Practicing What We Preach: Self-Care

“I used to do everything for everyone and kept forgetting about myself.” Sound familiar?

To Speak Or Not To Speak

By Dr. Pauline Bacani Quimson, Pittsburg, California

One my physical challenges has been repeatedly losing my voice. And it’s not just a figurative thing of not expressing myself. I literally start saying something and nothing comes out, except for a whisper of a sound. It used to happen once a month or so while growing up, and although it gradually lessened, it still regularly happened throughout my life.

Looking back, I realize that it was my body’s cry for help. I used to do everything for everyone and kept forgetting about myself. My body wanted a means to voice what I needed but could not hear (or even have a slight awareness of).

As an adult and teacher, now spending more time getting quiet, getting to know myself better, I am becoming more aware. I noticed that when I was super-busy with nonstop medical outreach projects, trauma relief services and integrative healing workshops (especially for those left orphaned and homeless by the aftereffects of the super typhoon that hit Leyte in my home country of the Philippine Islands), I forgot to do my T’ai Chi Chih and Seijaku practices, when that was what I needed to practice the most. (As Justin Stone would say, “Practice when you feel like it … and even more so, practice when you don’t feel like it … One cannot appease the hunger by reading the menu.”)

So here I am with one week of cancelled trips and patients, finally paying attention to what my body is telling me. Pause. Stop. Reflect. Rest. Relax. Rejuvenate. Reintegrate. Breathe. Had it not been for losing my voice, I may have pushed myself to total exhaustion as I had done so often before.

I have found this to be true with thousands of attendees at my workshops and seminars, especially those caring for so many – patriarchs and matriarchs of families, presidents of banks and corporations, heads of non-government organizations, cooperatives, volunteer groups, church groups, charismatic groups, business owners and more. It is often evident that the leader expected to carry the group forward has no one to care for him or her (or does not realize the need to care for him- or herself).

How can one inspire and lead when one’s own spirit, mind, body and emotions are weakened by stress and overburdened with work, with insufficient time to be quiet, to be your highest? That is the pure love, light and joy that we truly are.

Even more so now, I appreciate the wisdom and beauty of what we share – the Chi – as both continuing students and teachers of TCC, as we help individuals transform their own lives, help themselves, to better their situations in life. To empower. Starting with just five minutes a day, building up slowly to a 45-minute practice. No blaming, no one at fault. Nothing to think about. Just being and luxuriating in the pure energy that is the Chi as we harmonize, release and let go of anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt, pretending or trying to be something or someone we are not, limiting beliefs, unforgiving. Being magically transformed into love, gratitude, joy and courage. Revealing our true nature.

To answer my own query: to speak or not to speak? It’s so simple. Speak when there is something to be said for the highest good. When we practice TCC regularly, we cannot help but harmonize, circulate and balance the energy, this Vital Force, this precious gift of the Chi as we rediscover and get to know each day, the Supreme Ultimate that we carry deep inside. Let it shine forth. Then can we truly speak, not just through words, but also with our bodies and minds as beings of light and bearers of pure and overflowing joy.

Reprinted with permission from the February 2014 issue of The Vital Force.

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