We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheryl Kujawinski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cheryl, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk has always been a word that I have associated with a direction or purpose in life. I try to avoid putting a heavy weight to the idea of risk, but rather use it as a barometer for possible outcomes of my choices. Believe it or not, most of the time I feel more risk when I consider NOT doing something new or challenging–my sense of exploration, of wonder, of possibility, of curiosity, of my happiness, are all at risk if I don’t attempt things in the first place. I do not intend to live my life wondering what could have been because I was more scared than taking that step.
We know that there is a chance of failure with anything new, but rather than focusing on what bad thing may happen, why not flip the script and focus on the positive outcomes? Sometimes I look back on what I have done so far and laugh at how random my choices have been. I have been an actor, worked my way up in the bar industry and eventually owned a bar, went back to school at 27 and got my doctorate in Chinese medicine, build up a successful practice in Chicago, then moved to Colorado to start up another practice from scratch. You know what? Even though the acting career or the bar career didn’t work out, I have learned so much about who I am from my ability to just go for it. Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not.
Take the risk if it feels right, good, interesting, fun, exciting…a positive feeling experience! I guarantee that at the very least, you’ll learn more about who you are by doing so.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Hawthorne Acupuncture & Integrated Medicine’s mission statement is simple:
The body has a natural intelligence that strives to keep us healthy, but all too often the obstacles in life can cause the manifestations of unwanted symptoms. we understand the dynamic nature and complexity of the body, and acknowledge the importance of the body/mind connection that contributes to overall wellness.
Our dual approach is straightforward and effective: To alleviate symptoms and to correct the underlying dysfunction.
Hawthorne Acupuncture designs individualized treatment plans using acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and lifestyle modifications to empower our patients with the tools needed to maximize and maintain their vitality.
On a personal note, I believe that true healing takes a shift from all angles–shifting routines, food, movement, sleep, and beliefs are just a few of them. My goal is to meet my patients where they are at in their journey and never come from a place of judgement or criticism. I also find it incredibly important to wade through the mess of expectations that our society, marketing, and social media place on us. The goal in life is happiness, not perfection.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Argh!! I want to make this list so badly! But as a transplant from Chicago, sigh, I don’t have one. We relocated here just as the pandemic was ramping up, and with getting situated in our home life and getting my business off the ground, I haven’t had many experiences yet.
What I can say, however, it that even though I am living in the ‘burbs, I will always have an urbanite in me! So Denver, you tell me where to go! I love checking out other small businesses and shops, and meandering is one of my favorite pastimes.
Give me a day where I shop/check out local jewelry stores, crystal shops, book stores, whatever, then head off to have a nicely done cocktail and I am a happy woman!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh, wow…there are so many along the way!
There were many inspiring teachers during the 5 years it took to earn my doctorate, but the ones that stand out are Marie-France Collin, L.Ac, the one who held my feet to the fire and demanded I become a capable acupuncturist, Stephen Bonzak, L.Ac, who taught me how to critically think about my herbal medicine skills, and Eric Baker, L.Ac, who taught me how to think beyond the physical medicine and in to the psyche. These three people played an important role in how I approach natural healing, and I am grateful for all the lessons they have instilled in me.
Additionally, I have three colleagues that have helped me immensely. We bounce ideas off of one another, use strategies from one another, ask for help with running a business, work on marketing together, and get vulnerable when we are just having a rough time. I am forever grateful for Kaysie Lingo, L.Ac in Chicago, IL, Vel Natarajan, DACM, L.Ac in Greyslake, IL, and Collin Campbell, L.Ac in Cape Cod, MA. They are my rocks.
Also, a big shoutout to SkinRx and Body Wellness in Centennial, CO. They took me in as a new acupuncturist in the area and with their support, helped me grow my practice during a pandemic in an unfamiliar area. I am forever grateful for their support and their skincare. Seriously, check them out. They do great work.
Of course I want to give a shoutout to my family, my husband, and my awesome 6 year old. They all rule. Enough said.
Rio Chavez Photography