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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


A Pebble of Kindness in the Stagnant Pond

Oct 31, 2023 09:30AM ● By Marlaina Donato
A Pebble of Kindness

Ground Picture/

From kindergarten classrooms to inspired blogs, kindness is a practice that is encouraged throughout society. Compassion—the bedrock of goodwill—is a spark that can easily be snuffed out on the wheel of survival. Spiritual practice is usually associated with attending a house of worship, getting on a yoga mat or keeping a gratitude journal, but one of the most beautiful faces of mindfulness reveals itself when we embody kindness. With the expression of compassion, we become joy in motion.

We do not need to break the bank or give our last drop of energy to consider others, only a willingness to nourish generosity of spirit. Whether we share that last piece of dark chocolate with our significant other or uphold a common courtesy, such as giving someone a well-deserved compliment, a heartfelt gesture can go a long way. One thoughtful word or deed can be a single pebble thrown into a stagnant pond. Kindness from pure intentions rather than superficial investment in “good karma” is a form of energy that begets more of the same. Perhaps the greatest advantage of goodwill is the reminder that the world is not such a harsh place after all. This aha moment, at the very least, can change someone’s day. At the most, it might save a life. Living in the heart means maintaining a higher frequency, which is needed now more than ever.

Here are a few ideas to drop a pebble in the pond:

In the Household

  • Help someone with their chores: Put out the garbage, empty the dishwasher or set the dinner table.
  • Run a hot bath or heat up a bowl of soup for a loved one after a long day.

In the Workplace

  • Bring a coworker a cup of coffee or a hard-working boss a surprise dessert.
  • Take the early shift for someone else.

In the Community

  • Offer a free class or service.
  • Pick up groceries for a neighboring senior.

Marlaina Donato is an author, multimedia expressionist and cultivator of women’s wild well-being. Connect at

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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