Getting to Where You Want to Be
Almost all of my patients have a specific destination in mind when they come to me:
-”I’ve got to get rid of this neck pain; it’s killing me!”
-”I can’t wait to start running again; please fix my knee!”
-”This level of stress isn’t sustainable; I’ve got to learn to do something to take care of myself now!”
If I had a magic needle, I would love to teleport each and every person to exactly where they want to be.
Ta da! You’ve arrived! Your neck feels great! You’re running again! You know how to manage your stress!
But then I would be more like an air traffic controller than an acupuncturist.
Many, maybe even most, of my patients DO get to their destination. And I’m grateful for that. But I can’t ever promise results. Mostly because the destination you arrive at isn’t really within my control.
Because I’m not God (and thank goodness for that), I don’t get to decide, persuade, coerce, or force an outcome. I always do my best to help you heal and to stand beside you and help you find a path forward to where you want to go.
I know that if you’re struggling with a health concern, you want to get better right now. I totally get that. And if I can do that for you, I totally will.
The truth I’ve been working with lately in my own life is the importance of being present for your life and not losing sight of where you are and how you’re feeling RIGHT NOW.
As spring is popping up relentlessly all around us, I’ve been noticing in myself a natural restlessness, and a desire to be further ahead in my life than where I am now. I would love for my business to flourish at a level of abundance that it’s not quite at yet.
The flowers in springtime make it look easy--one day the ground looks dead and the next day it’s erupted in purple. Spring is the season of growth and development, and this desire for progress is a natural craving in spring.
But only by being honest about where I am right now can I find the clarity and strength to assess what step to take next.
I start every day in meditation and prayer and when I find myself lost in the future (wondering, doubting, dreaming, feeling confused), I always return to a few deep breathes, and I sit down and close my eyes, and ask my heart: “What small step should I take next?”
I think that many of us dream big (nothing wrong there). But it’s the small steps, taken over and over again, that help move us forward.
As my very wise business coach says, it’s easy to look up at a mountain peak and to want to be at the top of the mountain. But you won’t be ready to be at the top of the mountain until you’re one step away from the top.
When you get ahead of yourself, take time out and ask yourself where you are in relation to the mountain (or maybe it’s only a humble hill with slight elevation) you want to climb. Be honest.
Are you at the base of the mountain? Are you halfway up? Are you on the bus moving towards the mountain? Is the mountain even within sight yet?
It’s totally ok to be at the very beginning, and it’s also ok to be one step from the top. But where you are now will change what step you take next. And only be being honest about where you are now will you know how to move towards your vision.
If you’re feeling lost or confused or are really struggling, get help. I always advise getting help! Getting help before you REALLY need the help can be really empowering.
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with women who have no particular health concerns but want wellness visits to help them stay healthy. You can get acupuncture to strengthen your physical, emotional and mental health just as you can lift weights or go for a run to keep your body feeling strong.
If you can find practices in your life that help you stay healthy and keep everything in perspective, you can drop some of the struggle and enjoy your life more, however it unfolds.
My vision for the future, the mountain I want to climb, looks like a full and thriving acupuncture practice where I can help more people in the population I serve best--women struggling with ongoing health issues who want to reclaim their health.
I would say I’m a little more than halfway up the mountain. And I’m doing my best to enjoy the climb. How sad would it be to reach the top of the mountain and realize that I had missed all of the little flowers and vistas and fog and beautiful pebbles along the way?
I would love to hear from you. What dream are you moving towards? Can you see the mountain yet? Are you ready to start the ascent, or are you still packing for your trip? Are you resting for awhile in shelter halfway up the mountain? All of these are ok. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself.
Preparing yourself can take time. It took me five years of heart-searching, research, meditation, and acupuncture treatments before I actually enrolled in acupuncture school. While some people might say that time was “wasted,” I know that it was part of my process, and it made climbing the mountain of school so much easier because I was ready; I had packed my heart, my brain, and even my bank account with so many necessary supplies.
My hope for you this spring is that you can learn how to live in the fog and the sunlight with equal compassion in your heart. Sometimes you can’t even see the mountain you are moving towards, but the fog doesn’t change the location of the mountain. You can hold the mountain in your heart.