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.
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.