Archive for November, 2008

Getting ready for Friday

November 30, 2008

I hope everyone had a really lovely Thanksgiving.  Mine was very nice and I was especially thankful to have a long weekend because I have two presentations this week that I needed to work on. 

Mostly I’ve been working this weekend on a presentation that I’m giving in Corning, NY on Friday.  It’ll be my first “real” keynote, and I’m actually feeling just a bit nervous, which doesn’t usually happen with me before presentations.  I think it’s because this one is going to be a pretty personal presentation.  My topic is body satisfaction and why it’s important – it’s interesting for me to speak to that because I don’t exactly have it figured out myself.  I’m hoping that’ll make it seem more comfortable for others.  I think it’s possible that, in preparing for this talk, I’ve lost my mind…  I say that because, about several hours ago, I decided it would be a great idea to make tiny little hand made cards out of pretty paper and sew a bead on the front of each one for every audience member.  So, I’ve been busily working to create 100 of the darn things.  I like them but have 79 to go and am wondering what got into me…  This is pretty typical Joslyn-style, though. 🙂  Here are a few of my little doo-dads, as I’ve been calling them…

The other thing that I did for this presentation was to create a short video using pictures of me growing up.  This idea came to me two weeks ago when I was at the Renfrew conference in Philadelphia.  This is what happened…  On Friday night, they set up a dance floor and called in a DJ so that conference attendees could have a fun time dancing.  I sat by watching for about an hour with absolutely no intention of dancing.  However, then one of them women I was there with said, “Come on.  We’re dancing.”  To which I replied, “We are?”  Reluctantly, I joined all the crazy dancing folks on the floor and proceeded to have the time of my life.  I still had moments of feeling very self-conscious but they would pass because I was surrounded by some of the top eating disorders experts in the country and I knew that they really, honestly didn’t care what I looked liked because they accepted every person for who they are not how they look.  Clearly when I was feeling uncomfortable it was my own stuff coming up rather than those around me being judgemental.  And then I realized that it’s been about five years since I went dancing, which is really crazy because I LOVE to dance.  That made me start thinking about what else I’ve stopped doing because of how I feel about my body.  I had my mom scan some pictures from when I was growing up and, it became pretty clear to me that I have always been a pretty active person.  It also became clear to me that at some point, the way I feel about my looks became more important to me than doing things that I love.  That needs to change.  And, so I created this video (music by Libby Roderick) that I’ll use to end my presentation.  Here’s a preview for those who read this because I’m pretty sure none of you will be in NY on Friday.



November 22, 2008

I’ve found myself wanting to paint for others – maybe it’s me getting into the giving spirit of the holidays.  My two newest paintings I’ve done are for two women I know – both named Carolyn and both eating disorders treatment providers who do amazing, admirable work.  I’m 99.9% sure that neither of them will look at this blog, which is why I’m posting pics of their gifts before they receive them. 

The first is a large piece (3′ x 2′) and somehow I have to figure out how to package it and transport it on the plane with me when I go to NY in a week and a half.  A tree of life image with my own little twist.  This is possibly my favorite piece yet.

Some of the limbs are highlighted with gold – the gold is only visible when the light hits it at an angle, though, so it’s very subtle.  I like that.  Also, there are three rust-colored leaf beads sewn on that you can see in the following image:

My newest painting is called ‘Soul to Soul’ and was painted for another Carolyn – this one in California.  She’s a huge inspiration to me and, when I saw her last week at a conference in Philadelphia, she spoke a lot about doing ‘soul to soul’ work (rather than ‘ego to ego’ work) with clients (not that I have clients but maybe one day I’ll go back to school and do clinical work, so I was paying attention).  She also had several mentions about the heart chakra.  So, this is my piece in honor of her.

And here’s a detail shot of it that, hopefully, shows the beading I did a little better:

We had our first snow flurries yesterday and this morning it was 18 degrees – that’s right… 18!  So, I hope everyone is keeping warm – wherever you may be.  Until next time…

Nice November day…

November 9, 2008

I had a nice afternoon photographing one-year-old Benny.  Here are several of my favorites:


His sister, Rachel, wasn’t too keen on the idea of being photographed, so instead of photographs in the park, I did a few of her inside… Here’s my favorite – using her special flying faery powers to jump off the couch.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend and is looking forward to Monday!


November 6, 2008

So, today is three years since my really good friend Alyson passed away.  She and I met when we were admitted on the same day to the eating disorders program at the University of Iowa.  During our time there we got to be friends and were in very close contact until her death.  On this anniversary the past two years, I’ve gone to the women’s veterans memorial at Arlington Cemetary to be in a space that I know was deeply important to her (she was a veteran and made a trip to DC specifically to see the memorial).  This year, I wasn’t able to get away from work to go.  Instead, I spent some time with one of my really good friends at the end of the day, which was nice.  And I thought I’d do a little writing here… 

There were several things that Alyson and I had in common and many that we didn’t.  The commonality that we shared with one another most often was our prayer that the other would fully recover from her eating disorder.  And, ultimately, the biggest difference has ended up being that she didn’t get that opportunity.  Too much physical damage had been done already and she lost her battle.  On days like today, I remember how important it is for me to 1) recognize when there is still a battle raging inside of me and 2) continue fighting it. 

Tonight, I find myself a little teary-eyed… for the loss of my friend, for the acceptance that I still have a ways to go with this myself, and for the way that hating our bodies instead of celebrating them has become normalplace for the majority of us. 

Tomorrow, I know I’ll wake up, as I do most days, ready to go back out and try to change things so that perhaps one day I’ll have a daughter or a niece who might be spared the experience of thinking (and being told) that dieting and shaping and molding her body into anything other than its natural form is what’s expected of her…

I have a particular candle that I light in memory of both Alyson and Andrea, my other friend who lost her life to an eating disorder.  When I got home tonight, I lit it and took a photo to share here with you… 

candle-editWoman, with a candle lighted / to help her keep faith with her own life… / a centered presence / spreading in concentric circles around her.   

~Judith Duerk, ‘Circle of Stones’