Several weeks ago I went through a spate of night sweats and hormone induced tossing and turning that left me wide awake at 2:30 or 3:00 every morning, heart pounding from the surge of adrenaline and completely unable to fall back asleep. I knew it was cyclical in nature and would eventually subside but, in the meantime, I was wide awake to a “Where’s the fire?” degree that left me pretty miserable. Each wee hour I’d grab a fresh dry night shirt and plod downstairs, resigned to Law & Order reruns and arguing with the cats for four hours about why they couldn’t go outside yet.
After several nights of this I decided that I really had to do something better with my time. Reading, which I usually love, was very difficult, as the same hormones that were waking me were making it impossible to sit still or concentrate. When the infomercials starting looking interesting I knew something had to give. A friend had mentioned that she was doing Qi Gong every day and, deciding to make lemonade out of lemons, I dug up some Qi Gong DVDs that I had reviewed in the past and determined to give them a fresh try.
After stopping and starting a few nights, I settled into a routine and found it felt great. I decided to commit to the 100 day Gong, or practice, wherein you do the same routine every day for 100 days, no exceptions. When I told an acquaintance, who works in mental health, he said, “It sounds like AA, 90 meetings in 90 days.” I was startled, but of course, he’s right. The principles of deeply ingraining the good habit, changing old routines in favor of new, and strengthening healthful patterns so that they remain in place even if you can’t make a session, or meeting, or a practice, are the same.
Well, I’m 22 days in now, and so far so good. On the 5th day I was tempted to stay sleeping, and then I dreamed that I was in China where someone was going to meet me at the Yew Gate to practice Qi Gong, so I’d better get up. Blame it on the early hour, but it took me all day to realize it could also be called the YOU gate. On the tenth day I felt a deepening of the energetic connection and had the perception that some part of me is doing Qi Gong in many different universes. Since then I’ve realized that the whole heart pounding adrenaline rush night sweats thing seems to have abated and here I am, cheerfully waking up to do Qi Gong. I guess I’m not sure where this is going right now, but I’ll let you know in another 80 days.
Qi Gong photo credit: wikipedia.org