Right now, we are all in a place none of us could have imagined a few weeks ago. I don’t know how many times I have said the word unprecedented and really meant it. Every day, so much feels uncertain and so much has changed. I can’t hug my mom. I can’t take my daughter out for her first beer for her 21st birthday (I know, it probably isn’t her first, but let a mom dream). I can’t go to work and treat the patients I care so deeply about. It has been easy to fall into focusing on the real losses associated with actions we have all taken in order to protect one another.
This experience has caused me to question what is it that is important to me? Is it my practice as an acupuncturist? Is it my house or my bank accounts? Who am I without any of these things? Do I trust the world? How can I do this right?
Real growth for me has never come from a place of comfort. The things I am most proud of, the things I have done that have shaped who I am, have been the hard things. Learning Chinese Medicine and starting my own business during the great recession, with two young children, was not easy. And yet, it led me to true purpose and joy. Recently losing a close family member gave me such deep grief, but also a chance to connect to family and friends in an honest way that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Chinese medicine is the lens through which I see the world. And right now, it is the place I find comfort and direction. I am not going to get super deep into Chinese medicine philosophy (consider this a gift from me to you), but I do want to touch on it. Chinese medicine philosophy believes in an influential mutual relationship between the body and spirit (our internal environment) and the world we live in (our external environment). To find health, you must find balance. So how do we find balance in the frenzy of change?
If you are a patient of mine, you know that I love to use analogy as a learning tool. And if you have ever worked with me you most likely have heard this one already. When I was a girl I spent a fair amount of time in San Diego. We loved to go to the beach and swim in the ocean. Some days the waves were big, and some days mild. On those days when the waves were bigger, it didn’t take me long to learn not to stand stiff as a board when that wave was about to hit. If you did, it would beat you up and knock you down. I realized I needed to either dive deep under the water or grab my boogie board and ride that wave all the way back to the beach.
We are experiencing a big wave right now, one that is changing everything. Initially I have felt like I was ‘standing stiff as board’ by resisting the changes and letting my thoughts run with all kinds of fearful imaginary futures. Little by little I am learning how to either dive deep or ride the wave. Diving deep for me has been meditating, exercise, yoga, reading a book, studying herbal medicine (super nerd alert), and spending time with my family. Selby has chosen to ride this wave by pivoting our business; offering you virtual wellness visits, making sure that we are able to meet any herbal needs you may have, educating ourselves on how best to help people get through the symptoms related to Covid-19, and sharing with anyone who will listen (even my attorney and banker) all the things you can do at home to help strengthen your immune system.
I challenge you to find what helps you dive deep and what ways you can ride the wave. And I wish for you love, and peace, and the knowledge that everything you need to get through this is within you right now.
(written by Julie)