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Balancing Yin and Yang … and a new way of checking your e-mails!

 

by Rashmi Endenberg

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The retreat has started this morning at 7. Not surprisingly, it was a day full of surprises ! In the beautiful early morning with a breathtaking view of misty mountains, not only did we do Ba Gua Super Fitness, standing and Form, we also were introduced to self-expressing medicine ball smashing! After a delicious breakfast, the general vote was for something calm. Personally, one goal I had for this retreat was to bring my practice to a new level. I had a picture of studying different forms and being really inspired to start practicing several hours a day. I must say that an hour of relaxing and plantar audition was not part of what I had in mind. But we get what we need and what’s best for us. As I lay down with my feet listening to the music, I realized how busy my mind was and how it was jumping from one item on my to-do list to another. As I watched my thoughts pass by I gradually mellowed and realized that it was not more doing that I needed, but more being. One e-mail passed my mind. I had read it, but I had not ‘had time’ to let it in. It was a beautiful and personal message and as I lay there in Plantar Audition, I finally got it. After an other delicious meal we went for a walk in the woods and along the river. This time the tendancy and wish to do something was less loud and insistent in my mind. I quickly realized that on a deeper level, I just wanted to be and interact with people and nature. I had great, deep, and at the same time fun and light chats with several people during the walk and throughout the day. It is so healing and inspiring to be around people that are bringing consciousness and creativity to their lives. The funny thing was that after a day of ‘craving’ Tai Chi, it was sort of a surprise when it came in the evening program. The loud and clear lesson I got from this day was that I needed to replenish my yin energy, before I could take on more yang. As always, I was also super inspired by Master San Gee Tam and Annukka and I realized that they can only generate as much as they do because they are able to relax and have fun! Oh and by the way, contrary to what you might think from this personal account of the day, we did do long and short forms plenty of times all day long with lots of pointers and insightful input; the timing of it just did not fit my expectations. So life is good in Heavenly Way at the retreat! I look forward to more surprises over the next days!!!

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Marie Carty on Chi Source at the International Instructor Training

“The main purpose of Chi Source is to share” were the first words Master San Gee Tam spoke to the 30 of us on our first evening of this advanced training course here at Heavenly Way.  “It is when you share with other people that you can really express yourself clearly and this means exposing yourself FOR yourself”.  But while you are sharing, just remember it is not a matter of figuring it out, it is a matter of experience: “There are no specific answers, just experiences and if you have a problem it’s because you haven’t had enough experience in that area”.
My sharing that first evening was that, until now, I have always believed I had to work real hard to overcome any obstacles or problems that often came my way, especially during group trainings. In these past 3 months, I have had the most enlightening time discovering the Teachings of Abraham, a group of loving entities presented (or channelled) through Esther Hicks.  Never once did I realise that, by concentrating so hard on getting rid of those obstacles, what I was really doing was putting more weight on them, making them even bigger and stronger – the Law of Attraction working at its best. It is a matter of releasing resistance which I have been carrying for most of my life; last night San Gee reminded us again: “Quit resisting and fighting everything … and you will see miracles happen” … I can’t wait!

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Tom Gold-Blyth shares about the International Instructor Training

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Two days into the Long Form Training at Heavenly Way and I want to share with you that it is not what I expected. It reminds me that it’s best to assume nothing!

Two days and I feel like, under the powerful leadership of Sangee, Annukka and Damien, I have done more than I have ever done in two days. Rolling and wrestling on mats, intensive and highly effective applications (many of which end up with me rolling in the dirt), kettlebells, sandbags, running and burpees, lots of pushing hands. Oh yes and Long Form lots of Long Form over and over. It’s been fantastic and energising. Very energising. 

I have felt myself confronted with my own limitations a few times and have broken through. I am already feeling stronger and ready for more challenges. I have a sense that I have been holding back and am letting loose.

It all makes perfect sense. Long Form is a training form so Sangee is training us to a stronger core and a higher level of fitness.

By the way you are going to love the remodelled cubbies in the Lodge (give it up for Richard). Also Cindy has taken on leading the kitchen team and is delighting us with her food.

So if you are at home wishing you were here get into the vibe of ‘breakthrough training’. It feels amazing!

 

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Creating From The Center Of The Cyclone: A Message from Master San Gee Tam

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Creating is fundamental to our nature. You were born into this life with the desire and intention for what you wanted to create. At times it can be challenging to access those original intentions due to the dualities that constantly present themselves, but it is those dualities that give each of us the fuel to invent, then create, then manifest the lives we most want to live. Dualities can take many forms. For instance, when you are holding still it makes you want to move; when you are rushing for too long you crave peace and quiet. When you are bored you want to start creating something new. Use this energy.

The first step in creating is knowing what you want. Many times when I ask people what they want to create, they have no idea. However, the more and more you wake up, the more excited you will get about the creation process. What specifically you want to create doesn’t really matter. What matters is the ability to access your power as a creator. Your power comes from the ability to Be Here, in the moment. Even when your life is like a cyclone, you have access to the completely still, quiet center. That is the place from which you want to create. If your mind and emotions are scattered and flying around in the cyclone, your vision and ability to focus will also be scattered.

Being an active creator and moving in the direction of the life you want is what will make you happy. When you resist that flow, the creative process, you experience suffering. Suffering can also arise out of misplaced expectations of how and when what you are creating shows up. The key is to remind yourself again and again that you get what you need when you are ready for it… and not a moment sooner. The Universe is an intricately designed machine. If you got more than you could handle… even just a little bit before you were ready, you would be destroyed. When you have brought your vibe up to the next level, more will appear for you to play with and work with.

You have actively created everything that is in your life… it hasn’t been given to you … or forced on you by someone else. If you don’t get that then you will continually create problems and conflicts in your life.

There is also the default process. If you choose not to be a conscious creator for a period of time then “default mode” will take care of everything and you will get what you get. Things from “default mode” typically come from the life your parents were generating when you were small. But that doesn’t mean you should blame your parents for the life you have now. Blame just means you’re not awake (yet) and that you might be operating in “default mode.”

In contrast, when you are in active creation mode and feeling great and excited then you are in a state where you can really create by completely seeing a vision of what you are consciously bringing toward you. The only obstacle to this is your own resistance. And resistance is OK. As I said earlier, you might not be ready yet for what you are creating.

If during your creative journey you experience problems or conflict and find yourself in an overly serious or dark place, the best way to deal with things is to use humor. Laughter and funny stories, especially about yourself, is a powerful way to return to feeling good.

We are learning more and more to be abundant creators who are continually evolving and expanding and living into that experience. That is one way to live an enjoyable life.

We will be going much deeper into specific, basic techniques for creating at the New Year’s Retreat at Heavenly Way on December 31 and January 1.

Master San Gee TamI am deeply excited about what I see all of us co-creating in 2015.

– Master San Gee Tam*

*This blog post was written by Cheryl Schirillo directly after listening to one of Master San Gee Tam’s talks.

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A Newbie’s View of Tai Chi Training in London

John newI was strongly invited / ’persuaded’ to attend the Golden Flower Training Workshop at Gillwell Park. Being a lapsed Tai Chi student, but new to the Golden Flower Forms, I approached the event with a degree of trepidation and a “What on earth have I landed myself in now”, state.

The Park proved to be a pleasantly rural place of trees, green fields and wild life, – so far, so good.

The training agenda was presented on arrival and I immediately spotted that there was purported to be an early morning, pre-breakfast start, this was an obvious error, as no self- respecting Englishman is human until after breakfast, however, I was soon disabused of this crass assumption and informed that the start was indeed, before the consumption of a morsel of breakfast. Still reeling from the horror of this revelation, I was introduced, in rapid succession, to a variety of people and suffered memory overload to the extent that names blurred into oblivion, but everyone seemed friendly and welcoming.

So we come to that first early morning training session, what can I say? The dreaded, awkward, Shaking and Breathing warm-up appeared to have morphed into Disco-beat driven tribal dancing, with a variety of inventive interpretations. The throbbing beat of “Fireball”, became a familiar sound resonating through the practice hall as a wake-up track, accompanied by the exuberant dancing of some of the less inhibited members. Bewildered by this display of non-conformist activity, I retired to a dark corner for some surreptitious twitching and breathing. I have to admit, that by the end of the course, the sight of a whirling Bagua circle, to the accompaniment of a pounding beat, appeared almost normal.

The actual training remains something of hazy memory, ranging from unfamiliar forms and frantic following, to the relief of “Hey, I recognise this one” and the occasional flash of enlightenment “So that’s how and why we do this!”

Despite suffering from Octopus syndrome, i.e. too many limbs for the Brain cell to co- ordinate, I survived the trauma of Form and Technique with a smidgeon more understanding and a glimmer of light in the tunnel of mental confusion. Another unfortunate affliction is my Grasshopper mind which has the Focus of a fluff ball, but at no point could anything have been described as boring or monotonous, discussions and demonstrations were carried out with clarity, patience and bursts of humour. So by the end of the course, the Grasshopper was at least taking shorter hops and Focus was less fuzzy.

The outside session, in the unseasonably warm October day of clear blue sky and a light breeze, revealed an interesting degree of competiveness in certain individuals during the simulated combat scenarios, or maybe some people just like rolling around in a human knot. With a backdrop of the London cityscape, the outdoor session invigorated everyone and impromptu downhill gallops plus demonstrations of two person head to tail somersaulting were interspersed with more sessions of the self-defence applications of the form, before rounding off with group photos.

The evening sessions were and interesting mix of discussion, philosophy, training feedback and individual experiences.

Then there was the “Night of the Newbies”, with Question Master Annukka in the interrogation chair, eliciting the opinions of the Newbies on their experience of the course. As remarked by the first victim, sorry, participant –“Rabbit”, “Headlights” and “transfixed terror” – aptly described the initial reaction. The technique of furniture-blending and becoming one with the chair, proved to be futile in avoidance of individual examination. Fortunately, the fear induced disconnect between Brain and Mouth, was a temporary state and being the focus of audience scrutiny did no lasting harm.

Overall the willingness to help, the advice freely given, the Family atmosphere and the amazing energy generated, all combined into an exceptional and empowering experience.

The end of course Leave-taking was another new experience, which involved a lot of hugging. I mean, Good Grief, I’m a shy, taciturn, Northern bloke and likely to implode at such outgoing displays of honest emotion, however, to my surprise, I survived and almost got used to such expression of camaraderie!

In summary:

  • –  Was my attendance worthwhile – Yes, definitely!
  • –  Has it changed me – Yes, mostly for the better!
  • –  Would I do it again – Yes!
  • In conclusion: My heartfelt thanks to everyone for sharing your time, thoughts and experience, the dedication and energy of all attendees was enlightening and pleasurable and has confirmed the re-igniting of my enthusiasm for the journey that is Tai Chi.A final word to all students/trainees if you have the opportunity to attend a Masterclass or Training course with San Gee Tam and Annuka, grab it with both hands, your body may protest, but you will not regret it.                                                                                                                                                               

    ~  David (one of Heike’s Chichester Students)

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Insights Into Intuition and Co-Creation at the London Instructor Training by Damien

Master San Gee Tam demonstrates the power of chi during the London Training.
Master San Gee Tam demonstrates the power of chi during the London Training.

 

I’m working on mastering the skill of listening to my intuition more. When the subject of attending the Golden Flower European Instructor Training came up it was easy, my intuition said; you definitely need to go. When this happens I always wonder why the intuitive “yes” was so strong. I wonder whether I am going to have some break through or powerful insight. Well I believe I had a little bit of both as I had a moment of extraordinary clarity of what co-creation is all about. It hit me one night as we were sharing about our reason for being there. I could see what was happening. Our Tai Chi community, our curriculum, our own personal development, they are all expanding. And no one element is singly responsible; we are all part of the expansion. From Master San Gee Tam down to the most inexperienced student at the training, we were all powerfully moving it forward.

As we co-created this past week we generated a clear, palpable, cooperative, loving energy. I felt aware and relaxed. I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself and was really proud to be a part of it. I saw our reach spreading throughout the world. And it is not about numbers either (although I will still track them on a spreadsheet) but rather seeing the expanded possibilities for ourselves and those around us. I have known many of the instructors in Europe for some time now and I see beautiful changes in them. They are brighter, healthier, more in control of themselves. The trainings are incredibly positive. As we go through very important, yet very difficult new material, everyone is totally engaged, picking up what they can, being satisfied with their new knowledge or integration, and not worrying about those aspects they were not quite ready for. The complaints were nil, the focus and attention was acute.

a London Training

Throughout the training I practiced with instructors mainly from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. Some of them have been very successful in developing their classes and enrolling students, others are just getting going, some are even taking a break from instructing. When I look at my own teaching efforts I realized this week that I am exactly where I need to be in this complicated activity of developing Tai Chi skills and learning to share them with people in an authentic way (Power point presentations are not going to be much help when teaching Tai Chi). Often I beat myself up that my results are not all that good but when I feel the co-creation going on at a greater level those feelings go away and I am inspired and motivated. I am part of something that is really worthwhile that is continuing to grow and spread light in the world.

I very much appreciate all of the attention, guidance and love that Master San Gee Tam has showed me. I feel myself transforming, I am not the same person I was 15 years ago. I am proud to be an instructor in the Golden Flower Tai Chi School. I am aligned with our purpose of greater awareness and personal development. Tai Chi is one of the best root tools for this. And along the way we have a lot of fun.

Part of my ongoing transformation is lightening back up; at my core I know that is who I am. I spent the first 38 years of my life in a state of confusion and the result was stress, negativity and exhaustion. Now after 15 years of training in what is important, I am in the process of shedding the baggage. And what is important – I think this inquiry starts with an understanding of how things work in the universe. There are principles in operation and as you learn these, believe me, life gets a lot easier.

I extend deep gratitude to all my fellow instructors and the other students who came to England and created such a clear, loving space. Thanks to my wife Julie, who is also a Tai Chi Instructor, for being the most supportive, wonderful wife a man could have.

I look forward to so many more years of participation in the Golden Flower School.

Damien Reynolds, Golden Flower Tai Chi Instructor

Damien Reynolds demonstrating

 

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Learning by Playing: Tai Chi Training in London by Carla Verhaaf

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A fantastic view over London, the sun in our faces and all of us together on the top of a major green hill. What a perfect playground for the second part of our Golden Flower International Training in England today. All the energy I have gathered so far in our training sessions flew through my body even more intensely. Being with all these wonderful Golden Flower instructors and students on this perfect spot with the wind in my face made me happy, light, grounded and focused. A spontaneous wrestling-session with colleague and friend John was exactly what I needed to express the feeling of joy and tremendous energy I felt in my body. There is such a desire and need to learn more about Golden Flower’s rich Tai Chi principles which support me and my life everyday.

A lot of exciting, spontaneous playful learning moments followed my morning on the hill. The light atmosphere provided me with the perfect way to practice and integrate the many principles San Gee and Annukka have shared with us so far, such as:  feel your body, stay aligned, keep your body straight and your energy grounded… if you don’t accept that you’ll be “thrown away.” Fall down and stand up again. Try again. Remember that I am in this beautiful place with the supporting people of the Golden Flower Family around me. There are no worries. When I fall I don’t get hurt because I’ve learned to flow and not resist. I just get to my feet again and laugh about it with the people around me. Now I’ve learned to stand up straight.

By playing around and enjoying everything that comes my way the child in me is awakened. I am able to relax even more and experience the internal, energy power that is flowing through my entire body. Amazing things are happening. I felt great empowerment. I had no problem in throwing and get thrown away. I felt great and inexhaustible. I have reached a new level in my development by experiencing what I can do and apply just by feeling, focusing and then allowing and relaxing.

I have learned to play with what I’m learning! And I really felt that I created it myself. I woke up and I really wanted to go outside, in the sun to enjoy this gorgeous place. It’s a joy to play with the beautiful people of this Golden Flower School around me. And the amazing thing is that it just happened. Although in the beginning I felt a little bit uncomfortable rolling in the grass on this big hill. But then I tried just jumping in to it, relaxing and enjoying every moment. In this way I created beneficial, happy and very playful learning moments.

My take away from this morning’s training was to create it, allow it, play with it, allow myself to fall a bit, stand up straight again and try again. I feel strong, energized and happy because of these amazing playful learning moments. I am allowing and eager for what is coming next. I am so happy to continue on learning more about this rich practice of beautiful Golden Flower Tai Chi and I am grateful for all the people who have joined this wonderful school and become part of my life.

With gratitude and joy,

Carla Verhaaf

Carla Verhaaf

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Focus, Satisfaction and Rocket Launches: A Message From Master San Gee Tam

PICT0078Today I’d like to address how to use focus to achieve satisfaction in your life.

Satisfaction is a feeling.  It does not come from merely making a list and getting what you think you want.  It’s like being in love, you can’t just list all the reasons you should love someone.  That would be like meeting someone and saying, “Lets make a list and fall in love.” It just doesn’t work that way.

Satisfaction arises when you are focused on what is happening in your life, in this moment, watching the wonder as it unfolds. Everything you do, if you’re really tuned in and focused, will benefit your life. You may not feel total satisfaction in every moment, in fact, I’d expect that you won’t.  It’s not about that.  Life is a process filled with many processes.

Let’s consider how satisfied you feel during your daily, morning practice of Tai Chi, Standing Chi Gong, meditation, walking in nature, or a combination that might include something else.  How do you know that your practice is benefiting you and helping you to grow into an authentic, happy person?

One day the elements of your morning practice may integrate and you feel satisfaction. Another day it doesn’t feel like it comes together at all.  That could be because you’re still in the process of gathering information and learning to go deeper.  When that happens you can recognize a different kind of satisfaction.  You can enjoy the good feeling that comes from the fact that you showed up to your practice that day.  That you kept returning to the now even though your monkey mind kept pulling you around.  Instead of feeling satisfied that you completed something and it all came together, you can feel satisfied about engaging in the process at your current level.  Practice what you know, gather bits and pieces, grow and learn.  You might not have a break-through every day, but you can feel satisfied that you’re progressing a little more and moving it all along.

You don’t need to achieve mastery to feel that you are growing, learning and beginning to see the pieces all coming together.  It’s all dynamic process.  Things coming in, going out, a step forward here… plateau, another step forward.

For instance, think about keeping a clean house.  It’s not like your house is a wreck one day and sparkling, clean and organized the next.  It’s not that once it is clean it will stay that way.  It’s a dynamic process of stuff coming in and stuff going out.  Cleaning up the kitchen and then making dirty dishes again when you cook.  Clearing out your closets and giving things away and then slowly buying new shoes and what not. Be satisfied with the dynamic process. Learn along the way.  Realize when you have unrealistic expectations of things being perfectly clean all the time.

With time you come to realize that what is showing up in your life is in fact what you were really creating… what you have been most focused on.  Perhaps you don’t feel satisfied because what showed up is different than the picture you had in your mind of what you thought you were bringing into being.  You can be sure that what shows up in your life, is in fact what you were really creating.  The part of you that creates is far greater than the mind, where your picture resides.

Back to your morning practice.  How do you know when your practice is good, and when it needs to be changed?

If you are focused you will move forward.  You will also be able to intuitively tune in to new information that will organically change the direction of your practice. The bottom line is that if you focus on whatever you are doing, you will feel satisfied and achieve results NO MATTER WHAT what your practice looks like.

The experience of focus and integration IS the satisfaction. Ultimately, It doesn’t matter what you’re doing when you get there.  It can happen while practicing the Golden Flower Form or when you’re doing the dishes.  The feeling of satisfaction occurs when everything integrates and aligns.

If you have focused intention, you’re always headed in the right direction. However, sometimes you need to do things that might seem totally unrelated to your goal. When you have a true intention, everything, from your mind to existence itself, is all working to take you in the direction of your intention/desire. Your mind and the whole universe is working together to get you there.  However, many times you want to go right to your goal but you see yourself going in another direction.  What you don’t realize is that sometimes the path needs to be winding, not straight, if you are to reach your destination and achieve the FEELING that you truly desire during the journey.

When scientists want to send a rocket to the moon, 99% of the time when the rocket takes off they point it away from the moon.  They are accounting for the fact that both the earth and the moon are constantly moving.  They are pointing the rocket at the place the moon will be once the rocket travels at a certain speed and distance to get there.  If they just pointed the rocket at where the moon is now the moon would be long gone by the time the rocket arrived.

Focus your attention on getting to your moon.  Keep adjusting your course to your true destination.

When you’re practicing, if you are too rigid, you could miss out when your higher mind says, “hey, forget all those little details, here’s something really exciting and important to focus on, adjust your course over here.”  Stay focused. Go with the flow of your intuition and higher mind, then you can tune into your true path.  You’ll know you’re on the right track when you have the feeling of ease and satisfaction.

Trust yourself in those moments of clarity. Ignore the monkey mind when it says, “you’re not doing it right, stick with the small-mind program.”  Just notice those thoughts and let them pass.  Enter into the flow and know you’re learning to follow your true intelligence.

It is important to show up every day.  To begin.  Then you can allow your practice to unfold naturally.  If you don’t show up, if you don’t open to guidance, you won’t receive any benefit.

This is why they call it practice.  There are many wise sayings along the lines of “If you want to master something you must practice.”  But no one tells you WHAT to practice.  They don’t give a list of the practices.  Because that is not the point.  If you show up with an intention, the universe and your higher mind will unfold to you what you have to practice.  It will invite the discovery.  You can’t practice what you have yet to discover.  Allow space for your practice to unfold and expand naturally.  You WILL discover through practice.  So begin with what seems most sensible and useful at this time. Stay open to learning from what you’re practicing. It’s not a matter of just mindlessly going along.  But that does not mean repetition of something you were taught is not useful or helpful. But after you do that, also make sure you leave time for noticing what you’re learning beyond the small steps of your practice.  What is there beyond the physical?

A lot of the satisfaction you feel will come from the sense of discovery when it all comes together.  When you see something you never saw before.  This happens during moments of integration of what you’ve been learning meeting your higher mind.

Allow the structured aspects of your practice to serve the creative aspects of your development, your unfolding. Then take a few moments to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction you have created.

~ Master San Gee Tam

 

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Focus, Results and Courage: A Message From Master San Gee Tam

San Gee and crew

 

Fall is an excellent time to re-invent your practice and increase your focus on health, well-being and what you want to create in your life. The collective energy of autumn harvests, back to school, fresh starts and new teachers can help propel you into the next level of learning and mastery in your life.

During this month’s message I’d like to address how focus can help you integrate the lessons that are coming to you. Focus also helps you create more vibrantly, notice and fully participate in opportunities, and then appreciate the “real” results that manifest.

There is an important difference between creating and manifesting. By manifesting I mean “real” tangible results that you can touch or measure. Creating, visioning and imagining happen at the level of your mind and emotions and are an essential first step. However, good intentions and having fun brainstorming are not enough if you want tangible results. The key is to remain focused on what you’re creating (especially the positive thoughts and feelings), and then acting from that place with integrity and courage. At that point your internal economy kicks in and measurable changes start showing up in your life. Focus and integrity are important. A lack of focus can derail the creative process and keep you from manifesting the life that you really want to live.

Manifesting isn’t something you do.  It is the real, concrete, tangible results you see in your life.  You can create toward manifesting results, but you can’t do manifesting.

There are five general steps in the process:

1)   Internally creating. This can include visioning, imagining what you want, sensing how it will feel, and brainstorming how it could play out.

2)   Paying attention. Noticing when messages and opportunities to learn or engage come into your life. Observing the connections between what you have been “creating” and what is coming to you.

3)   Taking action. Fully participating in what shows up. Saying yes to the invitation. Returning the hug. Answering the call.  Accepting the task.

4)   Noticing and deeply appreciating the “real,” tangible results that are manifesting your life.

5)   Gently keeping the wheel of creating and manifesting turning.

You can’t just “manifest” a new boyfriend or girlfriend.  But you can create in your mind and emotional body what being with a new person would feel like. You can pay attention when someone bumps into you on the sidewalk and your heart lights up when they smile at you. You can smile back and say yes.

One block to manifesting, or seeing tangible results or change in your life, can be habits. Habits have a tendency to build up around non-essential stuff.  For instance you may have a tendency to run late because you feel compelled to do one or two more “quick” things before you head out the door. This stuff is not real, it’s just a little habit that’s taken hold. What is real is honoring your commitments. When you stay focused on what is important and remember to act with integrity, then you won’t get caught up in the stream of non-essential activities distracting you from your purpose.

Most of us are holding back from the real power of who we truly are. We let small things distract us from working on the big things. We let fear prevent us from saying yes and creating new opportunities for growth. A way around this is to start each day focused on the “big” things before all the “small” urgent things start showing up.  Take a moment to reflect on where you are in your life.  What are the skills and lessons you need to integrate so that you can be who you are truly meant to be?

Today commit yourself to advancing in those areas during your morning practice, whether that is Chi Gong, The Be Here Now Meditation Process, one of the Golden Flower Tai Chi Forms, or some other tradition.  Allow space in your morning practice for intentional, internal creative time.

Make your morning ritual a gift to yourself. Look inward and notice if you are integrating the lessons that are coming to you and learning from them on a sub-atomic level.

The power to learn, advance and see tangible results in your life comes from focus.  If you stay focused on one area you will learn and progress.  Focus trumps your tendency to go back and forth about how much you’re interested in something.  If you “show up” and focus with regularity, then being “in the mood” and wanting to do it is irrelevant.  You will learn and progress whether you “want to” or not.

The Golden Flower Tai Chi School is an excellent example of the principal of extended focus and creativity manifesting growth and abundance. Thirty-four years ago I started it all with a course on human development. With focus and interest from so many, the School has grown into a thriving international community of Golden Flower Instructors and Students in the US, England, Belgium, The Netherlands and Russia.  I didn’t create the school for me. It manifested so beautifully due to the desire and focused excitement from all of you.

Take a moment to look back on your life and notice your own, dramatic personal growth and evolution. Now focus on what you want to learn this year so you can embrace your true power and abilities.  Allow yourself to fully take advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves. Be courageous by saying yes to opportunities and sharing your true journey with others. And of course, have fun learning and enjoying the new life you are creating every day, the life you’ve been longing for.

~ Master San Gee Tam

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Focus And The Power of Story and Events: A Message from Master San Gee Tam

People ask me how they can get better at practically directing their mind so they can build focus. I’d like to explore that idea by talking about events and the stories we tell ourselves.

DSC_0524.2You experience your life in “events.” Like the folders on your computer that help you organize your photos and word files, your mind organizes your life by sorting everything into events. For instance, a simple event would be getting up from your computer and walking outside to get the mail.  Those are two events.

With focus and greater awareness you can stay in the event you’re in instead of going back in time or forward in time and missing out on the now. With focus you can increase your awareness so you can move intentionally from “event to event,” instead of getting lost in your thoughts during events and merely moving from “effect to effect.”  That is a powerful distinction.

Speaking to the idea of distinction, it’s a very important skill to develop.  For instance if you or I went into the far north we would see lots of white snow.  A local Eskimo would see many, many colors of snow and types of snow, and would have numerous words for all the many distinctions of which they were aware. It is powerful to be able to see many distinctions instead of merely thinking, “Well this happened and that happened and I liked this and I didn’t like that.”

Seeing your life in events is having distinctions. If you don’t have clear distinctions you can get stuck in the past, or what you were just doing because you are not distinguishing that you have shifted locations, experiences, and surroundings.

For instance, in regard to finances, many of us tend to worry about future events involving finances without recognizing that those events are not here yet, and in fact they may never happen. Instead it is beneficial to stay in the current event, right here, and and to focus on what is actually happening. It is important to point out that what happens in the future comes directly from what you are doing right here, right now. You cannot deal with the future by thinking ahead. You have to generate what will happen in the future by focusing on what you are doing right now. Focus increases your ability to generate what you want

If you are merely worrying about the future you are not dealing with what will actually determine the future. For instance some people are sitting at home worrying about how to generate money at some point down the road.  What would be more helpful is if they would get up, right now, leave the house and go get a job. Sometimes instead of sitting around pondering esoteric ideas around financial prosperity what is needed is action, like going job hunting and then accepting the job that is offered so you can pay your bills. It really is that simple. People are looking for some magic in the future instead of doing what they could do right now to shift their reality.

The goal is to start to focus on the event we are in, to stay in the now.  Events can be simple or complex.  An example of a simple event would be having breakfast.  Complex events have multifaceted integration with many events.  For instance, when you leave a job and then are creating what you want to do next… this one event is ongoing and has many aspects to it that affect other events.

For ease of explaining, we’re going to focus on simple events right now. The goal is that you actively engage during the events in your life instead of being passive. If the event is breakfast, and you just sit in front of the food and don’t pick up the food and eat it, you’re not participating in the event.  Or if you’re at one of my talks and instead of actively focusing on what I’m saying, engaging and deeply listening, you just sit there passively, or are daydreaming, you’re not participating. You’re not getting much out of that event. It’s not feeding you.

In every event, you must focus and participate.  You must make a storyline from what is happening.  You must understand your purpose so you can integrate what is happening into what is meaningful to you.  You know you have a useful storyline if you can communicate it to someone else.  For instance if the event is breakfast your storyline might be, “I woke up a little early today to have time for a healthy breakfast because I know I feel better and have more energy, creativity and zest for life when I eat well and don’t rush through my meals.” In this example you were conscious that you were in an event and were focused on creating your own story.

You can also have abstract events like, “I teach Tai Chi.” Your story might be, “The reason I teach Tai Chi is that I started practicing ten years ago not knowing much about it and the more I practiced I started noticing profound changes in my life.  Then I started teaching and really got blown away and got more and more curious about how much more I could learn from my personal practice and from my students.”

You need to have a conscious story about what you’re doing in your life.  I don’t mean a made-up story about what you’d like to be happening. I’m talking about your real-life story. You need to see your real story about what you’re doing here, and be able to share that story with others. If you’re doing stuff without a story, you’re lost.

The story is essential because it is the way you integrate your own understanding. It’s the way you create purpose in your life.  If you are living life without a story, without purpose, you’re going to feel very, very lost.

There is no purpose that you are supposed to be fulfilling.  YOU create your own purpose. Quit looking for your purpose. Go create it! There is no purpose other than what you create for yourself.  It is inside you somewhere.

Your story is an explanation of your purpose.

You need to be aware of events and the story you tell about them, and how they relate to your purpose.  If you eat breakfast without focusing on your story you’ll tend to just gobble up whatever is in front of you.  If you are aware of your story you’ll consciously choose what you eat and enjoy it more.

Problems arise if you are telling yourself the wrong story or if your story is not supporting you.  It is especially dangerous when an unhelpful story is running through your mind automatically and repeatedly, or if you are replaying a story your parents or someone else told you. That is not YOUR true story. To fix this you simply need to notice that your mind is focused in the wrong area.

If your story feels bad… CHANGE YOUR STORY about yourself. When you get hung up ask yourself about the story you’re telling.  Are you saying, “I can’t do this. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m never going to have enough money, I’m not smart enough to do that. I’ve always been afraid of that kind of thing. They blew me off because I’m un-loveable.” Those are all unhelpful stories you’re telling yourself about who you are.  You know you have your true story, the story that is helpful for you, when it raises your vibration.  This is an important point.  It may seem obvious, although many people don’t get this point quickly… don’t tell a story that makes you feel bad! Be intentional when you are crafting your story. Focus on what you want. Make sure your story raises your vibration.

Build your story by looking back on your life and focusing on the events that have brought you to where you are right now, what you’ve learned and who’s supported you and loved you. Then focus the story on what you are doing right now to support and create the life you want. Notice how the event and story you are living in this moment is building a future full of purpose that excites you.

I caution you about getting lost in your story and losing focus on what is happening moment by moment during your present event.  Your story helps you create the life you want, but it is important to remain focused on the life that is happening, beautifully now, in this moment.

When you catch yourself telling a negative story about yourself I want you to stop and re-set your focus.  I want you to remember that you are the only author of your story. Your true self is intelligence, love, appreciation, and creative power.  Do you get that?  Where else could all that be coming from?  It all comes from you.  You are the center and the value of your life. Tell your story from there and it will raise your vibration and feel great.  Other people can help you, but if you don’t value your life and your story, it won’t matter.

You don’t need to change your whole story at once.  Merely start to observe yourself and when you notice you’re focused on something negative, pause. Then change your story a little bit at a time. Focus on the fact that you are the love and value in your life. Telling stories about what you appreciate is a good way to begin raising your vibration and feeling love.

~ Master San Gee Tam