Today I went through the form three times, and it still took me only fifteen minutes for all three. I couldn’t get into the right head-space to move at the slower pace I’ve been working with lately. A lot of it had to do with the separation issues — I couldn’t seem to let go of the idea that the breath and the movement should be in sync. After my third run-through, I let it go. If it wasn’t flowing today, I wasn’t going to push it.
My friend Lisa told me that she gave up her daily tai chi practice after six or seven years because the perfectionism had started to consume her. She had become so concerned with getting it right, that she’d failed to account for the fact that (after six and a half years) she had more right days than wrong days; and her mistakes, such as they were, were relatively insignificant compared with her overall success. After a long period of wrestling with those issues, she just … stopped.
I’d like that not to happen to me. And so I’m practicing, now, being able to let go of perfectionism. If the form is happing at a faster speed today — then so be it. I’ll try and correct it tomorrow.