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Just get started…

This week’s theme is all about how to get yourself started on a task, instead of delaying, and I have to admit that I don’t have anything other than a general  topic for this blog post as yet.

So, I’m just starting…

One thing that I like to do sometimes is just to start writing – and allow a stream of consciousness to flow from my mind to my fingertips. I started it once when I was going through a relatively stressful time of life and I found it helped incredibly.

Maybe you feel like you are with me as I write, maybe you feel like I’m rambling – likely somewhere in between – I guess you’ll never know unless you finish reading, so you may as well stay along for the ride 🙂

I listen to a lot of podcasts which start off with a host and guest, or host on their own and there’s no set agenda… this is my equivalent in a blog post.

I haven’t read his books for a long time but Jack Kerouac’s writing and life story was something that I was fascinated with throughout my late teens and early 20’s. His seminal work – On The Road – about key players in the Beatnik generation of 1950’s America was typed out on one continuous scroll – the image has always stuck with me – and I believe that Kerouac employed stream-of-consciousness as a writing techniques. If you’ve read his work, you’ll get a sense of it. If you haven’t read his work, get a bag packed before you do – it inspired me to travel, and hitchhike my way around parts of Europe and Israel as an 18 year old adventurer.

It’s funny how when you look back that you can see how the threads of life have woven to bring you to the place in which you find yourself right now.

Without Kerouac, I quite possibly would not have become interested in the writing of Dostoyevsky – I think it was Kerouac (maybe Allen Ginsberg) who wrote in a poem ‘No one reads Dostoyevsky anymore’. Well… that was enough incentive for me to get myself down to the bookshop, which would have been in a town about 6 miles away (remember those days!?) to order The Idiot and the book that had possibly the most lasting impression on me, more than any other book I have read, Crime and Punishment.

From Beatnik stream of consciousness to classic Russian Literature – which then planted a seed which grew over several years until my love of travel and fascination with Russia led me to live in Moscow for two years… and if that hadn’t happened… well, who knows where I would be now.

We have plans but can never truly know where they are leading. Events happen in life and we don’t know where the closing of one door will lead to the opening of another. The threads of life weave themselves into the tapestry that we call ourselves. Sometimes we’re the weaver and sometimes we feel as though the needle has a life of its own. What is catastrophic leads to something wonderful happening, sometimes we get exactly what we have dreamt about for years – and it turns out disastrous. Exactly this makes me believe that life is perfect as it is.

If our life is a collection of threads which we are weaving, or are partly being woven for us, what we need is a frame – something sturdy to ensure that the masterpiece that is our life, does not end up a sodden mess on the floor.

Something to hold us in place, to keep us balanced, secure, and to ensure we are upright, facing the right direction.

For me, this is tai chi. When all else fails, I know that I have something to fall back on, principles to guide me, a reassuring safety net which I know will keep my body vital and my mind healthy. With body and mind in tact, you can do anything, you can weave the threads of your own tapestry.

Tai Chi itself has led me to many places and to people who I otherwise would not have known or been exposed to. My partner for one! Trips to China. Demonstrations to political parties… all kinds of weird and wonderful adventures and literally hundreds of people who I have known along the way. All from a near 20 year fascination and dedication to Tai Chi.

What you start out as a way to relax, or improve your balance in a weekly class, can turn into something which will open doors to presently unseen and unknown adventures, interests, people and places…. all you have to do is get started (the theme of the week!) – this is often the hardest thing of all – the beginning.

We should embrace – not fear – the beginning, it’s a time of excitement, uncapped potential, the birth of something new!

We’re often so worried about starting something that we stagnate and are almost paralysed with what eventually becomes synonymous with death. If we’re not living, we’re dying, but whilst we’re here let us choose to live, to take charge, to find those things we love doing, embrace them fully, let the threads weave a huge, vibrant and exciting tapestry – all you have to do is take those steps and get started now.

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