Five Key Skills for Raising Emotional Intelligence

 

Five Key Skills for Raising Emotional Intelligence

When it comes to happiness and success in life, emotional intelligence (EQ) matters just as much as intellectual ability (IQ). Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at work, and achieve your career and personal goals. Learn more about why emotional intelligence is so important and how you can boost your own EQ by mastering five core skills.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and diffuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.

If you have a high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.

Emotional intelligence consists of four attributes:

  • Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
  • Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  • Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Why is emotional intelligence (EQ) so important?

As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence or IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. IQ can help you get into college but it’s EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions of sitting your final exams.

Emotional intelligence affects:

  • Your performance at work. Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require EQ testing before hiring.
  • Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your stress levels, it can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
  • Your mental health. Uncontrolled stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand and manage your emotions, you’ll also be open to mood swings, while an inability to form strong relationships can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
  • Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.

How to raise your emotional intelligence

All information to the brain comes through our senses and when this information is overwhelmingly stressful or emotional, instinct will take over and our ability to act will be limited to the flight, fight, or flee response. Therefore, to have access to the wide range of choices and make good decisions, we need to be able to bring our emotions into balance at will.

Memory is also strongly linked to emotion. By learning to use the emotional part of your brain as well as the rational, you’ll not only expand your range of choices when it comes to responding to a new event, you’ll also factor emotional memory into your decision-making. This will help prevent you from continually repeating earlier mistakes.

To improve your emotional intelligence—and your decision-making abilities—you need to understand and control the emotional side of your brain. This is done by developing five key skills. By mastering the first two skills, you’ll find skills 3, 4, and 5 much easier to learn.

Developing emotional intelligence through five key skills:

Emotional intelligence consists of five key skills, each building on the last:

  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 1: The ability to quickly reduce stress.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 2: The ability to recognize and manage your emotions.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 3: The ability to connect with others using nonverbal communication.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 4: The ability to use humor and play to deal with challenges.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 5: The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.

How to learn the five key skills of emotional intelligence

The five skills of emotional intelligence can be learned by anyone, at any time. But there is a difference between learning about emotional intelligence and applying that knowledge to your life. Just because you know you should do something doesn’t mean you will—especially when you become overwhelmed by stress, which can hijack your best intentions.

In order to permanently change behavior in ways that stand up under pressure, you need to learn how to take advantage of the powerful emotional parts of the brain that remain active and accessible even in times of stress. This means that you can’t simply read about emotional intelligence in order to master it. You have to experience and practice the skills in your everyday life.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 1: Rapidly reduce stress

High levels of stress can overwhelm the mind and body, getting in the way of your ability to accurately “read” a situation, hear what someone else is saying, be aware of your own feelings and needs, and communicate clearly.

Being able to quickly calm yourself down and diffuse stress helps you stay balanced, focused, and in control–no matter what challenges you face or how stressful a situation becomes.

Stress busting: functioning well in the heat of the moment

Develop your stress busting skills by working through the following three steps:

  • Realize when you’re stressed – The first step to reducing stress is recognizing what stress feels like. How does your body feel when you’re stressed? Are your muscles or stomach tight or sore? Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow? Being aware of your physical response to stress will help regulate tension when it occurs.
  • Identify your stress response – Everyone reacts differently to stress. If you tend to become angry or agitated under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down. If you tend to become depressed or withdrawn, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating. If you tend to freeze—speeding up in some ways while slowing down in others—you need stress relief activities that provide both comfort and stimulation.
  • Discover the stress-busting techniques that work for you – The best way to reduce stress quickly is by engaging one or more of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing and/or energizing to you. For example, if you’re a visual person you can relieve stress by surrounding yourself with uplifting images. If you respond more to sound, you may find a wind chime, a favorite piece of music, or the sound of a water fountain helps to quickly reduce your stress levels.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 2: Emotional awareness

Being able to connect to your emotions—having a moment-to-moment awareness of your emotions and how they influence your thoughts and actions—is the key to understanding yourself and others.

Many people are disconnected from their emotions–especially strong core emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy. This may be the result of negative childhood experiences that taught you to try to shut off your feelings. But although we can distort, deny, or numb our feelings, we can’t eliminate them. They’re still there, whether we’re aware of them or not. Unfortunately, without emotional awareness, we are unable to fully understand our own motivations and needs, or to communicate effectively with others.

What kind of a relationship do you have with your emotions?

  • Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
  • Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
  • Do you experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
  • Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?
  • Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or turned off. In order to be emotionally healthy and emotionally intelligent, you must reconnect to your core emotions, accept them, and become comfortable with them.

Developing emotional awareness

Emotional awareness can be learned at any time of life. If you haven’t learned how to manage stress, it’s important to do so first. When you can manage stress, you’ll feel more comfortable reconnecting to strong or unpleasant emotions and changing the way you experience and respond to your feelings.

You can develop your emotional awareness by learning the mindfulness meditation in Helpguide’s free Bring Your Life into Balance toolkit that helps you to get in touch with difficult emotions and manage uncomfortable feelings. See Next Step below for more details.

Emotional intelligence skill (EQ) 3: Nonverbal communication

Being a good communicator requires more than just verbal skills. Often, what you say is less important than how you say it or the other nonverbal signals you send out—the gestures you make, the way you sit, how fast or how loud you talk, how close you stand, how much eye contact you make. In order to hold the attention of others and build connection and trust, you need to be aware of and in control of this body language. You also need to be able to accurately read and respond to the nonverbal cues that other people send you.

These messages don’t stop when someone stops speaking. Even when you’re silent, you’re still communicating nonverbally. Think about what you are transmitting as well, and if what you say matches what you feel. If you insist “I’m fine”, while clenching your teeth and looking away, your body is clearly signaling the opposite. Your nonverbal messages can produce a sense of interest, trust, excitement, and desire for connection—or they can generate fear, confusion, distrust, and disinterest.

Tips for improving nonverbal communication

Successful nonverbal communication depends on your ability to manage stress, recognize your own emotions, and understand the signals you’re sending and receiving. When communicating:

  • Focus on the other person. If you are planning what you’re going to say next, daydreaming, or thinking about something else, you are almost certain to miss nonverbal cues and other subtleties in the conversation.
  • Make eye contact. Eye contact can communicate interest, maintain the flow of a conversation, and help gauge the other person’s response.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues you’re sending and receiving, such as facial expression, tone of voice, posture and gestures, touch, and the timing and pace of the conversation.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 4: Use humor and play to deal with challenges

Humor, laughter, and play are natural antidotes to life’s difficulties. They lighten your burdens and help you keep things in perspective. A good hearty laugh reduces stress, elevates mood, and brings your nervous system back into balance.

Playful communication broadens your emotional intelligence and helps you:

  • Take hardships in stride. By allowing you to view your frustrations and disappointments from new perspectives, laughter and play enable you to survive annoyances, hard times, and setbacks.
  • Smooth over differences. Using gentle humor often helps you say things that might be otherwise difficult to express without creating a flap.
  • Simultaneously relax and energize yourself. Playful communication relieves fatigue and relaxes your body, which allows you to recharge and accomplish more.
  • Become more creative. When you loosen up, you free yourself of rigid ways of thinking and being, allowing you to get creative and see things in new ways.

How to develop playful communication:

It’s never too late to develop and embrace your playful, humorous side.

  • Try setting aside regular, quality playtime. The more you joke, play, and laugh—the easier it becomes.
  • Find enjoyable activities that loosen you up and help you embrace your playful nature.
  • Practice by playing with animals, babies, young children, and outgoing people who appreciate playful banter.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) skill 5: Resolve conflict positively

Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in relationships. Two people can’t possibly have the same needs, opinions, and expectations at all times. However, that needn’t be a bad thing. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen trust between people. When conflict isn’t perceived as threatening or punishing, it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.

The ability to manage conflicts in a positive, trust-building way is supported by the previous four skills of emotional intelligence. Once you know how to manage stress, stay emotionally present and aware, communicate nonverbally, and use humor and play, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotionally-charged situations and catch and defuse many issues before they escalate.

Tips for resolving conflict in a trust-building way:

  • Stay focused in the present. When you are not holding on to old hurts and resentments, you can recognize the reality of a current situation and view it as a new opportunity for resolving old feelings about conflicts.
  • Choose your arguments. Arguments take time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is not.
  • Forgive. Other people’s hurtful behavior is in the past. To resolve conflict, you need to give up the urge to punish or seek revenge.
  • End conflicts that can’t be resolved. It takes two people to keep an argument going. You can choose to disengage from a conflict, even if you still disagree.

Article Source: http://www.helpguide.org

Grandmaster Wang, Zi-Ping (1881-1973)

Grandmaster Wang, Zi-Ping (1881-1973)

“His deep-set eyes were radiant, always shining. In addition, his long silver beard flowed over his chest like a shimmering waterfall.” —Grace Xiaogao, grandaughter.

Wang, Zi-Ping was born in 1881, during the unsettling time of the last Chinese empire.  He started his Wushu training at age six and became an expert in many styles of Wushu.  He was well versed in all the major weapons, in qinna, shuaijiao, free fighting, hard qigong, soft qigong, light body techniques and many more.  He was acclaimed as a well rounded martial artist.  At the same time, he was also a famous expert in traumatology.  He combined his adept knowledge of qinna with his bone setting skills.  He developed what came to be a well known system of treatment for sport and Wushu related injuries in Northern China. Wang, Zi-Ping was the head of the Shaolin College at the Central Guoshu Institute.  He was the vice chairman of the China Wushu Association, the highest Wushu organization in China.  He had many other titles and responsibilities, including being the advisor to major hospitals in China.  Wang, Zi-Ping lived until he was 93 years old and on in 1973.

Wang, Zi-Ping was born in the Hebei Province, in a town called Cang, also known as Cangzhou.  In ancient times, Cangzhou was a very isolated area.  During the dryer seasons, Cangzhou would be like a dry desert.  During the wet seasons, the water from the uncontrollable Yellow River would flood the entire country even Hough it was almost 200 kilometers away.  Eventuallly, a canal was built, that ran right through Cangzhou.  This was because Cangzhou was midway between the Beijing and the Yellow River.

In the later part of the 18800’s, because Cangzhou was next to the ancient canal, it became a well known port.  What really made Cangzhou famous was the fact that there was someone that practiced Wushu in every family in Cangzhou.  In the martial arts community, Cangzhou was nicknamed the “Wushu Nest”.  Throughout history, one generation after another, there have been stories about famous martial artists from this area.

Wang, Zi-Ping was born in this town which was composed predominantly of the minority people of the Hui ethnicity.  Most of the Hui people were of the Muslim faith.  It was only logical that many of the Muslim children would go to the mosque for free schooling.  This was especially so for the Muslim families that were unable to send their children to the expensive schools.  As a consequence, many of the children were also well versed in Arabic!  Wang, Zi-Ping grew up in a strict Muslim home and strict martial environment.  There he became an exceptional scholar and martial artist.

Both Wang, Zi-Ping’s grandfather and his father were well known martial arts experts.  It is ironic that Wang, Zi-Ping’s father initially did not want him to practice Wushu.  His reasons were that he believed his son was not physically developed enough for his age and that studying books and business skills were viewed as being more important and suitable for him.  Wang, Zi-Ping’s father felt that his family had always practiced Wushu from generation to generation and they had always just gotten by.  He wanted his son to be able to focus on another trade to become prosperous.

The incredible skills Wang, Zi-Ping observed from his father and grandfather, demonstrated time after time, were fascinating to him and became deeply rooted in the young boy’s mind.  He wanted to be just like them!  Even though his father resisted teaching him, he was not discouraged.  With the support of his loving mother, he defied his father’s wishes and trained secretly.  It was his strong will and tenacity that drove him to become an incredible artist.

At age six, when his father initially refused to teach him Wushu, young Wang, Zi-Ping went to the outskirts of the village without anyone knowing.  He dug a hole in the ground and began imitating the jumping training he observed his father and his father’s students do.  He jumped over the hole, then in and out of the hole.  He was determined to be a great martial artist.

It took his worried mother several hours before locating him.  With tears in her eyes, she held the young Zi-Ping in her arms and with a loving and encouraging voice, she said to him, “Good boy.  If you want to train, you just go ahead and train.  I will keep some food for you.  But, you must have perseverance and not ‘have the head of the tiger and the tail of the snake’.  I believe you will become a great martial artist.”  With the support of his mother, Wang, Zi-Ping trained day and night.  As he grew, he dug the hole deeper and wider.  Within a few years, he was able to jump over ten feet forward and eight feet back from a standing position and he could easily jump over high fences.

As Wang, Zi-Ping grew older, he took what he had learned and understood to heart.  He realized that the masters of the older generation were successful because they included the training of Beidougong and Luishuigong.  Beidougong and Lushuigong were not specific training methods.  Rather, they implied training times.  Beidou, literally means the Big Dipper, implying the night time when the stars come out, a time to train your Wushu.  Lushi, literally means the morning dew, implying the dawn, which is also time to train your Wushu. In addition to personal instruction from his father, Wang, Zi-Ping trained everyday by himself during the early evening and dawn, with only the stars and the dew as his companions.

As Wang, Zi-Ping grew, his determination to reach the peak of Wushu continued to grow as well.  He set a very demanding training regimen for himself.  He would get down on his hands in a push-up position, half crawling and half hopping, on his hands and feet for nearly 3 kilometers to a quiet place to train.  The quiet place was the woods next to the neighboring Ma villagers’ graveyard!

Wang, Z-Ping knew that the training of martial arts included, bravery, strength, attainment, then technique.  The graveyard provided the perfect place to train.  There was hardly anyone there during the day, not to mention at night.  The woods and the graveyard were his perfect training room, complete with all natural training equipment. 

On the way to the graveyard, there was a river.  He would swim with weights to develop his endurance and strength, as well as , move huge boulders around in the water to develop his rooting.  When he arrived at the graveyard, he would greet to the stars.  When night noises attempted to interrupt his training, he would welcome the visiting spirits as his training companions.  To go back home, he would again get in the push-up position and half crawling and half hopping on his hands and feet go all the way back home.

Earlier in his training, when he arrived back home, his father would have locked the entrance to the courtyard, indicating his disapproval of his disobedience to his wishes.  Wang, Zi-Ping would have to climb over the high fence to get back into the house.  Over time, he was able to jump right over the high fence with ease.  When he got inside the fence, he would glide smoothly in the dark to the special hiding place where his mother had placed a few pieces of food for him.  Then he would slip into his room and lie on the beams above his bed.  He would sleep on the beam to develop his balance sensitivity while sleeping.  A few hours later, it would be dawn, he would get up and start his training routine all over again.

By the time he was sixteen, Wang, Zi-Ping was already known for the incredible strength he had developed from his training.  Later on, he would be nicknamed the King of Thousand Pounds with Spiritual Strength  Through his hard work he developed an amazing strength that he was able to use at will.  He could be hard or soft in his applications:  he could jump high and far;  and he  utilized ti, da, shuai, and na at will.  One of the most authoritative Chinese Wushu historians, the late Tang Haowrote in the Grand View of Chinese Matial Arts, “Wang, Zi-Ping is an outstanding person from Cangzhou.  He inherited his skills from his family.  He is an expert in Baji, Pigau, Xingyi, Taii, Chaquan, Huaquan, Hongquan, and Paoquan… He can lift over one thousand pounds of weights and therefore was better known as a Thousand Pound strong man, more than an expert in Wushu.  In the 8th year of the republic (1918), he defeated a foreign strong man who claimed to be the world’s strongest… I had the chance to exchange techniques with him during  our duty as judges in national competitions.  Just saying Wang, Zi-Ping is a strong man is an understatement…..”   

Wang, Z-Ping was born in the later part of the decaying Qing Dynasty.  He survived two Chinese civil wars and World War II.  He lived during a time when many nations were exploiting China.  He stood out in those turbulent times not just as a strong man, not just as a martial arts expert, but he was also a well-known patriot.  Time after time, he defeated foreign challengers in many official and unofficial challenges.

Wang, Zi-Ping’s patriotism and Wushu ability quickly spread all over China.  In 1928, when the Central Guoshu Institute was formed, Wang, Zi-Ping was invited to become the head of the Shaolin Division.

Metaphysics and Human Possibility

“If an electron can be at two places at one time, why can’t we?” This is an exciting proposition, and it reminds me of a story my Pakcik told me about his experience in his younger days.

It happened when he was in Mecca for the Muslim pilgrimage, over three decades ago. He was there with his late father, but had left his wife and children back home in Kuala Lumpur.

 

One day he met an elderly Spiritual Teacher, who invited him home and gave him daily lessons on religion, and on healing. When he met the Teacher, he was alone, and was always the only one with the Teacher at the latter’s home during the lessons. So, one day, he decided to bring his father.

 

To his amazement, he could not even find the house that he had been going to every day. The house had actually disappeared! On the next day, he had no difficulty at all finding the house when he went alone for his lessons.

 

On one occasion, when he was missing his wife so much, the Teacher asked him whether he would like to be home with them for a while. He jumped at the offer. He was asked to close his eyes and hold the Teacher’s hands while the latter recited certain verses in supplication. Then when he was asked to open his eyes, he found himself standing in the middle of the main hall of his house in Taman Ibu Kota, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur!

 

His wife was busy making cookies and their young children were playing around her. But he could not speak to them, and they could not see him or sense his presence. He was allowed to stay for as long as he desired, and when he was satisfied, he found himself in front of the Teacher again.

 

Many years later, back in Malaysia, he came across a book about Malay Muslim Teachers and discovered from the descriptions and drawings that his teacher was Shaykh Daud al-Fatani (from Pattani, which is now a province in Thailand), who had died over 100 years ago.

 

My Teacher also told me a similar story, except that this time he was physically transposed and everyone could see him. This happened over two decades ago when his own Teacher was alive and they were in a city in Pakistan.

 

One day he asked the elder Teacher whether it was possible to travel to another place in an instant, as he had heard and read so much about it. The elder Teacher replied in the affirmative, and asked him if he would like to experience it. He of course accepted the offer. He was asked to walk straight through the wall of the room they were in. When he tried, he hurt his face when he banged it against the wall.

 

Next, the elder Teacher held his hand and asked him to close his eyes and they smoothly walked through the wall together. When he opened his eyes, he was doing the tawaf (circumbulating) around the Kaabah in Mecca. He was physically there, jostling among the thousands of people doing the tawaf. Several weeks later, back in Pakistan, a neighbour who said that he was behind my Teacher during the tawaf, returned his (my Teacher’s) pen which he had dropped but could not retrieve while doing the ritual circumbulation. Not only was my Teacher physically transposed to Mecca, there was proof because the neighbour brought back his pen via the usual physical way.

 

What is Metaphysics?

By Dr. Amir Farid Isahak

Metaphysics is the science and philosophy relating to the transcendent, or reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses. It investigates and tries to explain the supernatural and the abstract, just as conventional science (and physics is one branch of it) investigates and tries to explain nature and natural phenomena. However, metaphysics is more spiritual and philosophical than scientific.

Quantum physicists (scientists who study the nature and behaviour of atoms and their components, and the forces that govern them) have long known that certain fundamental particles (the smallest components of all physical matter) actually have a dual existence. They can exist either as energy waves, or as particulate matter, and that the expectation (mind) of the observer influences the behaviour of these energy/particle entities.

For the people described above to be transposed, there must have been some change in the energy/matter behaviour of their physical bodies. Depending on the energy form that the transposition involves, the transposed form may or may not be in the form that is detectable by our physical senses (or even scientific instruments). The realm of spirits, energy, and transposition of matter are exciting subjects that can only be fathomed if we accept that there is existence beyond what science knows.

In other words, where physics ends, metaphysics begins.

Electrons and healing

Electrons are the fundamental particles which surround the nucleus of an atom. They travel so fast that their position at any one time cannot be determined. The paths they traverse are described as electron clouds, and the electron particles themselves seem to be at many places at one time. The energy of the atom determines the level or distance that the electrons orbit from the central nucleus. But unlike the orbits of moons and planets, their orbital planes always change, and it is easier to visualise their orbital shells rather than orbital planes.

Energy and electrons basically determine the behaviour of atoms, and are involved intimately in how our cells survive and function. Health and disease ultimately can be traced to the cellular and biochemical levels, and a good understanding of these levels will help us tremendously in our quest to resist and recover from diseases.

We now know that electrons play very important roles in the workings of free radicals and antioxidants, both of which are crucial in our understanding of health, ageing, chronic diseases and cancers. Electron flow is essential in the production of electricity, and in all things electronic. Low-current electricity is the basis for many healing gadgets, some of which I have discussed in previous articles. Electronic medicine is an area that is fast gaining popularity.

Qi = quantum energy

In trying to understand qi and its healing effects, scientific tests have been carried out. But the complete understanding of qi has been elusive, because qi appears to be scientific as well as unscientific. It behaves like some of the electromagnetic energy forms (for example, infrared and infrasound); it behaves like the forces that hold sub-nuclear fundamental particles together (for example, gluon); defies physical laws (by being intelligent); and seems to have memory and emotions. Trying to understand qi requires a quantum leap from conventional science.

Qi is not only energy, but a lot more. Just like the saying about Tao: if you know it, it is not Tao. So it is at the moment with qi. If you can fully describe it, it is not qi!

And just as physicists discovered that the energy/particle nature of the smallest units of matter is determined by the observer, the nature of qi is also determined by the master. The Qigong master who understands most the variabilities and capabilities of qi will most likely be able to utilise more of the potential of qi in healing, and in many other areas.

Likewise, practitioners of other healing arts which involve energy or esoteric elements would be more effective if they understand metaphysics. Aromatherapy, aura healing, crystal healing, flower remedies, homoeopathy, phytobiophysics, vibrational therapy, and the whole gamut of complementary therapies can all benefit from a better understanding of metaphysics.

Automatic qigong

When automatic qigong is demonstrated, my students often asked if I had summoned spirits to do the movements that ensue. To the uninitiated, it could easily seem so, for when qi is summoned, it becomes a force of power, bravery, fearlessness and determination. When qi is summoned for healing, it becomes a force of compassion, empathy, gentleness and softness.

It can also be harnessed as a force of peace and wisdom. The Jedi Masters of the Star Wars hexalogy are the best examples of masters who use the Force for self-defence, peace and wisdom. May the Force, Peace and Wisdom be with you, too.