Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 386
Laughing and Crying
The serious Tai Chi player views life in the terms of yin and yang. He is always seeking to understand how to find balance in life – not too much of this or that. Moderation in all things.
Mother nature is the perfect example of this fact. The darkest night will have stars; the brightest day will have shade. The Arctic can get hot; the desert can get cold. A seed is planted in the ground, a tree grows, it fruits, producing more seeds, then it dies. Life and death are the ultimate expression of yin and yang for nature (including humans, of course).
I just went to the local co-op grocery store, shopping. There was a child, about three or four, pushing a little cart around the store, taking some items from the shelves at his level, and putting them into his cart. He was so intent, and happy to be able to help his mom shop. After putting a can in his cart, his mother said,” Honey, you don’t like that.” To which he replied, “But I like the color of this (Pause) thing” – (he didn’t remember the name “can”).
The whole interaction and his joy at shopping, brought me such a wonderful feeling that I started to laugh and laugh. Later as I reflected on the scene, I realized it was a perfect yin and yang, Tai Chi moment. When something really wonderful happens, we fill up with energy (happy feelings). Sometimes it can actually get to be too much, so we need to let some of this excess out, so mother nature takes over and we laugh.
Think about laughing. Ha-ha-ha. This is all exhale. Then a short inhale, and ha-ha-ha again until you feel calmed down and relaxed again. Try it and see. Much more exhale than inhale. Balance.
Or you go to the beach and see an incredible sunset. You are filled with awe. “Ooooh”, or “wow”. Big exhales of sound. Balance.
Now think about the opposite. You turn on the TV and see pictures of bodies lying on the ground after a massive hurricane. Homes and lives wrecked. You feel so sad – devastated and drained. What you need is more energy to balance this off. How does mother nature help? You cry!
I know you are thinking that crying can’t bring more energy, but try it. Several short bursts of exhale, followed by a big inhale. With sadness, one needs extra energy, and with happiness, one needs a bit of release. When one feels happy, the corners of the mouth turn up, because the energy rises upward. When sad, the corners turn down to strengthen the center – to bring comfort. If you want to feel happier, turn the corners up, and vice versa. Mother nature designed the universe, and we humans, to be in perfect harmony.