When I dropped my husband off at work this morning he asked, "so what are you going to do today?" to which I replied, "acupuncture and al anon." We both laughed and shot each other a warm look of understanding and acceptance without words....and more importantly loving how peculiar and unique the object of our affection is.
I have to say I am pretty excited that this is the second Tuesday in a row that I have had al anon and acupuncture on my agenda. I will sprinkle in a little writing, a quick photogging adventure in the freezing cold park and some afternoon yoga. Perfection! (To me at least). On days like today I know that when I lay my head down to sleep at night, I will feel so cared for. Self-care is so incredibly critical in my world, because so often I focus on caring for those around me until the point of depletion and exhaustion. It's obvious at those times that I need to focus my attention inward, because my body and mind literally give out....I have no choice. But, it's more important for me to try to bring some self-care into every one of my days so I don't reach that point, because it's not enjoyable for anyone when I operate in boom and bust. At any rate, I am a new devotee of self-care, and I am growing more comfortable with it after almost 2 years of practicing, but I still have a ways to go.
Al anon is one of the huge ways I take care of myself. When I am in those rooms, I instantly feel safe, loved, accepted, validated and strong. It isn't always easy, but it's a necessary part of my recovery from the effects of alcoholism. But, acupuncture is a very new addition to my life! I am really excited about where it might take me, and I'm actually quite shocked that it's taken my alternative medicine lovin' ass so long to try it! I think I was scarred by the years I spent accompanying my mother to her acupuncture appointments. She took me into the room with her from the time I was a baby and there was something about seeing my mom covered in needles that terrified me and turned me off.
I've only had one appointment so far, but it was an incredible experience in which I felt a strange warmth and energy coursing through my body until reaching a state I'd liken to meditative. I am very sensitive to energy therapy of any sort and am already on board with much of the basic philosophy so I should be a quick convert. One of the ideas I already feel comfortable with is the application of the 5 elements of nature (fire, earth, metal, water, wood), of which everything on earth is comprised of (so they say), because it is something I have seen before in my exposure to Feng Shui, Buddhism, yoga and Ayurveda (although a bit different in each of these practices). I tend to think about the 5 elements of nature quite a bit and have designed the interior of my apartment to reflect them, so it's safe to say I am open to learning more about Chinese medicine.
I am hoping, when I work up the courage to ask my acupuncturist, I will be able to take some photographs of my husband covered in needles. I have so many ideas! Although, the room she practices in isn't the best backdrop. For now, I am off to enjoy my day of self-care! I hope you take at least 5 minutes today to enjoy something that is just for you, something you love....or just to breathe deeply. The only person who can truly take care of you is you so get to it!