I have been silent for a long time. Several months at least, and it has been hard. Hard to not write; hard to attempt to write. It’s hard not to write because the words are still in there, in my heart, my mind, and my soul and it’s like they are being stifled, suffocated. But at the same time, when I’m going through this non-writing phase, it’s also very difficult for me to try and “force” the writing. I also get very lethargic and don’t feel the energy moving in me to actually sit down and allow the creative juices to flow.
I’m not sure why this happens to me from time to time. Sometimes it follows a major disruption in my normal routine, or a major difficulty or issue that hits me. I find it very difficult to get back on track with anything once my usual schedule is out of whack for whatever reason. You know the kind of thing: I get going into a good exercise routine, something comes along to break that routine and six months later I’m wondering where my exercise routine went. Or perhaps I’ve managed to get started on a “cleaner” nutrition kick and, again, something comes up to interrupt that and six months later I’m feeling physically very sluggish and know that it has to do with the fact that I’m not eating right – again.
A possible reason may be tied to the fact that I am not a multi-tasker. What does that have to do with writing or not writing you may ask. Well it’s just that once I get out of routine it takes an enormous effort on my part to return to routine, and somewhere in there I get caught up in that devious game of “catch-up”. Because I was gone for a month, I had to catch up with a lot of stuff and a lot of people, and in the meantime new stuff was coming up and I just kept sliding backwards in my time management. So then I try to do more than one thing at once and I end up in a mental, emotional and spiritual mess and there’s no way I can write with all that frustration and confusion going on!
So here I am again, in the moment, a little scared. Are the words going to come? Are the words going to flow? Will I suddenly get stuck in the middle of a paragraph or a sentence and go back to being stifled? Just the fact that I am here writing this posting is a hopeful sign for me. I have so much I want to share. A lot has taken place in my life since I last wrote, since my wonderful month-long vacation in Italy. I believe I wrote one posting about Italy and I want to share some more of that experience. I am back at school after the summer break and trying to feel my way into that new routine again – studying and homework.
In September, right before returning to school, I experienced a three day guided silent retreat which was extraordinary. And in November Richard and I returned to our modest time share in Orlando for our traditional “week of respite” before the madness of “the Holidays” begins. During this period of silence I have also lost two very dear friends and need to share about that.
I have started to take Tai Chi and QiGong classes. Actually this is a return to both of those two activities for me and I want to share how that “God-incidence” came about. Suffice to say that I am feeling really good about it and my body is very grateful too. And along with the Tai Chi and QiGong I somehow finally tried acupuncture. There’s a whole story behind all this which is quite miraculous really. I have made it through the “Holiday period” without gaining any weight for the first time in I don’t know how many years – at least twenty!! And that’s a miracle I need to share with you all.
For those of you who have waited patiently for my return – thank you. For anyone new finding me as I share my journey and this adventure in writing – welcome. I hope I will not disappoint any of you.
This is another catch-up which I referred to in my posting Freedom- Also a Loss. I had my Qigong experience in Orlando back at the end of April this year. I read Natural Awakenings, a free monthly newspaper that is mainly geared to health and alternative health practices and modalities. For three years I had seen the advertisement for the Qi-Revolution event in Orlando in this newspaper and my curiosity was peaked. But each year by the time I got around to checking into it, I already had another commitment.
So this year, or rather last year, because the initial advertising came out I believe sometime in October or November of 2010, I made sure I put it in my planner at first sighting. Shortly after that I completed my registration and I was set to discover what this “energy event” was all about. Because I saw the word “Qi” (which is pronounced “chi”), I had an idea that it was something akin to Tai Chi with which I am familiar. However, nothing prepared me for the 4-day experience that I had with Qigong.
The event was held in one of the huge conference rooms at the Orlando Convention Center. When I entered the room on the first day I remember my first feeling: overwhelmed. There were more than two thousand people present for this event and I didn’t know a single person. The energy level was high and I was aware of a sense of anticipation buzzing around the room. The second feeling was an old enemy re-presenting itself: a feeling of “less than”. Old toxic thought processes began to invade my mind.
“You shouldn’t have come here Margo, you’ll probably not be any good at it.” “Most of these people are younger than you, what were you thinking of?” “You’re going to make a fool of yourself in front of all these people.” “How do you expect to keep up with everyone especially with the pain in your hip?” And many other forms of “You’re no good”, “You’re not good enough” etc, and some other self-sabotaging phrases. You get the picture.
After taking some deep breathes and centering in on my God, I was able to clear my mind and fill it with some positive affirmations. Only then could I allow myself to feel the excitement and anticipation that was like an electric current all around me. Only then did I really look around and notice that at least one third of the people there were over fifty, and quite a few were over sixty,and the really “young ‘uns” were a minority. I smiled as I watched the negative thoughts scurry out of my head.
Within two hours and after some great stretching exercises, we were all, yes all, more than two thousand of us, going through the first Qigong form. I had no idea that it would be take about an hour to do this, and I am so glad I didn’t. I think I might have panicked and run away. But what was so amazingly awesome was that I was able to keep up, stay focused, and complete the whole form. On top of that, what was wonderfully boosting for my self esteem was that younger people were needing to take a break half way through.
I am not sure that I can explain exactly what Qigong is, but I will attempt to do so. Please be aware that this is my own subjective explanation. Qigong is the practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for the purpose of exercise, healing, and meditation. But it is so much more than that. Through the use of slow, controlled, focused movement the practitioner is brought to an awareness of the natural flow of energy that constantly surrounds us and that we have in us. Through the practice of qigong it is possible to “harness” or “increase” this level of energy, bringing more into the body and sharing it out with the world. It is what I refer to as the God energy. I found the whole experience to be very spiritual.
I do know that I felt a tremendous “high” after that first session. My body, despite some fairly severe pain in my left hip, felt alive and as though I could do almost anything. I was very mentally alert and was aware of a sense of joy and lightheartedness. It was as though in some way I had accessed a deeper part of me, or perhaps I had learned a different way to access my soul. And by the way, no longer did I feel like a stranger in a crowd. I felt like I belonged.
On the second day we did more Qigong and also learned a form of energy breathing. If you want a serious natural high, then energy breathing is the answer. This is something that I will not attempt to explain here because I don’t think I could do it justice. You’ll just have to check out www.qigong.com and see if there is an event near you and try it.
The other major component to this 4-day event was the approach to food healing. Much of this I had heard before but in bits and pieces. Jeff Primack, who is the driving force behind “Supreme Science Qigong” and the leader and main presenter of the 4-day Qi-revolution event, has taken all those “bits and pieces” and presents them as one whole healing source. It felt as though someone finally gave me the key to the lock and showed me how to turn it.
I have been working diligently on my approach to food for many years, but since this event it has been easier to bring things into place within my daily diet. I am sixty seven years young, with just as many years of bad habits about food, plus I am a slow learner. There are times when I can really follow true healthy eating, and there are other times when I just muddle along as best I can. But somehow, since my Qigong experience, I manage to come back to the full healthy approach. I am just so very grateful for this experience that has taught me to incorporate some very specific things on a daily basis into my nutrition plan today. Thanks to that I am almost totally free of arthritic pain. My energy levels are so much higher and my body feels healthier in general.
I have just read through this posting and I realize that I have given a very poor “nutshell” idea of what my Qigong experience was about. I guess it is something that you have to experience personally to have a full or better understanding of it rather than just reading words. Much as I love my words, I am very conscious of the fact that sometimes they simply do not do justice to an event or situation. This is one of those times. Please check out Qigong for yourselves. It really is quite amazing and will probably change your life forever.
I just love it when I come upon a wealth of wise sayings and quotations. In the last seven days I have received a rush of wise words. They have come from many disparate places: a car bumper sticker, a friend’s home, a special workshop given by a dynamic speaker – Fr. Larry Richards from Pennsylvania, and, because of a piece of research work that I did, from the internet. I have collected so many of them that I will spread them over a few postings. Here is the first batch.
“God does not love us if we change; God loves us so that we can change.” (Fr. Richard Rohr)
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“No man is rich enough that he can buy back his past.” (Oscar Wilde)
“When the spiritual, mental, and emotional bodies are healthy, the physical body manifests health and becomes more vibrant, too. Our smiles, our eyes, our posture, and even our skin, which is the largest organ in the body and most sensitive to energy, send off a positive, attractive energy. This is part of the realignment process and will naturally affect your relationships, too.” (Sierra Bender)
“Your love for God is only as great as the love you have for the person you love the least.” (Dorothy Day)
“Clouds come into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” (Rabindranath Tagore)
“They came to sit and dangle their feet off the edge of the world and after a while they forgot everything but the good and true things they would do some day.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)
“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” (Leo Buscaglia)
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” (Seneca)
And the last one for today is, in my opinion, superb:
“Show up. Tell the truth. Be very alert. Expect nothing.” (A car bumper sticker)
And just think, there are more to follow.