Welcome to my blog!
I'm an acupuncturist, teacher, fertility specialist, patient centered advocate, mom, activist and more! This blog is a place for me to write down the things on my mind, the things I discuss over and over, and the things I find helpful, interesting, and inspiring all in the hope that someone else out there, maybe YOU, will find some of these things to be helpful, interesting and inspiring too. I love learning, I love sharing, and I am passionate about helping others lead more balanced, fertile, and healthy lives - while trying to do the same myself. So here goes... The Blogging Life...
Your Own Personal Best
I saw this image on Facebook a while ago and it totally made me laugh... but then, like many of the things I end up blogging about, it wormed its way into my brain and ultimately into my treatment rooms. I found myself describing it and having really meaningful conversations with patients about it. All of these conversations have been a a variation on the following.
We are each unique. We each have our own strengths and our own weaknesses. What comes easy for someone else might be hard for you. What comes easy for you might seem impossible for someone else based on what balances and imbalances you have. That's the unique, nuanced truth of holism.
I think most people walk an extremely slippery slope when it comes to their expectations for themselves. In my work, I see it in the comparisons women make between themselves and others regarding their health concerns, their lifestyle, their careers, their fertility, their families and more. Here's a fairly extreme example, but it totally illustrates the holistic danger of making these comparisons...
Take "Sara"* a woman who suffered some pretty major physical health issues as a very small child - life threatening, taxing, scary stuff at a very young age. Since then, she has never been as robust as her peers and now as an adult she has to work on self care waaaaay harder than any of her friends and still has way less wiggle room than her friend do when it comes to taking care of herself. Her best friend might be able to work 60 hours a week, survive on 5 hours of sleep per night and eat take out while watching 'The Bachelor" and drinking a glass (or two) of wine and feel relatively fine. Sara feels rotten if she does even one of those things and feels totally disappointed in herself for being frail, getting run down or sick more often and having lower energy than others. She is also very tempted to think all the attention and effort she has put into her self care isn't working or that she is a failure.
Sara has EVERY right to feel frustrated, sad, irritated, anxious, and more. Her situation is NOT fair. She DOES have to work way harder than most people, and she can't get away with some of the things others can without suffering consequences. She did nothing to cause her issues, she has done so many things to help herself. All this is true and it is frustrating.
But when Sara starts to compare herself to others, she is like our good friend the tinman and is comparing herself to all those limber yogis!
I would argue that while she is entitled to feel these hard feelings for valid reasons, the one thing she should try to let go of and understand is that it will never be helpful for her to base her self worth and success on comparing herself to others. Sara, like all the women I work with, is amazing and unique and has so many wonderful things about where she is now, her progress and journey and where she is headed. But she honestly, she can never go back in time and erase the part of her history that has resulted in her significant deficiencies, this is her body and her life and to embrace that reality and let go of wanting it to be otherwise is freeing, liberating and will give her room to feel proud of her progress, hopeful about what she's doing, good about her situation right here and right now. These are good things and healthy things that help to balance out the hard stuff.
Each of us has our own patterns of imbalance and our own constellation of life factors and influences that got us there. Be it your weight, your ability to relax, your emotional health, your fertility, or anything else... comparisons can be hurtful and unhealthy. Much better to have a realistic view of where you are right here and now and measure ourselves based on our reality, not others. Look to yourself to gauge if you are making progress and how you are doing (and what's worth doing). Let go of comparing yourself to others. Have realistic expectations and do your own personal best. And if there are areas where you are the tinman take a deep breath and let go. When you compare, it only makes you feel like a failure, and nothing could be further from the truth!
*Not her real name