It Was All New, With New Promises, BUT…
New Year, New You?
We hear it a lot, don’t we?
And queue the sarcasm.
Every New Year we think this one is going to be perfect! And the “old you” just isn’t good enough for this perfect, fresh, New Year. Your routines, your life, your body, your entire personality; all need a total overhaul, overnight.
Yes, the new you must emerge from the ashes, at midnight to be precise. With all the hard-core celebrating, watching another firework display and singing the same songs we sang all the other rubbish years before.
All those rubbish years that once wore the same “New Year’s” jacket, falsely promising to be “the perfect one”.
But this New Year is different. Firstly, because it’s got two digits repeating themselves twice (20 to make 20 20), so it looks pretty, and it sounds a bit like 20/20 hindsight. Secondly, because this time, you woke up on that magical day of deliverance, 1 January 2020, feeling as fresh as a daisy. With an entirely new body, new personality and only a totally perfect existence ahead of you.
That MUST be the picture you started with this year. Because otherwise, all is lost… right?
Still, there’s always tomorrow.
Joking aside, I’m sure we all relate to this story in some way. The good news is, I really do believe this year will be different for you.
Let me explain why.
Welcome To Tai Chi Globe Academy (TCGA)!
But before I do explain why 2020 is a powerhouse of awesome for you, allow me to warmly welcome you to Tai Chi Globe Academy (TCGA)!
A handful of you will be “old-timers” as my students, who have faithfully supported my early days as an instructor. It all began during last year with a MASSIVE class… of 3 people.
In this first newsletter for TCGA, I give my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported my early efforts during 2019. I don’t see any of you as just students, but dear friends who’ve shared the enthusiasm for what we’ve started. I count you amongst my blessings. Thank you, you’re wonderful people!
Now I feel all aunty-like. Haven’t we grown?
Here in 2020, I’m pleased to welcome the 30 and counting members to the TCGA family! You are about to discover the magic of tai chi and qigong. And, like me, I’m sure you’ll make wonderful friends along the way too. I am so looking forward to getting to know you.
I can’t tell you how excited I am you’ve begun your journey with TCGA to discover tai chi and qigong. However, I can tell you why.
“There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.”
– Marie Antoinette
Habitually, many of us focus on finding something new to fix all those things we believe are not working. Too much sugar. Not enough protein. Too much tv. Not enough fresh air and exercise. Too much wine, not enough water.
… too much money, not enough spending. Contact me if you’re suffering from this one.
Okay, so there is value in review, right? But in tai chi, it’s all about balance. Yin Yang. Or, as one of my great teachers once said (my Nan, bless her), “A little bit of everything doesn’t hurt anyone.”
What is so special about the New Year anyway? Does some fairy suddenly pop up, wave a wand and everything must be perfect?
What if the old you isn’t so bad, after all? We can’t be ALL bad! Perhaps just misunderstood…
Are we missing something important?
I suggest to you it’s not about finding something new, but something old. Ancient even. Maybe timeless.
While I am talking about Tai Chi and Qigong, in part, I’m also pointing to the principles behind them. These principles are important. They have the power to make a radical difference in our lives, individually and collectively.
According to legend, Zhang Sanfeng (pronounced Jang Janfeng) was a Taoist monk who was inspired to create his form of martial art by nature. He was THAT impressed by a snake’s defensive tactics when he observed a bird attempting to attack it.
This observation of nature appears to typify much of the inspiration behind what we learn in Tai Chi, Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The understanding of how nature works must surely be significant to our lives. After all, we are a part of nature. Part of the same “advanced technology”. And that’s how I see nature; it’s a mysterious, advanced technology. It works, despite us.
Could we put an end to all the chaos if we learned to work with nature?
“Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.” – Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School
What Will Tai Chi and Qigong Do for You?
I won’t give you my life story here, you’ll be relieved to know. But I will tell you I’d suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks for over eighteen years. And a “degenerative disc” in my spine that sometimes left me rolling around in agony.
…Sometimes in the most embarrassing of circumstances! Yes, I know. You want to know about what THOSE moments! I’ll spare you the detail, for my sake.
To cut a long story short, over eight years ago, after decades of searching, I came to understand the power of the mind. It seemed almost overnight, my life transformed. My health improved dramatically, my career took off, my relationship to nearly everything looked to change and it felt the weight of the world had slipped off my shoulders.
But it was after this transformation I was looking for something to compliment my new way of being. It was then I discovered tai chi and qigong
I fell in love with tai chi and qigong from the very first class. I was apprehensive about starting something like this. All my previous experience with anything requiring physical coordination was, shall we say, not very positive! But my Instructor, Keith Fensom, did an excellent job of putting us newbies at ease. I always aim to do the same.
As I began learning tai chi and qigong, gradually, I discovered my real sense of calm was deepening. My thinking became clearer. I became increasingly aware of the energy (Qi) within my body. I found my balance and back strength improve; I was no longer rolling around on the floor in agony after standing for longer than 15 minutes. My overall posture improved. I began to breathe differently, taking longer and deeper breaths, without hyperventilating! I’d developed a set of tools that could help me, whatever situation I found myself in. My confidence was growing.
As transformative I have personally found tai chi and qigong, I’ve heard even more miraculous changes for other people; from my own students, my Instructors students, Tai Chi Masters and an increasing number of other practitioners I meet.
A cursory scan of the internet validates this through scientific research and testimonies. From Steve Rowe’s story (linked here) of how tai chi saved his life after his failed double knee replacement. Tammy Owen’s life-saving experience of Tai Chi after being diagnosed with diabetes (linked here). Or the significant changes tai chi had been the catalyst of, for Frances Trahan (linked here).
Yet there are many stories not being shared more widely and are yet to be discovered, including the most important one. Yours!
Tai chi and qigong are empowering, life-enhancing and natural wisdom for anyone who cares to learn and practice them. The impact they have could be far-reaching. Teaching young children to listen to their bodies, a powerful skill for the rest of their lives. Reconnecting the stressed, burnt-out professionals to relax and get back in touch with nature’s energy. Reversing the ill effects of physical and mental trauma for all ages. Re-acquiring our ability to do things, even simple things, for the frail and elderly. Managing and preventing serious illnesses from cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, back pain… the list goes on and on.
You’re just beginning your journey with these powerful arts. Why would this NOT excite you?