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Be in the “Now”–It’s a great place to be!

by Oct 18, 2019

Home » Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Student Blog » Be in the “Now”–It’s a great place to be!

While taking a break from my acupuncture studies recently, it occurred to me that cleaning just seems to be the main event for me these past couple of weeks. The house has been neglected for almost a year. TCM books and notes seem to migrate out of the study room via mobs of secret ninjas on their missions for me to be the Silent Sensei Acupuncturist.


For me, cleaning is a reset button. A space where I allow myself to see and be able to step back to re-evaluate my life. We all want to be at certain places, at the right time, with the right people in hopes for that perfect outcome. Sometimes we hold on to things that no longer are good for us. In a way, we are actually little hoarders!

Hoarders not just in the physical sense of holding on to objects, but hoarders of mental and emotional baggage. For example, we have all heard of hoarders, and that this tendency can get worse over time, as many houses today are packed with so many items. Once entering, the maze starts and the first challenge is to get through to the other side. That’s the extreme of course, but a lot of us are hoarders of moments. We are sentimental creatures, holding on to good memories connected to a specific person, events, times, or situations.

Our mental space is always filled with thoughts. Is there ever a time when one can just be in a free flow of “nothingness” beyond thoughts, tasks, responsibilities, next steps, choices…? Thank goodness the autonomic nervous system controls our breathing. Emotions can be one of the hardest aspects of the self to calm, as we are all connected to one another. Even if we don’t think we are emotionally attached, even the slightest thought can reawaken emotions recalling that one person, feeling or event.

So every now and then, it’s ok to “clean house,” whether that means your physical living space, or purging the emotional aspects of the self. How did the object or person make you feel? There will always be a time and space when it’s ok to let go. Letting go does not mean one will forget. Letting go is saying thank you for teaching me that lesson, allowing me the opportunity to learn and grow. At times it can hurt, but it will be freeing.

There are times when I have felt like Snow White singing and dancing (but with no little animal friends to help me with my dusting and mopping!). However, I did do some pretty good compilations of pushing, shoving heavy furniture like Wall-E, saying “thank you” and “goodbye” using the KonMari Method of organization. I decluttered and tossed some furniture, thanked and donated clothes and shoes, organized all my school books and notes. Talk about being Asian, my Chinese ancestors would be proud of my Feng Shui techniques! All the things I had control over, I am happy to have let go.

After finishing what my little minion mind has decided to achieve in cleaning and clearing, I take a few steps back, take in a couple of deep breaths and reassess. There are things I have collected and places I have gone to, from which I experience my memories…The people I have met, some stayed and some went, but if they are meant to be in my life, they will come back. The timing of things doesn’t matter, it’s when the moment was just right. I am grateful for all the people, places and things I have encountered. If it wasn’t for those experiences where I allowed my mind to just go with the flow, I would not be where I am today. I am truly blessed that the time and space of the past allows me to focus on the present. As for the future…that’s another day; just be in the now, it’s a great place to be!

: )

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About the Author

Rina Sem

Rina Sem

Rina Sem is a student at the Lombard, Illinois campus studying in the Master of Science-Oriental Medicine program. Though working in the medical field for 10 years, she is keeping the promise she made to her father to complete her master’s degree. Rina is a first-generation American of Cambodian heritage, and passionate about her studies in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.


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