This post has the potential to be like a kaleidoscope; in truth it’s an endless journey of learning, like life, so I could probably keep on adding to the list for the rest of my days. It got rather long as it was, so I’ve divided it into two for easier bite size reading. 🙂

I have noticed that there are some things that come up for me repeatedly when I do my daily Tai Chi practice that are reflected perfectly in the creative process {unsurprisingly}, so I thought it’d be interesting to explore them.

Even if you don’t do Tai Chi or any kind of energy practice, I’m willing to bet that there are examples from your daily life that work in just the same way.


Self kindness is key key key! {It’s key.}

Sometimes I want to scream a little bit when I see these endless exhortations to love and be kind yourself, the ubiquitous discussions about self care {and yes I’m a total hypocrite because I engage in these discussions too}. Kind of interesting when I consider which part of me is bored to death with the concept! But that’s a whole nother subject in itself.

The thing is, there’s a reason why we all talk about it so much. Because without a foundation of kindness, compassion and care for ourselves how can we possibly offer anything of true value or depth to anyone else? Tai Chi has been in many ways my ultimate self kindness teacher because there is SO much about it that you can ‘get wrong’; if I want to reap the benefits I have no option but to put aside my self-flagellation and dig very deep for all the compassion I can dredge up while I’m learning it. And since I’ll always be learning it…. you see what I’m saying.


There are no endings

That’s why it’s called a practice. Otherwise it’d be called a Tai Chi Instant Perfection, or an Art Already Done and Dusted. Without a practice, by which I mean a regular doing, there’s not only nothing actually happening, there’s also no possibility of newness, of the unexpected. And as far as I’m concerned, a life with no unexpected is a pretty dull life.

Perfection is not the point

If it was, very few of us would continue with any kind of practice, and our lives would be much less rich because of it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t consider themselves a perfectionist in at least one area of their lives, and while a commitment to excellence is both admirable and important for growth, perfectionism only ever seems to be a paradoxical limitation to it.

flower bench 2

Nothing is what you think it is

This one’s slippery. On the face of it, lots of things seem to be exactly what we think they are. But I’ve found that going beneath the surface with an attitude of openness to there being more here than meets the eye, reveals ever expanding layers of information that offer clarity and insight and expand things beyond what I thought were their limits. In Tai Chi, that tends to look like changing my focus; if instead of trying to get the moves in the right sequence I put my attention on pumping the chi, it’s an entirely different experience. In art and my other creative endeavours, it looks like trying new things, or old things in different ways, with different tools. It’s about exploring before making judgements that close doors.

Part two coming shortly!


 Do you have an energy practice; a martial art, or yoga, meditation or something else? Do you find it teaches you useful life and art lessons? Please share them in the comments ~ I’m fascinated by your experience of this! If you don’t have one, is there anything else in your life that you find teaches you these kinds of things?