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The Tiger's Mouth Blog: Developing a Personal Practice

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been working on a lot of things that were stressful, had tight timelines for completion and just made me feel on edge. The pandemic has made my mental fortitude not the fortress it used to be and the demands of these projects were really difficult. I felt torn down and was looking up for a way through.

The Taoist Tai Chi® arts always brought me joy prior to the pandemic arriving. From March forward, I have experienced guilt as I was not practicing regularly and thought that I should be. I have experienced what I thought was a developing personal practice by telling myself to go outside and do a couple of sets regularly. That lasted for a week or so and then life would get in the way and derail my practice.

So, what is this development of a personal practice that is the phrase I am saying to my participants when I call them? How do you “ find one”? Where do you look for it? How does it happen? Is it tangible?

The past two weeks have given me a glance into what personal practice is about. It doesn’t happen on demand. It isn’t an easy journey.

As the projects drained me of my mental and physical energy, I found myself turning to the Taoist Tai Chi® arts. I would stop what I was doing when I felt that way and just take the time to literally and figuratively step away. I was practicing without any thought of looking for it. The mental and physical ache became manageable and I found a state of just being, feeling centered and grounded. It is a gift to have these arts to turn to when you feel like you have lost the ability to look forward.

-Janine, British Columbia

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