On the sixth or seventh posture of Eight Pieces of Silk, a portion of my mind said, “woo! just two more postures to go and we’re done for the day!” And another part of my mind said, “What yu’ talkin’ ’bout, Willis? We still got the form to do!” But the first part of my brain was insistent that the two qi gong forms, without the actual tai chi, was good enough to be considered “done for the day.”
It was wrong. I put that voice to bed with a few stern words, and when that didn’t work, I did a banishing exercise from another part of my life before moving on to the tai chi form, and doing that, too. I seem to be in this state of mind right now where the huge challenge to the daily completion of my tai chi routine isn’t the time, or getting up too early in the morning, or being physically tired. It’s the internal struggle against my own mind for permission and authority to keep going.
I wonder how many students handle this problem? It’s much more common, of course, than other kinds of difficulty like executive disfunction, but I’ve got to say, after having done the equivalent of a full school year of tai chi, that if I’d asked my students to come on this adventure with me, most of them would have refused. The moves look silly, and after months of doing them, sometimes they’re quite boring. My mind would dearly love to move on to something else. And that’s where the challenge lies right now.
In a few months, it may be a completely different challenge, or it may be the same one. We’ll see.