- Personal Development -

Taking Direction

Founding editor Pilar Gerasimo on the value of following your internal compass.

Pilar Gerasimo

Listen carefully, and you can hear your life speaking to you. Not just what it wants from you, but also what it wants for you.

Listen closely enough to the messages encoded in your body’s energy, instincts, and appetites (our cover subject, Danielle LaPorte, can teach you a thing or two about that), and you’ll perceive the GPS-like directions your internal compass is continually issuing: Proceed to the route. In 200 yards, turn left. Go 15.5 miles. Prepare to exit.

Whenever I hear my life issuing “prepare to exit” directions, I feel both angst and excitement. My response is one part “Oh, I guess this lovely trip is coming to an end” and one part “Ooh, goodie, we’re almost to our destination!”

This is one of those times. And I’m happy to say, this time I’m feeling a great deal more excitement than angst.

If you’ve been reading Experience Life for a while, you may recall that I stepped away from the editor-in-chief chair once before, back in 2013. Having founded the magazine in 2001, I’d been doing the job for more than a decade, and when Arianna Huffington invited me to come lead the Healthy Living vertical at the Huffington Post, I heard my internal GPS saying, “Turn here!” So I did.

Not long after, when I got a sense of New York City’s media scene, I decided that its personality and pace of life just weren’t for me. There wasn’t really space or time for me to do the deeper, subtler work that fed my heart and soul. My internal navigation chirped up: Now rerouting.

It was an eminently worthwhile voyage, in any case, because I came away with some solid-gold insights. I reclarified the core values I wanted to build my life around. I developed a new appreciation for how my quiet, Midwestern life allowed me to listen beyond the fray of popular culture and hear the subtle tapping of emerging realities that are so easily missed.

I realized just how profoundly I care about this magazine — about its mission, its readers, about the team that brings it to life each issue.

I recognized that because I have lived and breathed Experience Life for so long, I will always carry a bit of it with me in my bones. I also got very clear that if I wanted it to have a life that extended beyond me, I needed to invest a bit more of myself in preparing it for a promising future.

So over the past two years, I’ve been working closely with the whole Experience Life crew, and especially with our new editor in chief Jamie Martin (who has been an intrinsic and invaluable part of our team for more than a decade now), to create collective clarity about the magazine’s DNA and its raison d’ˆetre. Together, we’ve forged a strong go-forward plan.

As we’ve been drawing up our new map, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a succession of terrific new issues hit the open road with less navigating (and far less back-seat driving) from me.

I’ve seen our new app-based digital edition take impressive form before my eyes. I’ve seen our newsstand sales skyrocket, and exciting new partnership possibilities come into view.

At the same time, I’ve found new mental space to explore the next leg of my own journey: the book that’s waiting to be finished; the podcast that’s just begun (a fun collaboration with Whole30 cofounder Dallas Hartwig — check out LivingExperiment.com for more info); the role I want to play in shaping the next era of healthy-life transformation.

So, what does this all mean for you? It means you’ll get to continue to enjoy this magazine’s special brand of healthy–happy wisdom for a long time to come. It means you’ll get the pleasure of getting to know Jamie and the whole EL team in new ways, and of noticing the fresh perspective they bring to these pages.

You haven’t seen the last of me, though! I’ll still be doing my “Revolutionary Acts” column and collaborating with this talented crew every chance I get.

Wanna stay in touch? Connect with me via the social channels below and at PilarGerasimo.com. I can’t wait to give you the turn-by-turn on what happens next. Meanwhile, to my team, to our readers, to Life Time and its visionary CEO, Bahram Akradi —  thank you, thank you, thank you.

Pilar Gerasimo is Experience Life’s founding editor.

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