I was asked a question last night by someone who is just getting to know me. He said “who are you anyway”, simple question I guess, but it was not an easy answer. I’ve been reflecting on it since it was such a direct question, and I did not have a simple 1 liner answer. For those of you reading this who have followed my many blogs and lived, experienced my numerous discoveries with me, I doubt you could come up with a one word answer yourselves, because certainly over the years I have rolled along life’s roadways simply living what the Universe put down before me. That what life is to me, a journey in which I am always traveling through the moments life presents to me.
When I was actively teaching lessons of the TAO through Chinese art forms, landscaping,martial arts, meditation, body work etc. it was always very interesting to me how different the reaction or answer would be when I asked a potential student why they had come to the Center. How they had arrived at my door. Answered varied, chronic pain, their doctor’s had recommended something I was teaching/offering, anger management, wanting more from the martial arts training they were getting. Health care professionals who needed a release from the day to day pressures of their jobs. Golfers wanting to improve their game. It was a joy each day to work with people who had a thirst for more. We wanted to take back control of their lives, to be more connected. Yes I have been very blessed in this life. I so appreciate all of my life experiences, for without them, I would not be the person I am today.
In schools you are taught lessons, techniques, in life you learn to use these lessons. It is not how much you learn, it is how you learn, it is not in the quantity of things you do, but in the quality of what you do. In the last 20 years I have seen a change in Massage Therapy. I was in one life a certified RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) why because to practice that Taoist ”WAY” of body work, I required certification in the discipline as required by whatever State of Province I was working in. Each geographical place had different levels of competence required. ( I’ll save my comments on this for another visit.) Over my years I’ve had to acquire certification for this and for that, lots of useless pieces of card stock, that in time get grey and time worn and really serve no purpose except put $ into the accounts of the groups/associations that give out the renewal stickers. I never put them up.
For teachers like myself, it isn’t about the numbers or the money, it is about the connection you make with another human being. That said I soon learned that $ does for some reason have an impact on the perceived value of the sessions. I am generalizing here, but often when something is given free or at little cost, less value is put on what is being shared. For most of my adult life, I lived alone by choice. Work was my passion, and my life. Work was something to do to earn money to live, but for me, I loved what I did, and so yes I needed the money to live, but I sure loved the experience of working. When I would get publicity, an interview on television, radio, or newsprint, the phones would go wild. However I am one person, and I can only do so much, so…. in time…. the Universe worked it out for me…. and life settled back to a comfortable pace.
I did not do combat sports, I did work with students of the art at perfecting what they were striving to do. I did teach meditation, active and passive, but with each student I worked out what was best for them. The land and nature were and will always be, part of the teaching. We gain strength through our hardships. It is in repeated and often simple movement that we achieve great things. There are no mistakes, only learning curves.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE – the TAO