I can’t call today a clean practice. Quite the contrary, it was sloppy. My hands were all over the place. My feet were rarely positioned correctly. I’m not sure I did all the maneuvers in the right order. My breath work was terrible. I was too fast, as well. Sloppy, all around.
It’s the genuine nature of a practice one does every day for some of the days to be not as good as the others. I got into this challenge around 275+ days into the work las year, when I didn’t really want to continue to 366 days, but when I still felt like I owed it to the world and to myself. Then, tai chi done correctly was a chore — the more so because I was on a deadline. When I started over again in March or April of last year, tai chi became fun again, because it was a new cycle. Now, I’m nearing the end of another count of days, and I’m letting myself be sloppy and being cranky about it.
Not a winning combination.
Because the truth is, the count doesn’t matter. At all. I’m planning to continue doing this for a while. But I think, perhaps, that I need to be prepared to acknowledge that in 600+ days of tai chi, that there are going to be quite a few stinkers. And that this is all quite normal.
So here I am, having a perfectly normal day of bad tai chi. Tomorrow will probably be better. Not as good as Thursday or Friday perhaps, or a good as last Wednesday and maybe not as awful as three weeks ago on a Tuesday. But if we can acknowledge that our practice has good and bad days, then we free ourselves from the fragile tyranny of perfection, and relax into the more resilient and skillful power of persistence.