I started Kai Chi Do last Sunday in crabby mode. I’d been crabby for a couple of days actually. I was just feeling frustrated – Stuff had come up during the week that needed my attention, and I kept reordering my To-Do priorities each day, and the things I really wanted to be doing kept getting lower and lower on the list. There was one particular conflict that had me feeling trapped. Can you relate?
So I go into Kai Chi Do in not the best mental attitude. And an interesting thing happened.
At first, Kai Chi Do felt really hard to do. It was almost like a parlor trick. Each time my mind started chewing over how some fool had pissed me off, and how they must really be trying to do that, and in fact they are probably deliberately doing it, and I’ve got the evidence! Well, my arms were so heavy that I could barely lift them. I thought, “I don’t know if I’m going to make it through the whole session today. Let me just try doing these chi circles a little smaller. Skip pumping my legs, I’m just going to stand here like a tree and see if I feel better.”
I know enough to stay with it. I’d do a few SA breaths and my mind would lift for a few minutes and my arms felt lighter and I’d get back in the rhythm and groove again.
Then back I went to my ruminations. It was like my mind said, “Yeah. Good. You got a little energy, but don’t forget you’re still upset about…”
And each time – it’s funny now – I’d feel so tired again. And after a few cycles of this, I said to myself, “Whoa! Look at that! Your thinking is regulating your energy!”
Seeing the pattern was the easy part. “Okay, fine. So my thinking is regulating my energy. Now what?” I was still very crabby and we were already in Fire. I wasn’t shaking this one off.
When I feel bad, or when one of my clients feels bad, I’ve found one question that really seems to help. You have to be ready for the question. And it has to be asked with compassion. But it can be really useful. The question is, “how can you think about this in a way that would feel just a little better?”
So I asked myself that question. I really wanted to feel better.
My upset was focused on one particular person (and all my interpretations of their behavior). The feeling better thought was, “How can we collaborate better?” Well, that opened up some possibilities. And it felt better than any of my conspiracy theories. And my arms felt a little lighter, and my legs got more bouncy, and one feeling-better thought led to another, and I was smiling a little, and pretty soon Kai Chi Do was actually feeling pretty darn good.
The energy gates were unlocked and open, and the energy started flowing freely. Just in time for the Spirit of Water.
It’s amazing how that happens.
Photo by Ed Schipul, Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0