Happy Birthday! Issues Magazine for Empowerment is twenty years old. I knew very little about computers and even less about the print industry when I started it. A big thanks to my mom for supplying me with enough fantastic homesteading photos to create front covers for ten years. In those days, I did not own a laser printer because they cost too much. I printed rough proofs on a dot matrix printer, and then put them on a disk and took them to a print shop. I spent most of a day cutting and pasting the images. I then chose the color of the month and gave the finished pages to Webco Press to print 5,000 copies. If you look at the lower magenta magazine featured on this month’s front cover, you will notice there is no date on the premiere edition. It took six months before the ‘light went on’ and I added the dates and the names of the people in the photos.
So how does a woman with just basic English skills and no computer knowledge get to be the publisher of a magazine and make a living at it for over twenty years? Trust! For me it was trusting the knowingness in my heart and sticking with the plan. I know some of you have heard this story before, but it bears repeating at this special time. I was facing giving up my job as a lifeguard because my inner voices were shouting at me to move on with my life. I asked them to take the pressure off for six months so I could complete my obligations and figure out how to make a living without union pay. When that time was up, it would have been easy to pretend that I had not made the deal since work had improved. But since I also believe in angels and “a promise is a promise,” I handed in my resignation, cried a few tears and accepted that my life was about to change. I had come up with some ideas of what to do and that helped quiet the unrest in my mind.
Shortly thereafter, I was going for a walk when I heard a voice in the sky that said I was to start a magazine and call it Issues. For years I had been distributing the Vancouver magazines Shared Vision and Common Ground in the BC Interior, and I did think that the Okanagan should have its own magazine. After I heard the voice, I decided to visit Vancouver and talk to the publishers at Common Ground, who said they had tried selling advertising in the valley and found it difficult. Samaya at Shared Vision said, “If I can do it, anyone can.” I liked her answer, so I applied for a Communities Future grant and traded in my UIC benefits for a chance to be creative and network people and ideas. At this point, I had also organized my first Spring Festival of Awareness, which I inherited from the Vernon Metaphysical Society. I needed a computer with a publishing program and as magic would have it, I traded it for room rent. Co-incidentally, my oldest son had just moved to college and his room was empty. The rest is history. Issues magazine continues to be published because of the guidance of my angels and my determination that alternative magazines are important.
Going through the old editions and scanning them for the front covers, I got to muse over my learning curve in publishing. About five years after I started, one of my original advertisers said, “The magazine is starting to look good!” I smiled and said, “I always thought it did!” I am ever so thankful for the suggestions, guidance and support over the many years from practitioners and writers. Laara Bracken, who still advertises, was in the premiere edition right beside my one-hundred-word Musing column where I talk about looking the word up in a dictionary, which shows how limited my English skills were. My angels had told me to write a column and call it Musing, so I did my best. Then my angels manifested me a top class editor who took the time to explain the basics and refined my words so they had order and read well.
By the end of that first year of publishing and second year of organizing the Spring Festival of Awareness, my husband of twenty-some years had had enough of this New Age nonsense and my switch to being a vegetarian. He gave me two options: 1) go back to who I was, or 2) allow him to find a new mate. I asked God what to do and he said, “Karmically, it is over. The choice is now yours.” The day after our decision to separate, I ran down our split-level staircase, something I did many times each day, but today I noticed how light my feet felt. I stopped for a moment and realized that I had a new sense of freedom and lightness in me. Our separation had more moments of magic in it than the last five years of our relationship, as we both surrendered to the change that was needed.
The change-over wasn’t all sunshine and roses. There were certainly moments of fear, like the morning I awoke and turned ice cold while still in bed. I had started to think about where I could move to and what I needed to do next … One day, I will compile my many stories with the intention of inspiring young people to listen to their inner guidance. I am told it will be titled, The Making of Angèle. A person whom I have known for a while has agreed to move to Johnson’s Landing this summer to learn computers. She will slowly take over the publishing, allowing me time to focus on this and other projects.
I have also always paid close attention to the intermittent messages that come from the ethers. I love that I have the flexibility to say yes to a task that I don’t know how to do. I assume I will get shown, for I have learned that once I am committed, the answers always come. I am also happy that writing my column Musing over the past twenty years has documented some of the emotional process work that I have done. It is very important to feel our feelings, speak our truth and allow our hearts to stay open.
If you are a regular reader of Issues magazine, then you have already stepped onto the path of awareness. If you want to know more about some transformational awareness workshops, please respond to the various advertisers in Issues or join us at the Spring Festival of Awareness, April 23-25 at Naramata Centre. The 2010 Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center Events Calendar is also available which lists inspiring workshops throughout the spring, summer and fall.
You could also win a FREE pass to the Spring Festival of Awareness. See the details above and go to our new website: www.IssuesMagazine.net. Let me know why you read Issues Magazine, how you found your first copy, etc. I appreciate all those who have already shared enriching information with me. I intend to carry on the Issues tradition of expanding consciousness. I know how important it is that we wake up to the reality that we co-create our lives and to honour our unique challenges as we explore consciousness, allowing it to change us.