I’ve started a Tai Chi class, taught by a very soothing gentleman who is patient with our stumbles and questions and awkward poses. He may go home and snicker to himself, but somehow I doubt it. He seems suffused with calm. I find myself looking at him, wanting to get closer to his aura, somehow absorb it all.
But instead I try to memorize the steps, ease back and forth, move my arms around in circles, feel my body sway. It is wonderful, even as I miss steps and teeter.
He speaks a lot of Yin and Yang as we work, reminds us of the constant shifting from one side to another, controlling our weight as we move, maintaining a strong posture, holding the centre.
It’s all wonderfully applicable to this, my winter of discontent.
I’m not alone in the discontent, I think. This winter has been unusually harsh and we are already fed up, a lot of us, with the prospect of weeks and weeks of more winter to come. Add the usual and unusual trials of life and a lot of us feel buffeted, knocked off-balance, off centre and wobbly. We crave change, if only to alter the view.
And yet, change is already constant. The challenge in all, as in my Tai Chi class, is to keep centred as the changes happen, as we look this way and that, as we move forward and back, full or half-steps.
My balance is dodgy at the best of times. I race forward with enthusiasm and then find I am overreaching my abilities. I retract and grieve when really I should just seek balance in my new position, move into it or past it, stop fighting with myself as I go forward.
I need to remember that we naturally seek balance and I should ease into it, arms raised high.