15. Mind, Body and Everything

Reading Laura’s email and contemplating “hot topics”—how we are or aren’t equipped to handle them—made me realize that whatever w2k may or may not be, it’s been an incredible forum in my life for support and growth. I’ve come full circle in my work—which is my hot topic—and it’s amazing to take stock of how far I’ve come. How better equipped I am to handle this transition and any doubts or fears that get stirred up. I am so much more confident and calm, and the only true difference is perspective. I was reading Cornell’s alumnae magazine and there was a quote about “discovering and augmenting self” that made me think of w2k and the role it plays in our lives.



I just read Catherine’s second to Laura’s sentiment that we should stick to general health and fitness. I think that’s a valuable discussion, but I would also like to tackle the harder topic. Although I have a bulldoze ahead personality, I concede the merit in first discussing what a body image conversation might be like before we blunder into one. What are our worst fears for the conversation? What would our goals or hopes be? Personally, the topic has been an extremely potent one in my life and I would like to examine it to see if I really am healthy and healed, or if I’ve just buried those emotions. I feel passionately about the mind-body connection and I believe that how I feel about my body has everything to do with everything.



The mind-body connection is a particularly relevant topic for me this month because I am once again a free agent. John and I spent a fantastic week in Kauai. It was incredibly healing for both of us—individually and as a couple—to “play” together; something we do far too little of. I only realized once we got to the island and I opened the doors of our condo, situated smack on the beach, and I took in the sound of the ocean and the feel and smell of the breeze, that I had not been on vacation since graduating college. I took two trips to Europe right after college and we went to Portugal for our honeymoon, but with those exceptions, I have spent all my time and money traveling back East to see family and attend weddings. Everyday went something like this: we got up early, drank papaya smoothies, snorkeled or boogied boarded, ate lunch, took a two hour siesta, then boogie boarded again until sundown. I fell in love with boogie boarding—I felt like a kid and that felt incredibly healthy. John and I have made a commitment to incorporate more active “play” into our daily lives.



I returned to a Fed-x package with papers from WineShopper letting me know I had been severed, per my request not to stay on for the merger. I sent my keys in the next day and that’s that. I feel great! John and I earlier this month spent a lot of hours and conversations coming up with a budget that makes sense and is easy to manage. We realized that the mistake with budgets we’ve tried in the past is too many small categories. This time we approached the task with the philosophy of reducing financial administration to a bare minimum. We spent a lot of time delving into how to execute the budget—that’s what gets you. We did it, it’s working and it feels incredible! We are saving for all the things that are important to us and living within our means without feeling deprived. The budget is also allowing me to look for part-time work. I am looking for a part-time position in the education or social sector because I liked the stability and community of a job, but part-time because I didn’t like it that much. With the other portion of my time I am going to do some freelance writing for old clients; perhaps try to write some articles; and research developing my role model idea for adolescent girls. This work will satisfy my free agent, creative side without the anxiety of having to make a living by it. I feel like it will allow me to explore several avenues at once, while having the best of both worlds. I am also sure that I want my work to make a difference and to promote a social cause I believe in. I am doing lots of networking and not hesitating to talk to anyone or send my resume around. Not doubting myself or being shy makes a huge difference. Whatever path I chose, I am leaving a substantial chunk of time for me, my family, our home—any activities that nourish my soul. I’m a better person for it and I believe my work is better for it too.


I feel like this past year is the textbook example of that quote about having to leave home to know it for the first time. I’ve been on the right path all along, but I needed the experience to understand what I had and how to make it work.



Mind and Body. I may feel comfortable, but those deep anxieties embedded in my cells, my being, persist, and wreak havoc with my body and nervous system. I am back to experiencing crippling arthritic pain in my my hip. Since childhood, I have been plagued with chronic pain that comes and goes. I spent years pursuing traditional medicine and getting nowhere, which is when I began exploring my own patterns and experience from a holistic perspective. I would love to discuss this topic and and learn how the rest of you have experienced and dealt with your own mind-body connection.


That does it for now. I’m off to the “Edupreneurs” dinner and discussion hosted by the New School Foundation.


p.s. John and I are being audited by the IRS next month so I will have a new experience to add to our collective pool of resources.