This week we chat to the Editor, founder and publisher of The Art of Healing magazine Cathering Mercer about her goal to inform and educate readers about health and healing alternatives.
Catherine, you launched The Art of Healing in 2002 as a 10-page newsletter, since then it’s grown into a substantial, respected magazine – what have been the high points of the journey? The low points?
The high points of my journey are realizing what I have created and understanding how lucky I am, every day, to have been given this vehicle of The Art of Healing to serve. Starting the magazine, it was like I gave myself over to something that was bigger than myself. It was pretty exhilarating – the imagery for me was diving off a diving board into the unknown. Just jumping off! I had little writing experience and no editing experience at all, so it was all very exciting. It is a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. So the low points I guess, are when I feel a bit overwhelmed. I have minimal resources so things can get on top of me sometimes. But as long as I don’t forget to exercise – go for walks regularly in this beautiful countryside I live in, in north-western Victoria, do yoga which gives such internal strength, and most recently, practice mindful meditation. All these things really help which is why we regularly publish articles on these things.
The current issue includes features on yoga, reflexology, Chinese medicine and various interesting articles on aspects of nutrition. Can you nominate some key healing platforms in your own life?
I really practice what I preach. I am lucky enough to also see an acupuncturist fairly regularly, so if my energy gets blocked (from sitting in front of a computer too long), this work clears those blockages. Nutrition is so important. I guess we all know that food ‘ain’t what it used to be.’ Personally, I buy fresh and from local farmers as much as I can. I don’t use supplements as much now, but try to get the nutrition I need from good food – particularly superfoods such as goji berry, chia seed, turmeric, seaweed, various nuts and seeds, sprouts, kimchi, coconut oil – and I use brown rice a lot. I also choose to eat a gluten-free diet as much as possible.
How does digital – the website, social media – enhance the experience of reading the magazine?
I think digital is very important, but perhaps in ways that we don’t really know yet. I love using social media, just because of the sense of community it fosters. I love just putting things out there and not really knowing what I will get back, or who I will reach. The experiential aspect is great. The print magazine, the digital magazine, our weekly e-newsletter, the social media we do on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, all feed off each other.
There’s a lovely sense of balance in The Art of Healing, with book reviews, film reviews, an art profile and a travel/retreat piece sitting alongside stories on tarot, wisdom, dreaming, how to handle fear, a guide to navigating hypothyroidism … how does an issue come together?
Good question. What I am trying to do in each issue is give the reader a sense of a true holistic approach. Sometimes words like organic, natural, holistic, can get so over-used that the essence of what they mean is lost. The articles we publish cover the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental aspects of wellbeing and lifestyle. Further, because we are now in our 13th year, there is a bit of a formula happening with regular contributors, but each issue takes on a life of its own.
What’s the best thing about being editor of The Art of Healing? The craziest thing?
The best thing, freedom. The craziest thing, the fact that I am the editor!
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