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The right thing
If a child said that they did not want to brush their teeth, flush the toilet or go to school, a parent might gently persuade the child to 'do the right thing'. As an adult, we often have the luxury of determining for ourselves what we want to do. This is not always a good thing.
We go to work, not necessarily because we want to but because we need the money in order to survive. Mood, choice, wishful thinking do not come into it. We need the money.
May your wishes come true
Adults often act out of whims, boredom, restlessness... rather than out of necessity. Gratification and entertainment are common motivations for action. Mood becomes a factor.
Health, fitness and wellbeing are usually not seen as being a priority until a major incident occurs such as a heart attack or a persistent bad back. This unexpected obstacle may lead to action.
A person may briefly think more closely about their wellbeing. Usually though, no real change occurs and the individual simply resumes life as though nothing adverse had taken place.
People seldom eat well and rarely exercise in a healthy, systematic way. Why not? They simply do not feel like it.
Eating nutritious food requires a degree of effort. Undertaking an exercise regime entails making notable lifestyle changes. It is far easier to do nothing...
The danger with listening to whims and moods (when it comes to fitness, health and wellbeing) is that life continues regardless. You age. Your body deteriorates. Health problems get worse.
An individual can ignore a bad back, yet the problem will not go away. It will just get gradually worse.
Paul Atreides: My father sent you to test me.
Music ... then?
Gurney Halleck: No music. I'm packing this for the crossing. Shield practice.
Paul Atreides: Shield practice? Gurney, I thought we had practice this morning. I'm not in the mood.
Gurney Halleck: Not in the mood?! Mood's a thing for cattle and love play, not fighting.
Paul Atreides: I'm sorry Gurney.
Gurney Halleck: Not sorry enough.
A new way
Tai chi was designed to be trained every day regardless of mood. The best time to train is shortly after you get out of bed. Even half-asleep, you can work through most of your qigong and be onto the Long Yang form before you realise it.
Habits make life easy
Over time, this habit of getting up and getting on with the practice become deeply ingrained. Like going to work. Like brushing your teeth. Like flushing the toilet after using it.
Awake & alive
Maintaining a healthy body, settled emotions and a clear mind should not be relegated to an afterthought. You are alive now. You use your body, mind and emotions every waking second of the day.
Tai chi offers the opportunity to optimise the experience of living. Rather than slouch, slump and stumble, you can step nimbly and skilfully with excellent poise and grace. Your body is no longer a sack of meat, it has become a responsive, spontaneous vehicle for self-expression.
Once tai chi is seen as being as important as work, hygiene, happiness and food, your attitude towards training changes. The art is embraced. You set aside the time necessary to practice the skills, to relish the insights and foster on-going growth and development.
Mood becomes irrelevant.
18 April 1995
Last updated 16 June 2023