Re-entering life after two weeks intense Qigong training in Santa Cruz has felt somewhat like standing on a train platform watching the train rush by, knowing I would need to jump on it at some point. It's been a week since I floated back to to New Zealand on a Qi high, brimming with new techniques, new confidence and a new certificate - I am now an official Tier 2 Advanced Holden Qigong teacher (500 hours).
Eventually I did jump on the train of normal life. The speed, the rush felt like it was battering me, trying to squeeze all the calm out of me, insisting I do more, keep up and push harder. I felt all those old feelings of overwhelm bubble up to the surface, that I couldn't keep up, it was all too much. And you know what, I couldn't. And I didn't. In the act of giving up, surrendering to failure / not being enough, support poured out of the most unlikely places - my 8 year old spontaneously started doing the dishes (I can't tell you how miraculous this is!), my Mum's dear friend sent me healing remedies, my darling friend drawing me out the house to the warmth and sunshine at the beach, and my boss created space for me at work to settle in.
Spending time in Santa Cruz with Holden Qigong is always a transformative experience - last year it was all butterflies and rainbows, I swear I wouldn't have thought twice if a unicorn trotted down the beach. This year it was a time of transformational change for me, which isn't always comfortable or easy, but always more powerful. A close friend and teacher of mine passed while I was away, and I experienced first hand the accelerated process of grieving and moving through the emotions that Qigong allows. We went on to learn techniques that can only be described as a "giant existential loofah for your insides" - thoroughly cleansing and clearing, but not always the most comfortable experience as old emotions bubbled up and old tension and stress moved its way out of our bodies. I came face to face with the reality that I hadn't tucked that stuff neatly away forever, not to be seen or heard of again. It was still in my body, forgotten but not gone, just waiting quietly for when I was ready to move it on and out.
I am ever so grateful to the wonderful team who facilitated this growth experience - Lee Holden for making this whole experience possible, his unflappable ability to make me laugh even with tears of sorrow streaming down my face is something to aspire to. John Platt for his gentle wise words and bottomless depths of knowledge, his uncanny ability to pull the best out of everyone and to create space for all to be the best version of themselves. To Karen and Lee Holden (snr) for their beautiful loving kindness and many years of mind hacking expertise. To Sara Russell who has the gift getting to the nugget of an issue in no time flat, and standing beside you with grace and an enormous toolkit of practical techniques to pull from. Thank you all for being my teachers and support crew.
And finally this from the Tao te Ching...
He who stands on tiptoe doesn't stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn't go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he really is. He who has power over others can't empower himself.He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.