Cover of Common Ground magazine featuring a vivid orange background with text detailing various topics like health, culture, and cannabis activism, dated December 2017/January 2018.

December 2017 / January 2018

The Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Issue

Gratefully, we received generous feedback for our November Gratitude issue. Sadly, just as the devastation of the NorCal fires has abated, SoCal is getting hit badly. It seems we’re exiting a year of intense chaos, whether by fires or hurricanes or mass shootings, not to mention political turmoil. For that reason we chose a pictorial concept that goes the other way: “Innocent Wisdom—Whimsical Inspiration from Children’s Books.” As we usher in 2018, who couldn’t use a relaxing pause?

Caroline Myss is our interviewee, and I am certain you’ll appreciate her tell-it-like-it-is approach to mysticism and a whole lot more! Born with an unusual intuitive ability, she popped off doing readings on people’s houses while riding in the car with Mom. Little surprise that she would become the world’s first and foremost medical intuitive. Educated by Catholic sisters, she had an early wake-up call about the existence of good and evil in the eighth grade when her teacher read the class Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, about Auschwitz. Concurrent with the 1963 Bay of Pigs invasion, she heard the firsthand account of a classmate’s father who had been tortured at the hands of Fidel Castro. She vowed thereafter to dedicate her life to countering human injustice, and the memory has remained vivid since this “adultizing” experience. Caroline helps a lot of people and our talk affected me deeply. She will be a speaker in San Mateo at the New Living Expo in April.

In this era of rampant isolation, I think you’ll appreciate Eric Leroy Wilson’s “The Press of Loneliness: Extracting the Gifts.” And don’t miss Parker Palmer’s essay “Owning Up to My Toxic Biases.”

The scientifically minded will value Dr. Amit Goswami’s “New Realities: An Introduction to Quantum Activism” as well as Elisa Lottor’s “Telomeres and the Science of Aging: How to Live Long and Prosper.” William Mathis reminds us about how, in a world of rapidly changing technology, the human touch (as in massage therapy) remains humanity’s oldest (and most effective?) medicine. We’re grateful for all these contributions, as well as Caroline Miller’s “Six Questions to Help You Cultivate Authentic Grit” and Carl Greer’s “What’s in a Name? Identifying with Your Health Story,” to mention only two.

Prop. 64 goes into effect in 2018 and with it the legalization of the sale of recreational cannabis. Stephen Gray’s essay “Cannabis: Spiritual Friend or Foe in a New Era of Acceptance?” risks being controversial but raises valid points about the pros and cons of this ancient plant. While there’s plenty of jubilation (and smoke) in the air about this new era, I have deep concerns as a parent raising a teen. The commercially derived pot is strong and teens’ brains are still developing. How can legalization and widespread acceptance for adult use not signal tacit permission to kids?

We hope you take a special glance at our holiday gift guide. As ever, your appreciation of Common Ground is best expressed by patronizing our advertisers. Your support of local independent media is both critical and invaluable. Thanks for recommending us to friends and colleagues.

We’ll catch up with you next with our February Love issue followed by our March Food issue.

In the meantime here’s wishing you
unqualified health, wealth, and wisdom,


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