Don't just do something- sit there! New Year's reflections

Don't just do something- sit there! New Year's reflections

It’s New Years and for many of us, including myself, our thoughts circle towards resolutions. How will improve our lives this year? We’ll lose weight! Exercise daily! Avoid Gluten! Never touch sugar! Meditate every day for 20 minutes!

Over the holiday break, I also reflected on year that has passed and the year right in front of me, to set intentions about what I’d like this year to look like. 

Back in the 80’s, I was involved with several new-age manifestation groups. One exercise, in particular, always stuck with me:

Think of something you want to create; (money, often.)

Think of 10 ways you can create that (wait tables, mow lawns, babysit, acupuncture practice, and so on)

Think of 10 ways you can create that (walk into restaurants, paper the neighborhood with flyers, place ads, respond to ads, networking groups, etc)

This was and still is a great exercise for getting unstuck. It was a lesson on creating a business plan dressed in new-age wrapping. 

The desire for change starts with a wish to feel differently. Making meaningful changes starts with a plan. One powerful affirmation I’ve always used to help me move forward is simply stating: “I’m willing to feel (or think) differently”. This sets the stage for me to be open to a new way of doing and being. From there, breaking a goal into manageable bites makes it easier to stay on track with whatever goal or task I’ve set in front of myself.

From there, it takes patience. And practice. Patience means pausing before acting: creating conscious actions instead of unconscious reactions. What pausing refers to is also called “mindfulness”: a state of being present in the moment and aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgement. Mindfulness is one of the easiest and most difficult things we can do for ourselves. Rather than focusing on an end goal of, say, losing 10 pounds, we can shift our focus on the joys and difficulties of the process. The sensation of eating less. The delight in gaining strength and fitness. The satisfaction of feeling healthier.

All mindfulness needs is a willingness to be present with ourselves.

Nothing represents Chinese medicine more than the Yin-Yang symbol. Two opposite halves of a circle feed into each other. Inside one is the other. The laws of yin and yang inform literally everything we do and understanding their principles can be a used a template to guide us through life.

Loosely, Yin refers to the shady side of a mountain and is considered to be more “feminine” and yang refers to the sunny side and is thought to be more “masculine”. The quotations marks are my own. Together, they make a whole mountain.

  • Yin and Yang are opposite parts of whole: but they are relative and never static. No one or thing is all yin or all yang.
  • They are interdependent: They create one another just as day becomes night and back again.
  • They are relative: water may be yin to the vaporous warmth of steam. But water is yang relative to the static nature of ice.
  • At extremes they transform into one another, like chills turning into a fever.
  • Every acupuncturist, worldwide and throughout history strives to create a balance of yin and yang for their patients.

    This year, when you are ready to spring forth and create actionable change (yang), take a minute to be still and reflective (yin).

    So, what are my resolutions? Besides lose10poundsmeditateexercise5daysaweekmakeamilliondollars?

    To invest in my mind. To spend more time studying and writing.

    I wish you all a very happy new year!

    With love, 


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