from clearer cognition to better weight maintenance. Then why don’t more people exercise? Many believe they are unable to exercise because they cannot jog or lift weights. Some common conditions that make it challenging to pursue physical fitness can include arthritic or damaged joints, neuro-degenerative disorders (such as Muscular Dystrophy), even limb loss.

What is exercise? If you truly study the concept, it means to physically exert oneself, the contracture of various muscle groups. But the muscles crossing any joint don’t actually have to move the joint. An exercise that involves no motion is termed an isometric one, in which you are tensing a muscle group, without any motion. As you can tighten your stomach muscles, you can also tense your biceps without bending your elbow.

Many alternative forms of exercise are available.

For example, tai chi is practiced by millions across the globe. Studies to date demonstrate its health benefits in both physical and spiritual directions. Originally a form of martial arts, it is now practiced also for its meditative aspect, as well as for promoting improved heart health. Gardening and walking are simple activities that many enjoy. They are also good alternatives to traditional exercise. Do not overlook them just because they are easy, or because you enjoy them. If you do any of these gentle exercises regularly, you will improve your overall health.

You can find yoga in most every Y and community center in the U.S. Yoga practice may build strength, fitness, flexibility, and even enhance self-awareness and your mind-body connection. Hundreds of different “schools” of yoga exist, with most typically including some breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming certain postures, also known as asanas, or poses. These are intended to stretch and flex various muscle groups. Many appreciate yoga’s benefits in disease prevention, i.e. health maintenance. Yoga is a great tool for staying healthy.

When it comes to being physically active, sometimes you need to think outside the box. Seek out activities requiring movement in some form, even if it might not typically be considered exercise. The activity must simply raise one’s heart rate or require physical exertion. For healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. If someone is participating in more vigorous activity, DHHS recommends 75 minutes a week. A combination is best.

Being physically inactive is not only abnormal, it is also pathological because the old adage “use it or lose it” is really true.

Our bodies evolved to require the stresses inherent in physical activity to grow and function properly. Our bodies never evolved to cope with persistent inactivity. In prehistoric times, it was essential for survival to be physically active. It would be fair to say it is part of our evolutionary tree, our deepest roots. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherer types who walked miles every day, along with all the climbing and digging. Even farmers had to toil long and hard, although agriculture certainly transformed our diets.

Exercise, in some way, shape, or form, is vital for developing a strong and healthy circulatory system, durable bones safe from osteoporosis, a vigorous immune system, and a properly functioning brain. Almost every organ and body system benefits from regular exercise and is compromised by its absence. Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. It is now obvious our lack of motion, in a very real sense, has contributed to the increasing prevalence of high blood sugar levels and pre-diabetes.
Modern times have transformed our activities tremendously. Few residents of modern society perform physical activity, and more rare is the job requiring physical labor. Many have little interest in exercising in their off hours. Yet the benefits are real. Men who are unfit but then improve their fitness lower their risk of a heart attack by about 50%.

Obviously, I feel required to issue a warning. If you have any severe health problems, you would do well to consult with your doctor. Describe your plans. Unless you have an extremely serious medical condition, your health care provider should laud your efforts. Exercise is good medicine, and for just about everything. A pertinent question, of course, is how much? And what kind? There is some form of exercise for everyone; it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you.

What really determines which of us attains fitness as an adult?

Or becomes obese, and develops diabetes? How much control over your fitness do you have? With such immutable ingredients as one’s own genetic constitution, over which we clearly have no control, we all have inherited strengths and limitations. But, for the time being, you have whatever genes were passed on to you. Make the best of them and make the best you possible.

We know fixing our health care system will be difficult. Yet, there is an inexpensive, readily available answer, and one highly effective in prevention. Utilizing this method will even help rein in our skyrocketing health care costs. Start exercising. As a culture, we need to, certainly more than at current levels. It is what we have evolved to do. So get fit by getting active!

Dr. Conway McLean is a physician practicing foot and ankle medicine and surgery in the Upper Peninsula (Marquette and Escanaba). McLean is triple board certified in surgery, wound care, and orthotic therapy. He has lectured internationally on many topics. Dr. McLean welcomes questions at drcmclean@outlook.com.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Are We in “The Sedona of the Midwest”?

Sedona of the Midwest, U.P. as midwestern metaphysical hub, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Perhaps you’ve heard talk of Marquette or the U.P. in general being referred to as “The Sedona of the Midwest.” Over the last four or so decades, Sedona, Arizona has become widely known for the healing power of energy vortexes found in nature there, drawing healers, those seeking healing, and those simply curious about it to the area. Is it just idle talk that something similar is happening here in our northern climes, or is there something more to this idea? We spoke with some U.P. residents and asked them to weigh in on the topic.

Dar Shepherd: I’ve heard that before. Sedona is Sedona, and Marquette is Marquette. Both are so strong in the beauty of the natural elements. When I was living in Sedona, I’d go in the grocery store, and come outside, and take a breath, just because of being in this bowl of the red rocks. It’s gorgeous. It’s stunning. Here, I can see the lake right out my window, and then, of course, there’s walking Presque Isle. For me, they’re equal in the energy of the beauty.

The energy is palpable in both places. The feeling I get in Sedona—it’s wonderful, big energy, and the same is true of my experience here in Marquette. The people who are drawn to that are artists, writers, and people who are drawn to nature. And it might be easier to feel that inner being in places like these.

I spent two-and-a-half years in Sedona, and the majority of the last 40 years here in the U.P. and there are definitely more yoga classes, more healers, more natural medicines, more galleries, more focus on the arts and authors now than before….” As for the vortexes, “The vortex is within you.

Mary Alice Silverthorn: I moved here about two-and-a-half years ago from Eugene, Oregon. I really didn’t know what to expect, coming from the West Coast. When I came and started investigating all the holistic offerings and spiritual offerings in the community, I was beyond surprised! This is a community that has people doing cacao ceremonies, which I had never even heard of before, 5 or 6 acupuncturists, 3 or 4 cranio-sacral therapists, channeling… Per capita, this place has more in terms of holistic, complementary care, and alternative, metaphysical groups. So, I was and am still in awe of what we have here relative to the size of the area. I would compare it to Sedona because of that holistic metaphysical interest in the area.

Some of the deciding factors for my move were this very nice, huge co-op, and picking up Health & Happiness there and seeing all that’s offered here. It’s amazing. It’s a very healing environment. Looking at Health & Happiness’s directory, seeing just the sheer amount of people doing holistic, sacred work—this might be the place with the greatest number of healers per capita. I don’t say it lightly, having lived in over a dozen different places, and traveling as well. You don’t necessarily expect holistic offerings all the time in a smaller city. We have so much here. I didn’t want to go somewhere where I didn’t have access to holistic healing, integrative healing. Even the doctors here—there are Doctors of Osteopathy working with herbs. That’s not common for a place of this size.

The other piece is the land itself.

Coming from the West Coast, where I’d see the ocean about a couple of times a month, there’s something about Lake Superior, especially the southern shore, that I think is very sacred. I think the exposed rock, the Black Rocks, perhaps the oldest exposed rocks in the world? There is something very special and grounding about them. And going and seeing them, but also just being on the shores of Lake Superior. In this area, unlike where I lived in northern Minnesota, you can go, you can swim. There are sand beaches. It’s not only beautiful and wild, it’s also accessible. It’s welcoming. Of course, you have to be respectful of Lake Superior, just as in Sedona you have to be respectful of the mountains. This wild, sacred, grounding energy—every time I leave and come back, I just give this sigh of relief. And Lake Superior is here, and Mother Earth is exposed.

I’ve not been to Sedona yet, but I’ve lived all around—Lower Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, California, Minnesota, and in various locations throughout those states, as well as Moscow, Russia. The people here are the most welcoming and heart-centered that I’ve ever experienced. There’s definitely major heart energy in this area.

I’m in awe of it, and I could see it being the Sedona of the Upper Midwest with the benefits of it not being commercialized, as I hear Sedona is. It’s still very pristine and sacred.

When I visit cities, I always check out the co-op, libraries, thrift stores, holistic businesses, and rock shops. I think we could even compete with some of the bigger, more well-known cities. In Eugene, I couldn’t find a reflexologist. We’ve got three or four here. We should be known not only for our nature, our trails, but also for the healing arts.

I would also say eventually, and maybe sooner than later, this will be a hub for healing where people can come from afar for a week or two for deep spiritual healing from the nature that we have.”

Cindy Engle: I think it’s the draw of the Lake, and being nestled in the kona dolomite (a pinkish local rock), and the rock cuts, and the Black Rocks—it’s all part of why it’s pinpointed here, I believe. I definitely enjoy talking with NMU students who come up here, and get attached to the lake, and can’t leave. I was thirteen when we moved up here. I got out the car, walked into the little cabin we were renting, and said, “I’m home.” I knew immediately that this was my place in the world.

I think we definitely have a huge conglomeration of talent drawn to this area, drawn to the lake…

Jake Hulce: I haven’t been to Sedona, but if you’re looking for a place with a lot of different energies to it, the U.P. is an amazing place. It’s extremely unique. We have a good diversity of minerals that’s kind of unique to the entire world. The copper in the Copper Country is specific to it—there is no other copper in the world that has the same chemical make-up. That’s why you find places like the Keweenaw vortex and stuff like that up there.

The U.P. has a lot of magic spots in the forests…. It’s a very interesting place energetically. You also have the Great Lakes. The entire Lake Superior shoreline is amazing.

The Keweenaw is one of my favorite places. With work, I was able to get to every corner of the Keweenaw. The copper gives the Keweenaw a very unique energy signature. Copper is a conductor—it holds energy, draws energy, transfers energy, moves energy. If you travel up the west side of the Keweenaw on M-26, you’ll hit a few little towns—Eagle River, Eagle Harbor. If you spend some time on that road, go to the roadside parks there, and face out over Lake Superior to the west, you have all the copper in the ground behind you, the energy of the lake in front of you. That whole west side of the Keweenaw is an incredible place.

Then there’s Kitch-iti-kipi near Manistique with underground natural springs that have formed a small lake of pure clean, clear water coming up at 500 gallons/minute. That place holds a lot of significance to it energetically.

Groundwater is purified by Mother Earth. It’s a natural life spring, life well.

Even in the Bible, the living waters are mentioned. Jesus talks about their being energetically clean because they’ve been purified by the earth. A lot of them have been untouched by man.

Menominee County has a huge vein of gold in the ground. Gogebic County has uranium, which only a few places in the world do.

There’s dense forest up here. Many animal spirits reside in these woods, in state forest and county forest land. Communing with nature out there is absolutely amazing. We have thousands and thousands of acres that nobody touches. The footprint of man in some of these places is actually extremely small. If you want to get out, commune with nature, the U.P. is the place to do it.

From a metaphysics standpoint, lots of these county and state parks are the most energetic.

They hold the most spirit to them. That’s why even those who aren’t consciously spiritually in tune are still drawn to them because their spirit knows this.

As for crystal mineralization, the Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech is open to the public five days a week. It’s all minerals from the U.P.—there’s dozens and dozens and dozens of examples of quartz and fluorite. The U.P. has an immense amount of clear quartz, and white quartz, and some low-grade amethyst.

Then there’s Lake of the Clouds toward Ontonagon. You can go up on some of the big hills we call mountains, and there’s incredible views. The Copper Country has Brockway Mountain. You can see for miles, and miles, and miles. On a clear night in the summer, the stargazing is phenomenal. You can see the whole heavens. Anyone who wants to commune with nature, commune with stars, that’s the place to be. And it’s already a park.

The rivers talk in the U.P. The water spirits up here are amazing. There are so many waterfalls and streams that are so energetically charged.

Roslyn McGrath: Having been fortunate enough to visit Sedona, Arizona, as well as Machu Picchu in Peru, and some other incredible spots in Southern France, I have to say the U.P. definitely has its own magic, with places where the movement of subtle energies is every bit as vital and wonderful in its own way. You know an energy vortex is simply a swirling movement of energy. Our bodies have them (chakras or energy centers) and earth has them, with some definitely more palpable than others. There are places like Craig Lake State Park, spots along the trail at Wetmore Landing, areas in the Keweenaw and Ottawa National Forest, and I’m sure others I haven’t visited yet, that are truly special. And if you make the effort to approach them mindfully, you might just be amazed.

I think this, and the energy of Lake Superior is an important part of it, is a big factor in why so many healers and creatives have been drawn up here, or have lived here all their lives and become sparked to express themselves this way. The amount of artists and healers here has grown substantially since I moved here in 1994. Holistic wellness fairs, such as Marquette’s 21-year-old Spring Annual Holistic Health Fair, the People’s Fair, now held north of Calumet, and newer ones, such as the Keweenaw Summer Celebration in Calumet, Escanaba’s Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness Event, Marquette’s Spirit of the Solstice, and others held at Algomah Acres in Greenland, are blossoming. Holistic complexes are beginning to sprout up, such as Be Well Marquette. And I expect this trend will only continue as part of this nationwide pattern.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Working with Medicine Wheels: East Direction (Part 4 of 4), Jude Catallo & Scott Emerson

Medicine Wheels, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Know this. The actions of the molecules in your body are influenced by the status of your energetic biofield.

If you’ve read the first three parts of this series, and more importantly, if you have begun working with Medicine Wheel ceremonies, you can understand their simple yet timeless quality. They have been used by many generations of indigenous Americans for thousands of years over wide geographic areas.

They have great power to bring healing and spiritual growth to the individual as well as communities at large. When something works, it persists. If you have not yet done so, we advise you now to read these articles about the first three directions on our or Health & Happiness’s website before reading this last one of the series.

The realm of Spirit is associated with the East direction. For most indigenous people of North America, Eagle is recognized as the archetype of the East. The Lakota Sioux word for the East is Iwiyohiyanpata and is associated with morning, spring, and childhood. The Lakota color of the East is yellow like our sun rising into the sky each day. The language of the East is energy resonance.

When we connect with Eagle, we experience the place of becoming, and reality reveals its underlying true energetic essence that is 99% consciousness, and only 1% matter. With their large powerful wings, eagles soar high above the mountains, rivers, forests and lakes, yet with their keen vision can spot fish in the water 2,000 feet below.

The ability of Eagle to see the big picture and the small details simultaneously urges us to rise above the mundane battles occupying our lives, and gain the view from the heavens close to the Great Spirit. When facing any difficulty, the closer we can get to the energy of Spirit, the less energy we need to effect change, and the universe seems to conspire in our behalf.

The four teachings of the East provide a portal to the way of the sage “who transcends to become resonant with Spirit, bringing wisdom, healing, and beauty into our world.”

The four teachings of the East are: Mastering Time, Owning Your Projections, No Mind, and Indigenous Alchemy. Understand what the sages and the scientists know—that beyond cause and effect, coincidence and synchronicity are also qualities of time that operate in a circular and simultaneous fashion from future to present to past and also all at once. This is what quantum physicists call temporal entanglement.

Develop a regular meditation practice to silence your mind, and become familiar with your luminous energy field and its projections. Resonate with Spirit, and see infinite possibilities to bring beauty, balance, and grace into yourself and all our relations. Embark on a sacred journey.

Spirit is a fundamental property of the universe. It is an expansive, infinite, creative, matrix of resonating energy, a consciousness that keeps the cosmos evolving and renewing itself. You can trust in Spirit’s power and wisdom. This is brought into focus by creating your Medicine Wheel and gaining awareness of your energy body within a sacred space.

Open sacred space and create a Medicine Wheel honoring the East and the Eagle archetype, preferably with an eastward vista.

As you create your Medicine Wheel, ask, “Who is making this?” Then ask, “Who is asking this?” Stand on the East side of your Medicine Wheel. Begin the 4/7/8 breath (4-count inhale, 7-count hold, 8-count exhale) for seven cycles, extend your arms, and look at your hands. Now close your eyes, and feel your hands as vibrating energy. Next, with eyes closed, rub your hands together briefly, extend them apart, and slowly bring them together. Note any subtle tingling or vibrational sensation changes as you bring your hands toward each other. Do you feel any repelling or resisting force as they come near each other? Try to sense this same sensation in your shoulders & chest.

Repeat this exercise often to become more aware of your underlying energetic nature. Experiment with something that triggers anger or fear as well as gratitude or love, and feel the different effects on your energy body.

Focus only on the roles or beliefs about yourself and the teachings that you moved from the North into the East quadrant of your Medicine Wheel last time. Have you been successful in relinquishing into the fire the roles that are no longer valid? Have you become those teachings as you walk on the Earth?

If so, find a role stick(s) to hold with the object(s) representing the teaching in your hands, along with your essence stone. Powerfully blow these new energetic patterns into the stone. Place the stone into the center of the Medicine Wheel. If no transcendence is experienced yet, also blow that into the stone. Leave, and return the next day.

Meditation is absolutely essential for work in the East, and is greatly facilitated by opening of the eighth chakra, and heart presence breathing.

Meditation has been found to disrupt the default mode network (DMN) in the brain that creates repetitive thoughts focused on the self or ego. The DMN wastes energy and leads to depressive and anxious states.

The eighth chakra is a glowing sun-like sphere just outside the body above our crown, and is known by ancient medicine women and men as the place where the divine resides within us–our soul. To expand it to form a sacred, healing bubble surrounding you for your personal work, thrust both arms together up over your head, expand this sphere with your hands, and use your arms to slowly pull this energy down over your entire body to your feet. Then slowly return your hands to the mid-chest over your heart.

Feel how this feels and then begin the 4/7/8 heart breath. Stand on the East side of your Medicine Wheel facing east. Close your eyes and inhale with the in-breath feeling to come through the front of your chest wall over your heart. Let the breath expand briefly as a light within your heart as you remember anything of beauty you’ve experienced in your life. Exhale out through the front of your chest over the heart. Repeat several cycles, then stop the counting, and retain only the pattern of breathing for several minutes. Heart breathing has been shown to create strong resonant coherence within your energy body. Also, in our experience, resonance with Spirit is felt through the heart more than the mind.

Now repeat the exercise from yesterday for experiencing the energy body. Retrieve your essence stone from the center of the Medicine Wheel and hold it next to your heart. Call to the Eagle archetype to come and wrap her wings around you, and allow you to experience the world of Spirit. Journey safely with Eagle, and let go. Feel yourself dissolving into the energetic field state, into the place of becoming. This is the world of an infinite, conscious, energetic matrix of wisdom where everything everywhere is intertwined. It is timeless. Resonate with this immensity for a few moments, and then return to your Medicine Wheel with Eagle. Allow this experience to move down into your body. Embody it. This is indigenous alchemy.

Your essence stone now has become a medicine stone storing your new energetic resonance pattern.

It is a power object you can hold and consult at any time to help preserve what you have accomplished, and store future changes and personal course corrections as you complete future cycles around the Medicine Wheel.

Destroy your East Medicine Wheel, close sacred space, leave, and walk upon the Earth in beauty until your next Medicine Wheel ceremony honoring the South direction.

Jude Catallo and Scott Emerson, MD of timelesshealing.org are both graduates of The Four Winds Society: Shamanic Energy Medicine Intensive Apprenticeship 2017 – ongoing;   members of the Oklaweva Native American Church 2016 – ongoing; & Andean Cosmic Vision Apprenticeship, Don Theo Paredes 2003 – ongoing.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Is AARP® for You? (Part 2), Lucy LaFaive

senior viewpoint, AARP foundation, U.P. holistic wellness publicatioin

Did you know AARP ® has a foundation that helps provide economic opportunity, social connectedness, and legal advocacy for older citizens? AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization focused on empowering older Americans to live their best lives. AARP addresses issues affecting older citizens including poverty, social isolation, loneliness, affordable accessible housing, physical and financial exploitation, and fraud. Its affiliated charity, the AARP Foundation, helps promote this mission through a number of valuable programs.

Economic Opportunity

There are two AARP Foundation programs available in the U.P. promoting economic opportunity—the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), and the Tax-Aide Program.

An AARP Foundation SCSEP office in Marquette is responsible for serving the entire U.P. and Michigan’s northern lower peninsula. The SCSEP is a federally funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that trains and helps low-income, unemployed seniors fifty-five and older get jobs. The SCSEP participants receive job training, support services, community service placement, wages, and assistance in finding future employment.

The AARP Foundation operates the SCSEP for the U.S. Department of Labor in twenty-one states, including Michigan and Puerto Rico.

This program benefits not only job seekers, but also non-profit community and government agencies that host individuals. Hosting organizations provide training to participants while getting free staffing because seniors are being paid through the SCSEP.

A few of the one-hundred-and-twenty hosting organizations in the U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula benefitting from this program are Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, YMCA, United Way, Aspirus, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Room at the Inn, Trillium House, U.P. Children’s Museum, the Women’s Center in Marquette, and the Caring House in Iron Mountain.

Courtney Hafer, Project Director of AARP Foundation SCSEP in Marquette, says she’s “always enrolling participants, and is here to help as many people as we can.” To apply for this program, your annual income must be less than the federal poverty level ($15,613 for 1 person, $21,138 for 2). Job seekers and non-profit organizations interested in hosting can contact the Marquette office (906-273-2460, chafer@aarp.org) for more information.

From February through April, the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide Program provides free tax counseling and preparation, including e-filing for low to moderate income people, with special consideration for those fifty or older.

This program is currently available in the U.P. in Marquette, Gwinn, Negaunee, Iron Mountain, Sault Ste. Marie, Houghton, Menominee, and Escanaba. Well-trained volunteers provide tax preparation at these locations by appointment.

Eight-year volunteer Rich Brich, the Marquette Local Coordinator and the Coordinator of Technology for the U.P., would like to provide the program to more areas of the U.P. Brich and other AARP volunteers are “constantly looking for new folks” to volunteer.

Fifteen-year volunteer Betty Trudell, U.P. District Coordinator, estimates the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program helped between 2,000 and 3,000 U.P. residents last year. She also emphasized the constant need for volunteers. She is currently looking for volunteers in Escanaba and Iron Mountain.

To volunteer or get help with your taxes, you can find a location near you by calling 1-888-227-7669, or Googling AARP Tax Aide to be linked to the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program site. You can also go to AARP.org and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the list under “Information for You” for the Tax Aide page link.

Social Connectedness

U.P. opportunities for increasing social connectedness include free social events such as those mentioned in my previous article, Is AARP for You? (Part 1)—AARP on Tap, A Taste of AARP, Movies for Grownups, and AARP classes. If you are interested in volunteering to help bring more of the AARP social programs mentioned above to the U.P., contact Sally Bruce, U.P. Michigan AARP Executive Council Member and eighteen-year volunteer, at sallybruce62@gmail.com, or (906) 786-3827.

AARP also increases social connection by providing community service opportunities. Some Foundation programs have a two-fold benefit—they benefit the individuals being helped and also the helpers. Volunteering is good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It promotes a sense of satisfaction from helping others. Other benefits include lower stress levels, increased brain function, increased dopamine levels, lower risk of depression, a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and a longer life. Volunteering reduces isolation and loneliness, and increases social connectedness.

Many AARP Foundation programs are volunteer-run, so volunteers are essential to the programs. Another AARP Foundation program in the U.P. seeking volunteers to serve more areas is the AARP Driver Safety Program. More U.P. volunteers are sought to teach its Smart Driver course.

Currently, the U.P. has two long-term volunteers from Marquette and Newberry. Chris Earle, the AARP Driver Safety Zone Coordinator and Driver Safety Instructor responsible for the program in the northern Lower Peninsula and the U.P., travels up from Traverse City to teach classes in the U.P. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact him at (586) 707-5836 or dc123mi@charter.net.

Don Balmer of Marquette has been teaching the AARP Driver Safety “Smart Driver” course for over twenty years. The nationwide program is specifically designed for drivers fifty or older. The 8-hour classroom course discusses changes in roads, cars, and the law occurring since the over-50 crowd began driving. The refresher course includes research-based safety strategies, proper use of vehicle technology, and information on age-related changes such as medication and alcohol use, and health issues that affect driving ability. Winter driving is also discussed. Some insurance companies may offer discounts for participation in the driver safety course.

Classes are offered between May and October based on the instructor’s schedule. Earle will be scheduling classes this spring. You can find more information at aarp.org/findacourse or by calling 1-877-846-3299. If no classes are listed, check again as classes may be added.

Legal Advocacy

AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) is responsible for legal advocacy. AFL attorneys fight elder abuse, discrimination, and other barriers to employment. They also protect investors, employee health and pension benefits, and access to affordable accessible housing, among other things.

AFL was involved in a recent settlement with Senior Citizens Housing of Ann Arbor. The case was settled after Senior Citizens Housing of Ann Arbor removed the “able to live independently” requirement from its lease, and implemented practices to prevent disability discrimination and to make reasonable accommodations for its tenants.

For more information about AARP or the AARP Foundation, go to aarp.org.

Lucy Jeanette La Faive is a stress reduction, relaxation, and empowerment specialist living in Marquette. She loves to share her tools for joyful living in classes, workshops, and presentations. For more information, you can call (906) 225-1059.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. 

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