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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
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Lois McAffrey-Lopez

Lois Mcaffrey-Lopez
Mind-Body Wellness Seminar

May 3, 2002

Realizing that mind and body are integrated inter-related experiences of life is an important and vital component to living a full life. Realizing this adds a dimension of texture and richness to the life experiences. We are not talking heads, nor are we simply bodies to train to perform. We are an integrated "being" of emotions and thoughts and feelings. It is important to stay in touch with our bodies in order to integrate myself into a whole person.
Realizing this inter-relation is what has enabled me to feel like a whole living being. It has enabled me to begin to feel connected with the earth and all that lives here with me. Separating out your brain from your body leaves an empty feeling, that the brain keeps struggling to overcome. But it can't alone.
This feeling of being connected with life has been the best result of realizing the inter-relation, however, it also has given me a fuller sense of myself. All of my senses are important to my life - touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, thinking, and we need to keep the body awake and healthy to fully realize our senses. There is a texture and depth that comes to life fully experienced, and I don't think it is possible to fully experience life as a talking head.
When I realize the importance of a healthy body to this experience, I remember that I want to help keep this health. One of the components for me seems to be consistency. I have consistent needs for exercise and healthy food and rest and it is important that I consistently fill these needs. Sometimes this means doing things I don't want to do, like going to the gym on a day when I feel tired. But the amazing thing is that after the gym, I'll often feel invigorated. Must be those endorphins. And then, my mind is clearer and I perform better over all. But consistency is a key. If you are overstressed and under exercised, I believe it will take some time to reap the benefits of exercise.
The major goal of Bryn Mawr College seems to be to "grow your brain." And this has wonderful benefits on an integrated body and mind. But if you are stressed and cut-off from yourself, the knowledge you are gaining at Bryn Mawr College will be difficult to integrate within your life. And that's the purpose of this college education, is it not? To lead a richer fuller life, and to make the mind a more interesting place to be. But I've found I need mind body heart and soul to accomplish this, not in pieces, but as a whole entity. Healthy lifestyles help me live as a whole person.

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