Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The way ahead.

Now starring in Third Space Wellness!

Third Space is a new wellness center coming to downtown Silver Spring, Maryland soon! For more information visit our* new website.

*Our refers to myself, Joy Andrews and Samantha (Sam) Dublin. We are colleagues on a mission to bring wellness to the community in a fun, engaging and educational way. We are looking forward to bringing you incredible services and classes, and many ways to connect with others.

We are currently seeking donations and are offering investment opportunities to help us generate the capital we need in order to open our center. Visit our campaign now!

We will be bringing you new content on our new blog, a collective of writing from each of us.

Thank you for your continued support and interest, it has been a true pleasure writing for you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Organic or...?

There's quite a bit of hubbub about food and the conversation is growing. I want to point out, as I like to do, that we are each unique in our choices, and our requirements for everything - medical attention, food, exercise...the list goes on. I think it is important that we honor one another's choices about food, whether or not we are in agreement.

Food can be a very heated discussion, it's becoming one of these topics that many people avoid on purpose - no different than religion or politics. When "organic" comes up, I've noticed there can be a lot of judgement around what people are choosing...If they don't buy-in, some of us turn up our noses because we believe that eating organically is important - and we wonder - how could someone not be into this? Or, don't they know they are poisoning themselves? On the flip side are those of us who turn up our noses at the folks who do buy organic because it is so expensive, and seems snobby or silly - how could someone spend money on this? And, isn't is stupid? Or, it's just a fad. Either way, both sides can be nasty about it, and that is what's silly!

I'm making a call for compassion and open-mindedness. Let's be kind to one another about the choices we each individually make for ourselves and our families.

So, here is an article that I find simple, clean and to the point regarding the "organic" conversation. In general I am pretty impressed with what I have read in the Huffington Post, it's a great resource for good content. I hope this is helpful for anyone who is curious about organic food and maybe even new to the idea.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Free "shutdown stress relief" acupuncture sessions 10/1/13

The DC area is a buzz with shutdown. 

Are you having a bit of a challenge calming down about this? Maybe your mind is busy or your heart is racing...or like my colleague Joy Andrews says, "are you wandering around aimlessly with no office to go to?"

If yes, we are here to help! Joy and I will be offering free group-style acupuncture to all of the federal employees and contractors who are affected by the government shutdown.

When: TODAY 10/1/2013 from 2 - 6 p.m.

Where: A pop-up location in Silver Spring, metro accessible. Email rachel@acupuncturewithrachel.com for the address.

See you soon!
And, if you cannot get here today...take 3 deep breaths. Feel your feel when you do these. Let yourself come back into your body and then take the day from there.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sound Impact; Guest Blog

I've been fortunate to contribute a piece to Sound Impact, a new organization! The serve an excellent cause and do so in a truly creative and engaging fashion.

Irrevocably Connected and Making a Difference, Together

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering and Living

12 years later, I still stumble and pause every time I am about to enter something on my calendar for September 11. For about two weeks ahead of the date, sometimes more, I have trouble considering that this day, is another day like any other.

And then I forget the dates, what day of the week I am living in, and I make my way out of the house as per usual.

On the highway today I became aware of the date again - It's Wednesday. It's 9/11. I cannot believe I am driving along the highway - living normally on a day that in 2001 was so incredibly un-normal. And wondering how it was that any of us can operate as per usual on this kind of day of rememberance.

Then I had a flashback to being 16 years old on a trip to Europe. It was 1996 and I was visiting Terezin, a concentration camp. People live there now...kids ride bicycles and eat ice cream cones. People live. And, I had a difficult time understanding this, and was angry even, as I lit my yahrzeit candle alongside the train-tracks where my people had been delivered.

It was in this moment of remembering that I realized how judgmental I had been at that time of 16. After all, here I am driving along the highway on my way to live my regular life. I am doing this on a day that is painful for many of us (if not all of us) and especially my family. I am doing regular life on a day where many mark the loss - the yahrzeit - of a very close, dear loved one. And who am I to judge?

Somehow, life must go on.

If in every place, day or moment life could not exist because death had occurred there or then, we would have no life.

So, now what I am wondering is how to hold both. How is it that I will hold remembering and honoring - practicing this alongside living into the next moment and allowing tomorrow to flourish? How will you?

With love and rememberance,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The light has changed.

I first noticed it on my drive this morning - about 8:30 a.m.

The sunlight was shining on me differently - a different angle, a different color. More diagonally and a warmer, more golden color than the brighter sunshine of the summertime.

It's autumn.

We've been moving into it over these last few weeks, a fallen leaf here or there. A deepening of my breath and relaxing of my shoulders. Even the temperature these past two nights is cool and crisp. We have arrived into the next movement of seasons.

It's a different sensation of participation in life - less of the higher, pumped-up action of summer barbecues, pool-time and running around for errands and social events. Even with life moving fast because schools have started again, things feel slower to me - like each step I take requires some effort, and some purpose. I am no longer lazily moving about in parking lots or hallways, just hanging out.

I've noticed that as the autumn sets in I have been looking inward at myself more closely, noticing the circumstances and decisions that are challenging for me, and noticing where I have managed to get in my own way and cause myself suffering. As I look into this mirror reflecting my past back at me, I ask myself - how am I going to choose to be now?

You see, I am at a pivotal juncture in my life - aren't we all? I am in the process of starting a business, building a new practice, being a new practitioner out of school, learning Chinese herbal medicine...and that's only the professional list. I am also learning how to support my husband as he expands his scope and time at work, how to run a home and be a homeowner, how to cook new healthful meals and even how to tend my cats properly as their needs change. My friendships continue to shift and evolve as new friends arrive to the scene, babies are born, people move away or closer by.

Life is always moving... This busy life offers many opportunities for decision making. Some are small - like, what to buy for dinner. Others are huge, like, how to structure our business and wellness center. Then there is the "when" and "how" to do everything too.

Somehow in the midst of all of this I have learned to be peaceful. Sure, I have the occasional freakout which is typically some kind of aggravation about dishes or laundry, followed by yelling at hubby and then eventually bursting into tears. And sure, sometimes it looks like spouting off an email too quickly before I've really considered a response. Though, not too many years ago I was in a constant state of these upsets and fast reactions. I was asleep when I should be awake and visa versa. I had acid reflux almost all of the time. I was twisted up with stress in every part of my being. Today, not so much. I breathe deeply, I sleep well, I am not malnourished. My mind is not racing and clogged up with thoughts and to-do lists. Generally, I am more peaceful and when the waves of crazy arrive, I ride them more gracefully.

Hence, it is from this place of peace that I even have the capacity to ask myself - how am I going to choose to be now that things feel a bit busy? How am I going to be when some of these decisions feel like a very big deal? How will I go about this?

This time of year offers an opportunity to let go of that which no longer serves. This is a time of year for looking at the greater good, and listening to the truth deep within and then moving forward on a path aligned.

As the temperature cools and the sun starts setting earlier, I am slowing down. I've decided to allow myself to be pensive. I am making room for listening to my heart and arriving at big decisions instead of making them.

In arriving at these "big deal" decisions I know I am staking a claim on the future somehow, I am choosing one thing and not another. I might be missing out on something. And my experience of life will be different because of it. I've always struggled with this - it's uncomfortable for me. I get nervous - worried (worried equals shallow breathing and forehead wrinkles) like I will make the wrong choice.

However, this is an opportunity to brave forward into the unknown of one choice with full awareness that I am leaving something else behind. Grief is the celebration of that which is lost, something of value. Anytime a line is drawn in the sand there is a loss to bear and a future to honor. Yes, I will be missing out on one thing yet it is because I have elected to experience another. Maybe there will be tears, or discomfort of some sort. It's part of riding the wave.

And those little decisions - they need not require so much attention, so I am cutting my losses and making them with greater speed and less thoughtfulness - after all, it's just dinner...green beans or broccoli...not a big deal.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I gave myself a headache.

Yesterday, in a moment of both silly and total humanity I made a choice that changed my day. I ordered an egg roll.

Now, you might wonder...what could one little egg roll do? How could it play such a significant role in the unfolding of the rest of my day? Well, I will tell you.

The thing is, that eggs and I do not much play well together.

It's not that we don't like one another. Truly. I have the utmost respect for eggs. Their taste, texture, the incredible amount of dishes you can create with them. The collagen. I mean, the list for pro-eggs goes on and on! The only problem is that when I eat them, I get a colossal headache. Like, seriously seriously bad.

We've had a good history together too, so I am incredibly sad that this is the case. I have grieved our time together over the years. The eggs my dad would make me for breakfast. Eggdrop soup when I tired of chicken soup while feeling under the weather. Moments of unlimited baked-goods eating. Even my late night Denny's visits for one over-easy fried egg with a banana milkshake (weird combo to you, delicious to me) - these were good times during my camp counselor days (Mosh shout out!).

Yesterday though was the absolute pits. And it reminded me that I have choices. Take care of myself or don't take care of myself. Simple.

I chose not too yesterday when I absentmindedly ordered the delicious egg roll. In return, I spent the entire rest of my day with a painful migraine, nauseated, feeling my face changing colors and with hot and cold sweats. It took everything I had, seriously, not to pass-out or vomit all over the people I saw in my treatment room. I'm being brutally honest here to make a point though. I felt that terrible - it was difficult for me to stay present. I took extra special care yesterday to practice my skills as a practitioner - to be present enough to listen, look, feel and ask questions. It was a good practice for me. I take my responsibility as a health care provider quite seriously - it's important to me that I am fully present and available to those who entrust me in their care.

So, what I am offering to you is this...some questions.

What is it, in your life, that you absentmindedly or knowingly do or not do which has a significant impact on how well you feel? And how does this impact how present you are to the life you are living? Do you feel amazing, and take care of yourself? Therefor giving all of your fabulous gifts away at home and at work with ease? Or, do you feel like crap in some way - bad mood, constant tummy ache, headache, or pain, etc.? If so, does this makes it a challenge for you to be patient, be open-minded and do the things you are talented at?

Our body gives us the keys for self care if we learn to listen. Yesterday, in my moment of not listening, I gave myself a doozy of a headache. It's ok, no judgement...I just had a yucky experience of being in my body. It was a great reminder.

Next time I will remember...no egg roll. It doesn't serve me, and it doesn't serve the greater good.