Come by and visit us in the great outdoors!
We’ll be offering 15 minute sample acupuncture sessions upon donation (50% of proceeds will be going to the PHS Douglas St Community).
North Park Neighbourhood Festival
SATURDAY June 2nd, 11:30am – 5pm
Vancouver St., btwn Caledonia St. & Green St.
*Hours at H&H will be reduced to 9am – 1pm (2 – 6pm cancelled)
Car Free YYJ
SUNDAY June 17th, 11am – 6pm
Douglas St & Cormorant St.
23rd Annual FernFest
SATURDAY June 23rd, 10am – 5pm
Vic High Field, 1200 block of Gladstone Ave.
*Hours at H&H will be reduced to 9am – 1pm (2 -6 pm cancelled)
It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.
It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.
A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.
True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.
And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.
It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.
It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.
If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.
It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”
I didn’t know how much I needed acupuncture, until I decided to get over my fear of needles. The result was a tidal-wave of calm, and the pokes were minimal (even when they pinched a little).
When I started coming to the Heart & Hands community, I felt like my body was falling apart. I’d worked hard—not smart—and there wasn’t a part of me that wasn’t sore, damaged, or feeling like it was barely hanging on. I used to say my daily pain levels were consistently between 7 to 10; and accumulated trauma had left my nervous system fried. I’ve found doctors to be less helpful than I would have liked, and often felt dismissed. While talking about this to a friend—also a nurse—they suggested acupuncture.
Since I’ve learned to face the things I fear—needles sure didn’t give any warm fuzzies
—I decided to go with them during a bring-a-buddy month. I was late for my first appointment, noisy, and activated. I left feeling mentally knocked over, and 5 years of trauma therapy suddenly started making sense. I’ve found myself bringing back that feeling in times of crisis, and activation, to keep my brain online, and my feet grounded. But while working through my stuff, I’d discovered that trauma responses were not “appropriate workplace behaviours.” And 15 years of workplaces enmeshed in extremely high levels of threats, abuse, and stress—mostly food service and trades—had left me reluctant to work for anyone.
I was surprised to find myself asking about volunteer opportunities in my post-acupuncture haze. More shockingly, I followed through. H & H hasn’t just kept me grounded every week, calmed my angry storms, and kept my pain away. It’s also taught me how to interact with a positive work environment. And—because H & H is a community—it’s given me the resources to work on other areas of my life, while being affordable to my low-income needs.
To put it simply, I am indebted to Heart and Hands for being a key part of my healing journey.