Tai chi practice teaches you so much
The lessons you learn and use in martial arts have application in your life and in your business
Practicing tai chi can be a lifetime journey. No lie, it nearly is in my case; it’s been over 40 years now. They call it “practice” for good reason.
- Can I slow down and soften?
- Can I hold each posture a bit longer today?
- Can I move from my center and let everything else follow?
Every single repetition, every single practice, invites you to focus on the moment, on what you are doing right now. Not on what you can’t do. Not on yesterday’s form or tomorrow’s challenge. But This.Now.Moment.
When you focus on and practice what’s in front of you, you move toward mastery with every breath. Mastery of the movement. Mastery of the interaction. Mastery in your work. Mastery in your business. Reminder: It’s moving toward mastery I’m talking about here, not necessarily achieving mastery. How would you know you got there, anyway? And then what would you do for fun?
- By being more relaxed than the person with whom you’re sparring.
- By listening, really listening, so you can sense the other person’s disbalance and then guide her to a clearer understanding of where she was stuck and a way to get what she really needs.
- By getting out of your head and into your body and your heart.
And then there’s the empty step.
When you step with an empty foot, you can feel through your foot to the ground below. You can feel stability or the lack of stability. You can feel safety or not-so-safe. If the ground isn’t stable or safe, you can place your foot elsewhere before you commit. The tai chi form when you see it practiced is fluid with no stops. It’s beautiful. Guess how it gets that way? A zillion or so hours of practice. I wonder how many hours I personally have drilled this in practice.
Pick the foot up — did you rock with a weight shift or are you steady, stable, supported?
Put the foot down again.
Pick it up — count to …three-four-five, sinking all the while; okay.
Step empty, then shift your weight.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
And repeat some more.
Think about your business. Compare the times you have moved hastily to get something done, or launched, with the times you have slowed down, and taken time with each step of the process. Some examples of empty steps in business might be:
- Running an idea or content by a coach or a mastermind or a friend for feedback.
- Trying something out small scale before going big.
- Taking a little more time than you think you need. With everything.
What empty steps have you taken in your business? What heavy off-balance steps? What have you noticed? I’d love to know; please leave a comment.