Can you find your path and also embrace the ride? 

 What is the true meaning of healing, and why do acupuncturists call themselves healers? It is a simple question to which there is a simple answer.  Acupuncturists are just like any other teacher, coach, counselor, parent or friend; they are catalysts, facilitators, or even sign posts to a different way of doing life.  So why did it take me so long to learn? I thought that I would share some highlights of the journey because I think that some of you will be able to relate to the themes.

My father was a doctor, and like many parents he had aspirations for me.  He encouraged me to follow my dream, but unfortunately my dream was not his dream, or so I thought. The seeds were sown in my mind.  All I wanted was him to acknowledge me and my dream; instead I felt there was something missing in me.  I could not be the person he wanted me to be.  This was so far from the truth!

My dream was to be a classical ballet dancer.  I held my dream close to my heart but hoped there would be a compromise.  Maybe I could follow my father's dream for me and also my own.  Sadly it is not possible to be on two paths simultaneously.  This caused me much pain as a child and in high school.

I followed my dream. I enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dance and turned down my place at Edinburgh University to read Zoology.  For the first time in my life I felt alone. I had decided to follow the path toward my dream and rejected the path valued by my mentor. Although I had listened, I had not heard his wisdom, and I had dis-empowered myself.

It is not possible to succeed in classical ballet if you do not believe in yourself. As a child, my teacher told me I was the best ballet dancer in the world and encouraged me to believe it. Now I was a teenager alone and could not believe it. My spirits sank,and I could no longer dance.  My teacher was surprised when I told him this: I quit.

And so began my path as a healer; I trained as a nurse.  My mother was a nurse, as was my grandmother and is my daughter - wow four generations! However, my spirit was still restless. I had given up my dream, and I needed to create another one. My next dream was to be a mother.

After two miscarriages, I was pregnant with my first child - a dream come true!  Alas not, I was widowed when I was seven months pregnant.  For a second time my dream was shattered. I learned that when your life's energy appears to disintegrate you have choice, reintegrate or die.  I had a baby; I could not die.  I spoke with my mentor and with his support and encouragement I continued my journey as a healer.

This time as a student and practitioner of Health Education. In this pursuit, I faced the conundrum of 'Empowerment' versus 'Behavior Modification.' Did you empower a person to give up smoking, or do you modify his behavior? My mentor had been a heavy smoker until his first heart attack when he was aged 46. He modified his behavior!

I no longer felt alone. I was on a path, the right path, but I had no idea where the journey would end.  I knew that self-empowerment started in early childhood.  As the Jesuits say,

"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man."

I was restless again. I began to question my dream. My attention was drawn to an opening in work with children.  My mentor encouraged me to follow the path. Was this the end of my journey? Had I discovered my purpose? For nearly 20 years I pursued my passion in many aspects of my life.  I married the love of my life, had three more beautiful children, and I was passionate about my work. My mentor died. I was once more alone, but this time I was ready to continue the journey alone.  I could not see the path. My spirits sank, no amount of focus would reveal to me where I was to go. I let go of my focus and followed my husband to America with three of my four dear children.

I was lost in another country and truly felt I had stumbled away from my true path. My inner being told me to return to the path of healing but did not reveal how. The search for the path led me to Tai Sophia. Through this experience my thinking was transformed.  Supported by the love of my family and my friends, guided by my teachers, and encouraged by the circle of my class-mates, all of whom I so needed when the going was tough, I emerged as a  true Healer, as an Acupuncturist.

How blessed I am to have been granted the freedom to pursue my passion and my dream.

Thank you for reading my first blog.

It is written to honor the memory of my first mentor, my father:

 Dr. G. Maurice Ashurst MC, M.D., DMRD. (b.1921,d.1994)