photo of Veronica with her mask, removing mask and without a mask

Unmasking Veronica

Hello! 

When Christina suggested we each do an ‘unmasking’ post, I thought it was a great idea. I hope these posts give you comfort and familiarity with us if you haven’t yet come to see us for community acupuncture. If we have met before, once or lots of times, I hope our smiles remind you that it’s the same old acupunks under these masks!

A little about me:

I’m the oldest of three kids, was raised in the Comox Valley and have been living in Victoria for the past 14 years. I live in a 100+ year old heritage house in Fernwood where we have a garden full of veggies and flowers. I dream of someday living communally on a bit of land where we can share the work/gift of living on the land, treating it well, and allowing the land to provide for us too. In my dream it’s maybe 5 acres, in my partner’s dream it is 40+ acres so we’ll see!

I spent almost the entire decade of my twenties in post-secondary schooling. I have my acupuncture diploma from Pacific Rim College, as well as my BA in anthropology with a minor in women’s studies from UVic. I have a long background in childcare and almost all of the jobs I’ve had have been in the caretaking/helping profession realm. Providing acupuncture at Heart & Hands has really brought all of those things together for me in a meaningful way. I love to hear people’s stories, to connect, to meet them with tenderness and create space for people to allow themselves to be seen. Acupuncture has been a completely transformational experience in my life and it gives me great joy to witness it have this impact for others too.

I spent many years of my life struggling with severe anxiety. I’ve been mostly released from the clutches of anxiety for the past few years and have been enjoying finding out who I am without that colouring all of my experiences. I know so many of us experience anxiety and am always happy to talk about what I found helpful if you ever have questions :)

I’ve spent the past three-ish years really working on finding/recognizing/protecting my own intrinsic self-worth like it’s a full time job. It’s not the thing most people want to hear about at parties but I dive deeply on this topic almost every single day through podcasts, books, conversations with people in my life, journalling, etc. It’s some of the most profound work I’ve ever done and I highly recommend exploring your own version of it as it’s changed almost every aspect of my life to bring me closer to the self I came here to be. I would also like to acknowledge that I have an immense amount of privilege to have the time, space, energy and access to resources to be out of survival mode and doing this work.

The things that make me the happiest are: doing my Cher impression while doing karaoke at Lotteria, sharing food with friends and family, being with my partner, spending time in the garden, resting and feeling cozy at home, finishing a hike I didn’t think I could do, people I love finally getting to meet each other, my little Chihuahua/Dachshund cross named Cocoa, my work. 

Your go-to activities during the pandemic:

Spending a lot of time in the garden, tending to the veggies, enjoying the flowers, watching the bees and squirrels. Yoga (I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene’s free 30 day yoga program called Home). Trying to meditate for five minutes a day. Cooking new and old recipes. Baking bread. Resting. Taking baths. Spending way too much time on my phone. Crying when it all feels like too much. Making my space cozy, inspiring and restful. Getting rid of things I don’t want or need anymore. Neighbourhood walks. I did my first two multi-day hikes with friends! Spending time with my partner. Seeing friends outside. Weekly phone calls with my grandpa. Enjoying all the colourful foods of summer. Sewing. Journalling, lots of journalling. Blackberry picking. Reading. Jumping in a lot of bodies of water. Listening to podcasts. Drinking tea.

An intention for the world during these uncertain times:

May the challenges of the world not harden us. May we stay soft and tender. May we cultivate an abundant mindset, not being afraid to both give and receive. May we seek common threads and connection between ourselves and others, in a world that feels so divided. May we connect with our values and priorities, and allow those to influence how we spend our time, money and energy. May we hold ourselves and each other accountable out of a place of love. May we persevere and keep going, even when realizing the magnitude of pushback these systems give when they are shaky and about to fall. May we let the systems that have harmed so many for so long fall/dismantle and build better systems that reflect and serve EVERYONE in their place. 

Things you are grateful for:

Grateful for my garden that nourishes me in so many ways, including helping me get in touch with the cycles of nature. Grateful to have so many people in my life who are treading gently. Grateful for self-reflection. Grateful for the privilege to pause and become more clear and intentional about how I want to live my life, including how I can better be of service. Grateful for all the generosity in our communities and beyond. Grateful for my incredible partner, friends, family, my jobs, my coworkers and the communities I am a part of. For everyone who is helping how they can. Grateful for everyone who refuses to give up hope.

Causes that you support during this time:

Women in Need. The Red Cedar Cafe. Black Lives Matter. Raven Trust. National Bail Out. Wet’suwet’en sovereignty and indigenous rights. Food security. Voting rights. Affordable housing. Regenerative agriculture. I’m looking to get involved with one organization this fall in a greater capacity, not sure what that will be yet (the last place I volunteered at was Heart & Hands at the front desk!)  East Fork Pottery based in Asheville, NC has done a bunch of cool fundraisers for community organizations in their area and it’s been a joy to send financial support there as well. I’ve been supporting a lot of makers, local artists and small businesses as much as possible.

Acupuncture is important at this time because… 

Acupuncture brings us back to ourselves. It quiets the outside noise so we can tune in to our inner knowing and inner power. It gives us a glimpse of how we can feel and how much can change in less than an hour. It helps quiet the overwhelm so we can get clarity on how we want to feel and live, and supports our ability to take actions towards this in meaningful ways. It helps us slow down, move more intentionally. It is a reprieve, a rest for a tired mind, tired body, tired soul that feels inundated, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. When we feel better, we can be the people we want to be. We can feel patient, resilient, potent, intentional, and connected. Acupuncture connects us to the cycles of nature, the rhythms of yin and yang that are present in our days, the monthly energetic cycles, the seasons. It shows care to yourself and to the people around you when you show up for yourself. It’s self care to come here but it’s community care to receive. It reminds us that we are not alone. The micro shifts in our own bodies in longstanding patterns show us that macro shifts in the world around us are possible too. Acupuncture helps you on a personal level but the ripple effects to your family, community, the world around you are vast and powerful. Receiving acupuncture is a tiny, quiet revolution in a world that needs all of us.

When this is all over, I’d like to…

Have a big potluck with friends! See people’s smiles again. Dreaming about intentional travel. Get to hold babies again. See live music. Visit friends and family, especially my 85 year old grandpa. Go dancing. Go on a road trip. Lots of hugs. 

If you want to keep in touch, find me at @veronica.acupuncture on Instagram.

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