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Natural Awakenings New York City

Meet Reader: Phenix Hall

Who’s a Natural Awakenings Reader? Meet Phenix Hall  

Life’s mission: My life’s mission is to be open to new experiences and to catch myself when I say things such as, “I don’t like this,” or, “I’m not sure I can do this,” or, “I’m scared,” and go deep within and ask myself why—and then I challenge myself to try it. Instead of thinking about what can go wrong, I choose to think about what can go right.

Work: As a retiree, I don’t have a traditional job, but when asked, I say I’m working for the MMI Corporation, which stands for Me, Myself and I. Every day I work on myself to try to get closer to the pure consciousness that exists within.

Proudest achievements: I was afraid of heights for most of my life. In 2018, I signed up with a group based in Colorado and went back-country hiking and climbing. It was there that I confronted my fear by climbing a 12,937-foot mountain. Yes, I cried like a baby when confronted with the switchbacks and the extreme cold at the top, but I did it, and I realized that it wasn’t fear of heights that kept me on the ground—it was fear of the unknown.

Expectations for the future: To accomplish the little things on my bucket list. All the things that I wished for growing up, I’m now doing, such as learning to swim, touching an insect—yes, I am deathly afraid of all bugs—and immersing myself in another culture. I want to leave my childhood fears and tears behind and take each new experience in the now by relinquishing the past

Favorite app: My favorite app is Insight Timer, and coming in a close second is YouTube University (as I refer to it) and Pinterest. Where else can you learn to knit, make pita bread, and discover how to make DIY products or even how to make your home toxin free?

Favorite websites: I don’t have a favorite website. Instead I try to favor anything that will keep me from going down the same old path continually.

Local causes supported: I support the homeless—Xavier Mission soup kitchen, Coalition for the Homeless, St. Bart’s and Midnight Run. As a passionate volunteer for several organizations that serve the homeless, I discovered that it wasn’t “them” I was afraid of—it was me that was afraid it was catchy. We are all in some form of pain.

Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: My favorite thing about Natural Awakenings is that it’s always available, always filled with tips and insights that pique my interest and push my boundaries. It's a great magazine that explores our spirituality and the quest to answer that age-old question, “Who am I?”

Most-frequented healthy-food restaurant: With the explosion of clean eating and organic products here in NYC, you can enter any bodega and grab a great healthy meal. But when I want to sit down and eat, I head over to Luanne’s Wild Ginger, where everything on the menu is—as the kids would say—“da bomb.”

How do you invest in your community? I invest in my community by getting to know my community. When I’m walking through the neighborhood, I speak to people, ask their names and, most importantly, try to engage in a dialogue. 

Favorite quote: It’s from Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”  

What are you doing to be the change you want to see in the world? Honoring that voice within that tells me that I don’t know what a person has gone through in the past, but I do know that my reaction now can affect not only me, but them.