Last weekend was another opportunity of reflection… but instead of water I found myself wondering forests with friends (originally we were looking for pokemon, then we got distract by the beautiful trees and decided to go forest walking instead…. the right decision definitely).
I ended up in High Park (see picture) which is absolutely beautiful. The most amazing thing about the park is not the trees, but the ground. Because it is a combination of roots, soil and peat, the ground has a bounce to it when you walk on it. The ground literally lifts you up! I was mesmerized by this effect, something so simple but so powerful. It’s the simplicity of nature which is most amazing… we just need to acknowledge it.
This experience reminded me of a day I had in clinic. I was performing acupuncture on one patient, and they commented on how the only needles they could feel (ie. the energy from the needles) were the ones on their feet, and they asked why that was. I thought about it then answered that it was because we spend so much time in our heads that we ignore our feet/legs, hence why we are aware of the energy more when it’s there. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true that statement is. How often do we focus on our feet or the ground beneath it? How well do we ground or stabilize? How often do we focus on our roots in appreciation? It comes back to focus, or perspective. If we live in our heads, we lose our ability to ground (leading to common conditions like anxiety, insomnia, headaches, dizziness and fatigue).
My next patient was able to enlighten me with a realization she came up with that weekend. I am so appreciative of my patients as they help me grow and learn, and love to hear the wonderful “tidbits” they come up with on their health journeys. They had said that accomplishments are not what you have externally (relationships, career, money, physicality, etc.) but how you grow internally. Being happy and living life to the fullest is an accomplishment. So often in society we measure our self worth by our external accomplishments but never our internal (because they are things that cannot be shown but only felt). Once again it’s about changing your perspective. It’s not about what you have, but about who you are and embracing that. Embracing who you are is the ultimate accomplishment, and it’s also a pivotal step to being healthy and happy.