How many times do we get stressed during the day? How many times do we get irritated by the noise and fast pace, rushing to keep on schedule and focusing on doing, doing, doing? How often do we get frustrated by the way things are in our world?
How often do we just stop to take a deep breath and relax? And yet, breathing is an essential part of life. After all, if you aren't breathing you're not alive – so obvious, that. And Breathing (notice the capitalization) is also essential to Life (ditto). Intentional breathing creates vitality, serenity, space, and possibilities. Conscious and intentional breathing creates transformation.
I practice and teach Qigong, and use it in my coaching. Now, I'm not saying I'm a Qigong master; I'm a skilled student willing to share what I'm learning. Qigong uses intentional meditation and movement to move the Qi (or Chi) in our bodies. Qi is the energy that circulates in and around us, in every living thing; our life force. One of the things I'm learning is that when Qi energy moves, things happen; possibilities and perspectives open up for us and movement happens in our life. When we become aware of our breath, when we notice the tenseness in our bodies and breathe into these places to relax them, things shift for us.
Just so you can have an experience of what I'm talking about, here's a Qigong- inspired visualization. I invite you to take a moment to relax and breathe. Place your feet flat on the floor with your arms in a relaxed and opened position. Take a deep cleansing breath. Now breathe normally, gently and in a relaxed rhythm. Notice any tension in your body and using intention and your breath, allow these areas to relax. Allow your shoulders to relax and your spine to gently elongate. Feel the muscles in your face release their tension and become relaxed into a smile. Allow yourself to luxuriate in a sensation of spaciousness, calm, and relaxation.
Now ground yourself to the Earth. Feel how your feet are meeting the Earth. Pay exquisite attention to the skin on the bottom of your feet and how it meets the ground. Feel the sensations of your legs and how you are seated in the chair. Feel how your legs are connected to your hips and central body, and how your shoulders are connected to your head. Feel your place on this Earth. Settle into your connection to our Earth. Breathe and stay here until you feel firmly and solidly connected.
Now focus your awareness and your breath on your heart. Breathe into your heart, increasing your radiant heart energy. Feel your connection to the world around you through your heart. Focus your awareness on the feelings of kindness and human heartedness in your heart. Build that feeling up until it completely fills your heart.
Now think of a problem or issue in your world. It might be personal or it might be a global issue that directly concerns you. Remember to keep breathing, stay connected to Earth, and relax into your heart. If you have trouble keeping both the issue and your heart energy in the same space, move back and forth between them. Build up your heart, then allow yourself to be with the problem. Go back to nourishing your heart. Do this until you can hold both in the same space.
What transformation does your heart long for? What is your heart's vision for what is possible? Make a note, and go back to your heart space. What wisdom does your heart have for the next step to take? What is one small step you can take to create movement towards manifesting the vision? Make a note, and go back to your heart's breath. Thank your body's access to divine wisdom, take a deep breath, and come back to the room.
You have just experienced a small taste of the transformational power of Qigong. Whether you got a lot of information from this exercise or only little, trust that some form of transformation is happening for you. When we access the sacred space that connects all life, we tap into previously unimaginable possibilities and can create empowered solutions. In the space that connects us all, anything is possible. And through our visions, dreams, actions and thoughts all things can become manifested.
So here is my wish for you. Take that one small step you've taken note of. It may take courage on your part; it might require you to learn and use new skills or collaborate with people you might not normally associate with. "Make it so". Our world needs each of us to take on some part of making the world a better place. We each need to put our own spiritual practices into action and transform our world, in our own unique and wonderful way. And if you want support for making this happen, call me; that's what I'm here for -- to help you achieve your vision for (y)our world.