ChiLiving and Quality of Life

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Your Quality of Life Reflects what You Value

If there is health in the soul, there will be beauty in the person; If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the home; If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation; If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.     –Chinese Proverb

People often ask Katherine and I, “Why did you move to Asheville?” The answer is easy – quality of life. For us, that meant: friendly, open-minded people, a reasonable cost of living, easy access to gorgeous nature, a great school for our daughter, a slower pace of life and, most of all, a place with which our family could personally and energetically resonate.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was a necessary decision, because, bottom line, we wanted a higher quality of life.

How do you define quality of life for yourself? I recently heard a lecturer say that the choices we make represent what we value most. What do you value most? And, if you had more of what you value, would you have a higher quality of life?

The ChiLiving message is to create the highest quality results from your efforts, all your activities, everything you do, whether you’re running a half marathon or running for fitness, mall walking to keep active in cold winter months or cooking dinner for your family. ChiRunning and ChiWalking focus on quality, effortless movement in a relaxed running technique and relaxed walking technique. As you learn to be mindful in these running and walking activities, the lessons learned permeate body, mind and spirit and transfer into the quality of your whole life.

As you think about what you want from the New Year, know that every choice you make affects the quality of your life. There are three categories of choices (or responses) we all make every day:

1. Choices that degrade our quality of life, that lead to imbalance or stagnation (downward spiral of chi)
2. Choices that sustain our quality of life, that maintain a healthy balance (natural flow of chi)
3. Choices that improve our quality of life, increase health, move us to a higher level of energy and self awareness (upward spiral of chi)

There is a lot of information about how to make your goals a reality but what is often missing is how to choose the goals that are really going to improve the quality of your life. You may complete your marathon but did it improve the quality of how you feel on a daily basis? You may get a fast food bargain meal, but did the food give you good, efficient energy?

Many people shoot themselves in the foot by forgetting that the best way to hit a target is:
Ready (make a wise choice)
Aim (get aligned with your intention)
Fire (move forward with mindful certainty)

Fire…Aim…Ready is all backwards and it’s the reason most resolutions and goals are not fulfilled or accomplished.

Thought and intention in any one of the following areas could have a big impact on your quality of life in the coming year. Write down examples of what your options may be in each area and then choose your mindful goals for the year:

Quality in your physical exercise – too little, harmful, excessive or health sustaining and health promoting
Quality in the food you eat – processed, low nutrient, disease-producing, or fresh, slow, healthy, energy building
Quality in the use of your mind – negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions vs. productive, positive thoughts and feelings
Quality in relationships – isolation and confrontation or seeing yourself as part of something greater
Quality of your intentions – reacting to life or knowing what you are doing, why, and acting in full integrity

Knowing that more, faster, bigger is not always the most enriching outcome, begs the question, “What can I aim for and achieve that will give me a deep sense of satisfaction?” The answer is not what, but how. How you move, how you listen, how you think. It is the quality of energy that you put into what you do that determines the quality of your life.



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