Eclipse Season Offerings (+ An Office Update)

My relationship to the earth and land was taught to me by my maternal grandmother. In the same way she expressed her care and love for me, she provided care and love to plants and the nourishment they imbue. I witnessed her nurture life. From form to function. Seed to leaf and root. I am eternally grateful for these lessons, as they continue to provide sound, sustainable guidance in my life.

It is because of the quality time I spent with my grandmother, from farm to kitchen, that I am able to do the work that I do. Ultimately, her nurturing led me on the path of restoration, regeneration, and reclamation of the ways or our ancestors. Our culture. Our medicine. Our relationship to the ecosystems of the earth. Through this process, I have found purpose; the culmination of which has allowed for consistent learning and creativity. As you know, this year I gathered all of my experience, love, and memory to weave together an acupuncture clinic and mind-body studio. So far, I’ve shared the beginning stages of the process, which you can read more about here.

Our clinic + studio is located in Lima, OH. We offer acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping therapy, gua sha, nutrition and herbal consultations, Asian bodywork, and mind-body workshops. Additionally, we offer distance sessions, CORE Consultations, for our homies and community in other areas of the world. In honor of the Eclipse Season, beginning with Thursday’s Partial Solar Eclipse + New Moon in Cancer, and ending with the second Partial Solar Eclipse in August, we are offering a discount on CORE sessions. A CORE consultation offers time with me one-one-one to rap about self-care strategies that fit your individual needs + goals. Each session will provide access to a questionnaire, a personalized meditation, detailed notes, and follow-up materials.

Through these sessions, I’ve been blessed to work with folks seeking strategies for menstrual health, fertility, musculoskeletal injuries, mind-body practices, nutrition, and wellness logistics. It’s been wonderful to meet with folks, and share what I have learned about sustaining self-care. Check out one of our first CORE client testimonials. Use the coupon code ECLIPSE-SEASON18 at checkout.

We’re currently finishing up the website and putting a few final (for now) touches on the brick and mortar. I’ll be sharing a few of the ideas and inspirations that went into these udpates on the blog soon.

I am beyond excited and humbled to be on this journey with you. Make sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive early notice about newly published blog posts + future offerings.

May this eclipse season provide you and yours deep nourishment in mind, body, and soul.

xo In solidarity, Christian

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Poems to my Younger Self

Poetry and I go way back. For as long as I can remember I’ve been practicing some form of writing including journaling, essays, and poetry. I’ve had one poem published. And have written at least a thousand more. Whenever I feel the need to decompress, I turn to poetry. It has been one of my truest friends. It has provided safety when I’ve felt most alone. It has given me countless lifetimes of inspiration. And it has continually brought me back into alignment during moments of imbalance. Poetry is a major part of my self-care practice. Through every cycle, shift, and transformation. But I didn’t always see it this way.

“turning at last

on a stem like a black fruit

in my own season

at last.”

—Lucille Clifton, turning

Poetry and self-care both require a lot of tenderness. There is a process of peeling back the layers. Uncovering things that are uncomfortable. And sometime, as a result, we come undone. Often, when we show up for the work, we are healed in ways we never imagined were possible.

“Moon marked and touched by sun

my magic is unwritten

but when the sea turns back

it will leave my shape behind.“

—Audre Lorde, A Woman Speaks

To celebrate the summer solstice, and give honor to the #MyYoungerSelf campaign, I re-read through some of my favorite poems and poets, and am sharing five that resonate with me the most. These are the cornerstone works I’d give to my younger self, as encouragement to love and trust myself more.

Poem age 7

For the little girl who was bullied, and developed severe anxiety.

“I’ve got a magic charm

That I keep up my sleeve,

I can walk the ocean floor

And never have to breathe.”

—Maya Angelou, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

Poem age 14

For the teenager who yearned for rites of passage in order to understand her place in the world.

“You.

On Purpose.

Running home after all this time.

Bring yourself in full light,

Shine magnificent in the dawn

The crown of you is beaming

Beyond human structure.

Shine magnificent in the day

A stroke of insight

You are.

You are.”

—Christian Totty, You, On Purpose

Poem age 21

For the young woman who didn’t trust her intuition; who followed along and didn’t question.

“You do not have to be good

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.”

—Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Poem age 28

For the woman who slowly began to listen deeply to the songs of her ancestors.

“That’s when the rain begins,

and when the mouth of the river sings,

water flows from it

back to the cellular sea

and along the way

earth sprouts and blooms, the grandmothers

keep following creation

that opens before them

as they sing.”

—Linda Hogan, The Grandmother Songs

Poem age 35

For the woman today who continues to lean into loving herself whole.

“To pray you open your whole self

To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon

To one whole voice that is you.

And know there is more

That you can’t see, can’t hear;

Can’t know except in moments

Steadily growing, and in languages

That aren’t always sound but other

Circles of motion.”

—Joy Harjo, Eagle Poem

May this solstice bring you and yours deep abundance.

 

In solidarity,

Christian

 

Adaptability, Survival & Emergence in a Time of Earthly Transformation

My grandmother was a collector. A curator of ideas and stories. Before starting grad school in 2013 my mother, partner and I were put to the task of cleaning out her house. She and my grandfather had walked on to the realm of the ancestors a year prior, and everything in their house went unchanged during that time. I learned a lot about her through the process. I realized how deeply her readership had shaped her worldview. She was an avid reader. She held on to piles of magazines, including an original copy of the 1968 TIME magazine issue headlining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. death, featuring Coretta Scott King on its cover. She had loose archives of recipes, many of which were hand written. There were notes with freestyle thoughts beside cards from family and friends. And at least two unfinished journals lingered, sparsely filled-out with fragments of details. Among these mountainous memorials were a few CDs, including a Mixtape I put together for her back in the day. It was full of jams by Sarah Vaughn — her favorite vocalist.

“There are notes between notes, you know.” — Sarah Vaughn

Every year around her birth week, I remember this experience. In many ways it provided a way for me to heal from her passing. She was, and still is such an important part of my life. At 4’11”, her small frame contained such an amazing life force. My grandmother was a Gemini. She was curious and full of ideas. She was inspiring and inspired. She was adaptable. And she loved to share in good, meaningful conversation. Her life was imperfect, and beautiful, and heart breaking. And she lived it as best she could. This New Moon in Gemini, occurring Wednesday June 13th, paired with the memory of my grandmother and the idea of adaptability, rests strongly in my mind.

In a story published last month for Medium, Nexus Media journalist Marlene Cimons delves into a relatively new area of ecological research — how plants survive climate change by taking naps. Plant intelligence is a topic many scientists are beginning to lean into in the face of a global climate crisis. In this study, researchers found 114 species, mostly perennial varieties, with this particular adaptation trait. In essence, plants that remain dormant underground will forgo reproduction and photosynthesis, in some cases for a decade or more, for the possibility of survival. While this type of plant adaptation is by no means a new phenomenon, the research does provide a fresh perspective on how species evolve through adaptation. And we don’t usually think of plants in this way; hunkering down into the earth for the unforeseeable future. We recognize our relatives by their impetus to emerge and grow. But when conditions are unfavorable for life to thrive, other solutions become more urgent.

We live the best that we can. And that doesn’t always mean that we live our best lives. Sometimes the most resilient aspects of our character come alive underground. And at some junction a decision much be made — to remain safely beneath the surface, or to emerge forth into unknown circumstances.

In her work on shaping lasting movements for justice, adrienne maree brown writes:

“Emergence is beyond what the sum of its parts could even imagine.”

In Chinese medicine, the Wood element is concerned with emergence, growth, and benevolence. The desire to not only unfold skillfully, but to do so with compassion. This requires an exquisite practice in imagination and, ultimately, love. Because, if our most profound, flexible moments happen when no one sees, such wisdom may remain unknown until after we are gone. So, what do we need from each other, in the present moment, in order to emergence as safe and whole beings?

As the summer solstice approaches, I will continue to explore ideas related to adaptability, survival, and emergence. In honor of the New Moon and solstice, I’m offering, CORE Consultations: Sustainable Self Care Strategies, designed to guide you toward greater resiliency, and deeper self love. I look forward to delving in with you.

Creating a Green Office: The Before

Dear relatives,

My grandmother would have been 91 years old this week (Gemini love!). And this year, I’ll be celebrating her life in a way I never expected as I work toward opening an acupuncture clinic and mind-body center in my hometown. In between farm chores, I’ll get to design my dream office. I’ll be documenting the process and progress here, and hope to address some of the struggles that come with being a person of color and business owner. I’m also looking forward to educating myself on beginner Feng shui principles, which is an important part of Taoism, Chinese philosophy and cosmology. For now, I’ll ease into that conversation by sharing with a few “before” images. All of the photos you’ll see were made with my phone, so bear with me! Processed with VSCO with m5 presetWhen I first visited the office, I was immediately drawn to this open space. There is great potential here. I can see it so clearly: Qigong classes, community acupuncture, workshops, meditation… I get goosebumps just thinking about it! Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetThere are three rooms in total — the large, open room is located to the right when you first walk in. The images above are of the middle room. This will be utilized as an administrative center primarily. There will be a small sink and kitchen area in here as well. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetAt some point, the middle room may need to transform into an additional treatment room. Until then, I’m just taking everything one day at a time.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetA random photo of me just to show you the mirrored ceilings, which are located in the entrance. This was the second thing I noticed, for many reasons. In particular, the symbolism that mirrors carry as a reflection of internal and external environment. I’ve also been trying to learn more about using mirrors as a design strategy. If you have any resources, send them my way!Processed with VSCO with m5 presetThe main treatment room is pictured above. This was the room I had the most challenge with in terms of envisioning what it could be. The room rectangular in shape; more long that it is wide, but it’s not narrow by any means. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this space has to offer once everything is cleared out. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetIn the last month, there has been so much progress already. I’ve slowly started to tell folks about the office, and the response I’ve received has been so warm and encouraging. The experience has been very humbling, and I’m thankful for the postive feedback. This has been a dream of mine for a long time now, and the idea of seeing it all come to life in community with others is more than I imagined.

Here’s to honorinng our grandmothers, and all the ways they inspire us. A blessed New Moon in Gemini to you and yours.

In Solidarity,

Christian

 

April 2018 Full Pink Moon

Dear friends,

I hope this letter finds you well, post Full Pink Moon in Scorpio intensity.

The month of April proved true to its character. Full of showers of all sorts. Rainy days give way to momentous blooming. Truth spilling over from the depths of shadows. Spring asks us to toe the line between what we believe is possible, and what we have yet to imagine.

Spring is associated with the Wood element in Chinese medicine. Wood connects, networks, sets boundaries, lends benevolence and generates the warmth that fuels the element of Fire. By nature, spring holds the energy of both rooting and growing. Seeking to move in all directions. Willing to unfold again and again. Spring is the seed manifested. It is the presence of intention. Every year we have the honor of witnessing the regenerative force behind life itself.

This season, I’ve had the pleasure of joining Lima Sprouts, an inaugural Urban Farmer apprentice program in Lima, OH. I’m really proud of the work my cohort and I have been able to accomplish in our short time together.

One of my goals in joining the program (besides learning about agricultural theory, farming/food systems and sustainability!) is to highlight the connection between soil health and human health. This work has been done by many before me, especially the work of female farmers and farmers of color. I know the work ahead will continue to require consistent advocacy and education. I’m really looking forward to delving into more research—if you have any materials or resources on the topic, feel free to leave me a note!

Another part of this process has called me to lean into my intuition and creativity. And the shape of that leaning has actually led me to new opportunities. To possibilities I could not have imagined. One opportunity has taken the shape of TCM based consultation services. It was something that was on my heart for a while, and once I started to work in farming the call grew louder. Intuitively, I think this work organically nourishes the advocacy and education work and I know it will help me develop more clinical dexterity.

I am equally excited and a little nervous for what is to come. This moment has helped me to trust the learning, the development, the complexity. It is teaching me that with all cycles, generation after generation, there is a world of magic waiting and wanting in the depth to be loved. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, head over to my booking page.  I’m offering a deep discount for the rest of May—$40 for an hour with me over Skype or phone conference to rap about Chinese medicine + Self care, and together we’ll dive into your health + wellness goals. If you’re looking to develop sustainable strategies, earth-based intuition, and next level insight. This offering is for you!

May blessings to you + yours.

xo, Christian

 

 

 

March Full Worm Moon

Dear friends,

I hope this note finds you well. Can you believe it’s almost April!? This year seems to be going by so fast. If feels overwhelming sometimes. Mostly, it feels regenerative.

I think growth happens like that. At times in spurts. At times at a glacial pace. It is Spring after all. The season of germination, movement, and blooming forth. It’s no wonder why International Women’s Month 2018 was felt with such fervor. Why #MarchForOurLives had such a powerful impact, making headway as one of the largest protests and most successful voter registration campaigns in history.

Here we are. At the edge of the synapse. Tending to our fires. We are here to rise. To our potential. To the dream of our ancestors. To ensure the creation of a world where we all get to thrive.

It’s the last day of March. The emergence of Full Worm/Full Sap/Full Blue Moon. A time when the Earth softens, buds rise, and sap flows from maple trees. So much about this month embodies the essence of transformation, a process that gives way to hope. Many things have shifted for me, as I’m sure is true for some of you as well. In this moment of becoming, I’ve been made to pause over and over. To rearrange what I thought was certain. To return over and over to the places in myself that need tenderness. To soften. To rise. To flow.

I hope for more thriving. More radical transformation. For growth to follow its own flow. For alignment through regenerative praxis. For the courage it will take to let the wounds heal wholly. May they form constellations that will lead us toward full expression and experience.

May this Full Worm Moon in Libra, with all its glorious challenges and revelations, be blessed for you and yours.

xo, Christian