Today is my birthday! I’m 25…again. No, really, I’m not ashamed to say I’m 39. Ask me how I feel when I turn 4-0 and I may sing a different tune, but today I feel like I’ve put in a lot of effort to keep working on and refining this 39 year old mind, body, and spirit.
I have dedicated my career to a several thousand year old practice of medicine, so 39 seems like nothing in the grand scheme of things. It truly is a miniscule amount of time. But I am thankful for every second of it, even the times when I was bored, in pain, struggling, grieving, angry, and frustrated.
I think that one of the joys of living is learning. And in learning there is sometimes struggle. If it was too easy, what would I learn? The reward in learning is that sometimes there is also ease. A new lesson can feel like something I already knew, perhaps even mastered once upon a time.
This is one of the reasons why I love Traditional Chinese Medicine. Though it was brand new to me when I started along this path in 1997, somehow I felt like that first book I picked up on it included stuff I had already discovered for myself. I felt like a co-author. The same happens sometimes when I explain to my patients how TCM can help them understand their illness, their dis-ease, their symptoms, as well as their strengths. They have their own “aha” moment. No, I don’t give them their medical diagnosis of their pathology (the study of what’s wrong in the body). That’s not my role. I help them understand how their own strengths and weaknesses have led them to how they currently feel.
And now I have a new tool. As part of my recent training in Germany with an amazing doctor, I can use the guidance of the eyes to add another piece of the story to what’s going on inside a person’s body. Learning the foundations of iridology was not why I made this journey to Germany. I went to strengthen my training in biopuncture. Funny how things happen. While I did learn more about biopuncture, I hadn’t wanted to learn about iridology. I had resisted having to learn something that would mean “just one more thing I’d have to think about when seeing patients, and I already have so much to think about.” But, the start, the basics, is not hard. It can get as complex as I’d like it to be, I’m sure, but for now I’ll start with simple.
So I wonder, what have you learned recently? Did it feel more like remembering rather than learning anew? Or was it a struggle?