Note: I originally wrote this New Years Blog last year for 2019. I’ve updated it for 2020
It’s a New Year, and for many of us, including myself, our thoughts circle towards resolutions. How will we 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 reflected on the year that has passed and the year right in front of me, to set intentions about what I’d like to create in 2020.
Back in the ’80s, 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, an excellent 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 begins 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 can also be called “mindfulness.” This a state of being present in the moment and aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment.
Mindfulness is one of the most natural 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 being part of the process: The light sensation of eating less; The satisfaction from gaining strength and fitness; The joy 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 each half is a little dot of the other. Loosely, yin refers to the shady side of a mountain, and Yang refers to its sunny side. Together, they make a whole mountain. This core concept of dualism and interconnectedness informs everything.
Yin and Yang are opposite parts of the 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).
I use these principles can be used as a template to guide me not only through my life, but I built my business model on this:
I’ve shared that I was enrolled in a small business boot camp this fall. It was a growth-filled experience for me. But when it came time for my final presentation, I felt inauthentic to communicating a growth plan centered on income only. Six Fishes is about being in service to a large community of people. We’re about contributing to the greater good of the community at large. We can do good by doing good. So, our growth plan is to nurture myself and my staff, so we have the qi to care for patients.
So, what are my resolutions? Besides lose10poundsmeditateexercise5daysaweekeatperfectlymakeamilliondollars?
To invest in my mind. To spend more time studying and writing.
I wish you all a very happy new year!