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Losing Fear, Allowing Freedom

Reflections on what made me start Taoist Tai Chi® practice.

Following a serious operation for bowel cancer on 5th February 2005, I took several months to sufficiently recover my mobility and return to what was to be my new ‘normal’ life.

Having tried another form of Tai Chi for 3 months prior to my illness, I was looking locally for some exercise combined with meditation which I believed would give me more understanding of myself. It was seeing a poster in a window advertising "Moving Meditation" with FLK which made me feel this was something I could try.

In September/October 2005, I attended my first session. The very first time I did the movements, I was hooked and knew this was something I wished to continue practising. It felt, and still does, like I was exchanging energy with the universe.

I made a promise to myself that I would not become completely involved with the organisation for a year thus giving myself time to make up my mind as to whether this was really what I was looking for – not my normal strategy, usually I dive straight in. I think I lasted a year regularly attending sessions and probably the odd retreat before I took on my first volunteer role as cashier.

I was accredited as a beginner instructor in July 2007 and have enjoyed every last minute I have spent being a member of the organisation.

How have Master Moy's teachings helped me? When I joined FLK I was experiencing a lot of fear having been told I had a 50/50 chance of the cancer returning. However, I had a strong belief that I would get through this time and would not allow this cancer to beat me.

For several months the turning jong in particular was scary, having had a frightening experience in hospital and knowing I was still healing both inside as well as on the outside of my body. As I became stronger, I lost the fear and allowed the feeling of freedom of the moves take over. My energy levels continued to rise, I found a community of like-minded people who have, over the years, become friends with whom I could practice and who now feel like my extended family and I feel that this is where I belong.

The present crisis putting us all into isolation has brought back memories of this time, being ‘over a certain age’ and therefore more vulnerable to the virus has made me ensure that I look after myself and allow others to look after me. The hesitancy I originally felt of cautiously going out into the world again is the same fear I felt leaving hospital all those years ago.

This period of having time to myself feels very precious, slowing down my life, time to practice, meditate and chant when I like, no timetable to keep to apart from various Zoom calls. Never in my life have I felt as content as at this moment in time. I miss spending time with others but enjoy the time to find out about and to be myself.

Thank you Master Moy for this precious gift which you have given to all of us - the opportunity to experience and benefit from the Taoist Tai Chi® arts.

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