You, Improved

It's a crazy, mixed-up world. Here's how to be a better person in it.

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, January 19, 2012

After exiting the holiday season and getting back to the regular course of your life, you’re likely looking around and thinking: Things could be better. It’s OK. You’re normal.

The new year grants a symbolic opportunity to examine yourself, to figure out if there’s anything that could be discarded or improved upon. Last January, we helped by relaying guidance from experts on how to sharpen your intellect, whittle your waistline and thicken your wallet [“Intelligent Life,” Jan. 13-19, 2011].

We’ve returned bearing brand-new niblets of advice. A pair of experts on mindfulness told us about finding inner peace. A master of communication gave us the keys to getting a point across. And to help you get organized, we took down tips from a simplicity specialist.

Here’s to 2012 being your best year yet!

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Where Babies Come From

Midwife-run nonprofit births alternative for expectant mothers

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, August 4, 2011

Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center sits on a lush plot of land in the North Valley, set back from the road and abutted by agricultural plots. The sprawling center seems about as un-hospital-like as Abigail Lanin Eaves could make it. Dotted with skylights and large windows, it looks like a place people go to stay well, not get better.

Even the front door is preceded by a bridge and pond. The theme of sanctuary is reflected throughout the center, with art by locals, a lending library, a kitchen and a classroom. There are two futon-stocked exam rooms, which Eaves likes to call “visiting rooms,” and two dedicated birthing suites that resemble rooms at a bed and breakfast.

Eaves says she knew at age 12 that she was meant to deliver babies. She assumed it would be as an OB-GYN. When her sister had a home birth years later, Eaves was introduced to the world of midwifery, and there was no turning back.

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Growing a Neighborhood

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, April 2011 

A patch of dirt heaped with old tires, soiled diapers and needles is an odd place for a garden. When the SouthWest Organizing Project got permission from the City of Albuquerque to take over the tract in early 2010, its workers and volunteers lugged out mounds of the stuff, including more than 35 wheelbarrows’ worth of glass. But once the weeds and debris were plucked and plots were laid, it produced more than 6,800 square feet of scarlet runners, tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, squash, pumpkins and yellow-meat watermelons, among a cornucopia of other produce.

Dubbed the Feed the Hood project, the mission of SWOP’s garden is to distribute fresh, healthy food to area residents. Sandwiched between the affluent Ridgecrest and Nob Hill areas, the Southeast Heights garden sits on the corner of Ross and Wellesley, in a low-income and somewhat transient neighborhood. SWOP chose this plot for a reason: to organize.

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Intelligent Life

Experts share their best advice for more money, good health and a bigger brain

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, January 13, 2011

It’s tough out there. Our bank accounts are never as flush as we'd like. Our waistlines won't stay put. And, let's be honest, don't we all wish we were just a little bit smarter?

Here’s the good news. There are ways to fix these things, and they don’t involve five easy payments of $29.95. All it takes is some expert guidance on how to be better about the big stuff.

The Alibi has culled together the best words of wisdom from a master of intellect, a financial advisor and a registered nurse. Whether you’re cruising for a little personal enrichment or starting a whole new career path, these pointers should help you on your journey. Here’s to health, wealth and wisdom in the new year.

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The Fast Track

Is going foodless a path to health?

by Christie Chisholm, Santa Fe Reporter, September 1, 2010

Part of the Santa Fe Reporter's "Sweat" issue

I’m not sure why I wanted to starve myself.

I like my body, and I take fairly good care of it. Granted, walking my dog is the only exercise I get these days, and the svelte, yogic physique I had once carved for myself has settled back into its natural, softer state, but I’m no body-hater. And, even though most of my meals involve a waiter and the word “smothered,” I don’t gorge myself on anything that comes in a plastic wrapper or a box. So while I’m not the model of antioxidant-charged, gluten-free health, I also don’t feel like a walking pile of trans fats.

Yet while not in dire need of a fast, I found myself wanting to do one anyway in order to recharge, restart and detox. If my hot pants were a little less snug at the end of it—all the better.

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