How to Refuel Your Chi on the Road of Life

In a recent Friday photos round-up and rant about how wind is the worst RVing weather, I asked for topic suggestions and Laura had a great one. Since I have mentioned how the wind steals your Chi more than once here, she wondered how one might go about refueling their Chi. Specifically, she asked how do I refuel my Chi?

“Given you have lots of wind experience, and somehow you get your chi back so it can be stolen again, maybe you can post about how you get your chi back? Refueling our energy is such an interesting and diverse process so I would love to hear what brings back your energy while on the road/living in an RV.” —LiveWorkDream Blog Reader

Thanks for the comment Laura! It’s had me thinking for a while now…

angst

How does the Wind steal your Chi?

Wind is unpredictable and chaotic. It causes turmoil. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that wind is one of the six external causes of disease. Internal wind can also arise from an imbalance of the body’s yin and yang. Wind is created naturally from the flow of higher pressure air toward lower pressure. When our Yin and Yang differ greatly out of balance, internal wind grows proportionately larger, and we lose our Chi.

defeat

Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong help us keep our Chi in balance, and prevent the wind – or anything – from stealing it. Regular practice can help prevent us from feeling defeated by the wind, or in any situation.

“If our defensive Qi or immune system can match the wind that is attacking, the wind will be rebuffed.” —1000Victories

The Wind steals your Chi.

The first time I heard the term, “the wind steals your chi” was while workamping at Safe Harbor Animal Rescue in North Carolina. One of the employers was a retired kickboxer, and I was trying to practice more Tai Chi at the time. He knew his stuff, and one of his first lessons covered some basics. “Don’t practice inside,” he said. “Too much interference from all the electrics.”

workamping

Electrics. Okay, I got the gist of that. But then he added, “And don’t practice when it is windy. The wind steals your Chi.” Got it. But like Laura wonders, what do we do when the wind steals our Chi?

How to Refuel Your Chi

How do we get our Chi back back? It is not only the wind that steals our Chi. This nomadic life is filled with events and surprises that can knock the wind out of our sails, the good wind that is. Wrong turns, flat tires, unexpected repairs and even regular – or more often the case, irregular – maintenance can leave us out of the breath we need to battle the wind. So when we are left without our Chi in balance, what do we do?

cope

The best way to refuel your Chi, is to prevent it from being stolen in the first place. But if you find yourself weakened by a lack of Chi, cope with it. It’s that simple. I don’t mean to sound rude there, but it’s true. The situation is the boss. And while we may not have control over the situation, we always have control over our reaction.

Keep It Simple

Don’t overthink it. Whatever it is, it is what it is. And that’s all that it is. It is but a stimulus. Your response is up to you. Viktor Frankl said it best…

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl

So it is our reaction that matters most, not the thing. I’ll be the first to admit, controlling our reaction is much more difficult than I make it sound here. Our cognitive biases and beliefs are ingrained deep. The tendency to overreact, or jump to the worst possible scenario is all to common. The trick is to nip any negative reaction in the bud, to catch yourself before you react. So how do we do that?

light at the end of the tunnel

Be Present

Never underestimate the importance of living in the now. Whenever wind steals your Chi, or darkness deepens your funk, remember you are now here. Not nowhere, but now here, as in here and now. That is the place and time where you have the most power, to address any emotional adversary. The sooner you react to any action, the less likely you are to allow fear, uncertainty, and doubt cloud your reasoning.

But even when the clouds are the darkest, the sun is still shining above them. As Leonard Cohen says, in his chilling yet poignant Anthem, there is a crack in everything. Find it. And find it fast.

“There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In” —Leonard Cohen

The sooner you see the light, the brighter you will make it shine, warm your heart, and blow away the wind.

buddha

Practice Spirituality

Whether you call it enlightenment, being spiritual, religious, or pagan; being in tune with your purpose or whatever higher power you believe in can help you prepare for those unexpected circumstances in life. Meditation has helped Rene and I, immensely. We have been using the Headspace app for years now, and notice a positive difference in our reaction whenever certain circumstances occur, or we are faced with repeated challenges.

Hyder, AK

Regardless of your preferred practice, keeping your Chi in balance will help you through the difficult times. It will help you become more resilient, and that is what you need when the wind steals your Chi. Like a duck in the water, we must learn to let the rain roll off our back.

laughter yoga

Live, Laugh, and Love

laughter bookOne of the most helpful practices for refueling your Chi is laughter. We have written various posts, and made at least one video, about how laughter yoga saves our sanity during difficult times. Call it quacky, but I’m a firm believer in the power of laughter. The act of laughing releases endorphins.

Laughter supports wellness and makes us feel good. Among other things, laughing increases the production of dopamine and serotonin, the building blocks of good feeling. Don’t just take it from me, learn from our long-time good friend and certified laughter coach Dave Berman. Yeah, there is such a thing.

And here’s the thing, you don’t need humor to laugh. Your body doesn’t know if something is funny or not. It only understands the benefits of increased blood flow, better oxygenation, and enhanced body chemistry resulting from the laughter. As Dave likes to say, “Laughter is the sound of joyful breathing.” Which takes us back to the benefits of breath work to battle that wind burglar. So laugh, in any situation, and be more joyful.

Exercise your body, and your mind.

As with laughter, exercise is known to have a beneficial effect, not only on the body but the mind. So stay fit. Keep moving. Feeling healthy will help when refueling your Chi. And if it happens to get stolen, exercise is a great way to get those endorphins going, and that breath moving.

be afraid

Enjoy Fearvana

fearvanaDo something that scares you, every week. Those are words of advice from Fearvana expert and author Akshay Nanavati. He says it best, about how facing our fears can help us overcome any emotional challenges…

“Everyone experiences fear, stress, or anxiety at some point in life—but that is not a bad thing. When harnessed, these forces can be our greatest source of strength.” —Akshay Nanavati

How else can we refuel our Chi, when the wind – or whatever – takes it away?

good friends

Create a sense of community. Surround yourself with good people who get it.

kill your tv

Kill your television. Get off your device. Get out and enjoy nature.

Get creative. Let your creative juices flow.

never give up

Never give up. Endeavor to persevere

Be grateful. Practice gratitude.

Be kind. Peace, love, and happiness are contagious.

Understand that every day is a gift, it’s why we call it the present.

In other words… Be More Dog!

Be More DogBe More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now shares the many lessons we learned from our three-legged spiritual master on the road to happiness.

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4 Responses to “How to Refuel Your Chi on the Road of Life”

  1. Thanks, Jim. Great ideas here. I recently heard “the situation is the boss” and like that concept. It is simple and works for some folks who spend far too little time during that pause before their reaction. Meditation is something I am trying and need to work at doing more.

    Happy Travels to you and Rene.

  2. Or as I like to say…..”It is what it is, but it will become what you make it”

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