All posts by Eli

Eliminate the Negative

Relaxed wrist

Language is important. Negative language can have a powerful effect on who we are talking to. And probably an effect that we really don’t want.

Let me start with a real life example.

I was practicing qigong with a new teacher. We didn’t really know each other and it was just practice, not a class. I was following his movements and when we got to one of the movements he said “Don’t bend your wrists like that.” All qi flow stopped. What should I do? Fortunately, I remembered another teacher that when making a similar movement had suggested in a gentle and general way to “relax the joints and flex the wrists just slightly.” What a difference the two approaches had on me. In the latter I was given a better way. In my head I was saying “Yes, that is nice. It feels good.”

Negative statements frequently leave us with nothing to do. There is no action to take. It leaves us feeling powerless. Positive statements that suggest an action give us something to do. When we are about to make a negative statement we can take an extra second and think of a way to say what we want positively, in a gentle and encouraging way. Instead of telling a child not to run around, we can tell them to please walk. I heard a mother tell a group of rowdy teenagers in a grocery store to please be mindful of the people around them and behave in a courteous manner. Using positive statements make us feel better as well. It’s a kinder way. Using positive words opens our hearts.

Next we need to apply this to the way we talk to ourselves. Be positive and kind. Tell yourself what you want to do, how you want to act.

I started thinking about this subject a long time ago, but recently at TEDx Maui 2013 there were two talks related in some way to this idea.

Kim Rosen: Remembering Our First Language: Poetry As Medicine For Our Time

Jenelle Peterson: Engaging Students In Conversations That Matter

 

H2O – Water picture and Five Elements

Water

Water can mean going with the flow or being wishy washy if you are looking at it from the Chinese Five Element Theory point of view.  I would say that this water is going with the flow and in the past it has probably dragged some of the rocks (representing earth, another element) along with it.  I am a water person when you analyze me using the Chinese method.  I have always thought of myself that way even before I knew anything about the Chinese Five Elements. The other elements are fire, earth, metal and wood

I think it is noteworthy that I have two other posts related to water. Water as Metaphor and another photo challenge, Home is...

This picture was taken on a trip to Japan in the summer of 2010 in the Kiso prefecture between Tsumago and Magome along the Nakasendo Road.  The sound of the water rushing was amazing.

Check out the other photos in the MauiShopGirl photo challenge this week.

Open Mind – Open Heart and TEDxMaui

I’m pretty sure an open heart leads to an open mind. Keeping an open heart is a hard thing to do on an everyday day all day basis. Stuff happens and defensively we close up. I think an open mind leads to an open heart. The more we know and understand the less fear we have and the safer we feel. Then it is easier to open our hearts.

In less than two weeks we, on Maui, have an exceptional opportunity to open our minds.  I heard of TED a long time ago and have listened to many 20 minute talks on line and many have inspired me. Last year I worked at the TEDxMaui for half a day, listening to a few of the talks.  They were truly amazing! This year I have a ticket.

I only saw a few last year. Here is my favorite TEDxMaui 2012. Lani Medina Weigert & Pomai Weigert – Lessons of Sustainable Aloha 

The first TED talk I listened to is Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability.

If you follow my Facebook Page or Twitter feed I’ll post some more inspiration in the next few days. Just click on the icons on this page to follow.

TEDxMaui is Sunday, January 13 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului.

Less Good at Meditation

Maybe you can’t be bad at meditation but you can have less fulfilling sessions.  There are times when my “monkeymind” is really too loud or too busy to have a really long and quiet meditation.  Is it ironic that the other day my monkeymind was busy tossing around the subject of meditation?  This mantra is not working.  Have I just not found the right mantra?  Maybe zazen is better for me.  Or maybe Loving Kindness.  Should I write a blog post about this?

Now at least I can cross one of these off the list and maybe (just maybe) have a quiet(er) mind next time.  Any advice  will be welcomed.

Holiday Love

Nativity

On Christmas day many people in the world celebrate the birth of a child. The birth of every child is a miracle and welcomed with unconditional love. No matter what your faith it is a good time to remember the feeling of unconditional love that we have felt for a newborn child and extend it to all. We were all children. We are all miracles.

Check out the instigator of this Take a Picture link up at mauishopgirl

Why I Like Sheng Zhen Gong

 

It works for me! It’s the right energy work for me.  It compliments my acupuncture.  I feel better when I practice regularly.  I love the people I know through qigong.  I love Master Li.

I started Sheng Zhen Qigong when my acupuncturist recommended qigong and a local teacher, Kimberly, taught Sheng Zhen Gong.  Kimberly was great!  The gentle movements of the Sheng Zhen form were pretty and felt pleasing.  The other students seemed to be having fun too.  The room was filled with really good feelings.  It was apparent that everyone had different abilities, yet the movements seemed right for each one of us.  The climate in the room was supportive, not competitive at all.

When I started Sheng Zhen Gong my mood was a little anxious and sad. Tai chi (a martial arts form of qigong) which I had practiced for many years before was great for my balance when I practiced.  And had helped a bit with anxiety.  It still is a quick fix when my balance gets a little off, but that is rare now.  What the qigong did for my moods was amazing.  The longer I took the class and practiced the better I felt.  In the years that I have practiced and studied I have also had some pain problems and also vertigo.  Qigong helps with both of those problems.  It also keeps me flexible and strong.

I continue to train annually with Master Li Junfeng.  After each 10 day training I feel so clear and relaxed, ready to tackle any challenge.

The spiritual benefits are for another blog post.  But the feelings of openheartedness that result from this practice are clearly connected to being relaxed and happy.

Check the Classes page for my schedule.  Or you can contact me and we can get together anytime.  Introductory classes are always free.   I would love a group class. If you have space, I have time.

The Aftermath of Thanksgiving

Flying

Thanksgiving has almost always meant large family gatherings for me. Sixteen people or so when I was little. More recently gatherings with my husband’s parents, a couple of his four siblings and their families And now our children have started families. Someone is always flying to or from these large family gatherings. I have done a lot of that flying and so often feel so sad at leaving, but so fulfilled and grateful for the time and love we all have shared.

This year was very different. My husband and I ate alone, grateful this year to be at home on Maui together with the love we share.  Again though I flew after Thanksgiving, but this time to a small family gathering of just my daughter, son-in-law and my 4 month old granddaughter.  When I fly home in a little while I will be sad, fulfilled and grateful.

This is part of mauishopgirls photo challenge for this week.