Weaving Together the Tapestery of Your Life
This is a photo of me “teleworking” in a giant sweatshirt I purchased in middle school, back when I was smaller but somehow inexplicably bought everything in a size L or XL?
In this photo I’m about to teach yoga for the employee wellness program I oversee (on a very part-time schedule) at Drexel University. I taught that particular class around the framework of autumn and letting your energy settle, just as the leaves fall from the trees and settle back into the cradle of the earth.
This photo is an encapsulation of three of my jobs (wellness, yoga, and acupuncture), all of which are about helping people become more embodied, more synced-up and more connected with their own inner knowing.
As of a few weeks ago, I added a fourth job to my queue. The thought of anyone having four jobs is usually quite alarming, and if I say it like that I think “four jobs, really????!!!”, but when I pause and reflect I remind myself that all four of my positions are yoked together in service around a common goal. These four positions I’ve created for myself feel more like a tapestry than four pieces of a quilt.
My fourth position is fulfilling a yearning to teach at my acupuncture school, to mentor students in how to nurture themselves and thus take excellent care of their patients.
Since graduating, I’ve been an annual guest speaker at my acupuncture alma mater (The Won Institute), teaching a day-long boards preparation seminar and also guest teaching a few hours of Practice Management, helping students set up systems for managing their money, medical records, and acupuncture practices in ways that feel supportive, productive, and (most essentially) aligned with their values.
My role in Practice Management has now expanded so that I’m co-teaching the class (starting in January) with my friend and former teacher Ben. I’m sincerely excited to start this journey towards helping students become clear about their values and how they want to weave their lives and their Chinese Medicine practices into one beautiful unit.
Ben asked me a few years ago if I wanted to teach at the Won and I said that I wanted either the Ethics class or Practice Management (the business class--because values-based businesses take time and attention to build and maintain).
That little seed has sprouted, and so now I have four jobs. It seems a little ironic, but also fitting, that I added this fourth job in autumn. Autumn is the time of year of culling, of cutting back and letting go.
In another sense, autumn is the perfect time of year to accept this new position. Autumn is the time of year where the trees are stripped bare, where there is nowhere to hide, and we are asked to really turn inwards and to evaluate the structures we have built for ourselves and to ask ourselves if we have created the proper framework to sync up with how we want to live.
This is an excellent time of year to evaluate how you have created supports for your selfcare.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this time of year. The days are shortening, which can be difficult for many of us.
For me, the early morning hours have been incredibly precious for their quiet strength. The shorter days are helping me focus and helping me not take time for granted.
I’ve also been relying on my breath to stay balanced, grounded, and to connect to the deep well of good fortune I feel to have these four opportunities to serve as a steward of connection and embodiment.
Likewise, your breath is always available for you. As autumn is the time of the Lung in Chinese Medicine theory, cultivating this sense of expanding through the belly all the way up to the roof of your mouth will help you fill yourself up if you’re feeling tired, sad, scattered or discouraged.
Maybe you don’t quite have four jobs to report to, but I’m guessing that most of you have more than one role in your life. Maybe you’re a parent, partner, caretaker, friend, lover, birdwatcher, dogsitter, sister, etc!
May you use this autumn to clarify and consolidate your breath, your lifeforce, your truest intent, so that you can feel grounded and woven together into one beautiful you.