Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's been a while, but I've been preoccupied...

I'm studying for my GRE. Thought I'd go back to school for my Masters in Somatics (study of Mind/Body). So...I'm preparing for the quantitative (i.e. Math) portion. I'm staring at the above equation, but really, all of my energy is focused on my writing hand.

My writing hand is holding a sharp pencil.

That it wants to jam into my left eye.

I wasn't so great at Algebra 25 years ago. And now I'm trying to remember what I wasn't so great at from 25 years ago.

So here's what I've noticed about myself when making the choice to shift my life's "direction" in a fairly substantial way: I tend to fall back into habits and behaviors I thought I had left far, far behind.

Top of the list:

Complete Non-Communication with Those I Love: In this state, people should know instinctively what my momentary emotional status is, AND shift their state to benefit mine WITHOUT me having to say anything. I shouldn't have to ask for anything to be done, I shouldn't have to tell anyone to do anything, it should all just BE as I have it pictured in my head. Thanks.

Complete Self Downtalk: Dusty old 8 tracks are spiffing themselves up to replay nasty messages in my head: You can barely juggle what you have NOW! How are you going to juggle graduate school!? You aren't smart enough anyway, moron. And how selfish can you possibly be? So what if you hate what you were doing? Suck it up and get back to your job because your kids have braces and glasses up the hill and college around the corner. You've already blown any kind of hope for retirement.

Complete Fear-Based Mania - Oh my God, what if you don't pass the GRE? What are you going to tell everyone? You'll have to tell everyone! embarrassing for you! Aren't you ashamed already? Don't you feel that?

The Sucker Punch: Oh, please. You're way too old to go back to school.

As these thoughts rise to the surface of my consciousness, for a brief moment, just a waning pause, I believe the voice! I go right along with it. And then clarity dawns on me and I have to laugh at myself. The animated movie "Aristocats" pops into my head. Do you remember that movie? My internal movie screen starts at the part where the old pack leader hound dog realizes he's following the ideas of another dog and says "Wait a minute! I'm the leader!"

And that's how I feel!

So that's where I am...and I have to say that if it weren't for the grounding practice of taiji - and the great family of players that surrounds me - I'm not sure where that pencil would be.

Sitting in some dusty drawer, but certainly not challenging me.


  1. The math GRE...fortunately, I didn't worry much about that one, since I went to grad school in English...your list of habits looks pretty similar to mine, though...if I were to write one out...but, then, the important thing is to be aware of them for what they are...or so all those books on mindfulness tell me...

  2. Yes, and luckily I've three other people living with me who force me into awareness! What happened to good old co-dependency?! :)

  3. I am happy you didn't stab your eye out. Please remember you've got peeps out here who will rip those 8-tracks outta your head for you!

  4. Yes...I swear you all are the best. :)

  5. I like maths and I like tai chi. but i can't quite figure out why you need those equations to do the study of mind/body?!! good luck to you man... and glad you still have the left eye. :)

  6. That's a darned good question.

    The field of Somatics has research statistics involved, so knowing math is probably a good thing.

    I am very happy to know there are math whizzes out there who also practice tai chi. Maybe one day I'll be one of them. :)

  7. maybe one day i'll be one of them as well... haha. my teacher said that thinking too much is not good for tai chi. tend to over-analyse and not feel. must be all the maths that i've done...

  8. Good teacher!

    Maybe between math and tai chi you are perfectly balanced. :)

    Where do you study tai chi, Shang Lee?