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Wait until you need it and it could be too late…

By Marcus Santer

Mmmm, yummy.

I’ve just finished my early morning Qigong practice.

I was joined this morning by a Blackbird singing in a nearby tree.

The song was so beautiful I found it difficult to concentrate on my practice.

Marvellous.

And it got me thinking about the power of repetition.

Well over a decade ago I was going through a very rough patch in my life. I got so stressed out and depressed.

At one point I was convinced people were following me, going through my rubbish. And I’d walk into town to use public bins to empty rubbish out of my pocket.

Dark days.

During that time I had what I thought was a heart attack.

Fortunately a part of my brain announced it couldn’t be a heart attack because I was going numb down both sides of my body and not just my left.

I don’t know how true that is, but it helped at the time.

I got up out of the chair I was in and began pacing around.

And then I stopped.

Found a space in the room and began the Qigong form: Lifting the Sky.

Within minutes the panic attack I was having left me and I was as back to normal as I got during that time.

But I did learn a powerful lesson.

I knew the only reason I’d been able to do Lifting the Sky and gain the benefits of Qigong in that moment of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual breakdown was because I’d got quite a few months of daily practice in the bank.

If I’d have waited until I needed the benefits of Qigong, to start practicing Qigong, I’d have been in a much worse position.

It was like every time I practiced I put a £1 in my bank account.

Then when the panic attack turned up it wanted £100. And because of my daily practice I was able to cover the debt and pay it in full.

That’s the true power of daily practice, of repetition.

It builds you up, it makes you stronger.

And it’s how skill is developed.

And if you’ve been here a while, you know it’s skills that are important, not forms, not techniques.

Skillz.

And I was reminded of this last week whilst working with a private client wrestling with insomnia.

I taught her the 5 by 4 Be Here Now tool (it’s on page 52 of the ZEN+ book PDF) and she asked me when she should use it.

“As many times a day as you can.” I said.

“No, I mean should I use it when I can’t get to sleep at night?”

“If you wait until you need to use it, it’s too late. You need to build up the skill of bringing yourself back to the Here and Now when you don’t need it.” I replied.

Develop your skills in practice time.

Then when you need them for real, they’re there for you and they will take care of you.

Thank heavens for practice.

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. I had to pull the plug early on the ZEN+ pre-orders last night.

In the last hour reservations were coming through so quickly I was in danger of over subscribing.

I’m not sure why so many people waited until the very last moment to reserve a copy. But I know a lot of them missed out as a result.

So, a huge thank you to the two hundred and twenty odd dudes who pre-ordered and a shout out to the 50 ZEN+ Journal subscribers who get a copy for free as a token of my gratitude, for supporting my work every month.

Once the books arrive, I’ll let you know.