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.