One of the things I really enjoy about living a life of qi gong as opposed to just teaching it or using the art as a professional healer, is that it creates a life of authenticity where all parts of my life are aligned with higher energy.
What is authenticity on an energetic level? It is an alignment between the energy or intentions of one’s highest self and the energy of our behaviors.
Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist involved with a well known study in 2003, demonstrated that when the right prefrontal cortex was stimulated by negative emotions, six months later, subjects exhibited diminished immunity system. When the left precortex was stimulated by positive thoughts and feelings, six months later, the subjects exhibited a ?higher immunity response when faced with a pathogen such as a flu vaccine.
When we are authentic, we tend to engage in higher levels of self acceptance, self love, trust, and faith, states that stimulate?the left prefrontal cortex to boost our immunity.
Yet, when we are not authentic, we tend to fall into negative states that activate the right prefrontal cortex through thoughts and behaviors.
For example, we may be over-helpers, filling our days with the task of helping and supporting others, a seemingly positive behavior. Yet, over helping others becomes inauthentic when our motive is about trying to gain energy through ?proving that we are worthy and good enough because we are so helpful. Thus, the helpfulness is not about truly giving freely from the heart but having the ulterior motive to boost our own egos.
In contrast, when we ?nourish others because we have an abundance of energy to share from the foundation of nourishing and healing ourselves well, we are helpful in ?a more balanced way–nourishing others just as we nourish ourselves. Thus, an alignment exists between our ability to be kind to self and kind to others versus a discord where we are unkind to self but kind to others.
Qi gong can help to increase authenticity by helping us to align our intentions with our behaviors and silence the egoic messages that often create a conflict between our true higher energies and our more primal instincts and habits, or old emotional patterning that tells us we are not worthy of self love and self help.
By developing a regular practice of focusing on breath, body, and healing movements, we cultivate an awareness of what our internal issues are, and are then empowered to make choices about how we want to behave. Do we wish to honor those old patterns or liberate ourselves from them? We can use the tools of breath work and movement, and cycling energy to empower us to choose to put our focus on aligning ourselves with higher energy instead of following older, lower frequencies of energy that may hinder us from enjoying life and being truly happy.
Also, qi gong can be a valuable tool for assessing when we are moving authentically through experience and when we are not.
Qi gong can reveal a discord between truth and the “story” we have created to define and present ourselves to others. ?Thus, qi gong has the potential to unveil your true self. It dissolves the masks that people can wear to protect their vulnerabilities. Yet, it is these masks that can feed patterns that create ?inauthenticity and lowered immunity.
One student generously gave me permission to share her story. ?While she thought of herself as very calm and centered and presented that “together” image to the world, when she performed qi gong, the layers of her internal chaos, insecurities and deep sadness revealed themselves to her. Her movements became wobbly and erratic as she performed the practice from day to day.
She became uncomfortable with what qi gong revealed about her internal state compared to the image she had concocted of herself.
For a while she had to stop the practice until she was ready to ?embrace the revelations the form brought to her, and love herself for the person she was, not who she thought she was. ?She now practices qi gong with the intention of self discovery, living a life that says, “It’s okay to be me, filled with strengths and insecurities–filled with moments of deep centeredness, but also moments of deep despair.”
On days when you feel yourself resistant to your practice of qi gong, stretch out to join a group qi gong class and consciously align your highest intention to heal and access the divine parts of yourself, always present, but sometimes hidden by all the egoic thoughts that prevent us from truly seeing, loving and accepting ourselves.