“Art is the literacy of the heart” --Elliot Eisner In my writing, I often take personal experiences to help relate to others, offer insights and most important, establish connections I would not otherwise have consciously designed. With all of the intellectual work that goes into writing, formulating coherent thoughts and aiming to connect with one’s audience, I had rarely stopped to take the time to focus on the rest of my Self – the body, the spirit – that connects our thoughts to actions. Only recently, after much thought about how to approach my life differently, did I tap into the need to engage beyond the mind for insights and clues to a more integrated way of being. My ongoing movement and body work practice with the Studio Anya community have crystallized, for me, the blaring importance of movement – both big and small - for improvement of the healthy mind, for clarity of thought and for me, true alignment to what we think we want and what we actually need. The feeling of tightness in my hands after a long day of writing or the curious pull of strained energy in my left leg could be a result of a long day of sitting. That would have been my original conclusion a year ago. Now, with the insights from my movement and energy work, I consider other possibilities. Maybe these body signals are curious clues into a different way to express my art that I may not have considered. Perhaps I need more space, a more aligned way to sit when I write, which will inspire new forms of creative energy and thought. Perhaps my body is signaling that there’s an opportunity to be more fluid, less strict, in the methods through I express my art? These are the questions I’m currently having fun with. For me, these are the ongoing playful questions to help inform a healthier life design, of gathering clues, of considering the heart’s alignment with a more colorful personal truth. Written by Laura Cococcia Body Banter
About the Author: Laura Cococcia
Laura Cococcia is the vice president of Executive Communications and Operations at AOL. In addition, she is the founding editor and publisher of The Journal of Cultural Conversation. Prior to her current role in communications at AOL, Laura worked at Google in global market development, where she led the integration of the North America and Latin America sales and operations teams. Previously, she spent seven years as a senior communications consultant at Peppers & Rogers Group, working with global Fortune 500 companies to design and implement communications programs, primarily through the development of research-based thought leadership. Laura spent the early part of her career in communications and education at various non-profit organizations and worked in Chicago in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Over the past decade, Laura has contributed to a number of publications as a freelance writer and editor and writes a regular column for Huffington Post. She is an active member of the National Book Critics Circle, the Association for Business Communication and PEN American Center. In addition, Laura is currently involved in a variety of writing and social media volunteer projects for global nonprofit organizations and most recently served as a writing tutor for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. A passionate world traveler, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and women’s studies from The College of the Holy Cross. She is in the process of completing the executive education program in Corporate Social Responsibility at Harvard Business School. She serves on the board of CARE Multicultural Healing and lives in New York City.