“From start to end, I have grown mentally, physically and, especially, emotionally. I am so very thankful that I can maintain my positive attitude and keep myself motivated. I am also more focused than ever.”
By TAM, Ellicott City, Maryland
When signing up for a T’ai Chi Chih summertime class, I thought it would be somewhat like yoga. For a year I practiced hot yoga, taught in a vinyasa yoga tradition. In practicing this type of yoga, I was able to relieve stress, lose weight and focus better.
At the beginning of my TCC class, I was stressed, full of anger, and a million things were going through my mind on a daily basis; I didn’t know what I should focus on more and what was more important. When I started getting the movements and doing the practice outside of class, I started paying attention to my breathing and my thoughts. One by one, I started to prioritize what needed my immediate attention and what, especially, I was able to control. I learned to let go of the things I could not control.
I’m an open-minded individual; ask me anything, anything at all and I am willing to answer. Doing TCC allowed me to be even more open-minded, to really think outside the box and not to limit myself to what I’m used to doing. It is definitely a stress reliever. I worked two jobs, took two summer courses, interned at the IT department at a well-known corporation and planned my dream wedding. Talk about overload. But again, doing the practice outside of class helped a lot. My anger subsided and when I’m stuck in traffic, I listen to music and really pay attention to what’s happening around me.
One class assignment required that we turn off the music in our car and notice what was happening around us, especially the little things. Not only was I able to hear my own breathing on the way home, I can now hear my thoughts. And I learned to appreciate the beauty of a gorgeous day; even when it rains, I enjoy watching and listening to the raindrops falling. I’ve begun to appreciate how far I’ve gotten in my college career. You are how you treat others; I’ve learned to not hold grudges against people. I’ve learned to let go of the past so I can move into my future.
With TCC, I have more energy to get things done, and I feel a lot better about myself. I had gained weight when I started college and I always doubted myself in anything that I did. Putting on that weight had left me feeling lazy and unmotivated. But doing TCC practices outside of class has helped me stay motivated to work out every day. Although most people do not know, I have had asthma for as long as I can remember. It used to be so severe that I used an inhaler two or three times daily. However, my condition isn’t as severe as it was before; I now use my inhaler once every day or two (which is amazing and such a stress reliever).
From start to end, I have grown mentally, physically and, especially, emotionally. I am so very thankful that I can maintain my positive attitude and keep myself motivated. I am also more focused than ever. I definitely look at things with a whole new perspective and I take my days one day at a time. There’s no need to rush through traffic or curse at the driver next to me, or even try to multitask. Time is the one thing that I cannot control, but with the patience that I have been cultivating, I can work with time.
Excerpted and reprinted by permission from the February 2014 issue of The Vital Force.