As we blow away the cobwebs of the year that’s just passed, plus a little too much indulgence over the festive season, it’s time to welcome in the new! Of course, it’s customary to take a long hard look backward, then, after a deep breath, assure ourselves that we’re not going to make those same crazy mistakes all over again. Where would we be without New Year’s resolutions?

An idea that’s increasingly wending its way into my own mind is that it’s important to sense the connections that join us all, however removed we may appear to be on the surface from each other. It’s that intriguing idea of “six degrees of separation” – that each of us is only ever six links in the chain away from every other person on the planet. Tibetan Buddhism provides a brilliant and tantalising image of the same idea – an interconnected web overarching the universe with diamonds at each of its myriad junctions dancing with each tiny tremor, each nano-second of connection. It’s mindblowing in its beauty and its message.

When we open our thinking to be more receptive to the whole idea of connection, life starts to flow. It was Jung who coined the term synchronicity to describe those seemingly miraculous coincidences we’ve all experienced at one time or another – the long absent friend who calls just as we’ve been thinking about them, the passage in a book that perfectly answers the call of our soul when we weren’t even aware of it....

In his great wisdom, he understood that we all tap into the same deep well, the collective unconscious, and we all draw sustenance from it.

The strong sense of connection that binds a community through times of stress and heartbreak came to the fore in Sydney in mid December with the tragic outcome of the café siege in the middle of the city. It raised the ugly spectre of terrorism in our beautiful harbour city. Looking on, we all felt Sydney’s pain but, more importantly, Sydneysiders themselves gained strength and deeper understanding of each other in their spontaneous outpouring of compassion. The flowers filling Martin Place were a beautiful tribute in which all could share.

In this first issue of 2015, we’ve touched on being open to synchronicity so we hope it leads to a bountiful year ahead for you.

Health is high on everyone’s list of priorities for the New Year, of course, so once again we’ve got some very recent findings to inspire you. Our public health warrior Peter Dingle PhD explores the link between probiotics and weight loss which leads him to conclude that probiotics are as important as any organ in the body; Nadia Marshall takes a look at the current trend of intermittent fasting but from an Ayurvedic perspective; Olivier LeJus queries what lies behind the worrying increase in allergies and Margaret Jasinska shows us the way to clearer, healthier skin.

And before I go this month, I must thank a long time Perth reader for a wonderful donation of $500 towards the NOVA Kashmir Appeal. As a single contribution it’s tremendously generous and much appreciated. The appeal is still open to help build a home for a vulnerable extended Kashmiri family. Find details in the story "Kashmir Needs Our Help" (October issue 2014) in our Stories archive.

Happy New Year!

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.