Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring Forest Qigong: Combining with the Universe

© 2011 by Elizabeth Wescott, Guest Blogger
All Rights Reserved

A Note from Joyce: This article is a follow-up to the last post, Chiron and Chi. Although it’s not about astrology, per se, it expands on the practical application of creating a practice that brings integration of body, mind, and spirit. I hope it gives you further inspiration about how the emotional or health challenges in our charts can be met in our bodies by the movement of energy—chi or qi.

January 20, 2010: I was living in a home that had recently been painted and carpeted. I’d moved back to Northern California from the desert just a month before, and there I sat in a cold common room, watching the Presidential Inauguration. It was supposed to be a very special day, and yet the cumulative effect of change in climate, environmental toxins and sitting in a cold room with someone who was probably in a contagious state with a flu virus knocked me for a loop. Having been challenged with health issues for a long time, I’m used to using alternative approaches on my own to deal with acute illnesses. So, before I decided I had to have help from a professional in the alternative health field, I’d let it get so bad; I had spent an entire night making a conscious effort to breathe through the coughing attacks. It’s good to know the word “Uncle” and when to use it!

A couple of weeks later, my sister finally got her chance to introduce me to Spring Forest Qigong (she’d been champing at the bit for the years I was living in New Mexico). I was out of bed, but still struggling a good deal. We did 20 minutes of the practice. I felt so much better. If I hadn’t known how powerful these energy practices can be, I would have been amazed. As it was, I accepted it as fact – a delightful fact.

The next morning, I felt like I’d been hit by a train. Because I’m familiar with energy healing, I knew what had happened--energy blocks had started clearing and, in my case, it was creating a ”healing crisis”.This doesn’t always happen, but it can. The thing to do is recognize this is good news. It means your body responds really well to the practice. Then it’s time to take it seriously and practice daily. Each day I did it, I felt better than the day before.

One of the things that became apparent as I integrated SFQ into my daily life: I had encountered a foundational support for my body and mind that would allow me to do the kind of energy healing work I’d felt called to for over 30 years. (With Pluto smack on the Midheaven, my Moon in Virgo in the tenth house and Chiron in Aquarius trine my Gemini Sun, it had been an uncomfortable wait, finding my healing expression).

Spring Forest Qigong is not only a form of exercise; it’s a wisdom teaching, very grounded in compassion, in our connection with the whole Universe and our innate ability to transform energy. Einstein introduced the Western world to the idea that everything is energy. Energy cannot be created, nor destroyed, but it can be transformed.
There are many things that help us transform the energy of our bodies, our minds, our lives and our world. SFQ is one of them.

Saturn is closely conjunct the Ascendant in my natal chart, opposite Venus in the sixth house. Health issues showed up as a teacher when I was 15, though I’m still working on integrating that friendly perspective on it. There was a time when health issues seemed to define me. SFQ has made my body more receptive to acupuncture treatments and energy healing work. It’s helped me to deal with side effects of medications I still need. Since beginning the practice, I have become far more aware of synchronicity in life, making it much easier to trust that things will unfold, and that it’s OK to let go of worry. The practice has increased my awareness of not just living in the Universe, but being an integral part of it. It has truly helped me to give love to my body and to send love to the things that create discomfort in it. Lighting a candle in a dark room brings light. As we say at the beginning of a practice or healing session:

 “I am in the Universe, the Universe is in my body, the Universe and I are combined together.”

Spring Forest Qigong is my most powerful tool in developing the awareness, concentration and discipline to choose what I wish to transform and then go about doing that. I know, I made it sound really easy. It’s just simple, not always easy.

Having learned to do a very powerful form of energy healing work in my mid-twenties, I had put that up on a shelf, because I didn’t have the support of something like SFQ that cleared blocks bringing me into alignment with my wholeness. After just a couple of months of doing SFQ, I delved into Level Two for helping others heal. It is so similar to what I’d learned before; it felt like I’d received my wings! Clearly, my study had to continue and my use of this work had to expand. Thus a dream was born: Go to Minnesota and complete the training for Teacher Certification for Level One to teach others to use SFQ for personal well-being.

A brilliant idea, and yet, quite underfunded. I set my sights on going the following summer. That gave me over a year to study, practice and earn money. The first two parts happened very easily, just a part of daily life. Making the money I needed to finance this endeavor was a different matter. I did begin doing healings for others, and I did some administrative work for a friend. The bottom line was I didn’t have the clientele to make a living and I didn’t have the energy to make enough money to do more than make ends meet. Yet, in January of 2010, I came across information about a window of opportunity for manifesting. There were numerous tools offered. I chose to work with one, giving thanks on a daily basis for the receipt of things I needed and wanted in my life.

They’re called precision affirmations. The idea is to express thanks as if the desires have already been fulfilled and to feel the joy and gratitude.

My SFQ goals weren’t the only things I was working on. As I did this process, I saw results in numerous areas. It was a blast. Yet, my finances didn’t change. The training was in June. By March, I tried to talk myself into facing reality and accepting that I wouldn’t be going. Come April, I abandoned that effort and sent out a message by letter, email and Facebook to a couple of dozen people telling them what I wanted to do, how powerful SFQ was for me and why it seemed I wasn’t able to come up with the money myself. Then I waited, uncomfortably.

As money began to come in I still worried. (I don’t have this transforming energy thing down completely). Others were sure I was going to receive the money I asked for and go to the Spring Forest Qigong Center. Their faith was my rock, and I leaned on it. One friend offered to help me find the best deal for my flight. One person sent me a third of what I needed. Others sent smaller portions.

Money trickled in, from $200 to $10. It all added up. My trips to the post office included walking home in tears as I opened letters from people I didn’t really expect to respond and was touched by their generosity. Some people gave twice. There were people who couldn’t send anything but their good wishes. Now, that touched me deeply. It’s not easy to say, “I can’t help with your request, but I am so excited that you are doing this and I am 100% behind you.” We have a tendency to think if we’re not there to give on the physical level, we have nothing to give. These expressions were one of the most powerful aspects of the experience.

Over that time, I wanted very much to share my good fortune. One way I did this was to tell each teller where I deposited the checks how I had come by this money--through the kindness and generosity of others at a time when peoples’ budgets were (and still are) very tight.

I wanted others to receive the hope I was receiving in this experience.

Occasionally, a teller would become quite animated and we would share uplifting stories about the kindness of others as the transactions were completed.

I was able to find someone to room with in Minnesota, to share the costs of lodging. We talked on the phone about a month before the training. It was clear we were an incredible fit from the first conversation. We roomed together, seamlessly for four nights. Both of us have health issues amongst our teachers. In a very gentle way, we watched out for one another. Celebrated each other’s joys and softened the difficulties. Emily and I are friends for life. Just recently, I met one of Emily’s dearest friends--it was like being with Emily. Such a delight and gift since Emily and I don’t live in the same state.

Going to the training, I was coming off a month of dealing with an acute illness. An 8 am to 4 pm schedule was not easy for me under the best of circumstances back then (though 11 months later, I’ve improved so much, I wouldn’t be really concerned now about spending four days in training). But then, I was apprehensive. It wasn’t exactly easy, in addition to the time in training, there was the time I needed to put into my practice of Qigong. I also had to give my body the support it needed through acupressure and other forms of bodywork, too, an absurd number of supplements to organize and have with me at all the appropriate times, and to get food that would fit my very restrictive diet (which is also less restrictive now). Yet, in the end, it worked very well.

A couple of months later, someone who was guiding me in a healing exercise asked me to tell her about the happiest time of my life. It was those four days, being in the presence of others grounded in this practice. Being in the presence of the teachers and our Master Teacher, being in the presence of such incredible goodwill. Those of us who went through the training echoed stories of synchronicity in our lives at a level we’d never known before. I’d thought it was just me who was having that experience.

One of the best days began with feeling as though I was falling in love with person after person, with things, with events, with everything. In the early part of the day, I watched my mind throwing up judgments about the experience. Fortunately, I chose just to observe it. Later on, it had just disappeared and I was in a state of love, a simple, joyful state of love and appreciation.

Another “best” was a healing I received. Of the many symptoms I’ve had, there has been one that has been most difficult to deal with. It has impacted my mind states so much and undermined my trust in myself. I have dealt with it more and less effectively for decades. When I went to Minnesota, my intention was that it would be healed. It is now only a shadow that comes up for an hour or two on rare occasions. It used to be with me for six months out of the year.

Since I began practicing Spring Forest Qigong, it has been a daily practice. My body has required this for balance and to feel that I am moving forward with symptoms and my life. In the year that I’ve been teaching the practice to others, I have been so gratified to learn that some experience benefit from doing just a weekly session in one of my practice groups. There are two things I encourage people to do: Start where you are, and do Qigong every day. Sometimes starting where you are means doing it once a week. How glad I am that there are many who benefit from doing just this much.

Nothing fits for everyone, with the exception of breathing. Some might argue eating does as well, but I know of a few highly evolved people who choose not to eat and lived very active lives, so I’ll stay with breathing being the one thing that fits for all of us humans. Though there is little that fits for everyone, each of us has those things that will support us in living the lives we were meant to live as nothing else does. Spring Forest Qigong is something that can do that for people. This is why I teach it, offer healings and coaching.

If you live in the Sacramento Area, perhaps I’ll see you sometime at Heart to Hearth in Folsom for a Group Healing or a Practice Group! My blog is Stepping Stones to Health. It will keep you up-to-date on practice groups and specials, and if you’re in need of reading the words of a wordy Gemini woman, you’ll find that there too.

I wish you the joy of Blooming Where You Stand!


Elizabeth Wescott is a Reiki Master and Energy Healer. She offers healing work to assist others in experiencing their own healing energy in actively bringing healing in their lives. She coahces Spring Forest Qigong Level 1 and leads SFQ Level 1 Practice Groups. Encouraging others to trust that there are forward steps that can be taken to move into health and wholeness is a joy beyond words, for a Gemini woman of many words. Contact her at 916-969-7993 or

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