Every now and again I get to thinking about the moves I make, why I make them and how I can make them better for the next time. See, I am constantly moving. I will stay here or there for a while, but eventually I become uncomfortable in what was once new and has now become old. These moves do not always entail a physical relocation, often times they result in nothing more than a shift in my manner of inner thought and world view.
After finally making it a reasonable accommodation to do so, I took some much needed time off from graduate studies this past spring/summer. Just enough time to allow space for perspective, to be able to breathe once more. In simple terms; enough time to find my balance once again. One of the things I learned during this time was, those people who knew me would support the choices I made regardless of their own personal feelings and those who really didn’t know me would push me to stay and complete the program. This really doesn’t bother me; it’s always been like this. People see how good I am at something and think I should make it a career. If I were to use that method of decision making, I would be a lot of things I’m not truly happy doing.
Taking time off from AOMA was not a snap decision, nor is breaking away from AOMA and going a different direction with my studies and my life path. I have spent the last two and a half years considering taking a pause in my studies, but every time I would allow this thought to pass over my lips I felt as though I would be quitting, giving-up or walking away from a gift. It took over two years for me to be comfortable to making a move. While I still have reservations about doing so I know a few things to be true: I am sleeping better than I have in four years, I am less stressed, I am pleasant for others to be around, I am eating again, I feel refreshed, I have not had to rely on herbal remedies to facilitate any of these results, I am learning how to have fun again, I AM HAPPY!
It took me some 10 years to obtain this little piece of paper that now hangs on a wall that says to the rest of the world that I have accomplished something worth accomplishing. It bears the name of an academic institution, a date, my name and the accomplishment, and while I am very proud of this accomplishment it would mean absolutely nothing if I had achieved it for the wrong reasons, because I felt obligated to do so, because others felt that it was important or because I required it to have a job I would not be happy or at the very least content in having.
So what is it to finish AOMA for me? Finishing AOMA would mean settling for something, for the first time in my life forcing myself to continue a path I was not meant to continue at that time. The world works in circles, and this too has come full circle and will again come round in time. This departure is not a good-bye as much as it is an opportunity for me to go another path for a while and learn the lessons I require so that I might be prepared to return to medicine one day, when I am ready.
Traditional Medicine teaches us to remain mindful of ourselves, and to remain flexible to change and growth. When Qi and Xue are abundant within us this is when we are the most capable of navigating our ever changing environment. To seek out means of soothing the Qi and cooling the xue, less we develop Yu and Xu that result in other ailments. So, to those colleagues who have not understood or supported this transformation and shift, I ask you to reflect on the foundations of our medicine that can be found in the five-elements, generating and controlling cycles. For me AOMA has become an “over-controlling” cycle, when it should have been and remained a “generating-cycle.” I have sought out and found a means of treating this without causing more harm, instead resulting in a more balanced state of being. This is what we wish so many of our patients would do, to take responsibility of their situations and ailments to effectively create change and health within themselves. I cannot change AOMA, and I cannot and will not undo the very valuable lessons I have learned while a student there.
For so many years my education was out of my hands, career responsibilities and natural disasters made me a passenger to the whims of other people. For the first time in my adult life I have the ability to sit in the driver’s seat and take the wheel, steering in a direction I choose, not because it is the only option but because it is with my own dreams and aspirations in mind.