10 Jewels left by a Healer

Autumn is here and grief is in the air. In the past few days, hundreds have died in Haiti by the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and yes, black men continue to be murdered by a system that pledges to protect & serve. Closer to home, Michelle, an acquaintance and good friend to others, took her wings along with my teacher Bob Duggan. Saying goodbye to loved ones is always hard.  Remembering the reasons we loved them and the jewels they leave behind can help us experience the transition with some grace and ease.

Bob Duggan was one of my first teachers at Tai Sophia. He was honest, forthcoming, and challenging with love and care peppered in. He taught me and my colleagues how to walk in the world as better people, healers and Acupuncturist.  A fellow student of Bob’s wrote a beautiful tribute to him. An excerpt is below:

“In the spirit of a perspective and legacy that cannot be bound by the physical body, here are 10 things I learned directly from Bob that make my life, and the lives of those around me, better every day. Enjoy – and I invite you to continue his legacy by listening to his advice and sharing it with those you love.

1. Upset is optional: Choose not to live in the drama. We have a choice in how we relate to what’s happening and the perspective we take on it. The idea that we have a choice with how we respond to life’s circumstances brings freedom.

2. Allow yourself to be a beginner: It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, that’s how we learn. At any stage of life, allowing oneself to be a beginner opens up a bigger world of possibility, progress, and change.

3. Is it a problem or an opportunity?: This question provides a simple shift in perspective that gives you power to grow and learn rather than suffer.

4. Your symptom is your teacher: What if the body is wise? When it’s out of balance it sends a signal, or symptom. When we learn to listen to our symptoms we can truly heal. Understanding why you have a headache, for example, can lead you to empowered self awareness and healing. Often taking a medication masks the symptom but doesn’t grow your soul.

5. Will this serve the future generations?: This question reminds us to think big and remember that we matter. When speaking or acting, ask yourself “would this word or act make my ancestors proud?” and “will my words or act serve the future generations?”

6. Where do you feel it in your body? When you have an upset, ask yourself “where do I feel this in my body?” and allow the feeling. This is a simple and effective way to foster the connection between your mind and body and listen to it’s wisdom.

7. Listen: To truly listen means to pay more attention to the speaker than the thoughts in your own head.

8. Acknowledge others and be acknowledged. If someone said something nice to Bob, he would say, “I am practicing taking in acknowledgement, would you say that again so i can really take it in?” This is a powerful and challenging practice that creates so much beauty in the world – try it!

9. Word as Needle: Bob taught that the right words can have the same power of any acupuncture needle, medicine, herb, or drug.

10. Be who you are: How dare you not share the gifts you have with the world?

Thank you, Bob – we are all brighter for your presence in our lives.

Lots of love,


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