July 14th, 2015
One of my favorite questions to ask fellow colleagues is “how did you discover this path?” or better yet, “how did this path discover you?” I love this question because everyone has a different story.
For me, it began in summer 2008.
I was living in Washington, D.C. where I was working my first full-time job as a public relations specialist! Yes, an exclamation point because it sounds exciting. It was at first, but after 5 months I began to hate it. The long hours servicing those that I was servicing offered little gratification. It became clear, that the expensive big city hustle-bustle life in our nation’s capital was not meant for me.
When I tell that part of the story now, I can’t help but proudly say with a smile, “I quit my job, cried, and came home.” Thanks, Mom and Dad for rescuing me within a weekend’s time! I am grateful for all that I learned in that short period as well as for getting the heck out of there.
The home I refer to above is a small town about 30 minutes east of Cleveland, Ohio. Upon my arrival, I secured a customer service position at a global multimedia company. Fast forward a year later, I moved into a 750-square-foot apartment in the heart of downtown Cleveland. For the next few years, I spent my days working and enjoying the city life as a mid-20-something. Cleveland was a landing pad. That I knew shortly after arriving. A place to have a full sense of security while beginning to search for my next quest.
As I look back on it now, that quest had more downs than ups.
After a year or so, the city life fun became routine and my job equaled only a paycheck. For the following year, it was as if I was living in a dark cave with only a slow-burning lantern. That lantern was my job, my family, and my friends. They kept me afloat and gave me exactly what I needed without even knowing it. I spent many days and nights alone, curious, open, and in deep pain. I had no idea what to do next. All I knew, was that where I was wasn’t where I needed to be
My curiosity drove me to discover new literature, films, and styles of yoga and meditation. I had also spent many hours reading and talking to others about the things they loved. What were they doing? Maybe I could do that too. To put it simply, I was always interested in health, exercise, and nutrition. Funny enough, at the same time, my own body was in shambles. I was stressed out, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The stress weighed heavy on my shoulders like bowling balls. Alas, I decided to get my first acupuncture treatment.
My First Acupuncture Treatment
My first treatment addressed those damn bowling balls. It addressed the stress, tension, and the inability to relax. One would think of all the time I spent exercising, doing yoga, and reading that it would have chilled me out. Nah, it had the opposite effect. It made me rigid. Why? Because I was searching for something and that search alone was stressful.
I left that first acupuncture treatment feeling as light as a feather. The bowling balls popped like balloons…as if it was that easy. I remember walking home from that treatment with pure ease. Gliding along in a weightless body full of awareness. Needless to say, I went back for several more treatments. Yet, the practitioner I was seeing left me unfulfilled; desiring more. We weren’t connecting the way I wanted to. She didn’t understand.
A few acupuncturists later, I walked into a doctor’s office in Ohio. He is an MD who had taken a weekend course on acupuncture many years ago. After receiving a handful of treatments from him, he said to me, “Have you ever thought of studying acupuncture? I think you’d like it and I think you’d be good at it too. Research schools, look at their curriculum, and if it piques your interest keep digging further.”
I’m going to end here because I never expected this post to be so many words. This is also where my next journey began. This is how I answer my favorite question, “How did you discover this path?”
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.