Many years ago, when my daughter Emma was small, we kept a gratitude journal, the two of us, for a whole year. Every night we’d each write down something we were grateful for. I’d like to pretend this was my idea, but it wasn’t. Emma, who was six at the time, was inspired by something she saw on the Oprah show and suggested it. At her insistence, I bought a large book to record our thoughts. When we began I had no way of knowing how much we would both grow that year. Emma learned to find something to say thank you for, even on tough days, and I developed a whole new appreciation for the art of appreciation. In fact, I think gratitude is one of the most powerful forces there is, because, as Christian Northrup points out in the above quote, the act of being grateful opens you up to attract more of the very thing you’re grateful for.
Where your mind goes, your qi follows, as we say in Chinese medicine, meaning that what we focus on grows. So it makes sense to focus on the good things even in trying times. These days I genuinely believe that everything is unfolding as it’s supposed to, and even if I don’t understand life’s plan for me, I’ve got into the habit of saying thank you. Usually it’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. I say thank you for my life, for all the things that brought me to the place I am now and for everything that will unfold in the future. I do this even on less good days.
Today, however, is not one of those less good days. On the contrary, I’m happy and content. As an immigrant to the United States, I adopted the Thanksgiving holiday late in my life but I love it. It’s a holiday dedicated to gratitude. What’s not to love?
So today I’m grateful for you, our YinOva Community. Our center has grown from tiny beginnings to be one of the largest acupuncture practices in the USA and for that I thank our patients who have referred their friends and family to the practice and who have continued to support us year after year. We’re honored that you trust us with your healthcare and we work hard everyday to be worthy of the faith you place in us.
I’m grateful for the YinOva team. In the beginning it was just me, in a tiny office, seeing patients on my own. I couldn’t afford any staff, so I answered my own phone and cleaned and vacuumed my office at the end of the day. Slowly we grew, but never, in my wildest dreams, could I have envisaged the wonderful group of people that now work at the YinOva Center. During one of those less good days, when I was despairing of finding the right kind of team to fulfill my vision, our YinOva intuitive, Diana Harris, told me that she saw a bunch of very grown-up women rolling up their sleeves and marching into the YinOva Center. Boy was she right! The ten acupuncturists, one massage therapist, a nutritionist, a naturopath, a social worker and a yoga teacher who call YinOva home are some of the most skillful and warm practitioners imaginable. Everyone of them cares deeply about delivering good care and they go about their work with a kindness, that extends not only to their patients, but also to their colleagues and to me. Our wonderful administrative team support us all with patience and good humor and make our lives much easier. I appreciate each and every one of you. I enjoy the way you infuse our center with kindness and I marvel at how competent you all are.
Noah, my husband, joined us when the practice became too much for me to handle on my own. He merged his own lively practice with ours and also took on a managerial role developing systems to make sure our center runs smoothly. I’m grateful for his support and his organizational abilities and I feel lucky that I get to hang out with him at work as well as at home.
And as for Emma. The little girl who started all this with a gratitude journal. She recently graduated from college and works at YinOva in our marketing department. She never lost her aptitude for appreciation and for that I’m very thankful. She’s the same optimistic person, who kept that gratitude journal all those years ago, and I believe her ability to say “thank you”, even on the less good days will stand her in good stead as she goes out into the world.
With much love to you all,