Monday, December 7, 2009

Sharon Fierro - Newsletter 2009

Wellness Qigong

In the fall of 2008, The Tai Chi Center added a Saturday morning qigong class to the schedule. Elizabeth and Don offered me this wonderful opportunity and their support. This event launched my qigong teaching career. It was not the first time I found myself in the role of teacher, mentor, coach and guide. As a university faculty member and in my corporate finance career, I had fulfilled this role for many years. However, never had I been required to fully and creatively express myself in so many ways in subjects and areas so very new to me. Quickly, I realized the challenges and joys of self expression and communication with movement, words and heart in an extraordinarily open way.

Motivated by the beauty and health benefits of eastern exercise practices and this challenging teaching responsibility, I simultaneously began six months of intensive study to become certified as a personal trainer. My goal was to have an educational and practical foundation in western exercise science and nutrition to support my qigong practice/teaching and to provide custom-designed fitness programs to clients based on their health and mind/body fitness needs. I believe the qigong class experience for my students was enhanced, as the breadth and depth of my knowledge expanded and my teaching skills improved.

We have a core group of 5 committed students who have been practicing Qigong on Saturday mornings for the last year. It has been my great privilege and pleasure to see the progression of their individual and group practice. I am touched, moved and inspired by their commitment to this practice. Over the last few months, we have 5 or so new students who have also embraced the practice. Our core group welcomed the expansion of our community by extending their kindness and the generosity of spirit that is inherent in the qigong practice. Together, we are building a peaceful, healthy community, with ties to the overall Tai Chi center community, based on mutual caring, trust and respect. Internally, we have seen ourselves in each other as both students and teachers with our fears, strengths and weaknesses revealed, faced and accepted. Our separateness is dissolving as we are present to one another and as we learn, grow, heal and practice these ancient healing arts together.

In the late spring of 2009, I began to study Tai Chi. After months of resistance, a trusted moment of listening and an open heart revealed the possibilities. Are these teachings proving to be a path to truth and my life’s purpose? Is this form of self-expression and this supportive environment allowing me to be vulnerable, let go, be humble, accept, find compassion and rediscover my true nature? Am I finding my voice, creativity, passion and courage? I am challenged on so many levels; however, experiencing personal growth and feeling inspired to action, compels me to continue. I am just now beginning to feel the positive impact of this practice on my deeper understanding of myself, my relationships and my teaching of qigong.

In the fall of 2009, we sponsored Qigong workshops with Dr. Aihan Kuhn, CMD and Tai Chi and Qigong Master. The events were open to the public, as well as current qigong, tai chi and yoga students. Many of us attended the 8 Brocade Qigong workshop in anticipation of offering classes in this new form in the future. The weekend proved to be successful in building awareness and providing further education and training to The Tai Chi center teachers and students.

Looking forward to 2010, I hope to continue to foster a peaceful/healing class and personal practice. My goal, in concert with Don and Elizabeth, is to contribute significantly to the enhancement and expansion of the qigong class offerings/program. My intent is to build awareness in our community of the many benefits of the practice of qigong and tai chi through as many avenues as practical. By reaching out through the Tai Chi Center, The Tai Chi and Qigong Healing Institute and my Mindful Body Conditioning practice, I hope to expand the number of people we serve. With careful listening and attention to the voices and needs of our community, I will focus on more formal methods of information sharing and communication. Continuing education in both eastern and western exercise, wellness and spiritual practices will continue to serve as a cornerstone of my life. I look forward to sharing, giving and receiving the gifts of qigong and tai chi, while keeping a smile in my heart.

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