Yoga by the Pool

My Qi Journey 

My Qi Journey 

I was born in the grim reality of communist Poland. From a very sensitive child, I turned into a shy, rebellious, unhappy teenager trying to find my way in the post-communist struggling country. All that time is a blur for me now, but true joy and happiness were quite rare in my world.


The one good thing I remember from that time was being passionate about fitness, nutrition and health. 


On January 1, 2000 I had a serious accident and the right side of my back was injured with a deep laceration. I lost so much blood that the ER doctors debated whether it was too late to operate on me. In the end I survived. I recuperated on my own fairly quickly but I gave up all my fitness aspirations due to lingering health issues from the accident.


That incident was a wakeup call. It made me want to live and live to the fullest. No doctor ever mentioned anything about therapy, healing that trauma, proper nutrition or simple rest. A year later, a weird pain in my abdomen appeared and I spent 6 more months in and out of hospitals. Eventually I had to have yet another surgery.


Instead of reflecting and healing, I simply moved on and continued my life, but my body started a downward spiral into undiagnosable health issues. The next few years were filled with getting sick frequently, constant pain in my body, overall fatigue, depressive moods and lots of doctors’ appointments.


I didn’t help the situation by not taking care of myself, going out, studying and working. Now I understand how the location of my scars affected my energy and how my behavior contributed to Qi depletion. But back then I was obsessed with living to the fullest before I died, and I expected to die soon.


I traveled quite a bit and tried my best to enjoy life in my own way while continuously feeling ill. 


Through a chain of improbable events and lots of effort on my end, I received a dream offer for an internship in a Public Relations agency in Manhattan in 2006. That is how I arrived in New York City. I loved the energy of the city and was excited to plunge into this diverse and overabundant spirit of NYC, but I still struggled with low immune system, overall fatigue, and multiple body pains. Soon I ended up being constantly sick.


My wellness guru friend saw my condition and decided to take me under his wing. We started with nutrition. I learned to enjoy food, and transitioned into a person who pays a lot of attention into what I put into my body. Next, we explored the world of supplements. He then tried to advise me on my overactive, constantly worried, stressed mind but at that time I was not ready for such a shift in my overall attitude. Instead I worked and played hard and tried to establish my life in this brutal yet amazing NYC jungle. While overall I was slowly getting stronger, I was plagued by various old injuries, frequent cold sores and eczema. Neck and back pain were my everyday companions and they were soon joined by mysterious knee pain that left me unable to walk. Doctors were not clear what it was. Nothing was helping.


Then my friend who studied acupuncture advised I try Chinese Medicine. That was 2009 and that is when my official Qi journey began. For two years western medicine was not able to figure out my knees issues, while after three months of acupuncture treatments the pain almost disappeared. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been my primary treatment since then, and have helped me with subsequent issues including sciatica, extreme back pain, long-term plantar fasciitis, inefficient immune system, eczema and insomnia. 


In 2012 when I saw a natural shift in my health and improved blood results,


I decided to explore the wellness world deeper.


I studied for a year at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. I was fascinated by all the nutrition theories and health modalities. It also opened my eyes to question the western medical approach    to health and healing. It all went to good use and I worked as a health coach for  a couple of years. The major roadblocks for my clients were limited time and lack of opportunity to relax and let their bodies heal. I was not that far off from their circumstances myself - having a full-time job, working on my business and being involved in a few wellness projects. I was very frustrated that I was not able to help my clients.


In 2015 my workaholism and extreme lifestyle led to major burnout. I decided to take a break from health coaching and only continue my regular work.


At that time, I started a new job at NYU Langone. I was plagued by insomnia, fatigue, and another series of body injuries. I was desperate to feel normal…


I decided to try that weird sounding thing Qigong that my dear acupuncturist friend had been trying to get me into. After the first class I felt light, energized and positive and I was hooked. I not only continued attending Qigong lessons but I incorporated it into my life and felt immediate benefits – I got stronger, more centered and healthier, and my weird pains started disappearing. I also started practicing Taichi.


Around the same time, I traveled for the first time to Asia and was stunned by the extremely difficult situation of people there but impressed by the overall mental peace they were able to maintain. That was a foreign concept to my overactive and self-critical mind and Type A personality. I also started implementing the teachings of the late Louise Hay and Wayne Dwyer. Studying Taoism, Buddhism and modern age spiritual wellness gurus helped me understand the influence of my thoughts on my health. I knew I needed to explore that path further. I decided to study Qigong and the ancient healing arts and explore philosophy of the Tao and Chinese Medicine.


Several years later, I have arrived at a better physical and emotional condition than ever. I am not perfect and have tough days but I found a balance and peace. I have a successful, demanding career in NYC but I am able to maintain my health and well-being by living my Tao lifestyle.


This is not my ultimate destination; this is a journey and I am grateful to have gotten to this point. I am not obsessed with proving anything, doing it all and burning myself out.


I found my Tao way and look forward to seeing where it will take me.

© 2019 by CityTao.