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Cultivating Resiliency

bird feather on tree trunk with moss
You get to choose how to land: hard as a rock, or soft as a feather

There’s a song I really like by the band Cold War Kids with a chorus that expresses how great the singer is doing in an extremely tongue-in-cheek way. With each verse, he says that he’s fine, but follows up with varying lines about how not fine he is. I’m particularly partial to the one that goes, “I’m fine, fine, fine. I feel like throwing a brick sometimes.” I think I like this lyric because for me it sums up holding being fine and not being fine in the same hand. Such is the duality of the world in which we now find ourselves.

As time stretches out in this crisis, the newness of it has faded, and what we’re settling into is the sense of grief surrounding the loss of life as we knew it. Or course, we’ll all gather again someday joyfully. But there’s no date on that and the business of now is acclimating to a new normal. I ran into an old friend yesterday. When my husband asked how it was to see him, I said, “it was great, and it sucked.” Awesome to see someone I missed, not awesome because I can’t even give him a hug. Now that this situation isn’t shiny and new anymore, now that I’m just stuck with no hugs and no concerts, it’s more important than ever that I’m able to find peace in my heart with it, to be resilient.

Each day as things unfold, I become more and more grateful for my qigong training, which has smoothed away my edges (mostly) and helped me not only to enjoy this time, but also gain insight from its moments that I don’t enjoy, like the hugs I can’t give, or the plant sale I can’t volunteer at. Honestly, it’s not how we respond to the easy stuff that defines our character, it’s what we do with the hard stuff, and here we all are now right in the thick of the hard stuff.

Cosmos Qigong helps us to cultivate resiliency both in body and in mind. In learning to build and circulate energy, our physical systems are restored to health and we are then able to get the most out of life, even in its current iteration. In learning to enter into a qigong state of mind and quiet all of the noise in our heads, we become more capable of not being led around by our emotions. When things get hard, which is unavoidable, we’re able to pull the lens back, acknowledge our emotions, and learn from them in a way which helps us become more insightful, more resourceful.

Starting next week on May 5th, Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities will be streaming a six-week course on Cosmos Qigong, aimed particularly at training the mind and the spirit. This course is open to all levels so that students can begin to build their toolkit for resilience or deepen it further. Registration is available here. Hope to see you there.

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