This is a guest post, written by Sharon Nepe, a Holden Qigong Teacher since 2017 living in Papakura South Auckland.
I was blessed to have made friends with Emily when our paths crossed on our healing Qigong journey with Lee Holden Qigong. The journey started for me with the loss of my late husband in 2010 after a 7-year battle with renal failure. I had given up my career to care for him fulltime and found myself alone and stuck in a grief and depression that I just could not break free from. I needed the pain to stop and many days just wanted out of life. I was also battling chronic lower back and hip pain from a badly degenerated disc in my lower spine. I found myself under mental health services and on anti-depressants after my GP got a bit freaked at carrying the risk as my depression escalated.
It was a couple of years on and still trying to find the right anti-depressant that I found Lee Holden on Youtube. I felt an aliveness I had not felt for a long time as I had a go at a couple of his Qigong classes. I ordered many of his DVD’s from the US and started a regular practice. I found it easier to face each day and developed a thirst for the Taoist teachings. The practices helped me reconnect with life and slowly heal my grief and depression. My back pain became more manageable and I was physically able to do more and more. As I healed, I was able to come off the antidepressants and I trained to be a Mental Health Peer Support Specialist. I have worked for the last five years supporting others in Community Mental Health on their own journey of recovery. A couple of years ago Lee made the Qigong teacher training available online and I knew a life sharing this practice that literally saved my life was what I wanted with all my heart.
I am so fortunate to have a manager that allows me to run Qigong mindful movement sessions in my Peer Support role. I run weekly classes at a community centre in Pakuranga and have also at the hospital for staff in their lunch breaks. I have patients attend who are so socially anxious that they come into class not wanting to talk to or look at anyone. Now my group meet after class sharing lunch, board games, smiles, laughter and support. One young man a couple of weeks ago told me I had done a miracle. He said he had been so anxious when he came to class and felt bad. Now he was calm and peaceful. That touches my heart. I see them relax and connect with themselves, with others and with the renewing energy of the elements. Together we are learning to trust in and enjoy this practice that is restoring our health and wellbeing.
Encouraged by Emily I am so excited to also be travelling to Santa Cruz California in October to complete my level Two Teacher training with Lee. At 53 years old it will be my first flight overseas in 42 years. I am so looking forward to spending time with like minded Qi junkies. In the mean time I am starting my business Rhythm of Life Qigong and will be kicking off with community classes at the Howick Leisure Centre in East Auckland from the beginning of April.
If Lee had not developed and shared his empowering integrated style of Qigong, I may not have made it through my grief and depression. Now it is my turn to pass it on. To teach there is hope and always, always an answer we have not yet found. For me and many others those answers came through Qigong. I have gone from not wanting to be around anymore to wanting to live another 100 years as there is so much I want to experience, so much to learn. I have also been blessed with finding love for the second time in my life with a man who is supporting my Qigong journey. Qigong taught me to be open to new possibilities and not live in the past.
Qigong has the power to transform and heal body, mind and soul without the negative side effects of western medicine. You can’t experience it by just reading about it though. Make it a daily practice and restore the rhythms of your own health and wellbeing.
Thanks again to Emily for having me as part of her Qi Tribe for inspiring me and for this opportunity to share.