This website was started in 2006, when I was just entering my second year of school for Chinese medicine. I called it Deepest Health and decided I was just write about whatever I was learning as I studied.
I had no particular expectations of the exercise. I’ve blogged since blogging existed, and have always enjoyed the exercise of writing for an audience. This is particularly true when I’m learning something new, formally or informally. I find writing in a format others might read really helps clarify my thinking. Further, if I actually get feedback, I am encouraged to revisit my thoughts or my means of expression in ways I wouldn’t otherwise be. So, at the outset of a huge new realm of skillbuilding and knowledge acquisition, starting a blog was an obvious decision.
The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed the process, and I began to meet people worldwide with similar interests and questions as I had.
I started writing almost every day, and actively seeking a larger audience through social media and other means. It was an indispensible part of my education in Chinese medicine, considering topics, writing about them for the blog, and then learning from others through comments and other online interactions. When I was moving towards graduation, I began to learn more about offering classes and other educational instruments using online technology. Around this time, I was also invited to begin teaching at my alma mater, National University of Natural Medicine, starting with the herbs practicum course that goes with each single herbs lecture course.
This really kicked my learning, and my blogging, into high gear.
After my first year teaching at NUNM, as I contemplated revisions for my next year’s courses, I decided to try my hand at recording some of my lectures. I enjoyed the process and ended up offering the Shennong Relational Herb Learning Method course to whomever was interested online. The response was much bigger than I was prepared to handle, which presented its own difficulties, but the little financial boost I got allowed my family to get some needed space at a critical point in my acupuncture career, which piqued my interest to learn more about selling educational products online. It was around this time that I decided to change the name and branding of the website to Chinese Medicine Central, feeling that the old name, Deepest Health, was too personal and not obvious enough to people who might be seeking what I offer when searching for it via Google or some social media site.
As my clinical practice got busier, and I added more classes to my responsibilities at NUNM, my time to contribute to the website decreased radically.
Add to this the pressures of raising a teenaged daughter, and let it suffice to say that Chinese Medicine Central shifted to the back burner. Simultaneously, financial pressures meant that I was increasingly interested in finding other sources of income to supplement my growing practice. This created a situation where working on the site was all pressure/business/work and it failed to become a creative and personal outlet for the exploration of the things that interest me. Many times over the years, I would become inspired and have a little space open up in my schedule, and the ideas would start flowing. But, just as quickly, that inspiration and that space would evaporate, and I’d be left with a feeling of drudgery.
After moving to Astoria on the coast of Oregon and quitting my University job, things really started to shift. I was no longer worried about what happened with the site, even though it was costing me money. My clinical practice started flowing well, and the energetic burden of living in the city was no longer a factor. Stress decreased radically and financial pressures became more or less non-existent. This spurred a lot of inner inquiry on my part, thinking about next steps. What has become clear is the next steps will look, from some perspectives, like going backwards. Indeed, I am returning to the source, as the Yijing has been imploring me to do for years.
In the next couple of months, I will be making some big changes to the site.
- The design and structure are already beginning to change. The final form will likely take several months to achieve, as I’m doing all the work myself and alongside my busy clinical practice.
- The most important change will be to the content. I’m taking down the vast majority of the content that’s been on the site this last decade. I will be structuring the best of that content into downloadable PDFs so people can still benefit from my early musings, and the contributions of others who have written for the site over the years. I’ll be taking some old posts and using them as stubs for updated content. Many posts will still remain, but it’s time to turn the page on the muttering of my youth.
- All of the courses will stay up in their current form, and all of the membership aspects of the site will remain unchanged – though obviously the design has shifted a bit. I’ll not be offering any courses for sale during the transition, as I need to contemplate what it is I want to put out there, and how. If you know you’d like to join a course, and cannot wait, just contact me.
- I am most likely going to be totally eliminating social media presence for this project. I’m pretty done with corporate social networks and what they’ve done to our minds and hearts. This article by Cal Newport encapsulates many of my thoughts about social media. In short : it has its uses, but those uses aren’t worth the costs.
- I am restarting the newsletter entirely to give everyone an option to re-consent to contact with this new iteration of the project. I’ll be sending out one last email to let people know where to sign up.
- IMPORTANTLY : I’ll also be transitioning the name, and the URL, back to Deepest Health The idea of Deepest Health really resonates with what I’m hoping the future of this space to be. I’ll unpack that in some writing in the near future.
The site will become smaller – and more active
A general theme in my life right now, including in my acupuncture business, is simplification. Early in my professional career, I kept my mind and eyes wide open, taking advantage of any opportunities that arose. This was useful in terms of getting experience quickly, but it also meant that I ended up overcommitted and spending energy on things that don’t really matter to me. Having expanded my teaching, business and online responsibilities to their greatest extent, I realized that the largess didn’t serve me. So now I am making things smaller, tighter, more focused, simpler. The impacts of this will become clear to anyone who sticks around to see.
Returning to the source
Return is a theme that, in so many ways, has guided me since this website began. I’ll explore more about this in the content on the site, and I’ll enjoy interacting with all of you as I do so. Thank you, as always, for your ongoing connection!