Getting in my Own way

On the one hand I definitely think too much, but on the other hand I think I don’t think enough about the right stuff. I just go round and round in my head about issues I can’t solve.

In my personal life and in my CA practice, I’m beginning to wonder if who I am striving so hard to represent is not so much who I really am as much as who I think everyone else should be. I certainly don’t take my own advice very often.

I’m all around muddled lately. And I’m beginning to wonder if I’m being reckless with my business by not buckling down and figuring out why I am not reaching more people. I keep thinking, “Well, you’ve just sent out this flyer” or “The exposure from this event will pay off soon”, but it isn’t yet.

And I hate to say it, but perhaps its because I’m not feeling the pressure yet. On top of my practice I also work for the building that my office is in, (family owned), so I get free rent in exchange for dealing with the tenants, maintenance and such. This is temporarily (is meant to be temporary) until I’m making a decent profit. That drastically cuts back on my overhead, and in exchange I only need to see 15-20 patients a week to make ends meet at home. Well guess what? I can’t seem to get past that 10-15 patient mark.

I took home my first (albeit small) paycheck two weeks ago. $150. I could have taken more, but in retrospect I’m glad thats all I took out, because this week I’ve only got 10 patients.

I don’t know that I’d be so hard on myself about not working hard enough, if I wasn’t simulataneously having a family melt down as well, and suddenly contemplating what role I’m playing in that demise. Maybe this is good, maybe its just miserable at the moment, but regardless I am feeling a bit defeated.

Nap time?


Hadea Tift
Author: Hadea Tift

<p>Skagit Community Acupuncture is located in Burlington, WA.  </p><p>We are open 5 days a week (Monday - Friday) with both morning and evening hours.</p><p>We have 8 comfy recliners and 1 massage table, with a waiting room and office adjoined, and private interview space.  All visits are $15 - $35 sliding scale with no income verification.

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  1. This too will pass

    Hi Dana,

    I don’t know your particulars and maybe you’d rather post that stuff in an email (or on the practitioner forums), but what is easy to say is….this will all change.

    So on the surface, it looks like things aren’t going well, but it really depends upon how you frame it in your mind. The catastrophe or melt down is sometimes just what needs to happen to open the next door – internally or externally or both.

    Hang in there. Take a nap if you are tired. Then tackle the whole mess from a place of clarity and energy. Let me know if you need time in my five cent psychology booth. We are listening.

  2. Hang in there….

    You haven’t been open very long, and certainly family meltdowns will take energy away from your clinic.  We’ve all been there, if it’s any comfort.  

    One thing occured to me, not sure if it’s helpful or not: it may be that “feeling the pressure” would be helpful; but what if you didn’t have ANY pressure?  What if you were independently wealthy and just doing this for the joy of it; how many people would you ideally treat per week in that case? – would it be more than 20?  How many people would you work with, in an ideal situation (including admin/receptino folks) and how many people would you need to treat per week to support a clinic that size?


  3. No pressure….

    I like Nora’s idea of not” feeling any pressure” and additionally try stopping the constant brain chatter, thinking with your heart and hands, For alittle while just do Miriam Lee treatments (ST 36, SP 6, LI 4, LI 11, LU 7) while being totally present with your patients. If there is “no pressure” you will relax more and patients are more likely to be attracted to you.


  4. OK try this

    Dana, I get you, and can relate…. used to be that way a lot, now pretty much past it.
    It’s time to turn off the chattering monkeys in your head, it’s just an indulgence.
    You have too much to do. There is a world of people out there that need you.
    Best advice I ever got on this, was …. when your purpose is strong enough, nothing can stop you. All the great men and women in history have proven this. What is your purpose? Can you state it?
    I can tell you what mine is- to help as many people as I can to get well naturally and affordably with acupuncture so they can go on and live the best, most fulfilling lives they can free of pain and illness- so they can be the kind of men and women they always wanted to be when they were young and dreaming about what they wanted to do with their lives.
    Sound corny? Well, it’s true. It makes me heart sick to see people settle for lives that are any less than the very best they could be living… and worse, to be saddled with health issues that make it all but impossible to do much more than survive. We’re meant for more than that- to use this lifetime to make some progress toward realizing our soul purpose.
    Right now sounds like you’ve lost track of your purpose and you are in problem mode, not solution mode. Get going again by remembering why you wanted to be an acupuncturist; why you wanted to do CA, why you should get out of bed in the morning.
    Till you’re inspired again, which I have to assume you were at some point, you will see only problems, not solutions and hardly attract anyone into your life, personally or professionally. Lisa has written great stuff around this.
    Hope I’ve not been too rough on you. But coming to terms with this is what straightened me out. It is up to you. I do have great respect and appreciation that you are reaching out to others for help an inspiration… I was a ‘go it alone’ guy for far too long~ With best wishes Steve R.
    (Community Acup. of La Mesa)

  5. Thanks everyone! It was good

    Thanks everyone! It was good to write that blog and get everyones responses. After writing it I decided that I could either go home and crawl back into bed, or do SOMETHING. So instead I drove all the way to Seattle (90 minutes or so) and hung out with a fellow CA friend and colleague, and bitched it all out. I feel better. And I’m ready to re-examine what my next step should be.

    Thank you, thank you.


  6. if I had more thumbs

    This is so key.  Thanks for articulating it. Being a theory head, I am prone to overthink things and often spin about until I’m sure I have the very best approach, which brings up all kinds of second guessing since I’m new at this CA stuff  – (oh no! another person just sat down and there’s one in the lobby and that other person just woke up and which channel is the opposite on the chinese clock…..).  ack! 

    Lately, as soon as I feel myself start to go there, I stop, take a deep breath, look into my patient’s eyes, hold that space, and hear my brain say, “balance”.  Miriam Lee’s points are the perfect elixer for this.  No thinking about anything — just being present and trusting that this amazing medicine is going to do the work we both need it to do. 


    and then it does.  


    so cool.


    julia in berkeley


  7. keep up the good work

    It was only a year ago, and I remember thinking “well, maybe Asheville isn’t ready for community acupuncture.” 

    We are lucky that Miriam Lee was a pioneer.  But there is so much ground work yet to be covered.  I still find myself struggling with finding the best way to explain to some of my patients that they really do need to come in more than once a week.  I am getting better at it.  A year ago, I was leaving the decision to reschedule soley up to my patients.  What is so hard about me saying “We need to knock this cough out.  Please come back before Friday?”  I am learning right along side of you.