… even if it discourages you. Today I’m traveling with my dad, and I’m in a small hotel room. There happens to be a mirror in the bathroom, facing the only open place suited for doing taiji. So I did it there. It’s fascinating to be able to see one’s mistakes, and not merely feel them in the body. And it’s a genuine assist to doing it more correctly next time.

At the same time, it’s not so much fun to see one’s belly during such exercise, because it calls into question the idea of improvement. Is this morning exercise program doing anything at all?

Hold on. No fear. Drive away the demons of doubt. Der Heer Balthazar proffered a simple tool for washing away miasma, and it works. Except a hotel room, even a nice one, is no place to succumb to doubt. Today, both glasses were full of bubbles, and the water felt icky. Hotel rooms are a place where the miasma of self-doubt accumulates • can we really afford this trip? Does he/she still love me? Will this business deal fall through? Bathazar, BOTH my water glasses, the uncovered one and the one with the lid, were filled with bubbles. Not stuff directed at me — just the buildup of crud in this room, I think.

Dissatisfaction, even artificial dissatisfaction, is one of the drivers of quality practice. So, use the mirror: watch for your mistakes. Fix them. But don’t get too hung up on what you look like in the mirror — this is just a hotel rom.

You’re not staying here.