Let’s play a game… Think of one of your Personal Pivotal Needs (PPNs). From the list you can choose: Legacy, Spiritual Growth, Autonomy, Liberty, Helping Others, Recognition for Creative Expression and True Health. Now each of these PPNs may manifest externally as something you have. My question to you, though, is can you internally create the feeling of it right here, right now? Would you like to?
I was in a room filled with martial arts students attending a program called the “Gathering of the Circle” which was nicknamed, “The Intensive”. The name was well deserved. We trained for about ten hours a day for five straight days in the art of Jiulong Baguazhang (JBZ). JBZ is a traditional Chinese martial art that incorporates self defense, health practices and philosophy. It is also classified as an ‘internal art’ which means that we use a lot of visualization and imagery to impact how the mind leads the body.
“Xin”, pronounced “shen” means heart, mind or attitude. In this art there are 8 “attitudes” or xin that we create depending on the intention. It takes practice to create the real sensation of each attitude but with practice comes skill and, whether for health exercises or for self defense, the quality of the movement of the artist will differ tremendously depending on if they are adopting the attitude of fire or water or mountain, etc.
My teacher was guiding the class through an exercise in the large open room. We were walking freely around the room as our instructor gave us cues to help us to understand the attitude of “wind”.
“Don’t try to move like wind… Use your mind… Be wind. Intention!” He would say. “Once your mind makes it real your body will respond accordingly.”
It was a challenge to use the imagination in this way; to visualize ones self as an element of nature. As a kid it probably would have been the easiest thing in the world but as adults we had to draw on memories that we had of wind and how it felt and then internalize that… become that. I thought and thought as we performed the exercise. My thoughts were intellectual. My movements were wooden.
Then it happened… It clicked, even if only for a few moments. I was no longer thinking about wind. I could feel it inside of me. There was a new flow to my movements. There was a feeling of being free. There was a relaxed grace… and it all felt incredible. I didn’t know how to move in that free, flowing, graceful way, but my body did… as soon as it was given the right “xin”.
The magic started when I stopped thinking about the word and started feeling. This was a real breakthrough moment. It takes practice to be able to do this on demand but it shows a very important principle…
Casually saying or thinking something isn’t what makes it real for your mind or body.
Feeling is what makes it real!
So how does this relate to our personal development? We can apply the same principle to all of the things that we are supposed to be feeling in the Master Key course. When you see a blue rectangle or a red circle don’t just ‘think’ of the PPN… cause yourself to feel it. When you say “do it now” conjure up a feeling of productivity and determination. When you read your DMP, feel the emotions described in every line. Feel it down to your bones… Make it real. As you practice it becomes more and more automatic. It also becomes more and more powerful.
It is truly wonderful that we, as people, can develop this ability to evoke feelings at will. Whether you choose to feel like the wind or to intensify your DMP or to feel your PPNs, my wish for you is that you feel deeply and completely, with all of your being, and that this feeling opens doors for you like you never imagined.