I usually practice Tai Chi a few times a week. When the semester began, I decided to do it every day. If I’m honest, the decision came largely from the looming ACDA convention, where I’ll be doing it in public.
One of the first things that happened is I ended up in the hospital getting my appendix removed. And then immediately afterwards I got dreadfully sick. I also happened to receive an e-mail from theIIQTC asking about what I’m up to as a practice leader. And so, lying in bed with a fever of 101, I pulled out my Tai Chi Easy Practice Leader Resource Guide, a spiral bound book of all the stuff we worked on at the training session last summer. And I thought, “right!”
There are all kinds of perspectives and layers of psychological interactions in this mind-body philosophy. Did my appendix become inflamed to distract me from repressed rage, as Dr. Sarnosuggested could be a cause of recurring pain and chronic illness? Did the sudden increase in meditation and focus threaten to cross the threshold between me and my protective subconscious? Would this protection override the otherwise clever healing resources that keep me healthy all the time? Does this sound more flaky than I should be putting in writing?
Maybe it was the weather. Maybe the fever was a reaction to the pneumonia shot erroneously given to me in the hospital. Even so,again, what could cause an otherwise healthy thirty-three year old body to go so desperately out of wack? Back luck? The will of god? Chemical imbalance?
In the survey, I replied that I would be willing to blog about Tai Chi and the IIQTC experience. I thought, “I already do that,” then searched the blog and discovered I’ve actually written very little about Tai Chi in detail. And I’ve never described my own actual practice. And the reason, I realize now, is that I feel a little ambivalent about outing myself as someone who buys into the mind-body perspective. I’ve written around the edges of it, but I’ve never confessed just how comfortable with the idea that the mind is the body, and that there is, as my therapist says, a part of you that is wise. And, to the point, that is the part that should be in charge when you get on the podium.
So, in preparation for the convention session, and to put my money where my blog is, I’ll be writing a lot more about Tai Chi and the mind-body issues for conductors (well, for me) for the next six weeks at least.
If you thought Thoughtful Gestures was flaky and touchy-feely before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Or if you thought it was sort of mainstream and music-y, it’s about to get, um, perspectivey. This post here, with its “repressed rage” and “protective subconscious,” is just the beginning.