Looking In, First – by Ann Cecil-Sterman

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April 20, 2020

Mark—my wonderful right hand—sent a pressing email a week and a half ago: “Please send me your blog for this week so I can send it out today. It’s already Thursday!” I had started the blog but couldn’t send, it because I was surprised at what was coming out. It was bleak. While many patients were having a quite pleasant time despite mounting worries, and some patients were deciding on major life changes, in that blog I was talking about how upset we were. We’d lost another friend, and that day Andrew had overheard people talking about how Connecticut would be Corona-free if only the New Yorkers had stayed in New York, and that they don’t belong here anyway, and not only that, the ones at fault were in our town, not even the very next one. I also mentioned my dear friend in the American Southwest whose Asian-American wife can’t even go to the supermarket because of the verbal abuse hurled at her “for bringing the virus into the country in the first place”. I mentioned a few patients I hadn’t seen in a long time, reaching out as they faced increasing tension in their households: some with alcoholic partners they didn’t even realize had a problem, or that were having affairs, or having clandestine conversations, or with teens withdrawing from vaping, or with partners with real illness they hadn’t known about, all because they hadn’t been present enough to notice.

When I got Mark’s email, I didn’t want to send all that in. But I think it has to be said that we can’t change what we’re not aware of. How can we move forward if we don’t see what to step over? These things have to come up front and center so that we can navigate a path through or around them. For my patients, in a surprising number of instances, this week has been a watershed week. Decisions are being shaped. One will get divorced, another will change profession, another will emigrate, another will reconnect with and marry their true partner, another will get a dog for the first time, another will begin parenting in a different way, another will focus entirely on creating a better example for their children, another will adopt a child, another has made a pact with himself to be grateful for every breath, another makes peace with living alone, and another decides never to do it again.

In each case, they could envision a way forward because the Corona period is pressing them to see the state of their lives. In my own life, after four weeks of living in close quarters here, I’m painfully aware of my errors as a mother, my expectations, my disappointments, my failure to completely accept my children as the perfect beings they are while they leave dishes around the house, won’t give up their devices, leave towels on the floor, and lose their tempers. Do those things matter enough for me to withdraw from them when their spirits are so extraordinarily beautiful? Have I ruined them?… It makes me weep just to write about it.

There’s an underlying beauty to all this, though. Stopping, pausing, sequestering has made these introspections possible. We’ve been given the time to do it. We wouldn’t have done it in the broadest sense without this time. The front line people to whom we owe so much have not had the time, but they’ve been given a front seat in experiencing the consequences of maintaining the status quo. Their transformations may well be the greatest. And people try to sense what it is they’re going through, what they are sacrificing for the collective. The five-minute long applause that happens every night in many cities buoys the front-liners and fuels them for the energetic tolerance they’re called on to hold. We try to share the feeling of that tolerance, and apply it in a different way in our own homes. It’s all a part of the big shift we’re experiencing.

The global change continues, but a global change is comprised of seven billion internal changes. Perhaps our work is at first internal; perhaps our work is to focus inward for a while instead of outward. Why else would we be stuck in our homes?

To help my own patients who would like to be adamant about not returning to their previous way of living but are not sure how to steer, I’ve been teaching them to locate two points, SP-4 and KI-21. Acupressure is powerful (though not at all a substitute for acupuncture which turns the body over to its origin: a universal, unlimited qi).

SP-4, a point called Grandparent, Grandchild, acts as a keyhole into the Chong (Penetrating) Channel. The Chong contains the rolled up blueprint for one’s life plan. Because we have the gift of free-will, we are able to carry out our blueprint with a range of approaches. We can yield to our gut instincts at every turn and be true to the blueprint, or we can resist what we know is our true path, using our mind to justify over and over why it cannot be pursued. For many people In the Corona period the isolation exposes this resistance. Pressing into SP-4 activates the Chong and helps to steer the thinking. The Channel is constantly there, meting out the information – all that’s missing is focus.

Acupuncture and acupressure never involves needling only one point. That would be like placing one end of a battery on a contact and leaving the other end free. There must be a circuit created between a minimum of two points. This establishes in the body a conversation in the language of Qi. So at least a second point must be treated (pressed) to create a circuit in the Chong channel. I’m choosing KI-21 not just because it’s the end of the first trajectory which is responsible for delivering Kidney Yang to the Spleen to maintain life, but it’s name, the Dark Gate, tells us that it is able to help lift the blindfold we wear to hide from Destiny.

I made a short video about these points for my patients who are undergoing these changes, and you’re welcome to it in case it’s helpful.

If you’d like to join me in a group meditation while focusing on two or three points to assist in global change, we’d love to see you. Gatherings make all meditations infinitely more powerful and we can feel it viscerally during the session. You don’t need any knowledge of acupuncture to join us. It happens every day at 3:15pm New York time. The link is here. We can do this. We can make the changes, internal and external. We can get through it and know a new self and a new earth.

Ann
Connecticut, USA.

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