One of the best gifts my sister bestowed upon me was her knowledge.
Knowledge for life.
Knowledge as a mentor teacher.
Knowledge about being a human.
Knowledge as a mother.
Knowledge as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a woman, a human, you name it.
Most of all, it was the knowledge that she learned about self-care in her last three years of life that enlightened our relationship. It was through our discussions, her advice, and pearls of wisdom that I truly grew as a person.
I knew what self-care meant as a concept, but I did not always act upon it.
She taught me that it was not selfish to put yourself first.
It was not selfish to eat healthy, take time to create and cultivate, to exercise, to love and cherish my body regardless of the pain that I went through from time to time.
She taught me that boundaries are healthy and that kindness is a choice that you can always act upon.
One beautiful gift she shared with me along the lines of self-care was acupuncture. This act of sharing an amazing healing arts center revolutionized my health. Acupuncture has been a key ingredient in my recipe for survival and loving myself through my life journey in the last year.
I often have joked that the acupuncture specialist I see is also my therapist. She is an advisor, a healer, and a listener. She helps me feel more balanced, and allows me to feel safe enough to strip away the outer coating I shield myself with. This provdes me with the opportunity to expose my truths and reveal myself openly to my connect my mind, body, and spirit.
There is something to be said about allowing yourself to be vulnerable with a health care advisor whom you trust and recognize has wisdom to share, when they truly listen to you.
She asked me recently, “How are you feeling…” and I said, “I’m getting there, working on feeling better, not there yet…” She said, “You need a little embellishment, a little bit of balsamic vinegar to take the recipe to that next level… to get it there, here we go…”
Small prick one, small prick two, “What about now? (Pulse check) Yes, that’s it.”
Who knew that the girl who feared shots and begged for them to be over as a small child would regularly seek the counsel of a Chinese medicine specialist. This same girl looks forward to the tiny pricks that provide balance with miniscule needles.
Sprinkle some vinegar into your routine and see what comes of it. You just might surprise yourself.
Photo credit: K. Sciuto