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Are you living by default?

Greetings Qi Friends,

For years I lived by default. Things were happening to me and I was merely reacting to them. I was not questioning whether the choices I was making were aligned with my beliefs, my values, or whether they were helping me reach a broader goal or achieve a dream. I was just following the crowd, I was just a sheep among others.

This way of going into my life brought me a lot of suffering. Unconsciously, my body, my mind, and my soul were resisting certain situations I was going through and I started to experience physical pain, brain fog, sadness, depression, and a global sense of disconnection. It seemed that life was against me and was not worth living.

In his book The Secret Teachings of Energetic Chinese Medicine, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson explains how “ancient Daoïsts believed that contentment in life experience is accomplished via Intention (Yi), which allows the individual to experience a sense of acceptance and completeness”.

But what is Intention?

The basic definition of Intention is a determination to act in a certain way. It is deliberate. It’s an articulation of a conscious goal. Once we have settled on an intention, it induces why and how we are doing what we are doing. It sets the tone for whatever we are about to engage in.

I like to see Intention as energy in motion that keeps us inclined in the direction we truly mean to go. Intentions are the underlying motivations for what we think, say, or do. When we act with Intention, everything is done with clear and precise focus and purpose. Ancient Daoïsts even believed that Intention is nothing less than Divine purpose.

How to live intentionally?

Certainly, setting an intention helps set the course of our life rather than just wandering aimlessly through life. To live intentionally requires us to connect with our deeper aspirations. It implies identifying and understanding our personal fundamental values and beliefs and living our life actively according to those values. The result of this contemplation will lead us to accept that life is made up of a series of choices.

Intentional living is about moving towards what we truly want, which requires moving away from what we don’t. It is learning to say no at times. It is also learning to appreciate more and show more gratitude for things that matter most in our life and discard the rest. It is about letting go! It is about releasing what is not useful anymore. It requires us to hold ourselves with compassion as we question all perceptions, beliefs, fears, and attachments that we experience. Do these aspects of my life match my values? Or are they interfering with my deep aspirations for my life?

Letting go is not easy. But it allows us to honour truly who we are, where we come from, and enable life to compost into something new.

Going Deeper

In the Five Element Theory, the philosophy behind Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Yin organs of the body are, among other things, responsible for creating and maintaining certain energetic and spiritual states.

In that perspective, the Spleen is responsible for distributing physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment. In this respect, the Spleen digests and assimilates the more subtle aspects of life experiences, incorporating them into the individual's personality. It is said that the Spleen houses the Yi, the Intention of an individual and that if it is well conserved, it will give rise to the Zhi which is willpower.

Therefore, when in balance, the Spleen allows the individual to experience trust and honesty in both thought and action. If the circulation of Qi becomes obstructed, then, the resulting Spleen Qi stagnation can give rise to emotional turmoil, sometimes manifesting through obsessions (Yang), or self-doubt (Yin).

In the Five Element Theory, the Spleen is linked to the Late Summer season which we are heading through. It is also the time of the year when we will be influenced by the energy of the Earth.

If you would like to learn more about the energetic functions of the Spleen and how Earth’s energy influences our life, have a look below at our next mini-workshop that will be held on August 13th.

The power of intention is infinite. We can change the direction of our life at any time.

When our intentions are right and come from our soul, then our actions are right. We then stop living our life by default and start to live by design. Bringing in each thought, word, and action our conscious awareness. Setting intentions for our life strengthens our commitment to who we are and what we aspire to. We become what we intend.

And like the popular Qigong saying puts it:

Where the mind goes, Qi flows!


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