1. I shaved my head bald. (It was something I have always been curious to do- and a bit afraid). I felt strong, vulnerable, and curious about the positive reaction I had from so many people (especially women).
2. I was often told I looked younger- I attribute this to lower stress levels and better self-care. It got me thinking about what would we all be like with less stress in our lives?
3. Even though I had no work challenges to deal with, my mind still got hooked by stuff, which made me realize the nature of the mind is to be a meaning-making machine. Keep with meditation.
4. I'm a "doer," and I'm inclined toward filling the calendar regardless of what I have to do, so I need to be mindful that "just because I can, doesn't mean I should".
5. De-cluttering my physical environment created calm and space for new to come in. I love opening my drawers and seeing organized shirts.
6. As an extrovert, while I was initially nervous to spend so much of my day alone, I learned to really cherish the quiet. A five-day solo backpacking trip on the Long Trail was a highlight.
7. It was actually a gift to have a finite amount of time- it helped me sort what was important to attend to now versus in the future. There is more in life than I will ever experience, and checking in with my head, heart and gut was essential to my discernment of how to spend my time.
8. Relationships take time- and if my head is filled with too much stuff it's harder for me to be present. The next challenge for me is how to maintain presence when the workload increases.
9. I am joyful in my body and love to move. I'm in the best shape I've been in since my gymnastics days and was thrilled to experience my body's strength and ability with training. (One of my goals was to ride 100 miles in a day which Jon and I completed in September in NYC.)
10. When I am quiet there is more space to connect with spirit. Having a life grounded in spirit is essential to me. Sharing this about me with others is vulnerable and authentic.
11. It is rare to have quality time with each of my daughters separately, and so planning a trip to travel individually with each of them helped us relate in new ways, and created amazing memories to look back on.
12. Novelty is energizing to me and helps me feel alive. I gave the gift of a "novel date night" to Jon once a month- and it was fun to get out of our regular routine. I had the space to follow my nose a bit in topics that I became interested in (for example: learning some Spanish before traveling, trauma and epigenetics, how to keep backpacking food bear-proof).
13. Thinking about my own death is also a way to feel alive and present to the wonder of life. I wrote down my wishes for my funeral, and wrote letters to Jon and my daughters in the event I should die unexpectedly with no time for goodbyes.