Abundant Splendor

ivy 2Ever since the birth of my daughter a month ago, I have noticed a shift in my perspective.  It’s not about motherhood necessarily, but rather an overwhelming sense of being blessed and having abundance in my life.  Prior to the baby being born, or even us planning to have a baby, the question of money and whether or not we could afford to have a baby was quite present.  I wasn’t sure how we would make it work.  While we ran numbers and figured out what it would take on our end, we got very clear about what was important and what wasn’t to us: what were unnecessary expenses, where I was being too indulgent with my acupuncture patients, where we could charge more money for services we provided, or where we could cut some hours on the road.

With this clarity, an amazing thing happened.  Money started pouring in from all over the place.  We talked about my husband’s need for a new computer, and the next day his parents gave us a check that would cover that expense, just out of the blue without knowing about that need.  I started getting many phone calls from new patients wanting to start acupuncture treatments or get a feng shui consultation.  Delayed payments that had been billed began to arrive.  Coupons and rewards for free or discounted baby items and other things poured into my email inbox.  I was able to find ridiculously great deals on things we needed, used on Craigslist.  It goes on and on, and continues to go on.

In acupuncture, we have names for the 365+ acupuncture points located on the body.  One of the names of the points is Abundant Splendor.  It has always been one of my favorite points.  Each point has a “spirit” that goes along with it, and as you may be able to imagine, Abundant Splendor is all about the abundance of life, and realizing what you have to be grateful for.  It’s the Thanksgiving cornucopia in a single point.

When my baby arrived, it was like everything fell into place (albeit a seriously sleep-deprived place…), and the mentality of abundance was just THERE.  Abundance without fear of instability.  Fear was replaced by an unshakable faith.  Maybe not even faith so much as truly being able to see all the gifts that I have been given, rather than mentally check them off some sort of gratitude list I’d create to do my best to stop myself from freaking out about whatever was stressing me at the time.  It is easy to get caught up in the day to day goings on, to get concerned about finances, to worry about a multitude of things.  What is more challenging is to admit that life is pretty great most of the time, and just live into that.  Live as if everything you already want is happening, now.  What is even more challenging beyond that, is that when things happen that you may be in the practice of labeling as “negative” or “bad”…for example, if a patient cancels an appointment, in my case…is letting that go, and continuing to believe that your life is abundant and that good will continue to come your way.

So ask yourself, are you living in abundance?  Living as though life is excellent, or living as though life could be better “only if”…?  Say things never change from your current state.  Is this enough or will you always want for what you don’t have?  Being gracious in the now allows for less suffering.  Why not live with more ease in your life?
– Jen 🙂

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What can you let go?

In Chinese Medicine, the season of Fall is the time of letting go.  Just like the trees let go of the leaves they no longer need, in order to create space for the new leaves to come, we too must let go of the things in our lives that no longer serve us, in order to create future opportunities.

Consider what you may be able to let go of this season.  Is it a particular way of being, a bad habit, or a relationship that isn’t mutually satisfying?  Do you need to go through your home and get rid of physical items that you no longer use or love?  Do you need to let go of a certain fear that is holding you back from living the life you want?

Remove the “debris” from your life, and make space for exciting new possibilities.  Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to share what you are letting go of this season!

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WFD?

I’ve seen this shorthand phrase over and over in my Facebook group for other moms-to-be, and it stands for “what’s for dinner?” Well, not only do starving pregnant women want to know and be inspired, but many people find themselves asking that question every night.

Instead of making another call to the local takeout place or going to a drive through, take some time to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of this late summer season. At no time of the year are fruits and veggies more plentiful than right now.

Get inspired to integrate more whole foods into your diet with these yummy summertime ideas:

GRILLED FRUITS:
* Grilled Nectarines or Peaches drizzled with a little local honey and chopped nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds would be great!)

* Grilled pineapple spears with lime zest (and a little rum if you’re feeling festive!!)

* Grilled honeydew and watermelon slices

SNACKS & MAIN COURSES:

* gluten free bread with chevre goat cheese, sliced organic tomatoes, and a few baby lettuce leaves (a little salt and pepper are optional, or even a drizzle of olive oil)

* kale salad with olive oil (massage oil into leaves to soften), fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper

* roasted halved cherry or grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano and thyme (great on their own or in a salad!)

* pork tenderloin cooked with fresh apricots

* soup (who said soup was just for the fall and winter??)- fire roasted tomato soup, veggie soups, or even chili is great!

* sauteed zucchini and squash with onions, olive oil, salt and pepper

* eggplant, kale, and mushrooms sauteed with harissa

I could go on and on. Every winter I know I dream of the bounty of fruits and veggies that we have at this time of the year, so make sure not to waste it!

Do you have any good ideas or recipes? Share them with me on Facebook or Twitter!

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I’ve been MIA lately…

Hi all,

Admittedly, I’ve been MIA lately.  The end of last year and beginning of this year have brought some interesting challenges, surprises, and even manifestations of dreams I’ve had for quite a while, so you could say that I have been busy!

Back in December, I was in a car accident for the second time that year, but unlike the first time, in the latest accident, I was not at fault.  Oftentimes car crashes are wake up calls, or perhaps bring other lessons.  This last time, I’m not sure what that lesson was…but sometimes we are put in a place to stop the damage from being worse.  See, the guy who hit me had not taken his diabetes medication, and didn’t even remember driving down the street.  He hit me at a major intersection, and if he had not hit me, he might have made it onto a big road, and possibly could have injured or killed people, himself included.  If he hadn’t made it on the road, there was a nice big pole he might have hit as well.  So sometimes we just don’t know.  Fortunately I was not badly hurt, though my poor car had to get its whole driver’s side reconstructed.

Soon thereafter, in March, my husband and I learned that we were pregnant, and so now I’m just about 4 months pregnant.  I actually got pregnant very quickly after we started trying, which I attribute to the cleanse and my healthy lifestyle.  Being pregnant has been quite a shift, and it’s been a challenge going from someone who ate very well and was connected to my body, to being someone who is almost at the mercy of what this little being inside me wants.  While I’m doing my best to cherish this short time that I have left with our baby inside me, I kind of also can’t wait to get back to feeling like myself and eating what *I* want!!

Being pregnant has also been an excuse for me to slow down and just take some time to myself…thus why I kind of went MIA especially the last 4 months.  I have to relearn what my body can handle, what yoga poses I have to hold off on, and so much more.  I don’t even want to start thinking about starting a registry!  Whew!

Anyway, one manifestation of my dream that I wanted to share is that back at the beginning of May, I finally started working at my acupuncture school, Tai Sophia Institute, where I am surrounded with great coworkers and such a positive environment.  I am going to start teaching next week, which I am super psyched about, because I’ve always wanted to teach.  The best part is, it’s all part-time, which allows me to continue my acupuncture practice, to keep telling people about the cleanse, and all of my other endeavors!

So my big dreams for the rest of this year include: a beautiful healthy baby, more and more teaching so that I become more permanent faculty, spreading the cleanse to tons more people, and more acupuncture patients so I can help more people.  Connect with me on Facebook through our webpage, The 21 Day Chinese Medicine Cleanse, and share what your dreams for the rest of this year are!

All the best,

Jen 🙂

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Why do we wait?

We always seem to wait until the New Year to think about things that we want, what we hope to do differently, and how this year we will be the person we were always meant to be.  This year I will lose weight.  This year I will quit smoking.  This year I will find the love of my life.  This year I will write that book.  This year I will do it all.

When we give ourselves a time limit and huge goals, we are setting ourselves up for failure.  We want it all and we want it now, and so when we don’t lose the 20 lbs by February, or we’ve done match.com and eharmony and every online dating site and not found “the one,” we throw our hands up.  Big change, which is usually what we go for at New Year’s, is not so easy to attain a lot of the time.  At least it doesn’t usually happen that way; it takes its time, and requires hard work and patience.

Why do we wait for the New Year to start going after what we want?  Why do we wait to live the life we always wanted?  Do you really need to shove more cookies and alcohol down your throat this week and feel terrible, instead of getting a head start and feeling great today and not feeling guilty if you indulge a little on New Year’s Eve?  What’s stopping you from going to the gym?  Why not go out on more dates and see it as an opportunity to meet people and figure out what you want in a partner?  Why not tackle your finances and see where you could cut spending, or where you could pick up some work to make a little extra (or hey, maybe ask the boss for a raise!!)?

See, every day can be viewed like New Year’s.  Every day we can start over if we got a little derailed.  Every day we can manifest what we want in this life, and make choices according to that.  Is it more work to think about your choices before you make them?  Yes.  Does that mean you can’t indulge every now and then or take a break from time to time?  No.  When you try things that work and make you feel good, then that becomes motivation to keep you going.  I know that when I eat according to The 21 Day Chinese Medicine Cleanse, I feel great.  Did I indulge for Christmas?  Sure did.  I bloated up and gained weight.  But this week, I’ve cut back, gotten on track, and now all the weight just fell off.  I have my flat tummy and I’m feeling great heading into New Year’s Eve, knowing that I’ll have a couple drinks and probably some bar food, and that’s totally ok!  The thing is, I feel great when I eat according to my cleanse, and so that motivates me to keep doing it.  Because I did it for over 3 weeks, I made it into a habit, so I don’t have to despair if I binge for a week on Christmas cookies and rice pudding and stuffing, because I know I can get back on track.  I made sure I really enjoyed those items, and only have them that one time of the year.  Because I know that every day I have choices and I can commit to the healthy ones, I can easily get back on track.

It doesn’t matter what your desires are, whether it is to stop smoking or drinking, to learn a new language, to try a new cuisine or learn cooking, or to find the love of your life.  Every day you can commit to yourself and your wellbeing and make that choice, consciously.  If you have a serious problem, get help or medical intervention.  Don’t be afraid to not go it alone.  Form support teams, talk to others, or do anything you need to help yourself out in living the life you want.

So rather than creating New Year’s Resolutions, ask yourself what it is that you want for yourself TODAY and EVERY DAY, and start NOW.  Feel free to share your goals!

Happy New Year,

Jen 🙂

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