Last week I began Tai Chi lessons. I have always had a love for the grace and beauty of Tai Chi, especially when done with competence. There is something almost mystical about this ancient form of moving meditation.
And it takes great skill to master. There is a level of concentration involved that might not be readily apparent to anyone who hasn’t tried it for themselves. There is just so much to think about in the beginning stages of learning. Perfecting the intricacies of each individual move and then having the ability to bring it all together in one fluid motion, is really challenging. And whilst it looks gentle and serene…. it’s actually quite the physical (and mental) workout.
I love it.
As I approach yet another birthday, I am reminded of how important it is to keep exploring new options. Whether it be a hobby or a work related skill, or just something you have always wanted to try out… we should never stop learning and growing and exploring. I believe it’s why we are here. And learning is not just the domain of the young. In fact.. the older we get.. the more important it becomes to keep stretching our boundaries. I have never been a fan of the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”… it’s just not true.
In the Tai Chi class that I am attending, my teacher is much older than me… and the majority of the other students are also of a more mature vintage. And we laugh, and we joke and then we concentrate, and we try really hard. Sometimes we get it quickly. Sometimes mastery alludes us. But the most important thing is that we are having so much fun in the trying.
Tai Chi might not be your thing.. and that’s fine… it’s not for everyone. But I would encourage everyone to try something new, just as often as the opportunity affords you. Life can get very stagnant and stale very quickly… and we all have a million excuses as to why we don’t have the time or the energy. Or maybe (like my father) we just feel that we are too old and too set in our ways. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the more we learn and stretch ourselves beyond our boundaries… the younger we get.