I rise in the darkness to slip on warm clothes, heat water, pack tea, and head out.

I bike to Jai Rhythm for pre-dawn yoga with Eve, or walk up our hill (behind home) to practice asana solo.

I love this rhythm.

Practicing in community, sweating together under infrared heat to beating tunes and skillfully guided flow sequences, I feel connected and inspired, while learning new teaching and practicing styles. I bike to the Ocean afterwards for tea, journaling, and flashcards.

Practicing solo on the hill, I move in and out of poses, experimenting, flowing, perhaps dancing a little here, drawing a little there, following a formless form. My tea and journal join my practice, as do the dawn chorus songbirds, rising sun, rolling ocean, blooming flowers, and expansive sky.

I am grateful for both.


Current Journey

"This," Dr Stickley said, brandishing his hands as if holding a needle, "is your magic wand. Your key to the universe. Hold it with care." 

"Qi hua," said Dr Zhu, my fellow student at my new school, "What's that in English?" 
"Qi transformation." 
"Qi transformation. That's the key to this work." With a simple needle, you can affect positive change on at least 60% of your patients. If you do it right, it acts fast."
"Only 60%?" I ask. 
"That's a lot!" he looks at me incredulously, "You are helping a lot of people, especially as you continue in your practice, ten, twenty years from now." 

After needling my patient I sit, mind swirling from all the information I'm re-memorizing for board exams, and divergent information/ inspiration from fellow students, teachers, my own students, experiences, life, the world. 

I feel a stillness like after a storm after I complete a treatment, while waiting for the needles to do their work, before I go in to remove them. 

I remember Dr Stickley's passion, the way his eyes lit up and his hands danced, when he told treatment stories.

I remember Dr Bachelor's sweetness, the way he encouraged us to listen to our intuition first, then logic next during diagnosis, establishing clear internal rapport with myself as compassionate practitioner, and external rapport with patient as a very human human. 

At NUNM, I learned beautiful poetic stories of the great Scholar-Physicians as written by Sun Si Miao, and explained by Dr Wilms. 

I remember walking through rivers in Oregon, and along the Ocean in California, digesting information, flipping through flashcard piles. 

There were tears along this road, and I continue to shed tears: gratitude, frustration, more.

What a journey. 

I'm in the third week of a six month board exam preparation marathon. I feel deeply overwhelmed by the mounds of information I must re-learn, while in awe of the heights and depths of this medicine. I remain curious about where I go from here, while committed to my current journey: pass the Boards.