At a summer party this weekend, someone to whom I’d just been introduced asked me: "In your experience, what is the biggest challenge you deal with as a healthcare professional?" She told me I didn't need to answer the question immediately, but to share my thoughts before the party was over. Yet it took me only a moment to answer her. "The biggest challenge that I see in healthcare,” I said, "is getting people to take better care of themselves!"
Caring requires effort, focus and commitment. And this is especially true when it comes to self-care. Given the ever-increasing demands on our lives it’s easy to become distracted and lose focus on what is important.
When I assumed the Presidency of the AAAOM, I knew that it would be quite a challenge to remain focused amid the myriad details and demands of this position. The learning curve has been quite steep and, to be honest, it did take a toll on my life and health in the short-term. I became what I see in my practice daily: a person not taking care of himself.
I like to maintain a positive outlook and believe one can always find a silver lining in adversity if you know where to look and are willing to do so. As the long days of summer approach, I encourage you take a moment to reflect each daily on whether you are living you life in alignment, as we encourage our patients to do. Sometimes we forget the lessons we learned in our acupuncture and Oriental medicine training, but when challenges arise, there is no more important time to take pause and listen to oneself.
Socrates once said that "The unexamined life is not worth living." I couldn't agree more!
Have a great summer!
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