Competing Priorities and Lessons Learned

There's good news and there's bad news. Over the last year, my taiji practice has decreased significantly. By that I mean I spend less time doing forms. That's the bad news. The good news? Taiji has given me such wonderful tools for living my life that I am able to continuously apply these lessons to all sorts of situations, even when I'm not actually practicing forms. 

My job takes a lot of my time and energy. On some days, the work is so demanding that I just want to go home and decompress in a quiet people-free environment. At the beginning of these days, I typically think "oh, I'll go to class tonight!". As the day goes on, that thought recedes into the back of my mind, replaced with "boy I can't wait to go home and put my feet up". I could go to class anyway, but honestly, I know myself well enough to know what I need, when I need it, and my way of recharging is to rest quietly. I am happy when I take the time during lunch to go through the forms - those times are precious to me. I am sad some days about these circumstances, but it is what it is, for now. It won't always be this way and I look forward to returning to regular evening classes. 

What I have found is that I think about taiji a lot anyway. I think about centering, deflecting, yielding, looking for openings, flowing through rocks like water. Everything I do uses taiji principles. These principles have served me well over the years. I will never forget one of the most important things Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang said to me - "Taijiquan teaches me how to behave". 

I'm not suggesting you don't go to class. You should go to class when you can, and practice when you can. If you don't have as much time to practice as you would like, think about the principles and how to use them in your daily life. And if you practice forms a lot, and don't understand what I'm talking about in this blog, spend some time thinking about the principles that your teacher is teaching you, and open the door to a new way to behave.