my name is Laura and I want to tell you my story on how qigong improved different aspects of my life.
I am originally from Italy but I left my home country when I was 19, going back there just to attend university some years later. I lived in different countries, can speak 5 languages and had different working experiences, ranging from being a waitress in my twenties to working for the European Commission later in my life.
From the wall to the hole
When I moved from Brussels to Berlin, I hit a wall. In my search for a position at the same level as my last professional experience, I changed several low paying jobs. Finally, I found a position as an EU project manager: it took me five years. But I was happy, the job fitted me like a glove, and I was paid decent money. I thought I arrived at a safe place, somewhere where I could only do better.
Instead, I realized the workload was barely manageable. As I am a high achiever, I really got deep into my daily tasks, finding ways to be more efficient, and thus could keep my head above water. I did it for a long while, but then I realized that there was no future there. Things were not getting better, for a reason or the other the team was constantly understaffed, I felt I had no support, and nobody had any interest in me moving forward, learning new skills or taking new tasks, because there was nobody to take the job I was doing so well.
I was in a hole and I started sinking deeper. One day, I went to the supermarket near home and I fell on the iced pavement, hitting my back and my head. I was fortunately not seriously injured, but it triggered a crying outburst as my body was rippled by waves of pain from the fall.
During the following sick leave, I thought I had to do something.
That something was starting getting up a little earlier each day to practise yin yoga. It was just 5’ a day on week-days but as I kept the constant practice, and after a while the 5’ eventually became about half an hour during the week and one hour at the weekend.
I thought I was better, as I did not get sick again in the following months and I had the impression I was cooler with the daily stress. Until I went on vacation for a couple of weeks, on a beautiful Greek island, with sunshine, an ideal place to relax and enjoy life. But I didn’t. I felt my neck and shoulders very tensed and yoga practice was not helping me enough to release the pent-up tensions and emotions I unconsciously stored in my body.
The loud neighbours at the hotel triggered an meltdown, and again, in my deep distress, I told myself that I needed to find something else. The teacher I was following for yin yoga also had qigong classes and decided to give it a try. I started to alternate yin yoga and qigong and eventually I switched completely to qigong.
The real change
And guess what happened? First of all, qigong let my emotions loose. I allowed myself to feel everything I had inside of me and looked at the reality of my professional life as it was. I had a light depression which was probably long overdue, but I always blocked it as I did not want to be perceived as weak. I took a longer sick leave to heal.
When I went back to work after a couple of months, I approached my daily life differently. Sometimes I did some qigong in the office, when for example I received the umpteenth rude e-mail. I paused and took a deep breath before reacting, and eventually I learned new strategies to avoid creating more stress for myself. At that point I had the energy I needed to face my day with no drama.
The more I practised qigong, the more energy I found for myself, energy which I did not invest blindly in my job. Instead, I looked around for new opportunities. And they came.
Since January 2020 I have a new, more fulfilling position, where I have opportunities to grow using both old and new skills. I do not dread Mondays, nor I live my week waiting for Fridays. My job is completely integrated into my life and what’s more I have the energy and motivation to do more out of my life.
During the first Covid lockdown I enrolled into a certification program and I decided to become a qigong teacher, to bring to others the benefit of this amazing practice, which by the way was a big help in keeping my mind fresh and sane under the daring circumstances.
Qigong is not a fashionable hobby for me, nor I teach it because I need a job. I am passionate about qigong because through it, I found my own self. With it, I can build a better life, a life I choose and want.
Changes are for every one
You might be doubtful, but join the one the workshops and give it a try. You can also start practising on your own with the videos I shared on my YouTube channel and Facebook page. Changes won’t happen overnight. But I can assure you that you will still feel the benefits of qigong even no matter what. This is how it started for me too.
Are you coming?