I’ve spent a lot of hours, a lot of late nights, a lot of spleen qi, crafting this site into what it is. While I’ve had a little help (and getting more all the time) mostly it’s just been me. As a student, as a practitioner, as a father, as a person who attends to his own self-cultivation, it’s not always been easy. Lately, I’ve started to do what I can to get the site to pay for itself and, hopefully, contribute some to my personal income.
My hope with that, to be honest, is so that I can grow the site – adding more features and eventually hiring smart people who know more about many things than I do. I also hope that the income will help me to be able to create the clinic of my dreams – particularly those parts of it that involve taking reduced or no payments for services. I’ve been working hard at that, and things are starting to shift in the right direction.
I’m unbelievably grateful about that.
But, it’s been a hard balance. I don’t want the whole site to be about selling. I want to give freely – thus the increased podcasts, blog posts and Facebook and Twitter interaction. But finding time to really pour energy into fantastic courses and books for people to buy sometimes run counter to finding time to produce great, engaging free content. I’m sure you can imagine the difficulty.
In my last post (recently edited) I mentioned a course I wanted to teach that covered the Chinese herbal materia medica. My vision was to cover a relatively small amount of herbs from a more Shennong perspective – bringing together the classics, sensory observation and information from fields as diverse as Chinese etymology, botany and biochemistry.
But after I posted that, something just didn’t feel right.
I couldn’t sleep. I kept feeling bad about myself. So, I turned – as I often do – to the Yijing to help me figure this out.
What was said is between me and Yi, but let it suffice to say that it unstuck the stuck parts and helped me root out the source of my discomfort. I decided I would share it with you, because it has everything to do with the survey I’m going to ask you to take.
The course, as I had imagined it, was coming from my head – not my heart. I thought that’s what people wanted, and so I was going to create it. I also just felt like I needed to keep creating things, to try to keep the site moving towards being a contributor to my financial health. Two problems with all of that.
First, my rush and push made me create a course that I don’t really want to teach. I DO want to teach about herbs, to be sure, but not like that. So, I’m back to the drawing board with the idea. One problem I have is that I’m too much yang and not enough yin. I don’t let things percolate – I go from idea to implementation way too fast.
So, I’m going to let this one marinate for a little while, dig into herbs for a couple weeks deeper than I have before.
Only when it feels right will I come forward with what I’d like to offer.
But, the second piece is about you. This site has been growing quite fast, and I’m not even sure who is out there anymore! I don’t truly know what you need, what you like about the site, and what you would like to see increased or decreased. Without my connection to my heart, and without my connection to my readers, it’s really no wonder I felt as uncomfortable as I did.
So – to remedy that – a survey, and a prize!
Click this link to be taken to the survey. It will take about 10 minutes, and no private information need be collected. You will have the option to leave your name and an email address. Why?
Because there’s going to be a drawing. Sometime in December, I’m going to draw two names out of all the people who submit their information, and each of them gets the following:
- Any one of Chinese Medicine Central’s courses for free
- A grab bag of various Chinese medicine goodies – books, art, herbs and more
That’s two prizes for two people who take the survey. I hope it will encourage folks to participate, because I really want to know who you are and what’s on your mind. I like to do this periodically – it helps break down the distance between us – increasing the community feeling.
Here’s the link to the survey again. Please tell your friends and colleagues – I’d like to hear from anyone who has ever visited the site!
About Eric Grey
Hi - I'm the founder of this site and the primary master of all functions here. When I'm not writing, you can find me reaching out to the Chinese Medicine community across the web and in my own backyard. I currently teach Chinese herbs at my alma mater, the National College of Natural Medicine. Additionally, I'm the founder of Watershed Wellness, a thriving local clinic in Southeast Portland in Oregon. No matter where I'm working, you'll find my focus on the Classical approach to Chinese medicine laced throughout everything I do.