It’s been a few days since I left India and things are still percolating. I assume this will happen for a hot minute. Yesterday, my first day at work, my amazing patients asked me a simple question “How was your trip?”. What I realized after answering a few times was that the repetition of this question allowed me to gain some clarity.
So, this is where I am at.
When I began Boston U in 2000, I was majoring in Biology (for pre-med) and minoring in Eastern Religion (for fun). I had no idea at the time that I would combine those seemingly unrelated things into my profession. While we were learning about Buddhism, I started to feel like the world made sense. I grew up an hour south of Boston in an Irish family well involved in the Roman Catholic Church. It took me until the ripe age of 7 to denounce it to my catechism teacher on an early Sunday morning.
It doesn’t make sense” I told her. “We know now that the Greek and Roman gods are bullshit (maybe I didn’t use that word exactly) so how do we know that in 2000 years, when people read history books they won’t think that we were stupid for our religious beliefs?
It was at that point that I decided for myself that when the future humans read the history books, it would be written somewhere that I, Caitlin Donovan, was smarter than everyone because I knew the Catholic church was a load of garbage.
I’ve matured (slightly) since then.
But in the beginning of college when my eyes were opened to various forms of Buddhism, Daoism and the philosophy of Hinduism – something inside me opened. Finally, ways of life that weren’t scary or full of mysterious men who watch everything you do (SOOO CREEPY!). I understood, without understanding, that the Dao could not be explained and the wheel of karma was neither good nor bad, just a system of action and reaction. It all made so much sense to me. And it lead me to study Chinese Medicine.
My studies were serious and included a hefty portion of western medicine as well. It was a lot of work and it was structured in a way that Chinese Medicine became the only filter through which I saw the world for a long while. Then, I found myself in India for the first time. It was a trip that was gifted to me. The world set it up somehow that I would be there. I never planned on making the journey. I had a private yoga teacher. I listened to vedanta talks.
That stirring that I felt inside 17 years ago because of Eastern philosophy came back with a vengeance.
It isn’t about being religious. I am a polytheist. I love all sorts of gods and Gods. All the different ideas come together and I have a patchwork inner religion that mostly includes me, my thoughts and various Eastern philosophies. And I love it. I really love these thoughts, ideas and philosophies. They run through my mind and make me a better practitioner. They are so easily used as guidelines for life. Learning about energy and it’s natural state of flow has helped me to help my patients in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I’m happy. I’m happy because I created an online course before I left for India and now, because of this experience, it will be 100x better. The idea that I can help more people feel better, no matter where they are in the world, using these ideas that have excited me for half my life, thrills me. Really really fun, helpful and exciting things are in the works folks. I will be so excited to share with you when it’s time.
In the meantime, do you have a quote or a simple philosophy that helps you live?
How does your religion or philosophy support your and your growth as a person?
When were you so excited by a new concept that years and years later it still gets ya?
I hope so.