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  • Iklim Goksel

Mountains Are Not Barriers; They Are Portals For Making Things Happen

“Even though people fear pain, they often won’t let it go. People will often hold on to their suffering more than they will hold on to any pleasure. It is actually easier to give up pleasure than it is to give up pain. Pain and suffering are much more addictive than pleasure. Pain captivates people. Turn on the news and you will see for yourself that 70 percent of the stories are about pain and suffering. We are intrinsically attracted to fear and suffering as part of the human condition." ~ Bruce Frantzis


When Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 declared that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”, he not only appealed to the minds of an electorate but spoke to the hearts of millions of people. Roosevelt’s statement sought to transcend barriers of all kinds to instill Courage, Dignity, and Love in the everyday. His goal was to communicate how fear cripples us when we let it.


I chose Courage, Dignity, and Love as the primary themes for my Qigong and Tai Chi classes. I strongly believe in the power of these elements in setting us free from the constraints of fear in life. Leading life with the courage to love is also a life lived with dignity. And, it is only through loving ourselves that we can love others, and that takes courage. To love is one of the most beautiful and powerful feelings that we could ever experience. When we love, we should hold on to it because to love is the most dignified thing to do.


Why Qigong and Tai Chi? Because the healing arts of Qigong and Tai Chi allow us to connect with ourselves and help us stay grounded. As Paul Cavel points out,


“Qi arts are designed to systematically and progressively release bindings that we collect throughout our lives as a result of stress, illness, injury, trauma, and aging. Tai Chi and Qigong, and for that matter all internal arts, take some time and effort to learn, but the results build and exponentially multiply over time. Soft tissue techniques initially exercise the outer muscles, and they can eventually work into the deepest parts of your anatomy. As you go inside your body, layer by layer, you learn how to feel, release, open and heal all that is bound and restricted within you. In so doing, you build stamina and strengthen your body, mind and energy. Over time and with regular practice, you can manifest a body that is soft yet strong, free of restrictions and full of vitality (6).


Let’s practice Qigong and Tai Chi so that we can cultivate Courage, Dignity, and Love; foundations for a fearless and happy life. Climb your mountains and make things happen.


Cavel, Paul. The Tai Chi Space: How to Move in Tai Chi and Qigong, 2017.


Frantzis, Bruce. Tao of Letting Go: Meditation for Modern Living, 2009 (p.139).

'Qi Balls'. Aurora Ice Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska/ photo by Iklim Goksel

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