I recently went to Minneapolis, Minnesota to learn more about eyes and acupuncture. As I talked about recently, I have opened up more space in my life for this new passion! I had a fabulous seminar with Mats Sexton (“the pindoctor”) but funnily enough, my biggest takeaway from this trip weren’t the acupuncture techniques or the influx of new business ideas now percolating in my head. Instead, the highlight of my trip was the connection I made with two wonderful humans – Pam and Jane, my Airbnb hosts.
It was my first time trying Airbnb and I was blown away by the two amazing women who welcomed me into their home. It almost felt like they had adopted me and I was visiting my own grandmas.
It didn’t take long for Pam to break the ice with me. She was warm, we shared a similar style of twisted humor and she was just so inviting from the beginning that I felt like I could just be myself. Jane, the super intellectual/reserved type was witty, pleasant and warm in her own way. So picture this, me and two elderly women hanging out in a beautiful home and shooting the shit until all hours of the night. We talked about everything. They were so curious about my acupuncture, my family life, and lifestyle. By the time it came time for me to depart after two and half days, I think they knew me better than some of my closest friends. Totally strange and unexpected, but we totally bonded.
One of the reasons I believe we connected so quickly was because I offered to help in areas that were super easy for me but made a world of a difference for them. While I was there, I gave Jane acupuncture treatments every day for her back. I went up a ladder to change a battery of a smoke detector, I offered to walk their dogs (they didn’t take me up on that one), I cooked for another guest and did my best to keep the kitchen clean. These were simple things for me but to them – it was enormously helpful.
I was blessed that Pam chose to share some great life wisdom with me on our last night. We talked about love, passions, and relationships. She opened up to me and shared some really deep stories as she felt I would benefit from hearing. This heartfelt conversation was the most meaningful part of my trip and none of this would have happened if I would have skipped over these two grandmas. I could have easily hidden myself in my room and killed time on Facebook, but instead I connected with two amazing women who have enriched my life.
These days, we look at elderly people almost as a burden on our society. Like the older generation doesn’t have a purpose or a role to play in our world. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. True, Jane and Pam have a hard time getting up ladders and with some of the more physical tasks of life. But that doesn’t make them irrelevant! They have a wealth of knowledge and life experience to share. One of our biggest mistakes is that we aren’t willing to listen. Think that bone broth is this new trendy thing? Pffft! Jane and Pam would laugh and say they grew up making bone broth or stock their whole life. It’s almost funny to them how this basic thing has become so popular.
During my time with Jane and Pam, it really hit me. The more I research and study acupuncture, the more I understand that this is a field of medicine full of hidden secrets that are traditionally passed on from generation by generation. But we have lost this method of knowledge transfer and many acupuncturists guard their protocols because they are afraid of competition. But thankfully – there are also other acupuncturists, like John Boel from Denmark and Mats Sexton a.k.a (“pindoctor”) from Minneapolis who are on a mission to share their wisdom to help treat eye conditions. They are committed to sharing their knowledge with the next generation of acupuncturists. Can you imagine if you knew an acupuncture secret that had the power to give hope to people with very serious health conditions? To help them heal in a way they never thought was possible? That kind of knowledge can’t be hoarded! What a tremendous gift! Now take a minute and think – what knowledge do the elders in your life have to share with you… but you just haven’t taken the time to ask or listen? What incredible knowledge are you missing out on? Do you just do the bare minimum and make small talk? Do you see how they might really have something special to offer?
It is so funny, how we decide who we want to listen, respect and spend time with. We are often attracted to big flashy personality types. The extroverts. We may overlook that quietly wise person in the corner of our life who has wisdom to share.
So I come home from Minneapolis with new knowledge of how to help people with glaucoma etc etc etc, but my trip was also a powerful reminder that I need to slow down and look for wisdom in quieter places. I am left with a deep renewed respect and faith in how much I have to learn from those who have come before us. Thank you, Pam and Jane!
P.S. I actually have a pretty spectacular grandma of my own… take a look at my podcast I did last year with her.