I was never all that keen on the 90s band Oasis but when they wrote the song ‘Roll with it’ they were on to something. Going with the flow or indeed rolling with the punches is a key part of the Tai Chi approach to training body and mind and is vital, of course, for dealing with all of life’s ups and downs. For when you resist something it creates tension.
Tension or more specifically the tension that comes from our incessant interference with natural processes, impedes movement, flow and our ability to relax and deal with life in a wholesome way.
The first thing we experiment with and consequently learn in Tai Chi is how to progressively let go of tension and resistance on a physical and mental level. This allows us to develop our awareness and facilitates the ability to move fluidly and effortlessly whilst retaining stability, balance and strength but without becoming rigid or stuck in our ways. As we begin to realise this on a basic physical level (which is quite difficult for most people-especially those who are looking for mystery or subtle energies) it naturally starts to permeate how we live our lives. This is an extremely useful skill to cultivate and comprises the first step on the Tai Chi journey.
So, for me 2016 has already had it’s fair share of ups and downs. All of my new classes are busy with great students keen to learn the art, which is quite delightful and something that makes me very happy. On the downside however, I recently had a very close brush with my own mortality when I managed to crash my car (AKA The Blue Dragon) into a tree on the Chilgrove Road one stormy Saturday morning. Fortunately, I escaped with only a few cuts and bruises and I was very lucky that my Tai Chi body structure absorbed much of the impact. Indeed, the paramedics who attended to me were very surprised at my lack of injury. I am just left with a lump of the windscreen stuck in my hand as a painful reminder….
Just to top it off the lovely new replacement car I bought (imaginatively named The Dark Blue Dragon) was promptly stolen from Brighton three days later! What can you do? After a few deep breaths I realised that material possessions, of course, just come and go like the tide and there’s nothing else to do but let go and move forwards (and sort out all the paperwork!) You just have to roll with it…