Last week, I saw Anna Deveare Smith perform at UNC-Chapel Hill. She presented an evening of stories about grace. Smith’s performance included ‘The Chi Piece’ inspired by an interview with Ann Richards (Former Governor of Texas) before she died of esophageal cancer in 2006. Ann Richards had a beautiful and unique understanding of Chi (the life force inside each one of us). I listened to ‘The Chi Piece’ when I got home and typed up an excerpt for you. Read it with your best Texas accent. Here is Ann Richards:
“I have two choices every day when I get up. I can feel good or I can feel bad. A whole lot of what I feel is in my brain. If I think it is going to be a great day, it’s a better day. What I think has a whole lot to do with how I feel…That’s your life force. It’s your Chi.”
Ann was using up her Chi by being with too many people. Her energy worker told her she was giving away her chi. “You’ve got to save your chi,” the energy worker said. “You tell people ‘I cannot talk to you right now. You are using up my Chi.’ ”
The collective Ann and Anna’s advice about Chi arrived at just the right time in my life. I’ve been tired the past couple of days and feeling sorry for myself. Instead of moping any further, I am going to practice saving my Chi. I don’t know if I can tell other people they are “using up my Chi.” I don’t think I can say such a thing without a Texas accent and bigger hair than I have. It is, however, my job to learn from Ann Richards and take care of my chi. No one can give me more or take away my Chi. That is my job.
What I hope you will understand from this week’s lesson in time management is how you spend your time and who you spend it with matters. Your Chi is depending on you.