Tools for Daily Living

Tools for Daily Living

Gail WhangWhen I excitedly and proudly told Master Hui Liu that I completed 1 full year of qigong… 365 days of continuous Qigong practice, she nonchalantly said, “Good, now do 1,000 days of practice. When you achieve that, Qigong will be fully integrated in your life.”

On January 16, 2011, I completed my 1000th consecutive day of Qigong. Master Hui Liu’s words are so true. Qigong has become an important part of my life. During this time I didn’t miss a day of practice even though I traveled extensively throughout the world.

I have deep appreciation for my teachers, Master Hui Liu, Kirstin Lindquist and Cynthia Eaton. Kirstin inspired me and provided excellent and supportive instruction of the Dayan Wild Goose Qigong First Set. I was lucky to be a student in Master Hui Liu’s last Second Set class and I am currently refining my practice in Cynthia Eaton’s first / second set class. I would also like to acknowledge my practice group colleagues at Glenview School and Dimond Park for our daily practices, and my family who patiently supports me while I practice. And, finally, a special gratitude to the photographers who captured many Qigong moments in pictures throughout the world, Norm Gusner, Karl Gusner, Daniel Gusner, and Brenda Paik Sunoo.

Qigong in ParisQigong has truly changed my life. Qigong was the first commitment I made upon retirement. Little did I know how this commitment would impact me. Before retirement I was an intense super-planner, demanding colleague and 24/7 multi-tasker workaholic. Qigong helped me slow down and gracefully ease into retirement.   When I first started taking classes, in spite of Kirstin’s encouragement, I struggled to practice at home. It wasn’t until after 7 months of classes that I took up Kirstin’s 100 day challenge… practice every day for 100 days in a row in order for Qigong to become a habit.

During this time, my husband and I traveled to France and Portugal. I was on Day 76 of my challenge. If I missed a day, I would have to start at Day 1 again. So, having a goal to complete the 100 days gave me the determination to overcome my self-consciousness when doing qigong at the airport and in public places. In fact, each day began with the purpose of finding a peaceful and scenic place to do my daily Qigong practice. My husband consulted his maps and scoped out a park, a vineyard, or on top of a scenic view area and off we went.  Qigong taught us to slow down and appreciate the surrounding beauty.

Physically, I feel healthy and strong. I am more flexible than any time in my life, increasing my stretch by 12 inches.  Qigong has also given me the confidence to self-heal my various aches and pains without relying on drugs and doctors. Two years ago I experienced sharp pains in both knees, which have healed through this gentle practice.

Qigong in the DesertPerhaps the most telling aspect about the affects of Qigong on me is the observation from my son.  When he sees me, he claims to know whether or not I've done my Qigong practice.  "Mom, you didn't do Qigong today, did you?” He says when he feels I’m not listening attentively. He's most often correct.  According to him, I am a better listener, more present and relaxed. He tells me that I am much more enjoyable to be with.  I am becoming much more accepting toward things that used to bother me and cause me a lot of grief.  I have learned about the power of energy.  I find myself focusing on positive energy and consequently generating positive energy.

Qigong at Halong BayQigong is teaching me about patience, especially toward learning.  Three years and 8 classes later, I am still refining the movements of the first set. I am learning to be patient with myself as I work through and refine the movements. I am finally starting to internalize the notion that learning is a lifelong process and not a quick fix.  I am learning balance in my life and in my everyday activities. Learning to be more mindful and present is still an ongoing challenge for me, but through Qigong, I now have tools.

Video of 1,000 Days of Qigong Around the World

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