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Choosing your mood

Choosing your mood

When I was getting my masters in acupuncture, self-cultivation was a big part of the program.  If you’re in the field of helping others realize their potential, you’ve really got to be exploring your own pretty deeply.  One of the practices we learned was designing our mood.  It sounds too simple – just declare how your day is going to be and then stick to it, no matter what happens. If you get thrown off, you remember your commitment – to ease, to confidence, to joy,  to whatever it is, and you know that that commitment is stronger than any other conflicting emotions you happen to be experiencing in response to a given situation.

It’s really powerful.  Of course it’s difficult at first.  It’s like building a muscle.  And yet our power to choose is one of our most basic freedoms – the holocaust survivor Victor Frankl called it the last human freedom.  It may be challenging, but honestly, what’s the alternative?  To constantly be a victim to whatever outside things are going on and our habitual responses to them? No thank you.

Sometimes the idea of authenticity is used to justify sharing every little grievance or shift in emotion that we experience, and yet to me, there’s nothing inauthentic about choosing which experience we are having is the highest and the most appropriate given the context. Our minds are processing a million things a minute. Would it be authentic to just broadcast every thought? That would make for quite an insane society. Or a Woody Allen film.

Start small – for one week practice declaring your mood when you wake up and reminding yourself of your commitment throughout the day (post-it notes in your car, pop-up reminders on your computer).  Things that come up that knock you off-center are opportunities to practice returning to your stated mood. No judgment – just acknowledge that you’ve lost it and gently guide yourself back.

What if we all declared a mood of ease for the whole holiday season? Now wouldn’t that be a gift for everyone in our lives!

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The Nuin Center
5655 Bryant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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Tue 10-7
Wed 10-7
Thu 10-7
Mon, Fri, Sat hours twice a month
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Returning patients can schedule online with the button below. New patients please call to schedule. (FYI I have about a 6-8 week waitlist.)
Phone: 412.927.4768