Stop Striving: Lessons From the Qi Gong Studio

People with their backs to us practicing Qi Gong near the waterI want to be good. And when I do things I want to do them well.

If this is news to you then perhaps we haven’t been introduced. Hello, I’m Grace and I am fabulously, incorrigibly type A.

In my attempts to be very very good I try very hard. At nearly everything. I turn up to meetings as the picture of a earnest, 6th form prefect, with my prep in my satchel. You think I’m joking but I’m not. And I’m ok with the earnest, enthusiastic aspect of myself. But there’s a problem. I’m tired of trying and I’m ready for a change.

I was in qi gong class recently and our teacher Sue, suggested we stop trying so hard. This was a revolutionary thought to me.

In exercise, I am kind to my body. I don’t force it, I don’t push. I relax and allow my body to release into the movement. I breathe and rest in the pauses between poses. I celebrate where I am right now and the sensation of the process. I love being alive and I love moving.

Here’s the question:

What happens if we treat our business as we treat our body during exercise? (Click to Tweet!)

Allow myself space, more ease. When I feel tensions stop, and relax around any resistance. 

Pause for a moment and think it out – how would your life look if you took this idea into every aspect of it.

Fictional Example: Waking Up

Usual: Alarm, ok, ok I’m up. Oh goodness I want to stay in bed, seriously really. But I have to do that thing. I know it will be good when I get there but I don’t want to go now. Right, I’m just going to get up, get through my work out and get that project done. Then it’ll be done.

With ease: Time to wake up, mmh it feels good to stretch. You know I’m not feeling like I want to get out of bed, but I don’t want to stay in bed either really. I just want to avoid that task, I think. So where’s the tension there? Ah, it’s all the anticipation and it’s not something I like doing. How can I relax and create space around it? Oh, let’s try putting it in a lovely context, I’ll send those emails from my phone while looking over the mountains, and I’ll make a list of all the ways in which I am happy and secure first to take the pressure off them. Well, that feels splendid, let’s go…

Backing off pushing and into allowing. In exercise we warm up, allow, celebrate and cool down. Yet we often expect ourselves to switch from task to task with no warm up, no breather and no post work out shake!

Let’s switch this and fuel and release striving for the work we do.

Where can you create ease in your world? In your healing? In your day? Please comment below (as a little experiment, I’ve turned on the comments for this post). 

Image courtesy of Phil Carlton.