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  • Joan's Story


Born in 1945, I now view that year as a blessing. Simpler times, no fast food, fewer people, less pollution, manual typewriters.


My mother and father were married for sixty-five years. Free spirits both, ahead of their time in many unique and amazing ways. My father drove his Harley Davidson to Chile and back, alone, when he was sixty-five years old. My mother stayed home with us children. She taught us to cook real food, was involved in our school activities, politics, and social programs. She went to work when she was fifty and didn’t retire until she was seventy.


My father and mother traveled independently of each other for most of their lives together. She didn’t like motorcycles and he didn’t much like airplanes. It never got in the way of their love and respect for each other.


My childhood was happy; my parents were supportive and loving. They taught my brothers and me the importance of things like responsibility and integrity—extremely important lessons for children to grow into productive human beings.


As with each of us, many of life’s experiences were difficult. Now I know my difficult journeys were the ones that taught me the most.


In 1967, I was an “unwed mother” who gave her newborn baby boy up for adoption. When the nurse took him from my arms that morning, I promised him I would be back.


Societal conditioning back then told unwed mothers we were bad girls. I believed that dogma for many years. Then I radically forgave myself thirty-two years later when my son and I found each other. It took an enormous amount of courage and resolve, but the rewards far outweighed the pain.


I have been severely depressed, considering suicide at one time in my twenties. I burdened my body with far too much weight for many years. I became a workaholic, stayed in unhappy relationships, and carried around a lot of drama.


A personal bankruptcy taught me valuable lessons around money and fear.


Alcoholism was in my family. Osteoporosis ran rampant among the women. Both taught me the importance of educating myself and determining my own wellness or lack thereof.


A smoker for thirty years, I quit fourteen years ago—another amazing lesson around health, by honoring the vessel and proving my ability to change about myself what wasn’t working.


Marriage followed and another pregnancy. It took me seven long years to get pregnant with my daughter. The whole time I waited for a child, I felt it was my punishment from God for giving my baby boy away. I learned the excruciating results of depression around this, experiencing the things that happen to the body, the mind, and the spirit when one loses oneself to it.


After twenty years of marriage came the journey through divorce, and with it a better understanding of the responsibility of parenting. My ex-husband and I remained friends and nurtured our daughter through a difficult transition, new beginnings, and more valuable lessons.


Thoreau said, “What lies before us and lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen.”


This book is an accumulation of my body, mind, and spirit journey thus far.


I am far from calling it quits; in fact, life is just beginning for me at sixty-four!


I believe we all have the power and opportunity to change our lives—to see things as we would have them be instead of how they are by focusing on what we want rather than what we have.


When we awaken to our higher possibilities, there is nothing that can stand in our way.


I remind myself constantly to begin within. When we align with our inner Self, our true potential begins to manifest. It took me until I was fifty years old to understand and accept this universal truth.


To honor the Self is to be willing to think independently, to live by our own mind, and to have the courage of our own perceptions and judgments.





Joan at 8 yrs. old

Joan at 64 yrs young.

© 2009 Joan M. Bunney