Thwack thwack thwack

[What I had for breakfast this morning: The usual--an egg, jasmine rice, freshly-picked kale out of the garden and Adam's homemade sriracha.]

A few weeks ago, I moved my private practice, The Saxena Clinic, out of the office that Adam and I lovingly and painstakingly put together eight years ago and into a vibrant collaborative wellness center anchored by a terrific yoga studio. I'm sharing a floor with a variety of incredible holistic practitioners, and I couldn't be happier. 


See? So happy. My plants also could not be happier, especially about that great big window!

I was scheduled to open my doors here at the new space on March 1, but everything got in the way: all the things that one has to do when moving a business were going all haywire all over the place. And then Adam, who is my painter and handyman and general executor of all things, got the flu. And then I got the flu and Kamal did, too, days before I was supposed to start seeing patients here. We were all sick, and I was still desperately trying to make this move happen. I texted my friend Anne, who is very sensible, about how stressed and overwhelmed I felt, and she called me on the phone (which, like, nobody ever does anymore, which makes me think my texts sounded really desperate) and offered this piece of priceless counsel: Why don't you just push your move out a week? 

And as soon as she made that suggestion, I felt such profound relief. I was sick, and practitioners shouldn't be treating patients when they're sick, anyway. Moreover, I didn't have an office in which to receive patients. I was trying to make an impossible situation work, and that is never healthy or productive. 

You know when you're on a hiking path, and sometimes a branch comes out of nowhere and hits you in the face? That's annoying. But you keep following the path, and you know it's a path because it's cleared enough that you can walk on it and because most of the time branches are not hitting you in the face. 

But if you turn and suddenly branches are hitting you in the face over and over again--thwack thwack thwack--then it behooves you to notice that. It behooves you to consider: maybe this is not my path. 

The most fundamental tenet of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, the most basic goal of every treatment, is not to fix your tendonitis or address your depression or stoke your metabolism. The goal is, always, to put you on your right path. You know when you're in that place, where everything feels good and supported and strong, where great opportunities are just flying your way, and where it's easy to tell the difference between challenges that you're meant to learn from and obstacles you're meant to avoid? That's being on your right path. Good health is just a happy side effect of being there. 

In all of my eagerness and excitement to move in to my new space, I'd stepped off my right path. And all those branches thwacking me in the face I ignored, stubbornly and blindly trudging ahead, until one big branch, named The Flu That Will Sideline Your Entire Family, knocked me soundly onto my ass and made me reach out to a friend who, lucky for me, is awfully smart. 

I cancelled all my patients for the week, and they were all, of course, very understanding. I moved in, but more slowly, in a more realistic way. I focused on starting right in this new place and gave up on the idea of starting right away.  Adam painted a beautiful ombré effect all over the walls, I meticulously lined plants along the south-facing window, wonderful friends came to help me move and gauge space and brainstorm decor. Like my plants, I'm here now, settled and safe, basking, thriving, and growing a little bit more every day.  I've found my way back to walking my right path, whole, healed, and ready to help others find their right path, too. 

All that was needed was a little space, just a little room to breathe and look around before my next step. What about you? What branches thwack you in the face? What's steered you away from your right path? What brings you back?