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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine on Kauai Blog. Specializing in pain, fertility and chronic health challenges.


Stop, Look and Listen: the Beautiful Now

Carrie Hodder

Like many of us, my personality always collects things to do.  More and more...  Over time I have burnt myself out, again and again... Through trial and error I have internalized the mighty importance of marrying the me who has lots to do with the 'me who just is'.  Attempting to bring breath and presence into all, or at least most, of my moments.  This has been a long time coming and a result of stressing myself out with Master's level study and juggling way to much.  Going far, far, far into anxiety held the precious blessing of learning how to practice presence and breath. Practicing presence and breath is the ultimate antidote to stress.  While, Chinese herbs and acupuncture help to re-pattern the stress response. And reducing the stimulants (coffee, chocolate, mate', tea) makes the healing into peace much quicker.

How much are you juggling?

Balance = Joy

Balance = Joy

I, probably like you, have perfected the relationship with the doer in me.  It's the 'me who just is' that me and most of my patients neglect. Everything in life holds a yin and a yang aspect, the 'me who just is' is no different.  On the one hand, the 'me who just is' sleeps in, takes long walks, takes picnics, watches the sunset, takes days off, goes to the beach, lays in the grass, floats in the ocean, rests in the hammock, rests in the sunshine, rests.  On the other hand the the 'me who just is' also notices the beauty of the clouds as I drive to work.  Notices the fullness of my breath as I drive to work.  Notices my posture as I drive to work. Chooses music that will uplift me before my drive to work.  Feels the wind in my hair, smells the ocean and rain.  Feels the sadness or gladness in my heart. The 'me who just is' practices presence and breathes deep. 

Both sides of the 'me who just is' are worth examining.  First, do you schedule in relaxing me time.  Second, do you enjoy life. 

This is so important because almost all of my patients are burning themselves out, running themselves ragged, abusing there sweet little adrenal glands.  Too much fight or flight energy, zooming around from task to task with out enjoyment. Eek!  Bad news bears!  Resting and presence will re-pattern the whole system.  Instead of go, go, go... how about breathe, breathe, breathe, enjoy. A joyful life!

Stop, see the world around you, hear your breath.  Stop, see the gratitude in your heart, hear the birds sing.  Stop, see the beauty, hear the car wiz past.  Stop, see their eyes, hear their voice.  Stop, see your purpose, hear your presence.

Stop, see the world around you, hear your breath.  Stop, see the gratitude in your heart, hear the birds sing.  Stop, see the beauty, hear the car wiz past.  Stop, see their eyes, hear their voice.  Stop, see your purpose, hear your presence.

Use your iphone alarm to remind you, "this is my time to stop, look and listen.  To feel, smell and most importantly breathe.  Maybe every 10 minutes, maybe once an hour, maybe a few times a day.  Maybe at every stop light.  Maybe with every meal you stop, see the gratitude in your heart and hear the breath in your lungs.  Day by day a new habit is born.  The habit of stop, look and listen.  The habit of deep breathing and enjoying.  The habit of self connecting. You work up to enjoying all your time, enjoying being alive.  And enjoying taking really great care of you.  Because you can't take really great care of anyone else till you take really great care of you. 

Find yourself with an extra 10 minutes, do you go to your Facebook or do you sit and enjoy your breath, feel your feelings? 

Your doer may not like this sort of goofing off.  "You have things to do" your doer says in a serious voice.  Of utmost importance to note is that many of the activities that the doer takes part in can easily be shifted into the 'me who just is' realm.  The ultimate balancing of the yin and yang.  

Feel your feet on the earth.

Feel your feet on the earth.

For example, working in the garden.  If working in your garden is on your list of things to do and is a chore to finish and the conclusion is the gift then it's on the doer side.  If working in the garden is a choice you make that feels luxurious, with the sun upon your back and the dirt under your toes.  If it feels like a gift to yourself and you are actively enjoying sensations and breath then you are in the 'me who just is' realm.  You are in 'rest and digest' and you are not stressed.

Making choices in order to stress less and less.

How can you shift your consciousness so that driving to work, working and eating dinner all are wonderful expressions of living?  How can every doer task be a joy.  How can you have a day full of doing with no stress.  No taxing your adrenal glands.

Yes, replacing stress with breath and joy.  Enjoying our precious days here on Earth.

This is fundamental for our healthy longevity because the more we are in breath and joy, the more that we are in 'the me who just is', the more we are in the parasympathetic nervous system the healthier we are.  No question, stress kills.  Stress causes suffering.  Let stress go. Breathe stress out.

To do and to be simultaneously.

This way we are not burning our adrenals.  We are not depleting the precious Kidney Qi that is our finite source in Chinese medical theory.  We were born with only so much and the more we drain the less we have.  The more stress we have the less health we have.

On the flip side, our bodies are getting healthier day by day as we choose peace and joy instead of stress.  Our adrenals can finally relax as we walk calmly from task to task breathing deeply and feeling gratitude in our hearts.  The more joy we have the healthier we are.  The more peace we have the healthier we are.

Joy and peace is a choice.  A choice we make moment by moment day by day. Let's grow healthier.

I help people live more whole lives. Go ahead and give me a call.  (808) 212-4437

Yours Truly,

Carrie 'Karu' Hodder LAc MAcOM