Practice Passion: What Do Puzzles and Legos Have to Do with You?

By East Phillips - June 7, 2023

Practice Passion logoBy East Phillips, DAOM, LAc

This article was originally published in the Winter 2023 edition of the AIM Newspaper. Read the full paper for free.

I love completing a new puzzle every holiday season. It has become a tradition of sorts.

Every holiday season I set up a puzzle on the dining room table and my family and I put it together. We all contribute to the completion of the puzzle, piece by piece. Since I usually select a 1000-piece puzzle, the process takes several days, especially since we have two cats who like to steal pieces and hide them in the house!

This year’s puzzle – a yummy, delicious, mouth-watering one-thousand-piece donut puzzle… but that’s not the point of this article. The puzzle finally came together and gave us all that feeling of grand accomplishment when all of the pieces were laid down. If even one piece was missing, the puzzle wouldn’t be the same or give us that feeling of satisfaction. In fact, if any pieces to a puzzle are missing, isn’t it incredibly frustrating? Could we even say that the puzzle is done or complete with even one missing piece?

The Significance of Every Piece in the Puzzle of Practice

Another tradition in our family is Legos. My husband and son spend hours upon hours building Legos. My four-year-old daughter joins in on the fun as well as she builds castles, princesses, ponies, stables, entire pool parties or camping scenes. If any of the Legos are missing it leads to one of the kids crying and thereby two adults (my husband and me) frantically looking for that missing piece or missing pieces (most likely those darn cats, once again).

Uniqueness in Practice: The Key to Completing the Picture

Ok, so what do puzzles and Legos have to do with you?

You are like those missing pieces. If you go missing because you decide you are too burned out to practice anymore or because you tether yourself to limiting beliefs that no one would want to hear what you have say, the puzzle or the Lego creation is incomplete.

Too often I hear practitioners tell me things like “there are too many acupuncturists in San Diego”.

That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

In a government study performed in 2008, 38% of adults and 12% of children use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). [1][2]

This means that 1,216,000 adults are potentially looking for acupuncture in San Diego and we only have approximately 1,500 acupuncturists in San Diego to serve them! (3.2 million people live in San Diego, multiplied by 38% comes to 1,216,000)

If you are a CAM provider (acupuncturist, massage therapist, naturopath, chiropractor, energy healer, etc.) please know that people are searching for you.

Wherever you are in the world, take the population of your community and multiply it by 38% to come up with an estimation of how many people are potentially seeking you out.

Also, consider the fact that this study was performed in 2008! I am beyond confident that the percentage of people who are looking for CAM practitioners is much higher today in 2023.

Embracing Your Unique Role in the Healthcare Ecosystem

Back to the puzzles and Legos and how they also apply to you and your practice: when you are building puzzles or Legos, some of the pieces look very similar. However, if it is not the exact piece, it simply will not fit and the entire creation cannot be completed.

You are unique!

There may be several practitioners in your area, maybe even in your same building or office space. However, they are not you.

Your uniqueness is what completes the puzzle. Your uniqueness not only matters, it is essential to the whole which we call life or the Universe.

This is really the point of this article: to help you recognize how much you matter.

Because of you, people feel what it is like to be pain-free, play sports again, dance at their child’s wedding, heal faster after an accident, have babies, feel happiness again after bouts of depression and more, and more, and more.

You make a huge difference in the world simply because you are unique. You have been given special gifts that only you can share with the world. One of your missions here on Earth is to figure out what those gifts are.

Discovering and Sharing Your Unique Gifts

Do you know what your unique gifts could be? If not, email me: [email protected] and I would be happy to give you access to a short program I created called “Gifts into Gold”. Simply email me and ask.

In my office I often have a sign that reads “God gave you gifts. Your mission is to share them with the world.”

I believe in this statement wholeheartedly.

You have unique talents, gifts, and ways of sharing your information with the world. The unique way in which you share may be the only way some people can understand what is trying to be conveyed.

Here’s an example. Think of a time in your life when you suggested something to your significant other repeatedly and they didn’t take your advice. Then, one day they come home to tell you that Bob or Sally or someone from the office or different social circle suggested they do the very same thing you’ve been suggesting to them for years?

Frustrating for sure.

Why is it that they listened to that friend or acquaintance and not to you? At these times I invite you to remember The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and do not take it personally, because guess what? It’s not personal.

Rather, it was the unique way that the other person articulated or shared the information that helped it to finally land with your significant other so they could understand.

The same goes for you and your unique way of sharing your knowledge, information, experience, advice, products, and skills—your gifts—through your practice.

There may be hundreds or even thousands of other practitioners out there offering the same services or information but there is only one you.

The concepts I am sharing with you in this article are particularly close to my heart because I spent many years of my own life feeling insignificant and that I didn’t really matter. I am so grateful that I do not feel that way anymore. Through personal development and spiritual practices aimed at raising my level of consciousness, I am seeing more and more how we all really are one and how much each of us truly matter—like an 8-billion-piece puzzle. Friends, please remember this: You make a difference!

I’d like to end this article with a challenge. Are you up for it?

Would you be open to telling at least three people, in the next week, how they make a difference in your life? If so, join me in this challenge and watch the magic that comes from this simple act. I’ve been doing this for years and have been witness to some incredible transformations in people, including myself. You can let me know how the challenge goes by emailing me at [email protected].



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East Phillips

Dr. East Phillips is committed to helping others actualize their greatest potential and well-being. She has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999 and a professor of Chinese medicine at the Pacific College of Health Sciences since 2004. Specializing in MIE (motivation, inspiration, and encouragement), Phillips helps practitioners of alternative medicine align with their three P’s: purpose, passion, and prosperity. In 2019, she published More Than a Treatment which held the Amazon bestseller’s list in practice management for several weeks. She currently resides in Del Mar, CA with her husband and two kids and continues to help patients, students, other practitioners and the public with her lectures, workshops, books, events, coaching programs, and wellness related products.

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