“Birth: When the Material & Spiritual Come Together”
• Shari Arison

From the Publisher: “Noticing & Taking Steps, Based on…?”
• Steve Hays

Alternative Medicine:
“Brain Health”
• David Gersten, M.D.

Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery Revival Plan
• Friends of Exotica

Start 2010 with the 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse
• based on Debbie Ford’s book

Discovering Qigong
• Miranda Smith

Planetary Cycles
• Carola Eastwood

Big Love: Secrets from Soulmates Arielle and Brian

News and Events in Southern California

Music Reviews


FEATURES • January 2010

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An interview with Shari Arison about her new book, Birth: When the Spiritual and Material Come Together

• Brain Health
by David Gersten, M.D.

• 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse
by Debbie Ford

• Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery Revival Plan
by Friends of Exotica

• Discovering Qigong
by Miranda Smith

An interview with Shari Arison

Shari Arison is ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest women on the Forbes Billionaires List. Owner of The Arison Group, a conglomerate of global companies and charitable organizations, she has created a ground-breaking and humane business model that incorporates integrity, vision and spiritual knowledge to build a new global reality.

“My goal in this book is to reveal my business-spiritual model — a new model for a new world, which will enable individuals, companies, states and nations to transform the collapse into change, to bring together the spiritual and the material and from this meeting of the two, give birth to the future.” —Shari Arison

For a preview of the book, click here.


In your new book, Birth, you say that the external economic collapse we see around us is also an internal collapse. Can you explain why this is and what we can do to reverse this?

I view everything in our lives as a reflection. Everything that we see around us is in essence a reflection of something within us. We can no longer take from one another. We can no longer exploit the Earth’s resources and think that there will be no consequences. I see the economic collapse as a good thing, because we can learn from it to take responsibility for ourselves and for our environment.

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Brain Health

As a new year arrives, we take time to reflect on our lives and consider what we’d like to improve. At the level of the physical body, everything we do, every positive change we make, ultimately affects the brain. We can change our diets and heal our digestive tract, but without a healthy brain, healthy organs don’t mean very much.

Our brain is responsible for thinking, feeling, perceiving, visualizing, memory, creating, problem solving, behavior, movement of muscles, and coordination. The brain houses the mind and consciousness in ways yet to be understood. The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which originates in the brain, has the job of keeping all of our vital functions in balance. The ANS helps regulate blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, various functions of the digestive tract, body temperature, sexual activity, and much more. The brain does what it does through a variety of chemicals called “neurotransmitters.”

There are 3 main ways of looking at brain abnormalities:

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Start the New Year with
a Consciousness Cleanse

Debbie Ford’s Breakthrough Program Featured Exclusively on Starting January 4

Most New Year’s Resolutions we make in 2010 will focus on the physical or financial aspects of our lives; a new diet or exercise regime, a new job, more money, a better relationship. Now for the first time ever a radical new program offers a detoxification diet for your heart, mind and soul.  In her new book, The 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse: A Breakthrough Program for Connecting with Your Soul’s Deepest Purpose (Harper One), NY Times best-selling author and prominent transformational life coach Debbie Ford offers a practical three week program that promises to permanently, and positively alter the quality and direction of your life.

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Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery Revival Plan

Kona Coffee plants, Dwarf Banana Trees and pineapples in pots, are three indoor plants that have good-size inventories at the Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery, and are center stage in plans to increase business for the Vista nursery.

The nursery, unable to pay rent on three of five of its acres since June 2008, reached resolve November 19 in the Vista Court house, when Steven Spangler, founder, agreed to pay $2600.00 per month rent between now and August 1 and a balloon payment due August 1 of $130,000 for back payments and fees. The consequences of defaulting on a single month’s rent would be a lockout from the three acres.

The trees in the ground, some more than 20 year old, would become the property of the current owner. The value of the plants on the three acres is more than 1 million. Spangler also has the option to purchase the three acres for $345,000. Spangler also has rent due on the other two acres and operating expenses.

“I want to thank the community for coming to our aid. What we do today transforms nature our love and devotion to each other is the planting of the seeds of the soul. This is what grows beyond ourselves and makes the future,” said Spangler.

Leslie Goldman, a web blogger responded to Spangler’s plea for help in mid-November, days before his court appearance. Goldman brought the fate of 1000s of rare fruit trees and plants from around the world to the attention of allies.

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Discovering Qigong

Flip through the brochure from your local recreation center,
and you’re likely to find qigong classes listed. Check out the offerings at an expensive spa, and there it is again—the word with the “qi” in it without a u after the q.

But what is qigong? What does it do for you? How do you choose which type of qigong to learn?

Qigong is a holistic system that encompasses training for the body, mind, and spirit, although most types of qigong currently taught in North America focus solely on the body. It is an ancient discipline: Archeological evidence shows that it was practiced as early as the Neolithic period in China. Over the centuries, it has been modified and refined to suit changing times and knowledge.

One way to describe qigong is to say that it is the practice of moving energy, or “qi” (pronounced “chee”), through the body in specific ways. Qigong practitioners say, “Where qi flows, disease disappears.” Stress, high blood pressure, and a host of other physical and psychological symptoms of distress and imbalance vanish away. In China, thousands of replicated research projects have conclusively demonstrated these effects and more, and in the West, contemporary experiments are showing the same results. (To see some of these studies, go to

You might think that something this effective would be very hard to do—visions of pretzel-shaped legs and Shiva-like arms may be dancing in your inner eye. But the opposite is true. Qigong is easier to practice than yoga, for example, and can be modified for people who are very young, aging, bedridden, or wheelchair-bound.

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