Over this past year I've had the experience of my last visit with an acquaintance, a long-time friend (father surrogate figure), and a close family member, all of whom were literally on their death beds. In all three cases, I noticed that I was unable to articulate my "final words" to them because I was unable to speak through the emotion. Rather than being armored against the emotion I was feeling, conversely, I felt overwhelmed and controlled by it.
Most recently, with my family member, I had a flash of insight. I noticed that I was trying to force myself to quell the feeling so I could articulate what I wanted to say. Noticing changes everything. I then thought of the Wujifa principles of relax and allow. I hoped to discover where I could allow myself to feel my sadness AND express the heartfelt words that I wanted to express. Unfortunately, I did not succeed and the best I could muster was a "Love you" and "Thank you" and then the tears poured out.
As I reflect on these experiences , I remember learning in Wujifa class years ago that I have difficulty articulating my wants and needs. I experienced this difficulty again in the emotionally charged environment of my last visit with my dying friends and family. I regret now I did not work through this problem years ago. However, what is important is that I noticed and recognized how this blockage shows up in different situations. The question now is: "What am I going to do about it?"
For those who don't understand what this has to do with internal gongfu or how my verbal-emotional block can inhibit me from developing even more physical internal connection, let me try to explain it this way. The level of subtlety to which I can feel is not bounded by artificial constructs such as emotions, body, speech, etc... If I cannot feel where the expression of intention is blocked in one area, then I will not be able to feel where the expression of intention is blocked in another area. The level to which I can feel is the level to which I can feel. My ability to feel applies equally and indiscriminately throughout my entire person.
If this is too abstract, here's a more practical example. Let's say I have the intention to punch you. If there is tension somewhere in the path between my fist and ground, this tension acts as a kind of blockage, like a log jam in a stream. In this case, the connection is not "clean" and thus, the pure expression of my intention is diluted to the extent of the blockage in the path.
In Wujifa I work on "relaxing"; discovering blockages and releasing them. This clarifies the path between the ground and my fist and clarifies the expression of my intention which increases the power that hits you. The intention to express myself can take many forms. I can have the intention to punch you. I can have the intention to articulate heartfelt words. Intention is intention. Expression is expression. Blockage is blockage. Discovering and releasing blockage purifies the expression of intention.
This is my wake-up call. I hope in some small way, it may be for you as well.
Happy practicing everyone!