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  • Anna Dolopo

A Phoenix only Rises if there is Fire - Chapter 2

It's been an emotional time, especially in the past 1+ week.

My patient made a domestic violence call last week.

We're having changes going on in our household.

Law enforcement friends telling me that they're not having any calls on COVID, but a LOT on domestic violence.

Children being sexually and physically assaulted by angry parents.

Last week a new patient came in. She's a Korean-American and she practices law. A caucasian man yelled at her to go back to China while she was walking her dog. I'm 5'1. She's about my size, but slimmer. She doesn't practice any type of personal protection. She got into a cursing match with him until she felt scared enough to pick up her dog and run to her car.

I stay away from the news 99.5% of my day.

I receive a lot of videos on data to consider.

I have patients on both sides of the spectrum - keep America closed, open up America. I give an honest listen to all of my patients. I do my best to stay unbiased, though I can't because my children depend on ME to bring home food. My family right now is depending on ME more than ever.

I'm teaching Qi Gong again live this Wednesday. This week's Qi Gong is going to be dedicated to the lives of those two people who committed suicide whom my patients told me about today. One was a father. The other a teacher who worked with children in the performing arts.

I suffered from depression growing up. I healed from depression and anxiety. I understand what children in dysfunctional homes are going through right now.

I have Chinese medicine to thank for helping me get through my painful past and I have Chinese medicine to thank for helping me create an amazing life and future.

Many of my friends are martial artists. The path of a practitioner takes tremendous commitment. I see their path and it inspires me to be better as a practitioner.

I am not a master of Qi Gong, of Gung Fu, or BJJ or anything, but Qi Gong has been a huge part of my personal life behind closed doors since the 1990s. I may not know as much as others, but I know this - it has helped reinvent me. I've discovered my spirit in the practice of my own simple Qi Gong.

Acupuncture has taught me how to relax and meditate and see a brighter future for myself even when the darkness was greater than any sense of light.

Herbs are keeping my immunity strong to be able to treat patients who are coming in for their own pain and suffering or just to stay strong and be strong for their own families.

The path of personal growth teaches me self discipline above all other lessons.

This can be a very challenging time to play nice right now. In my own life, this is what I'm challenging myself to be - just a little nicer because I don't know what others are going through in their heads.

Our violin teacher told me about the ER doctor who killed herself. I just read that a paramedic shot himself. If there's something I wish those two people had is a little bit of Chinese medicine - some knowledge of Qi Gong that could probably have revealed enlightenment here on earth, so that they could have had more compassion for themselves, some acupuncture which might have helped them heal their pent up emotions, and herbs which might have helped them feel less than sad or angry.

I don't have any answers. I'm probably completely wrong. I'm just sharing that Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and other aspects of Chinese medicine healed me from mental illness.

It's a little escape, but watching kung fu movies helps me when I don't feel like picking up my violin after a long day of work. Watching BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is helping me right now. I started An's Kung Fu Movies Fanatics at the beginning of the pandemic to take my mind elsewhere when the days get heavy. Since a little girl, I always knew that I can have amazing conversations about anything related to martial arts with almost anyone. It doesn't matter if they agree with my politics, religion, choice of career or any other personal decisions, if I turn on a martial arts or fighting movie: samurai, kung fu, MMA, boxing whatever, I'm probably going to make friends with people. Case in point - if you're in a room with me and I turn on a ROCKY movie, we're almost instantly friends because not many people can walk away from a really good ROCKY movie; we're probably going to talk about which one we loved the most and which one we cared the least for. Then we'll start talking about Sly and which movies we liked and which ones we probably almost forgot about.

Writing helps. My ideas of A PHOENIX ONLY RISES IF THERE'S FIRE have been unleashing.

Talking with friends helps.

Listening to people's stories helps.

Teaching helps.

I'm taking a Zoom class with a good friend who's going to kick my ass training me Muay Thai tomorrow and we'll follow it up with Qi Gong. I'm really lazy, so I need someone to yell at me in order for me to work hard.

Being able to work helps.

Hugging my kids helps.

Remembering that my kids need me to provide for them helps.

My husband has been bringing me lunch at my office and we go for walks afterwards. We never did that before the pandemic. We're doing a lot of talking and we play fight a lot. My gung fu is still better than his gung fu and his BJJ will always be better than my BJJ and I'll never live that down. We used to train wu shu together. Most of you didn't know that.

Using social media in a positive way helps. What's the point of SM if we can't use it to help us be more connected in a positive way? I get to see my friends' smiles and I get to see their families grow and their dreams become realities. I get to see my families around the world do little things that mean great things to me.

So I guess I'm writing all of this to maybe reach out to one person who might be contemplating something harmful. Please - reach out for help. I just shared a little of my own vulnerability to let you know that's it's okay to not be perfect. It's okay to share parts of you that others might think are dumb or quirky. I've spent a lifetime being quirky. I spent my undergrad years training in Hung Sing Choy Lay Fut. Most of you did not know that. I was the weird one taking the 30 Geary every Tuesday and Thursday night and weekends to my kung fu school from my college wearing my kung fu uniform under a sweater or jacket, carrying a staff. I did the SF CNY parades and some of my Filipino friends thought that was weird because I'm not Chinese. I cold called friends from HS to fund my competition trip to Baltimore. See? I've been doing weird things for a long time.

I joined a global success club that gave me access to some of the greatest minds on the planet. From that club, I met the most influential man in my life.

I have an acupuncture clinic, something that a lot of people criticized me for in the 1990s, but I'm still here.

I'm still here.

Please - still be here.

I've learned in 21 years of acupuncture practice that money does come around even when things seem bleak.

Time

Money

Relationships

Health

Freedom

Contemplate on these aspects of life and think of how you can make them better. Each of these aspects in your life can get better. Just do your best to get through today. You don't have to have it all together right now. Just think about how even if ONE of these things - you can make 1% better today. That's all life needs from you. Just make one part of your life 1% better today. Not much. Just a little. Then the next day, do another 1%.

I've had to do that in my life in the past and it obviously worked because I'm still here.

Please BE HERE.

It's okay to be weird, poor, uncertain, sick, feeling enslaved, not feeling powerful - it's okay. Just make it through today - tell yourself that one day:

Your time to shine will come

You'll have more than enough money than you need

You'll have better and more loving relationships

Your health will improve

You will enjoy freedom

Believe in those birthrights and work towards those goals. Energy flows where intention goes.

BE HERE.


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