For the past two weeks I’ve been cleaning and shopping, and for the past few days I’ve been cooking and cooking. Half of my kids are driving up north to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us. But most of all I have been thinking thoughts of gratitude. I remember the “old days” of BA practice when I was so poor that I missed half the showers and birthday parties I had been asked to primarily because I wasn’t able to bring a gift. I couldn’t even send suitable gifts for my grandsons’ birthdays. Until community acupuncture.
Being a community punk has enlarged my life in so many ways. But today I will mention only three: The first is a larger income which enables me to give in ways I couldn’t before: to patients and community (the free or $5 treatments), to friends and family. Another expansion has been the sense of freedom: freedom from insurance billing, from guilt for charging such high fees– from turning away people in need because they couldn’t afford those fees, freedom from the brainwashing of the acronymed overseers of our profession, just to name a few (I’ll bet others here could come up with some great ones!). And last but most important:
We’ve become aware that success as a CAP doesn’t come automatically with renunciation of the BA model. Success as a CAP requires a huge adjustment in our attitude AND a ton of work that never ends. It’s a great model, but it’s far from easy. However, it comes with a perk that cannot be found anywhere else in our profession, that is perhaps even more valuable than a higher income. I’m referring to our community. Our ever-morphing community of punks passionate about both helping people and social justice for all. Our desire to help people get well also motivates us to jump in and help when another practitioner asks for help, newbie or veteran. I love this. We are so connected to each other; we are thriving from this mutual support and respect and we cheer each other on. THIS is what I am really thankful for. I have to cut this short and leave for the clinic now, but this is my message: A Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you, for we truly do have something wonderful to appreciate. I don’t post often, but I try to keep up with where you are, and I do think of you often, even those I’ve never met before.