Twice a week, when I am in San Francisco, I go for walks with a friend and neighbor, Laura. We walk up around Dolores Park, and we chat about random things. I help her with thinking about her online presence, and she cooks food for me in trade on those days. That’s awesome because she is a major foodie, and an excellent cook! It’s an awesome barter set up.
We also do Tai Chi together on most of the walks. Laura used to be a student of mine when I was teaching Tai Chi regularly at a local yoga studio. I don’t teach regularly anymore, but Laura and I do a few sets on our walks.
It’s a great feeling to get some movement and mindfulness in on a sunny (and today windy) day in the park. We practice on a flat bit of concrete near the new kids playground, and the giggle and smiles from the kids are always a treat.
Today it brought up a lot of gratitude for me from my first 1,000 day vow. That vow was to do Tai Chi every day. I got a little crazy with my practice in those days. What started with 25 minutes a day ballooned up (while I ballooned down) to about 5 hours a day. I got pretty nuts about it.
I don’t see myself going back to 5 hours a day, but after that 1,000 days Tai Chi became part of who I am. It’s always there for me, at a moments notice. If I start to get uncomfortably stiff from being at the keyboard all morning, I can get up and go through a few movements and have my whole system pumped, and limbered. During my vow it got so deep into my system that many nights I would dream of practicing for hours, working on my form while I slept. Those dreams come by occasionally in little snippets, and I always wake up feeling refreshed after.
When I took my initial vow it was to make Tai Chi a habit. I came away with so much more than a habit. Tai Chi infused my whole system. Now doing Tai Chi is not doing Tai Chi, it’s just me being me. No matter what, I will always have Tai Chi with me to help keep my system healthy and strong.
It’s the same with my second vow of meditation. I have yet to take a day off from that practice, and I really don’t see that happening. Having been through the commitment of the vow, meditation is now something I always have at my disposal. I can take a pause, take a breath, and be back here and now. What used to sometimes take great effort, is now easy.
That’s the special characteristic of a vow of a number of days of practice. (You don’t have to go for 1,000, but I’m not going to stop you. 😉 ) Whatever you practice becomes something more than a practice. It becomes part of your life.
I thought I would share this bit of gratitude with you today. I hope you enjoyed it. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to do a set of Tai Chi in my studio.