Throwing Off the Mantle of Stress
interviewed by Instructor Lis
lifetime of travel, Charles and his wife are in the process of packing
up and moving for the last time ó retiring to the coast. This doesnít
mean long days of doing nothing. Charles has seen too many people give
up work, only to discover there is nothing to fill the gap. Several
have died or suffered heart attacks, shortly after retiring.
has no intention of doing the same.
just done an Executive Coaching Course, so Iím really only semi
retired. Have been since earlier this year. I figure I have at least
ten productive, healthy years left and I aim to use them. I plan to do
a lot more Tai Chi practice,Ē he said. ďI donít do enough. I know that.Ē
away from Canberra means he wonít have a regular class to attend,
something he knows will test his will power. ďI need the
discipline of a class. I sleep really well after the Monday night
session. On other nights, I sometimes wake up during the night and
sometimes I canít go back to sleep Ė but never after a Tai Chi class.Ē
Heís looking forward to having the time to do daily practice.
be coming back to Canberra fairly regularly, so Iíll drop in to a class
and maybe try to catch a workshop. I intend to keep it going. I canít
imagine letting Tai Chi slide completely away. Itís too good. Itís
learnt more about my body, and the link between my body and my limbs, in
the last five years than in the last fifty five years. Iím not very co-ordinated
ó I have, or rather had, no body awareness ó and I carry a lot of
tension in my shoulders. I originally started Tai Chi to reduce that
stress and to get me out from behind a desk. I had a very demanding job
at that time.Ē
came to his first class in 1990. He attended for a couple of terms,
then moved away from Canberra.
what Tai Chi was. Iíd seen people practising when I was in Asia. It
looked beautiful, but itís surprisingly demanding, both in the physical
and mental sense.
came back to Canberra, I was made redundant and I decided to start
again. This was in 2002. I learned the traditional Yang style, then
mid way through 2003, Brett introduced the current Hun Yuan form. I was
convinced Iíd never get the change in style, but now I realise how much
better I use my body. I didnít mind the switch; it was just a
completely different way of moving.
there are the other related things like the Bang (the Stick form) and
the Cannon Fist. I really like the Stick. I think itís because it
stretches the shoulders and works the back. I sometimes have minor back
pain and Iím sure the practice helps relieve it.
enjoyed learning the Cannon Fist because it was something new. I need
to work on those movements a lot more though, or I forget them. Without
some specific detail, everything goes out of shape very easily. I know
Iím not getting a lot of things right, even though Iím following Brett
and Iím imagining Iím doing the moves the way he does.
general, I really enjoy the holistic nature of Tai Chi. I didnít and
donít have any particular health issues apart from stress ó which isnít
as much of a problem now. I like the challenge of improving, and I do
feel I improve almost on a weekly basis. I like learning more about the
form and about myself.
an interesting correlation between Tai Chi practice and the Executive
Coaching Course I just did. It was a course for teaching you how to
help others get the best out of themselves ó to realise their potential
and get rid of blocks to progress. You learn as much about yourself as
the person youíre coaching. You quickly confront your own underlying
beliefs and prejudices.
same way, Tai Chi makes you face up to aspects of yourself. You learn
how to improve, whether it be physical co-ordination, attitude, a calmer
approach or general relaxation.Ē
(This is an actual interview, but the name
has been changed for reasons of privacy.)