Fierce and Full

In the private lesson yesterday, my teacher pointed out to me that it looked like my lower and upper body were holding back.

This really struck a chord with me, as its is something I have been acutely aware of in other aspects of my life.

I have always felt like I was holding something back. Holding back ideas, holding back my passion, holding back interest…just holding back something. Never pushing myself to that extra limit, always pulling up before reaching my potential.

People that know me would say…

“If that’s holding back, I don’t want to see your at full throttle.”

And they are right, I get intense when I am really in to something and yet despite that, I still always feel I am holding back…. 3 years of intense obstacle races, years of drunken out of control parties, crazy hours working on school projects, intense singular focus on work projects…. Yet, still always had the feeling that lingering feeling. Almost like I am waiting for something worthy of my full attention and intensity.

My mind can be a highly focused whirlwind. When it gets pointed at something everything else disappears and I live and breath that thing until I take it to the edge its capacity. More often then not though, I learn it doesn’t have the promise I originally thought and move on without looking back.

In the past, it has led to bad decisions, bad relationships, and tricky situations in general.

I never wanted Tai Chi to be that way. I started slow… For me :)… I went to class 4 times a week and practiced every morning for 2 hours. I learned the first form pretty quick…. At least the over all choreography (I hope to never stop learning corrections to the form). It took over my exercise routine time. So to me, it was just exercise and nothing more. I of course was really in to it, but it was kind of a probing cursory interest for about a year.

Well, I turned a corner one could say. I find myself wanting to take Tai Chi to that place I have never been. The place where I take it past my comfort zone, right past the point of passive interest, and straight past the point of no return.

I have amped up to next level and as a result I had yet another breakthrough in my form this morning:

Fierce and full.

Those were the concepts I was left with after my private lesson to kind of start exploring.

Fierce.. Not in a vicious way. Fierce like…. This is all of me to my limit. Not angry, not vicious, fierce just completely taking up the space my body and presence require. Fierce like, I am here, in the present and you have my full undivided attention.

Full, very similar to fierce. Full like my body is completely extended, my legs and arms released from inhibition. Completely involved and focused in each move, expression of intention from ever limb and every part of the body with a purpose.

With that in mind, My form completely changed. Half way through the first run through, beads of sweat started forming on my forehead. By the end, my arms had a layer of sweat on them as well. The speed did not differ from my usual (still too fast), yet my body and mind were fully engaged in each moment. This was a completely new feeling, allowing myself no distracted thought. Fully in the moment of what and how my body was moving. I think this was a taste of what Tai Chi is supposed to be. At least its a glimpse of a new level of practice
Three more times I did the form just like that. I have gained a new respect for the form and each movement.

Going forward I will be fierce and full. No more holding back and no more excuses. World of tai chi, here I come.

Todays Practice:

After the intensity of that form practice I got pretty tired later in the day. Took it kind of easy in the evening Dynamic Qigong class.

  • 24 form 4 times intensely
  • 120 pushups throughout the day
  • 14 pullups
  • 30 squats
  • 1.5 hours Dynamic Qigong

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