Where I live in live in the midwest part of the United States, the trees and bushes continue to show us spring and new life, with small buds, leaves and blossoms. The tulips are up, standing erect with their tall with their slender green stems and some of the pansies are still smiling back at us.
In Tai Chi class we bring intention and attention to the present moment, to how we are standing and moving, to our alignment and our breathing. The Tai Chi Classics say that our internal energy, Qi, roots in the feet, transfers through the legs, is commanded by the waist, moves up the back, then through arms and flowers in the hands and fingers.
That’s like the trees. Think about all the work they do to bring up nutrients and energy from the earth, through their trunk and branches and flower at the tips, with leaves and blossoms. I start every class asking students to stand with legs and feet parallel, hip-width apart. We shift our weight slightly forward, then to the center, to the outside, inside of the feet, returning to center. We move in a small circular motion, visualizing our feet connected to the earth, feeling the energy and bringing it up through the entire body, flowering in the hands and fingers.
I love that image because we become like the trees, particularly at this time of year, when the leaves are new. The new leaves are a light green and have a shimmering quality. New life and a new season, nourishment and renewed energy.
Walking outside after class in downtown Chicago this week, right in front of me were city trees, with new leaves shimmering in the sunlight. Take a minute to really look at these trees. What a message they are giving us with new life, a new chapter and season. Let us pay attention and start a new season for ourselves, thinking about possibilities, a new way to move forward and nourish ourselves