The image of a tree is central to Tai Chi principles — rooted, flexible, changing, centered in now. As the green buds on Chicago’s trees are about to burst forth into leaves, I share one of my all-time favorites:
“Stand tall and proud.
Sink your roots deeply into the earth.
Reflect the light of your own true nature.
Think long term.
Go out on a limb.
Remember your place among all living beings.
Embrace the joy of changing seasons,
for each yields its own abundance.
The energy and birth of spring,
The growth and contentment of summer,
The wisdom to let go like the leaves in fall,
The rest and quiet of winter.
Feel the wind and sun and delight in their presence.
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you and
the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life –
Earth, fresh air, light.
Be content with your natural beauty.
Drink plenty of water.
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes.
Remember your roots.
Enjoy the view!”
– Ilan Shamir