This past weekend, I attended a two-day tai chi workshop organized by the International Taoist Tai Chi Society (“the Society”) in New York City. Tai Chi is an internal art. Often, not much is visible on the outside, but a lot is happening on the inside of the body. As I’ve been studying this ancient system for the last eight years, every time there is something new to discover. Which is good and “bad” at the same time; good because it is interesting all the time and “bad” because it requires being open and reinventing how my body performs the moves all the time.
And here is the catch. As much as most of us know that change is unavoidable, we actually do not like changes so much. Imagine practicing a certain move for several years just to be told by an instructor at the workshop that now the move is being done in the different way. This means that you need to forget what you learned and start all over again practicing new nuances of how you place your feet, when you shift your weight, how you move your arms etc. I’ve been through this process many times since I started doing taoist tai chi and it always amazes me what kind of reactions it creates in me and my tai chi colleagues. It can go from a complete frustration and denial up to a profound excitement as new horizons are opening when the move done in the new way opens our bodies and minds to new perspectives.
But no matter what each of us felt this past weekend when we were practicing a large amount of moves in a completely new way, we need to accept change. The gift of tai chi as being taught by the Society is that it is keeping our minds open and helping us to be open for changes in our lives. To learn the new, we have to be willing to drop the comfortable old way and embrace the new way with positive expectation and patience. Keeping our minds open for the new means that we are alive.
Be willing to change. Even the simplest change, such as taking a different route to work or rearranging a wardrobe can have profound effects on your life.