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LISTEN to Live in Alignment

Every life is an unprecedented experiment. This life is mine alone. 

So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. 

There is no map. We are all pioneers.

~~ Glennon Doyle

Greetings to all my precious people!!

The month of May has graced us with warmer temperatures and sunny skies that break through the clouds after misty mornings filled with birdsongs and bunnies.  There is a great amount of exuberance in Nature, as well as in the Universe with planetary shifts and alignments happening according to their cyclical journeys.  Qi – the vital life force that flows through each of us – also animates the earth and the cosmos.  Seasons change, but the cyclical Qi movement within those seasons remains the same.  By understanding patterns within the environment and individuals, Chinese Medicine helps to promote harmony and balance for optimal health and well-being. 

But how do we, as practitioners, assess the Qi movements in our patients?  We listen!  We listen to the stories our patients bring to the treatment room.  We listen to the tone of voice, to the rate of respiration.  We take the pulse and we feel the rhythm of the heart, which speaks to us about rate, regularity, strength and depth.  We are always listening.

Which is why I wanted to introduce you to the Chinese symbol for LISTEN.  The Chinese language is not alphabet-based.  Instead, its word characters are both abbreviations of and combinations of picture symbols. Whereas most written languages construct words from the letters of an alphabet, the Chinese language uses radicals [i.e., root meaning-symbols], also called keys, roots or primitives, as the basic units and building blocks for the word characters. Each character contains one or more root symbols.

The creative selection process that invented ancient Chinese characters produced the earliest form of Chinese pictographs, sometimes called ideograms or oracle bone pictographs because the texts were often carved onto bones or tortoise shell plastrons. The black image below is the traditional character for LISTEN used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities. The colorful character below it is for illustration purposes. 

Now, when you think about LISTEN, you will have a colorful reminder of all that is involved in the important art of being present to hear.  Take note of the 5 points of listening:  Ears, to hear, Eyes, to see, Mind, to think, Heart, to feel, and Undivided Attention, to focus.  The Heart is the Emperor of the body, the Official who handles all emotions, and helps to keep the rest of the body in sync with those feelings.  When you take the time to listen to your own Self, you will always be tuning into your Heart, the Emperor, and asking how you might be of service.  

“Listening to your heart” is a figurative expression that refers to tuning into your emotions, intuition, and inner voice to guide your decisions and actions. While it may sound metaphorical, there’s a psychological and physiological basis behind it.

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Listening to your heart involves recognizing and understanding your emotions. Emotions carry valuable information about our needs, desires, and values. By paying attention to our feelings, we can gain insights into what truly matters to us and make decisions that align with our authentic selves.
  2. Intuition: Intuition is often described as a gut feeling or a sense of knowing without conscious reasoning. It’s believed to be a subconscious process that synthesizes information and experiences to guide decision-making. Listening to your heart means trusting your intuition and allowing it to inform your choices, especially when faced with uncertainty or ambiguity.
  3. Authenticity: Your heart represents your true self and inner wisdom. Listening to your heart involves honoring your values, passions, and aspirations. It means living authentically and aligning your actions with what resonates deeply within you, rather than conforming to external expectations or societal norms.
  4. Mind-Body Connection: The heart has long been associated with emotions and intuition, not just metaphorically but also physiologically. Research in the field of psychophysiology has shown that the heart communicates with the brain and other parts of the body through neural pathways and the release of hormones and neurotransmitters. This interconnectedness suggests that our heart’s signals can influence our thoughts, feelings, and decision-making processes.
  5. Self-Reflection and Meditation: Practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and journaling can help facilitate listening to your heart. These activities create space for introspection, allowing you to quiet the mind, connect with your emotions, and tap into your inner guidance.

Overall, listening to your Heart involves cultivating self-awareness, trusting your intuition, and living in alignment with your true Self. It’s about embracing both the rational and emotional aspects of decision-making and finding a balance that honors your inner wisdom.

Why does this listening to the inner realm of your Self continue to be a theme in all these newsletters?  Because it matters.  It matters that you make a friend of your Self, an ally in good times and bad, a cheerleader in your corner, a safe haven to dwell.  And the more you can cultivate this habit – this practice – of taking time to listen to your Self, the better you will be able to navigate experiences that meet you along the Path.

BRIONGLÓID (BRING-low-id) refers to “dream” in Irish mythology.  

The concept of “brionglóid”  intertwines with tales of magic, longing, and the deep connections we share with nature. Among these tales is the enchanting story of Aengus, son of Dagda, whose dreams were visited by a vision of love and mystery on a warm, balmy summer’s night, fragrant with heather and honeysuckle.

Aengus’s encounter with the beautiful and ethereal young woman, who vanished before words could be exchanged, epitomizes the power of dreams to stir our deepest emotions and desires. His yearning for the mysterious visitor, who could only connect with him through the realm of dreams, speaks to the human experience of longing for connection, understanding, and love.

This tale also highlights the importance of rest and reflection, particularly as we transition from the quiet of Winter into the bustling energy of Spring. In our eagerness to embrace the longer days and the renewal of life, we, like Aengus, may find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of activity, our minds racing with plans and aspirations. Yet, the story reminds us of the necessity to pause, to dream, and to connect with the deeper rhythms of nature and our own hearts.

As Spring unfolds, let us take inspiration from Aengus’s brionglóid to cherish the quieter moments, the dreams that visit us in the night, and the messages they may hold. Let us remember that in the act of dreaming, we open ourselves to the wisdom of our subconscious, to the whispers of the natural world, and to the possibility of encountering our own visions of wonder and enchantment.  What visions come to us when we slow down and listen to the whispers of our hearts and the subtle stirrings of nature? How can we, like Aengus, open ourselves to the magic and messages that dreams offer, allowing them to enrich our understanding and deepen our connection to the world around us?

Change is happening.  The need to shift and assess where you are, and where you want to be, is a daily choice.  Make a list of what is working, what is no longer important, and what you are hoping to manifest this year.  Schedule an acupuncture treatment to help reinforce your vital Qi, and consider adding hypnosis to the session. While acupuncture induces balance in mind and body, hypnosis is incorporated to shift the habits that are holding you back from reaching your highest potential in health and well-being.  You deserve the life you’ve dreamed about.  Let me help you in your transformation journey!!

When you don’t pay attention to your intuition, or go against it, you may find that you feel a certain heaviness, lack of energy, a kind of deadness. This is because the life force is trying to come through and move you in a certain way, and it is being blocked.

~~  Shakti Gawain


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