Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes Things Are Just A Little Out Of Focus

Sometimes when you are looking at something too hard or for too long, the image will blur and will look just a little out of focus.  Sometimes you may even catch a glimpse of something just out of the corner of your eye and not realize it was even there in the first place until that moment you see it that way.  And, sometimes, you can't actually see something unless you don't look directly at it. 

As I get deeper into the 103 form of tai chi I am learning to look at, and see, things differently.  Now I am discovering, slowly, that I don't like some of the things I see both in myself and in others.  My gut reaction to people is strong and I trust my gut reaction, and when I go against that gut feeling I have made pretty bad mistakes.  It works the same way with decisions about myself as well - when I go against my gut instinct for decisions concerning myself I usually screw up and make the wrong decision.  With tai chi, I am learning to trust the energy people put off and the energy's intent - which means I am trusting my gut more and more than I had before, and on a deeper level, as well as a wider expanse of area (although not as wide an area as I hope to be able to do one day).  In myself I am learning to trust my own energy on a more in depth level physically as well as emotionally and mentally, which is very different for me.  It is beginning to get easier for me to examine my stamina and go, "I am tired.  Am I too tired to go a little further without causing damage or pain?"  Usually I can go further, and when pain does come or if it comes I can stop now without some of the pride pushing me further until it hurts and cause damage; soreness doesn't keep me from doing the exercises the next day, only damage.  Since I have minimized the damage drastically I can see a huge development in my strength and beginning to see a huge development in my stamina.  All of this means progress.

There is also a calmness developing in learning the form, even though I am truly not very far along at all in Section One.  I am not purposely going slowly - this is just the way things are working out.  I am learning something new each week.  For example, I am now up to the point to where I was when I was forced to stop going previously to the Saturday classes and have made it passed white crane spreads wings and the first set of brush knees with a modicum of confidence.  (If the crane had been a real bird I could possibly have fried it by now it was so annoying!)  Was it the annoyance that has helped develop the calmness or the movements themselves? 

The main thing I have noticed really is how I am learning and how some of the other people are learning in class (and I can't attribute it to difference in age either).  There are people taking tai chi with me who seem to be wanting to learn the form only on their terms.  It is as if they do not have respect for the art, form, teacher, or even for learning in general.  It is as if because it is merely tai chi, it can be learned in any way and the benefits will still be the same.  One person will complain about not learning a new move, yet they do not know the form well enough to know where they are in the form to know what the name of the last move they were at to say "I am at the last brush knee in Section I and am ready for some new movements."  Another proclaimed "I am not going to learn 103 any longer, I am going back to the 16 form" and yet that person doesn't know the 16 posture form either!  And yet another person is convinced they know everything about how a movement is supposed to be and misses out on the subtleties and is in a hurry to get through the 103 posture form so they can get into the advanced classes not realizing that in order to get into the advanced classes you have to first know the 103 posture form quite well, because the advanced sections build upon the 10 principles and the 103 posture form!  Each person is missing out on so much because they want to learn tai chi on their terms instead of just wanting to learn tai chi.

I look at myself and see how much I have learned and see how much there is yet to learn with tai chi and qigong and it's immense!  Instead of looking at it and thinking, "I'm never going to learn it all" I find myself finding details that makes me go "Hm, I never thought of that before" which leads me to different questions than I had before and opens up even more knowledge.  This is a wonderful experience, one that isn't over as you learn the movements - it is just a beginning, but some of the people don't seem to comprehend this.  All tai chi is, to them, is just a set of movements.  Perhaps this will change the further they go, but Remember what I said about trusting my gut?  My gut says they aren't going to change.  They aren't going to get it no matter how far they go because all tai chi is going to be to them is just a set of movements, and perhaps terms.  I hope I am wrong. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yahoo! News Story - China's nine-day traffic jam stretches 100km - Yahoo! News

( has sent you a news article.
(Email address has not been verified.)

China's nine-day traffic jam stretches 100km - Yahoo! News

There is just something about a nine day traffic jam that makes me think seriously about Dr. Who episodes.  Can anyone remember the name of the episode where people had been in the traffic jam for so long that their entire society had developed around it?  This actually gave me the shivers!
Yahoo! News

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010


Laced with MagicHubby got me the book I wanted for my birthday!  Now I feel a huge need to hurry up and finish reading the second book in the Kate Daniels series Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) so I can start in on it!  Not only did he get me the book I wanted, but he also got me the neatest book light for reading in bed and a book mark that is actually heavy enough to hold its place in a book! 

As far as birthdays go, this one was about my favorite so far.  We hung out at Barns & Nobles for a while, which is actually where we gathered together, then walked over to TGIFridays where we had lunch, then  we went back to Barns & Nobles where we actually had coffee and dessert.  From there we went to the movies and saw The Expendables

The Expendables was an excellent movie and perfect for my birthday!  It had all of the action heroes I could have asked to see in an action movie; explosions; heroism, muscles, knives/blades, guns, and simply a testosterone filled action-packed movie that made me clap my hands, laugh out loud, and cheer for the good guys unashamedly!

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday made absolutely perfect because all of my dearest friends and my dearest husband was there with me to help me celebrate it.  I am truly a blessed woman.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Pieces and places fitting back together...?

It has taken a while, everything is slowly beginning to get its natural order back.  It feels wonderful.  Surprisingly, for the first time in ages and ages, it doesn't feel weird or out of place that things are getting back to normal and life has its flow back.  I don't feel like I don't deserve to have normalcy or that happiness is for other people.  This time the hard fought battle through depression and pain has left me with a calmness that is a little out-of-the-ordinary for me, but, at the same time, it has given me a wonderful sense of another one down

It's kind of like looking at the long miles ahead and knowing there is a place you are nearing and the end of the journey is at hand and you realize you can keep going and you are going to reach your destination.  Now I realize it isn't all about how quickly it is going to take me to get where I am going, but just getting there.  Speed bumps and road blocks and detours aside, I am quite tired of hurrying through everything.  I'm going to take my time from here on out.  The rest of what is left to me is just going to be for enjoying what has been given to me, and I think that is actually quite fair. 

This last piece, this "not hurrying" piece, was the newest piece to actually fall into place this time.  Not feeling like I am missing out on life and living was the biggest surprise I have actually come to have.  Since the pain has eased up so much and I can breathe again in a much better sense of peace, my thoughts, I've noticed, have changed to enjoying what is around me and within me because the pain that has left me (thank You God) could rip the Soul out of the body if it had stayed much longer.  It sounds melodramatic doesn't it. It sounds like a monster doesn't it.  Sort of like I was living with a monster.  Like I was living a melodramatic nightmare of pretend something...but it wasn't in the slightest.

 I know monsters are real, and sometimes you can't get away from them like you hope you can, because they live inside you, with you; but they can be defeated, but not always by you.  It takes miracles sometimes.  When they are gone, though, that is when you understand what true freedom is all about.  At the same time, everyone else around you keeps going on about their daily routines because they don't know, they have no reference point of where you have come from.  Quite honestly, this is perfectly fine, because if they had such a reference point how sad would that be? ( If you genuinely care for someone, you would never wish that sort of pain and misery on them; even if you had an enemy I am not sure you would truly wish them such pain.) Then, as it dawns slowly that the pain is truly gone for a while (because you can never accept the pain is gone forever) and the pieces of your life fall back into place, just a little differently, new truths can be seen about yourself you didn't know before.

Like, for instance, I really like historical romance novels.  I don't know if I never just admitted it to myself before out of pride or if I never really did just acknowledge it before.  I wouldn't even mind trying to write one.  Yes, dears, please don't fall off your chairs.  When I realized it I just sat still and said, "How interesting."  It really shouldn't have surprised me, since it was about me, but it did.

Another piece that has fallen into place has been knitting.  I've picked up the needles again and have begun knitting a piece I am  going to felt.  A pillow for my neck.  Yes, I could go and purchase some felt already, but it wouldn't be contoured exactly for my neck like I can make it with my own needles for my own neck.  It is going to take quite a few hours and it is going to make my hands tired, but if it helps relieve the pressure in my neck, Why not?  If it works for me, then I can write down the pattern and put it here or on the knitting blog and perhaps it can help someone else who may have the same or similar problems with their neck.

Two big pieces that came smashing into place has been tai chi and qigong.  We already know how much I love qigong, but tai chi has surprised me.  I made a decision with my tai chi:  I am not giving up on my tai chi.  I am going to continue to practice it from my chair and I am going to be the very best I can be at it from my chair.  I will never ever be able to test like Hubby and all the rest.  It used to make me sad, this truth, but it's OK now, because if I can show other people in wheelchairs and on crutches what I can do from my wheelchair and give them help, then it is worth all of the hard work I am putting into it, because as I am helping myself, perhaps I am also helping someone else.  Don't get me wrong either:  I am not a gallant soul, everything I am doing in tai chi is hard as heck for me to do because my body doesn't want to move the way the movements are meant to go; however, if I can get my body to go as close to the way as it is supposed to go, perhaps others will see how beneficial it is and how much it does help and join in its practice from chairs as well.  Or from crutches.

For the first time in my life I am actually letting myself truly get excited about a martial art.  Genuinely excited.  And, for the first time in my life there are teachers who aren't just blowing smoke up my ass or telling me beautiful fairy tales, but genuinely pushing me as hard as they are pushing the other students to learn the form and helping me adjust a movement here or there to get the same benefit of tai chi chuan from my chair.  It is remarkable how much I am learning, how my strength is growing, how my energy is growing, and how frustrated I am getting over certain moves that don't want to go into the right places and Hubby laughs and so do other students who are ahead of me because they had the same problems in the same places, except they had to worry about their feet, too!  Egad!

God was holding all of the pieces of my life so patiently, waiting for me to be able to handle it again, and when I was, added depth and flavor the likes of which I could never have dreamed of before.  This time, there is an even wider field of common ground for me and Hubby to share that is unbelievable because all of the pieces and their places came fitting back together just a little bit differently.