In my day job I work for a family-run, medium-sized education, business that is entirely dependent on the income from customers and which is undergoing a major transition, so much so that many of the staff under their professional veneer are doing their best to cope with the many uncertainties. Last week the head of administration (a bright, young lady juggling the heavy demands of her final year in her full-time study) who also handles the customer/sales enquiries) had to deal with a particularly demanding, unprofessional, and inexperienced agent whose first language was not English. She spent a total of 6 hours patiently and professionally answering all the agent's questions, explaining every detail of our courses and the conditions attached. She bent over backwards to give the agent the best possible deal for her "one" client only to have the agent "misunderstand" her explanations and repeatedly falsely accuse her of lying about the conditions - all the while trying to bargain for an even better price. All in all very unprofessional, unfair and obnoxious behaviour.
I was in the room when the severely stressed-out admin staff confided to me that she "really needed some of my Tai Chi" and she explained what had just happened. I taught her this exercise that I adapted from my daily Tai Chi standing practice one that she could easily and inconspicuously do whilst sitting at her desk. And it worked like a charm, it brought her heightened stressed-out state down and left her feeling refreshed and deeply relaxed. I was happy to have passed on some practical Tai Chi skills that solved her problem and that she can use for the rest of her life should she choose to.
The exercise is this -
- Place the soles of both feet flat on the floor and distribute the weight evenly across the soles.
- Align the spine vertically (don't slouch or lean) & raise the consciousness to the crown of the head as if suspended from 6 inches above, drop your chin slightly. Feel the weight mostly sit on the base of your spine.
- Rest the arms & palms (face down) on the desk or on your lap, maintain a slight space under the armpits so that the arms are relaxed and not bunched into your body or rigidly straight (somewhat circular shape/proportion).
- Tongue resting lightly on the upper palate and mouth closed, breathing through the nose
- Imagine you're under a warm shower and the water is turned on.
- Imagine the warm water flowing down your head.....face...neck....shoulders....arms...fingers...body, thighs, calves....right down to your feet....imagine the warm water flowing through your soles into the ground underneath your feet....
- As the warm water flows over each part of your body, you feel its warmth relaxing all your muscles and the the tension just melts away. As the water flows down through your body into the ground (can be through your feet or down the vertical axis through the base of your spine, or both) you feel the tension melting and directed into the ground.
- If your mind drifts away bring it back to this process.
- Do this 5 to 10 times depending on the quality of your visualisation or tension.
Remember practice makes perfect and I hope this works for you.
Lee Chang Tye