Are you wondering more about this blog and my story?
A TRAVELER’S MIND BLOG
The blog for A Traveler’s Mind began with a simple mission: to inspire curiosity and exploration, because I firmly believe these are at the foundation of a creative, productive life that is truly well-lived.
I’ve personally been inspired by stories of journeys and travels around the globe, and these literal travel narratives have helped me to think deeper about the wide range of journeys that make up a creative, high-achieving life – for example, the internal journeys toward self-discovery and self-mastery, and the value-producing journeys of bringing new ideas to life.
I want to share stories and ideas that I’ve found inspiring, thought-provoking, and in other ways helpful in the hopes of starting conversations that spur change, exploration, growth, and – ultimately – further creative achievement journeys.
So, please join in the conversation!
For an introduction to the blog, start here:
WHO IS JOIA?
My mission is to support ambitious individuals in their quests to live and thrive as 21st Century Renaissance Men and Women who pursue projects (and excellence!) across disciplines.
Generally, the people I work with are brilliant, positive people, often with an entrepreneurial spirit and a diverse range of interests and/or skills. They’re people who take seriously the goal of creating innovative, world-changing impact (and understand that one of the most effective ways to do serious work is to approach it with a sense of fun and play!)
Often, my people are powerful visionaries who are future-focused and eager to explore new possibilities. They also often have a track record of achievements and successes (many times overcoming struggle) behind them.
Honestly, they’re the people who, frankly, don’t need coaching — especially the kind of “coaching” that’s remedial and takes a client from some “sub-par” to “normal” status.
The thing is, the people who don’t need coaching are frequently missing out on the support that would take them from great to greater, and in less time and with more ease, grace, and enjoyment.
Think of Olympic athletes: they quite literally are people at “the top of their game,” but almost all of them know the importance of finding a coach who will inspire, challenge, and support them to stretch and grow.
That’s the kind of coaching I do, except for multidisciplinary creators not athletes.
These days, much of time is spent writing, speaking, and coaching – both in-person and now building an online presence…
… but it wasn’t always this way.
My life journey began in 1980 in a little suburban town in Connecticut, where I grew up as the small girl with the big dreams.
I eagerly pursued multiple creative activities, including singing, writing, and bringing stories to theatrical life.
Simultaneously, I was intrigued by deep philosophical and moral thinking (yes, I was the thirteen-year-old who hid thick philosophy tomes under her bed), and I was fascinated by psychological studies and research.
In college, I ultimately decided to major in Literary Studies, as analyzing and engaging with important texts allowed me to pursue so many of my diverse interests: intellectual inquiry, artistic production, human psychology, universal philosophical themes. I decided I wanted to be a “professional intellectual.”
College was also the time when I got to spend a year traveling and studying abroad. How life-changing it was to see so much of the world first-hand!
I worked hard to get accepted into an elite graduate program and became a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English and American Literature at NYU. While developing skills in my field, I also pursued interdisciplinary interests in history, philosophy, and neuroscience – I even had the opportunity to serve as a lab assistant for a project at Harvard researching mental imagery.
…in my late twenties, after a life spent accelerating in a standard straight line from achievements in high school to college to graduate school, I realized I wasn’t satisfied with the career path I was on. Though I still wanted to be a “professional intellectual” and I definitely enjoyed teaching, I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life as a college professor. In the challenging process of uncovering my deepest motivations, I discovered my deeper calling was to be “a mission-driven entrepreneur.”
So, I did something I had never done before: I quit. I left graduate school with the infamous “ABD” (All-But-Dissertation) distinction, and I embarked in a new direction.
And it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
Though certainly not right away.
Admittedly, the next several years were difficult, especially financially. I was single, broke, renting a tiny room in a tiny shared NYC apartment, and working an assortment of odd jobs in order to get by month-to-month. But, for the first time in my life, I felt true creative freedom, and the sense that I was carving a path that was uniquely and authentically my own.
I learned to accept that managing the obstacles was going to have to be part of the process. Through more study and lots of trial and error, I did figure out how to rise above and become “a mission-driven entrepreneur.”
I began studying and earning certifications in mind-body fitness, including Pilates, Tai Chi, and Yoga. I was particularly interested in meditation and all the recent scientific research on its benefits. I began as a volunteer teacher and then started building my own business coaching clients one-on-one. I got involved in several fascinating related start-up projects, including developing a meditation and poetry program with the Arrow Institute of Meditation, leading a creative kids yoga program called Hello Sunshine Yoga, and founding a meditation and singing project, Voices in Flow.
Working with highly ambitious creative clients as their meditation and fitness coach, I began to see that these practices were fundamental but only part of a larger solution that would be necessary if my clients were to realize their creative goals, achieve real transformation, and sustain a joyous sense of living. Ever the ardent autodidact and researcher, I began studying the methods of the world’s leading performance coaches as well as the works of the greatest creativity experts. I threw myself into learning the best, most cutting-edge results that have emerged from scientific research in the Psychology of Coaching, and I’m now a Fellow Member of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School affiliate.
Through a process of careful research, creative thinking, and methodical practice working with ambitious creators and innovators, I developed my own signature program that is a combination of my own unique approaches to performance coaching and creativity coaching. I call it Creative Achievements Coaching.
And now it’s time for the next chapter: fully entering the 21st century digital revolution and bringing these ideas and practices online!
Now joyfully married and living in a beautiful home in New Jersey – just an hour’s drive to NYC and a mile’s walk to the beach – I’m excited to get this next chapter started! I hope you will get involved and join the growing community of curious, high achieving creators and innovators.