Learn What You Need and What You Don't Through Tai Chi and Qigong

One of my best friends (and Tai Chi / Qigong buddies) complained to me a while ago that she couldn't stand Doritos any more.

"I never used to think twice about eating junk food," she said. "Oh sure, I know it's not good for me, but last week I thought I would have just a bit, and I felt horrible."

There are many things that you can buy at the grocery or convenience store that look like food, but are not food. They might even sort of taste like food, but they won't really feed you. The more you are in tune with the needs of your body, the more you'll be able to recognize what will support your health and wellbeing, and what won't. (This can come in the form of upset stomach / sudden awareness of flu-like symptoms. Chances are you always felt that way after eating junk food, but you just didn't notice.)

This goes beyond diet, though. The more you get in touch with what feeling amazing is like, the more you'll become aware of the situations, activities, and (sadly) the people that leave you feeling drained, upset, or uncomfortable. There are many things you can do to manage these situations, activities, and people. You can consider leaving the situation, working to change it, or accepting that it is difficult and work to protect yourself as much as possible when you have to engage with it. You can stay in the situation and draw new boundaries to make it functional for you. The important thing to realize is that it is good to recognize how your everyday activities affect you, and that you have direct control over whether and how you engage in those activities.

Tai Chi and Qigong help you establish a better and clearer baseline for feeling good and steady on your feet. The more you practice, the more you want to perpetuate that good feeling throughout your entire day, and the more you'll discover which things, activities, and people support that. This is called discernment - knowing the difference between one thing and another. It doesn't mean that the things, activities, and people who don't make you feel good are bad and deserve to be told so or rejected wholesale or whipped in the streets. It means that you have a choice about whether and how you want to engage with them.

This post is part of a series called What Tai Chi and Qigong Can Do for You. Look for more parts in the coming weeks, or click "What Tai Chi and Qigong Can Do for You" at the bottom of this post. 

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