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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

7 Ways to Free Your Chi

Think of your life force 'Chi' as the cash flow of your stamina. It's not enough to have money, if your money is tied up in some banking institution, in savings accounts that you can't touch or use. Your life force is like that, you want it free, flowing and available for you to use for your living, loving, working, relating, creating and playing. Often, stagnation blinds us to the places where our vital force is blocked, and a comprehensive spring cleaning can be liberating mentally, emotionally, physically, sometimes even financially and romantically, and it can clear the channels of creativity and insight to wisdom.

Here are seven actions you can take to allow a greater flow of Chi:

1- Declutter your space

Clutter is a great number of objects gathered in a small space. Think of your home or office as a riverbed - where there are many rocks piled together, the river water slows down; where there are no obstacles, the water flows fast and free.

Clutter is also the name for all the items you have no more use for, out of order, mismatched or mis-fitting, or reminding you of bad times. Remove from your environment anything less than beautiful, useful, uplifting, or nourishing; make sure to cleanse before you add something new that you like. Give away or throw away, then repair, then wash, then add new, useful items. Look up Karen Kingston's book: 'Clear Your Clutter with Feng-Shui'

2- E-de cluttering 

Your electronic devices are almost like your home: you spend many hours with them. Declutter them too! Clean your inbox, your document files, and your photos. Remove the apps you don't use. Do the same with your contact files, and update them. Keep only that which serves you a purpose. 

3- Fast

Fasting is a controversial topic that many haven't agreed upon, where the proponents talk about the cleansing virtues of this practice. Fortunately, there are many ways to fast that are safe and less extreme that no food, no water fasting. There are different styles to try: intermittent fasting, alternating times of feeding with times of fast; or one day a week fasting on fresh fruit; juice fasting; water fasting; or the Ayurvedic kitchari (the Indian version of chicken soup, a comforting, easy to digest food made with rice, mung dhal and spices). 

4- Weed your relationships 

Are there time, space, or attention vampires among your friends? Examine your relationships, and where possible, keep those ones which are mutually enriching, and weed out the rest. Are there any people who have nothing to offer to you, teach you, inspire you with or support you, and are there people who have no use or appreciation for your gifts? Let them go and keep or make space for the others with whom a rich flow of exchanges is possible.

5- Clean your language

Language is a map for your mind, and an important way people connect with each other. Clean out the language parasites, those words or sounds that do not serve a purpose: uh, like, whatever, and all that, ya' know, ok, ya' know what I mean. Be clear and specific in your requests, instructions and directives. Complete your words and sentences. Speak purposefully, with intention: What is your point? What do you seek to accomplish by saying what you are?

6- Practice body awareness

When you place your attention on an area of your body where you hold tension, aspects of yourself that have been hidden from your awareness, and have been seeking your attention through discomfort or pain, become visible for you to reconnect with, and own.  Owning the disowned parts is most always accompanied by a noticeable body-felt relief. Sitting meditation is the best place to start.

Pay attention how you stand, sit and move, and eliminate all movement parasites, which means, stop engaging muscles or parts of the body that aren't required to move for a specific task. For example, if you're lifting a heavy object, using the muscles of your arms, legs, buttocks and belly is necessary, but using the muscles of your face is not (so don't make grimaces). Try out some Awareness Through Movement Feldenkrais classes.

7- Move

Move your body to move you chi. Move your body the way you want to move in life. Dance, practice martial arts, or yoga, move when you garden or when you cook, even when you watch a movie. Greater flexibility in your body could correlate with greater flexibility in your life. Read: 'Move Your DNA' by Katy Bowman.

If you look at life as being a series of patterns which repeat themselves everywhere, you might see everything being a metaphor for everything else, which opens doors to many ways and possibilities for creating greater freedom of doing and of being.

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