By Barbara Homyk
Sometimes we don’t know just how much we can handle until we are pushed all the way to our limit. And it’s at times like these that Mind Chi can change from an interesting idea to a life saver. I discovered this recently when my work life went from stressful to unbearable. In the past, I’d handled setbacks by devouring chocolate chip cookies or experimenting with a new recipe. But this past March, after facing two major family crises and three grueling back-to-back work projects in less than a year, when I thought that the pressure of work couldn’t get any worse, I was given an unsatisfactory performance review, the first I had ever received. I was devastated. This time, the cookies just wouldn’t pull me out of the slump. I felt as though I had “Failure” stamped across my forehead. I knew in my heart that I didn’t deserve the bad rating and I tried to dispute it. But fighting for your cause, especially when you’re not being heard, can take so much out of you, as I soon learned.
Fortunately for me, just days before receiving the bad performance review, I had attended the U.S. Memory Championship where Richard Israel introduced Mind Chi. Desperate to find something to stop the destructive, negative thoughts, on my drive to work I started using the breathing technique that Richard had described. I felt a little better. I would find myself in terrible downward spirals of self-talk so I tried the Mind Chi BEAT (an acronym for Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts). When I felt as though the world was against me and I couldn’t get anyone to listen and take my side, using BEAT, I would pull myself back and make a conscious decision how I wanted to feel and think. Although I only knew what Richard had discussed in the short presentation, I’d skimmed the book briefly and I wasn’t completely following the eight steps of Mind Chi, the pieces I used got me through some very dark days. I would be driving to work before daybreak, thinking that the world would never be bright again but then I started counting my breaths and practicing BEAT and I made it through.
A couple of months later I finally took the time to thoroughly read the first part of the book and commit to the 28 days of Mind Chi Basic. Having finished that successfully, I’ve developed a Mind Chi Plan. I’ve already taken off some of the chocolate chip cookie weight, I’m walking regularly and I’ve started to enjoy living my life the way I always wanted to live. My first Mind Chi Plan is all about living as I choose but as soon as I’m confidently set in that, I can’t wait to start tuning my professional skills. The demands at work are already easier to handle just using the Mind Chi Basic skills but I’m developing plans for some major changes and next I want to work on brushing up my interviewing skills and then networking and …
Mind Chi gave me the strength to reach within myself and fight what I considered an injustice. This week I learned that my performance review had been reversed. And although it feels good to have that past wrong cleared up, it doesn’t matter much to me because regardless of the outcome, I can look toward a bright future which I choose and make possible through my plans and deliberate actions. This difficult experience drove me to explore and use Mind Chi and for that I am truly grateful.
When I first saw the Mind Chi book I questioned what eight minutes a day could accomplish and I was puzzled about how helpful a tool could be when many of the pages of the book sported a little cartoon character. What I have learned is that Mind Chi is a blending of proven methods spiced up with some newer ideas, combined with a little fun and the result is a simple eight minute program that has given me a whole new, and much fuller life.