I wrote this for the 20th year celebration of Heartwood Integrative Health and Healing and my 20th anniversary teaching there. It is posted on www.heartwoodcenter.com/blog and now on my blog.
In the first week of October, 1999, with butterflies in my stomach, I open the redwood-colored front door, climb the steep stairs in the two-story non-descript building at 1599 Maple Street in Evanston, Il, across the street from Bennison’s Bakery. I am about to enter a new holistic health care center, the vision of Nancy Floy. And on this day, I am about to teach my first Tai Chi class here.
To the left as I hit the second floor landing is a long, rectangular waiting room, that is welcoming, homey and comfortable. A little turn to the right on the landing is the classroom, my destination for this day.
A couple years earlier, as a patient of Nancy Floy’s, we were in conversation when she told me about her vision for a center filled with highly-skilled, caring health care professionals. “I want you to teach there,” she said out of the blue.
I said “yes” and here I am, ready to welcome three new students into my first class. The carpeted, rectangular classroom has a ceiling fan and a screen in the corner and is quiet.
My balance continues to improve through work with Nancy and regular Tai Chi. I am gaining strength, stamina and a smoother gait in my walking. My MS symptoms are now not as debilitating as they once were.
Pushing through initial doubts about my physical ability to teach, I am ready and eager to start my first class on this Wednesday morning.
“Welcome,” I say to the three women ready to start their first Tai Chi class.
The Beginning. That morning was 20 years ago and I have been teaching Tai Chi classes at Heartwood from that day forward. All these years and stories of students making huge strides in managing and improving their health with Tai Chi. And it continues – Fresh. New. Fun. Calming. Energizing.
Happy 20th Anniversary to Heartwood Integrative Health and Healing, to the wonderful healers who have made a difference in so many live and also, for the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of teaching in this special place. I am very grateful.