Sunday, June 26, 2011

Processing the nutty moments at the speed of life

Last week was chock full o' nuts: outrageously nutty moments and big, crunchy, healthy moments.

I unexpectedly had to coordinate, via ambulance, getting my husband to an ER because his back decided to  take a vacation and stop moving. I took a comprehensive exam over everything I've learned in school over the past year and a half. And started studying for another comp exam coming up. I treated my first individual patient in a clinic setting (up until now I treated patients in groups with ear points). I witnessed an author and 'healer' perform a healing on my boss at work (that happens in most offices, right?!). I interviewed an apartment (yes I looked it up and down and asked it very serious questions) prior to the impending M word (m-o-v-e). I mustered up a nauseating headache that kept me in bed for about 18 hours. I lost control of my tear ducts and cried through one friend and my acupuncturist for a few hours. And that's just the half of it.

And I learned something: pausing to process is really important to me. In Chinese medicine, the stomach and spleen are in charge of processing - not just the food we eat but also our life experiences. The ancient Chinese medicine books described one's body, mind, and spirit as an integrated being- meaning our organs don't just function on a purely physical level, they also affect how we operate in life - how we think, how we emote, how we believe. The reverse is also true: how we operate in life can affect us on a physical level including symptoms that show up in our organs. So the stomach and spleen are viewed as the organs that help us break down and assimilate everything that comes into our human inbox - the food we eat as well as the movies we watch, the books we read, the people we meet, and the experiences we absorb.

My internal processing plant got a little clogged with the volume of new experiences that were coming my way (you know the famous scene of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory). This translated into a headache ("brain cannot compute!"), nausea, and loss of appetite for me. Last week was a perfect reminder that when the crazy hits the fan, I can roll with the punches easier if I can build in practices to help me process. And for me that includes talking it out, writing it out, stopping to think it out, stretching and yoga-ing it out, or if there's no time for any of that, a solitary freak out moment in the car, closet, or bathroom work nicely too.

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