The invaluable benefits of CONFUSION when learning Chinese Medicine

Article published in the New York College Newsletter,  Spring 1998
I’M SO CONFUSED! WILLTHIS EVER MAKE SENSE? Ahh…the familiar cry of the student of Chinese Medicine at The New York College. Having been through the program myself as well as an instructor and self proclaimed expert in stress management (also being a nurse for over 20 years makes you an expert in stress automatically), I decided that I needed to pay attention to this amazing phenomenon of just getting this close to getting it…then falling back to the familiar confused mode. Followed by self denigration (I’m so stupid), pessimism (I’ll never get this) and victim behaviors like blaming and complaining (Oh, I’ll just fail because 3 hour lectures are too long; because it’s snowing and we’re in a classroom…you get the idea). But there is good news. Confusion is good. In fact, sometimes its essential. It’s what you DO with the confusion that makes you healthy or not.

First, the basics. One of the first things we learn is that whatever we dwell on grows in our reality (Li precedes chi). So if we dwell on the fact that we are just so confused, it, like a well watered weed, will grow in our reality. An “advanced” thinking model is one that suggests that God wraps our greatest gifts in our greatest tragedies and turmoil. So think of the neat gifts that are in store for you! The perspective is this: detach from the confusion and refuse to emotionalize it, knowing that life is a series of lessons carefully disguised as “stress”. Observe yourself in your confusion as if you are watching a movie (this is what
neurolinguistic healing is about). Make up your own ending, visualizing yourself nodding with great enthusiasm as you piece together the concepts that take over two years to present to us. Understand that the lesson is to LET GO, knowing that life is here to support you and that if hundreds of thousands have gotten this stuff, so can you. You have as much gray matter in your brain as Anneke does. Most of us don’t get this until the last semester of classes when that haunting feeling comes over you: “Oh my God soon I’ll be practicing AMMA on my own!! I better hurry up and get this!” Just let go. Consider the fact that no matter what you know now, it’s more than you knew just last month. And as much as you know when you graduate, you are then only at the beginning and your real learning is yet to happen. That’s when REAL confusion starts (only kidding!).

So when you do not give the emotion of confusion power anymore, you allow new energy to take its place. Namely, peaceful anticipation, creative solutions to problems, such as integrating new study habits ( I have over a dozen reference books in addition to the AMMA text) and a sense of personal empowerment. This course is about developing discipline over your emotional self which is essential for reaching your highest potential as a person, a wholistic nurse and an AMMA practitioner. So go ahead and confuse me. Make my day.

Luanne Pennesi, RN, MS, CNAT is the program director and instructor of Stress Management and Self Esteem Building Program for the Wholistc Nursing Program and has her own business as a professiojal public speaker, wholistic nurse consultant and AMMA therapy practice. She can be contacted at her at her office in Syosset at 516-921-8475.