Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

In my last two posts (here, here) I have been writing about my recent adoption of 气功 practice and I mentioned a video which was available, and then unavailable, now it is available again. Below is the updated link for the video.

No more talking, time to practice!

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Please try and let me know what you think. How wonderful if we are all practising qigong, yoga and meditation around the world.

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

The teacher appears when the student is ready. Or when the algorithm does a thingy. 

I came across a video of a Shaolin master teaching qigong, 释恒義 (Shi HengYi). Hmm, I thought, always wanted to get into qigong but never really did fully. I do a bit here and there from time to time but not regularly. Then I came across a talk the Master gave. Some wheels turned and I went back to the qigong video. 

The teaching was very clear, straightforward and simple to follow. It was a big yes for me. 

I had been experiencing a great deal of anxiety and negative thought patterns but after this I felt calmer. In Chinese there is an expression “定心丸 (tranquil pill)” – it is not an actual tablet but just something that helps a person to feel settled. The words 定心 literally means to set (put into order) the heart. This practice seems to work like that for me. It has provided me so much relief.

I also felt my energy levels were replenished and my body more healthful. I don’t know that I looked any different but I felt like I should be practically glowing and shooting sparks afterwards (in a good way – I feel like I need to add this).  

Over this weekend there were live sessions and the time difference was alright. The morning session worked out to be noon for me and the afternoon session was 9pm. I slept SOOOOOOO deeply and peacefully. After the morning/noon session I was tranquil and balanced. Hopefully there will be more live sessions to join, in the meantime I will practice from what is already available (there is plenty). 

If you are worried about your fitness levels, the sessions from this weekend can even be done seated. In my experience, the energy cost was much lower than the benefit afterwards. A very fair exchange!

It is my goal to improve the atmosphere (vibe if you want to use that word) around my person so when you come near me or know me you can feel better. Obviously we are all responsible for our own selves so how much a person can benefit another in that way is ??? But I would like to try to improve myself in this manner, in the end it will only help even if it is just myself who gets the benefit.

All this is not to say oh, definitely, yes, you should or you must try this out or even try the teachings from this Master. There are other teachers who provide this teaching. I’ll just add that 释恒義 is the Headmaster of the Shaolin Temple in Europe. Just because someone is a Headmaster does not always mean they are a good teacher but in this instance, he is a great teacher. The main thing (for me) is the skill at transmitting the lesson.

In the end the aim is to take this practice and make it your own to continue. All I can say is, this is what I’m doing. I have been practising for a brief period and I will continue doing this practise as it has already been very beneficial to me. If you already practise a form of breath based movement like yoga or Pilates this may be of interest to you to include in your life. 

This is not intended to be a long thing, I just wanted to share what I have been studying, this is available to everyone, this is free and here it is. 

By the way, you will need to move the start time a bit further along until the session actually starts, around 20-30 minutes or so.

I wish you balance and harmony. Have a great day! 

EDIT:

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Panic at the Supermarket and finger snapping

Panic at the Supermarket and finger snapping

Did anyone else stock up on vitamins instead of toilet paper during the early days this past year?

It took me a week to work up the mental energy to head to the supermarket to do a shop. It felt dicey to go out during the early days of lockdown. We are in Indonesia, which is a super lovely place to live, but healthcare is not the same as it is in Australia, where we are from or Singapore where I grew up. There is (or was) an entire industry called medical tourism and people fly to places such as Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore. No one flew to Indonesia for a medical holiday, they flew from Indonesia so you get the idea. So we are happy to stay where we are and stay healthy. We were very lucky we didn’t need to go anywhere. So many people had no choice, stay home and pay the bills with what money? But what could they do, police would stop you if you were out and send you back.

So this supermarket shop. It needed to be done, I couldn’t get any online deliveries because they were booked out for days and days. We could have used a few rolls of toilet paper (I’m talking about 4 rolls not 40 rolls) and some rice, some fruit, so we didn’t sit around marinading in scurvy whilst chewing on the furniture. And I wanted to get some staples for some people we knew who did not have a lot of money. Not everyone can just work from home. So I headed off with my little face mask and at the time I thought gloves were a good idea. I wasn’t even the most wrapped up person there – there were people in HAZMAT type suits. Although how do you go about disinfecting those things? Don’t you need a special chamber? We had to queue for our turn to go in and people were jittery. We looked like we were waiting in an emergency room. Once we were released inside, everyone was back to normal, chatting to each other about this apple or that durian.

There are a few things that are considered staples here in Indonesia: flour, oil and rice. Another one is instant noodles. They don’t spoil easily which is important in a country that can be so hot and not everyone has a fridge. People in Australia were making the news for fighting over toilet paper meanwhile over here people were pushing trolleys stacked with cartons of instant noodles. You can’t eat toilet paper in a food shortage. So I got myself a few boxes of instant noodles, flour, oil and rice to give to people we knew who might appreciate some support. I didn’t go back to the supermarket for a long time after that. But I did get stocked up on vitamins and supplements. At first I tried to buy from local pharmacies which was hit or miss. Sometimes there was no stock, or they were expiring soon, or they were superrrrrrr expensive due to import taxes or when they arrived the glass was broken. So I got myself an iherb account and that has been pretty helpful.

I appreciate the range but at the same time it’s a bit exhausting to go through especially at first. Later during the course of the year I also had some health issues so I was really glad I could get some things from iherb to help me out.

I’m not sponsored by iherb but they give every person a rewards code that apparently gives users a discount? What I would do is CHECK if they have any promotions. Every time I go on the website they have “20% off homeopathy products” or “10% off vitamin d”, etc, really random things going on, so check first if there is a discount that you need and then type in my code CEI0659 and see if you get more money off. It works for me. This is the link you can try clicking on that or just manually enter the code.

https://iherb.co/hAYDk9S

If you would like to know what I tend to get from iherb I will be happy to share with you in another post. A few of my friends asked me about my shopping experience on iherb so I just thought on the off chance you were also going to buy something from iherb you would appreciate the discount code. x

tough guy vitamins staying healthy

(Only joking I don’t get the vitamin gummies)

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

It has been a long time and it shows. For one thing, what is grammar how does it work punctuation what is that.

A lot has happened for many of us. Some terrible and some wonderful and some terribly beautiful happenings. If you would ever like to share your past year with me, I’d love to hear from you. For now I will just leave a note on this concept about the relationship between motivation and dedication that was a moment of revelation for me.

You don’t have to be motivated but you do have to be dedicated.

In the midst of struggling with motivation to maintain healthy practices, do you ever find yourself searching for inspiration to stay motivated? Has anything been helpful in keeping you motivated for a sustained period of time? If you asked me that, I’d do the comme ci comme ça hand (or meh) gesture and shrug. Apparently Aussies are famous for habitually saying “yeah, nah1 and I’m guessing it was probably in answer to this line of enquiry.

It makes sense that we run out of motivation but what does it matter if a person is unmotivated but remains dedicated. Committing to the doing of the thing will win out in the end. Yes, perhaps I won’t be enthusiastically throwing myself at the task at hand in the beginning but if I gave myself my word that this task would be done over time, like the way waves lap at the rocks near the edge of the water, the stone becomes polished. It may take a long time but it will be more progress than before.

The last few weeks I have made a commitment to be unrolling my yoga mat at 10am (this was the gap between online school for my 4 year old) and whilst the 4 year old pranced around me and performed rain dances or played with all my yoga props (I had to ask they please leave me my mat), I would do yoga, Pilates or some combination of both. At times because of distractions I would only end up doing 15 minutes but it was more minutes than none at all. Months before that I had been working out in a frenzy in my living room, leaping about to aerobics videos, hopping on the spot for HIIT, performing squat jumps oh the squat jumps, lunging this way and that, the burpees and the burping (sometimes).

Hand on my heart, I feel like I saw more results these last few weeks of plodding downstairs with the yoga mats (I bring one for each of us but somehow we wind up squished together on the one mat) for a bit of yoga and Pilates than I did with all the other things I was doing. I’m stronger, calmer and I’m happy. I have energy leftover for creative pursuits.

I’m no longer motivated to work on things, I’m dedicated.

Tell me, did you already know this little secret? x

  1. https://outbackdictionary.com/yeah-nah

I Got a Friend in Me

I Got a Friend in Me

“Most people have the feeling that something is wrong with them. And it is heartbreaking.

The most heartbreaking thing is that nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing is wrong with us. We are whole, we are good-hearted, we are beautiful and full of love.”

Here is the link

Working with the Heartbreaking Feeling That Something is Wrong with You

I was feeling a little down today. Full moon vibes? Mebbe. Change is definitely afoot and with most shifts I think certain feelings can come up. A not enough feeling or uncertainty or lack of confidence. I was looking up materials because there really is no time like feeling a little meh to do some study and I came up this website I saved a long time ago. This was the first article that caught my eye and that last line WE ARE WHOLE WE ARE GOOD HEARTED WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF LOVE caught my eye. It is worth repeating:

WE ARE WHOLE WE ARE GOOD HEARTED WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF LOVE

I can feel my heart walls soften as I read the words out loud.

There are a few ways to work with feelings of not enoughness and one of the great suggestions here is to practice looking at yourself with gentleness and friendliness.

I do this sometimes but NOT ENOUGH. When I remember to, when I am already feeling cheerful, when I am not trying to do a dozen things at once, then yes, I smile at myself in the mirror. The rest of the time? I’m pleasant enough, I suppose. A sort of shrug, hey girl, doing ok? And take off without waiting to hear. Luckily I have been getting soooooo much better about a consistent yoga, meditation and Pilates practice. Imagine if I didn’t even do that?!

That reminds me of a conversation with my mum this afternoon when I said to her how I was waiting for my tea to brew because I wanted a boost to keep up with my little one. Are you taking your vitamins? Imagine if I haven’t been! I replied.

So even though I am reading through this article I came across very late, I am certain that the timing was perfect as everything so often is. Perhaps it is for you too. We could all use a friendly face, especially when we look at our reflection. I feel so much better sitting here tapping away and sensing the warmth I am directing toward myself.

Lots of love and friendliness, be well! xox

we are enough

Supporting the Bushfire Relief

Supporting the Bushfire Relief

The who how what and where of donating first came up in a discussion with my husband. Where would we donate to? There are many different organisations that could use assistance and many more we are not aware of. As I kept having conversations along these lines with more than one person, I decided I would do a list of the different areas I looked into for making a donation.

Nothing will compare to you making a choice about what you would like to contribute towards and then doing your own research but if you are feeling overwhelmed (as I have been) here is a start. It is not a thorough comprehensive list but it is what I have come up with. I am happy to receive more suggestions and details!

I hope it helps and thank you for wanting to help!

*When donating please check whether the organisation is a registered charity using the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s online register. It lists all charities registered in Australia, and details their operations, finance and governance.

https://www.acnc.gov.au/

I’ll cover three areas (firefighters, wildlife, and rebuilding) for you to consider.

Also a quick note to people from outside of Australia who want to help. Australia consists of several different states, each with its own organisations and big chunks of the country (just about) is on fire. Each state has its own fire service or authority, wildlife rescue so you can determine where to direct your donation. Typically the funds won’t cross state lines. If for instance you donate to NSW RFS, your funds won’t go towards providing assistance in Victoria. So bear that in mind.

You probably like to know where your money will go, well, as Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission puts it on their website (under costs), “It costs money to run a charity – large charities with complex structures and extensive programs cost more to operate than smaller charities run solely by volunteers.

That may be of consideration to you. Also smaller charities may not have as big a reach and therefore get less attention/funds.

Some organisations are great at being clear that 100% of donations go towards the cause and they cover their own costs some other way.

Anyway, on to the list

FIREFIGHTERS (listed by state)

NSW

NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE

NSW RFS has created dedicated bank accounts to collect donations for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been tragically killed while on duty this fire season

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/general-news/featured/support-for-firefighter-families

Or donate to the NSW RFS

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade

QLD

QLD Fire and Rescue via GIVIT

http://givit.org.au/disasters

They accept items, funds and services. You have to check what items are needed so it’s not a random dump your stuff on their doorstep situation. You can choose where the money goes to and 100% of funds received will be used to purchase essential items. GIVIT does not take administration fees from donations.

All operating costs are covered by government contracts and corporate partners.

SA

SA County Fire Service

https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate

Victoria

VIC County Fire Authority 

https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa

Specifically for the 2020 bushfires, CFA promotes four options for you to donate, depending on how you would like your donation to be used. Affected families and communities; support the wellbeing of volunteer firefighters and their families; continued work to protect lives and property; and work in the community.

https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/donate1

WA

Western Australia Fire & Emergency (DFES)

DFES is a Government authority that cannot donations from the public, it is best to contact your local volunteer fire or emergency service to see how you can help. If you wish to donate

https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/contactus/Pages/Donations.aspx

Volunteer Hardship Assistance Scheme – Supporting emergency services volunteers with financial assistance during times of hardship
Donate Here
Local Brigade, Group or Unit – Donate to Western Australia’s emergency service volunteers

TAS

Tasmania Fire Service

I couldn’t find a clear donation page so have included the page listing contact details instead. You might be able to donate to a local brigade. If you happen to have any information on donating to the TFS please let me know so I can get this updated.

http://fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colContactUs

WILDLIFE

The updated estimate of animals wiped out is now over 1 billion. Animals need to be rescued, rehabilitated, fed, and released. Their habitat also needs to be rebuilt.

NSW

NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) 

https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund%E2%80%AC

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires

The project to set up drinking stations has now been extended to establish a wild koala breeding program.

Or you can donate to the hospital.

Donate to Our Work

Or support the planting of one food tree.

Plant A Koala Food Tree

Friends of the Koala

A small non profit run by volunteers in Northern NSW. Unless otherwise indicated, donations to Friends of the Koala Inc. go directly towards the cost of koala rehabilitation. According to Friends of the Koala they rescue more koalas than any other rescue group in NSW. You can choose to make a donation, adopt a koala, or donate towards a koala hospital.

*Please check if it is a registered charity, I couldn’t see it but could just be my eyes.

Also, don’t forget there are other states this disaster is affecting. The WIRES campaign can legally only help shelters in NSW. It seems a lot of people gave to WIRES thinking that funds would be distributed everywhere. Without a doubt every dollar given was needed but please also consider:

Victoria

Wildlife Victoria

https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/donate/donate-to-wildlife-victoria

Adelaide

1300Koalas

Adelaide and Hills area

You can buy a gift for a koala (like syringes, food supplements or formula for joeys) or you can donate using the details they provide.

https://www.1300koalaz.com/apps/webstore/

REBUILDING

After the bushfires are under control (soon, we all hope!!) media coverage tends to fade but people will still be picking up the pieces. It takes a long time and it will need alot of support.

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

You can donate to the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund. Donations up to $1 million will be matched by the asset manager. You can get very specific about which fund you would prefer to donate to or leave it generalised.

https://www.frrr.org.au/online_donations.php

https://www.frrr.org.au/cb_pages/supporting_bushfire-affected_communities.php

This is their Facebook page if you wanted to find out some more.

https://www.facebook.com/followFRRR

One more way to provide support

Buy from those business that are impacted. They’re going to need your support to get through things. I’m trying to track down businesses in those areas with the intention of compiling a list.

And please share this with those who wish to help but are not sure where to start.

Thank you so much xo

If I have made any errors please get in touch to let me know and if you have some suggestions I would love to hear from you too. For those that have already donated thank you!

Making It Happen Mama

Making It Happen Mama

There’s a storyline on F.R.I.E.N.D.S in which Ross has to do a crazy mad dash from one side of town to the other to teach. He runs there and has enough time to introduce himself, then faints. I was Ross the other day. It started off really organised – I was up early to get everything packed and get myself ready. Then I would get the child ready and off we would go in the pram for a brisk but pleasant 25 minute walk to class. Easy peasy. Except the child woke up and breastfed for ages and ages and ages and ages. At precisely 10 minutes before class started they said “Ready!” as in ready for class. Hurrrrr…..

I got us out the door and down the street. I was speed walking so hard whilst pushing that pram (THANK GOODNESS they were happy to sit in it) my hips were swinging side to side like I might get an Olympic medal out of the thing. Finally we were rushing down the last street which was slightly uphill and very long and very interesting for the child kept seeing things to point out to me. And wanted my comments on it too.

Mama! BIRD! Mama?

Urghhhh!” I panted.

Mama? Mama????????????”

Burghhhhhhddddd!” I agreed.

But they wanted me to elaborate more on it.

Mama? Mama????????????

Burghhhhhd! … Flaiiiiiiiii! Yes… yes… urghhhh

I thought it was about time to find out if these Baby Joggers can be jogged with. So I very ungracefully loped and pushed the pram down the lane until we got to the sports class. This was thrilling and refreshing for the child. I could see her enjoying the breeze buffeting into their face as I huffed along. I paused outside the sports hall long enough for me to clutch at my chest to get my breath back, covertly sniff my armpits (still ok, phew!), pat my frizz down and then walk us into the last ten minutes of class on legs that felt like stilts.

As the child pranced about the class very happy to be there, I tried to stop my knees from knocking together. I was just happy to still be upright and there before the bell.

Also, by the way, the Babyjogger jogs fine. Me, not so much. (Not sponsored, obviously.)

So, how have you been?

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Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Just like that another year is over. I made a lot of great lists and plans, very little of it has been ticked off. Some were very small things I wanted to do and others were ginormous whopping overwhelming ideas that were extremely vague. Surprisingly more of the huge vague ideas came to fruition than the small things like “print out photos for photo album” as opposed to “new home – bigger, nice space”. 

*shrug*

Tell you what, I know I’m way more excited to be moving into our new place next year with an empty photo album than if it were the other way around. But it goes to show really amazing shifts can happen it just depends on your attitude going from an “I’m stuck” to “I dunno how but I’m excited about …”.

Here are some very vague ideas that I am excited about and going to try to flesh out in the new year:

To write more and turn this baby into a space!

To learn more

To dance more

To transform

To RADIATE with great energy

To create

To be grateful every day

HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx