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Red Coral Acupuncture

October 24, 2010

I didn’t see a single person foreign to Nepal from the time Simon and Catherine left Dolpo at the beginning of May until June 11th when I flew from Juphal to Surkhet where I met an Irish woman working for UNICEF.  I was grubby and overgrown with a full beard, but it was nice to talk to a native English speaker once again.

From Surkhet to Nepalgunj, I checked my email for the first time in 6 weeks and had to weed through everything to see what I needed to attend to first.  Popping out at me first was an email from Lori Howell, L.Ac, Assistant Dean at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago.  In the email she asked me if I was still in Asia or the US and if I was coming back to Chicago, if I would like to join her at Heartwood Center in Evanston, IL.

The last two weeks were spent in Kathmandu, enjoying the company of close friends, visiting lamas, receiving medical care for my dog-bite wounds and eating.  Lots of eating.  I managed to lose roughly 14 pounds in 6 weeks in the mountains and seriously could not stop thinking about all the momos, dal bhat, pizza and pasta I would eat once back in Kathmandu.  Food and coffee.. and food and coffee.

The day before I left Nepal, I got to meet with Chokling Rinpoche, son of Urgyen Tulku Rinpoche, father of Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche and Phachok Rinpoche, in his home which also was a highlight for me.  We talked mostly about managing meditation practice and family life as well as the practice of medicine.

My last day, Amchi Ngawang, my close friend, would drive me to the airport in Kathmandu, just as he had picked me up when I first arrived.

Back in the US, I made quick plans to visit the places that were potential choices for opening or joining a practice.  This was a lot of fun for me because it provided me a chance to reconnect with old friends around the midwest.  I spent time in Minneapolis, Rochester, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.  Out of all the places, Chicago again resonated with me the most.  I met with Lori and saw the new location of Heartwood Center in Evanston, Illinois and saw a lot of potential for my practice there.  During that time I stayed with my close friends, Ryan and Natasha, who really helped me decide without a doubt that Chicago was where I belonged.

Heartwood Center moved from its former location of 12 years in downtown Evanston to its new location on September 1st.  I began seeing patients in early September and began a new chapter in my life as a busines owner.  This has been extremely rewarding and challenging so far.

Red Coral Acupuncture came about at the latest of moments in deciding a name for the business at the Cook County Clerk’s office in downtown Chicago.  I had yet to think of a name before this point that I liked and hadn’t yet been thought of.  In the waiting room, ready to file my DBA, standing there without a business name, I touched a necklace I was wearing made of red coral and thus began Red Coral Acupuncture.

http://www.redcoralacupuncture.com

The best part about owning my own business is the freedom that comes with it.  I decide myself what happens with the future of my practice.  What I put into it, I get out of it.  There are no one else’s hands on the steering wheel other than mine and ultimately, I am responsible for the outcome, whatever that may be.  Truly a situation of, ‘with great freedom comes great responsibility.’  I have the freedom to do whatever I want, but am solely accountable for my own successes and my failures.

Treating patients is what I’m familiar with.. I can do that.. but the challenge is to do that AND navigate through the forest of licensing, malpractice insurance, IRS documentation, accounting, purchasing supplies, meetings with the bank, Excel spreadsheets, Quickbooks and on and on and on and on…  This can be time consuming and mundane, but, even these tasks when held with the right intention and motivation can be meaningful as they ultimately lead to the benefit to my patients.

Though I am out of the mountains, I keep a daily meditation practice even with a busy lifestyle.  It can be hard to find time to keep a practice, but it is a priority.  If my mind is clear, then my patients benefit.  If I have some distance from my own trips and emotions, I have a larger surplus of energy to be useful for others.

In the future, I look forward to working on some challenging cases, enjoying my friends and family in Chicago, and of course any opportunity for future travel.  But for now, there’s no really place in the whole world I’d rather be than Chicago, Illinois.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dee Hawa permalink
    October 25, 2010 2:08 am

    Well done… it’s been wonderful following you.. and all the very best with your new venture !
    Kind Regards
    Dee x

  2. Rakesh Khanna permalink
    June 23, 2011 5:47 am

    Very well written…good luck

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