To Teach or Not to Teach?

That is the question.

Today I am going to discuss something which fills me with a source of anxiety; the future, my career.

I left my previous job 2 years ago now. It was an extremely stressful point of my life, as I didn’t leave on the best of terms with the company itself. I still keep in contact with some of the friends I made there.

I defined myself by my job. I changed my whole personality to fit in within the culture. A whole new wardrobe (2 months before leaving). So when the box of my desk arrived, it struck me. Who am I? 

I was lost. I did plenty of soul searching and the only thing I still felt love for was Tai Chi. Always a reliable friend keeping me calm. So I decided to explore whether I could do something with the only skill I had left. I asked my instructor about the ParkLives classes he runs, and whether I could join in for the summer whilst I was sorting out my head. Over a year has passed and my head still feels lost.

Over a year has passed and my head still feels lost. I searched loads of websites trying to determine what personality I was, how to find out my own purpose, went through all the lists of what my perfect day at work would be. Nothing.

Do I use what I learned to go back to the fast-paced Regulatory career? Regain the respect, intellectual challenge, and salary which I had? Do I stay a Tai Chi instructor? Not making much money but living on my own timetable, helping others?

To be continued…




The Unpredictable Public

This weekend I was asked to deliver Tai Chi tasters for Park Lives at a stand they were hosting. I figured that this was quite a break for me, getting out there and promoting my sessions and Tai Chi in general. The stand was at the Bullring in Birmingham (UK) outside by St Martin’s Church.

My morning didn’t get to a good start. Having only managed to get to sleep at 3am, I was groggy but determined to make a good impression on the general public.

The stand was very nice, with some turf, signs, benches and fences to make it feel more like a park in the city centre. Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t in our favour and kept knocking over the signs and benches, much to the delight of some of the public.

I managed to get a few Tai Chi tasters in. All the passers-by were more interested in sitting down and eating their lunch than getting involved in some gentle qigong. So I am not sure whether I managed to promote my love effectively.

The public was varied in their approach to the stand, some were happy with their children to play with the Hoola hoops. Others wanted free stuff, others wanted to cause trouble or a conversation. Such is the general public. This makes it very difficult to deal and predict how people will react to what you say. Every person who approached was an unknown, anxiety-causing entity. Children were predictable, it was the adults which made it quite difficult for me to deal with.


So how did I deal with this?

I stayed focused on the goal – Promoting free park activities, giving out leaflets.

I practised Tai Chi – Demonstrating some Qigong and Tai Chi helped me stay calm, doing something familiar.

I hoola hooped – If all else fails I got stuck in playing on the stand to get people/children wanting to play.

It was a very difficult, draining day. I enjoyed the challenge that was given, once I got home and put my feet up.

As much as I hate putting myself out there in the face of the unpredictable public. I have to push myself in order to grow.

When Anxiety Strikes

I live with anxiety every day. Most times it stays cocooned within me, simmering away. It waits on standby.

When it strikes, I get nausea in my stomach. Uncontrollable shakes and tears. It’s not pretty:img_20170116_121045.jpg

I feel trapped. Within a swirl of shoulds, woulds and coulds. Constantly thinking about what to do and not knowing.

I get frustrated at myself. Why can’t I just get on with it? I’m a grown-ass adult, why can’t I deal with this? I make myself worse. Overwhelmed by the physical sensations, the anxiety itself and my other-self berating me.

It comes along in all sorts of events, some small, others larger. Social events, Mice and, being late.

How do I deal with it?

  1.  Calm down. Allow the physical symptoms to settle without feeding them. A bath, book, tv or exercise to distract from the source of anxiety whilst the body calms down.
  2. Be kind to myself. It can be frustrating when a little thing sets me off. I have set myself high standards and I get angry when I don’t meet these expectations.
  3. Explore why I feel anxious. Anxiety is a survival instinct to protect ourselves from future dangers. Why is this making me feel in danger?
  4. Confront it when I am ready. To overcome these challenges I need to face them head on. Sometimes everything can be too much so I take my time to prepare myself to confront the source of anxiety.
  5. Review. After confronting and overcoming the stimulus which sparked the anxiety, it is key that I review what happened, how I feel about them and how I can face similar situations in the future.

What tips do you have confronting sources of anxiety? Please share!



13 Treatises #2

Understanding the Occult and the Physical

What do I understand from this treatise?

This treatise introduces the philosophy of Tai Chi. It introduces the concept of Chi, the five elements and the Dan tien. It is brief in its introduction, using anecdotal evidence to support the idea of Chi cultivation. It claims that if Chi is sunk into the Dan Tien, it can be mobilised to strengthen physical structures in the body.

As a female, the fixation of the role of semen in this chapter’s example is a bit much; with its stickiness becoming bone tissue, and reinforcing its strength. What do females do to increase their bone strength?

How can I apply this treatise?

By practising sinking Chi into the Dan Tien.

Practising Qigong and relaxation techniques to become aware of Chi enough to manipulate it.