Slow Down, Enjoy the Ride

In the wee hours of the morning, the pitch black sky gracefully turns blue as the brightness of the moon changes positions with the warming sun. Cotton candy colors infuse the skyline with life! Day turns into night, effortlessly, over and over. It does so without thinking, without worrying, without fear. Birds arise, singing their sweet songs, as they search for food and protect the little ones in their nests. These daily patterns require Qi, just like all of our daily activities.

Our patterns are perhaps as regular, but maybe not as graceful. We are jolted awake to the beeping noise of an alarm clock. After showering and dressing, we grab coffee and run out the door. Some stop for a quick bite to eat. Others race to the bus or train. Sound familiar? Or perhaps Covid continues to affect your work situation. If so, you are juggling as well. Maybe not in terms of racing out the door to catch a ride, but managing everything at home and at work while under the same roof. It’s a tall task, and one that often leaves the best of us feeling harried and in need of a reboot.

The two instances painted above—one of Nature’s effortless transitions and one of human movement—are both visible to the naked eye. We’ve likely seen, heard, and felt each of the above as well as the differences between them. On “vacation” days, we “treat ourselves” by sleeping in a bit later and prioritizing our own health and happiness. It’s amazing how we’re left feeling grounded and refreshed after a few days like that. But why do you think that is? It all comes down to Qi.

If everything we do uses Qi, and we continually follow a harried pace that dwindles our bank of Qi, what do we have left for the things—and people (especially ourselves!)—that matter most?

We often run on an empty tank. Even though we near exhaustion, we push our minds and bodies to continue working, volunteering, helping, and doing over and over again. As you wake today, take a step back from your normal routine. Follow these tips to make the most of each day:

1. Become Aware: Jot down your daily routine. Take a moment to study what you’ve written. How many things on that list serve to build you? Where can you cut back from your energy “expenses”? How can you build time into your day that’s dedicated just to you?

2. Allow Nature: Open your windows and breathe in the fresh morning air. Break up your day with a few outdoor walks. As you walk, stop to smell  the roses. Look closely at everything around you. You are a part of Nature’s picture. How can you infuse that into your daily life?

3. Practice Qigong: Qigong is an energy exercise that can help rebuild the Qi our daily routines are so quick to deplete. Join an upcoming class or practice at home with our beautiful meditation, The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth.

4. Practice Patience: Our busy lifestyle often hardens us toward the people we love most. We are less patient with them because “they’ll understand”. Taking a softer approach at home begins with taking care of yourself.

5. Find the Good: Whether you see it right away or not, there is good in everything and everyone. Every situation happens to teach us something. So look closely at how life is unfolding around you. Can you see the good in all of it?