Million-Dollar Experience

“I had this thought of, ‘I would’ve paid a million dollars for this experience,’” Jessica Hoover said about experiencing an out-of-hospital birth. In October she became part of the 1.36% of mothers in the United States who decided to have their baby out-of-hospital with a midwife. An out-of-hospital birth can take place at a birth […]

Cystic Fibrosis Can’t Slow Her Down

At an early age, her parents knew there was something wrong. Recess at school was more of a chore than it was play time. Without much physical activity, she would wheeze and become lightheaded, often coughing up a good amount of phlegm. She was taken to their family doctor to have a full check-up done […]

The Truth Behind the Mask

From an early age, I remember making the conscious decision to hide myself from the rest of the world. In elementary school, I remember feeling judged by the people around me and knew that was something I never wanted to feel again. For 20 years I would be a different Hilary with one set of […]

The Thrill of Death

    It was a cold and crisp early Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving somewhere in the outer lands of Ventura, California where I gathered with a few friends to witness a goat slaughter. I have never really experienced an animal being killed before so I wasn’t really sure what I would expect or how I […]

Nexus of Motherhood

In a small dimly-lit kitchen in Ventura, California, 31-year-old Jaymee Payan bustles about putting on white latex gloves, pulling things out of cabinets, and finally plunging her hands into a bag in her sink labeled “HAZARDOUS WASTE.” Out comes the placenta! The nexus of motherhood, the very blood of life flows through this organ created […]

Struggling to Surface

Editor’s note: The identity of the subject in this story has been changed to protect her privacy. “My name is Althea and I’m a junkie.” This is how Althea, 21, starts her Friday nights –– at an AA meeting. Althea comes from a middle class, suburban family in central Vermont and is one of many […]

Yoga for the People

  Visionary Lifestyle offers people guidance for a healthy lifestyle, from yoga to a healthy lifestyle. Magda Freedom Rod created it in 2008 and has been teaching yoga for a year at Elevate, a media production company in Ojai, California. Elevate produces films that focus on capturing positive stories that make us feel good about […]

Qigong – Life Energy Cultivation

Qigong (chi kung or chi qung) is the practice of aligning body and breath. It has beneficial properties for the mind and is used for general health, meditation and martial arts training. Qigong is available to everyone who is open to receiving and there is no age limitation or language barrier. Qigong is a practice […]

His Smile

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” Mark Twain His smile was well known by everyone. He kept it on his face throughout this journey or as the doctors and nurses called it, “his transition.” I hated hearing the word […]

Organic or Else

Full-time landscaper Tom Stebbins began volunteering as a farmer at a 13-acre farm owned by the Farmer and The Cook restaurant in Ojai, California, about three years ago.  The Farmer and The Cook is a popular organic eatery that specializes in farm to table cuisine.  Stebbins has not only been farming, but learning so  much about organic produce […]