Leading with Compassion

Wow, today was a good day. When I was working for U.S. Corporations, I noticed how flexible co-workers were from other countries. They could pack up and move to another country at the drop of a hat – even without family.

I remember a woman I was working with turned down a promotion to take a lateral move into a European country where her fiance worked. It was interesting how the two of them were navigating the world to be together.

Who does that? The best I did in the U.S. was a comment on how long-distance relationships were difficult and inconvenient.

Yet, today I was chatting with someone who had packed up and immigrated to the U.S. by themselves. For me, just the thought of uprooting myself from family and friends and moving across an ocean is a daunting proposition. It’s not just leaving family and friends, it’s the complete change in social norms when you move to another country. You have to relearn acceptable and expected behavior, and no one is going to tell you that.

Anyways, I commented to them on this flexibility I saw in people from other countries. I noted I was not near that flexible. I always made sure I was coming back to the U.S.

Their response was fascinating and had me looking at my life in the U.S. in a different light. They said it wasn’t flexibility. It was the ability to adapt. They mentioned they had absolutely no regrets about moving to the United States. The country they were from had a lot of corruption. People didn’t support each other, and ethics were not even a side conversation. There was much jealousy between people, and if anyone seemed to be getting ahead, there was a lot of hostility directed towards them.

I thought about that because I had worked with people from their country. I remember myself and my co-workers in the U.S. talked about a few of this country’s workers and what they were doing. In the U.S., their behavior was considered unethical. So, of course, we avoided them because the belief was it was just a timing game when they would have to pay for their sins.

My friend commented right away. My friend had no faith in their fellow citizens from their country of origin. Not only did they expect these citizens would be doing something unethical, this person believed these co-workers would not care as long as they were getting their own.

I thought back on the situation before responding, “Yeah, that’s true.” In the company, everyone knew what they were doing. When these co-workers from this other country realized everyone knew, they decided they no longer needed to hide their actions, like knowledge was consent. I told my friend it wasn’t consent. It was an opportunity for them to do the right thing and avoid all the ugliness.

My friend commented, “Yes, but that is who you are, who the people in the U.S. are. They are caring people and believe in doing the right thing. They work at helping each other and try to support each other.”

You know, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in Corporate America, but this person was right. That is precisely who we are in the U.S. And, I remember that you needed to figure out how to be that ethical, caring person to advance in your job. Not that we all start like that. Most of us don’t start like that because ethics and compassion is a response of maturity – the exact opposite of the drive practiced through high school and college. Work could send you through a lot of training and mentoring to help you grow up and find a more compassionate way.

And sure, we are not perfect in the U.S., and I’m not saying we are. But the thing that I loved about this conversation is this person reminded me of the very best in us. They reminded me of who we can be and who we strive to be. They reminded me about why, when I went overseas, the companies wanted to work with me.

It’s been a dark year. For many of us, the turning of Americans on each other has been emotionally devastating. It has been difficult for me to reconcile these actions with my belief in democracy and freedom.

Yet, to hear from an immigrant, their undying belief in who we are as a country and who we are as individuals almost brought me to tears. It was one of the best Christmas gifts I could have received this year, and just in time for Christmas.

I know the energetics of our country are changing. I know if there is anything to I-Ching and Daoism, this change has been moving forward for some time.

What is this crazy comment about the I-Ching? The I-Ching talks about how energy moves in the world. An example is how spring moves to summer, moves to fall, and changes to winter before moving back to spring. Life in Chinese Medicine is circular with no starting point and no ending point. Yet, life and the energy of life move in predictable patterns. The four seasons always flow in the same manner. We accept that summer follows spring like the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.

These same patterns happen in the body and with our interactions. The obvious one is the movement from a baby to an adult to the elderly. The I-Ching is supposed to help capture the patterns and help the individual make educated guesses on what to do next. So, if summer comes after spring, an educated guess would be to get the shorts out of storage.

Back in July, when I didn’t think I could handle much more, I looked for guidance in Chinese Medicine. I wrote what I found in my blog, “Why 2020 the Year of the Metal Rat is Rife With Unusual Chaos”

I knew the worst of it was going to pass, like the year 2020. But, maybe it’s time to write another blog looking for guidance because next year will not be all roses and sunshine. Our country will become more stable, but many things that have happened will still negatively impact 2021, and it will take us believing we can work together to start to pull out this. It will take all us leading with compassion to turn this boat around.

And here again, I go back to my conversation earlier today with a person who had immigrated to this country. Their undying belief in who we are as a country and people helped lighten my load. They reminded me of my faith in myself and my fellow Americans. Their confidence in us left me humbled. Just that one act of kindness from a person who had no idea how much they were giving me in our brief conversation helped me remain on my path and stay true to myself and lead with compassion.

What is Vitality and Why Normal Signs of Aging are not Normal

You may have noticed that life has changed as you age. The energy you once had is not so abundant. You may experience a difficult time sleeping. Time may have introduced you to arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or a host of other conditions. The actual energy that makes up your health is called vitality in Chinese Medicine. Here is what vitality is, how you store it, and how you use it. 

In Chinese Medicine, three things help determine the vitality you bring into this world: the genetics from your father and mother and nutrition during pregnancy. These three things set the foundation for the amount of energy you have in reserve. The reserve energy is called vitality. 

Vitality is kind of like a gas tank. Some people get a two-gallon tank, and some people get a thirty-gallon tank. The vitality gas tank is the back-up gas tank to your daily natural resources. You draw from this tank when life gets hectic, and your daily natural resources are not enough to get through.

The vitality tank is not static. You can make choices that will help you maintain and build the energy reserve. These are choices that help you take care of yourself. They can be choices like allowing yourself to get enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, so your body has the nutrients needed to function, or reducing negativity in your life. The positive emotion of love and joy almost supercharges the tank. I have an episode on my Youtube channel that identifies the Five causes of disease in Chinese Medicine. It’s these five areas that can help you donate to your vitality. 

But, the reality is life is an exciting explosion of sounds, sights, tastes, sensations, and smells. In your enjoyment of the comfort of life, you may make choices that mistreat and overwhelm your natural resources. And that is not the only way you can tax your natural resources. Life happens. Financial hardships, death, and other things can put you and your family’s survival and safety needs in jeopardy. They can take large withdrawals on your vitality.

You want to donate to your vitality, and let me tell you why. In Chinese Medicine, they say you have a limited amount of vitality. Let’s say you have 100 units of vitality. Throughout life, you’re going to make choices that change these units. 

Because vitality is more a black box than linear logic, here is a simple framework to think about vitality. Each choice you make in life either adds, drains, or keeps your vitality reserve tank equal. Throughout life, let’s say you make choices that drain 1/1000 a unit from your tank every day. This is that reserve you have to pull from to keep your body going when your body doesn’t have enough daily natural resources. An example of having to draw from the reserve is not getting enough sleep. To get through that day, you chug coffee and mentally push yourself. The coffee stimulated your body to use more energy than was available. That additional energy came from your reserve tank. 

Then one day, the tank is empty. You don’t have a back-up plan. When you overdo something, you no longer have a stash of energy or vitality to assist your daily natural resources. You feel like you hit a wall. 

You notice this landmark event because that is the day when you start to have significant health issues. That is when you try to push yourself through the day with coffee and just can’t. You find yourself tired all the time and unable to do much more than get up, go to work, and go to sleep. This exhaustion starts pouring into other areas of your life. Too tired to cook, you swing by a fast food restaurant and grab dinner, lunch, or whatever. Receiving none of the necessary ingredients you need to fix and repair your body, you end up more tired. Because sleep takes energy, your sleep starts to deteriorate. The list goes on and on. 

And when the reserve tank is empty, it feels like you hit a wall. It’s incredible how much we use and take for granted this reserve. And let’s be real, most people are a little hard-headed. Hard-headed in the sense that you’ve been doing these things your whole life and never had a problem. Why can’t you do them now? So, you keep on doing them, thinking you’ll get a different answer or stubbornly demanding you get a different response.

But when that tank is empty, the wall is an emphatic “no.” No, you can’t do that anymore. The more you try to do the same things, the worse things become. Your daily resources have less and less to help you overcome whatever it is you are doing. You find a negative health cascade starts to happen. You start packing on the weight. It’s more challenging to sleep. You wake up to go to the bathroom. You’re tired all the time. Your blood work starts showing abnormal changes. 

Doctors and many people believe all these things are the normal progression of aging. If it is a normal aging progression, nothing you do will improve the situation. All people would have these symptoms. 

Now some people have maintained a healthy lifestyle their whole life and have always kept their tank full. As they age, nothing shows up. Or, they came into this world with a pretty big tank. So, even though they’ve played hard, they still do well. They still bounce back. 

That alone is the first clue the aging symptoms you are experiencing are not normal signs of aging. Instead, they are a typical sign of exhausting your vitality. 

Chinese Medicine has a very different focus from Western Medicine. Where Western Medicine focuses on suppressing the symptom to enable you to continue doing what you are doing, Chinese Medicine focuses on identifying the weakness, targeting behaviors you can modify to rebuild and improve your health. 

One of the foundational pillars of Chinese Medicine is Daoism. Longevity is a critical part of Daoism. When I read about Daoism and longevity, the focus was on how to live in balance with your environment. Your environment is your body. So, how to live in harmony with yourself to enhance and prolong your health. Nature was a resource to better understand how to live in harmony. Ancient China created all the herbal formulas, acupuncture, nutrition, meditation, and exercises to support the end goal of keeping your body in harmony to prolong your life. 

You usually realize there is a problem when your older, when your tank has been emptied, and now you have a decision to make: do nothing or do something. I have an episode on my Youtube channel, “Why Walking is a Good Thing.” It goes into more of the challenges you face trying to rebuild your health as an older adult. It also goes into a little of the mental mindset you need to rebuild your health when you’re older. Another episode, “Consciously Helping Your Heart Stay Healthy,” shares more wellness coaching tips on what it means to get healthy when you’re older.

The bottom line is getting healthy when you’re older is not about “getting in shape” like losing a few pounds or exercising more. Getting healthy when you are older is about rebuilding your vitality and getting some reserve resources back so you can start enjoying life again. 

To give an example, you can do those quick hit things like a fad diet. The minute you lose weight, you stop the diet and start gaining the weight because you didn’t retrain yourself. So, in essence, you gained nothing. And when you’re younger, usually only one part of your health is compromised to the point where it needs attention. When you’re older, multiple aspects of your health need attention, and it is not slightly compromised where a quick week-long fad diet will correct it. 

This means you can start rebuilding your vitality by changing something in any of the five causes of disease where losing weight is only useful if you change your diet. And you can’t do this short week or month-long thing and go back to business as usual. Rebuilding your vitality is about taking the time to make the lifestyle changes.

You have two choices. If you’re out here, you’ve usually made a choice to do something. That is the critical thought, “do something.” You don’t have to do everything. So, watch that episode on The Five Causes of Disease in Chinese Medicine and do something in one of those categories. Because the significant change when you are older is your getting healthier lies in each of those changes categories instead of just one. 

So, that’s vitality in Chinese Medicine and why normal signs of aging are not normal.

Thanksgiving – What Do I Have to be Thankful For?

What a year. I reflected on the year because I’m not sure how I ended up at the end of the year. It seems like January was just an hour ago, which is weird because every day seems to last three days.  

The last time I remember feeling like days lasted forever while the year seemed to race by was when I was a kid. I remember waiting for Christmas. The Christmas tree would go up. My elementary school would have us practice for the Christmas program. Each day seemed like an eternity, and Christmas seemed so far away. But, the year, well, the year was just fine.

I guess I’m waiting again. I guess me and the rest of the country are waiting. Each day feels like an eternity, while the year feels like a flash.

So, I decided to think about why I was thankful. I have much to be grateful for. I am grateful for my husband and our life together. I’m grateful that where I’m weak, he is strong. 

He has better survival instincts than I do. We had planned to spend Thanksgiving in a rented apartment on the beach. He didn’t think it was a good idea. I just canceled. He has excellent survival instincts.

That brought up the pain of the pandemic. This pandemic is going to last as long as it is going to last. My husband and I have spent the last eight months at home. We’ve done take-out food a couple of times. But, other than the grocery stores, we haven’t been out. No vacations to the beach or the desert or the mountains. No splurges on clothes we don’t need. No expensive restaurants – our absolute favorite. And no movies.

I’m pretty proud of us. We’ve done it. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves. Who we were before the pandemic and who we are today are different people. I think we’re better. 

Before the pandemic, we were pathological consumers. Before the pandemic, I was always busy with nonsense. I had no time because I wasted time doing nonsense things. And, everything had to be so wonderful. I had lost pleasure with the simple things in life. 

The pandemic has forced time on me. It’s been painful, but my expectation of life has been returning to “normal” where I can see and appreciate the simple things in life. I stopped my pathological spending. I spent time reaching even deeper into Chinese Medicine. I’ve stepped up my meditation. All this means self-discovery is on overdrive. The simple living experience and the pleasure of a chilly fall morning or a crisp winter day have been reawakened.   

I don’t think I would have ever gone this deep into the medicine or myself without the pandemic. And sure, now it feels like I accidentally stepped on a slide and am on a wild ride. Yet, the ride is impressive.

Do you know what else happened? The pandemic gave all of us permission to wear face masks and make it normal. When this is over, I’m wearing a face mask during flu season because the flu has become so virulent and difficult to overcome. 

We may have gained another positive from the pandemic. When you are feeling sick, you might feel justified in staying home. Remember how frustrated you would get that a co-worker came in snotting and coughing all over everything. Two days later, you would have the flu, and it lasted for eight weeks. 

People may be more willing to stay home. And with the advent of work-at-home, businesses may be more supportive of keeping the sick home.

In Australia, this year, with masks and social distancing, Australia’s flu season was a tenth of the 2019 season, and total deaths from the flu were 34.   

I have to thank my clients. Without them, I wouldn’t have a business. With them, they have made a problematic year survivable. So, thank you for being there for me. And I got to meet new clients this year who were terrific and filled with new stories and new lives. 

Most importantly, my husband and I have managed to keep ourselves and our friends safe. I’m incredibly grateful for that. 

What I’ve come to realize is this year is not a normal Thanksgiving. It is a significant season marked by thanks and grace. This is a year where I’ve been introduced to heroes every day. Every essential worker, the grocery worker, the food processor, healthcare worker, and the civil servants that worked so others can stay home and safe, I am grateful to you. This year has reawakened my midwestern values of family and community. And this year has made me aware that nothing can be taken for granted, and I’m so grateful my family is safe.

There is still a road ahead of us. From the past eight months, my husband and I know we can make the next six months.

My wish and prayer for you is that you can keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Genetically engineering vaccines to fight COVID19 – the mRNA vaccine

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With the prospect of either Moderna or Pfizer bringing their mRNA vaccine to market, I’ve had clients question me on what is this technology? In my episode on “The biggest healthcare challenge facing you today,” I talked to why it is so important to be or have a patient advocate. One of the functions which a patient advocate is able to complete is the initial research so you can start to figure out what works best for you and to allow you to have a more in-depth conversation with your medical provider.  

The coronavirus is insanely risky.  In the last two weeks, more and more people are comfortable talking about their infection and the lasting ramifications of the virus. Twitter is probably one of the more vocal platforms. As celebrities and influencers talk about their positive test for Covid19, more and more people are tweeting about some of the lasting health impacts of the disease. Asthma or some other impaired lung function is the most popular post I read about. But, I’m also reading about issues with brain function and dementia, post viral heart attacks, and just a slew of other things. 

And pre-election, it was really hard for me to find this information. I really wanted to understand what my risk was if I survived an infection and prior to two weeks ago no one was comfortable talking about it. Nor were they posting pictures of their loved ones who had passed. The weird thing is the pictures I’m seeing are not 80 year old seniors in a healthcare facility. These people look like they are in their 40’s or 50’s, healthy and vibrant. These people were me. 

That pushed me to produce the episode on “Coronavirus Update, 4 medications in Your Medicine Cabinet” and their positive impact on Covid 19.  

But now we are going to have another decision facing us. What do we do when the vaccine becomes available? Right now, Moderna and Pfizer are leading the pack with their mRNA technology. Johnson and Johnson was working on an adenoviral vector vaccine that was pulled in the last few weeks due to an adverse incident. 

So, what are these technologies? mRNA vaccine technology is one of three genetically engineered vaccine technologies. The three technologies are: 1. DNA vaccines, 2. mRNA vaccines and 3. adenoviral vector vaccines. There are over 200 hundred vaccine candidates worldwide. There are companies in each of these categories. Inovio has a DNA vaccine in clinical trials. Pfizer and Moderna have mRNA vaccines.  Johnson and Johnson has an adenoviral vector vaccine.

And this is just focusing on the genetically engineered vaccines. 

Let me tell you, in concept, I like the concept of genetically engineered vaccines because it takes out the variability of life in vaccines created through naturally occurring processes. And this risk really came to light back in 2009 with our flu vaccines. We’ve used chicken eggs to create the flu vaccine for over 70 years. So, it’s a stable platform with a hitch. Every vaccine would have a mutation. These mutations didn’t pose a concern because the vaccine was really about making our immune system sensitive to one protein on the virus – the only protein our immune system could target. In 2009, the mutation happened on that protein hiding it from our immune system. Back in 2019, I produced an episode on this phenomenon “Research Updates Flu Vaccine 2019.”

The episode goes over the research that was happening and some of the short term solutions of addressing the problem. Now, none of the short term solutions fixed what caused the problem in the first place. In fact, they had the potential for making that problem even worse because the problem was diversity in nature coupled with non-human DNA and injecting it into humans. I’ve been really curious how science was going to address the problem with the random nature of life. Out of the three genetically engineered vaccines, it appears that mRNA may have the potential to address this problem. 

All three of the technologies have been around for 20 to 30 years. None of the technologies have an approved vaccine for human use. So, let’s look at what each of the technologies does have approved. First, DNA vaccines have two approved veterinary vaccines in the US. The West Nile Virus vaccine for horses and melanoma vaccine for dogs. Second, the mRNA technology has no approved vaccines for humans or animals. The third technology, the adenovirus vaccine has one vaccine approved for rabies in wild animals. 

I would highly support reading the Chemical and Engineering article, “Adenoviral vectors are the new COVID-19 vaccine front-runners. Can they overcome their checkered past?” Well written and explains the adenoviral vaccines in clear, easy to understand language. It highlights the risks with these vaccines. It sounds like the concept is valid, but when you try to implement it, you can’t. 

With the DNA vaccines, I hesitate when you inject something into our DNA. I just don’t think that is a good idea. And the  West Nile virus vaccine was causing so many adverse events in horses, that I stopped using it. I stopped following this vaccine when I stopped using it. Although, I can say I don’t hear the same outrage that I heard with the initial vaccine where birth mutations were common, sudden death, reproduction concerns – just all sorts of weird DNA issues. That’s just me, and I’m sure science would be more than willing to help me understand how naive my position is. 

Obviously there have been improvements in the technology. Back in 2003, there was a review on DNA vaccines. One of the problems was reaching enough cells. According to a review initiated in 2015 and finalized in 2017, that is still the problem in humans. I’ll be curious to see how Inovio is going to overcome this obstacle. 

Which leaves us with mRNA vaccines. What I liked about this concept is it is synthetic. So, the risks involved in using chicken eggs to grow the virus and injecting the virus into the body are avoided. What I also like is the limited function of mRNA in the body.  mRNA is a recipe or instructions our cells read to make a protein. And this vaccine is only delivering instructions to create one protein and has no other instructions.  What I also like is mRNA degrades overtime so it won’t be floating around your body. It has a natural termination date. 

On the other side, the biggest concern with the Pfizer mRNA vaccines is the need to keep them cold…really cold until use. That will create a logistics problem. Moderna does not need to be kept cold. That alone would make it a natural front runner over Pfizer. The other thing that is going to be tough with these vaccines is it is new technology.  I know there was some concern that the data wasn’t available before the elections. There weren’t enough infections before the elections to open the data. And I still question whether 90 some infections is enough to make a determination in a population of 30,000 to 45,000 because we just don’t know what we don’t know. And that article in Chemical and Engineering news highlights what we learned about the adenovirus technology as we started trying to use it. It was identified that people who have immunity to the adenovirus used in the vaccine had no protection. In some people, this technology caused a significant inflammation response that could cause death. The researchers also found that after the first injection,  the body mounts an immune response to the adenovirus vaccine. So, you couldn’t use it a second time. 

So, right now, I like the concept of genetically engineered and I like the mRNA technology the most of the three available. But this is really preliminary. I thought I had read somewhere that Pfizer will open their trial data towards the end of November to allow researchers to peer into the data, but I can’t find that information anywhere. If you want to see the study design here is a link to it. https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus

CNBC did a great overview of the process of getting a COVID-19 vaccine to market and mRNA vaccines called, “ What is an mRNA coronavirus vaccine.” It goes into more depth on the speed these are coming to mark, the phases of the trial, and emergency use approvals. 

O.k. that is the introduction to the genetically engineered vaccines. Good-luck you guys and stay safe. 

FOOTNOTES

Erman, Michael Mishras, Manas (2020, October 27). Pfizer says no COVID-19 vaccine data yet, could be a week or more before it reports. Reuters. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pfizer-results-idUSKBN27C1GT

Cross, Ryan (2020, May 12). Adenoviral vectors are the new COVID-19 vaccine front-runners. Can they overcome their checkered past? Chemical & Engineering News. Retrieved on November 15 2020 from https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/Adenoviral-vectors-new-COVID-19/98/i19

 Cuffari, Benedette. (2020, September 25). What is a DNA-based vaccine?. News-Medical. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-a-DNA-based-vaccine.aspx.

Liu, M.A. (2003, March 21). DNA vaccines: a review. Journal of Internal Medicine. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1365-2796.2003.01140.x

Li L, Petrovsky N. Molecular mechanisms for enhanced DNA vaccine immunogenicity. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016;15(3):313-329. doi:10.1586/14760584.2016.1124762

Beasley, Deena (2020, November 9). Inovio expects FDA decision on COVID-19 trial start this month. Reuters. Retrieved on November 15 2020 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-inovio-pharma-idINKBN27P2UW

Judgment says more about the person than the situation

I was thinking about this today because my husband and I found a cute kitten hiding in our woodpile. My husband had noticed the little guy hanging around the house. He had tried to get close to the little guy, but the kitten was having none of it.

Well, the little guy, we’ll call him Smokie, was hungry enough to make it easy to catch him. He was really clean and well behaved, litter box trained with a good sense of boundaries. Whoever raised this kitten did it with love and respect and did a great job. A second similar kitten was found a few blocks from me.

I had wanted to post on our community chat to let the person know that this kitten and one other were safe and well taken care of and to thank them for doing such a great job of raising them. I hesitated because my community chat can be filled with judgment. I didn’t want to see my post overwhelmed with replies of what a jerk the person was and blah, blah, blah. Negativity overload!

So, I didn’t.

Many of you know, I lost my sister two days before her birthday in March of 2018. My mother passed a month later, in April of 2018. And, in June 2018, my horse passed. I was pretty shell-shocked.

Through this, I ran my business and saw clients. I had a new client who was a hairstylist. The only time she could get in was early morning – before my office hours. As a favor, I agreed to see her early.

Around the third appointment, I forgot I had booked her early. I woke up that morning and was overwhelmed with my grief of losing so much. I remember how sad I was. I was lost. I wanted to be alone.

I got ready for work thinking it was a typical day and trying to pull myself out of my funk. It is tough being in healthcare and giving to others when your tank is empty.

When I got to work, I heard the message on my answering machine. My client was upset. She was really upset. I immediately called her and tried to offer free products, taking care of her payments. She was having nothing to do with it. As far as she was concerned, I was unprofessional and had caused her significant injury. She was a very important person, and I had wasted her time(and let’s be real, many of us drop that attitude on others). I had the sneaking suspicion that judgment wasn’t going to be enough. She was going to want payback – vengeance.

Her husband had scheduled to come in that afternoon. I knew he wasn’t going to show up after the morning call with his wife. I expected her husband not to show nor call to cancel. For my small business, this is a big deal because the only thing I sell is my time. So, when a client books a slot, I can’t give it to another person. If they don’t show, I just lose that money and there is less money to pay overhead, employees, student loans, taxes and everything it takes to run a business.

My client’s vengeance would be that I deserved to have what she believed I had done to her – intentionally missed her appointment.

Well, that’s what happened. Her husband just didn’t show. I left her a message apologizing again. I never heard from her or her husband again.

I learned two things from that experience. First, that was the last time I made special arrangements for a client because if something went wrong, would we be grown enough to work through the problem?

The second was judgment says more about the person than the situation. She had made a judgment about what happened to her and acted on her judgment of the situation. You can either respond to situations based on your history or show a healthy curiosity about why I might have missed the appointment.

Even though the past no longer exists, it plays over and over in your head making you believe that every situation is the same situation from your past. It creates your playbook. That playbook judges what is happening and responds. I have a series on “Why does my Stomach Hurt?” which is starting production end of November 2020. It goes into this phenomenon from a Chinese Medical perspective.

Anyways, these types of playbooks create that kneejerk reaction to a situation and allow you to wonder, “Why does this always happen to me?” These kneejerk judgments and reactions that you can’t stop are an example of your past driving your future. My blog “Taking Back Your Power! How to Start Letting go of the Past and Moving On” talks to this. And when the story from your past is something that left you feeling hurt or powerless, the response is vengeance. You want to be able to tell the world you are no longer powerless.

Crazy, but I understood who she was because I grew up in a situation where I felt powerless and unsupported at times. Even today, experiences from my past lurk in my shadows.

The feeling of being powerless is the worse feeling. When confronted with a situation where I feel powerless, I feel that the need for vengeance.

Chinese Medicine is all about balance and two sides of the same coin. Being powerless is also being vulnerable…the out of balance side of vulnerable. In Chinese Medicine, everything has a point of perfect balance. Vulnerability in perfect balance is love. Vulnerability out of balance is powerlessness. And, when someone has experienced the out of balance side of vulnerability for too long, the ability to experience unconditional love can be foreign along with compassion.

So, judgment says more about the person than the situation. Everyone will experience judgment differently. Not everyone gets to experience the situation I experienced, in Chinese Medicine you experience life based on the law of attraction. The world brings a mirror into your life every day. Each day is an opportunity to find another piece of yourself through your interactions with others. She was my opportunity to see myself. It could have happened at a less traumatic time in my life. But hey, life doesn’t wait for you. I have another blog post, “Learn to Remember What You Want in Life to Live a Happier Life” which starts to touch on how to change attraction.

Yet, I started this story about an abandoned kitten. I want to end with an abandoned kitten.

I had a friend back about thirty years ago when we were still teenagers. His cat had kittens, and they were the adorable mixed siamese kitties with fluffy hair. They were all buff with blue eyes. His parents told him they couldn’t keep all the kittens.

He wasn’t about to take them to a shelter because who knows what horror would happen to them there. He could have given them to a feral cat adoption group, but he couldn’t be sure who would get his kittens. He could advertise them, but who knows who was going to show up?

What did he do? He took his cute, clean, healthy, fluffy kittens and put pink bows around their neck. He got three picnic baskets and put a baby blanket in each basket. He put one kitten in each basket.

He picked people he saw in his communities that he thought were good people. These were people he didn’t know but would have liked to know and put the picnic basket with the kitten on their doorstep. His kittens ended up safe and well-loved.

Even back then, he was a great salesperson and understood presentation is half the battle. And judgment, you never know why someone does something or what it means unless you ask. Judgment is more about your past, your beliefs, and your value of yourself than the situation.