“A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet” from Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching is at the forefront of my mind. We all start somewhere; we are all on a journey with many unknowns; it is unique for each of us, just like a snowflake.
After Tai Chi class yesterday, one student said she feels like a beginner. I sensed some frustration in the comment and said I feel like a beginner, too. I added it takes the pressure off me to have the mind of a beginner, because I can be open to learning in every class and I don’t have to feel that I have to arrive, get over the goal line. We laughed at our goal-oriented selves and reminded ourselves that Tai Chi is about not about trying harder and achieving; it is about letting go.
In reflecting today on that brief exchange, I thought about how each of us is on a journey and path. Both indicate movement and sometimes we don’t see the movement until months or even years later, in retrospect.
I am writing a book, a memoir about my own journey and this morning was reminded of where I was over 20 years ago. In working on revisions for draft two of my book I landed on my very first Tai Chi experience in 1996. I was using a cane to walk and was even wobbly with that aid. Knowing nothing about Tai Chi, I started a class with a group of seniors, and wrote of that experience: “They (the seniors) know what to do and seem so stable. I feel a sudden shiver when it hits me – my balance is the worst of anybody in the room. And, I am decades younger than they are.”
We all start somewhere and there are many unknowns.Taking a step forward, even if risky, even if scary, is the key.
(Photos from my trip to the Wudang Mountains in China, where Lao Tsu was thought to have lived and Taoism began.)