Joanne Gardocki in Writers Apr 10, 2017 · 1 min read · 1.9K

Focusing the Dragon

Focusing the DragonThere is one more thing for the list of joys returning with the spring. Along with bulbs, babies, neighbors, robins, Easter and blue skies, there is one more treasured resurrection on my list now. The dragon boats are back in the water. The team is reunited; we are home again.

The dragon climbed right into my heart and made a home there last year, along with the team, coaches, youth and the community at the park. There are muddy foot prints and treasures down to my bones and deep in my soul. There is nothing that quite compares to the embrace of being part of a team. There is nothing that prepared me for the nagging emptiness over the last five months, waiting for the dragon to return.

For one who plays the catalyst and wears many hats, one who feels like they have resume bullet points testifying to moving the immoveable, or worse, herding cats, the experience of paddling in a dragon boat can be the ultimate freedom. There is nothing like the sweet simplicity of being told where to sit and having only one job: paddle in time. The synchronized movement is active meditation releasing everything except the present moment and the drive to paddle. During races, there is such diamond hard focus of mind, body and breath; it is beyond any experience I can name.

Like a gong sounding, it is time to gather up the equipment and organize for practice. It is time to leave the shreds of off season workouts and return to our boat. It is time to focus the dragon on bringing our best to the team.

There is truth in the duality, as an individual, there is very little need for me to “win” but I will give all I have striving, pushing, digging deep for our team to win. There is a new place within, filled with the quiet calm of potential, like a coiled spring that exists because of that dragon. We are more than we were and we are more than the sum of individuals in a boat, as well.

I could prattle on about the benefits of exercise but one needs to experience hard muscle where once there was none. Words are empty compared to the experience of a sharp, creative mind and eyes brightly focused on living adventure. Stories are just that, stories, until one becomes part of the team and the dragon and the story.

Cherish the spring and the vital energy of new beginnings. Open your lists of treasures that unfold with the energy flowing at this time of year. Embrace opportunities for clearing the old and building new growth. Who knows where the future will take you. Look sharp for the opportunities around the next corner. Reach for the growth that is beyond your comfort zone. As for me, I know not where I shall be called but I do know I will be riding a dragon.


Joanne Gardocki Jun 14, 2017 · #14

#13 Thank you, Bill.

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Nice 👍👍

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Joanne Gardocki Apr 24, 2017 · #12

#10 Thank you for the challenge, @Deb 🐝 Helfrich, and the suggestion of David Berceli's work and TRE. I will do some research. This may be a perfect project for the beBee Collaborative platform opening soon. @Leckey Harrison, thank you for the comment. I would like to learn more.

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Leckey Harrison Apr 23, 2017 · #11

#10 Hi Deb! Thanks!

On our island we have the natives and their canoes, and a ton of kayakers. I don't know of any team work canoeing, such as exists in other places. I know San Diego has some.

The re-patterning of a traumatized body by exercise is a good thing. It needs to find that healthy sweet spot. Activity is good for burning off high levels of adrenaline, it definitely helps with social engagement (safety externally as well as internally), and a good cardiovascular workout is good for neural network support. On top of a practice of releasing trauma and stress via tremoring, this could be a very powerful tool for changing a life.

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Deb Helfrich Apr 23, 2017 · #10

#9 You know what, @Joanne Gardocki - I'd like to challenge you to write that specific post in detail with the citations and your way of making dragon-boating seem so enriching. Plus some intro sites for those curious around the world.

Instinctively, I would have to agree that this is exactly the sort of activity, rhthmic movement in groups that can move someone past trauma, both in that it practices the skills of trust and dependency and conjoining that with a rather unique movement that the body can habitualize as safe.

Have you run across the work of David Berceli and TRE? Our resident TRE practitioner, @Leckey Harrison may be interested in this as he lives on an island.....

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Joanne Gardocki Apr 23, 2017 · #9

Thank you, @Deb 🐝 Helfrich, for your kind words, thank you for sharing how the story touched you. Perhaps you will even try dragon boating.

I was just reading a report, Four Concrete Steps for Working with Trauma with Bessel van der Kolk, MD and Ruth Buczynski, PhD. Rhythmic activities that put one in harmony with group movement is step 4. It would be wonderful if this story could reach those who struggle with trauma and help healing.

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Deb Helfrich Apr 23, 2017 · #8

This is a gem of a buzz, @Joanne Gardocki, I'll just pick a few lines that pierced my attention:

"The synchronized movement is active meditation releasing everything except the present moment and the drive to paddle"

"There is a new place within, filled with the quiet calm of potential, like a coiled spring that exists because of that dragon. We are more than we were and we are more than the sum of individuals in a boat, as well."

"Words are empty compared to the experience of a sharp, creative mind and eyes brightly focused on living adventure."

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Joanne Gardocki Apr 21, 2017 · #7

Thank you, for the kind words and encouragement. There is so much to enjoy reading all the thoughts and shares @Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee and @🐝 Fatima G. Williams here on beBee; what an amazing community. Please forgive me, I am so new to beBee I haven't quite figured out how to communicate with everyone. I am deeply grateful for the warm welcome and support.

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