Cultivating Confidence • Qi089

by Michael Max | With guest, Dennis von Elgg

Fake it till you make it is not a helpful strategy for acquiring confidence. Any halfway competent human being can sniff out inauthenticity. We can only work at, and improve from, our genuine growing edge of ability and skill.

Cultivating confidence requires time and experience, generous amounts of both failure and success, and a kind of dogged persistence. It requires confronting what we don’t yet understand with an inquiring mind and willingness to be teachable. It demands a kind of steadfast trust that we can learn and adapt. And it takes both patience and a sense of urgency that we don’t waste any opportunity that shows up as challenge on a good day, and trouble on a bad one.

Gaining a sense of confidence is not something we can learn in a class, or purchase as a service. It can only arise from being lived. Listen into this conversation as we inquiry into the practices and experiences that help us to gain a sense of confidence and comfort with our clinical work.


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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • How Dennis found his way to Chinese medicine and teaching
  • The road to confidence requires a thick skin and willingness to be scared
  • Resilience doesn’t come from sitting on the couch or not taking chances
  • It’s essential to learn how to shake off failure
  • Bearing witness to the voice of criticism
  • The need we have for mentorship and for mentoring others
  • Learning to name pulses
  • The congestion that can occur at the daimai and the diaphragm
  • Seeing things as they are
  • The importance of acknowledging what you know and know you know

Find stagnation clues in the eyes, the feet and the pulse. Resistance and can show in the direction of the feet. The effects of that resistance often show up by inspecting the feet.


Dennis von Elgg 

I’ve been working in education and coaching my whole life, from preschools to the variety of adults in Chinese Medicine college, and the offering of CEU courses. With 17 years at AIMC in Berkeley I see a constant parade of brilliant, big-hearted healers ready to impact the art of Chinese Medicine, only to get sucker punched by the onslaught of rote memorization and watering down of that very art.

So, in my practice of being a teacher to both my patients, and my students, the mission of bringing positivity and pleasure and being a part of something really, really BIG, is what I’m trying to do every day in my classes and in my office in Occidental California.

I can’t think of many things better than to know that maybe I’ve bumped up someone’s day/trimester/career/well-being with new information that inspires a better life for them and their practice.

With that idea is the thought that we in the West, are pretty strong and full of Qi, barring acute or deeper illnesses. Much of my work on my patients, and certainly my own self care, is about the stagnation we harbor in both large and small scales. I feel like with students and patients alike, my job is to identify the types and locations of those obstacles, and then find effective strategies for clearing and freeing. This is a simple idea that keeps me busy everyday.


 

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