January 2017

Issue 12 | April-May-June 2017

Welcome to the anniversary issue of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine. It’s truly been a dream come true for me.

I want to express my gratitude to those who sent their condolences and held my family in their prayers during the most difficult period of my life – the death of my first born son on April 10th. All the well-wishes took a lot of the pressure off of my need to publish the April and May issues. I am a bit of a perfectionist and was (at first) very hard on myself for “dropping the ball” on my obligations.

Obligations can be set to the side guilt free. Truly a challenge for this gal. I listened to the advice of my peers and family and set aside my need to be productive. I gave myself the permission to grieve. And I am.

Publishing a periodical has been a dream of mine since I was eight or nine years old. With a burst of inspiration and divine guidance, I created the first issue in twelve days. I am blessed with an amazing support team that has helped me every step of the way. When the growing pains slowed me down, they held me up and offered me the support I needed to somehow pull up my big girl panties and forge ahead.

As we all know, everything is always in motion and evolving. One example is the result of what happened when the In The Kitchen section combined with my health coach training sparked inspiration and the concept of UnBox Your Kitchen was developed. I have mentioned UnBox Your Kitchen in more recent issues. To expand on this concept, I am building a community, the aim of which is to encourage people who are ready to make sustainable life changes to prepare their meals from scratch versus grabbing a box of whatever (with all it’s unpronounceable ingredients) off the grocery store shelves. I know from personal experience the impact of eating a healthy diet, rich in whole foods, and that one person’s food of choice can be another person’s poison.

It feels good to be getting back into the rhythm of working. Inspiration abounds and I have a renewed vitality.

Join me as I wander down memory lane for a jaunt and explore what’s next in this anniversary issue of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine.

Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine was published as a digital magazine from May 2016 to the May/June 2018 issue. The program used to display the publication on the internet was used to design the layout. In converting the digital editions to .pdf format, some of the layout elements were altered and misaligned. 

Publisher & Editor
Cynthia (C.K.) Kochis

Editorial Assistant
Jenn Ryan

Contributors
Tarah Abram
Natasha Botkin
Rachel Kieffer
C.K. Kochis
Ruthie Lewis
Debra Oakland
Barb Parcells
Jenn Ryan

Cover Photograph
J.M. Kochis

Contributing Photographers
Tarah Abram
Natasha Botkin
Leslie Conway
Gillian Crane
Tori Duprey
Joan Harwood
Rachel Kieffer
C.K. Kochis
J.M. Kochis
Tae Lynne
Debra Oakland
Melissa Shearer
Carolina Strada,
Eric VanDussen
Lisa Wamsley
Jaimi Weatherspoon

August 2016

Love you, my son…

April 10th was undoubtedly the most heartbreaking day of my life. A phone call from my mother rang in on that Monday morning, sharing with me the news of the death of my first born son. If you have not experienced the death of a child, don’t attempt to imagine it. I don’t personally believe that your imagination can even comprehend this type of loss.

It’s hard to express emotions that cannot be explained. I helped in planning my father’s funeral with my mother and sister, and guided my two sons with their father’s (my ex-husband) funeral. I’ve attended funerals for so many family members that we started calling them family reunions to take the edge off the heartbreak. For a two year period, it seemed as though I was attending a funeral every other month. I’ve hugged the family members of close friends, and several mothers and fathers of children that grew up with my sons. Nothing – and I mean nothing – compares to having to bury your child … no matter the cause of death.

Since my son’s death, I am loving more deeply, forgiving beyond what I knew was possible, finding depths of unconditional compassion for what others are going through, and I am working hard to no longer sweat the small stuff. Personally, I like to believe that we are all doing our best to deal with whatever life brings our way.

This issue is dedicated to my son, Jeremiah, who entered my life on May 4, 1987 and physically departed on April 10, 2017. My son will forever remain 29 years old.

Quotables

“I celebrate my son’s life, not dwell on his death.”
-C.K. Kochis.
On April 10th, C.K. Kochis’ life was forever altered.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Just as you think about running away, the ride takes off and you’re inching up a really steep hill.”
-Ruthie Lewis

“Are you the one in the family that does not fit in? If so, I’d like to suggest that you were born into a family that you were sent to heal.”
-Natasha Botkin

“I have adopted a strategy for handling these situations.”
-Barb Parcells

“Why would you wish to play small? Imagine a small box. Now try to fit yourself in that box. Seems like insanity of a sort, and it is.”
-Natasha Botkin

Together we are inspiring a supportive community, a tribe of women, with a desire to change the world starting with Self. Generation after generation we learn from each other through our experiences and stories. Elements For A Healthier Life is a life enhancing website encouraging readers to explore ways to balance the work place, relationships, spirituality and body movement – health and wellness goes beyond the food we eat.