I know! I KNOW! You all thought I was the wallflower who secretly wishes to have the power of invisibility and the ability to turn into the nano-fly on the wall right? Well, you were right!
Except, somehow, this opportunity just flowed into being and somehow, I'm finding myself writing about the experience right here in the afterglow of what I felt was a successful interview (all done in one take I might add!).
I still can't believe I did it. It took me this long to post pictures of myself (ok, so I didn't really use my face because it's behind a mask but give me some credit!); then video demos. Now I'm doing whole interviews on podcasts? What's there left to do? Ok, before we jump into things, yes I may do improv but don't expect me to star in a movie anytime soon. I don't think enough therapy will help me recover from diving straight into the deep end.
But yeah, I'm as pleased as a kid on Christmas morning who got everything they asked for from Santa! I didn't flubber or do a deer in the headlights. I didn't forget my lines like I usually do when there's a camera on me. I ended up finding myself super, super present and I admit, I actually forgot that this was an interview! My friend and inspiration on how to be a more enlightened and inclusive human being, Erin (please check Erin's website out! I'll list the credits at the end of this article), made me forget that there was a recording happening and the conversation felt natural and I really have to say, I ENJOYED the process of just being, slipping comfortably into my own skin.
My reasons for doing a podcast interview are varied. But I felt that I have been hiding from the world for too long. Most of my life I always wanted to diminish my own presence and convinced myself that if I took up too much physical or air space, people would recoil from me and in some irrational "lizard part" of my emotional brain, ostracize me from "cool people society". I am not ashamed to say that I used to be really sensitive to remarks about not fitting in or about not being "good looking enough", "visually presentable enough" or "smart enough". Being the nerdy, hypersensitive, art kid at school who used to hang with my fellow writer and the drama nerds really put a huge bullseye on my forehead for the cooler crews who did athletics, were the school prefects, aced all the academic competitions or made it to the cooler music programs, to easily take aim and swipe.
You can imagine why I wanted to make myself smaller.
Now, as a woman born into a female body; as a visible minority living in Western society; and triply so, as a Chinese-Canadian, practicing an ancient form of medicine from my own culture, but not being able to articulate myself as well about what I do in my own mother tongue (as opposed to English); you can imagine the kinds of comments that I used to get growing up.
I heard everything from "Hey, you speak English really well for an Asian person. Where are you really from and how long did it take you to learn it?" to, "Hey being a Canadian-Chinese person, can you REALLY use chopsticks or are you just a rice-hating, hamburger eating banana?" (banana i.e. yellow outside, white inside) to, "Why can't you just be a little less vocal in your field. Gentle women do better in the healthcare field than loud women with opinions on the system".
I used to eat all this up and hide myself from public when I first started working after getting my acupuncture licence. Posting a bio about myself and a picture of myself was terrifying! I actually had anxiety over posting 5-6 lines (and then a picture) about myself on clinic webpages where I worked.
Even after a decade of working in the field, and posting very liberally on instagram, I am still fraught with anxious thoughts on "Am I good enough?" or "Will people laugh at this?". It took me almost two more additional years after transitioning from my practice in Scarborough in 2018 to my current practices at either end of Queen Street, to actually start blogging, posting my thoughts on social media and then doing video demos. This podcast was the icing on the cake because its like the final barrier for just getting over myself.
And I cannot think of a better place to do this than on Reawaken Co which is a vibrant, idea-thumping and nurturing place where Erin has opened up a space at the proverbial health and wellness table to cis-women like myself; female bodied folx, gender fluid or neutral folx, culturally significant people, and proudly minority-identifying health practitioners to share, tell their story and literally rock their craft! When I first started working in the field, women in general were never encouraged to advocate for their health needs in the more traditional, male dominated medical paradigm or indeed, even in my own male-dominated TCM medical paradigm. We had concerns but we had been taught to shut them down, listen to the doctor (usually a more traditionally trained male) and even if we had our opinions on what was better and more intuitive for ourselves, we weren't encouraged to speak up.
Imagine navigating the healthcare field as a visible minority, as a female bodied person, or a gender fluid/neutral person. Most of the time, these vibrant contributors to our society aren't even acknowledged because the bulk of our western and TCM paradigm only collected medical data on males and men and those of us who aren't men were just somehow "made to fit" the male medical model of medical care!
So I started to speak up for myself more in my healthcare sessions with practitioners. Now times have changed and I am lucky to have accumulated a slew of wonderful, open-minded healthcare practitioners on my own self-health team (and my own GP - bless his soul - is a wonderful advocate for my work!) But, speaking out when I could - that always entailed risk. The risk of being seen. The risk of being heard. And the risk of being a target for anyone who disagreed with me or for those who just for whatever reason "didn't like the look of me". Which is why I stayed away from really owning myself and really being comfortable in the skin that I was born in. I didn't post pictures of myself and I didn't do videos or live interviews because I was afraid to be seen, even though I was presenting ideas and concepts that I have been trained in and that I do everyday when I am at work.
That had to change.
I expect all my patients to just "drop the act" when they come in to see me; to just be themselves and really feel they could leave any fears of how I would see them when they come in for a session with me. If I expect that of my own patients, I'd better be able to expect that of myself.
I always tell people that no matter what background they are from, what history they carry, what concepts they had been taught about themselves, and what misconceptions that may have developed from those initial concepts; they have every right to really being seen by their practitioner and indeed by the world. And I guess, in some ways, it was always me telling myself that I was ok just as I am and that I too have special gifts that I really shouldn't be hiding anymore from the world.
We really do owe it to ourselves to just own our powers that make us unique and specially qualified to do what we came into the world to do. And we each have that unique take on things in life that we do need to share with people with our true-born voice. It makes this world a less scary place because we set the example to be ok with ourselves and most importantly, it gives us permission to drop the act and just be seen for who we really are!
And, before I close, I did promise you the rundown on where to find this podcast!
For starters, check out and be prepared to have your mind blown by Erin Edwards on:
https://www.instagram.com/theerinedwards/ and on Reawaken Co at https://www.instagram.com/reawaken_co/ .
For the "in one take" podcast here is the link: https://anchor.fm/reawakenco/episodes/Inspiring-Insights-BONUS-Episode-Acupuncture-for-Female-Bodied-Folx-with-Daryl-Fang--R-Ac-eraevc plus, you can also find it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/IU9wEfKuXlU.
In keeping with my own words on posting myself somewhere on the webniverse, here's a "take me to your leader earthling" picture just so that I am walking the talk that I am trying to talk myself into a little more each day. Seize your power and just be you! Happy day folks and thanks for checking this place out!!!