About Us

Joe Dunne, Publisher
Natural Awakenings, Central New Jersey


Notes from the Publisher

  • Expecting Perfection

    I’m always amazed at the amount of time we devote to criticizing ourselves. It seems to me we give this cranial activity way too much power. Our areas for self-criticisms are usually quite predictable—the ways we have somehow failed to be perfect in social interaction, parenting, work and public image. Why is it so important [&hellip

  • Kids, Teens and Fathers

    Last year, we introduced a new column called Teen Voices written by Hannah Adamson. The idea behind it was to help parents (and other adults) gain a glimpse into the world through a teen’s eyes.  Although with tears of sadness, we now wish a joyous farewell to Hannah as she moves on to attend George [&hellip

  • The Journey of Acceptance

    I struggled my whole life with feeling less than. I covered it with phony, always thinking I should be someone else. I never really had a direction, so being left to my own thinking I was lost before I was a teen. I was chosen last in the playground, I never made teams. I sat [&hellip

  • Start a Movement of Nice

    Inspiration! The process of being mentally stimulated to do something, especially to do something creative. Finding something every day can be challenging, so let’s make it simple—look for opportunities to be kind. As the saying goes, “just do it.” Reach down into your heart, take a risk, break the norm of watching and just do [&hellip

  • Spread the Love

    Sitting at my desk, waiting for yet another snow storm to blanket the area, I’m letting my mind wander as it always does when faced with a blank sheet of paper. Suddenly the question drifts up from my deep inner brain: Just who is St. Valentine anyway? St. Valentine is an interesting character, mostly because [&hellip

  • Letter from the Publisher

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  • More Lessons in Life

    We received a lot of positive feedback on the Publishers Letter in November, so I thought I would just do a little continuation with a few personal comments. Honesty is so important. It is the link to integrity, friendship, relationships and self. It is not always easy and is sometimes a challenge, but like all [&hellip

  • A Glimpse Into Our Divinity

    Pat spent the entire summer in Peru and Costa Rica. The primary motive for her journey was to further her education in the use of medicinal plants and other natural elements for the purpose of better assisting her clients. Her prolonged stay in South and Central America allowed her to better experience the culture and [&hellip

  • Life Lessons

    If “Life’s Lessons” is not a book, it should be. For me, each birthday adds another year to my senior citizen collection. As I look forward to my next celebration in a few months, thoughts on life come into my mind. Here are a few of the “Life’s Lessons” I’ve received, not in any particular [&hellip

  • The Fall Shift

    October represents change to me. The colors of fall are infectious as I watch the dramatic changing of leaves. Pumpkin patches glow in the fields, and apple trees sparkle as they wait to be picked. Sunsets become works of art. A new and invigorating energy seems to grip the air. Everything about fall and the [&hellip

  • The Season for Change

    Quite often change is brought about by pain. Our minds supply us with all the justification we need to stay stuck. I know from personal experience how hard change can be. Even good change can be hard to see as good. Thinking of the future can be so scary that hope is hard to find. [&hellip

  • The Wonders of Life

    A billion years—how about 5.43 billion years? That, according to Google, is how long the earth has been around. In my mind, that borders on incomprehensible. I look up to the sky and am mesmerized by the countless stars, each a sun with who knows how many planets circling. The questions fly through my mind, [&hellip

  • A Model Experience

    Recently, I spent a few days in Sweden. What an amazing trip. The views were stunning and the city of Stockholm majestic, but it was the people and the human interactions that knocked me over. Not only the experience there, but how the effects of spending a short amount of time with a small group [&hellip

  • Embracing Fatherhood

    Recently, we introduced a new column written by teenagers called Teen Voices. The idea behind it is to help parents (and other adults) get a glimpse of the world through a teen’s eyes. In raising my own four children, I found striving to better understand their world through their eyes was one of the most [&hellip

  • The Day A Mother Is Born

    May brings sunshine and flowers, and a new energy to the Northeast. It also brings us Mother’s Day. Of course, every day should be Mother’s Day, but that’s another column. I was pondering what to write here when I thought of my wife, Asta, and her experience in becoming a mother. I remember how she [&hellip

  • On the Other Side of Words

    I have been thinking lately about words and how they fit into our world of communication. My 24-year-old son, Sean, tells me I need a college course in texting so he can make sense of what I’m trying to say when I speak with my fingers. On self-examination—and the evidence before me—I have to plead [&hellip

  • Seeing What’s Good

    Thank you for being a reader. I hope you enjoy our March publication of Natural Awakenings. I find myself wanting to write about the injustice of things—the penal system, gun control, blame, closed-minded people, war, violence, inequality, inappropriate behavior, prejudices and our education system—and then there’s health care and veterans’ rights. Thankfully, our magazine is [&hellip

  • A Few Random Thoughts About Happy New Year

    “Have a Happy New Year?” Do you think most people, myself included, take the time to think about what they’re saying? How many times do you hear it or say it each holiday season? “Have a happy new year.” What exactly do we mean? Does it mean “I hope you laugh a lot in 2018”? [&hellip

  • Life is Difficult - Natural Awakenings | Central New Jersey

    Publishers Letter – December 2017

    “Don’t worry, be happy”   A holiday wish to all.  “Peace on Earth”  A holiday wish to the planet  “Make Love Not War”  A holiday wish to mankind  “Pay it forward, serve others”  A holiday wish for us.  “Take a good look at myself and change what needs to be changed”  A holiday wish to myself, [&hellip

  • It’s Time to Rebuild

    Usually I rack my brain trying to put something in this space that matters. Over the last 5 years, I’ve shared bits of wisdom, life lessons, and experiences. This is a bit different. Natural Awakenings is a corporation based out of Naples, Florida. Unlike most businesses I have been associated with in my lifetime, popular [&hellip

  • It’s Time to Learn the Exxon Valdez Lesson - Natural Awakenings - NJ

    Love Makes The Difference

    How life works, how the planets function, how the world turns—it’s too much for me to comprehend. How belief systems are formed, societies operate, and how relationships evolve is an ongoing process that seems too overwhelming for me to figure out.  One thing I do know is “nothing is how it seems to be.” Hurricane [&hellip

  • Life is Difficult - Natural Awakenings | Central New Jersey

    Five Years and Counting

    My editor, Kathy, suggested she might quit if I write one more gratitude letter. However, this issue marks our fifth anniversary of publishing Natural Awakenings of Central New Jersey. Publishing the best, most rewarding magazine on the planet. This I did not do alone, I never could have, so you know my thoughts must be [&hellip

  • Life is Difficult - Natural Awakenings | Central New Jersey

    Do You Hear What I Hear?

    Listening is becoming a forgotten art. I can only speak for myself, but I believe the ability to stay focused, to be present and engaged in another’s communication, and to communicate properly is extremely hard. Proper listening takes focus, awareness and, above all, practice. Shutting out my own mental chatter, to forget about what I [&hellip

  • Life is Difficult - Natural Awakenings | Central New Jersey

    Life is Difficult

    M. Scott Peck’s bestselling book, “The Road Less Traveled,” opens with this profound statement.  “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then [&hellip

  • It’s Time to Learn the Exxon Valdez Lesson - Natural Awakenings - NJ

    It’s Time to Learn the Lesson

    Recently I came across a research paper I prepared for a class in 1992, which reminded me of the call to be better stewards of the earth. The Exxon Valdez Disaster Four Past Midnight is a work of horror and the supernatural by Stephen King. Good Friday is a day of reflection and celebrations for [&hellip

  • Joe Dunne | On the Road to Awareness | Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

    On the Road to Awareness

    It’s funny how life changes. When I was a young boy, I remember riding my bike on Kings Highway in Brooklyn and hearing a couple of “old ladies” greeting each other. “Hello, Sadie! So how you feeling?”  Of course, she replied, “When you got your health, you got everything.” As I peddled off, I thought [&hellip

  • The Wheel Turns and We Turn with It

    It’s 2017 and cars are about to drive us by themselves. The largest real estate company in the world does not own one single piece of property. Malls and our largest retailers are in a panic as the Internet continues to eat away at the world of shopping. The colonization of Mars is in the [&hellip

  • Make Connections—Yes, It’s Personal

    The picture below represents a big part of the rewards I have received and continue to receive as a publisher of a Natural Awakenings Magazine. It also depicts and represents what Natural Awakenings is about: building community, linking likeminded people, going the extra mile to spread abundance, education, seed awareness and, along the way, friendships [&hellip

  • Celebrating Our 4th Year


    Thanksgiving and the holidays is a time of gratitude. I hope now that the elections are over we can change the climate and start seeing the good in the world, in people and in peace. My hope is that the good in the human spirit can be exposed and explored in the year 2017, but [&hellip

  • Celebrating Our 4th Year

    Touched by a Life

    This is the month I usually write about gratitude, and I have plenty of it. I try to celebrate life every day. It is so easy to get caught up in the small, petty details and forget just how precious life is. I know that some struggle more than others, yet I have been granted [&hellip

  • Celebrating Our 4th Year

    Change is Upon Us

    I was pondering what to write this month and with the changing of the seasons and fall upon us I thought “let’s write about change.” So much material is there. The one constant that is hard for some to accept is change. For others it is exciting. There is good change, necessary change and of [&hellip

  • Celebrating Our 4th Year

    Celebrating Our 4th Year

    Its’s funny how things come full circle. This week I got together with Mary Piirsalu Not realizing it was four years ago this month that I published our first issue after purchasing it in August. For those of you that know Mary she is doing well. Recently married in July, and she seems to be [&hellip

  • The Choice is Love

    have considered five different subjects to write about but still feel stuck.I haven’t been able to motivate myself. I’m surrounded by feelings of shame, grief, disappointment, confusion and sadness. I’m stuck in Orlando, Sandy hook, and Fort Hood. I’m disheartened by the amount of hate a human being can hold on to. I feel ashamed that we [&hellip

  • The Transformation of Man

    his month Natural Awakenings focuses on Men’s health. I would like to take a peek at how men have grown, in spirit, in behavior, and in fatherhood. My father drove himself to the hospital while having chest pains. He didn’t ask for help. The false pride developed over time, and his hard upbringing programed him to [&hellip

  • To All the Wonderful Women

    t’s that time of year when we celebrate all the moms out there. A time to reach out and let them know how much they mean to us, and that we feel eternally grateful for everything they have done to raise us and enrich our lives. The beauty of nurturing, though, isn’t confined to children. Everywhere [&hellip

  • What’s New with Us

    e are co-hosting a networking event at Fischer Health & Rehabilitation, and we invite you all to attend, It will be held on April 28, 7:00-9:00 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. Bring plenty of business cards! I can’t wait to see you there. We have a new App! Right now, it’s just for [&hellip

  • Healing Our Food Supply

    ’m so thankful for those in this world who are leading the charges of change. One person who informs and inspires me is Robyn O’Brien. Her online “Ted Talk” and her book “The Unhealthy Truth” expose the toxity problem in our food supply, and how we got here. This issue has always been a passion for me; [&hellip

  • It’s All About the Smiles

    As you will see, smiling is prominent within our pages this month. This issue’s theme is friendship and dental health, for people and pets. On dental health, we have highlighted three of the best dentist in our area—naturally, they advertise in our magazine. I know each one personally, and encourage you to read the profiles [&hellip

  • 2016 A Year of Hope

    nother year of life has passed and the reality…we all lived it one day at a time. Our past now becomes our learning tools as a guide to our future. Today is all we really have; nothing beyond that is guaranteed. Our future yet unknown—I pray about positive change, and I hope. My hope is [&hellip

  • Reflections – Publisher’s Letter, December 2015

    This is our December Issue and so appropriately the theme is about prayer, spiritual living, and peace. Another year has passed and the holiday season is here. The time of year when people smile more, greetings seem more sincere, and kindness abounds. We actually spend time socializing with old friends and a blanket of warmth [&hellip

  • PUBLISHER’S LETTER, The Season for Change

    Quite often change is brought about by pain. Our minds supply us with all the justification we need to stay stuck. I know from personal experience how hard change can be. Even good change can be hard to see as good. Thinking of the future can be so scary that hope is hard to find. [&hellip

  • You Make It Possible

    Last month we celebrated the anniversary of my third year as publisher of this amazing magazine. I will not go into the enormous amounts of gratitude I have to all of you who read Natural Awakenings. Nor will I recite the names of all who work so hard to get it printed and on the [&hellip

  • Publisher’ Letter – August 2015

    The information you see below on Bill 1599 was taken from a flyer I received from Dean’s Market. Checking it further I researched and found this bill has passed the House and is on its way to our Senators. I read the bill summary and although confusing it does support the flyer information. If you [&hellip

  • July 2015 Publisher’s Letter – Making a Difference

    I think a common thread that flows through the human experience as we grow is “thinking we want to make a difference.” What that leads us to, what that means is always the question and the challenge. For many it is a vague desire, a broad stroke as in a wish. There are those, and [&hellip

  • Spring is Here – April 2015 Publisher’s Letter

    What a winter! Ice, snow, slipping and sliding everywhere—on the roads, in the driveway going up the steps, coming down the steps. It became a winter that forced us to pay attention. The phone calls at 5 a.m. declaring a late school opening, or (with a big sigh) cancelling school entirely, were plentiful in this [&hellip

  • March 2015 Letter from Publisher

    Thank You Taylor! As you know my niece Taylor has spent the last 2 years sharing with us her impressions and experiences of life in the Peace Corps in Uganda. What a spectacular lady, and how lucky I am to have her in my own family. She’s back on this side of the earth now [&hellip

  • Wisdom: It’s in the Cards

    Each month, I find myself in the same position—trying to write my letter at the last moment and with nothing in my head to write about. For a couple of days I have made notes and searched for something valuable to put on paper but have come up completely blank.  So I thought, why not [&hellip

  • Be Here Now

    Recently on 60 Minutes, there was a segment about mindfulness. Although the practice has been around centuries, the short presentation was so well done that it made me feel like it had just been discovered. It wasn’t too deep yet it provided a very clear picture of how the simple act of slowing down, letting [&hellip

  • Celebrating Life

    The holiday season is upon us once more. Trees that glowed so bright, so vibrant in fall colors have vanished. Autumn leaves have lost the fight with the November winds. Change is once more in the air, and Mother Nature has reminded us again that change is one thing you can always count on— always [&hellip

  • Direct Your Life

    This month’s issue focuses on personal empowerment. I thought to myself what does that really mean? The obvious answer is taking charge of one’s life. Is that so hard? Well, for those of us who have managed that task it seems easy, now. For some it has never been an issue. But in reality, for [&hellip

  • Publisher’s Letter – Oct 2014: The Power of Perception

    In a self-esteem program I was involved with many years ago, we spent a lot of time discussing our perceptions. How do we see the world? This led us to an exercise in self-evaluation. That exercise opened my mind and allowed me to examine and change my thinking patterns. How do I see myself? What [&hellip

  • Two Years and Counting!

    This is the September 2014 issue of Natural Awakenings of Central New Jersey.  It represents our second anniversary publishing in the counties of Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon Counties. It also represents my two-year anniversary of publishing. Natural Awakenings has changed my life in so many ways. It has made a difference in my family—our lives and [&hellip

  • Yoga Month in September is Almost Here!

    My column last month was about plastics, how they pollute our world, and in particular our oceans. I talked about a walk I took 30 years ago and my disgust at the mess we made. I walked that beach again just recently and, much to my surprise, I’m very happy to report it was significantly [&hellip

  • When It Comes to PLASTIC, We Need to PUSH

    Change—it’s always happening, but it still takes time. In order to survive we must change, adapt, adjust, improve and grow. How boring life would be if we were not growing spiritually, seeking new mental heights, or physical improvement. Earth changes through climate, unforeseen events and new conditions. Nature adjusts. Animals adapt as we alter their [&hellip

  • Drop Us A Line

    Recently I had the opportunity to meet lots of our readers at the Mind, Body, and Spirit Expo at the Garden State Exhibition Center here in New Jersey. As usual the enthusiasm of our loyal readers was overwhelmingly positive.  I can’t explain how good, knowing that people love our magazine makes me feel.  I consider [&hellip

  • My Attitude of Gratitude is Running Over

    This month has been amazing. So amazing, in fact, that we ran out of room for my letter. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who makes this incredible magazine possible—from our awesome advertisers, to our multi-tasking wizards (aka our staff), and especially to you—our readers. I won’t say that every time you share an issue, [&hellip

  • 70 is the New 50

    Last month I was blessed to have reached a milestone in my life—a 70th birthday. It is so hard for me to look in a mirror and accept that number. Now I know that acceptance is a key to running a smoother life and a contributing corner stone of a well-balanced personality, but 70! I [&hellip

  • In Gratitude for My Amazing Wife

    As many of you know, I’m a talkative guy, yet when it comes to describing my wonderful wife Asta, I become tongue-tied. So in honor of this month which celebrates love, I decided to create a Valentine for her using a poem I wrote for her many years ago. We’ve been married for 15 years [&hellip

  • 2014—What Will It Bring Us?

    Now one knows, of course. Many of us will write resolutions, and commit to change. We will pledge to drop pounds, read more, stop smoking, drink less, and work out more. We will swear to leave our emails for a day, stay away from YouTube, and promise to Facebook less, even to cut our television [&hellip

  • Catalyst for Change ~ Natural Awakenings Celebrates 20 Years

    A heartfelt shout out goes to the 90 U.S. cities and metro areas across the country, plus Puerto Rico, where Natural Awakenings is effecting positive change in people’s lives

  • What a Wonderful Ride!

    Another year is drawing to a close. It’s too hard to comprehend how fast time goes by. I’m just so grateful I have enjoyed every moment of this year. Although there have been ups and downs, I learned, I’ve grown, and cherish them all. This column will be the shortest of the year, as I [&hellip

  • November Publisher’s Letter

    Attitude of Gratitude With Thanksgiving  just around the corner, it seems appropriate to write about gratitude.  After all, we are featuring an article highlighting the many benefits of gratefulness, but that’s not the reason for my message.  It just so happens that  today…right at this moment…I’m feeling incredibly grateful. As a result of our loyal [&hellip

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