I was going to tell you the story.
I was going to give you all the gory details.
I even had it written out: all the ways in which life seemed to be crumbling around me, not just in my personal world, but in the whole world.
But I deleted it all. On purpose.
So you’ll just have to take my word when I say (or empathize deeply for what you may be feeling, too): Things have been challenging, and that feels like an understatement.
Sometimes it’s not helpful to rehash all of the parts of one’s life that are less than great.
It’s good to have a person who will listen when you need to let it out, but then it’s usually best to move on and focus on what you do want.
The amount of things going wrong, breaking down, and slipping out from under me was piling up at such a swift rate that it was becoming comical.
And I really was laughing. Well, first I cried. And complained. And worried. But I couldn’t do that for too long because something new would come up, and trying to fix it, as I so valiantly did, only made matters worse.
All there was left to do was throw my eyes to the sky, lift my palms, and let out a big, fat laugh.
Defeat Laughter. Let Go Laughter.
Sometimes the only thing you can do in a stressful situation is breathe, because anything else just makes it worse.
I was working so hard to keep control of things and in response, all Life did was give me more examples of how little I ever have control over.
The only thing we really have control over in life is how we respond to it.
You can moan and wail, or yell and argue, hide in a hole, or fling yourself into chaotic action, but until you relax, you will not be on track toward finding relief.
In my kung fu training, the biggest lesson I have ever received is this:
The most powerful thing you can do is stay calm.
Stay Calm, Photograph by Brea Fisher
My sifu always began leading his taiji quan form by saying, “Relax the mind. Relax the body.” I do this also. But it’s something that isn’t only for tai chi practice. This mantra and intention applies to all the things you do; tai chi just serves as a way to let go of resistance (i.e. RELAX).
So I did my best to do things that helped me get calm. I practiced kung fu with ferocity. I cut through my obstacles with sword practice. I quieted my mind with meditation. I relaxed my body with tai chi. I balanced my emotions with qigong.
When your life seems to be driving you into the ground and your brain is grinding its gears, you can get things flowing again by moving your body.
Don’t get all jammed up because your mind is trying to fix this or heal that. Just move your body. The body knows what you need.
Moving your body focuses your qi back inside you, instead of having it scattered into the world around you.
As you go about your day there are all sorts of ways your energy, or qi (pronounced chi), gets dispersed. Things you are working on, dealing with, or worrying about send your mind out in different directions, which simultaneously leaks qi from you.
“Where the mind goes, energy flows.” Ernest Holmes said this and it is true of all thoughts, without discrimination. The good and the bad, all your thoughts lead your energy somewhere.
So where do you want your energy to flow? Outside of you? Toward ideas you fear? Or inside of you? Toward the deeper part of you that knows exactly what you need?
The solution is always out there— really, many solutions exist for any one problem— but in order to get yourself lined up with one of them you need to clear the way.
The pathway to your solutions only becomes clear when you are relaxed and balanced.
One way to do this is to practice tai chi, kung fu, or qigong.
The Five Element Qigong form called, Moving the Emotions, calms the mind, brings your focus back into the body, and balances you inside and out.
Using the Chinese Five Elements— Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth— one is able to balance qi within corresponding organs and body parts as well as cultivate emotional harmony.
By practicing this form you will gain a powerful tool to relax, get balanced, and find clarity in your life.
The complexity of the world is at its peak. And even though it sometimes feels like it’s all breaking down, if you can stay calm you will begin to see things differently.
Quiet your over-worked mind. Move your body. Get clear. Feel better.
You can do this. I believe in you.
Did you follow the qigong form? Please tell me how it went! I am always available to answer any questions you have. You can leave a comment below, or send me an email.
Did you like this article? If you did, share it with your friends! I would be so grateful to you for it. Truly.