It’s been a long two months since I’ve been in touch, and I hope this note finds you well. In the time between a lot has transpired. The range of upheaval has left us all in a state of confusion and concern. From white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, VA to an unprecedented hurricane season in the Atlantic, we are at a crucial tipping point. The next steps we take are vital, and will have a lasting impression on both personal and public life. Gone are the days of ignoring the science of climate change, the legacy of racism, and impact of historical amnesia. All of it must be accounted for, claimed, and thoughtfully considered in order to move forward.
In recent months I’ve also experienced a major transition (I’m sure many can relate). If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you know that four years ago I started a masters program at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. Well, a week ago I transitioned from full-time graduate student to a MAcOM graduate. Just like that! Compounded with everything else happening in our world, it all feels a bit surreal. And yet one recent experience has helped to ground me in the reality of the moment and remain accountable to work that needs to be done.
Below is an excerpt from a speech that I wrote and shared during the graduation ceremony—adapted for brevity. It was a true honor to stand before my peers, mentors, and teachers. Just as it has been an honor to be in community with all of you over the years.
Today I am reminded of a very auspicious moment in the Grand Canyon, which is located in and around Tohono O’odham, Apache, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Mescalero territory in Arizona and New Mexico.
The day my partner and I chose to visit the Grand Canyon was at the height of monsoon season, and there were warnings of a storm on its way. Before setting out on the long walk, we asked one of the rangers at the visitor center if it was safe to hike into the canyon. She encouraged us to use caution, and stay close to the rim in case of rain. Thankfully the bus ride to the canyon allowed time enough for the weather to clear. The sun even came out for a bit, and the wind helped cool us as we walked. We decided to hike down about 2-3 miles into the canyon. It was a challenging hike, but it was nice to witness and particpate in the encouraging energy along the way. As we made our way up and around the rim heading back to the entrance of the park, we stopped at a wide stone bench to take a break. Looking out and over into the canyon I thought about its vastness. I thought about the willful spirit unique to water, and how it carved each and every crevasse. I thought about the diversity of communities still living and thriving in the canyon. Suddenly the wind picked up, blowing hard and with intention. Then the rain followed light, but with large drops that kissed heavy my eyelids. I looked up to greet the weight of each one. In the distance I noticed a most bodacious bolt of lightning as I felt the thunder rumble me to the bone. A tree near the edge of the overlook caught my attention. Its sinewy branches and lush leaves awake and malleable to it all. Simply bearing witness. Oh to be that tree! Seeing it there helped solidify this beautiful dance of natural phenomenon. Right before my eyes all the elements came together, unafraid and proud in their expression.
Four years of graduate studies was concentrated in this one potent experience. I have been that tree, often at the edge of what I thought was possible. Privileged to see the vast depths of the human soul. Provided an education that has given me a unique set of tools that encourages connection and communication between the sacred elements that inherently resides in all of creation. I feel it is the highest honor to practice Chinese medicine during this profound and challenging moment in history. It is a time of great transformation. I truly believe that Chinese medicine can be a catalyst for change; a bridge that can dismantle borders; a prayer that unites us; and a practice in radical hope.
As we move forward, I pray we harness the potency of this New Moon in Virgo to continuing working toward the connections that deepen our experiences: to our animal, plant, elemental, and human relations. I pray we continue to rise to our potent potential. I pray we put on our capes everyday, and be the superheros we need. I pray we be wise in our research as we find the solutions that are more radical than we can imagine.
The stakes are high, friends. And so, may we fortify and hold firm to our collective power.
P.s. As I continue my transition from student to practitioner, a few changes will be happening on the blog in order to make space for new adventures and opportunities. Out of all the content I’ve written over the years, the New Moon and Full Moon posts have held a special place in my heart. In keeping with that spirit, posts will continue to be published on each New and Full Moon, so you can expect at least 2-3 new posts each month moving forward. This is an experiment, so please give me your feedback! I hope this new post schedule will help me stay more accountable, while continuing to serve our community. I so appreciate you!