Tag Archives: Living Authentically

T’ai Chi for Couch Potatos: Getting the T’ai Chi Experience in Front of a Television Screen

Ah, the perfect escape, when you feel relaxed and worry free. Everything is so soft and soothing as you gently forget your problems of the day and just settle into a carefree state of mind. You can simply accept everything that forms on the blank canvas before you and rest.

Another example of the T’ai Chi experience? Well, not really.

In this case, I’m describing what it feels like to watch Bob Ross painting his creations during his television shows The Joy of Painting and Beauty is Everywhere.

The long running Joy of Painting which was shown on PBS from 1983 to 1994 is now available on Youtube.com, while his second series, Beauty is Everywhere filmed in 1991 is now available at Netflix.com. (Bob Ross and Chill???)

 

Ross is a fantastic painter who demonstrated his art weekly for his loyal audience. He was known for his wildly permed hair and Bohemian fashions, but mostly for his upbeat, calm demeanor as he swiftly painted the beautiful landscapes featured on his show. He would shift colors around the canvas, mixing shapes and textures as he happily gave tips and hints to those interested in his craft.

Most people who watched him would never pick up a brush, but instead would watch all the same to experience the joy of this artist at work. He was also known for his light hearted and witty comments  that seemed to come almost from his stream of conscious as he worked.

We don’t make mistakes, we make happy accidents,” he’s known to explain. And another fun little quip while painting, “He’s a crooked little tree, we’ll send him to Washington!

Bob Ross’s approach to painting could have easily come from a talented T’ai Chi instructor. He brought his impressions through the TV screen and into our homes, even into our hearts. Television, unfortunately, rarely has such a positive effect on our spirits, though we’re rarely aware of the influence it can have on us.

Continue reading T’ai Chi for Couch Potatos: Getting the T’ai Chi Experience in Front of a Television Screen

How to Own your T’ai Chi Form

T’ai Chi is beautiful. There’s nothing quite like watching the grace and power of a talented T’ai Chi practitioners as they effortlessly float from one posture to the next. The strength, flexibility, and dexterity demonstrated can be awe inspiring.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our form doesn’t quite live up to the aesthetics found in a gifted performance.  Try as we might, our bodies just don’t seem to be able to bend or hold the positions the way we’d like them to. It can be terribly discouraging, especially after you’ve spent years studying the art only to see someone much younger, and more limber, easily execute a move that you still have difficulty performing.

But, is a pretty, aesthetically pleasing form really what we should be striving for? Isn’t T’ai Chi designed as a martial art? -As a method for moving vital energy through our body to improve health?

How can we make the T’ai Chi form our own, even when we fail to perform the movements the way we imagine they ought to be done.

Continue reading How to Own your T’ai Chi Form

Embracing Confidence: the T’ai Chi Way!

Using the principles of T’ai Chi can help us in a variety of ways during our daily life. One area of life that we can all use a little help with is self-confidence.

Some of us, unfortunately, seem to have no confidence;We’re wishy-washy and easily run over by pushy salespeople, aggressive authority figures (like  parents, bosses, or teachers), and tend to fade away into the crowd rather than stand up and express ourselves confidently to the rest of the world.

Others, try to arm themselves with a sense of ‘False Confidence.’ They outwardly appear strong, brash, and sure of themselves to everyone outside, but in doing so become rigid in their convictions. They stand so hard on their beliefs that they fail to see the value of ideas different from their own. This puts them in constant conflict with those around them and leaves their ego hopelessly bruised when someone has a better idea or wins an argument.

In both cases, the result is the same. They eventually become frustrated and drained of energy.

If you lack confidence, you’ll become slowly frustrated at your inability to speak up for yourself and feel pushed around until the stress of not being able to stand up for yourself becomes too much and you finally explode in a fit of anger.

If you’ve built an inflated sense of False Confidence, you find yourself always arguing your point and in friction with anyone who doesn’t share your particular point of view. Again, this constant struggle eventually leads to frustration and most likely a bitter breaking point.

Either way, these poor confidence strategies leave the person exhausted and stressed out, which is not  a very resourceful way to live.

Luckily, there is a fundamental T’ai Chi principle that provides true, authentic confidence and saves our mental energy, leaving us relaxed and stress free. It’s not a ‘Get Confident Quick’ scheme, like reciting positive affirmations into a mirror, but a real strategy that works even when life gets tough.. Continue reading Embracing Confidence: the T’ai Chi Way!