The Baby Bowl

I think this is a Qigong post. It is about keeping present in the body, calm in the heart and focused in mind.

SuperBad I

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year. Actually, I’ve only watched it once in my life. Three years ago the regional professional football team where I live was in the Superbowl. It was the first time the Seattle Seahawks were on the Big Stage. Some three decades of hope in the Seattle area was about to be harvested and there was a lot of excitement bubbling up hereabouts. I’m not much of sports fan in general, though I do keep up with what is going on in the sports world. My main personal interest in sports is an appreciation of the expression of physical skill and artistry, and appreciating the accomplishment of personal goals. Yet it seemed like a rare opportunity to experience something special. So I arranged to watched the big game and be hip. This was in February, 2006.

When the Seahawks played in Superbowl of some Roman numeral, I watched the whole game and much of the extraneous commentary and commercials. It was painful day and tired evening. This was the first football game I had watched in years and I hated the experience. Sitting on an easy chair, stomach in knots, I drank too much, ate too much and ached in my heart way, way too much. There is enough heartache in life without voluntarily putting myself through more.
Afterward I vowed not to watch any title game the next year—no matter how a Seattle team plays. The pain in my heart and ire in my voice, the sub-civilized growls, were not worth it to me.
I forgot my vow, and did watch one or two important Seahawk’s games. They weren’t pleasant for me either.

Excitement Injures the Heart

In the notions of Chinese Medicine and Qigong healing, too much excitement, mania, or elation are hard on the health of the heart. By over-stimulating the heart, you tend to create more heart problems, shorten the breath, and foster anxiety. In my journal notes of that day , I wrote:
“I woke many times in the night after the game, in a sleeping fight. I kept trying to change the outcome of the game in drowsy half-consciousness and couldn’t settle down. My heart raced, my mind rearranged and tried to recreate a better outcome to the lost game.”
The restless sleep and strange dreams are sure signs of heart energy distress.


What is a fan to do?
If you do get heart-excited and want to come back to earth, here are some suggestions:
Take a slow walk. Notice the natural environment. Swing your arms as you perambulate in a natural rhythm, arms opposite to the legs. Breathe in the fresh air.
Stand up and shake the body for several minutes. Let tension, stress, and thoughts shake into the ground. Relax your muscles. Get out of your head and feel. (Don’t do this shaking if you aren’t too foodful or boozeful. If you are foodful, let the food digest a while before moving with vigor. If you are boozeful, sleep it off.)
Breathe deep abdominal breaths. Inhale into the belly. Exhale, intending that tensions from the heart sink to the lower belly.

My Weekend Plans

This past Saturday someone asked me if I was going somewhere to watch the Super Bowl. Actually no. I had a workshop scheduled. Instead of the wild ride of the contesting powers, I was going to teach some principles about helping babies heal.

I am not against football. I loved playing it in Junior High and High School (despite the collisionary injuries.) I admire and enjoy watching the high level athleticism that good American-style football players posses. A fantastic twisting run, perfect spiral pass, or jumping arms-extended catch are beautiful to me. I even subscribe to sporting publications to participate in the dreams that professional sports encourage. I like reading about people pursuing their dreams and accomplishing goals. I enjoy good writing—and there are many talented sports writers.

But I find that watching sports with any care about who wins or does well makes me jumpy and ornery and nervous and usually aggrieved when “my” team doesn’t win. Even if they do win, I’m nervous about the outcome while it is happening; and that sets me off my game: The projects, plans and creative joys in my life.

I didn’t plan to watch the mega-game this past Sunday, or pine for it. I had no desire to root against the team that beat the Seahawks three years ago (with the conniving of the refs, as is the belief in the Pacific Northwest.) Nor did I  much care about rooting for the underdog team with the likable quarterback who might make it into the Hall of Fame if he wins this game. I would rather stay calm and on course for my own life.

Baby Bowl Sunday

Instead of watching the Superbowl on Sunday, I hosted a workshop. In the baby bowl, instead of delivering trauma through high speed collisions, we removed trauma. I taught therapists some approaches to gently engaging infants in ways that they naturally begin to let go of tensions in their soft tissues and internal organs. We were able to watch and feel relaxation in ourselves as the structure of the babies’ bodies realigned, bringing greater ease and contentment.

Seven practitioners of touch therapies came to the workshop. It was an introduction to the process of healing babies. As it turned out, all seven attendees, and the 3 parents who brought their babies, were women. Was this the Superbowl Sunday effect, no men there but me?


At the end of the four-hour workshop, I felt content and at ease, happy with my work in the workshop and feeling good about the connections with the babies and the adults there. The rest of my day rolled along, humming. I had a clear focus  and followed my inner promptings. I actually ended up getting some house chores done that were needed, brought some firewood up from the barn and worked on some business tasks—all without emotional strain or mental forcing.

Has anyone heard who won the game?

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