Are you where you want to be?


Reconnecting: Awakening the Muse

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. 

Self Nurturing: The Qigong Experience

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 headSmile.

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 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.

Self Nurturing: Sedona Massage

I received my first massage many years ago.  I was living in the UK at the time.  I believe it was sometime in the sixties and I discovered a small massage and facial salon had opened above a shop near my parents home.  I very tentatively booked an appointment and remember how my heart sang and I knew that I was hooked from the very first touch.  There is nothing quite like a massage for relaxation, de-stressing, pleasure, and coming home to yourself.  Massage does for the body what a deep relationship with God does for the soul.

I probably received one or two more massages during the next few years because I really couldn’t afford more than that.  Then, about five years later, I moved to Sardinia, Italy with my first husband and our two boys.  In 1970, we helped to open a large holiday village called Forte Village in the southern part of the island not far from the capital, Cagliari. 

There were many holiday agency reps working in the village and the two girls from the Swedish company, Vingresor, were extremely grateful for the “extra mile” that I went in order to help smooth difficulties for their customers.  They came to me one day and said they would like to show their appreciation in some tangible way and asked me what I would most like.  I knew they had their own massage therapist on call in the village, so I requested a massage.  They were gracious enough to gift me with a series of four massages, and my love affair with receiving massage was rekindled. Since then I have received many massages and eventually, when I was fifty three years young, I trained to become a massage therapist myself.  I feel as much joy giving massage as I do in receiving them.

Fast forward to April 2011.  As I mentioned in my previous posting Traveling-  Las Vegas & Sedona Rich and I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Sedona, AZ.  I knew that I wanted to receive a massage in Sedona because it is a place of natural healing and there are many alternative therapy healers in the town.  As Rich and I were settling into our condo, he checked out a file of information about various activities and points of interest in the area, and called my attention to an advertisement. The wording in the ad from Sue really spoke to my heart and soul, and I knew that this was who I would book my massage with.

A few days later found me in Sue’s studio.  Little did I know that I was about to have a very significant and life-changing experience.  For the next two hours Sue worked intuitively with my body.  I have never received a massage quite like it.  She used many different modalities during the course of the massage and I knew that something very special was going on, especially when she started chanting as she worked my heart chakra.  I remember thinking, “I hope she is going to tell me what that was about”, as I felt a kind of a “whooshing out” feeling from my chest.  Then shortly afterwards, as Sue worked on my lower abdomen, I could feel “something” going on and a great deal of heat.

At the end of the massage, when Sue gave me some water to drink,  she asked me if I wanted to hear her perceptions.  My heart lifted and I said I wanted to hear everything.  She checked first of all if I believed in past lives and also asked me if I was familiar with any of the ancient civilizations such as the Mayans or the people of Atlantis.  When I assented, she shared that while she had been working on my heart chakra she was drawn into a vision where she saw me as a tall, regal person, dripping with golden jewelry, and knew that I was one of the ancient wise ones.  She felt that I was royalty of some sort and told me that whenever I walked into a room people were enveloped in a sense of tranquility and felt healed.  I told her that many people told me this today also. 

She then went on to tell me that it was no longer enough to just “walk into the room”, that I was “being called to more”.  She said that I needed to be ready for more work and not to be afraid.  I remembered Kevin’s words just a few weeks earlier at the Lenten Healing Mission.  Sue then explained that while she had worked on my lower abdomen she had felt “something birthing”, and she encouraged me to be ready, to prepare myself for some new work that I was going to be called to undertake.

As I left Sue’s studio, I felt very blessed.  I was filled with a sense of peace and yet was also aware of a very heightened sense of energy.  I felt like I could have run for ten miles.  I was very grateful for this because later that afternoon Rich and I went to experience the energy vortex at Bell Rock and I was able to climb about three quarters of the way up the rock formation without feeling tired. 

I will always remember my massage experience with Sue with much gratitude.  My main personal work since that time has been to quietly prepare myself for whatever work Spirit wants me to do.  Just two weeks after this experience, I attended a Qigong event in Orlando and a complete stranger there repeated the message: “Margo, you are being called to more.  Do not hold back.”  I will share more about this experience in another posting.