September Self-Care Challenge: Week 1

self-careOkay, time to get real about my September self-care challenge. Despite my simple “just two acupuncture points daily” plan, I only managed to give myself a mini treatment 4 days out of 7.

It’s interesting how I reacted once I realized I’d missed a few days in a row. Despite knowing that would probably happen, my ego went straight to failure. I thought “Maybe I should pretend I never committed to doing this. Nobody will remember!”

But that’s silly. The point of any challenge is to push yourself, and when we push ourselves we usually fall short of perfection. In Chinese medicine, yin and yang are seen as always shifting, always working toward balance dynamically, because there is no such thing as static perfection. The benefit comes from learning how we fall short, how we react to that, and how we choose to continue.

With that in mind, here’s what I experienced this week:

  • For my first treatment, I chose two points known for powerfully relaxing the nervous system. I was at my clinic, and afterward I drove home in heavy rush hour traffic feeling peaceful and entirely unruffled by the slow trip home and the, ah, challenging drivers around me. I hate driving and get impatient in traffic. This shift was welcome!
  • The third treatment was on a day I’d been wheezing and coughing quite a bit. I have asthma, and our recent beautiful summer rain has created not-so-beautiful mold levels. I chose points to relieve acute lung symptoms as well as to support the respiratory system. After the treatment, my breathing was improved, and continued to be better for four days afterward.
  • Most interesting is how a focus on self-care is seeping into my consciousness. In the past week I’ve done more yoga than I usually do (even if just a few poses), written in my journal, started re-reading a nourishing book, and found the beginnings of a shift perspective on some thorny life issues.

So I only did 57% of what I planned, but that’s 57% more than I might have done otherwise. I think instead of failure, this is actually success. Onward to week 2…

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