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Fl QG sunset

My husband and I joined our Qi Gong (energy work) teacher this morning at 8:00am in a nearby park to practice “animal walking” – the crane, turtle, bear, eagle, deer, tiger and monkey. He offers this free class every Sunday, no matter how cold the weather. I recalled that coming to this class on a January morning a year ago in 23 degree air took away my “winter blues” and helped me to deepen my commitment to energy work.

Then in February of last year, I attended a women’s retreat in Florida where I led Qi Gong exercises each morning at dawn on the banks of the Manatee River. The women were so enthusiastic about these movements as a form of morning meditation that they encouraged me to become a Qi Gong teacher. I wrote an affirmation for 21 days – “It’s so exciting to share my talents with others”- while continuing to attend my twice weekly Qi Gong classes. In March, our teacher Nianzu Li ( invited me to join his first Qi Gong teacher training program. My affirmation worked! After eight months of daily practice, an extra two hour training session on Sunday mornings in the park, in addition to study, journaling and the regular Tuesday class and testing, my husband and I were certified as level one Qi Gong teachers in December.

Just last weekend, I returned to the women’s retreat in Florida to share my gratitude and offer Qi Gong with a new level of understanding and energy in my body and spirit to share with others. Although I had been practicing QG on retreats for many years and leading exercises on retreats and days of mindfulness we organized, I now felt I had much more to offer. I have long felt the health benefits of Qi Gong in relieving arthritis pain, increasing mobility and strengthening my immune system. The spiritual benefits include allowing the energy of nature to enter my body, bringing much joy, peace and stability. This movement form of uniting body and spirit has become a regular part of my morning meditation process.

This morning I felt so much energy, good energy, hopeful spring energy as we breathed in the 30 degree air. Cold air keeps me in touch with life. The trees, the frozen earth and clouds give energy here, just as the warm air, sunshine and Gulf waves gave us energy last week in Florida. This is a powerful form of exercise that I can carry wherever I travel. Everywhere I go, the outdoors is present, whether on the Florida beach or in my backyard.

I am grateful for my teachers – including the daffodils moving through the frozen ground, the crocus buds that know warm air and soft ground will be here soon. I am deeply grateful to have a new level of energy work to share with others. May I continue to learn and grow the rest of my life. May the energy of sun, moon, stars, clouds, earth and air move through my mind, body and spirit to all beings I encounter today.

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