I’m a latecomer to Facebook and I had a pretty standard routine on my personal page once I started. Cute pictures of baby bats, Italian fashion and/or things that are just a little dark and edgy, clothes-wise, plus of course social justice commentary were my three primary post subjects if I think back. Now, though, as a business, it is important–or at least They Say It Is Important–to have a social media presence. And so the learning process began. About eight or so months ago, I launched Two Hearts Wellness on Facebook and about three months before that, I started writing more and more blog posts and playing around with my web site with greater interest.
One thing I do know for sure, though, is that I love to write. Facebook inscription is, even at best, ephemeral in the grand scheme of things (more or less–sure, if it’s on the web it’s forever, but things get buried and don’t seem to resurface unless one has bad luck and worse judgement). However, and even though my posts there are not going to last forever, I want people to actually read what I write. When I was a professor I always told my students that if they want me to correct their work with care and sincere interest then they needed to write their work with care and sincere interest. When I ask you, my reader, to pay attention–if only even just for a while–then you must trust me and know that I choose my material and present it with care. You must believe that my implicit request for your time and attention will be rewarded with material that is interesting or pleasing or instructive or all three.
There are several facets pertinent to Two Hearts Wellness and the online presence. At present, I am a health coach, a personal trainer, an Asian bodywork therapist, and a student of traditional Chinese medicine. I used to be a Spanish professor. All of my professional manifestations have required thought, drive, discipline, and creativity. The change to this latest iteration of what I do was at times wrenching; now, as I am nearing the end of my current program, I begin to realize that branching out from the Spanish classroom has enriched my life, my intellect, and my capacity to write (among many other things). And it’s fun. Today, I had interesting patients with interesting issues and it required thought and foresight to prepare my strategy for each one. I never ever get bored when I’m performing Chinese tui na style Asian bodywork therapy (ABT) on patients. Never, not ever. And life outside of clinic and office is pretty marvelous, too. When I came home from the office today, for instance, I studied Chinese herbs, took a walk, had a little nap, and now I’m sitting here with needles in my face (have you tried facial rejuvenation acupuncture and/or ABT? It’s amazing…) as I type. Before I go to bed tonight I will go through my web content and write copy for my Facebook posts. Tomorrow I have a full day of clinic and appointments in my office for bodywork and there are plans to make with friends in the works, too. It’s almost like being a professor still, but I think it’s a little more fabulous.
It may be that I find Facebook so fascinating because I am somewhat new to it and I do it my own way. One thing that I love is that there are the interesting and quirky groups that a person can find. Do you see this one here, in the picture? Entomology? Ok, this is a treasure. People post photographs of insects that most regular souls would find horrifying (large spiders, centipedes, you name it) and the entomologists chime in with joyful remarks about the critter in question’s beauty. Or you get, as you see here, interesting questions with marvelous answers. I happen to love insects and I, quite frankly, love this group! Not that it has anything to do with holistic wellness, though it certainly is a feel-good thing to meet good-hearted people who love their insects (see here, for instance, if you want to read my interview with Tara Chapman of Two Hives Honey. I met her because her business popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought, “Oh, cute name!” so I messaged her and asked if I could interview her. She said yes and so we met up at a local cafe and had a great conversation about her love for her bees).
The intriguing and quirky groups are quite a lure; so is the opportunity to make new friends. (If you browse my blog you will see that I’ve interviewed newfound Facebook friends that are as far away as Nepal and as close as just up the road and around the corner, as in the case of Two Hives Honey and also, for that matter, Tecolote Farm). There is a lot of junk on Facebook but if you look and interact with some foresight then there is much to do and to see and to learn. Facebook is really awesome, actually. For me, looking around on Facebook is a bit of an exercise in cultural studies at times. Always, it is an opportunity to interact with people in different countries, like Italy and Spain and Nepal and China, and many other locations more far-flung than Austin, Texas where I live.
Why any of this would matter to you, dear reader, is simple: I know what I like on Facebook and I know what annoys me to no end. I do not like click bait. I hate thinly-veiled advertisements or pages that are little more than boring, never-ending promotions for either a person or what they want to sell. I do not like things that are dumb, poorly-researched, or offensive. (To everyone on my personal page–please forgive me that first year of school when I felt like pictures of dissections were awesome and fascinating. It was a stage…I know now that not everyone loves looking at blood and guts….I’ll stick to cute bat pictures, fashion, and the cause of social justice from here on out…). I do not like things that are mean.
On my professional page, consequently, you can expect to see posts related to health, wellness, and joyful living. Lately, I have been following the dictates of a weekly theme, the trajectory of which has thus far encompassed, respectively: diet; medical history; insects; people who do good in the world; strength; and, in future…well, you’ll see if you look. I generally post three or four pieces each day: one thing related to the weekly theme; one amazing recipe or other fun thing; one cute animal picture or video; and an exercise video or something related to health and wellness. The overall idea is to have material that will inspire you and make you interested in Chinese medicine or holistic wellness or plain and simple good living. When I was in my practice management course, we were asked to describe our vision for ourselves and I said that I want to be the Nigella Lawson of holistic wellness (minus the icky ex-husband and all the drama). I do!
Consequently, it’s not all kale and sit-ups when I’m counseling people in the role of trainer or health coach. You see it on my Facebook page, too–there will be days on end where the best recipes I see are desserts and I share them with my readers. No sense in not enjoying life, and a good dessert is part of it, right?
It’s also not JUST physical fitness and wellness. A healthy body and a healthy mind go together, don’t you think so?
This being the case, you can find thought-provoking articles about living well and being mindful in your everyday engagements. The week of posts about people who do good in the world did, ideally, spark some ideas in readers. The posts that consist of exercise video clips should also inspire some action from those who view them. Everything I send around is, I hope, a window into the Two Hearts Wellness approach to holistic health and well-being. You will never see click bait coming from my page. I will NEVER send around an article without having read it first. Even better, I will always accompany articles with a commentary so that you can decide whether or not you do want to read the article in question. And as to advertising and self-promotion…yes, there is some. But I keep it to a minimum and I employ it judiciously. And if it comes via my web site, especially, you can be very confident that what I write is well-thought, purposeful, and useful for reasons beyond self-promotion (see, for example, my post on fibromyalgia or–if you are more interested in health coaching, the article on planning for known stressors). I do want to increase my patient and client roster, of course. But I want to attract people who are a right fit with me and what I have to offer. If you follow my Facebook page or my blog even for a short time, you’ll know if I’m right for you and will reach out to me in response. I think if I put myself out in the world with integrity, then what I will get back will be the same. I hope that by the time I am a licensed acupuncturist this upcoming year I will have built a lot of trust and goodwill through this page and via my web site. You see how I am with my writing and scholarship? I’m that way when I treat you in clinic, in my office, or in the health coaching and training realms, too.
All seriousness aside, there is one more reason why you might enjoy my Facebook page. That would be cute animals. Ahem.
How is that for cute and precious? …. I know, huh? You should see when I get on a roll with the little video clips I find. Oh, do I have a talent for finding cute videos!
All of this truly is ephemeral though. I used to say that a class was only successful if I learned something from my students and if I taught them not to need me. It’s true–students are smart. If the professor listens, it is a fact that the students will teach the professor something during the course of the term. No matter how small, it will be worth learning. And if the professor is good, then the students will be able to apply their learning from that class and not need the professor to explain (for instance) the basics of the Spanish Civil War or a solid outline of the history of the literature in the 20 and 21st centuries or, maybe, how to conjugate a verb. The students know, or they know how to find out. Thus far, in clinic and at my office, it has been extremely gratifying to help patients and clients get to the point where they don’t need me any longer…they are as healthy as they can be, the pain is gone or at least reduced, and they are knowledgeable and in control of their situation to the best of their capacity when I do my job right and when they participate as a partner and primary driver in their own health processes. And there’s always something to learn from patients and clients, too, if I listen and take the time to see.
What I’ve learned from my Facebook page is a good lesson in letting go. That’s my lesson here, I think. I have a collection of interesting material that I save to put up on my page and once it’s up on my page, I remove the saved link and drag it to my desktop trash can. I don’t collect. And once I’ve written something for the page, the post itself has its moment and within a week or so is buried in the feed. I don’t hang on to it. Given that I have a scholar’s tendency to hang onto to sources, this for me is amazing. Building a business is like Georgia O’Keeffe and her flowers–it is small, it takes time. No sense in clinging, though. The scent of roses will stay on my hands just from having held them with a relaxed grip, I believe. I don’t know how long I will be able to maintain this art project–for this is what it is–but for now, I feel like I am making messages in the sand with my page, things that will disappear and become submerged, and I love what I am doing. But it is ephemeral and that is part of the beauty of it all: I show up, I am genuinely present, and then I let things go as they will. I see the flower and I let it go. This lesson? It’s probably one of my favorite things about Facebook, if I think about it.
And you? What about you? What is it that you like about Facebook?
Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine. If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog, keep up with my photographs and commentary on Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for personal training or health coaching services. If you are interested in Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.