A Qi Gong Teacher's Story: How Sharon Nepe Transformed Depression Into Joy - Holden QiGong

As Qi Gong practitioners, one thing we love about the practice is how it always seems to show up for us in the way we need it the most. Whether we’re suffering from a physical health ailment, debilitating stress and anxiety, or an emotional hardship, the practice helps us to face whatever is true for ourselves in the present moment. From there, we can continue to expand its healing qualities to all parts of our being.  

For Sharon Nepe, she discovered Qi Gong during a period of deep depression. Over time, it grew to become a way of life that nourishes her wellbeing in every possible way. Through perseverance, commitment, and love of the practice, she’s been able to completely transform her outlook on the world and create a life that is meaningful, rewarding, and full of enthusiasm for the future.

A Path Of Healing

In 2010, Sharon’s husband passed away. Having been together since Sharon’s teenage years, she experienced a deep sense of loss that penetrated to the core of her being. Things that were previously important to her lost their meaning, and she entered a state of depression.

During her grieving process, a friend invited her to an exercise class. During the class, she recalls, “They did this weird thing called Qi Gong.” She went home, did some research on the Internet, and discovered Lee. She quickly ordered some of his Qi Gong training DVD’s and started to practice.

Sharon immediately saw how powerful Qi Gong was for her. She also loved Lee’s teaching style. For her, what makes Lee unique is the way in which he uses stories to share his lessons. Sharon’s mother used to read her stories as a child, and even as an adult she still feels very touched by good storytelling. One of the core lessons that was especially impactful for her was about receptivity and flow. Rather than continuing to resist against an experience that was beyond her control, Qi Gong helped her to find acceptance, peace, and even a renewed sense of joy for all that life has to offer.

Sharon soon realized that Qi Gong could nourish her in ways that medication couldn’t. It allowed her to feel empowered in her process of emotional healing, and also gave her renewed inspiration to learn and grow. As any practitioner knows, the more you practice, the greater the benefits are. It didn’t take much for Sharon to become fully convinced that Qi Gong held limitless potential. She soon became a member of Lee’s monthly subscription service and started attending many of the online workshops that Holden QiGong offers. 

At a certain point, Sharon decided that she wanted to dive in deeper. In 2017, she signed up for Lee’s tier-one online teacher training program. 

She loved the opportunity to continue learning from Lee in a fully immersive and engaging way. With a rich blend of verbal lessons and stories combined with practices that embody the wisdom of the Tao, Sharon found the online teacher training program to be invaluable in her personal Qi Gong journey. 

Sharon also loved the chance to be part of the teacher training community at Holden QiGong. Sharon lives in Auckland, New Zealand, so at the time it wasn’t feasible for her to participate in person. However, she quickly became engaged in the Facebook group and found that Holden QiGong has a wonderful way of connecting practitioners from all over the world. In addition to the shared vision celebrated within the community, she really appreciates how everyone is encouraging and supportive of one another’s journey. 

Sharon’s experience with Qi Gong empowered her in becoming a Peer Support Specialist. By also becoming a Qi Gong teacher, she is now able to teach classes as part of her job in Community Mental Health for her district health board. As a Peer Support Specialist, she works with both individuals and groups to address mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and PTSD among others. For her, Qi Gong is a powerful part of the healing process that she shares with her peers. As she explains, the practice helps people to overcome inner barriers so we can open our hearts and work with whatever energies are present within us. In addition to the wonderful benefits of Qi Gong itself, the heart-opening qualities allow Sharon to facilitate deeply nourishing and healing discussions following the practices she shares. 

Sharon also has taught weekly classes to the staff at her hospital. For Mental Health Awareness Week she will lead “Mindful Monday” to help each member of the team show up as their best possible selves at work. The practice also helps to cultivate a shared sense of community that is so important for any work environment. Another benefit is that staff who attend get to experience Qi gong and are more likely to refer people along.

Why Sharon Is Excited

 

For Sharon, Qi Gong has helped her to stop resisting against the world and say YESto life! This monumental shift in her energy has had a profound effect in all areas of her well being. During her state of depression before she discovered Qi Gong, Sharon didn’t know if she wanted to be around anymore. Nothing seemed meaningful or worth doing. Now, her outlook couldn’t possibly be more opposite. Qi Gong has given her an incessant passion for learning and growing. As she put it, “there’s just so much I want to learn and it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I want to.” Sharon has also found love again with her partner of six years, Gavin who fully supports her in her Qi gong journey. 

Another unexpected area of improvement has been her physical health. Sharon suffers from a degeneration of the discs in her lower back. It’s an extremely painful condition, and at times she has found herself writhing on the ground in excruciating agony. Qi Gong has been extremely valuable for helping her address her pain and cultivate vitality in the parts of herself that need it the most. 

Additionally, Sharon has found Qi Gong to be very effective for helping her to lose weight, which is something she’s wanted to do for a while. By practicing Qi Gong and allowing the lessons to guide her diet, she has lost forty-five pounds in the last three months. Not only does she feel better, but she also has much more energy, both physically and emotionally. 

Lastly, Sharon is excited to continue learning and teaching Qi Gong, which she intends to do in a big way! This October, Sharon will be traveling from New Zealand to California to embark on her tier-two teacher training journey. It will be her first overseas trip in forty-two years, and she’s happy to be able to share it with her friend and fellow Qi Gong practitioner, Emily Drysdale of Bliss Calm Qi Gong in Christchurch, New Zealand who challenged her to take the trip.  

After completing her tier-two teacher training, Sharon intends to start working on her own Qi Gong business called Rhythm of Life Qi Gong. She came up with that name because Qi Gong helped her to let go of her previous state of grief and depression, and find her true rhythm for life which is positive and full of joy. She plans to start working on her business part-time, and then transition into it full-time. The path before her feels both exciting and scary, but Sharon knows that she’s doing the right thing.

At Holden QiGong, we feel blessed and inspired to have Sharon in our “Qi Tribe,” and we can’t wait to be part of her continued journey. From all of us here at Holden QiGong, we wish her nothing but the best and look forward to seeing her in Santa Cruz this fall! 

To connect with Sharon, check out her Facebook page by searching: Rhythm of Life Qi Gong. 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the transformative experience of Teacher Training that Sharon went through, please click on the banner below.

 

 
By Ian Drogin