This piece appeared in the Winter/Spring 2000 issue of Pulse, the newsletter of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia

This piece appeared in the Winter/Spring 2000 issue of Pulse, the newsletter of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia

This piece appeared in the Winter/Spring 2000 issue of Pulse, the newsletter of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia

Parting Words from the Editor’s Xin

In all of life, there are cycles of birth and death. We all begin and end relationships with people, jobs, school, cars, homes, pets, careers, money, hair, books, illness and finally our bodies. Life carries on. I’ve found that learning to sense where one is in a cycle, and moving with ease and grace through it, is a key to living. This is the last issue of Pulse that I will have responsibility for bringing into the world.

I could point to many external factors that indicated the right timing for this change. Preparing for marriage, finishing a Master’s thesis, becoming Vice-Chairman of the Acupuncture Society of New York – all of these and more suggested that a change was due. Beyond all that is a simple knowing, like those you have surely felt at times in your life, that “it’s time to go”. I have felt a simple, satisfied sense of completion in recent months. It’s not a need to get away from something undesirable. It’s a happy discernment of the rightness of moving forward into a new phase, and gently putting something aside with deep gratitude.

I have a lot to be thankful for. The first is the chance to write – something creative and deeply personal that I love to do. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this piece, as well as the practice management column, for each issue. The chance to be editor came to me after being the copy editor for two years, under the direction of my hard-working predecessors, Candace Faith and then Paul Sher. When Paul felt his own need to move on, then-President Denise Shinn asked me if I would take it on. I agreed, and so began this new cycle.

It was rough at first. It felt like the time I took a job as organist and choir director at a Hispanic church in Brooklyn. I was a 16 year-old pianist. Though I had sung in choirs for eight years, I had no choral directing experience, had played the organ only once, and knew no Spanish. That job had a rough start, too. It took six months to learn to play the organ pedals, and another year to learn Spanish. After six and a half years, I left, satisfied that I had learned to do the job well, and happy that I had stuck it out. The pastor, whose predecessor almost fired me three times in the first year, didn’t want to see me go. For the three years I’ve been responsible for Pulse, there’s been a similar learning curve. You, like the first pastor, have had to live through it with me, and for that I am grateful.

Gratitude also describes what I feel for the many people I’ve been privileged to work with over the past three years. Back along the way, these folks included Candace Faith, Paul Sher, Denise Shinn, Terry Moro and Susan DiAmbrosio. More recently, I’ve enjoyed working with our recently codified editorial team of Barbra Esher, Yolanda Asher and Lynn Meffert. Their keen eye for detail, deft editing skills and steadfast support have meant a lot to me. Thanks to Angela Phlugfelder for her cheerful and responsive help. Through it all, the one person who makes us all look good, the one who, like a Congressional staffer, carries on no matter who is in charge, is our graphic designer Kit Reeve. Kit is wonderful to work with, and is the real star behind the look and style of our newsletter. Thanks also to our advertisers, who help keep Pulse going financially, and to the many members, Board folks and others who have lent their words to our pages.

A mentor of mine many years ago taught me to leave a place in better shape than you found it. Though Pulse needs to continue to grow, evolve and improve, we’ve made good changes over the past three years. We now print on recycled paper with non-petroleum soy-based ink. We have a solid editorial staff and a clear, well-developed process for producing Pulse on time. There are new regular features – including a book review, state updates, letter from the editor, table of contents and practice management corner. We have streamlined our production process, improved our layout and (finally) learned how to create this publication on time. After a long history with lateness, our last three issues were mailed, on average, within one week of our projected mail dates. Thanks to all for your patience with the process.

I will remain on the Pulse committee for the year 2000 as an advisor to the next editor, and will continue to write the practice management column. Now is a good time for a “position available” ad. “Leader wanted: needs good writing and organizational skills, an internet-ready computer, and a desire to make a positive difference in the life of the AOBTA and the world.” Contact Barbra and me if you have any interest in leading Pulse for a small part of the new millennium. It is a deeply satisfying and creative job, one that gives you more than you give it. It’s now a much easier job to take on than it was three years ago. The specifics of what to do and how to do it are now clear; it simply requires the willingness to learn and do it. I look forward to seeing what Pulse becomes in the creative hands of the next editor, because I have seen the potential it has to be a beautiful expression of who we are as people and as an organization. Again, I thank you all deeply from the bottom of my xin.

Stay great, Michael Gaeta

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