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Dedication to Yourself


We live in a tough world. One where there are countless distractions that take our attention away from ourselves, from what we often would like to be doing and what could be good for us to grow and develop.


When we are young, we are gifted with bodies that do as they’re told and heal within days. After our mid 20’s things seem to change. Not only are our bodies not so responsive but our lifestyles are no longer conducive to a healthy body and mind. We work and commute for long periods in jobs we often do not like, in conditions that are unhealthy, so much so, that when we do get home or a arrive at the weekend, all that we want to do is eat, drink alcohol and pursue any activity that gives us instant gratification. The problem with this, as we all know is that come the next day or the beginning of the next week, we are back to where we started and are no longer feeling good.


At some point we must make a decision. Do we want to change, do we want to do things that make ourselves better and our lives more enjoyable, or do we accept that this is all there is. That this is our life, and try make peace with it?


For a long time, I knew that I wasn’t happy. I knew I was hiding from what I could potentially be. I didn’t want to rock the boat and risk failing. There was a lot of fear. I knew my lifestyle was unhealthy and that although I portrayed a happy person that enjoyed life, I was in fact deeply depressed and suffering. That dark place I was in impacted on all my decisions and dictated the way that I interacted with people I met and the ones I cared about. I’d keep everyone at arm's length and if people got too close, I would push them away.


They were tough times and it lasted for over two decades! It was such a massive part of my life and such a long time to be upset and self-destructive.


Looking back, I know that I was always wanting to be happy, to stop the pain, but I just didn’t want to do the work and didn’t have the strength or the courage to stand up and say, ‘That’s enough’. Eventually, things got so painful that I felt I had no choice, I had to change my life, I couldn’t go on like that any longer. Not only for myself but also for the ones I loved.


It’s interesting, I was just going to write something about being good to yourself through a dedicated practice of Martial Arts but instead, I end up talking about where I’ve been and where I am now. I guess it’s appropriate, I am a product my own life choices and experiences. In the past when I made bad decisions and walked away from what was good for me, life was not good but from the moment that I decided that I wanted to change and wanted to do things that would have a positive effect on my life, things began to get better. A little at a time my life started to improve, and the weight started to lift. My health got better and my relationships with friends and loved ones got better too.


First, I had to make time for and care deeply for myself, then I was able to do the same for others.


We all walk different paths, we are different people but at the heart of it we’re the same. We want to be happy, we want to pursue goals that bring us joy, we want to increase our understanding of ourselves and the world around us and we want to be free to love those we care about.


For me, what I found that helped me get to this part of my life, was obviously the desire to change but also good therapy (of course), having those that I loved close, and a strong devotion to studying Tai Chi Chuan and other internal arts.


I make sure that I practice. Some days it's for hours, others it's just a few minutes but I make sure I do the work. I make sure that I spend time with myself, doing things that benefit me. It’s the same thing each day, we take one or two steps but after a month, six months or a year, the meters become miles. It all starts to add up and you can not only feel yourself changing but you can see it too.


So, I guess in a very long-winded way I’m saying, make the decision to take care for yourself, and make your life better and pursue those things that help you to do that. It can be through martial arts, or writing, painting, cooking food or gardening, who knows we’re all so different. That’s what makes it so fantastic.


Good luck to you all and remember, you really are worth it!



If you’re like me and think Tai Chi Chuan and other internal arts are fascinating, then follow the link below to find out about classes, courses and online training.



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