By Ryan Bunnell
Publisher, Heber Valley Life Magazine
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”
– Marcus Aurelius –
ANXIETY. It is safe to say that every single one of us has processed this feeling in the past several months. This edition of Heber Valley Life magazine has been written and assembled in the middle of the Wasatch County ‘Stay at Home’ order for the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued and now amplified disruption of ‘normal’ to the Heber Valley has affected every one of us. With that disruption, we are all forced to decide how we want to address the fear of change and the grief associated with the loss of what things were yesterday.
We, as the creative and production team behind Heber Valley Life, have had to cycle through the stress of the COVID-19 lockdown as a group. Our office was named an essential business due to our printing capabilities, our media voice, and our professional relationships with governmental and healthcare entities within the Heber Valley. Amidst monitoring social media accounts, we could observe all of the ‘stay at home’ jokes, activities, trends, panics, political spins, and a barometric reading into what the rest of the workforce was doing. Tiger shows, toilet paper jokes, memes, conspiracies, and homemade dance videos meant little to us as we were all still very much at work — struggling with amplified project timelines in a dysfunctional marketplace while, correspondingly, feeling great uncertainty about all things related to the future.
As a team, we have been able to process our grief together. The timely distribution of this very book stands as our proof. I am proud of our team, and of how we have adapted to the new normal of change and uncertainty.
How does one become a ‘positive community voice?’ It is not easy. The most natural and seductive of mental pathways will employ fear and outrage as a vehicle to engage minds. In an environment where this tactic is prominently used: it takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to observe without reacting, to accept those things that you can or cannot influence, and to choose gratitude over general negativity. Finding knowledge (without becoming emotionally ‘triggered’) coupled with a grateful attitude will change your entire outlook on life. Once you accept this shift in perception, you will become a beacon for innovation and positivity to all of those that surround you.
PEACE is as real of an emotion as anxiety. If you acknowledge the existence of one, then you have to accept the other as an equal and opposite reality. When individuals can accept feelings of peace more willingly than anxiety, then miracles happen. Physical and spiritual healing follows. Entire countenances change. It is powerful. It is real. I have seen it.
I am grateful for the opportunity we have to assemble this book each season of the year. I am grateful for all of our overwhelming community support from both our readers and advertisers. I am grateful for the contributors and the team that allows this project to happen. The summer 2020 volume of Heber Valley Life has a lot of heart built into it — all generated from our Heber Valley community. I hope you all enjoy this edition. Thank you again for your interest and support of Heber Valley Life magazine.