Stories based on Ilchi Lee's book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, are the basis of a new social media contest hosted by ChangeYourEnergy.com. The Live 120 Years Book Story Fest awards $100 Gift Certificates for ChangeYourEnergy.com to the Most Inspiring/Touching, Most Creative, Most Funny, and Most Liked stories posted on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #120storyfest. A Grand Prize of a $200 ChangeYourEnergy.com Gift Certificate will also be awarded.
ChangeYourEnergy.com, a site founded by Ilchi Lee as an online educational platform, created the contest to celebrate stories of how the book has influenced readers' lives for the better and to inspire more people to take up the challenge of deciding to live 120 years.
All of the entries will be displayed on the contest tab on the ChangeYourEnergy Facebook page, where anyone can vote on their favorites once a day. Winners will be chosen by the ChangeYourEnergy judges after the contest ends on August 10, 2018.
To learn more about the contest, go here to the announcement on ChangeYourEnergy.com.
When you are low on energy, it may be because you did not sleep or eat well enough. But it also may be because you've become unplugged from your power source.
We all have a connection to the source of life energy. It's within us and all around us, and it's always on. This energy comes from heaven and the earth. Our lives exist and are maintained by the circulation of heavenly and earthly energy in our bodies. I call this energy LifeParticles. The circulation and exchange of LifeParticles is the essence of our lives.
When your connection to the energy source is weakened, or when energy is not flowing smoothly throughout your body, you feel run down. Not only that, you may feel moody and short on self-confidence or passion for life.
One way to strengthen your connection to the life energy source is by consciously connecting to the natural environment. We are all part of nature; our essence is the same. Making a connection to the nature outside of us increases and stabilizes our connection to the nature within. We make that connection through energy, and we take in energy through food, through the energy points on the surface of our body, and through our breath.
Try this tree breathing meditation when you need to recharge. Through it, you will realize that trees, the earth, and even all of humanity, are one.
Go outside, somewhere with trees. If that's not possible in your current situation, then imagine a tree standing before you. Look for a tree that pulls on your heart and stand facing it. First, greet the tree as if it is an old friend you've gone to visit.
As you breathe in front of the tree, imagine the oxygen that tree gives off entering your body with your breath, and the carbon dioxide you exhale returning to the tree. Supply your body with energy, continuing to inhale the fresh oxygen from the tree. Pure life energy will cleanse your body.
The tree's life moves into you and your life into the tree. The tree is putting down roots deep into the earth. Keep breathing, imagining the flow of LifeParticles cycling from the earth to the tree, from the tree to you, from you back to the tree, and then to the earth.
The LifeParticles and soul of the earth are delivered to you through the oxygen and life energy given off by the tree. You and the tree are breathing in the same space. You're communing on a deep level. Who knows how many LifeParticles are exchanged between us and the trees? We are connected with life in this way.
Listen to the message the tree is giving you. The tree is telling us: "I am this tree and the earth and everything in the universe. I am you and humanity. If you know this, then respect and love all things the way you do me."
Everyone has the sense and ability to commune with nature this way, but often we haven't used it. When that sense revives, you can commune with the soul of the flowers, the trees, and the earth. Your own energy, your own soul, will revive as well.
In the month of June, many Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi centers in the United States, which teach a style of yoga that Ilchi Lee developed, held community events called Healthy Living events. These events contributed to the Earth Citizens Organization's SEED for Health national campaign and were based on Ilchi Lee's book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation.
The twenty-three events included talks by Body & Brain instructors and other health professionals about healthy living tips and guided exercises that the audience participated in. Many also had vendors with health information, services like massage, chakra readings, and aura readings, and fun such as face painting and raffles. Performances rounded out the events, demonstrating tai chi forms and inspirational music. Copies of I've Decided to Live 120 Years were included in the entrance fees for many of the events. Some Body & Brain centers also raised money at the events to donate to local charities.
Almost 2,000 people attended the Healthy Living events and learned simple ways to manage their SEED: Stress, Exercise, Emotions, and Diet . . . the keys to a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Some of the attendees included local government officials such as New Mexico State Senator Linda Lopez and New Mexico State Representative Linda Trujillo and their families, Greenburgh, New York Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, and Mayor of Oradell, New Jersey Dianne Dido.
The non-profit ECO began the SEED for Health campaign as a way to empower people and communities to take care of their health naturally. According to ECO, the SEED for Health campaign "proposes to take back our natural right to health, get connected in the spirit of care, and share wisdom, tips and resources to get naturally healthier together." ECO suggests that small, simple actions are enough to plant the seeds of health: reducing stress, exercising more, changing emotions from negative to positive, and eating a balanced and modest diet.
Body & Brain Yoga centers chose to distribute Ilchi Lee's book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years, as part of this campaign because the book's philosophy and practical tips for living 120 years feed your SEED. In it, “Ilchi lays out how the development of self-reliance, meaning, compassion, connectedness to nature, physical fitness, and healthy diet are all essential ingredients to a healthy, fulfilling life.” writes Dr. Emeran Mayer, bestsellng author of The Mind-Gut Connection.
Many Body & Brain members donated copies of the book to ECO and are helping to distribute them to individuals and community non-profit and governmental organizations related to healthy living. Hundreds of books have been donated to date.
Here are some highlights from the events.
It's winter here in New Zealand, which is where I spend a lot of my time when I'm not traveling to explore or give lectures and workshops. The weather is a little cool, and although not strictly necessary, sometimes I light a fire in the wood stove here and meditate, moving with the flow of the energy I feel. For, in lighting the flames, I learn and feel many things.
For instance, kindling the fire is easy to do with some degree of training, but maintaining the flames rising from the logs requires putting a new log on the fire at a set time. It requires ongoing care and attention. If the fire goes out, using the remaining embers to rekindle the flame is also important work. Rolling up a newspaper and sticking it into the fire, blowing on the embers, reviving them, and adding more kindling seems to be enough.
But there are times when, looking back, you'll find that the kindling has burned up and the fire has gone out. It hadn't ignited completely. You have to keep checking until the kindling is fully alight, until the flames burn, rising high above the wood. And once every two hours, you have to check on it, putting another log on the fire, confirming that it's still burning. Only then will warm temperatures be maintained all night long.
The process of keeping a fire alive is the same as that of working toward a goal. To achieve a goal, you have to give it energy. You have to keep watch over it, checking your progress. You also have to take action for it regularly and consistently, or else any momentum you have for achieving it will dissipate. If it looks like you're not making any progress, you need to work harder to revive it.
In the same way, you can maintain the passion you feel for your goal, as well as the physical strength you need to achieve it. Regularly and mindfully exercising your body and mind is necessary. I normally do one minute of exercise every hour while focusing on my body, especially my breath. In one minute, I am able to recharge my energy and send more oxygen to my brain, feeding the physical flames of my body. Naturally the fiery passion in my heart renews as my pulse speeds up. I also reconnect with my spirit and revive the values and dreams that give my life meaning.
Just as I eat food at regular intervals, I also consistently feed myself positive messages through the words in my mind and the media I consume. Through positive and empowering information, I keep my mind light and bright. We all need to watch ourselves carefully and tend to our minds so that we don't get stuck in the darkness of victim consciousness and guilt, but instead change our energy and take every opportunity to break free of our habits.
An ignited fire soon goes out if left alone. A dead fire is hard to rekindle. Endless devotion and management are needed to rekindle the flame in your brain, to keep it burning until you achieve your goal. In other words, you need love—love for yourself, love for what you will create, love for all. With love and care, providence will manifest.
But this takes courage. You need courage to keep the fire burning and not give up hope, even when the fire burns out. Guard against selfishness, arrogance, laziness, fogginess, stagnation, egotism, and discrimination. Rather than being an obstacle to your goals and going against providence, choose to be the kindling for the blaze that will power your goals. Be someone who is bold and confident with a bright, shining soul, igniting the flames yourself, keeping them burning.
Though your body may suffer from the demands of the challenges you take on, your soul will grow lighter. Though your ego is in anguish, your soul will tremble, vibrating, shedding tears of joy. Live such a life. Live that way for your own sake.
All human beings have a key allowing them to feel inner peace, empowering them to create peace in life and the world. That key is their brain, which is the greatest gift given to humanity. A peaceful brain makes a peaceful life and a peaceful world.
The world has so much strife and confrontation now because it has so many squabbling, confrontational brains. The quality and quantity of information in a person's brain control a one’s life and determine whether there is peace in the world. To have a peaceful brain, we need to have peaceful information in it.
The antonym of peace is not war; it's selfishness. People's brains lack peace because they are so often full of the desire to control and possess and the need to satisfy selfish longings. While selfishness is a basic human tendency, there is hope for peace, because human brains are not artificial constructs. They are works of nature, and nature is not selfish. It does not try to control or possess.
Always underlying our selfish desires are our natural Hongik instinct and conscience. Our Hongik instinct is the innate goodwill toward all others and the caring mind and heart we all have inside us. But how can we access this instinct, regardless of the challenges or conflicts we may face?
Of all the lifeforms existing on the planet, humans alone are capable of asking themselves, "Who am I?" Their quest for the answers to this question takes them deep within themselves—the only place these answers reside. At the end of their journey, they encounter their true peaceful nature and meet the divinity that exists in their brains.
By divinity, I mean our brains' capacity for creativity. All of us inherited the capacity for creation from the Creator, and we also inherited the desire to do good for all people, all creation—the Hongik spirit.
When we’ve discovered our divinity and our true nature, our conscience, we’ve discovered our source of peace. We can see past our selfish desires and negative thoughts. Then we have greater capacity to choose peaceful thoughts and actions. The power to choose is part of our creative power.
Once the brain is freed this way, liberated from negative information and oppressive values, we realize that existence itself is health, happiness, and peace. We come to understand that we don't need to rely on others or institutions for health, happiness, and peace. We are confident that we have them within, whole and complete. And we wake up to the understanding that all life existing on the planet is one, having come from a single root. We are one with the earth, one with the cosmos. This is the ultimate enlightenment. We realize through the divinity in our brain that we are a cosmic, universal being.
The Brain Education method I developed is designed to guide people to the peace in their brain, to all of these realizations. I call the people who have experienced the peace in their brain and the oneness of all beings Earth Citizens. They are people who use their brains creatively, having mastered them through Brain Education.
And through their creation, the peace they discovered in their brain can become peace throughout the earth. We can truly do great things when hearts concerned for all come together.
On June 15, 2001, the first anniversary of the inter-Korean summit of 2000, approximately 12,000 Earth Citizens (what I called Earth Humans then) came together in Seoul, South Korea for the First New Millennium World Peace and Humanity Conference. As part of the conference, we created and recited the Earth Citizen Declaration. Every June 15th since that day has been Earth Citizen Day.
I hope the number of people declaring themselves Earth Citizens continues to grow and reach 100 million. Then we will have reached a tipping point of Earth Citizens on the planet, and Earth Citizen values can become commonplace around the world.
As a responsible Earth Citizen, I agree to develop body, mind and spirit to get healthier naturally and become self-reliant.
As an honorable Earth Citizen, I agree to cultivate the highest human virtues and greatness of human spirit.
As a caring Earth Citizen, I agree to work with fellow Earth Citizens to create a peaceful, sustainable world.
To make this dream come true, I started the Earth Citizen Movement and founded the non-profit Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) to move the movement forward. You can learn more about ECO at EarthCitizens.org, where you can also take the Earth Citizen pledge and offer your support.