What moments in life have given you starry eyes?
Falling in love?
Finding out you’re pregnant?
Holding your baby for the first time?
Starting a new job?
Winning an award?
Summiting a mountain?
Creating a piece of art?
Watching your child or someone you love accomplish a goal that’s meaningful to them?
One of my big starry-eyed moments was deciding to start this website, which I launched on this day, Earth Day, in 2014. Prior to that, in 2009, I had founded a chapter of Holistic Moms Network. While I loved organizing meetings for people and learning about different healing modalities and parenting strategies, I was super excited to put together a website where I would be able to do interviews and showcase businesses and publish pieces by experts and parents alike.
Another a starry-eyed moment in the summer of 2012 was when the concept for a novel came into my head and said “you must write this.” I planned to heed the call, hoping and believing I would be able to enjoy that creative outlet and also build a business.
But they were a couple of things I didn’t realize, including the fact that the fatigue and heaviness and other symptoms I was having were not just extended postpartum effects but rather were evidence of chronic Lyme Disease and reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus. I didn’t know things would continue to get worse, not get better.
That was true until years later when I finally got so sick with a new virus that the Lyme became acute/active. The upside was that I was able to tamp it down with lots of herbs and interventions. (More on my healing at Healthy Woman) And this shift was only possible after many years of slow progress on my GI health with a time-consuming diet protocol.
I had to put a lot energy into my body in order for it to work, and there wasn’t a whole lot left over for creativity, for fiction writing or for building partnerships so that I could build a business that did not continue to drain my family resources.
I also didn’t realize the extent of supports my children would need: medical, emotional, and academic. It’s important to me to do right by my kids, to put them first. After all, becoming a mom is what inspired me to work hard to get healthy enough to reverse Graves’ disease and tackle Celiac Disease back in 2004!
I couldn’t be who they needed—a healthy, well mama—and also successfully build and maintain a business. I had to prioritize my own wellness, for myself and so that I could be there for my kids. Some people can work, heal, and build all at the same time, but that was not my experience.
It’s been a few years since I’ve posted regularly. I redesigned the website a while back to be more archival, to keep up all the posts I and others work so hard on. I’ve had a draft goodbye post in the queue for many, many months. I finally decided that on Earth Day 2022, eight years from the launch date of this website, that I would let you know I’m officially retiring Mindful Healthy Life.
I’ll keep the site’s content up for now, until I can think of some other archival solution or indefinitely as long as the maintenance costs stay low. I appreciate everyone who has written for the site and supported this journey. Thank you. Thank you also to everyone who has shared posts from the site for interacted with me on social media. I will probably keep my handles on Facebook & Instagram and occasionally share there things that might be relevant specifically to natural minded families in the Mid-Atlantic.
I would be love for you to follow my journey as a writer on Instagram @jessicaclairehaney, Twitter @crunchychewy, Facebook at CrunchyChewyMama and via my writer’s website, JessicaClaireHaney.com and my personal blog, CrunchyChewyMama.com. Sign up for my new email list to learn about any new publications at bit.ly/CCM-email.
With all my health issues, it took me a while to finish that novel, which I am currently pitching to literary agents. It has a lot to do with motherhood and also with mindfulness and perspective. I hope someday I’ll be able to tell you how to buy a copy! Three chapters have been published in anthologies of DC women writers and literary journals (links here). I’m working on some other fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Last week I had a poem that I shared on Instagram featured by Literary Mama, a fabulous publication giving voice to the varied experiences of motherhood.
All my publications are on my writer’s website, JessicaClaireHaney.com. you can also turn about any upcoming readings or events on my appearances page, where you can watch videos of me reading my work and of talking about healthy homes and growing your own vegetables from food scraps Good Morning Washington.
My writer’s site also has information on my services. I’ve been tutoring since 2007 and freelancing on and almost that long but I’m really enjoying lately working with regular clients on writing and editing projects, speeches, website content and outreach strategy.
If you know someone looking for a writing tutor or coach, or a writer or editor, especially with experience and education, parenting, wellness, and the environment, feel free to share my site or my LinkedIn profile. I’m about at max capacity with clients right now, especially since I’m also occasionally taking substitute teaching jobs to help out with the shortage, but things always ebb and flow. I could be wrong, but I’m thinking I might have more bandwidth for work after my oldest graduates high school in two years!
Things have changed a lot since I launched the site in 2014, not just in my personal life but in the media landscape. There are now so many ways to connect and learn and grow, plus also lots more opportunities for mothers to share their experiences and see them reflected by others sharing theirs.
While I do wish I could have realized some of the visions I had for Mindful Healthy Life, I’m proud of what I built and that I gave it a shot. I hope that your lives were enriched in some way by the information I shared through the site, or via Holistic Moms, or in relationship.
The goal was always for connection and inspiration. I hope you have found avenues for both in your life. I wish you health and wellness and ample amounts of whatever time, energy, love, support and whatever other resources you need in order to truly be well.
And if you have any extra, extend that to someone else who could use it!
With love and gratitude,