Clinic 118 Holmfirth Huddersfield

We have a lot to offer…

What does this saying not relate to?

This may be life in 6 words. Eureka!

It is variously attributed to “the Buddhists” the Dali Lama and is quoted by Murakami in his book “What I talk about when I talk about running”

This blog was to be called “Why we run” but in researching the concept of “intention” it struck me that writing this as we move into a new year, where resolutions are rife I could widen the scope a bit, to include everything!

Why the cheery heading? well in my experiencechanging things, often involves some level of pain. Consequently, putting those intentions into practice can be, very hit-and-miss. (More on that in part 2)

I have coached many clients who are involved in creating and implementing plans; both personal and business. Often, at this time of year, my acupuncture clients question how they can be better at looking after themselves; my students are busy putting their personal development plans together.

All are full of good intentions. All involve a change in behaviour; the vast majority have an imagined ‘reward’ for which confidence levels in attaining it are mixed (if we are being honest, that is)

Intention is a slippery customer. It is a thought.

Ever considered when and where that thought originates? Do intentions simply pop out of thin air? Is there a thought before the thought of intention? For example, what happens before the “I think I’ll go for a run” thought? and then why all that internal debate! (it’s too cold, wet, windy, dark etc) (see part three)

As acupuncturists, we use lots of metaphors to describe our work.

For us, the “spirit’ named Yi is the slippery entity concerned with intention.

Yi is roughly translated as intellect. Yi includes the concept of ideas as well as intent. Yi is a function of the spleen system (sorry, another metaphor!) which is itself the root of all the body’s energy (no stopping me now!) We can all appreciate at this time of year that a lack of energy, means a lack of creativity, loss of intention, heaviness, and lethargy.

I'm just saying, maybe not the most fertile period to be coming up with a list of life-enhancing intentions to initiate painful changes to our "behaviours".

However...

let's presume, for the sake of argument, that our day-to-day is generally less than massively healthy. For example, rummaging through too many raw emotions at work, mooching over bad news, or slouching Infront of the computer for too long. To enable us to DO this day-to-day unhealthy stuff we must do equal amounts of healthy stuff. You can’t be just healthy or unhealthy, you're always a bit of both.

It’s a matter of proportion. And choice.

Murakami says that most runners don’t run to simply live longer, they run because they want in some way to live life to its fullest.

In other words, exerting yourself to your fullest within your individual limits is the essence of running (and lots of other things) and probably even a metaphor for a life well lived.

Looking after yourself strengthens your Yi, which in turn enables creativity and intention.

And why do I choose to run (or get in horribly cold water)?

Because like you I want to choose health and I know that if I choose health, I will be better equipped to deal with unhealth.

As an acupuncturist I must provide my patients with a treatment that is not only effective in the method but also, I hold dear the intention to help my clients. I must provide them with my full attention. To do that I must look after myself. My intellect must be bright to enable me to be an effective acupuncturist and all-round human being.

In part two we will discuss how to turn intentions into action which of course requires willpower. And, how memory is essential in creating the right intention.

Until then, consider this:

    •    go to bed early and rise late.

    •    Wait for the shining of the sun.

    •    Avoid the cold and seek warmth

    •    Consider – in secret – your intentions for expansion.

    •    Refrain from sweating as it causes your life energy to be carried away quickly.


This is in resonance with winter and the way to nourish storage – ready for spring.

(Adapted from Su Wen - Huang Di Nei Jing C.400-200BCE)

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