The other day, someone asked me about the mindset they should be in while practicing Tai Chi. I explained the concept of Song to them, but they wanted something they could relate to at that moment. Thinking about it, I asked if they ever stop to "smell the roses"?
I'm sure some of you have heard the saying before before, but let's go into detail. It means taking a "time out" just to appreciate the little things in life. During that time, you're not thinking about work, school, kids, money, pain, and anything else that gives you stress. You're just in the moment and that moment is focused on one thing, that scene. It doesn't have to be just literally smelling the flowers though. It's anything that gives you pause for a few seconds to see the wonder of the world. This could be a sunrise, sunset, the ocean, a stream, fish, animals at play, anything you find particularly calming.
A few weeks ago, I had one of these moments and I decided to put it on Instagram (see #10secondsofpeace). Every week, I take it as a challenge to find 10 seconds of peace in anything I see out in the world, to remind myself that not everything is bad. It's very difficult to do, especially when you listen to everyone's problems everyday, worry about your finances, and hope you can keep a job. I talk a lot about Yin Yang concept and I've found we're focused more on what's troublesome in the world then what's good.
After asking the person about the metaphor and explaining about 10 seconds of peace, I don't think they really had the idea. It's a difficult feeling to explain in words and it's something you just need to experience for yourself. This is true in a lot of things with Tai Chi. Push Hands, Jin, and other concepts can be explained, but never really understood until you actually do it. Same with sparring. You gain experience with experience ...
So, why don't you take the 10 seconds of peace challenge too. During your busy schedule running around and doing grown up things, stay on the lookout for something that gives you pause and makes you stop and forgot all the trouble in the world. Stay and watch it for 10 seconds. Remember, it could be anything. It's what appeals to you, not what anyone else says you should make you happy. If you want, you too can share it on Instagram. Just hashtag #10secondsofpeace. It may just help someone else.
Here's mine for this week, which I do every Thursday: