Canada is a newcomer as a Nation as compared to the many First Nations from across Canada that have thousand of years in sovereign Nationhood. The Haida with 17000 years and Sylix/Okanagan 8,000 years had the time to understand how to live well upon the land. This is time for Canada to learn, mature and fulfill its potential as a nation by taking the opportunity to learn from the indigenous ways of seeing and being that have been formed through hundreds of generations of living with the land in a good way, thereby being able to cultivate an appropriate Nation to Nation relationship.
However it must also be acknowledged that the ability of First Nations to share their cultural wisdom has been severely diminished through the effect of colonization and cultural genocide that impacted health of individuals, families, and communities, by separating them from the land and their cultural heritage vis a vis residential schooling and inadequate funding of critical services.
The key to success in life is an “examined self”. That means gaining an understanding of what makes us who we are,and exploring elements of uncertainty, doubt, over-confidence, anxiety, and our emotional make up. This work is lifelong.
Hollyhock gave me the doorway to begin this journey in a more intentional way. “What makes me who I am?” “What do I believe about spirituality?” “Why do I react to others the way I do?” “What are my emotional secrets?” “What is honesty?”
It’s incumbent on each of us to find our own pathway. Below is an excerpt from my newly released book, Clean Money Revolution:
Imagination is often misunderstood, defined as a fanciful flight away from reality – and sometimes it is. But there is another kind of imagination, one that is based on deep inner listening with a quality of calm presence, and a curious, open-minded focus. When images arise into that kind of spacious awareness, imagination is tapping into a source of wisdom, a type of intuition, that puts us in touch with more of reality, not less.
With deep listening, we bring our ourselves into relationship with the unknown. This is similar to the creative process, whether we are facing a blank canvas with a handful of paints, jotting notes for a speech on a napkin at the café, or in the scientific crowd, pondering how quantum gravity helps explain the origin of the universe. We step outside what we already know, send our inner critic on vacation, and make room for messy, confusing bits and pieces of insight to swirl and shift before connecting in new and meaningful ways.
Cultivating creative imagination has a powerful role to play at this pivotal time in human history as scientists around the world are reporting that the impacts of climate change on civilization and the natural world are accelerating. We need to cultivate a pragmatic form of hope by discovering clarity followed by empowering actions, resilient individual and systemic support with effective methods that support eco-harmonious change.
Qi Gong is an ancient form of exercise and healing that focuses on breathing concentration and energy flow. The Chinese word Qi is formally defined as “breathing/air”, but can also be used in the context of describing the relationship between matter, energy and spirit. The dictionary definition for the word “Gong” is that of achievement or results. The two words are combined to describe a method of energy cultivation.
There are many forms and styles of Qi Gong originating from different segments within Chinese society.
Dr. Steven K.H. Aung is a pioneer in the integration of western, traditional Chinese and complementary medicine. His efforts have helped to make Alberta and Canada an active centre in the field of integrated and complementary medicine. His unique approach to medicine, combined with the remarkable compassion he brings to all that he does, has made him a highly respected teacher, researcher and physician. He been a geriatric and family physician, and a traditional Chinese medical (TCM) practitioner and teacher for more than thirty years. He has taught medical Qi Gong to thousands of people around the world, and is a clinical professor in the departments of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. In 2006, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.
The idea of a concise, compelling description of ‘Somatics’ that can be communicated in the short span of an elevator ride makes good sense.
It makes good sense because, as a Somatics educator, I am often asked: “What exactly do you do?” or, “What is Somatics?” and “How does it work?”
So often, I am met by that bewildered gaze whenever I dare mention the “word”.
As a longtime yoga instructor, the elevator pitch has been much easier, if even necessary. Most people have at least some general understanding of what’s involved in the practice of yoga. Somatics, however, is different.