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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
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Botticelli and the Mind/Body Connection

Molly Finnegan

The Mind/Body binary seems very out of date. Instead I think they are parallel spectra. It's not a scale; you do not balance your mind against your body. You are constantly shifting the levels on these similar tracks. Balance is important, but so is dialogue. Your body and mind need to have chats.

Coming to Bryn Mawr I have become very aware of my mind/body, or rather, I have been aware of the presence of my mind and the absence of my body. I feel my brain getting bigger, more wrinkly. I feel my body when I have stomachache or a headache, if I'm tired or anxious. At some point my brain and body are going to affect each other, going to react in a way which will force me to change my habits. But most of my habits are pretty good. I sleep eight hours every night. I eat spinach. I (used to) exercise everyday. I rarely have a drink. These aren't the habits I need to change to fell better. Instead I need to hug people more often. I need to walk around in my underwear more. I need to learn how to breathe deeply. I need to do something creative with my whole body. I need to allow myself to cry for several hours whenever I need to. These things are not going to change my chemistry. They are going to do something more permanent for me.

For Halloween I dressed up as Botticelli's Venus (only a lot less naked). It was a way for me to connect my mind, art, beauty, with my body, make my intellectual life my physical life.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I am the goddess of love.

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