The ebb and flow of something is the continually changing character of something (source). In this statement, the changing character is myself. A lot has happened over the past 3-4 months and things are finally starting to stabilize.
One of the major changes in my free time was I decided to basically stop playing massively multiple online games (MMOs). I basically stopped playing World of Warcraft about 4 or so months ago, but just when feeling of playing an MMO subsided, I picked things back up with Warhammer Online. I can say that I have been pretty much MMO-free for the past month and a half or so and I have to admit that I like having the extra time. For those not in the know, a MMO game can easily take 3-4 hours of one’s time A NIGHT without missing a blink. My own gaming time was more along the lines of 2 hours a night, but that’s still 2 hours where I could be doing something else more productive.
Additionally, we signed up for a family pass at the local recreation center. This means I now have access to an indoor swimming pool AND weight/cardio facilities. I have been going quite regularly and I feel great. I can already feel and see a difference!
But what about taiji? I am sad to admit that taiji has taken a massive back burner in terms of priority. First of all, MMO gaming really dug into my taiji time. Secondly, we had some major real life changes take place and things are finally starting to settle on that front. And thirdly, my mind has just not been on taiji and/or meditation. In fact, I cannot even remember the last time I went through a whole taiji form set, however I can remember the last couple of times where I have engaged in zhan zhuang standing practice. With all the ups and down, the only thing that is somewhat stable is my zhan zhuang training. While I haven’t been doing it everyday, I do it at least 2-3 times a week. I feel it helps to stabilize and ground myself.
When things are in disarray, sometimes is best to go back to the basics. For me, that has been focusing on my breath. Another thing that has sparked my interest again is seeing a short video of a taiji practice session on John’s Tai-Blog. What I liked about John’s video was he basically showed you can practice however you like. For example, when he went to turn on the music, I was thinking he would put on some type of meditative flute music or something, but I was wrong! Additionally, he showed how someone could easily practice basic drills with common taiji movements (ward off, repulse monkey, cloud hands, etc, etc). I used to do a lot of drills in the past, but somehow became fixated that I *must* complete the whole form. At this point in my journey, something is definitely better than nothing.