Right now, we live in a culture of wasting. We waste water. We waste food. We waste gas. We buy the most unnecessary products, which we end up throwing in the trash most of the time anyway. Do we really need gigantic SUVs that burn less than 20 mpg to carry all your passengers and everyone's waste with it? Does The Cheesecake Factory really need to serve portions that could quite literally feed an entire village for a week? People of the world today are all experts in wasting. And worse, this destructive skill is tearing our world apart. We even have challenges figuring out what to do with our waste.
By covering up our waste, it doesn't mean it will disappear forever, no matter what we build on top of it. Trash cans and landfills are not black holes, but yet we treat them as such. It's kind of like dealing with a problem in our personal lives. Sometimes we just cover it up and hope it will either disappear or resolve itself. Out of sight, out of mind. Right? Wrong.
All three of these resources are infinite on a macro scale, but as individuals, they are as finite as life and death.
The good news is there are three resources you have complete control of simply by making a decision and sticking to it. These resources are:
Since we are experts at wasting material resources, it comes to no surprise that we are also experts at wasting immaterial ones. Therefore, it should be our sole responsibility in life to focus on conserving these three as much as humanly possible. It is easy to waste your BREATH by arguing about something pointless. It is easy to waste your ENERGY by either using too much or by not using enough, the latter of which is more a pity than a waste. And perhaps the worst of all is wasting your TIME, because it can happen at any moment. Especially when we consciously decide to participate in actions or interactions we have no desire to join in the first place. For example, going to a job you completely and utterly hate but continue to go to anyways.
Once your resources are depleted, it will be too late.
All three of these resources are infinite on a macro scale, but as individuals, they are as finite as life and death. How you use them, and how well you can conserve them, may ultimately determine the quality and duration of your life on this planet. So, I urge you to focus on the important elements of your life; your health, your family, your passion, and anything else that provides you with the ultimate life experience. Because once your resources are depleted, it will be too late.
Isn't that enough to make you think twice about how you use your breath, energy, and time?
I certainly hope so.
Join us for a free 15-minute consultation, a personalized acupuncture appointment, a Tai Chi class, or one of our events as we teach people this month on how to avoid wasting these three life resources. We guarantee you we will stop wasting them if you do. But we can't help you if you don't! So, come on by. We're ready to eliminate all waste!
Don't. Click. Anything.
Stop for a second and think. What was the last excuse you made before reading this?
Are you about to make an excuse right now so you can get back to Facebook or your email?
Stop. Just stop.
No more excuses. You've been making them too often and for too long.
Excuses lead to regret. Plain and simple.
What have your excuses kept you from doing (and ultimately experiencing) in your life? Have you missed countless open doorways that might have led you to a new job, a larger paycheck, or a bigger smile on your face? How would you know? You're too busy making excuses! Right?
This, my friend, is the road to regret. And it's staring you right in the face, laughing at you.
Excuses lead to regret. Plain and simple.
Hence why I'm telling you to STOP. I truly and desperately am working my rear-end off so that I can help as many people as possible live a life without suffering, without regret, and without excuses.
Why? Because I know what regret is. I let it be my teacher for such a long time that I've learned my lesson. And now, I regret nothing... absolutely nothing in my life. Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity just waiting for me to learn from. The same is true for all of us.
So what excuse did you make today? What story did you tell yourself so that you can stay on the side of the line where it says comfort? And what are you gonna do about it?
The first thing you should do is check out the podcast we just recorded for you (Ep3.5 - Stop Making Excuses) available through the following links. And leave us a comment telling us what excuses you're giving up now that you've read this! We'd love to hear your story!
A Message from an Acupuncturist
It is 9 o’clock in the morning, and you are searching the internet for a doctor who can take a look at your ankle you rolled during an evening soccer match yesterday. The pain is bearable yet still throbbing, not to mention your ankle is now the size of a tennis ball. While searching, you come across several acupuncturists not far from where you live. This reminds you of your close friend's sports injury who told you was helped with acupuncture. Recalling this, you look further and notice some of these acupuncturists appear to have Asian names and some do not. Assuming your thoughts are correct, you choose to contact an Asian practitioner because, of course, they MUST know more about what they are doing since they are Asian. Plus, their methods are probably more authentic. Right?
This common assumption is incorrect and is damaging to the profession of Oriental Medicine. It spreads even further into the many fields of medicine serving the public today leading to further discrimination of minorities, ethnicities, and genders. Since when has it become so acceptable to discriminate against a trained, licensed, and well-qualified health professional whose only interest is helping you live your life with as little suffering as possible? Dare I insert the word “racism” into this message and invoke a conversation laced with hate? This is not my intention, but it seems the injection of such is nearly unavoidable. Sadness ensues me when I hear that simply because my race is different from others, I must “learn to accept the truth” that was etched by others into the foundation of medical history. A foundation seemingly built upon “should-bes” rather than “could-bes”.
Yes, I am not Asian. What’s your point?
Times change. Shouldn’t people do just the same? Sure, I am not fortunate enough to be a descendant of an ancient lineage of Asian doctors famous for serving the masses, developing world-renowned healing techniques, or safeguarding the health of a royal family. What I am, however, is inspired, motivated, and interested. Inspired by the history, literature, and origins of the medicine I practice; motivated by my mentors, teachers, students, and patients; and interested in the unique life stories of people like yourself. Healers are not formed or defined by their ethnic roots let alone by similar patterns repeated in society. They are also not defined by what they see in their patients (e.g. health conditions), but rather by what they help their patients to see in themselves and how they empower them to change and make wise choices for the sake of their own health. More personally, when I search for someone to provide me with care, I refrain from making assumptions about their abilities I have yet to experience firsthand. For these abilities may be exactly what I need on my road to recovery. Of course, one's experience is an acceptable form of measure when making the choice to have someone evaluate your health. Experience, though, is achieved no differently than the height and strength of an oak tree. The seed must be planted and nurtured well enough for it to sprout and begin its journey out into the world.
If only we could learn to listen to someone’s story without writing the end before it was told.
Sadly, during my years of exploring the Asian medicinal and martial arts, I have been a victim of subliminal discrimination, false assumptions, and impossible expectations. I have been viewed as an outcast, thought of as “the unique one in the family”, and doubted repeatedly to the point where others give up and change their career altogether. I have been called in Chinese a "waiguoren", or literally "outside country person", which is ironic because I'm fairly sure I was born in this country where I am also licensed to practice this medicine. Wouldn't that technically make you, the name-caller, the outsider? This is beside the point of this message though, and while I endured this constant bombardment of negativity and bullying, I studied rigorously, forged my mind, and trained my body. Not so that I could defend myself, but rather so that I could learn to open my eyes and heart for the sake of every patient that enters my treatment room. And to this day, I still repeat these previously painful words in my mind so that I may remind myself they are not definitions of who I am or who I have become. For the people who have uttered them do not have permission to define my existence or evaluate my abilities with false pretense. If only we could learn to listen to someone’s story without writing the end before it was told.
Your healing has nothing to do with who I am, only who you will become.
So again, yes, I am not Asian. Who am I then, you ask? I am someone who cares. I am someone with hope. I am someone worth reaching out to who will care for your well-being, no matter your race, gender, appearance, or societal status. I am someone whose hope is for you to create memories laughing and playing with your children while they are still young and innocent; to remember what it was like to open your heart to your beloved mother and father before they took their last breath; to never forget the feeling of the soft breeze grazing across your skin as you stand in your hometown hundreds or thousands of miles away. True healing comes from within ourselves and will take you anywhere you wish to go. Besides, your healing has nothing to do with who I am, only who you will become.
So, I ask you. The next time you search for a care provider, will you choose based on their name, their ethnicity, their gender, or their ivy-league education, or lack thereof? Will you close the fable-filled storybook modern society has been reading to you over the years and begin writing your own story of how you see the world of healthcare and how you wish to be cared for? Have you even asked yourself HOW you wished to be cared for? It is certainly a conversation worth having with yourself.
After all, you may not be Asian either. But there is certainly no one else like you. Never forget that.
Thich Nhat Hanh has been a great inspiration for millions of people across the globe. His rich publications, inspirational quotes, and his healing presence have all been important reminders for all.
He has directed us on the path to finding ourselves:
He has taught us to love again through the shadows of hate.
And he has given us reason to say two powerful words: Thank you.
Unfortunately, these two words are routinely (and often weakly) uttered after we have decades of practice. Fortunately though, there are many opportunities that exist each day to emphatically share these two powerful words. Not with the intention to change someone's life, but rather to take a moment in their life and yours to stop, look at them eye to eye, place a hand on their shoulder, and firmly say "Thank you." By doing so, we assuredly recognize the other person for who he/she is and the value he/she has in our life.
Acknowledgement of another human being raises awareness of the undeniable connection and relationship we all have with each other. Beyond acknowledging another human being, we can express our gratitude to the earth beneath our feet and to the heavenly space above us. Both of which provide us with everything we need in every moment of our life.
A study found in the NIH library states that "An existing body of research supports an association between gratitude and an overall sense of well being...". Sharing gratitude is an important step to a healthier you, a stronger community, and any loving relationship. Never forget the power of these two words when expressed with full intention. And just as important, never forget how to accept this acknowledgment for yourself, for when you thank another person, you are in fact thanking yourself for the very same reason. I thank you for reading.
Take a moment this coming Thanksgiving Holiday to practice sharing these two powerful words with someone in your life.
With sincerest gratitude,
As we approach the end of August, it is almost time to say our goodbyes to the summer season and open our welcoming arms to the breathtaking landscape of Autumn. You may notice as you walk outdoors that it seems the leaves on the trees are nearing the end of their time as their color shifts to a dark shade of green and they hang heavily from their branches towards the ground. Or you may notice in your garden a plethora of full-hearty produce begging for you to pluck it from its exhausted branches and vines.
This is the wonder of the harvest season. The season of abundance, of nourishment, of being nurtured, and of gratitude. This is a time in nature where we honor the richness of life and say thanks to all that has been offered in support of our growth and experience of life.
In your day to day life, how many times do you actually say THANK YOU to others and to yourself? When someone holds the door for you, do you say THANK YOU? How about when the metro brings you safely to your destination? Do you say, out loud or silently, THANK YOU?
How about the other way around? When was the last time YOU held the door for someone? When was the last time you randomly did something for someone else because you were feeling "in the mood"? Coming back to Mother Nature and the change of the seasons, we must remember that Mother Nature does not take a moment to think before she provides what is necessary for us and the rest of the world to survive, let alone thrive. She just does...and so should we.
What if Random Acts of Kindness were no longer Random? What if we considered them to simply be Natural Acts of Kindness? Moments of unconditional love and nurturing from ourselves to others; a moment of spoken or unspoken gratitude to another for simply being present in our life at this particular point in time, and above all, without judgment. Just as nature provides for us during this time, we should make the decision to act the same by sharing kindness to ourselves and others. No strings attached.
We should willingly bear fruit for the plucking and satisfaction of others.
When others can reap what you sow, you nurture another human and change them in ways you can't possibly imagine.
One final thought I leave you with is an opportunity. One that may change a person's life forever. The opportunity (or challenge, if you choose to view it as such) is to show at least one Natural Act of Kindness towards someone you don't know. But don't stop there. Notice how you feel afterwards, and notice how the other person responds. Cultivate this feeling in yourself and continue to spread it and plant it in other. Because, just as this season provides a harvest for us now, it also holds deep within itself the seeds for the next year's crop. You hold this same power, the "seeds" of kindness to be planted in the next generation.
Yours in peace,
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inspirational ideas on healthy living through eastern medicine, optimism, and possibility through empowerment.