"Transforming Qi, I am changed deeply, expressing my eternal nature and unlimited potential." Roger Jahnke, Phase 8 Mind-focus Affirmation, The Healing Promise of Qi.
One of the new buzz phrases in learning & development is "transformational learning." Leaders are looking beyond the simple transfer of information, seeking instead to "transform" their people and thus their organizations. I get it. I first heard the phrase at a Steve Chandler seminar. More information doesn't lead to real change, to transformation. So we attend experiential workshops and listen to inspirational speakers, and some transformation does take place–as long as the participants and the organizations are ready, willing, and able to transform.
According to the Qigong masters, at the energetic level, transforming of Qi happens naturally. There's no "doing" involved, unless you consider "recognizing" as doing. This 8th Phase, "Transform Qi," is all about recognizing that transformation. In my experience, it's very much like watching ice melt into water and then evaporate into the air as steam. In all three forms, we're talking about a molecule, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, and yet this molecule changes its form from solid to liquid to vapor. As a Qigong practitioner (far from master), I have yet to recognize just what "expressing my eternal nature and unlimited potential" actually is, or even feels like. It's aspiration at this stage of my practice.
But I can imagine that coming from a place both eternal and with unlimited potential must be helpful when seeking creative solutions to problems. Bring on Phase 8! To remember this as Phase 8, I imagined arriving at my apartment door, seeing a giant 8 swivel onto its side, becoming the symbol for infinity. And I imagine myself turning into one of those toy "transformers" my little brothers used to play with. I remember these images because they are so ridiculous.
Creativity often requires entering into the ridiculous, over-exaggerated space where so much successful comedy resides. The practice of Qigong, the "standing meditations," do calm my mind, and because of the physical, tingling sensations of energy either between my palms or coursing through my body, the Qi captures my attention. Knowing the 10 phases, I can focus on whichever of them I feel will help in whatever I will be working on (or playing with) later. And I keep in mind that transforming anything can be painful, but also super energizing.
As I wrote in the song, "Daughter of Dawn" many years ago, "When the butterflies fly in formation, it's a colorful transformation." That image sticks with me when I want to transform the nervous energy that I feel before delivering a presentation or performing on stage. Bring on the "nervous" energy, the butterflies in my stomach, and let them transform into excitement, into an eager desire to connect with and share something good with the audience. That's what this phase is all about.
Qi is constantly changing, always transforming. When we focus on our intention, we can feel the change, or, as Ghandi said, we can even "be the change we want to see in the world."