We had the good fortune of connecting with Elzabieta Kosmicki and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elzabieta, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As an entrepreneur and mother I think the evolution of work life balance has been at the central axis of my success since starting my own business. I love this question because in my clinical work finding this balance has always been a cornerstone for my clients health and well being, as well as my own. From optimizing scheduling, to learning how to get proper rest and nourishment and eventually undertaking a journey into martial arts for self care and strength I have dialed in, over time, a formula that works for me and evolves with the demands of my work. Over the years I learned that there is a triad of harmony that really becomes the underpinning of all life, especially the work life balance in wester culture. I like to educate my clients about the ancient Taoist concept of The Three treasures as if there were a metaphor for our life energy bank account. We have the Qi which we get from our food and breath and support systems and is used thought the 24 hour cycle of the day. The Qi needs to be replenished daily and is responsible for circulating energy and spending it on what we need to accomplish in the day, this treasure relates to healthy diet, proper digestion and proper management of energy. I think of the Qi like the checking account that we use to buy day to day needs like gas, groceries and incidentals. Then we have the Jing which is like the estate, all the reserve energies we have as investments and frameworks that hold us up. This energy is used by the body to support growth and maturation over time physically and psychologically and needs to be conserved! If we don’t have enough in our checking account to cover the energy expenses of the day our body will start to pull from the reserve Jing energy to survive breaking down our reserves, this is where burn out starts to happen and we are working in the red of our energy bank. When we get stuck in this cycle this also become the cause of breakdowns and disease. Lastly the treasure Shen relates to our emotional and intellectual states and connects us to our creativity and deeper richness of life. We need to have proper space to dream, create, vision and feel life on a daily basis. The Shen connects us to the meanings of life and the shared human experiences of expression. This is like our slush fund or savings that allows us to let go and be free, to invest in hobbies and vacations or experiences with our beloveds. These three aspects of how we spend out time and energy work together to form a triangulation of function. In geometry and construction the triangle or pyramid is a strong shape and allows for a distribution of energy thought its structure. The triangles structure allows weight to be distributed from the single point at the top, through the angles into a wide base. If you think of these three treasures forming that triangle of function it holds us up in a powerful way! So how can we bring this down to earth, this is where the answer gets practical. Having the proper diet, rest and time to process mental and physical demands of work, and assuring we take time to refuel will support us to have enough energy to get though the next day with out taxing our reserves. Making sure we are investing and preserving into our health and foundations will assure we have the underpinnings of stability to stand on. Carving out time daily to be with our emotional impulses, experiences and shared expressions will help us enrich our lives with a balanced sense of human connection. Each person needs a different formula and can assess their strength or weakensses or dominance in these three treasures. For example I noticed about 10 years into my clinical practice that I was getting burned out and weak, noticing I was getting sick each year and having more crashes. For me my formula was that I needed more physical strength and me time, as well as an outlet to process all the mental emotional work I was doing with my clients. My diet was good and my rest was great but something was missing. My solution was training Enshin Karate for 15-20 hours a week and only working with clients 15-20 hours a week. I essentially equalized the amount of time I invested into my treasures through martial arts, building my energy, stabilizing my strength and peaking my intellectual curiosity by exploring my emotions though fighting and conflict on the mat with the other 15-20 hours a week working with clients. I had the energy to give out and spend in my practice with my clients and felt more enriched as I was filling my cup first. Over the years I kept this schedule I fell in love again with my work, grew though my life and gained so much inner awareness and support. I was able to take my art, creativity and family support systems to the next level. This pathway of work life balance led me to buying my dream home, playing more and experiencing life with my kids and finding another business that became the culmination of my life work. I think about this subject a lot!! Not only because it is the key to vibant health and success; but because the lack of balance in the area is one of the root causes of disease in our culture and a powerful place to work with for everyone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is a blend of healing arts, journalism, photography and graphic design, it is a reflection of my life work and expressed though a unique fingerprint of my own perceptions. I use art as vehicle for education and to bring a statement of frequency to the observer. My art centers around curation and juxtaposition as well as collaboration. I see art as a bridge a way to make connections. Since I was a teenager I have been creating zines and magazines. My first “real” magazine a street culture mag gained national attention and distribution almost immediately, beyond my wildest dreams, so much o that is grew so fast I didn’t have the capacity to continue it. From there I took a detour into my community health work and clinical practice. the 15 years I spent here was like research, absorbing a reflection of reality that would build into my current artistic expression, Over my time immersed in clinical health I didn’t realized I was feeding my creative self with years of information that would eventually need a pathway for expression. I dreamed about writing, but lived though a 15 year writes block. I dreamed about creating but was raising children and consumed by entrepreneurial woes. It was on a trip traveling to Japan for an Enshin Competition that I started to think about creating a podcast, something that would expand me beyond the confines of FM radio and allow me a space to explore conversations on health, creativity and culture. Although I had a successful radio program it wasn’t feeding me. The idea marinated for a couple more years til the inspiration hit me. I was on a beach in Costa Rica participating in yet another Enshin trip looking a full moon wavering in the space between breaths. I saw the whole thing flash before me: Integrate a podcast onto a magazine that could introduce people to practices that support vitality health and creativity. A space where I could process 20 years of learning about the human condition, refection on trauma and balance, feedback and frameworks of existence. A couple months passed and Covid hit and I closed my clinical practice. Every morning at dawn I did a standing Taoist Practice, the city slept on lockdown as I asked for guidance. Each morning I oriented to the north start and allowed the structure of my body to open to alignment. The work felt bitter as I was restructuring all the safety nets I had I place t build something new. It was around this time that I started recording the Reasons and Season Podcast, a few weeks later the extreme bursts of creativity hit me and I designed the first Reasons Mag Digital platform in one month. I felt like Jack Kerouac writing On The Road in 24 hours spun out on benzos on one typewriter reel, except I was huffing deep breaths in a morning qi gong practice, sipping tea and meditating with crystals. 91 pages and a ton of videos, 7 full podcasts and and bunch of musical, educational and artistic contributions later I was at tit again publishing a magazine! Creativity for me has been a deep process. it has required self inquiry, facing conflict and a long process retrieving the places of myself I had left behind to hustle and survive. All of my businesses have been created off inspiration, without planning or calculation, they were built off a basis of need a space to grow in and be of service. The process has required great patients and persistence, pulling up the bootstraps and working through not giving up. I overcame challenges by learning to face conflict. I learned to trust my process and never give up. Reasons & Season is a conglomerate of my life work, a labor of catharsis and love and a dream I will continue to embody and growth with great creators, brilliant thinkers and elevation to support peoples journey to wellness.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the hot springs in Colorado and the mountains, so much so that I bought my dream home in Southern Colorado near healing waters to build a retreat space for healing and artists. The trip would start there. We would stock the refrigerator with wholesome foods to cook thought the week, then get settled in and rest for the afternoon before a nice seasonal meal and stargazing under the dark sky off my 400 sg foot deck with tea or libations. The next morning we would wake early for some qi gong and sunrise viewing. The week would include soaking in Southern Colorados hot springs after hiking to great vistas though magical forests. Learning breathing practices, doing yoga and journaling in clean air overlooking the San Luis Valley and sinking into the bodies connection with nature. After some indulgent spa services we would spend a day exploring art galleries and pubs of one of the small Mountian towns laughing and catching up on life and enjoying food, drink and creativity. In between a day of rest a visit to the temples of the Sangre De Cristo mountains for prayer and intention setting to draw in all the transformative energies of the week before saying goodbye.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have had some phenomenal mentors that have helped me gain the strength and wisdom in myself to be of service in my community, dream big and keep creating. I started my work in community health in Denver as a Promotora with Sisters Of Color United For Education, I learned about the importance of heritage, cultural preservation and the depth of mind body preservation though art and social justice which continues to inform every facet of my work. My teachers Dr Janet Galipo of Be Health INC and Mark Manton of The Massage Therapy Institute Of Colorado helped me hone in my skills in healing arts and were profound guides helping me uncover my medicine work. Both these mentors given me the tools to teach and practice my work Internationally. KGNU community radio provided me a platform for developing my skills as a citizen journalist over a decade helping me achieve greatness in news reporting centered around health and wellness and ultimately the pathway to creating the Reasons & Season Platform. Kancho Joko Ninomiya, Grandmaster of Enshin Karate and his family have helped me uncover my physical and emotional and spiritual alignment thou the practice of martial arts with great humbleness and exponential growth of my inner being. My learning as a Enshin practitioner over many years have given me a framework to elevate my capacity for service and align to my greater truth.
Linkedin: Elzabieta Kosmicki
Other: https://issuu.com/bodytalkdenver/docs/earth https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/reasons-season/id1511340208