QI & Me

QI & Me by Cynthia James – Spiritual Counselor, Author

Heart Rock in LakeI grew up in an African American Methodist Episcopal church. The truth is, I always felt like an alien. It felt regimented and restrictive. I felt like I was in a box that dared me to be myself. There were rules upon rules and all of them said “you are not worthy.” I remember thinking that there must be more to God than this. In my heart, I was clear that I was connected to something that I could not see. I was absolutely sure that my high intuitive nature and ability to see beyond appearances had to be part of something I did not understand. I desperately wanted to understand the prophetic nature of my dreams and those of my family members. However, no one was willing to enter into that level of conversation.

How QI Informs My Work and Personal Life

My work today is deeply rooted in the mind/body connection. I believe that everything that has happened to us is encoded in the body intelligence. That intelligence is universal and is available to support expansive living in every moment. What we believe and what has been passed down through our lineage is all in the body. Our job is to learn its language and apply universal laws and principles.

Quantum Physicists tell us that everything is contained in a quantum field and that we are made of that substance. The energy in that field can be used in positive and negative ways.

I invite my clients to do exploration into unhealed wounds, irrational beliefs and non-supportive choices. We always start with the body. Inevitably there is a place of constriction. For many it is in the heart, throat, stomach or back. Through relaxation and willingness we ask the body to teach us the “core” decisions that were made at various ages. Those decisions often become barriers to health, love and freedom. Once uncovered, we can begin to release the old paradigms and invite peace and unity into our conscious awareness.

It is my deep desire that people on our planet awaken and become aware that understanding QI is a portal to freedom. I am grateful that my need to understand led me to a powerful discovery of a universe filled with possibility. I am grateful that I am able to assist people to embrace their beauty through QI revelations.

What My Most Profound Spiritual Teachers and Experiences Taught Me About QI

In 1979, I was invited to attend a talk by a man who was a religious science minister. I was in a personal crisis, so I was willing to listen to anyone. What he said was life changing for me. I paraphrase….”There is an energy in the universe that everywhere and in everything. It is the life force of every plant, animal, man, woman and child. It is the substance of which you are made. You can use that energy to create a life of joy, abundance, creativity and love. Your mindset is the only thing in the way of your happiness.”

I sat in that room in awe. Could that be true? Could my thinking be creating the challenges in my life? I decided that I was going to, by any means necessary, embark on deep inner inquiry. The next 15 years included therapy, workshops, and coursework in Spiritual Psychology. Today, I am clear that what I was seeking was an understanding of Quintessential Intelligence.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life

I have been meditating for over 30 years. It is a daily practice that assures that I never walk out of my house in an unconscious state. My spiritual practice includes daily journaling, reading from books by conscious authors and consistent connection with “prayer” partners. My husband and I have daily rituals around gratitude and appreciation to keep us anchored in our loving.

For me, it doesn’t matter how you practice. The point is to practice something that keeps you connected to an infinite universal intelligence.

Image: ©Carl Studna

QI & Me by Lance Secretan – Advisor and Coach to Leaders, Author

Lance Secretan ImageThe sacred energy we invest in our marriages and personal relationships, such as personal growth and mutual learning, being fully present, curiosity, freshness, spiritual passion, maintaining individuality AND (paradoxically) oneness, vulnerability, intimacy, humility, empathy, devotion, love, rituals, transparency, trust, and reliability—these, when practiced with sacred energy, lead to sacred and inspiring relationships. Since everything is connected and one—it stands to reason that these examples of Quintessential Intelligence will lead to inspiring relationships anywhere—at work, with nature, with each other—even with God. The illusion of separateness gets in the way of our potential to raise our game through the creation of inspiring relationships.

How QI Informs My Work and Personal Life

After spending a lifetime as both a leadership practitioner and an advisor and coach to leaders I have learned that approaching the subject of leadership in our traditional ways may have contributed more to our current crisis of leadership than our leadership successes. Classical physics invites us to measure matter and energy in a manner familiar through observable human experience, analyzing the separate parts, and this is largely the way we explain science and technology today. We measure and teach leadership in a similar way, using these classical approaches. Without getting into too much technical detail here, we have learned that these concepts do not adequately describe the universe, and that, in reality, the newer science of quantum physics informs us that there are no separate entities—everything is connected. Indeed, the concept of “quantum entanglement” describes the phenomena in which the act of measuring one thing determines the possible quantum state of another.

The outdated approach of classical physics, and therefore “the scientific method”, is what we have been using to study leadership—as a subject consisting of separate parts—leaders, followers, organizations, contexts, goals and more. We have even succumbed to the false belief that behavior displayed and exhibited within an organization is separate from, and sometimes not even appropriate for, life outside the organization—for example, at home. But this is an illusion—everything is connected and everything is one.

What My Most Profound Spiritual Teachers and Experiences Taught Me About QI

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, to quote Sir Isaac Newton. For me, a spiritual teacher is one who turns on an internal spiritual or emotional switch—for example, Richard Dawkins who said, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” The truth is that there are only two truths: 1) We can be certain of nothing even though we pretend great wisdom, and, 2) Everything is one. The great religions and faith traditions, as well as quantum physics teach us this.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life.

For nearly 50 years I have practiced meditation. I learned Transcendental Meditation in the 1960s, then graduated to a Zen practice, and then in the 1990s I learned Primordial Sound Meditation, which I have been practicing ever since. I not only meditate daily, but when I am sitting in airport lounges, before a speech, when someone irritates me, when I’m frustrated, when I’m marveling at a sunset. As much as I can, I turn any event into a meditation. Kayaking is a meditation. So is skiing. The experience of hiking in the wilderness and observing the extraordinary gifts of nature is a meditation. Listening to a symphony, reading a poem, making love, listening to music or a great conversation, savoring a meal— all these are meditations. Appreciating the wonders of the world, the brilliance of mankind, and the love of God, are all meditations.

Life is a mediation, because life is a series of relationships and our task is to make them sacred and inspiring. The heart stone in the image above that Tricia and I found together now sits in a quiet meditation spot on one of our out of the way walking trails.

About Lance Secretan

Lance Secretan

Dr. Lance Secretan is one of the most insightful and provocative leadership teachers of our time. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist and author of 15 books about inspiration and leadership and a recent memoir A Love Story. He coaches and advises leaders globally, and guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries. Read more

QI & Me by Carl Studna, Photographer and Author

From "Click" by Carl Studna

From “Click” by Carl Studna

As a child, I found religion boring and my relationship to God extremely impersonal. The thought of an old man with a long white beard sitting on a throne telling me what’s right and wrong, mixed with thunderbolts of guilt and scorn didn’t sit well!

Entering college and throughout my twenties, I began taking workshops and classes birthed out of the human potential movement. I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation and this decade opened me to an infinite realm of possibilities that I call the nature of reality. I began to witness first hand a greater sense of personal relationship with an ever-expanding Quintessential Intelligence, one that I could open up to, or in to.

As each decade passes, I am constantly reminded that all of my essential answers and inspired visions are birthed through the radiant intelligence of QI.

How QI Informs My Work and Personal Life

I’ve been in love with the craft of photography since age fifteen. Throughout my entire adulthood, it has served as a vehicle for expression, particularly for reflecting the Quintessential Intelligence that created the awesome beauty and light of this world and its inhabitants.

Without consciously realizing it, I gradually began to raise my degree of skill, not just in the craft of photography, but in having greater compassion for my subjects. Somewhere along the path I experienced a metamorphosis and was no longer just a photographer. . .I became a revealer of light.

When I’m taking someone’s portrait it’s so much more than “Say cheese” or “Smile” and click. It’s dancing with QI. My willingness to naturally show up cultivates a relaxed, safe and enjoyable atmosphere that allows their essence to shine through. With my intuition running the show it’s playtime. And, being out of our minds allows magic to happen.

I’m absolutely clear that the key element that must be present to reflect an authentic image in every moment of the camera’s click is love. In nature, by surrendering to QI and my intuition sharpened I feel into the perfect moment to take the picture.

Some of my most fulfilling and rewarding jobs and projects have been birthed through listening to QI’s inner-directive. I’ve learned that it’s rarely about trying to figure out a problem through my mind, as that often brings frustration and stress into my life. It’s always about going within first and deepening my connection with this all-knowing and all-providing wisdom.

Without fail, whenever I give myself over to this high-level listening and honor its path, I witness a greater ease and rhythm guiding my way, and as a result, I feel lighter and more peaceful. Deep gratitude and a heightened sense of purpose give direction to my life that feels aligned and in perfect balance with nature’s ebbs and flows. Each day, I practice giving myself over to Quintessential Intelligence in a richer and more trusting way, and as I do, life’s splendor continues to ripen through every thought, feeling, word and experience.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life

In my daily practice of meditation, journaling and affirmative prayer I often feel the wise hand of Quintessential Intelligence guiding my way. The more consistently I give myself time each day for reflective stillness the more I become open and receptive to hearing and seeing the perfect insights that offer the right path for me.

About Carl Studna

Carl Studna

Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer and videographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and multi-award winning author.  Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide.  The primary theme that weaves its way through Studna’s lectures, workshops, interviews and published works is that life is a sacred journey to be cherished and embraced; awakening to the splendor that lies in life’s seemingly ordinary moment.





QI & Me by Dawn Engle, Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. of PeaceJam


Rigoberta Menchu

Since Ivan Suvanjieff and I founded PeaceJam over twenty years ago, I’ve traveled the globe working with 13 inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winners. Wherever I’ve had the honor to go, although there is a different name for Quintessential Intelligence — the spark of God in someone, their essential Buddha nature, the light of Christ in them, or the essence of their soul, Quintessential Intelligence provides the root, the foundation, for spiritual life.

What My Most Profound Spiritual Teachers and Experiences Taught Me About QI

The Maya Elders, who have taught me so much, say that each one of us is born with our own sun and moon and star, and that each one of us is here for a reason; we each have a distinct mission and destiny, and we can only live our life in balance when we understand the essential essence of who we are, and when we step up and accept the mission that is our destiny.

From the Dalai Lama, I have learned that every single one of us is the same, just a human being — and I am continually moved by the way that he looks past the “package” that each one of us has been born into. Instead, he looks directly into the eyes of every single person he meets, and sees right down to their core.

From Desmond Tutu, I have learned the importance of forgiving, because when you do not forgive, the person who carries the heaviest burden is you, yourself. Forgiving is a gift that you give to yourself. And Father Tutu also continues to remind us that you should never take yourself too seriously — that laughter is essential to the human soul … at least one good hearty belly laugh, every day.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life

I try to live my life while carrying these words of wisdom in my heart. And every morning, I try to do some simple prayers that I have been taught. If the weather permits, I sit in my garden. First I do the prayers that Rigoberta Menchu’s (pictured above) spiritual guides taught me — first a prayer of gratitude for every single blade of grass and molecule of oxygen and drop of rain, for all of the abundance that allows life to exist; then a prayer for forgiveness, for every time that I have failed, in what I have done or in what I should have done, but did not; finally, a prayer for continued abundance, abundance for me and more importantly, abundance for every single person on planet earth. I am Christian, so all of these prayers are offered up to my God. Then I finish with the Lord’s Prayer, and in dedicating the day to doing God’s will, in whatever small way that I can.

Of course, within just a few minutes of saying these prayers, I have always already fallen short, once again, because of my ego or impatience, etc. That is the time for the first big belly laugh of the day — thank you, Father Tutu! And then I go to work, doing my mission here in the world, all in my own very imperfect way.

To learn more about PeaceJam click here.

To see Dawn and Ivan’s TedTalk click here.