Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Words for Well-Being

I can feel vacation slipping away and my anxiety returning. As you may know, I am a worrier, so while the start of the new semester brings the excitement of bright new students and fresh challenges, it also makes me sleep a little lighter, worrying I am forgetting something, wondering how I'll manage seven classes at three different campuses, hoping and praying I haven't stretched myself too thin by saying, "Yes, I can!" to all the opportunities that came calling. When I am plagued by worry, one thing that really helps is acupuncture. I usually walk into my sessions with shallow breathing and tense muscles, and leave feeling like I had the most amazing massage of my life, like my body is alive and floating, and that my life energy is balanced and flowing again. If you haven't tried it, you must. It's life changing.  Our sessions always start with a tongue examination, then my pulse is taken - which today she described as "wiry", there is a discussion of my eating, sleeping and exercise habits, and then my emotional state. I explain to her that I am anxious and stressed, she explains that I should stop drinking coffee and that I have Liver Qi Stagnation (which she always tells me, still not 100% sure what LQS means) and then I lie down, she massages me and inserts tiny needles, I stay very still, candles are lit, soothing Chinese music lulls me in and out of sleep, needles are removed, I am again massaged, I am a new person.

In today's session, on my way out, my thoughtful and magical acupuncturist gave me her usual warm hug, but also handed me a freshly printed copy of the list below, and with the warmest smile told me to "read it and live it." How lovely is that? I taped it next to my bathroom mirror so I have a daily reminder. It's not the first time I've seen these words, and there is nothing earth-shattering in these 13 little lines, but like most truisms, the wisdom here is simple and obvious.  I'm sharing it below just in case you too might be in need of a gentle reminder to slow down, let go, be mindful, and generally not over-complicate things like I tend to do. Enjoy.

speak less, listen more
say less, do more
worry less, work more
ride less, walk more
eat less, chew more
start less, finish more
correct less, prevent more
blame less, forgive more
wrestle less, embrace more
compete less, cooperate more
take less, give more
have less, be more
frown less, laugh more

(Photo: Borneo sunset, 2011}

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