Recently I've started to hear this more often than not:
"I have a really intense month this week with work - it's going to be hard to commit to what you're asking from me."
"I'm in back to back's and usually don't have lunch until 2pm."
"It's been a crazy morning - I have't eaten all day and I'm just heading out to grab a bite (at 12noon)."
I get it - I've been there. My initial response to my clients complaining about their busy work days and back to back weeks was to cut them some slack with their nutrition and food therapy plans. I thought - ok let's bend the rules a bit. With the hectic schedule it will be hard to stick to the plan since 100% adherence won't be possible.
This is what my INITIAL response was due to deep wired habits. 5+ years in consulting at a big 4 can do that to you. After thinking about this some more, I realized it is exactly during these chaotic forgetting-about-ourselves-times that we make the most damage. It is exactly during these times that we need to be even MORE rigorous about enforcing discipline to have a daily standing meeting with ourselves - a 5 minute non-distracted check in with our body.
These so called hurricane-like days and weeks are exactly what creates the deep dissociation between our body and the senses of the self. And the longer we wait, the greater that disconnection grows - the greater the health in balance - the longer the journey will be to return to balance.
When we wait, we risk the allowing our bodies to suffer from the compounding affect of feelings of being unwell in the body - we don't realize how energy stagnation, disorders due to the accumulation of stress, and general exhaustion or feelings of unwell in the body.
As someone who has churned through the washer with a first taste to constant disturbance in any set of routine from the volatility of corporate consulting life, I am grateful to have had this experience to help you identify with that feeling and what it's like to do that to the body - blasting through emails during lunch fiercely multitasking - maybe skip lunch all together. What we don't realize is, probably in a month's time, we will have accumulated many skipped lunches, late lunches, or a complete loss of the sense of time we experience we're always in these back to backs meetings.
After doing the work to reconnect and heal from my own self-destruction, I think those of us who have become accustomed to a way of working need to radically transform our ways at work. We don't talk about the need to factor in transition time - and my bigger question to you is:
Why aren't we all scheduling 25 and 55 minute back to back calls instead of 30 and 60 minute calls?
I personally believe that no one is going to teach this to us - or tell us it's okay to take a break and take them often. We just need to set this as a principal for ourselves and hope we can make more of a movement with this.
So what happens when we wait?
When we wait, we don't give ourselves space or time to reconnect to our bodies.
We don't proactively think about our health and by the time we ask ourselves - what is it that we need to feel better - our bodies are already suffering and it will likely much more difficult for us to restore to optimal health.
How can Traditional Chinese Medicine play into this?
It reminds us to be the crazy person that spends the 3 minutes meditating in the middle of a Fire storm. This reflection has been a profound revelation - a need to inspire others to break down patterns, habits, and ways of life that we may have spent a long time getting used to and have also deeply integrated.
But what we don't realize after many years of the hurricane churn is that these ways of life really don't serve us any more and if we want to experience this life as a beautiful marathon filed with rose lined streets and warm and and bright as the sun. Instead of an intense sprint to the finish, we need to create space - space between the back to backs and time to tune in and listen to what our body needs.
My earliest memories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) began in the living room of my childhood home, where my dad, Dr. Sun, held his first Acupuncture space. At a young age, I saw the myriad of herbs he would pull together for his patients. Our basement was an apothecary, our kitchen filled with my pieces from my Operator set, and the living room served patients. After immigrating to New York City from Shanghai in the 1970s, my parents, like many other immigrants of New York, left everything they ever knew, to build a brand new life from scratch.
As a first generation American-born-Chinese kid growing up in NYC, it was hard to understand why my parents didn't pack me Capri-suns and Fig Newtons in my lunchbox. Instead of letting me wear short-shorts and slurp Ralph's Italian ices all Summer long, I was taught to always drinking warm water no matter what, make sure my feet were never freezing cold, and to listen to my body and treat it well.
While having practiced Chinese Medicine for a lifetime with my dad, it wasn't until a few years ago that I truly started to feel like I wanted to step into this world and be a champion of this beautiful, complex, and deeply connected world of ancient healing and wisdom. My friends and family were all beginning to seek holistic and alternative forms of health, and they would come to me and I would send them to my dad.
My turning point came when I saw the wellness industry seem to explode with all sorts of Qi Balancing, Yin Boosting, He Shou Wu touting products for this-that-and the other. Appalled by the lack of direction consumers face today in navigating "what wellness products should I take and why", I felt the need to step up and bring clear and medically supported guidance in navigating the natural way to being well.
I am making a step towards building a lineage of Traditional Healers and continuing the legacy that my dad, Dr. Sun, has created. This is inspired by a life long learning of my own culture and heritage that came thousands of years before me. And together we will learn, appreciate, and share the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Welcome to a world of inspiration: here to teach you how to listen to your body, feed it what it needs, and give you the tools to understand how to rebalance the yin to your yang with everyday foods.
Modern Chinese Wellness, from my family to yours.
- Jennifer Sun