One thing that Kai Chi Do has taught me is that you can’t simultaneously hold onto resistance and allow Life Energy to flow. They can’t exist in the same space. They’re mutually incompatible – like trying to whistle and eat at the same time.
If I go into a Kai Chi Do session with a bunch of grumbling and upset in my head, all that “stuff” dissolves as soon as I am willing to relax, do the breathing, and the movements, and the rhythm. I can’t keep the grumbling going and also do the process. It’s either one or the other – Which would you choose?
If I try to hold onto my upset – as if there’s something constructive in that – my body feels heavy and my mind feels out of sync. The only way to fully participate is to set those upset thoughts aside.
Then once I let go of the upset, the breathing gets in my head and I feel present in my whole body (not just in my head). And I feel the tingly vibrating flows of energy.
All of a sudden it looks like how I feel really is my choice. I really can regulate my own energy.
And I can pick up the grumbling again as soon as I stop Kai Chi Do, but who wants to?
Feeling better starts with that willingness to let the resistance go. To just set it aside for a little while. I’m not ignoring my problems, I’m elevating my view.
“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards;
as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
Sometimes the best way to restore your power is to give up. It’s one of the little ironies of life.
I have to admit, that’s been my week. Giving up felt a little sad at first, and then, gradually, it felt like a relief.
Trying too hard doesn’t get you better results. It gets you frustrated and exhausted. You’re pushing, pushing, pushing – focused on what you don’t have. Pushing against, rejecting, what is.
One of the lessons of the physical and energetic experience of Kai Chi Do is this: No force, No resistance.
When you push – no matter how well-intentioned you are, no matter how right you are – you evoke resistance. Push people, they dig in. Push life, get pushed back. Push harder, get clobbered.
The alternative is to yield. Step out of the struggle. It doesn’t mean you agree with something you think is wrong. It just means you unhook your emotional attachment. And find your own balance.
Giving up means accepting where you are, and doing what’s within reach – doing what you are able to do – taking the next logical step.
When you stop holding your breath, you get inspired.