Tai Chi Y2D172: against the stream

I listened to a friend of mine talk yesterday about how he’s changing his life. He was talking about how he’s engaged in changing his thinking from “below-100 IQ” to “above-100 IQ.” More power to him. He was all about shifting from a mindset of needs and wants and desires, to a mindset of intellect and deliberate action. Yet when another friend at the gathering asked him to identify specific practice, and the actions taken to manifest this change, he didn’t name a single one. He didn’t answer. He avoided the question, three times, in my hearing. Maybe he has a system, maybe he doesn’t — but he’s choosing to keep silence about specific practice.

I know what change I’ve made in my life. I’ve got five hundred thirty-eight days of evidence that proves to me, at least, that I’ve made a change. I don’t even like the change in my life every day. Why can’t I just laze around in bed on a Saturday morning? Why am I even up? I don’t even know if this change is entirely healthy for me. All I know is that I made it, and I continue to make this change, day after day after day. Above-100 IQ? Below? Enh. Do the work. Check the results. Do the work again until it stops working.

Today, my legwork was great: good position of feet and calves, good stretches in the thighs, and so on. Not so good in the upper body. I have things to work on. But I have specific things to work on: the twist of my upper body above the hip, the planting of the foot and the transfer of force across the shoulders and ribcage, the defensive posture of the arm in ward-off left and ward-off right.. I don’t think specifics can be underestimated or avoided. Sooner or later, you have to name the specific practices that you’re doing to make you better. And then you have to practice them.

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