When I met Diana, she asked me what I do for self-care given an incredible commute each day. I pen here the answer.
A native New Yorker, just recently moved to Montclair, I often find challenges in long hours of commuting and long days in my acupuncture practice. To catch a break, a mid-winter January trip to Belize offering a practice management course for health practitioners and daily yoga classes called my name. The program was beautifully crafted by acupuncturists Stefanie Dilbero and Kristen Porter. Just recently ending a 5-year stretch with many hours in the classroom to complete a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, this trip ignited something that had laid dormant in me. I was reminded of days in Southeast Asia exploring local medicine and the strong desire to learn about the culture and ethno medicine. Culturally, Belize is extremely diverse. Inspired by the beauty of Belize with butterflies and majestic teak forests, sounds of the dense tropical forest (howling monkeys and toucans), many different languages the natives spoke, meeting of local healers, camaraderie of other acupuncturists and nutritionist/yoga teacher Diana Cullum-Dugan, and experience of horse back riding and hikes, I felt renewed. Dining with new friends for a week, I learned to appreciate the excellent menus we had to choose from and felt energized after every meal!
The 20 hours of practice management classes and twice daily yoga had me buzzed. Kristen Porter’s course offered more practical information than anywhere else in my acupuncture studies. Our hosts at the Black Rock Lodge in the lush tropical mountains of the Cayo District in Belize offer a self-sustaining retreat as they generate their own electricity and grow organic food.
My trip to Belize, a winter rest, gave me a source of inspiration. Moving into spring, the increasing warmth encourages me to stay outside more than I did in the winter. Warmth comes not only from physical heat, but also from the interaction of friendships and relationships. In this season, I especially want to take advantage of opportunities for growth through the observations and insights that come from others as well as from our selves. Spring does not last forever. As I will too, I encourage you to use its bountiful energy wisely, so that the crops you sow – in yourself, your work, and your life – are those you wish to harvest. This is the season to plant seeds for a future harvest, to look ahead and make new plans, formulate new ideas, make decisions, forge new friendships, and determine our direction for the coming year – and to take action.
Make appropriate choices so you eat wisely, move daily in some form of exercise, breathe deeply, drink fresh water, and offer time for meditation or prayer. Stay strong.