Qigong Principles In Action
Graduation Day - 2020. Whether it was a high school diploma, a 4 year college or even Doctoral degree, this year’s graduating class is different than ever before, and hopefully ever again. For every story of hope I read, there seemed to be two or three stories of hurt. Lamenting missed opportunities, dashed expectations, an important right of passage lost, forever. So terribly sad; or is it?
Consider that while I “only” graduated from high school in 1983, I truly don’t remember much about the events surrounding that particular demarcation point in my life. That is not to say it did not matter to me at the time but moreover that through the lens of time, I am able to hold a different perspective.
Maya Angelou, one of the most powerful perspective shifters of our time, whose work I deeply appreciate, once said;
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
So as I look back on my graduation, what I remember most profoundly is the people who touched my heart, supported my dreams and encouraged me to grow. I remember how I felt as I looked forward towards a yet unknown future, with curiosity, determination and certainly, trepidation.
Fast forward to May 2020 and our son Jaden’s graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can not be there and graduation related events that were not cancelled, were being transferred to an online format. Founded in 1836, Emory is rich with tradition with a plethora of celebrations, ceremonies and toasts to a job well done are planned for Seniors and their families. Fayne and Kamin (our eldest son) both also graduated from Emory so the host of celebrations were anticipated with excitement. Until they were not.
As loving parents, knowing we could not be with Jaden in person to celebrate his accomplishments, knowing that so many of the rich nearly 200 year old traditions Emory University bestows on its Seniors were cancelled, and looking at the uncertainty of his future with businesses either closed or restructuring, and school loans looming large, it would be very easy to drown in fear, worry and anxiety for our son.
However, as we teach our Qigong Principles, we also live our Qigong Principles. So the reality of COVID-19 imposed restrictions had each of us working with Grounding Energy to remain calm in the confusion of a spring break dorm closure, transition to virtual classes and uncertainty around graduation plans, employing Rising Energy to meet the challenge of rapid student relocation and new online technology for semester completion, Minding the Breath through the adversity and logistics challenges of relocation and allowing Sinking Energy to help us let go of wanting to be there for him, unmet expectations from lost opportunities and cancelled travel and celebration plans. From there we Expanded into a beautiful space of love and connection during virtual family dinners, and ad hoc (mostly Mom driven) online graduation events which encouraged Smiling Energy to flow from all our hearts. For you see, as we Explore Yin / Yang we begin to understand that life is never simply black and white, but a beautiful dance within the gray. When we truly Listen to these beautifully simple Qigong Principles, they give us the tools to remain present, calm and focused through any adversity. The pure definition of human resilience.
Emory University did an amazing job pulling together a wonderful online graduation ceremony under very difficult circumstances. We had a beautiful day of Emory driven online events via family zoom calls where we shared meals, stories & laughs, some heart centered tears of joy and a day filled with pride for our wonderful son. (A special shout out to our two other wonderful sons!)
The memories we created are different yes, but priceless in their uniqueness. I am certain Jaden will remember this precious demarcation point for many years to come. I know I will.
To celebrate the graduation of our son Jaden from Emory University with a double major in Linguistics and Engineering Sciences. (Total Nerd! Just like the rest of the family. ;-)) We put together a tribute page with a note about his graduation gift at the bottom. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PAGE