I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks.  I started doing acupuncture treatments at the recommendation of a great new integrative health doctor.  I’ve always been a believer in acupuncture; however, nothing ever called me to trying it . . .until now.

So, why now? The doctor compassionately prescribed acupuncture as a way to help me heal some old wounds centered around something from my past. It seems to be a bit stuck, y’know . . . the way painful thoughts or beliefs have a way of gunking up our systems.  There’s energy around this past experience that I still carry around in my heart.  It’s heavy and I’d even to go as far as to say it has been blocking VIP access to my own joy superhighway.

My challenge is that acupuncture asks me to go another layer naked with myself.  Just when I’ve gotten really vulnerable and am in a place of stillness . . .  another layer reveals itself to me and offers me a path to its garden. It’s not always the garden of roses and English tea either.  It’s dark, thorny and knotted and it doesn’t resemble a garden so much as an abandoned, overgrown patch of mismatched greenery.

Acupuncture teaches you to lead from the heart” says my acupuncturist, after a particularly intense session.  The session ended with me leaning in to some very intense pain and feeling my way through it (not because of the needles– but the energy work).

I’m not going to lie.  At first, it threw me into a panic– how could I possibly feel this fear, this pain and be ok?  I immediately wanted to yell out to my acupuncturist to come in and rescue me.  But I remembered somewhere in the midst of all of this that I am quite capable of rescuing myself.  And that’s where a shift happened.

I confessed to her how scared I was to allow the most tender part of me access to the unfiltered sunlight of the world. My heart had been beating so quickly during that panic.  It reminded me that protecting it had been a lifelong strategy every time I’ve felt pain, felt disappointment, felt abandoned by the world.

And yet her words resonate with me.   Leading with my heart even in the most uncertain times feels like truth.  This garden amidst its knotty trails is helping me clear thoughts and old beliefs that I no longer need.  That I no longer believe — their thorns are wearing dull.  And a clearing is emerging.

My spirit, my heart, my soul– however we name it— doesn’t need the wrappers.  It can be exposed and tender.

And it doesn’t need to be rescued.
Because it’s always been alright, always.