It’s the year of the Ox. When I think of the Ox, it brings me back to Asia and the rice fields. I think of the Ox as being very patient, slow and steady. I think it’s going to be more of a Yin year. More peace, more respect, more equanimity. Lilian Bridges is a well known author and teacher of Facial Diagnosis and Five Element Feng Shui. Here are her predictions for the year.
About a year ago, Eckhart Tolle reminded me of a famous asian saying: “The Teacher and the Taught Together Create the Teachings.” I love that quote and that idea. I really believe this to be true. As I pondered this idea, I had hoped this was what we were creating in the clinic. This idea of reciprocity, sharing, learning and healing together. From our work together, it gave me the courage to apply for a teaching position at Pacific Rim College. I’m now teaching one day a week in the student clinic as a Clinic Supervisor. I super duper love it! I’m learning a whole bunch of new teachings. I get to share our energy and excitement for this healing modality with them. They are super grateful. How nice💗.
I’m thinking of you as we transition into a new year, a new beginning. I’m working on letting go of ideas or thoughts that don’t serve me anymore, and making room for abundance and grace. Sound good? What are your thoughts for the new year?
Looking forward to seeing you and hearing from you.
Hello Everyone, how are you? how are we? how am I?
I’m checking in…I think I’m feeling a little sad, that’s natural this time of year, summer fun days are over😔. Autumn is the time that corresponds to Metal, the Lungs and Large Intestines. It also corresponds to the emotions of grief, disappointment, integrity and respect. I like to think of Autumn as a time of year of Receiving and Letting Go…breathing in and breathing out. The ease in which I breath, tells me a lot about my state of mind. I’m feeling a little heavy, so it’s my cue to take some time for myself to reflect on how I’m doing and do some breath work (pranayama in yogic terms). One of my favorite breathing practices is Dirgha Rechak Pranayama. This involves a regular inhale and a long slow extended exhale. Exhale with a pause at the end, allowing the inhale to come naturally. You can do 5 rounds any time of the day as part of your routine and it is also very helpful in times of stress.
So back to the Letting Go part. If only we could do that as easily as the trees let go of their leaves…maybe we can! With compassion and forgiveness anything can happen to make space for Receiving something new! That’s our practice.
Autumn is a good time of year to take care of our bodies (our garden, our terrain). What have you been doing that’s been helping you? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and share what you’ve been up to.
Practicing Gratitude helps put a spring in my step. A big thank you to you. My practice has been open since May, and I’ve been full and steady ever since…Alleluia! These times have not been easy for some. My heart goes out to you. Reach out if you are wanting to connect to yourself and find peace within, or you’re wanting a tune up to strengthen your immune system, or if you’re in pain of any kind. I’m in the clinic Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
It’s the end of August…how are you? How am I? How are we?
I read this on my friend’s Facebook newsfeed yesterday;
” Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, protests, looting, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this new normal is real life. Then I meet an 87 year old who talks of living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam protests and yet is still enchanted with life. He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. ” No” he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. ” I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines. Husband loves wife today. Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside. He patted my hand. Old man makes new friend.
What would your headlines read?
I have so many sweet ones. Neighbor asks for help. Sisters connect. Family finds solace in the mountains. Mother sees her child as she is. Brother says I’m sorry. Beans taste good. Mom and Dad love me.
I have noticed I do this a lot. I make up my world from the people around me, and I make up my world from my inner world. I find solace in my body. I connect. Gabor Mate says ” Safety is not the absence of threat, it’s the presence of connection.” Connection to self, connection to others, connection to nature, connection to something greater than myself, connection to…? How do you feel safe?
Elaine Alec writes from her new book Calling My Spirit Back “In order to create a safe space, you need to be a safe space.”
When I let that sink in…what does it mean to be a safe space? Wow for me it means I need to practice and cultivate a lot of self compassion. Being there for myself in conflict, being there for myself when things feel awful or hopeless, or simply being there when I feel jealous, disappointed, sad… or asking for help. Easier said than done, right! I do think and feel that these times require it. There is a lot to digest on the inside as well as on the outside.
Here are a few reminders for the upcoming months to keep strong and vibrant.
There is no end to what we can do to feel confident and healthy in 2020!
Deep Immune is a powerful combination of herbs that increase our immune cell activity, increase our digestive function, down-regulates our nervous system and calms the mind. Hey I want some of that! Marseille’s Thieves Oil is a combination of essential oils famous for warding off the plague in France in 1413. Available in 100% essential oil blend, bees wax salve, and now a hand sanitizer spray.
If you’re needing some guidance with your health and well-being, give me a shout. I’d love to help.
“Stand In The Light of Your Own Being” is an elegant way of saying Zheng Qi (Upright Qi)
A general term to describe the various forms of Qi that support/protect the body from exogenous pathogens. Usually used when contrasting the strength of the body’s Qi with the strength of an invading pathogen.
Here’s an exploration of the theory of Guest Host Theory. Over two thousand years ago, Zhang ZhongJing, author of the Shang Han Lun, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Zhongjing saw humans as part of the natural world. One of my teacher’s Dr. Edward Neal posted an elegant picture of a husband and wife kneeling down to welcome a guest that was also kneeling down, neither sides in battle with each other. It was very touching for me during these times where the Narrative at large is to protect ourselves from something evil. Viruses, bacteria, fungi are not evil per se, but they do their thing. They spread, they replicate, they have functions and programs. The take away from this image for me was to welcome the guest, have tea, and then send it on its way. Could our Zheng Qi accomplish this? Could my Zheng Qi accomplish this? Would I stay calm and not let my nervous system take over, taking energy from my precious immune system? Well I definitely have experience with both these scenarios, especially with the kids. When they were little, I remember not wanting them to be sick at all! I would get nervous and upset and do everything I could to get this thing out of them! Now as I mature (ha!) and the kids get older, I have more faith in their immune systems and I feel I allow them to get sick (have a guest) have tea, and send them on their way. There’s an idea that we will all benefit somehow and learn something. These days, this question percolates… It really does depend on our individual circumstances doesn’t it? We are all so different, with different histories and experiences. (and inside we are all the same)
In modern times, we often see ourselves as “Us vs Them” not with, but against. This need to protect and defend ourselves sometimes prevails, with good reason, sometimes…(but at what cost and could we do it differently?) I’ve been really investigating this idea within me, deep in my belief systems. Wow, I’ve experienced a lot more clarity into how I operate in the world, in my family, in my mind! I don’t think I’ve ever spent 8 weeks at home! I’m really curious as to how your experience has been. I am looking forward to welcoming you into my clinic, a place of connection and peace and letting go.
I’ll be getting in touch with those of you who had booked during the months of March, April and May, to re-book your appointments. Those of you who would like an appointment please contact me or visit my online Schedulicity calendar. Remember if you would like to work on something and you don’t feel comfortable coming into my clinic, we could set up a phone call or video chat.
Please feel free to express what you need when you come in. Bring or wear what you need to feel comfortable. We’ll do this together.
My first day in the clinic will be Monday May 25th. This will give me time to become familiar with the protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health and the CTCMA (College of Trad. Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists).
With deep respect and gratitude
My hours at the clinic: Mon 12-7 Wed 9-4:30 Fri 9-4:30 2508820659
“I wish I could show you the astonishing light of your own being.” Hafiz
“Stand in the light of your own being.” I originally saw this quote on Lillian Bridges website
Hello! How are you?
I’ve been taking lots of moments to really ask myself how I’m doing…asking my body or heart space(not my mind, our mind plays tricks and just says I’m ok). I certainly have been feeling lots of different emotions. Then I ask myself, what do I need? That usually gets me somewhere. Making tea for myself is a self-care ritual I do often this time of year. Here’s a picture of my lemon balm growing in my strawberry patch. Lemon balm is a gentle nervine, that helps calm and rejuvenate the nervous system. I grab a handful and sometimes mix it with other herbs or green tea. Other herbs(or weeds) that are growing right now are dandelion greens, nettle, and cleavers. Weeds are very useful this time of year to help our bodies do what we are doing anyway. Detoxing! Yes the liver is saying hello with all it’s grumpiness and irritations. So grab some weeds, or leafy greens and add them to your day.
Lavender is another one of my go-tos. Essential oils are easy to use and affordable and lots of fun. In March I was using a lot of Thieves Oil https://marseillesremedy.com/ in my clinic and at home and now I’ve switched to more calming/ nourishing/ uplifting oils such as lavender, citrus, peppermint. Rose oil I keep handy for special times like these where my heart space needs softening. In Chinese Medicine, Rose helps move the Liver Qi. (moves pent-up energy)
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family doing simple things: gardening, chores, bike rides etc. I’ve also been learning a lot online with my colleagues, staying connected that way. We’re doing a lot of meditations together, reviewing formulas and herbal combinations to help restore the body’s vitality through illness. Some of my colleagues in the States and China are sharing their approaches to Covid online for everyone to benefit and learn from their experience. Chinese Medicine has studied novel viruses for thousands of years. One of our special treasures is called the Shang Han Lun, written around 2000 yrs ago. We are still using the wisdom found in this treaty to help patients process this virus. The Shang Han Lun sees humans as part of nature. Seeing how our bodies can become in a workable relationship with nature. This really resonates with me and my belief systems. As I get older, I feel I want to protect myself less and less from others, or the outside world. I’m taking this time to go deeper inside myself and stay soft (when I can). Every day I say a prayer for all of you, and to all beings.
Today when I checked in with myself, I wanted to take pictures and write and connect. Voila!
Thank you for reading
Here’s my email if you want to say hello email@example.com
Hello and big hugs to all of you. I have returned to Victoria after a week of hiking and biking with my family. Our family reunion plans to Guatemala were re-routed to Parksville. My husband and I decided Parksville beaches and trails would ease the blow of not seeing Grandma and Papa in the tropics…and it did!
I am sure things are feeling and looking differently for you too. I miss you and I am thinking of you! I have come up with some ideas I hope will address our needs. It’s a work in progress. Here goes:
I’m going to start calling my April bookings to check in with you to see how you are doing.
Next, I have set up 2 Telephone/Video options for us if you would like a longer more in-depth consultation.
Dr Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer has advised all Health Professionals to cease all non-essential services. I take this to mean non-acute or non-emergency care. This directive was received through my College (CTCMA) on March 23rd/2020. I have a stirring energy inside me that’s thinking, what about Preventative Care? or Convalescent Care? This is where Chinese Medicine has always provided so much hope and solutions. So whether it’s for emotional support, pain, herbal care and support, diet, acupressure protocols, yoga, meditation, breath work, you name it. I’m here. On my Schedulicity App, I have added 2 services to address these needs. These services can be done over the Phone, Messenger Video or Zoom. After I have checked in with you, I will cancel your in-clinic appointments for the month of April (we’ll start there). You can rebook your appointment as a Tele/Video if you would like a longer and more in-depth conversation. You can do this online now by clicking Schedule Now at the top of this page, or email, text, call 250.882.0659 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are never alone and please remember our bodies, mind and spirit have potentiality beyond words.
” I wish I could show you the astonishing light of your own being” Hafez
May we be filled with loving kindness
May we be well
May we be peaceful and at ease
May we be happy
May we know the depths of our true spacious nature
May we be healed in this moment
May we be free of fear
Meditation for me grows my compassion muscle. It shines a light on my mental stories and games that I play. If I can grow to like myself more, this helps me understand others on a deeper level. The road can feel bumpy…and it’s worth it.
Winter is upon us. We got treated to some snow and sliding! My daughter Alia Blue, who is eight years old, couldn’t get enough of the snow. One night after her bath, she decided to get her snow pants on for one more go! Yes, good thing! It melted fast.
Winter is Kidney/ Urinary Bladder time of year. Our energies are deep in the body. It’s important for me to check in to see what I am needing. If I try to do too much…argh it doesn’t feel good. At the same time, it’s important for me to keep my light shining bright and my Qi moving with some treatments, yoga, meditation, slow time with family, singing, walking, creativity…What are your tricks?
In Chinese Medicine, it’s time to keep the body warm and preserve our Qi, for Spring and Summer are around the corner. Change change change. Everything comes and goes.
My hours at the clinic are Mon, Wed, Fri…with some overflow Thursdays.
Remember you can text, call, email, or book online.
Looking forward to our visits.
Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM
“Preparing the environment” in the classroom is a key component to the Montessori philosophy. We explored the idea of “preparing the environment” within oneself. For the past 20 years, I have been exploring within myself this idea of Living / Healing Through The Seasons, the emotions and the physical patterns that evolve with Mother Nature. Just like a teacher that lives and breathes through the seasons with their students. We discovered together that we are doing the same thing! How beautiful!
It’s Monday today and I’m still feeling the awe and the honor that was bestowed upon me and upon us all. Thank you
I recently came upon this wonderful documentary on the Life of Maria Montessori. Please enjoy!
Hello everyone, welcome to Fall, bye bye crazy summer fun months. It’s back to school for my family and back to routine…with a little more self-care. What about you? What does your self-care look like? What do you do in your life to spark joy? Who do you surround yourself with? Fall is Lungs & Large Intestine season- the Metal Element (Metal is more linear and routinized). So it makes sense that we are adding more routine and more discipline into our lives. The sun makes it easier to be happy, so with less sun we could insert some more joyful activities to keep balanced. The emotion of the Fall is sadness and/or loneliness. I sometimes feel homesick this time of year. Keeping my lungs open and my digestion smooth will be one of my goals for the next few months. I go for more walks and stretch out my arms while breathing and doing circles; movement with breath. This slows me down and brings me in the moment. I have started taking some probiotics and some immune teas and formulas, getting some acupuncture and massage, and going to bed earlier. I am sure all of you have some tricks that you do this time of year too.
This Fall I have some exciting events and courses lined up. I just finished taking an acupuncture course on Luo-Collateral channels in the body. These are channels in the body that connect the yin and yang paired organs. When we get overwhelmed these Luo-Collaterals have the potential to hold things at bay for later, creating a latency in the body until we are more capable to deal with certain stresses. Our bodies and channels have a super wisdom to deal with life. At some point we want to be able to slow down and take stock of how we are doing and make sense of things in our lives. If this doesn’t happen, our bodies are constantly overwhelmed, and life feels stressful. Acupuncture can help the body offload some of this stored emotion/tension. In the course I was taking, we even saw how the body creates extra blood vessels to store this stress or latency. Wow!
Over the summer, I was co-teaching Yoga at the Salt Spring Centre. This sparked a fire in me to start teaching here in Victoria. I’m going to start teaching a group of Montessori teachers weekly classes, and then we’ll see ( I know some of you have been wondering… I’ll keep you posted when I start to branch out). I’ve also been asked to be the key note speaker at a Montessori Conference on The Tao of Montessori. Two things very close to my heart. There are so many opportunities in life, we just need to grab them, even though we are terrified!
I’m flying to Portland next month for a two day workshop with Kiiko Matsumoto. Her specialities lie in teaching the Classics, and combining their wisdom with Modern Medicine. She will be focusing on systemic detoxification of our most common pharmaceuticals, and how they affect our kidney function. We’ll be discussing other topics such as bone strength and long term health goals (longevity). Chinese Medicine is all about longevity and happy life!
Looking forward to hearing what you have been up to. Some of you I haven’t seen in a while. Drop me a note via email or make an appointment. I’m in the clinic Mon, Wed, Fri, Thursday is my overflow day. Please remember you can text/email me to make a booking, especially if you don’t find a spot that’s convenient for you. I can put you on a waitlist for that day.
Here’s my email email@example.com
Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM
Maria Montessori Academy and VIMA-Vancouver Island Montessori Association hosted an International Montessori Conference over the weekend. What a beautiful school and a beautiful group of people.
There were over 250 Montessorians there to share their enthusiasm and love for what they do.
I presented a topic that has been percolating in me for many years: The Tao of Montessori. I was given the opportunity to share and explore this topic with a group of passionate Montessori teachers. I was very touched by how open and generous they were with me. Wow! Lucky me!