Nothing to Re-cover — So scary is this, so ‘nude and exposed-feeling,’ that the tendency is to re-cover. So, one breathes. Breathes into the openness and mystery of having a present moment experience that lacks a back-story. Here I am, and here is how it is. Right now.
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Finding the presence to be who you are
The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
Of course, the world has always seemed insane.
I can remember sitting with my granddad, and talking about World War I and the Great Depression, and the slide into WWII. My granddad was the “perfect” age to miss serving in either War, so he worked—as a railway clerk-manager for the mighty Erie-Lackawanna RR. He supported an extended family, and many people came and went from his house.
They nick-named the place “Mother Flannery’s Boarding House.”
He talked about the insane nuttiness of the wars, the poverty, the dust bowl. And he did so without rancour. He understood evil, he grasped inequality, and he taught his kids to be decent human beings.
In the midst of crazy, there is always the choice to be open.
A client, a few weeks ago, had a pretty dramatic Bodywork session—lots of feelings and emotions and dramas surfaced, and she worked her way through to a state of Simple Presence. I typically e‑mail my Bodywork clients the following day, and ask,
“How are you, and how is your body? What’s come up for you?”
I do this because profound shifting often takes place, and it’s good to notice.
She wrote back something to the tune of:
“I’m taking today to recover.”
“Why would you want to re-cover,
after such an effort un-covering?”
The tendency, when we come to a different conclusion about life, when we “perceive differently,” is to re-cover. Our Ego, as I’ve been writing lately, is totally and completely invested in keeping you “safe” by endlessly bitching at you. It wants you to see things the way your culture sees things—not to upset the apple cart with new ideas, not to put yourself out there by acting differently.
Our Egos demand that we recover our “past dignity” by re-covering ourselves in the lies that have never worked, and have made us the miserable, shut-down creatures that led us to seek change in the first place!
The William James quote above makes a few key points:
1) The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working.
The tendency is to go, “Isn’t it awful. They should do something about it.” The world we see right in front of us, endlessly teetering on the brink of a larger catastrophe, is our creation, individually and collectively. It’s the way it is because we are the way we are.
So. Stop. And. Look.
Everything you see in your life is due to you and your choices. If you are alone, that’s you, making it happen. If you are angry, that’s you, creating anger. If you are unfulfilled, that’s about you and your choices. And on and on, up the scale, to “all of it.” Stomping your feet and screaming, “It’s not fair!” accomplishes precisely nothing, and no one cares.
2) To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system
It is impossible to change a belief system across the board. All you can ever do is change yours. And then, act from the new belief, resisting the urge to take time to re-cover.
Why change? Well, if you like being stuck, don’t. On the other hand, if you’re wanting a different life, you are required to let go of the think that keeps you stuck–your own belief system. or as Einstein famously put it:
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
You are where you are throughout the power of your beliefs. Getting somewhere else requires—demands—changing your belief system.
3) let the past slip away
This is tough, because we are so invested in our stories. We just know we were abused, persecuted, held down, held back, judged and found wanting. We just know that we’re always going to be alone, or always be with idiots, or always be stuck in whatever we believe is the substance of our self-generated quicksand.
And yet, it’s just your story, and not a very helpful one.
Letting the past slip away simply means loosening our grip on the “facts.” We do this by recognizing (meditation helps with this!) that we are the authors of our story.
I can’t remember if I’ve used this illustration before, but the TV show 24 shot 26 hours of film for every one-hour segment. The director and the editors took 26 hours of film and boiled it down to a one hour segment, in real-time.
Now, think. How many possible plot points, perspectives, and directions are contained in that 26 hours of film? It’s infinite. And once it’s edited and “in the can,” it’s condensed down to one possibility. This is what we do, all the time, and we have access to every instance in our long lives. We edit, we stitch together, and we tell ourselves a story. It’s just not the whole story.
So, recognize this, and let go.
4) expand our sense of now
All of the stories, the film, is in there, in our heads, until we die. The letting go just described is actually a turning away from. In other words, it’s not about re-constructing a better story. It’s about living in the here and now.
No re-covery. That’s my point as I check in with clients. They chip away at the stories, and open up their bodies to the feelings, let things go, and find freedom in the stillness and flow of energy that results. They have just landed, ass-over-teakettle, in the here and now.
So scary is this, so “nude and exposed-feeling,” that the tendency is to re-cover. So, one breathes. Breathes into the openness and mystery of having a present moment experience that lacks a back-story. Here I am, and here is how it is. Right now.
5) and dissolve the fear in our minds.
Fear is unreal. Fear is always related to internal stories. If you are fearful, you are not present. When you are present and aware, there is no time for fear. We dissolve fear by calming ourselves, turning our eyes away from the story to the reality of the moment, and then choosing.
Shifting takes courage. You decide to uncover, and then you do it. You peel away the phony layers of protection, open yourself up, and let others see who you are. You become open, honest, and vulnerable, because you want to step out of the games, into the light of who you actually are.
You open your eyes, heart, belly and knees, and find yourself.
Our New Reality!
The title, “Our New Reality,” was just invented by us today, in place of the ever-lame “retirement.” We’re not retiring — we’re starting over! We’re setting up some Qi Gong / meditation classes for the Summer, as well as thinking about where in Canada we want to “be.”
Darbella has set her retirement date! She’s done teaching, after 31 years, as of June 30.
She’s off on an adventure, and I’ve decided to join her! (Kidding! We are figuring this out together!)
QiGong Secrets – Week 7 — Relaxed and Gentle
Relaxed and gentle are the key words in this home study course. All movements are relaxed and gentle. Breathing is relaxed and gentle. This makes QiGong available to everyone no matter your level of fitness, your flexibility, or your age. Many of the movements can easily be adapted to sitting in a chair if standing is a problem.
Think about performing a simple task like picking up an object from the floor. It is quite obvious that this simple task will become more difficult and use more energy if you tense every muscle while picking up the object.
In a QiGong practice, we learn to make our movements with the minimum amount of energy required. There is an excellent demonstration of this in the free lesson offered for the Chifusion Tai Chi and QiGong course if you would like to try it out. (Note: This is the other online course I am currently working through with the intent of getting certified. It is an excellent course but the cost is much higher than the QiGong Secrets Home Study Course.) If you download this free lesson, you will get a feel for how movement in QiGong are meant to be practiced. Here is the link if you want to try it out.
In QiGong, pain is a signal that you are doing something wrong. “No pain, no gain,” is not a slogan for QiGong. The Chifusion course mentioned above taught me about the 70% rule. This is changed to the 40% rule when dealing with an injury. This was an important component when I was teaching QiGong to the injured workers group that Wayne and I were working with. For any QiGong movement, first determine what completing the movement to 100% looks like for your body type. When practicing the movement, only move to 70% (or 40% in case of injury) of what you personally can do. If the movement is a side-to-side movement, then you only move to 70% of your weaker side. There is nothing to gain by pushing through pain and trying to move farther or stretching more. Completing the movements in a relaxed and gentle way will result in you becoming strong, healthy and happy.
QiGong is about improving your energy flow. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we learn that energy flows through our body in meridians, much like water flows in rivers. Blockages to this energy flow are what cause illness. By cleansing these blockages, we restore a harmonious energy flow in our body and we have good health and energy. Often a simple practice of 15 minutes a day is enough to ensure good health. This is not a magic cure. It requires dedication and practice.
Some of the key contributors to these blockages are pain, tension, and stress. Chi will not flow through tense muscles and joints. When we stand in the basic QiGong stance, our joints are relaxed and not locked. Movements done in a relaxed and gentle way encourages the chi to flow. Pushing to your limit or beyond increases the tension in your body and the chi will not flow. There is a good chance you will make your health worse and not better. Always remember the two key words, relaxed and gentle.
These two keys words apply to your breathing as well. Sometimes your breathing is matched to your movements. Taking long slow deep breaths into your abdomen is a requirement for QiGong. Try this simple exercise. Put your hands over you abdomen and take deep breaths so you can feel your abdomen rise and fall. Breathing into your lower lungs increases your energy. If you breathe only into your upper chest, you will create tension in your upper chest and shoulders. This will restrict the chi flow.
Then there is your mind. Your thoughts also need to be relaxed and gentle. If you are stressing over how to complete the movements and doing them exactly right, this will increase the tension in your body and restrict your chi flow. Let go of trying to complete the movements with perfect form and just allow yourself to move in a relaxed and gentle way and your chi will flow.
One more place for you to try out some simple QiGong moves is one I just discovered that was created by Lee Holden. I have used many of his QiGong DVD’s in the past. He has a section on this website called Qi Breaks. It has some short videos with simple QiGong movements for things like fatigue, stress, insomnia and headaches. You do need to register for the site to access the videos. These short videos are available at no cost. There are some QiGong moves there that are some of my favourites. Here is the link.
Relaxed and gentle—and I hope you have fun playing QiGong.