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Summer 2006


Cover Art by Jay Freis

Welcome to the Summer Issue of Spirit of the Valley: The Magazine of Mountain Wellness. We've got some great features this issue such as:

Hot Trends in Wellness

Continuing Education

Retreats & Getaways

We've also scored some great articles and interviews, such as Angela Earle's interview with visionary child artist Akiane from the Northern Idaho.

We've also got all of the latest wellness and summer fun news for the Portneuf, Wood River, and Treasure Valleys. Be sure to check out what's going on all over the state!


Some More Great Picks for This Issue:

Ecotourism: The New World of Vacationing, Adventuring & Communing with the Earth

Kicking Butt & Taking Names, by Jeremy Maxand, the Executive Director of the Snake River Aliance

The 2nd Annual Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival

The Science of Energy, by Lisa Krueger

Hot Trends in the Doggie World, by Fran Jewell

The Magic of Golf, by Thomas Crum


Editor's Letter


You Say Potato –I Say Potential….

Hot Trends is a relative term. “Hot” is in the eye of the beholder. What’s new to me might be old hat to you, and vice versa. What’s emerging into the collective awareness is another thing.

Take the Celestine Prophecy and all of the information that is in the Da Vinci Code – this information has been around for decades. But, as we’ve seen in recent months, they are both making splashes on the world scene. What we are witnessing is the emergence of somewhat underground movements that have been growing steadily, and just might now be reaching a critical mass, carrying enough weight and momentum to cause a major shift in thinking and being.

Hot Trends

Trying to pick and choose what is “hot” was impossible for this issue, so instead we chose an observer role and asked ourselves the following questions: What is emerging and sticking in the consciousness right now? What is on the verge of changing everything? Otherwise, I felt judgment coming up, and everywhere I saw spirituality become a marketing/business entity. I saw capitalism getting it’s stinking little hands all over everything.

I realized I was in the “right/wrong,” “us versus them” kind of thinking and I was buying into the belief that we are compartmentalized beings made up of different layers of mind/body/spirit. Like the hours of the day, divided by nothing more than the human construct of time, I saw how we were reinforcing the idea of disconnect within ourselves through our constant exploration of how to put us all together again. What is very interesting about many of the people on the cutting edge is that they are not operating from that premise. On the contrary, they are operating from the premise that we are whole already and THAT is what needs to be integrated into our thinking and feeling selves.

In the end, it’s all potential, though, and in its most primal state, completely neutral. If we are determined to have a purely physical experience, then we will. If we’re determined to have a purely mental experience, we will, and the same goes for spiritual. However, we can also opt to have all three, and more.

This can be a lot to think about, though, and sometimes during the Summer, we just want to sit back and receive. The unbelievable amount of data and potential in each moment is a great reason in and of itself to take some time off!!

Retreats & Getaways

When we remove ourselves from our everyday lives, whether in retreat, solitude, or on vacation, we are actually given the opportunity to sit back and experience the world around us. Our bodies were not designed to take the stresses of this world. Evolution has not caught up – or – we have created a world not in congruence with our physical realities. From an overload of stimulus and information constantly streaming in, to our diets, lack of sleep, and multitasking, is it any wonder that we find ourselves unbalanced? Even those among us who consciously eat “right” (ha – another judgment!) and try to take care of ourselves, we still must exist and function in this world.

We so often look out into the dark at night and return to our homes, grateful for our safety and our “easy” lives. The reality is something so much different it’s hard to even get for most of us. As archeologists and anthropologists uncover more of our history, what they are finding is not struggle for survival we thought it once was. In fact, what they’ve found is that our hunter-gatherer ancestors worked about 15-20 hours a week, owned nothing (so no refi hassles) and the hole warmth thing – well, until we were caught in Europe during the last ice age which descended (and retreated) rapidly, clothing wasn’t even really an issue. Scrounging for food? These were nomadic peoples, they moved with the seasons, and with the natural rhythms of the herds. Scarcity and famine are not found in the fossil records until after the Agricultural Revolution when we began to farm and stay put. It was only then that humans were dependent on a specific crop or crops. This also signaled the rise of the monetary system and all things civilized. We stopped sharing so much, and it was then that the majority of our ancestors began working for other people in order to get the things they needed to survive. We also began to need things like vacuum cleaners, girdles, and IRA’s. Yes, we get to live longer than most of them did, but that also means we’re working longer!!!!

This is all a long way of saying that it might be time to disengage from the current human drama and retreat into our ancient selves, at one with the land, not struggling so much.

There’s a lot going on this Summer. There’s a lot going on in the world. Removed from the false dichotomy of right and wrong or good and evil it’s all just potential, it’s all opportunity. May you bask under the sun, climb tall mountains, and reach summits never explored inside your heart and soul, and with your most gorgeous bodies!

Email Angela