Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Peaceful Warrior

I really love my Tai Chi class, and am already getting sad that the end of the first phase is so quickly approaching. There is a plethora of things that attract me to this practice, but I think it's supreme seduction is the alignment with my belief that gentleness is indeed our greatest strength.

If you were to peek through the windows of my class, you would see a bunch of undulating bodies, aesthetically practicing and perfecting the every movement involved of the Yang style Tai Chi 6-form. Yet, when inside, you could hear the stories behind the motion, and know that every gesture involved has intent. If you know anything about me, you realize I am a huge fan of movement, stories and intent. All of them. No wonder this discipline has me so intrigued.

Physically, I realize what how great the benefit I have received in the gift of balance. I am not exaggerating when I admit that in the entire time that I have known myself, the perpetual truth is the assortment of red, purple and yellow bruises that have adorned my legs. Appearing so often so that I cannot even tell you where they came from. Forever sliding into thin door frames, and toppling over furniture, grace has never been a noun I could call my own. For the first time ever, and in just 8 short weeks, my legs are completely barren of the palette of those colorful and bitter caustics. And, in the icy season, no less.

From a self-defense standpoint, I am more confident than I ever have been. I have learned that in aiding an attacker with their own veracity will bring them down much faster than I. I feel like I can walk the earth without fear that I will be too weak to face the forces that were once a threat to my independence.

Emotionally, I am present. I realize is something that I have not been able to claim for a while. In Tai Chi, the physical works with the emotional in ways that are so simple, they almost go unnoticed. That is, until you notice them like a slap in the face.

Flowing water never becomes stagnant, a swinging hinge never rusts.

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