It feels like one of those days where everything is racing along at 12million miles a minute (and that’s the fastest speed there is). When the alarm went off at 5am, I was already in the mode of “I’m awake, I’m alive, I’m alert.” Today my day is ending sometime around 11pm, and it’s going to be a rush all the way through. Tomorrow and Sunday will be similar, it feels like; part of me is looking forward to the rush, and part of me is dreading it.
As a result, I consciously slowed down my tai chi and qi gong practices this morning; and I took extra time even with the new form I’m introducing after tai chi. I want to be successful at these things, all through my day. Yet if I don’t slow down to make the thing I do for myself successful: the things I do for my students won’t be successful either.
The trick to slowing down, I’ve found, is counting the breath at the same time that I go through the motions. Today I used a four-count on the qi gong forms, and an 8-count on the tai chi movements. What this means is that I take four full breaths in each posture, before using another four full breaths (that is, in and out) to shift to the next posture. Wow, tedious and hard at the same time. Easy to rush.
And it’s important not to rush this. The quality of the experience depends upon a quality of movement that is utterly unhurried. The unhurried teacher is a blessing to the student, and to himself. And so, for my self I slow down; so that for those who need me, I’m my best self.