Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of 2008

I am not planning a big end of the year review or a long list of New Year’s resolutions. What I do find curious is that I probably read more fiction in 2008 than in any year of my life, or at least since junior high. Somewhere along the line I stopped reading fiction. When my aunt went into assisted living a few years ago, I started reading some of the books that I planned to give to her so as not to offend her good Lutheran sensibilities. This has now morphed into me reading a 700 page fantasy novel this month, with a 800 page novel somewhere in transit to me in our library system. I averaged close to reading a novel a week, most of them much shorter.

2008 also involved a major education of my heart. I did more talks at church than any other year, which I discovered is more art than science. I also became more aware of people’s “world view,” beliefs, perspective; whatever one might call the foundation from which people’s opinions and actions spring. This is where Tai Chi came in handy. I began to be aware of people’s energy without judging it. I was more interested in learning how to “dance” with it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Snow I

For the last two months I have been reading Liuhebafa Five Character Secrets. Li Dongfeng, some time during the Yuan Dynasty, managed to write 134 wise phrases about Liuhebafa, an internal martial art, using only five Chinese characters for each, like the martial arts meet haiku.

I was thinking about that today when I was moaning about our weather forecast. Snow, snow and yet more snow: sore back; chapped face, hands, and feet; all over tired. I’m sure the martial arts masters would not have tolerated my whining. If I considered myself a martial artist, I would probably consider doing some training exercises using the snow, as if daily shoveling weren’t enough. Instead I thought about the magic of those five Chinese characters. They reminded me of acronyms.

SnowSometimes Need Observable Whimsy

I think Li Dongfeng would have liked that. I could imagine a Taoist monk catching snow flakes on his tongue as he shoveled snow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cookies Without Perfection

When my parents met, they were both accountants. This probably explains my fondness for putting ideas into tidy tables or charts. When I was little, my father used to tell me there was no room in this world for mistakes. I believed him. For the most part I still believe him. I wonder if there are parents out there who teach their children at an early age that the purpose of life is to make mistakes, to keep on trying out things until they create something really marvelous.

I keep on wondering how I can have two bookshelves full of self-help books and my life be in such a mess. To my way of thinking, my life should be as tidy as a well-maintained spread sheet. I read the books. I understood the concepts. I even tried to apply them now and then.

I think the problem is that in each book the procedure worked well for that person and maybe their students, but it is only one way of going about solving a problem or living a life. In fact, many of the books I have contradict one another. Each time I read a new book, I am starting from scratch, assuming that whatever I have read up until that time was wrong. After all, don’t many of the books actually refer to other philosophies and say just that.

Years ago I became fascinated by the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe. It seemed to me that it was the basis for so much excitement. Every few weeks I would add new ingredients or change something in the recipe. I had many happy surprises, and only a few not so happy ones. I thought about that a few days ago when I was hankering for some white chocolate chip cranberry cookies. Would it really be so hard to try to make some without an official recipe? I am a little out of practice making cookies, but the thought is appealing. I wish I could feel that way about making changes in my life. I wish I felt up for a grand experiment rather than needing to have something perfectly spelled out in a book. Why is it so easy to do that with cookies and so terrifying to do that with the other parts of my life?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Knowing What I Don't Know

One of my favorite experiences is the feeling of knowing what I don’t know. I can almost see and feel a space opening up in what formerly felt like pure chaos. A question or an intention appears. In Liuhebafa, I don’t know the transition between “the crouching tiger listens to the wind” and “feint to the east but attack to the west.” I am unsure about the weight changes in “rein in the horse.”

A lot of learning needs to take place before I can begin to know what I don’t know. In the beginning, the form is just a roiling blur, just so much chaos. When I am practicing at home, I begin to be able to put together a few movements, many of which are wrong. I still am not sure where to focus my attention when I get back to class on Saturday. But finally in the beginning movements of the form, I am able to know where to focus my attention. I am able to fill in the gaps of my ignorance.

In Tai Chi, I am also struggling to identify what I don’t know. Here, I am primarily my own teacher since I am not officially taking a class this fall. I find myself sleepwalking through the form when I practice at home. I know that I need to focus on sinking my weight, but haven’t I been telling myself this for a long time? But then there is that delicious moment when I again know what I don’t know. I don’t know what it feels like in my upper legs when I sink my weight when I do “cloud hands.” Now, I can begin to experiment with that.

This feeling of knowing what I don't know goes beyond Tai Chi and Liuhebafa. Usually, whenever I learn anything new, I begin with reading everything I can get my hands on. I plunge into the murky lake of ideas. Usually I find this great fun. Once in awhile this stage lasts too long. I also like the feeling of having a direction or three or a whole spider web of directions. I like a rhythm between chaos and direction.

I like people who know what they don’t know. I feel more confident in their abilities when I know they are searching in a particular direction. I like to know that they are asking for advice or seeking out information. I mistrust people who think they themselves have all the answers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Than Just a Trip to the Beach

I just finished reading A Trip to The Beach by Melinda Blanchard, who is a wonderful storyteller. She describes how she and her husband fell in love with the island of Anguilla, opened a restaurant there, and lived through Hurricane Luis, which destroyed much of Anguilla. After finishing the book, I was curious about the Blanchards, their restaurant, and whether Hurricane Luis really hit after the restaurant’s first year. After doing an internet search, I was delighted to see a picture of the restaurant that looked very much like the picture in my mind. I enjoyed reading about some of the employees that I had read about in the book. I confirmed that while Blanchard took some liberties in the book with details, the dates of the opening of Blanchard’s restaurant and of Hurricane Luis were accurate.

The book provided me with more than just an enjoyable escape. It also provided me with an opportunity to learn and, I’ve now discovered, to keep my brain young.

An article from Reuters on the Internet described an interesting study.

“Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles studied people doing Web searches while their brain activity was recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging scans.’What we saw was people who had Internet experience used more of their brain during the search,’ Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA expert on aging, said in a telephone interview. This suggests that just searching on the Internet may train the brain -- that it may keep it active and healthy," said Small, whose research appears in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.”

Perhaps a book isn't just something to read. Perhaps it is an invitation to explore something new.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Watching the Stock Market Plummet

Habits fascinate me. I have not had any coffee since a long lecture from a dental hygienist about the stains between my teeth over a week ago. I don’t miss the coffee much. Yet another habit I find difficult to deal with. I find myself glued to Yahoo, watching the Stock Market plummet. While I don’t own any investments, I know watching the carnage can’t be good for me. I have plenty of memories of my parents and other relatives talking about the hardships of the Depression. Intellectually I know that the news stirs up feelings of helpless, hopelessness and all sorts of other negative emotions. Yet I still find excuses for going on the Internet and watching the numbers plummet. Is negative news more addictive than caffeine? I’m starting to wonder.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I own dozens of self-help books, many of which discuss the same ideas. I occasionally ask myself whether I believe any of it. Several of the books even discuss the whole concept of belief itself. I drove past the local Presbyterian church today, and the sign outside came straight to the point. It read: “If you aren’t living it, you aren’t believing it.” This is why I try to always have a notebook handy wherever I go. I do believe life constantly inspires us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reflecting On Yesterday's Talk

The church service* went really well yesterday. A few people left in tears, and I received a number of hugs. This morning I was trying to understand why. The talk certainly wasn’t slick. The way I organized my notes would have made many a Toastmaster evaluator cringe. My topic wasn’t brilliant. I disregarded rules about symmetry. I had, in fact, embedded a lesson within a lesson.

I think what made the service work was that it touched the best within each of the people present. For most of them, it stimulated a neural network where they had stored something precious, some of their best thoughts and memories. What I had done was provide a way to reconnect with those parts of themselves.

This realization, of course, brings more questions than answers.

*My minister is attending a workshop, and our normally dozen or so attendees numbered seven.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our First Class of Liuhebafa Quan

Saturday was our first class of Liuhebafa Quan, an internal martial arts system in the same broad category as Tai Chi and Baqua. I was more than a bit intimidated. All of the other students have been taking classes—besides Tai Chi—from Bob on a regular basis for a long, long time. On top of it, all of my life I have had dyspraxia or a similar learning disability, which has always made coordination somewhat challenging. I felt like a fifth grader working out with a bunch of college athletes. Bob was going at a pace several times faster than he normally takes an introductory Tai Chi class. “God’s littlest angel*” I sometimes refer to myself during moments like this. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Everyone one else was wondering about the difference between a 70/30 versus a 60/40 stance as we did a particular movement; I was just trying to figure out where the heck all my body parts were supposed to be, like which leg was supposed to be forward.

Yet part of me loves experiences like Saturday morning. I had to throw out all of my expectations. I had to ignore as much internal chatter as possible. I had to focus totally on the moment. Yeah, maybe I was “God’s littlest angel” but at that moment my right hand was swinging back and I had to figure out where my palm was facing.

The next morning, we had minor chaos at the tiny church I attend. The minister was nowhere to be found. The only person who knew what happened to her was ten minutes late for the service. As acting deacon, I tried to shepherd the flock to at least start setting up for service. Once we all knew that the minister was in Emergency, I officially took over the service. I was scheduled to conduct the service the following week, but I hadn’t quite gotten everything together. I declared that this was a “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” service. It wasn’t quite baked, but it could still be good. I managed to remember the major points of some readings I had planned and improvise in other ways. I “rolled with the punches,” as the cliché goes, when some unexpected things happened during the service. I did not deliver the church service that people had expected when they drove to church in the morning, but I think most of us felt that we received what we had needed given the circumstances.

I am not sure that my teacher Bob and my fellow students would understand that in my mind there was a direct correlation between the Liuhebafa Quan class Saturday morning and the church service on Sunday morning. Both required surrendering to the moment and intense focus. I had already practiced those things on Saturday. Sunday my brain was already primed.

I don’t know if I can realistically expect to learn Liuhebafa Quan in the two to three semesters that are currently planned for the course. It took me between two and three years to get the basic movements of Tai Chi down. On one level, I am not sure it matters. I am still learning what I most need to learn.

* For years Hallmark has carried a Christmas card with three little angels on the cover. One of the angels has her halo hanging off to one side on her forehead. This is in contrast to the many other cards picturing the majestic angels of Christmas with their trumpets announcing the birth of Baby Jesus.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Goals and Trusting Ourselves

Sometimes the most important goal we can set is to learn to trust ourselves again.

This summer I have begun to experiment with setting goals for the week. One thing that struck me while reading Stephen Covey’s books was the importance of keeping promises to ourselves. When we keep a promise we increase our self-confidence and trust in ourselves. When we don’t, we erode that trust. This has helped me realize the importance of setting smaller weekly goals and then keeping them. I can always increase the size of the goal the following week.

Years ago I decided I would walk an average of 10,000 steps a day. At the time I was very out of shape and could barely walk 2,000 a day. I faithfully wore my pedometer from morning to night and recorded my steps before I went to bed. Each week, I set a goal for the average I wanted to achieve. In a couple of months I reached my goal of 10,000 steps average per day. Having a weekly average helped, rather than basing my progress on isolated bad or good days. Setting reasonable goals helped, too. I slowly gained faith in my abilities.

I had to remind myself of the walking experience as I set goals this summer. After a week or so of failing to meet some goals, I realized that I had lost faith. I either needed to drop some goals or decrease them. For example, I would like to practice a certain technique in a book everyday, but I am new to it. I don’t know everything that is involved and how it will affect me. I am better off trying it three times this next week and then observing my response, making tweaks in the technique so that it works for me, and getting help if I need it.

I vowed to do some strengthening exercises five times a week. One day, I absolutely couldn’t bring myself to do them. Finally, I did one exercise at a time. It took me all day to complete a set that normally would have taken under ten minutes. But I did it. At the end of the day I could put a checkmark in the box on my goal sheet. What was more important was that the following week, I felt good about doing my exercises. I had increased my trust in myself.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Into the Future II

According to recent news stories on the Internet, Tropical Storm Fay has made a record four landfalls in Florida. Interestingly enough, my cousin’s son Forest has just moved to Florida to go to college. This summer, the town that he has lived in his whole life has been holding meetings about whether to move to higher ground. It has had two “hundred year floods” in a handful of years.

How many weather records will Forest see broken in his lifetime? Right now, the predictions on global warming suggest there will be many records broken and this will occur more and more often as the years progress. What will this mean for the basics of life? How will this affect where Forest and his generation live, how they build their homes, how much stuff they can accumulate? How will this affect what they will eat, where and how they will get their food? How will this affect their jobs, where they work, how they work? How will this affect their families, who they consider family, how they relate to their families? How will this affect their sense of community?

Often my parents and their contemporaries struggled to understand what they saw as my generation’s lack of commitment, why we didn’t stay in the same jobs for forty years, why we didn’t stay in the same towns where we grew up. For many, it was more comforting to think that my generation just didn’t have our priorities straight, rather than that we were responding to a changing world.

How can those of us who are middle-aged and older, acknowledge that our world--literally the very planet that we live on—is changing faster than at any other time in our history and then help the younger generations in preparing for the future? One day during meditation the term “handmaiden to the future” came into my head. How can I be a good handmaiden to the future? Like most journeys of the mind, the road to the answer begins with asking the question.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No More Newspaper

After fourteen years of reading the newspaper each morning, I’ve discontinued service. On Tuesday, when I shuffled out of the bathroom and automatically headed toward the front door, I began to feel lost. I was fine with moving on to making coffee, but after that I had to rethink my routine. I normally read the Sports section while I ate breakfast. I was ready for my day faster, but did I want to be? Yes, on one level. No, on another. I wanted to do something more important than read the paper, but I didn’t immediately remember what it was.

The only thing that I really have missed so far is the cartoon For Better or For Worse. The BIG wedding between Elizabeth and Anthony is finally going to happen. We have waited years for this. Luckily, I quickly incorporate looking at the FBOFW website in with my turning on my computer and checking headlines on Yahoo!! routine.

I am glad that for a few days I am no longer on autopilot first thing in the morning. I am sure that soon enough I will be entrenched in a new routine. The experience makes me wonder how many other areas of my life could use some updating.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Into the Future

In response to my cousin Rik’s son Forest going off to college in a few weeks, I pulled out my copy of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and looked for some inspirational passages. In the chapter on children, I found an interesting thought: “You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

Somehow the quote took me by surprise. I certainly don’t remember it. All my life I have heard people talk about the “good old days” and why kids today should be more like the speaker’s generation use to be.

After skimming through The Prophet I had to return a book that was overdue, but still within the three day grace period. The library was closed, but it has a book drop. There had been a sign warning that overdue books put in the slot would not be given the three day grace period. In the sign’s place was a new one: “24/7 Automatic Book Drop.” I pressed a button. A hatch opened and light beams raced across the surface. Good. Bad. Ackk. Am I going to do this right? My brain flicked to all sorts of thoughts as I tried to read the directions. I got warnings a couple of times. All I knew was that I put two books through the hatch and a receipt with two sets of numbers came out of the machine. As I went to my car, I watched a little girl of about eight skip to the book drop and return her books. No problem. I got home and accessed my library account on the computer. Both books were credited to my account and no fine for the slightly overdue one, just like would have happened if I had returned it when the library was open. Isn’t technology wonderful!!!

In the world that Forest and the little girl will live in, technology will have totally taken over most mundane tasks. In the future, a lot of things will be different. Some of the things we can anticipate. Others will catch us totally by surprise. I, for one, want to start orienting my thinking toward the future.

Kindness, honesty, compassion, and other values will hopefully never be obsolete. One of my favorite lines from a current song is: “Everything will change, but love remains the same.” Best wishes to Forest.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Integrating New Ideas

In the last few years I have begun to realize that I can easily find good ideas in books. Actually practicing those good ideas until they become integrated into my life is the real challenge. Evidently I’m not alone in this.

In the Heartmath Solution, Doc Childre and Howard Martin write:

“People who start out to accomplish changes more often than not don’t carry them through to completion. This is especially true when what they’re trying to change involves attitudes, ways of thinking, and emotional behavior. We’ve probably all had the experience of feeling our initial passion for a change wane—and then lose the impetus for change all together. The initial heart directive that inspired us gets lost in day-to-day mind processing. Sometimes we have to go back and reactivate our commitment to earlier realizations until we have a progressive momentum going—and then we can supplement our initial appreciation with appreciation of the progress we’ve made!”

I appreciate the inspiration.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The local Presbyterian Church had an interesting sign this week: “Be Grace. Don’t just say it.” Food for thought.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fading Flowers

My maternal grandmother loved to garden. Despite having nine children together, after chores were done on the farm, my grandfather could be seen helping my grandmother with the flowers. It was their special time together. My grandmother died sixteen years before I was born, yet I often feel her presence when I am in my own garden.

Lately, I have been overwrought with sadness. I mourn friends and relatives who have passed away. I see the bodies of living loved ones grow twisted. I see them in physical and emotional pain. I witness their memories failing. Some of them are shells of the people I once knew and loved.

After my mother passed away, my oldest cousin’s family gave me a Peace Plant. In the past few weeks, I have watched a white flower sprout, blossom, and fade. It is now a cylinder of drying seeds. This morning the plant gave me a great sense of peace. Like the flowers, we all have a life cycle. Some of us are just beginning to open. Some are fading. Yet others are almost nothing but drying seeds. My grandmother lovingly dried the seeds in her garden and then stuck them in envelopes to use for next year. While acknowledging my sadness, I am also given the option to harvest the seeds that my loved ones have created through their lives: a love of crystals, an appreciation of nature, the ability to make someone feel special, etc. Now I need to prepare the soil, as my grandparents did, so that I can plant the “seeds” for the next generation to enjoy.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Information Hangover

I woke up disoriented this morning. I managed to get in the Sunday newspaper and then I just let the world dance around in my head, like the final number of a large production where everyone comes on stage. My brain was foggy. My throat and sinuses felt like I had been frolicking all night with dust bunnies. Usually, I can trace mornings like this back to eating half a bag of chocolate or too many pieces of some really wonderful coffeecake. Nope, not this time. Can a person have an information hangover?

In all honesty, I started yesterday slightly dehydrated. I was out of fruit juice and didn’t listen to my intuition when it told me to grab a bottle of water as I ran out of the house to go to Tai Chi. I am a bit wary of plastic bottles since the scare in the news lately. But I think the real cause of my discomfort is all the information I have been trying to absorb. Tai Chi in itself is usually challenging. This semester Bob has been discussing the “Ten Essential Principles” during chalk talk and then yelling them out for us to apply as we practice the form, a nice mental workout. But as I go about my days, I have also been trying to apply the spiritual and psychological principles that I have been reading about lately. Friday and Saturday I read Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden and finished up reading The Power of Now by Eckhard Tolle. I am also cycling through reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Master Key System by Charles Haanel, Around the Year with Emmet Fox, and How to Let God Help You by Myrtle Fillmore. While I was waiting in line for my car’s emission test, I read from Living Your Purpose: Truth in Practice, a Unity publication. All of these books encourage their readers to change their habitual thinking. This is just as intense as trying to apply the ten principles in Tai Chi.

So today, I am barely functional. I am drinking plenty of water. When I tried to do the daily jigsaw puzzle, I finished two minutes over the average; usually I am slightly under average. I gave up on actually trying to go to church. Ironically, I plan on reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks this afternoon, at least it is fiction.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Last Saturday we began our Tai Chi class, as we often do, with eight Chi Kung breathing exercises. Usually this is the time when a number of people straggle into class before we start practicing the Tai Chi form for the day. Yesterday was different, though. On the eighth exercise I became aware of a rich, peaceful silence. I wish there had been some way of preserving it so that I could bring it out to experience again on some future day when life got too stressful.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Beginner’s Mind

Sometimes beginners are useful for regaining Beginner’s Mind, the attitude that makes us receptive to learning.

I woke up yesterday morning not particularly receptive to going to Tai Chi. I was tired from a week of fighting winter. Why should I go? After eight years, I pretty well can predict what our instructor Bob will teach on any given week based on where we left off in the form the previous week. The part of the form that he would be covering was not one that I found particularly challenging. While I admit I always pick up a handful of points to help me refine my practice, the thought didn’t give me a lot of motivation. Why should I go? “Because,” I told myself. So, I switched on a comedy sketch in my head to give me some energy as I got ready and drove to class. Thank goodness for a good imagination and that article about the Miami Marlin’s Manatees.

We have a class of students of mixed experience levels. Some have been coming to Bob’s classes for over ten years. Some are in their first year. Most of us are in the middle. Yesterday, when Bob asked for questions before we moved on to the new material for the week, one of the first year students raised her hand. In a nutshell, she said that what we had been learning in the form recently made no sense to her. We had learned about all these wonderful spirals in the beginning of the form and how energy in Tai Chi is circular. Now we were doing all these kicks that didn’t seem to have any circular motion at all. Her questions woke me up. I had never thought about these ideas. Her questions renewed my curiosity about those darn kicks, my nemeses. Her questions also made me pay more attention in the rest of class. As I left for home, I felt that I had just enjoyed a very worthwhile session. Why had I ever considered not going?
Most of us are aware that the more experienced students help the newer students. In our class, Bob will often put the senior students in the corners of the group to use them as points of reference as we do the form. But, I think some of us forget about the contributions that the newer students make to the group. They open us to questions we may have never considered before. They get us out of our “been there, done that” attitude. They renew our excitement about learning.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where Did that Attitude Come From?

When I was in school, writing assignments were a breeze for me. Our family religiously watched the nightly news, and I heard Walter Cronkite’s articulate voice in my head whenever I put pen to paper. Occasionally I will hear an odd phrase come out of my mouth or appear in my e-mails. Where did that come from? I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can track the wording back to its source. I am amazed how easily these phrases slip into my life without any conscious effort on my part.

I am aware of a similar process taking place in my attitudes toward life. For example, while reading books by Alexander McCall Smith recently I have found myself with a smile that starts at my toes and goes all the way up. When I watch television, I now make an effort to pay attention to the feelings I have during and after each program. NCIS usually leaves me feeling upbeat, probably because of the interactions of the main characters. Lost seems to stimulate my curiosity toward life. Recently, entertainment news programs have left me with a judging attitude. What amazes me is that I have spent a lifetime being more or less unaware of how television and books form my attitudes while I passively sit in my chair.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gradual Change

So often what I learn in Tai Chi has applications far beyond just trying to do the movements in the form correctly. My experience trying to finally do a respectable toe kick is no exception. One of the real lessons seems to be learning how to make changes very slowly. The I Ching, Book of Changes, talks about Development or Gradual Progress: Hexagram 53. The visual image is of a tree growing on a mountain. I, of course, am the tree.

In the past I have searched various sources for stretches. When I have tried to do them, my experience has not been positive. Finally, last week I asked myself, what is the smallest movement I can do and still make progress toward my goal? So, I have begun with the tiniest of toe and heel flexes. After eight years --or a lifetime for that matter-- I have finally found my starting point. I suppose even the Redwoods had to start somewhere.

I see plenty of examples in the media of people making huge changes in short periods of time. On television I constantly see examples of people’s amazing weight loss. I hear about people who had life altering events and have now turned their lives around. I wonder if most of us think that this is the way we are supposed to change. I wonder if most of us feel like failures when our experiences aren’t like that. I wonder how many people give on their goals because their experiences are different.

Where do we learn that many changes happen gradually and don’t happen at all if we try to rush them? Where do we learn to enjoy ourselves while we are slowly doing the things to bring about these changes? Tai Chi, Aikido, and other martial arts are the classrooms for many of us to learn this lesson of gradual progress.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Why A Blog?

I have nibbled around education all of my life, from tutoring in high school and college, to designing and developing training, to serving as Vice President of Education for our Toastmaster Club. Similarly, I became interesting in the concept of mastery early on in my study of Tai Chi when my classmate Phil suggested the book Mastery by George Leonard. More recently, after watching the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? a number of times, I became interested in what Joe Dispenza calls “The Science of Changing Your Mind” in his book Evolve Your Brain.

This concept of change seems to be everywhere in my world. I think about it often. The reason I wanted to start a blog was to share my thoughts about the many ideas associated with “Change,” “Habits,” “Inspiration,” “Mastery,” and “Education.”

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year

Some people have their “This is the year I am going to lose ten pounds,” or “This is the year I am going to finally quit smoking.” I, on the other hand, have my “This is the year I am going to finally master heel kicks.” I have been taking Tai Chi Chuan Yang Style with the same instructor on and off for about eight years. Each September we begin by learning the first postures of the (long) form, gradually adding new postures each week until we finish the form in spring. This week, we once again start learning the kicks. Oh, I know how they are supposed to go. My body just doesn’t seem to want to move that way. Why do I doubt that the Sunday paper is going to be filled with advertisements offering to help me? “This could be the year you kick the not kicking habit.” ???