I like to watch transformational videos of people losing a ton of weight or getting in crazy good shape.
I find it inspiring to watch these 60-second montages of someone’s year-long transformation. You get all of the motivation with none of the effort!
But how do these people do it? How does someone lose 100 pounds?
How does someone relearn how to walk after a bad car accident?
How does someone quit drinking after years of addiction?
This topic has fascinated me for decades. As a qigong teacher, I’m in the business of transformation, so I guess you could say it’s my job. But it’s also my passion.
Qigong is an amazing art. If you practice for 15 minutes twice per day, then you’ll transform into a happier and healthier version of yourself. Guaranteed.
But there’s the rub! Practicing qigong daily is doable, but it sure ain’t easy!
I’ve lost track of how many students I’ve taught over the years. It’s over 2500 people in person, and another 10,000+ online.
Many of these students have been able to transform themselves in remarkable ways using qigong.
We’re talking about people who were desperate to heal and had already tried everything. But with qigong, they were suddenly able to lose weight, get out of pain, dramatically improve their mental health, fix their gut issues, get rid of chronic fatigue, etc.
So how did they do it? Obviously, they practiced qigong daily — but how did they do THAT?
How did they develop a daily qigong habit?
I’ll tell you what they didn’t do: They didn’t shame themselves into practicing.
This method just doesn’t work. You already know the truth of this. You’ve tried it a zillion times already!
If I had to summarize in 4 words the great secret to developing a daily qigong habit, it would be this: Be kinder to yourself.
All of my successful students are kind to themselves whether they realize it or not.
All of the people in those transformational videos — they were being kind to themselves.
Practicing qigong is, ultimately, an act of self-compassion.
You are taking time out of your busy day to nurture yourself and your energy.
Whatever you decide to do in 2022, whatever resolution you make or don’t make — please be kinder to yourself.
Here are a few tips:
- A few times per day, view yourself as a 5-year-old version of you. Speak nicely to this innocent child! Give yourself (the child) some love and encouragement!
- After you successfully do something nice for yourself (qigong, going to bed early, eating well, etc.) give yourself an internal high five. You did it. Woohoo! Be like a parent who compliments their child and celebrates their wins.
- If you mess something up, if you fail at something or make a bad decision, take a moment to say, “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” Say it out loud! This is an old Japanese proverb, and it has kindness built into it. Why beat yourself up for falling when it’s literally the first word of the proverb?
- Finish this sentence: “I want to thank myself for ______ .” (Here are some ideas: trying to better myself; for not giving up; for learning qigong; for my compassionate heart.)
Or if you want to enjoy a 10-minute traditional Loving Kindness meditation, here you go:
Regardless, I hope that 2022 brings you health, peace, and happiness. Most of all, I hope that 2022 is the year that you finally start being kinder to yourself!
From the heart, Sifu Anthony