Element: Earth Season: Late Summer
“The Harvest” – Taking stock of what has came to fruition
In Balance: Security, Fullness, Stability, Centeredness, Nourished, Sympathetic, Fertility, Abundance, Reaping Harvest….
It was about three years ago when I stood on the familiar beach on Cape Cod Bay, facing the heart that I drew in the sand (which has been the main header picture of this blog). That is when I decided to begin this Pilgrimage, and I put every ounce of my intention into that heart as I watched it get washed away by changing water. Since I was a child I always drew hearts in the sand there – when I had to leave and go back home the last thing I would do was run down to the sand, draw a heart, shed a tear – and leave “my” beach. Most recently, this summer on my visit, I drew a similar but more elaborate image on the new sands of the same old beach. With this heart comes (my rendition of) Kshama, which is a beautiful sanskrit word that is at the core of virtues in all spiritual-life endeavors. Kshama cannot be translated simply but could be related to patience, forbearance, a deep stillness that remains equanimous and strong through life’s challenges. It doesn’t break my heart to leave that place, filled with loving memories, anymore because I know now how it is that I always return (safely assuming) and when that happens time disappears…yet, through time is how to learn Kshama.
Although three years have gone by and I am well on my way toward my goal to becoming an Acupuncturist/healer, I feel not much time has passed at all. So much new growth and understanding has come about, but standing there on the beach again…playing in the sand…the only time that has passed is around me. The center, my heart and soul, feels it has not aged – that no time has passed. Kshama is eternal. So as it turns out, my three year mark was pretty anti-climactic! No big revelations!
The revelation for me is subtle now. As I’m about to begin my clinic internship, as a “Year 3 Student”, this week. The seas I sailed to get here, on an emotional level, were choppy as all hell. And sometimes I think that it’s my ship that makes for more of a struggle in the waters than it needs to…but this is the vessel that I’m given and to learn how to navigate from. To direct my life from what I’ve been given and my unique experiences stored in my cells is my only choice. My gratitude for knowing where to even go, for feeling strong pulls and currents – feeling this medicine that I receive, learn and will now be putting into practice is ever-present within and never-ending. How fortunate am I to have the knowledge of a “calling”? Very. People tell me this all the time and I fully recognize that concept. But everything I’ve gone through in my life has allowed this to happen for me, to find a calling and a path that feeds my soul and is functional in the world. I’ve always been in touch with this deep inner Kshama…always letting myself put Faith back into something inside me which is eternal, within me and without me.
What does this all mean? It means its not easy! This has not been easy for me. Life has not been easy thus far on this pilgrimage. But it has been GREAT and joyful and amazing! That is how Kshama is developed. It’s developed in struggle and then through ease and then even more through struggle. Just to be a cliche new age hippy, I’ll quote “buddah” and mention some symbolism of my six year old lotus flower tattoo “…a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled…” The flower is made beautiful in the murk and rises above it, unscathed.
I’m fully aware that everyones life is not “easy” and it is a struggle. But what I’m not convinced of is that people face there problems, fears and demons head on. I think that is where we get to find our true calling or most fulfilling path, when we take leaps of faith because we understand that we only have one life -for now. By looking at ourselves honestly, compassionately and thoroughly over and over again, we begin to see a bigger picture for ourselves. For the most part, people do not value virtue in our society. There is a purpose there though which is why so many religion share similar core values… because they actually matter! They worked and have shown throughout history to make ones life richer. My life is rich because I’ve put the work into making it that way. It will continue to be rich if I continue to put in the work. You get what you give.
This is something I’m passionate about and also somewhat defensive on, in a child-like way. At this point, I’m about to be in my clinical internship. This is where I get to meet people from all different walks of life, hear there story, see there potential and guide them (hopefully) toward healing and growth using my carefully honed (and continusly working on honing more ) senses, the power of vital energies and an understanding of the human psyche and spirit. That is part of Classical Five Element Acupuncture. We take the person as a whole, be present with them and understand them in a way that most people probably don’t do for them. Then we draw on this medicine, look at how their energy is working and were it may be blocked – then assess and gently manipulate it. Ideally I will embark on several relationships with clients who have a shared goal of personal transformation, on whatever level or degree that may be for the individual. Once harmony is better established within the body, things heal and change on the physical, mental and emotional levels. Life improves. People actually become connected to something greater than themselves through this modality of healing, this happens naturally – because it is completely natural. With this connection, through the Universal energy – Qi, is where people find their path. There way. This can mean finding comfort/security in the one they are already on! “Path” should not be misconstrued as this literal place one must walk and leave all known civilization – it is more of a deep inner feeling that you are going in the right direction, despite changing life-events and circumstances. It is becoming one with Tao – “which remains nameless.”
It is very clear to me that I’m on a Taoist path. This is not meant to be a label for label sake and people can be on a taoist path even if they are a full blown Jewish Rabbi, and not even realize it. It is natures way for us to feel harmony and connected inside and each human is very much apart of this earth and universe. We are not separate although we get to make big machines, know how to poison plants and animals, and speak in 6,500 different languages. On this path things slip into place, you feel in the flow of something – despite blockages (see: life events – see: acupuncturist) – you get back into the flow and its obvious there’s something greater at hand. What really happens when our energies are working better is that we find a way, no matter what is in the way. We become a force to be reckoned with so that life starts to work with us rather than against us. When struggle happens, we understand a lesson from it more easy – we heed the signals and warnings. The shackles of blame and shame disappear because you live “in cause” rather than “effect.” You begin to control your destiny. That is of course, not without the willingness to want to take these steps, to make things better. To face the fear of trying to live up to your best, even if that falls shorter than you imagine. Kshama is developed in struggle, but it is worth it – to have that strength which is timeless and powerful.
So, three years ago, when I began this pilgrimage is when I made the choice to begin to really try and live up to the spirit that is inside of me. I cooperated with my acupuncturists and messages along the way who have helped guide me and my energy in this process. Not knowing how it would go or where it would go. Now it is in Colorado. The move was a success and my entire being knows it is in exactly the right place. The seas of change or fairly calm. Most recently though I’ve realized something about myself, it goes in perfect timing with my entering into a professional internship… much of me is still very child-like. Many of my unconscious habits, reactions, basically modus operandi is just outdated patterns formed in my childhood. There’s something that is shifting now, and I’ll feel it more in Fall when the time to let go happens.
On my most recent trip home to the East Coast, a lot of emotional bases were covered for me. I got to reconnect with my family and some friends and also had a little time to see the same-ness and stability of things. At the same time, there is growth, evolution and change on the home front – which makes me really happy. For that I’m so grateful and excited! This means I do not need to stay the same, something in me knows now – more than ever, that I’ve got to shed a skin. I loved my childhood, and growing up where I grew up and with the people around me. Opportunities were given and shown to me for which I’m fortunate for and I probably almost killed myself multiple times (accidentally!) -but it’s time for me to mature further. This isn’t a mask I intend on putting on, it’s a natural step toward the life that I want to create and am creating. I’ll forever be a Child of the Universe, Life is my playing field. I do not fear losing qualities about me that were endearing on me as a child. Why? Because I see those qualities coming out in ways now that are not functional in adult-life, they simply no longer serve me anymore. They do not have a good enough role in a sustainable and fulfilling future for me. This is not meant to offend anyone and is strictly personal. Kshama is about focusing on long term goals and not short term benefits. When we were younger, life was smaller – including my perspective. Now, I see the world and the people in it and know that growing up is a choice. It’s a choice that is only of benefit and love.
Much of my struggle has been the fact that I’ve been unintentionally holding on to parts of myself that are not useful anymore, and felt hesitant to embrace the (awesome/strong) woman I am becoming. If I’m going to be wearing a white coat, putting needles into people and being looked at as a source of health, knowledge and support for people, I’ve got to be a awesome and strong woman – this “pilgrimage” is (gently) forcing me to evolve, as I knew it would.
So here I go… knowing it will not be easy all the time…but it’ll be worth it….
into the clinic.
Peace, Kshama & Blessings to any and all ~