Years ago I was visiting a working historical farm in Ohio. Roosters and hens were running around everywhere and a little boy was watching them with his mom.
"Look at all those chickens! How many colors do you see on them?" The mom asked.
"Those are roosters," her son corrected.
"Well, no honey, not really," the mom countered. "All of them are chickens. The girls are hens and the boys are roosters."
"Well, that's a rooster. And that's a rooster." The little boy pointed directly at the roosters.
"Yes! You're right! Now, how many different colors are on the rooster?"
This questions and answers continued. The "corrects" and "incorrects" were dispersed.
This experience stuck with me. It reminded me of how much of our lives are spent analyzing, comparing, evaluating. So many of our conversations and experiences are seen through our ability to analyze. Many of us have jobs that support our lives that are rooted in being able to examine and label what is around us.
So, it's been a crazy busy time. You're feeling spent, energyless and ready to fizzle. And yet, you're expected to push through more.
We've all allowed ourselves to be pushed to the place where we feel completely done.
That's where the power of Peng comes in.
Never heard of it? Peng is the name of an energy in Taiji and Qigong practice that is spoken of in terms of self-defense, but it's such a limited way of looking at it and using it. Peng maintains the pffhtt of a spark and sets the flame.
We cultivate it with the breath and with mindful intention.
Peng is outward expanding energy
So, let's start.
Peng, in very simple martial arts terms, helps us bounce away an opponent.
But, if we were to expand out and notice how this energy can apply in our lives, it's fascinating and much more applicable to life.
For instance, when we only have a spark of energy it can show up as follows:
Do you find your taiji, qigong or yoga practice left in the classroom and not helping to guide your life? To build the balance you need when you're challenged with trying times?
I'm curious, is your thinking in the way of your being?
The Tao Te Ching, centuries old, reminds readers to move back and notice that our thoughts are not here to dictate our actions, but to guide them.
Thoughts really are more poetry than they are directives.
If you've felt your life is dictated by the money you make, by the schedule you keep, by the obligations that are yours, these are the signs your practice is dead. Your practice is only working for the shell of your body.
There is no place for Shen (spirit).
When these signs come to your awareness, it's time to recalibrate. If you want to maintain balance, this is the time to own it - no matter the external influences that try to dictate your value: job,...
Summer!! Ahhh! Such a great time!
Sun! Flowers blooming! Vegetable gardens producing! Vacation! Celebrations! Outdoors!
And for those who are introverts: Overwhelm moving toward depressed. Just for those who feel overwhelmed: here's a recipe just for you.
Massage your blend into your skin just taking some time to notice, breath and care for yourself. If you massage this while creating a calm atmosphere for your mental and emotional centers, your body will respond with great appreciation!
Essential oils help the body to cope - they don't solve the issue of feeling overwhelm. Using your intention (yi, in taiji theory) is major. So take some time and give yourself this needed time to pause and nurture. It's so important for life balance.
Are you interested in life balance? We have a great online course in taiji if you're interested. Try out a free movement here: Try Taiji Video
How do you answer: Who are you?
Do you say your name? Tell about your job, career? Parent? Husband? Daughter? Hobbies? Interests? Explain where you're from?
And they're necessary, right? How else are you going to introduce yourself to someone?
But after years of describing ourselves, we begin to slowly think that these labels are really us. They become more important for us to uphold and show to the world than who we really are. They begin to cover our authentic selves.
..labels become more important for us to uphold and show to the world than our authentic self...
And we begin walking around trying to meet the demands of these labels.
Finding yourself blowing up at inappropriate times? Taking your anger out on innocent family members or coworkers? Do you find yourself yelling while driving - perhaps at the radio or at other drivers?
I’ve been there. I remember getting so frustrated and angry at work when my solutions to issues were ignored because I was new. Only listening to my idea after all of the other ones failed. And then, never getting credit for the solution I provided. I was so aggravated.
I let mounting bills and financial stress strain my family relationships. I was so angry about finances that I put them before the people I loved.
It was difficult. But when out of control anger affects work life, home life, relationships, and contentment, it’s time for a shift.
Our culture is geared to push forward, grow, make things happen, produce. All of this can culminate in a need to force things to happen! Get the promotion at work. Upgrade the phone....
When you massage these essential oils onto the skin it's drawn into the body and the bloodstream. Always use a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, sweet almond to name a few. Pure essential oils can irritate the skin. The blood flows through the liver and the liver is gently stimulated, supported and even cleared by the chemical components of these natural essential oils.
Essential oils have a lot of different therapeutic qualities that the liver is able to recognize. These assist the body, supporting the immune system, digestive system, endocrine system, and help remove toxins that are floating around.
The interesting thing is that every organ has emotional ties to it.
The liver is deeply affected by kindness and anger. In our culture, anger is generally seen as "bad" and kindness as "good." But we really need a balance. Frustration and anger are part of life. So is kindness and peace....
Know someone who easily pushes your buttons? You’re absolutely fine until they just target a few words at you and bam, you're ticked off.
And do you find yourself revisiting the conversation and going back to feeling frustrated each time?!
That ping-pong effect is something our physical, mental and emotional states get used to. And we find ourselves living away from our center, away from ease, peace and feeling angry, frustrated and unhappy.
There are three simple steps to get back to center. They are simple and effective:
STEP 1 - BREATHE
Breathing is the one bodily control we have that can affect EVERY system: respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine. Breathing gives the body a rhythm to live by. Do you want that rhythm to be slow and patient, or short and panicked? Allow yourself to pattern your breath to how you want to be in your life.
Breathing allows us to train ourselves to not react immediately to whatever is happening. There is time. You...
Most people have the idea in their heads that we are held upright by the bones in our structure. But without fascial tissue (fibrous connective tissue that holds structures of the body together) we'd be a helpless bone-filled heap on the floor.
Hard to do laundry that way.
We are supported, bound together, and held upright by the tensile strength of fascia. So it's probably a good thing to take care of it.
Caring for and strengthening the net of tissue that connects so much of our body is just starting to become a clear and important part of physical training. Practices like tai chi, yoga, qigong, pilates, massage therapy, bodywork are all great practices for creating a strong system of connective tissue in the body. Bottom line: it prevents injury by increasing elasticity in the fascial body network.
So many injuries are the result of putting too much demand on tissue that isn't prepared for it. Luckily, connective tissue is amazingly adaptable, we're finding out. It changes...
Spring is telling.
It shows us if we allowed for Winter's stillness, listening, and absorbing.
From that Winter cultivation, Spring is the growth that naturally occurs.
When we've cultivated a rich foundation what comes through the earth from the stillness of winter grows because that's just what it does.
It feels like wonder. Like a curiosity that asks to be followed. It has no agenda, no expectations, no demanding result.
The growth that happens with the element of Spring is fortified by the rich soil we've planted it in. But that growth and planning can get trapped in a voice that limits us.
Here are some examples:
-You quit your job! How stupid can you be? How are you going to pay bills next month?
-You lowballed that offer on the house, you'll never have a home.
-Only you talk to your children in such an angry voice!...
Sometimes it helps to be reminded that you're not alone on this path to being fully present in your life. Stay connected with simple practices, reminders and humor that come in my monthly newsletter.
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