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From the Editor

Sometimes we meet people that have the ability to darken a room and sour a mood simply by arriving in our personal space. At times, we are that person! Sometimes we will wake up, look out the window, and find our moods dampened due to the weather conditions, yet at other times the weather will have the opposite effect. Now whether it is ourselves, other people or the weather, we live in a complex environment made up of natural conditions ranging from hormonal and chemical soup in our minds to levels of humidity and air pressure.

"What is this guy on about?" I hear some of you ask. Well, this sensitivity to our surroundings may seem fickle at times, but is very real nonetheless. It affects each one of us. The good news though, is that we have the ability and capacity to change any situation we find ourselves in, turn it on its head and go a different direction. This is the great gift of humankind: the ability to make choice.

I recently attended a lecture by Dr Caroline Leaf (one of our writers) and was encouraged to hear that we are able to establish brand new neural pathways (i.e. different patterns of thought) in one to four days. This same change will be indelibly etched into our mind as a habit in twenty one days. The process, however, starts with us making use of that free gift we have: choice.

We find ourselves at the start of October, the tenth month of our year, three months to the next year, and also, incredibly, the start of our official summer season. Perhaps it is our eagerness to get to the 'real goodies' of a summer season that caused us to view spring merely as a one-month event? So what do you think of when you hear the word "summer"? How does it affect your mood, environment and the way you think? Each of us is different and will be affected differently.

When I think about summer certain images come to mind: watermelon, soft-serve, beach sand, laughter, ocean breeze, afternoon thunderstorm, boerewors braai, friends, family, holiday, green grass, blue water, a good book and feet up in the air. Whatever your images are, I trust that we can contribute a few more as you go through this issue, page by page, word by word and picture by picture.