Today's TCC practice began long after evening's darkness had settled. It helps sometimes, I realized, to practice after I'm already tired. Monkey Mind no longer has endless energy to swing from branch to branch, tree to tree (i.e., thoughts, debates, contemplations). Consequently, I'm quieter, calmer.
It's been a busy day welcoming a new member to our family. Wee kitten came home with us--unexpectedly--from the vet's office yesterday afternoon. Talk about chi .... this little six-week bundle of life force bounces from one side of the room to the other. She leaps over barriers, scurries from one activity to the next, playfully bats at toys and dust bunnies, then clamors for food, gobbles it down, and collapses, exhausted, into my arms.
I realized during tonight's practice that each TCC practice is a gift I give myself. It's also a gift I give to others. When I recharge through my practice, I come back to my life and activities with renewed energy and greater calm and focus. I'm less likely to get frustrated or overwhelmed with wee one if I've taken my own version of a nap--t'ai chi chih practice--to balance my energies.
Our new little kitten naturally falls asleep when she's tired. Sometimes she's back up and running minutes later, other times she sleeps for several hours. But she's teaching me already. This little being knows what she needs to stay alive and lively: food, exercise, sleep, play, rest, relaxation, and love.
What I'm learning from watching her is that one of the best things I can do for myself and for those around me is to circulate the chi each day, perhaps multiple times per day. When I re-energize, take time and space, and balance and refresh myself through a full t'ai chi chih practice and/or a few repetitions of several movements, I'm truly caring for myself. It just goes to show that you don't have to be a college-educated human to be a teacher....