Re-inventing Ourselves Silently: Body, Mind & Spirit

Could national crisis be the touchstones from which an individual rises up and renews herself body, mind and spirit?  Could an individual’s revitalization, setbacks and determination to overcome obstacles inspire others to embark on their own journey of renewal?  What would give birth to this courageous new individual and national spirit?

I believe that individual acts of intuition will serve as the first sparks.  These sparks will deepen our understanding of our body, mind and spirit at its best.

While originally the site was focused on Japan and people who could change a country after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, I came to learn that all of us have the potential to change the world around us, but first we had to change ourselves.

And how difficult this is…  I learned as I faced several hurdles including that of health.  Nothing too serious, but a chance to experiment on myself.  To question what I knew and to seek with greater intensity.


The Motivation to Seek

In March 2011, several days before the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, I felt elated about life.  So elated, that I believed if I had to come back to this world again, I would be me again.  I could not have chosen better parents, a more fitting “out of box” life path, nor the good fortune of having met a few beautiful and inspiring men who taught me how to love.  One even became my husband.

My zen-like Japanese father, a Harvard trained psychiatrist who developed a theory on happiness, and my giving and loving French mother could not have been better teachers.  Naturally while outside life events were sometimes challenging, it was only the limitations of my own mind, body and spirit which did not make me blissfull all the time.

And just when I thought I would like to come back to this world as me again,  a new thought arose.  Why come back to experience more of the same?  And as soon as that though arose, I began to meet a series of teachers.

Beyond Our Best:  Body, Mind and Spirit

And so in 2011 started a journey where I began to push beyond previous barriers and realize how little I knew:  about the body, about the spirit and even the mind.

nathalieprofile1I thought it would be useful to share the wisdom of the some of those I found along my path and the mistakes I made so that your path will be easier.  Hence this site is for anyone who is curious about experimenting to go beyond a previous best and open enough to test things for himself or herself.  It is for those who are not afraid to fail, not afraid to ask or question.

When we embark on this path all becomes new.  All becomes quite an adventure far beyond anything one can imagine.  One’s life can never quite be the same.

Join me on this new adventure where I still have much much to learn.  Each section will start with simple things we can do to test our experience.  Know that most was new to me, I was the one who thought yoga was for those who liked to torture themselves with funny twisted positions, that people who were vegetarians were missing out on life and creating unnecessary difficulty for those around them (I come from a family of talented French chefs), that that those who went as far as having a cold pressed juices (not sure I even knew that term) were obsessive.  For me, yogis looked like cult leaders.  People who meditated might have nothing better to do or perhaps needed an escape from stress.  Better for such individuals to open their eyes and see the world as it is..

I was wrong.  Once again.  But don’t take my word for it, explore the simplest of things with the curiosity of a child.  You will be surprised perhaps at what you discover.

Whether you change a country, or yourself the achievement is just as difficult.  May your path be steady, may it be joyful and may you move far beyond the best in all of us.

And you will.





  1. Dear Nathalie,

    Thank you for your BEYOND OUR BEST movement. Thank you also including my work for Tohoku recovery project too. “1,000 Portraits of Hope Fund” have reached enough(not a great amount yet) fund to distribute to two organizations in Fukushima and Iwate this month! One is for not for profit
    organization, IWATE MIRAI KIKO creating Blue Train hotel in Iwaizumi, Iwateken and other one is
    for Tomioka Daiichi Chugakkou’s Badminton club whose school was right near Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant, so they are at Inawashiro Chugakko practicing. Despite their difficult situation,
    they have won All Japan Championship in 2013. You were there to see their practice.
    Naoto Nakagawa

    • Dear Naoto-san,

      Your work is beautiful and it is good to hear about the Badmington team! I was most impressed by this group of youth and their practice — it is remarkable that despite all their hardships they have been able to win the Championship. They have great spirits and a capacity to work together and concentrate which is a lesson for us all.

      I am sure your attention to them has helped them this year. I was touched too by the drawings and notes each had written to you.

      I hope the fundraising goes well and please give us a link for those who want to get involved with helping the young badminton team, but know too quite apart from how much we can raise, I think it is your art that elevates. You taking the time to draw pictures of them and show that you believe in them. Let us all continue this spirit as it is still very much needed. Thank you Naoto-san.

  2. Dear Nathalie,

    It will be great if Kanno-san could help publish “BEYOND THE BEST” on March 11,14.

    On March 11 this year, Toyo Ito is giving talk at the Japan Society in New York that I am attending to
    hear him. I am certain his talk will be connected about the recovery of disaster and the position of architecture how it can improve building structure.

    • Dear Naoto-san,

      Tomorrow you and Toyo Ito will be together at the Japan Society. I will be thinking of you both and of all of Japan from Tokyo. I look forward to seeing the portrait of Toyo Ito that you will draw before his talk and that will be included in your project to help many more people in Tohoku. Beautiful work at a time where much change is still needed.

  3. Greetings,
    Bravo! And working with your inspiration, let each country arise with artistic visions to aspire for their best. Here at home my guiding idea is “listening to silence through flute’d breath”. I play Native American style flutes in our local hospitals. Our mortality can pause and rest in the loving presence of beauty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: