Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Art of Living: Lessons From a Tai Chi Master.


“We all have inner demons to fight. We call these demons ‘fear’, and ‘hatred’, and ‘anger’. If you don’t conquer them, then a life of a hundred years… is a tragedy. If you do, a life of a single day can be a triumph.” ~ Yip Man
I began sessions with a Tai Chi master this morning, and at the gnawing nagging request of my dearest doctor.

"Movement is so good for you," she insisted, "and you'll really like this dear old man."

My doctor is super-crafty, as evidenced by the ease of her guilt tripping ways.

And so, I went - with toes dragging deeply behind me in protest. As I walked into the room, I felt so completely out of place. The faces surrounding me were far more weathered from the years - their bodies hunched over under the advancements of age.

I nearly ran away. Why are we so darned afraid of getting old? What is it about the passing of time that strikes a cold fear through every aspect of our being?

Is it perhaps because we know we've been passing this time without ever really fully living?

Are we afraid of simply just existing?

But, not so soon after I had these thoughts did this little muppet of an old man shuffle in. 

*gah* I was stuck...

The class is intended as therapy for people with 'movement disorders' - and this old man was no exception. As he introduced himself, I learned - he also had Parkinson's.

So, I settled my mind...and opened my heart, to welcome with gratitude this brand new experience. 

And do you know what? My dears, after just a few short moments....

IT GOT WORSE!!

Everyone else was moving with such grace - like well-rehearsed dancers gliding across the stage. And me? I fumbled and strained and sniffled my way into an inconsolable mess. My face already beginning to twist into tears - I wanted so badly to get the heck out of there.
“Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape -- all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.” ~ Pema Chödrön

And sometimes, that 'addiction' can be running away.

"Don't think...let body follow spirit," he said, smiling and taking my hand...he could see in my eyes that I was right at my edge. And then he winked and walked away.

Boy, talk about a 'wax on, wax off' sort of moment - because, with those few simple words everything just sort of fell into place.

I finally understood what it meant to be healed - when we turn off our minds, we can finally tune in...

And, when the body follows spirit - it will find it's balance, as well.

Much love, and many blessings my most beautiful friends. And, here's to all of our moments standing with toes to our edge.