Mind Experiment: Neutral Challenges

The Power of Neutral in a Noisy WorldIt feels like the world is getting more noisy lately.  From the ever changing guidelines of the pandemic, and attention grabbing headlines about politics, to opinions about what to do about all these wildfires, I don’t think the noise around us is going to slow down anytime soon.  The good news is that you can quiet down some of the noise in your head. 
Now I want to be clear about something really important—I’m not talking about ignoring what’s going on around us or trying to be positive about it.  I am talking about reducing the nagging anxious, frustrated, and fearful thoughts in your head for just enough time so that you get a little relief and gain some clarity.  With just a little bit more clarity you’ll be able to know what is yours to do and you can put your energy into that.  And more importantly you’ll know what is not yours to do so you can get back to feeling a little bit more like yourself.
With all the noise around us, I’m going to give you a really specific, succinct mind experiment you can try out to see if it brings you some relief and quiets down some of the noise in your head.
Mind Experiment: Over the next 2 weeks use the word challenge to describe all the noisy stuff going on around you.  Replace the emotional words you use to describe what is happening with this neutral word, and see what you notice as far as the noise in your head and the sensations in your body. 
Here's a few examples

Go From
I am so tense about all these stressors, they’re never ending!
I am so tense about all these challenges, they’re never ending!
Go From
I can’t believe how much F’d up news there is lately!
I can’t believe how many challenges there are lately!

You can see in the above examples that I’m not suggesting you be positive, just more neutral.  Because trying to be positive about something you are upset about just feels fake.  Aiming for more neutral frees up some room for fresh thinking. 

At first glance you may not want fresh thinking about the things you are upset about, but how’s that working for you?  It’s actually helpful to get a little space between your upset thoughts.  In that space you won’t do an about face about what is important to you.  But you might start to see something new about where you want to put your energy.  Just a little bit of space between your noisy thoughts is all you need to be able to hear your own common sense and gain some clarity.  And the world needs more common sense and clarity right now.
Over the next several weeks while the world seems pretty noisy all around us, start calming down the noise in your head by aiming for neutral.  One simple way to do this is to us the word challenges to describe the situations that are feeling noisy to you.  See if you notice some relief from the noise in your head.  Or if your body releases a little bit of tension.  I think you’ll be surprised by the power that comes from aiming for neutral. You may even want to try it on for longer than 2 weeks.
Let me know how it goes!

2 Upcoming Events…
Design Retreat OnlineWhen I was younger I was really struggling with romantic relationships (this retreat is not about romantic relationships, but follow me for a second).  I had an insight that was so helpful it improved all my relationships so much that people around me started asking me for relationship advice—work, family, and yes even romantic relationships.  My insight was “Everyone has their own reality.”  I saw this so deeply that it was truly helpful for me to share it with people, and they then had their own insights about their relationships. 
It wasn’t until years later that I started seeing that everyone’s version of reality was actually where they hold their power, creativity, inspiration, and peace.   That’s why I’m excited that I’m co-hosting a retreat that is all about understanding, at a deep level, what your unique design is.  And for the first time we’re doing the retreat online.  We're offering the inaugural online version at a discount and kept it to only 5 spaces, and we just had one space open up.  If you’re interested, get in touch as soon as possible.  I’d love to chat and see if it’s a good fit for you.  
So, what is Design?  It is easier to point in the direction of Design than actually describe what it is.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

–Martha Graham

When the 'energy' of your design is captured and surrounded by language it serves as a reminder, a touch point that allows you to reset back to what is a balanced state for you.  Knowing your Design allows for a relaxation and understanding of all those things that seemed not to fit.  One client said it was like dominoes all falling in a row, looking back through the lens of her design.  She could see the trajectory as just one thing.

One other side effect of going through the Design discovery process is you will forevermore listen to others through the lens of what makes them unique.  

Date: October 23-25
10:00-12:30, 2:00-5:00 each day
Over Zoom

Further information and the link to register is at my co-hosts website:


Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityIf you like the idea of quieting the noise in your head, come join us this and every Tuesday afternoon for a zoom conversation where we take a breather from all the noise and make room to grow more peaceful, even now:

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one's inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We're so confident in how helpful this conversation is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.

What We’re Treating In The Clinic—PTSD, Stress, AnxietyDid you know there is a famous ear acupuncture protocol for PTSD?  I can add it to full body treatments focused on whatever else your main health focus is.  I’ve been using it a lot lately because so many people are telling me they are experiencing some kind of trauma triggered response.  I always put some points in for stress reduction and to reset your nervous system because we all need that with our modern go go go lifestyle.  But these extra ear points supercharge the stress reduction part of the treatment so patients feel more relaxed, at ease, grounded, and resilient.
So many new patients have been telling me they came to get acupuncture to support _______  (fill in the blank with back pain, headaches, digestion, you name it), but the reason they thought acupuncture would be the best solution is because they had it before and it was the best way to calm down their stress, which they know is contributing to their main complaint.

Existing patients can book online here.  Make sure you get a confirmation email and click "CONFIRM" in that email.  You are also welcome to call or email us if you prefer to schedule that way, or you’re not finding any appointments that work for you online.

New patients need to call or email us to set up their first appointment because there is just too much information we need to share with you.

I am always grateful for your support in the form of a referral or a positive online reviewMy practice is accepting new patients–it's what's been keeping this small business alive.   That is not what I would have predicted in a global pandemic.  I thought people that know and trust us would feel comfortable coming in, but most others would be wary of trying anything new.  However it turns out that more people are now motivated to get and stay healthy.  And they’ve realized that western medicine does not have all the answers–especially for stress reduction, immune boosting, pain, and chronic conditions with underlying inflammation.  I think people have also realized that small medical practices like ours have a lot of control over our sanitization and safety protocols to help keep them as safe as possible. 

So while there are still patients that are choosing not to come in for appointments, our business is being kept alive with new patients.  We get a boost of energy because we love helping people learn about different options for their healthcare and help them to thrive for a long time.  And we’re grateful for their trust and their business. 
The best ways for us to connect with new patients that are a great fit for our brand of wellness care are through your personal referrals and online reviews. 
If you know someone who is facing a health challenge or is just wondering how to stay healthy in our current world, ask them if they have considered acupuncture.  If they are interested, have them call or email us so we can answer their questions. 
We know that the number one concern is that getting stuck with acupuncture needles will hurt.  You can tell them that most people get really relaxed and even fall asleep during their treatment – which would not be happening if they were in pain!  If your referral gets in touch with us, we can explain that Christina practices a style of acupuncture which is really gentle while still being extremely effective, and that she is well known for treating needle phobic people.  Many of those patients end up loving acupuncture and referring their needle phobic friends!    

The number one question people have is "Will it work?"  That's where it's helpful to both share your experience and have them get in touch with us.  We can let them know if we've treated their condition before and what to expect.  
And if you’ve enjoyed your care here, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a personal review online. Pretty much everyone who researches online and chooses us, ends up being a great fit here.  That is because when they read personal reviews, they can feel that we’re the place for them.  It would really help us out for you to leave a personal review on Yelp and Google Business (just scroll down to "Write a review") so more of our people can find us and get the help they need.

Here's to a renewed interest in health and being open to new options for health care–two of our favorite things!

Sending so much love out to each of you!  Hope you enjoy the Neutral mind explorations.
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

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