Don’t take it (and yourself) too serious
We talked a lot about principles and how we learn in Tai Chi, martial arts and beyond. Now here’s my most important lesson: Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing! Don’t take yourself and the art that you’re practicing too serious.
This is not your work. You choose to come every single time you go to class or practice on your own. You invest a lot of time and energy. You might as well enjoy it and have fun.
Take it easy, there is no one who judges you – unless you let them. This is not your work. There is no goal that you need to achieve, there is no deadline. Relax, let go, open your mind for what presents itself and enjoy the ride!
Laugh about yourself as often as you can. And if you have a teacher who is deadly serious and cannot laugh about (or admit) his own mistakes – run as fast as you can.
“This is not your work. You might as well smile and enjoy what you’re doing!”
Alfons’ regular reminder in class
Send a silent smile to yourself
When you practice Tai Chi, don’t just go through the motions of the form. Use Tai Chi to generate and direct positive energy to yourself and the people training with you.
Smile and then send that smile to yourself and to the different parts of your body that you are working with. Send a smile to your lungs as you inhale and be mindful of the air streaming into your lungs. Send a smile to your heart and your inner organs. Send a smile to your skin as you brush over it. Be mindful in what you do and then engage your mind for healing.
Always be gentle and nice to yourself. In Tai Chi we don’t forcefully push our limits. We discover our boundaries and then gently tap against them. Over time they will widen and become limitless. We don’t need to break our body on the way.
Gently stretch. Ask your mind and your awareness to follow what your body is doing. Send a smile to your heart, your lungs and your inner organs and thank them from the work they are doing for you!
“Send a silent smile to your heart!”