Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Slow, but Steady Mid-Life Corrections


I’m middle age. My kids are grown with families of their own, and my career has peaked. I'm at a point where I can now reflect and evaluate how I want to experience the rest of my life journey and what will give it more value.  

Natalie Goldberg, the author of “Writing Down the Bones, Feeling the Writer Within” said to make something a practice in your life, you have to commit to do it for a whole year.”  So, if what I value are moments the "ahh hah" experiences, and moments of pleasure, peace, harmony, and feeling energized, I would need to make a commitment to make it happen on a daily basis and do it for a year. 

As I reflected on this, I recognized that when I was up with the sun and sat and watched it rise, it provided me with one of thos "ahh hah" moments of peace.  "OK, Beth," I said, "if this is the best part of the day, you don't want to miss it, so make sure you don't!"

So, I made a commitment to get up each day before the sun and to experience the sunrise. I would get up at in the dark, usually around 5:00 am, sit in a chair in my jamies, alone, in silence, and watch the dark slowly change into light.  I liked that feeling of solitude and quiet.  I then started to notice there were birds chirping each morning, too, and so listening to their songs became a part of my process, as well.   

I then watched the light rays shine through the crystal prisms hanging in the window and there was a dance of rainbows covering the walls.  That made me smile. Slowly I found this daily experience was making a difference in my overall life. I had created space in my life for more of those "ahh hah" magical moments. 

I now have been doing this daily practice of greeting the sun each morning for several years and by carving out time for me to connect with nature, I have created time and space for more of those "ah hah" moments in my life. 

So, one of my first daily practices was = WATCH THE SUNRISE EACH DAY AND MEDITATE

Next, I tried to identify other aspects in my life that made a positive impression on me and could also be considered an "ahh hah" moment and generate that feel-good feeling.  I found the next one in a place I did not expect.  It was at the acupuncturist's.   

I went to see an acupuncturist to help me with headaches, and during the treatments, I had so many incredible experiences of seeing colors, hearing things, seeing nonphysical beings, I wanted to know why this was happening, and also, how could I have these types of experiences outside of an acupuncture treatment.  This opened the door to Chinese Medicine and Qigong.

Eventually I became a certified medical Qigong practitioner and because of this, I needed to commit to doing Qigong exercises on a daily basis so I could treat others using Qigong as a healing tool.  This tuned me into taking more control over my health so I could improve my Qi and the flow of my Qi. I first started to do Qigong exercises on a daily basis to keep my Qi flowing, but then needed to focus on Qi quality.  That mostly comes from what you consume, breathe, and what you are exposed to.  That is when I started to focus on the food I ate, what I was breathing into my lungs, and what chemicals I was putting on my skin, hair, fingernails, and teeth.

I then started cooking. I had to stop the easy path of microwaving dinner from the freezer and start cooking and preparing food.  This process would help eliminate the preservatives I consumed through packaged foods. After that, I started buying organic fruits and vegies so I could reduce the amount of pesticides I consume, too. Then I gave up soda pop, candy, sugar, then corn syrup.

Next, I changed the products I was using on my skin, hair, deodorant, and even toothpaste. I then changed what household products and cleaners I use, too.  Next will be reducing the plastics I'm exposed to (such as bottle beverages) and the chemicals found in fabric (such as formaldehyde in wrinkle-free clothing).  

I've been doing these modifications and tweaks for over a year now.  I slowly take away one culprit at a time, get comfortable with the change, and then focus on the next culprit.  It has been a "step-by-step" process of tweaks.

The motivation at first was to improve my Qi, but now it's mostly about feeling better and being in control of my health. Having enough energy to really enjoy life has turned out to be a very good motivator to continue down this path. 

So, my next daily practice was - DAILY QIGONG EXERCISE, EAT HEALTHY, REDUCE EXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS

When I first learned Medical Qigong, I discovered I was very good at it and I recognized I had a unique skill that most don't have. When I learned about different healing modalities, I decided to use my Qigong abilities to help with global healing. This has led me to focus my energies and needs on the planet and it has opened up a whole new array of connections I did not even know existed before starting down this path. So my next daily practice was about daily meditations with a focus on global healing.

My next daily practice was - GLOBAL HEALING

My most recent modification and tweaking is brand spankin' new. I just started this change in May, 2013. I decided that if I want to have an alert mind, I need to keep my mind exercised. I decided that for me, TV is a rather passive activity and so my next change is to reduce the time I spend watching TV.  I discontinued my DISH TV service and am now retraining myself to push myself out of my comfort zone with new activities.  

My NEWEST daily practice is - REPLACE TV TIME WITH MIND STIMULATING ACTIVITIES

In summary, what I decided would bring more value in my life is: 
  • to be more "aware" and notice life (connect more with the life force energy)
  • create more opportunities for magic and wonder to be part of my everyday life
  • take control of my health and wellness by keeping my body and mind active 
  • use my unique skills and gifts to make a difference in the world (energy work and global healing)
I'm using these daily practice changes to help improve my overall life journey for the rest of the trip. Yes, the tweaks are done little by litte, but it is making a difference; I feel better about who I am, what I am becoming, and where I'm going.