A few weeks ago, I happened to catch this kiteboarder launch at Northwinds Beach, Blue Mountains. The bay has been slow to warm this year and the water was still pretty frigid and of course there was some wind! It was a bit cool but I stayed to watch.
And I’m really glad I did because it surprised me how taken I was by it. Not able to take my eye off the kite watching it carve, arc, change shape with the wind and course of direction. It was inspiring to track this sculpture floating amongst the backdrop of clouds and a lone man tethered to his ride.
I think it is so important to take time to just admire this amazing world we live in, and how even when we can feel so small in it, we are reminded we are part of a greater whole.
Wind on its own can level buildings or cause mass destruction. Water has the power to destroy literally everything in its path. But here, by assessing the nature of the wind and the water in this moment, this speck of a human being, was able to tap into its power to move him across the water that he would otherwise sink into, while simultaneously harnessing the energy to move him faster than any human could on their own, with no tools other than a board and a sail.
This analogy can be transferred to the way we tune into our bodies and our approach to wellness. Just like wind and water, there are many things we bring into the body that hold the capacity for destruction, whether it is food, stress, chemicals, etc. But with the proper approach, and a reverence for the potential they hold, both good and bad, we can learn to hone these forces and use them to our benefit, propelling us across the water to better health.
This is why I practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is often viewed as one solitary thing, like a salve or a pill; something you might try as a cure for a particular ailment (and no wonder! We are bombarded by promises through advertising that every problem should have one, immediate solution!). But it is so much more than that. The practice of TCM is centered around looking at the body as a whole, reading the nature of the forces in and around the body. It uses time-honored, successful tools that work with the body, instead of merely attempting to annihilate something potentially harmful.
Just like the kiteboarder, partaking in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a practitioner or a patient, takes knowledge, willingness and effort. And to be honest, that’s not what many people are looking for. If you are looking for something to come along and pluck you out of the water entirely, there is a major, thriving industry that is attempting to do just that with pills and surgeries and the like. They’re often successful. But if you want to take the properties of that water, notice the direction of the wind, and assess where you fit into the mix, instead of just being rescued from it, you can learn to harness its power. When you add the power of nature, to your own power? Well, simply put, you’re kiteboarding!