About what makes you unique? We walk around every moment with a sense of self. Each of us has a feeling of “normal” that depends on our body chemistry. A person with a high-strung nervous system may feel that being stressed all the time is normal. Depression may feel normal to a person with a depressed nervous system. How tight our muscles are and how easily and freely we can move through our environment impacts our understanding of self and feeling of self-esteem. When we are young, we have not developed a sense of self. We depend on the reference and recognition of others to teach us to integrate reality into digestible bits so we can assimilate, change, and evolve. If we have bad references for what it means to be ourself, if we confuse self and others, if we don’t learn how to exist and digest experiences or stages of development, we can carry that with us into adulthood which can form our present reality. We live in a day-to-day existence. We eat. We sleep. We go about our day. Planning - taking the time to think outside of the moment - but even planning becomes monotonous after a while. Personal goals and dreams exist, but maybe not in any tangible form. Things to be achieved have yet to happen. Potential has yet to be unlocked. How can we find a balance between “now” and “yet to be”? Can one live in the moment and plan for the future? And how do they stay grounded to their authentic self? Think of this—a person wants, but without knowing what. The spark of desire is inside but has no direction, nothing to seek. In seeking outside the “self,” this desire will never be satisfied. No achievement can be achieved without a goal. Life becomes a vacuum, as if there is nothing beyond the mind, no way forward, up, or down. The person goes aimlessly without having a sense of direction. A left turn gets the same result as a right turn: more vacuum. This sort of endless struggle is not sustainable. Alternatively, a person might know the “what” of the question yet have no real desire to seek. Instead of a vacuum, the person finds him or herself drowning in an ocean of desensitized overstimulation. Dreams exist in concrete form, but the current takes the person farther away from reaching them. An individual in this state has direction in life, but there is no spark. The goal is visible, but bodily limitations, self-doubt, or lack of confidence get in the way of self-improvement. Both of these people are just getting by, though in different ways. I have been both of these people. In the end, we all have been these people, one way or another. Working to achieve our potential requires that we live in the moment and plan for the future. We must be in two places at once. We live in the moment when we have the spark or fire inside ourselves. We visualize the future in our goals and dreams. When there is no cohesion between these two concepts, what can we do? Both people are lost. They must both look inside to find what they are looking for and how they will find it. Introspection is both the answer and the question. Our sense of self guides us to our authentic self where we can dream and self-motivate. As an acupuncturist, when I have a patient that is just getting by either motivationally or directionally, I look to see whether their mind and body are working in tune with one another. We look at mental and physical systems to find out what part of the patient is out of balance, and through adjustments using various techniques bring back the harmony. Both aspects affect the other for the better as well as the worse. We have the opportunity as unique humans to discover and define who we are, but to do so, we have to look inside ourselves to find out what we want and how we will fulfill that desire.