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Meet Your Instructor, Weekly Schedule & Winter/Spring 2020 Calendar

Meet Your Instructor

My name is Dawn Nader; you can find me playing and falling in love with the moment in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, IL. For more than 15-years, I have been a proponent of mindful movement and moving mediation for wellness. I dedicate my time to introducing communities to Tai Chi using the TaijiFit™ Method.  

I have degree in elementary education from St. Cloud State University, specializing in early-childhood education.  I have been married to my junior-high sweetheart for more than 25 years and I am the mother of 2 college age boys.

In my spare time, I enjoy spontaneous pack howls (with my beagles), digging in the dirt (aka gardening), and music (including singing by myself in cars and bathrooms). In addition, my husband and I have started to play and explore Brazilian Ju Jitsu.

In 2004, I was introduced to Wushu (Contemporary Kung Fu) and quickly gravitated towards Tai Chi.  

Moving beyond a forms-based approach, I continue to build upon this foundation as an indoor-student and protégée of Master David-Dorian Ross, and invited student of Grand Master Chungliang (Al) Huang.  Together, we explore Classical Tai Chi philosophy, essential principles, energy flow, and teaching methodology. 

I bring to participants 15+ years of experience as a student and instructor in Wushu, Yang Style Tai Chi & Straight Sword. Highlights include:

  • Black Belt in Wushu
  • 200 Hour and 500 Hour Certification for the TaijiFit™ Method
  • 1600+ hours Private training and continuing education in Classical Tai Chi and the TaijiFit™ Method
  • Private training w/ AMSAT Certified Jeremy Cohn-Freedom In Motion-Alexander Technique Chicago

My journey towards wellness through the Chinese Martial Arts provides a unique perspective on using mindful movement as an exercise to empower the mind, strengthen the body, boost the immune system, and improve the condition of the human spirit. 

Beginning Spring 2020-I will begin a new role as National Trainer for TaijiFit™ International facilitating the TaijiFit™ instructor training weekend workshops across the United States on behalf of Master David-Dorian Ross.   

My why? – FLOW. Feeling Love Over Worry. 

The outcome I desire? – Feeling at EASE in the moment. Feeling at EASE in my body.  

My biggest aha-moment in my Tai Chi journey? – Being able to answer, “At this moment, how do I feel?” 

I bring to my participants a heart full of love; a heart that smiles when it feels love over worry. In the TaijiFit™ Method we call it FLOW.  This place of ease is the center of my practice.  I want each person I meet to take with them the gift my teachers have given to me.  

Weekly Schedule:

Fry Family YMCA-Naperville, IL (95 St. & Book Rd) M 10:25AM, W 7:30PM, F 10:30AM

Joliet Junior College Main Campus -Joliet, IL W 5PM

Joliet Junior College North Campus -Romeoville, IL M 6:30PM, W 10AM

Carillion Club Active Living Community-Naperville, IL TU 3PM, F 12PM

Home Studio Meetup Groups-Clarendon Hills, IL TU/TH 10AM TaijiFit-Flow, TH 9AM Yang Style 24 / 32 Forms

Free Morning Flow to Go-Online TH 6AM Pacific / 8AM Central

Winter/Spring 2020 Calendar: M Jan. 6th-F June 5th:

Week 1- Begins M 1/06  

Week 2- Begins M 1/13   

Week 3- Begins M 1/20   

Week 4- Begins M 1/27  

Week 5- Begins M 2/03  

No Classes / No Meetups- Weeks of  M 2/10 & M 12/17   NOT AVAILABLE Feb. 8-23  GoldBeach, OR 

Week 6- Begins M 2/24

Week 7- Begins M 3/02

Week 8- Begins M 3/09

Week 10- Begins M 3/23

Week 11- Begins M 3/30

Week 12- Begins M 4/06

Week 13- Begins M 4/13  

Week 14- Begins M 4/20

Week 15- Begins M 4/27

Week 16- Begins M 5/04  

Week 17- Begins M 5/11

Week 18- Begins M 5/18 (Joliet Junior College- No Classes Weeks of M 5/18 & M 5/25 ) 

No Classes / No Meetups- Weeks of M 5/25 & M 6/01  NOT AVAILABLE May 23-31  U of I Urbana, IL 

Weekend Workshops Coming Up- 

Feb. 8-9 San Antonio, TX TF Weekend Workshop w/ David-Dorian

Mar. 21-22 Coatesville, Pennsylvania TF Weekend Workshop w/ David-Dorian

Apr. 18-19 Clyde, NC TF Weekend Workshop w/ David-Dorian

May 09-10 Bellefonte, Pennsylvania TF Weekend Workshop w/ David-Dorian

Jun. 27-28 Omaha, Nebraska TF Weekend Workshop w/ David-Dorian

Reminder-2 week break in February! Dawn will be returning to the River House @ Gold Beach, OR in February: SA Feb. 8th – SU Feb. 23rd.

Please mark your calendar NOW-2 week break in February! Dawn will be returning to the River House @ Gold Beach, OR:  Feb. 8th – SU Feb. 23rd. Dawn is invited to return as a work scholar / seminarian at the Living Tao Foundation-Lan Ting Institute to explore the FLOW of QI (energy) through movement with her teacher Master David-Dorian Ross and their teacher Grand Master Chungliang (Al) Huang. Scheduled classes / meetups will resume on M Feb. 24th.

Teacher and Student Lifelong Learners Side By Side
Gold Beach, OR August 2019 “River House” LAN Ting Institute Summer Seminarians
Grandmaster Chungliang (Al Huang) saying goodbye and welcoming Dawn as a student. Calligraphy that Dawn is holding means (the process of) blooming

TaijiFit- Real. Simple. Easy to Follow. Tai Chi. FLOW-Feel Love Over Worry.

Dawn Nader is Certified, Licensed & Insured to provide Tai Chi services using the TaijiFit Method. She is a Certified Tai Chi 4 Veterans Instructor and is an approved VA CCN Service Provided for Tai Chi. Dawn is a proponent of mindful movement to improve the condition of the human spirit. The TaijiFit Method plays an important role in creating a safe, stress free experience that makes Tai Chi enjoyable and accessible to all. It’s all about FLOW-Feel Love Over Worry! Dawn is an independently contracted provider of Tai Chi Services. Reach out directly- dnader01@mac.com

5 Things To Know-NEW VA CCN Tai Chi For Veterans Program Prepares to Go Live – Chicagoland Veterans visit your VA Primary Care Provider to get a referral for Tai Chi starting Jan. 22, 2020!

VA CCN Tai Chi for Veterans is a new Federal program in the Veterans Administration Community Care Network for Complimentary/Integrative Services. The VA CCN Tai Chi for Veterans Program is offered outside of a VA Hospital, VA Clinic or any VA Federal Facility. It brings Tai Chi directly into our local communities and makes Tai Chi more accessible to Veterans.

1. VA Goal- In an effort to decrease drug dependency, VA is actively exploring alternative forms of therapy to help Veterans ease pain and trauma. Tai Chi, a moving meditation, focuses on breathing and mindfulness techniques paired with light physical motions. In addition to improved physical health, Tai Chi may prove beneficial in the management of opioid dependence & reducing the symptoms of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). – VA Vantage Point-Alternative therapy: Veterans find relief through tai chi- May 22, 2018

2. The Mission Act- New legislation that expands benefits under the VA Complimentary / Integrative Health Services to include Tai Chi. Veterans can now find relief outside of the VA Hospitals, VA Clinics & VA Federal Facilities through alternative therapies such as the Tai Chi.

3. The Veterans Administration Community Care Network or VA CCN- Brings together the health care services of the Veterans Health Administration and supplements them with the network of community health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies and suppliers to provide timely access to high-quality health care. This is a fully funded, ongoing program through the VA-it is not a grant. Funding for the VA CCN is separate. For this reason, the VA CCN Tai Chi for Veterans Program is only offered outside of a VA Hospital, VA Clinic or any VA Federal Facility. General questions about the CCN can be directed to https://iris.custhelp.com/app/ask

4. Third Party Administrators TPAs- Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group®, is honored to partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through VA’s new Community Care Network. Together, we will ensure that our nation’s Veterans have access to the right care, at the right time and in the right setting. Optum was named as the TPA for the VA Community Care Network for Regions 1, 2 and 3 on December 28, 2018, encompassing 36 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Optum delivers unique services to the VA to accomplish its goal of delivering the highest quality of care to the Veterans they serve. TaijiFit, LLC (TaijiFit) has been contracted by Optum, to establish and manage the Tai Chi network of service providers in your region on behalf of Optum. TaijiFit is the only provider of Tai Chi approved and funded by the VA to administer services to our Veterans in the VA CCN. David-Dorian Ross is the National Coordinator of Tai Chi for Veterans and CEO of TaijiFit, LLC. To verify TaijiFit is the sole network manager, please call Optum at 800-873-4575. Proceed to bypass the automated questions to speak directly with a representative.

5. How to take advantage of this new benefit from the VA Community Care network- You need to be enrolled in VA health care to use community care benefits. VA Health Care eligible Veterans can use VA health care services nationwide, including through mobile health clinics that serve rural areas and via telehealth (care through a phone or computer). Not enrolled in VA health care yet? Apply online, by mail, or in person. Enroll in VA health care. Find a VA medical center or approved non-VA medical (called “community care”) providers near you. Find a VA location near you.

When can you use non-VA providers? It depends on the situation. Learn about the eligibility criteria for expanded community care, under the MISSION Act. Learn about community care eligibility For general MISSION Act health care inquiries, contact VA311 (1-844-698-2311).

How can you get a referral? The VA determines VA CCN benefit eligibility not Optum or TaijiFit. Step #1: Ask your VA healthcare provider (Primary Care or Therapist) for a referral.

When can you get a referral? The VA CCN Tai Chi For Veterans Program is rolling out by region and then county by county in phases. Illinois is Region 2- Phase 3 “go live” is Jan. 22, 2020 and includes counties such as Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, Kankakee.

What does “go live” mean? When your county reaches the “go live” date Veterans in that county can obtain a referral number from their Primary Care Doctor or Therapist through the VA. When you have a referral you can sign up for services in the network. Locate and sign up for Tai Chi services at taijifit.net/vets-only

How much does it cost? Tai Chi is now included in your newly expanded VA CCN Complimentary/Integrative Care Benefits. Veterans present their referral to the VA CCN Approved Tai Chi For Veterans Service Provider/Certified Instructor. The VA CCN Approved Service Provider/Certified Instructor uses the referral to invoice Optum for the Tai Chi services provided to the Veteran. The VA provides the funds for reimbursement for services provided. A Veteran will receive Tai Chi Services at no cost to them when they present a referral from the VA to the VA CCN Approved Tai Chi Service Provider/Certified Instructor.

My VA Primary Healthcare Provider does not know about this program, what can I do to get help? VA Hospitals, VA Clinics & VA Facilities are beginning to receive education on the VA CCN Tai Chi for Veterans Program. However, if a facility does not know about this NEW program contact TaijiFit info@taijifit.net. TaijiFit is committed to superior service and care for our Veterans. It is our pleasure to assist you in the referral process.

How can local communities help? Venues in your community can help our efforts by donating space to host our Veterans. Do you have a space that can hold a max of 30 participants? Is that space available for a minimum of 1 hour & 1 time per month? You can help us bring Tai Chi directly into the local communities/counties where your Veterans live. Approved VA CCN Tai Chi Service Providers/ Certified Instructors are Independently Contracted and carry their own Instructor Liability Insurance. That means they have the freedom to travel directly to your community to offer services for our Veterans. Non Veterans are allowed to attend these classes, however Veterans have priority access. Suggestions include: Libraries, Community Centers, Hospitals, University and Community College Veterans Services Centers, VFW Halls, VSOs, Wounded Warriors Organizations and many more!

About your instructor-Dawn Nader is Certified TaijiFit Instructor, Approved VACCN Service Provider and Certified Tai Chi For Veterans Instructor. Dawn is an Independently Contracted Service Provider of Tai Chi for the suburbs of Chicago, IL. You can find Dawn at Joliet Junior College North Campus in Romeoville, IL & Joliet Junior College Main Campus in Joliet, IL beginning in Jan. 2020. Joliet Junior College is now a host venue for the VA CCN Tai Chi for Veterans Program and provides access to Tai Chi Services alongside their Life Long Learning Active Older Adult Participants. Please contact Dawn directly to find out more information about attending or hosting the Tai Chi for Veterans Program. Thank you for your interest. Please reach out with your questions: dnader01@mac.com or info@taijifit.net .

Helpful Links-

https://missionact.va.gov/

https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/docs/pubfiles/factsheets/FactSheet_26-01.pdf#

https://www.optum.com/content/dam/optum3/optum/en/resources/PDFs/wf1295534-va-ccn-fact-sheet-final-7-11.pdf

https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/providers/Community_Care_Network.asp

https://www.vacommunitycare.com/tpa-ap-web/?navDeepDive=VACCN%20publicHomeDefaultContent

Weekly Meetup Groups Winter/Spring Calendar Begins M Jan. 6th (18 Weeks)

Happy New Year- Our Winter Meetup Calendar begins on M Jan. 6th !

TU/TH 10AM TaijiFit-Flow @ Home Studio

TH 4PM Yang Style 24/32 Sword Form @ Home Studio- A request has been made to move to 9AM or 11AM Time Slot TBD

Mark your calendar-

January:

TU 7 & TH 9
TU 14 & TH 16
TU 21 & TH 23
TU 28 & TH 30

February:

TU 3  & TH 6
TU 11 & TH 13 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR)
TU 18 & TH 20 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR) TU 25 & TH 27

March:

TU 3 & TH 5
TU 10 & TH 12
TU 17 & TH 19
TU 24 & TH 26
TU 31 & TH 2

April:

TU 7 & TH 9
TU 14 & TH 16
TU 21 & TH 23
TU 28 & TH 30

May:

TU 5 & TH 7
TU 12 & TH 14
TU 19 & TH 21 (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)
TU 26 & TH 28 No Classes / No Meetups (May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL) (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)

Upcoming Travel: As of Jan. 1st. this is what I know. More dates for March, April & May are coming.

Feb. 8-9 San Antonio, TX – TF Weekend Workshop

Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang 

Feb. 1-2 or Feb. 29-March 1 TBD Damariscotta, Maine – TF Weekend Workshop 

May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL – Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang

TU/TH 10AM Meetup Ty Warner Park- Westmont, IL

Carillion Club-ClubHouse Closed January for Remodeling

Happy New Year- Our Winter / Spring Calendar begins on M Jan. 6th !

TU 3PM TaijiFit-Flow

F 12PM TaijiFit-Flow

Reminder- The Clubhouse is closed the entire month of January for remodeling. All January classes are canceled. Classes are scheduled to resume in February. However, I will be traveling in February. Please take a moment to mark your calendars.

January:

TU 7 & F 10 Clubhouse Closed
TU 14 & F 17 Clubhouse Closed TU 21 & F 24 Clubhouse Closed TU 28 & F 31 Clubhouse Closed

February:

TU 3  & F 7
TU 11 & F 14 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR)
TU 18 & F 21 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR) TU 25 & F 28

March:

TU 3 & F 6
TU 10 & F 13
TU 17 & F 20
TU 24 & F 27
TU 31 & F 3

April:

TU 7 & F 10
TU 14 & F 17
TU 21 & F 24
TU 28 & F 1

May:

TU 5 & F 8
TU 12 & F 15
TU 19 & F 22 (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)
TU 26 & F 29 No Classes / No Meetups (May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL) (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)

Upcoming Travel: As of Jan. 1st. this is what I know. More dates for March, April & May are coming.

Feb. 8-9 San Antonio, TX – TF Weekend Workshop

Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang 

Feb. 1-2 or Feb. 29-March 1 TBD Damariscotta, Maine – TF Weekend Workshop 

May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL – Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang

Carillion Club- Naperville, IL

Joliet Junior College- Tai Chi @Main Campus up and running for Spring 2020 Registration is OPEN. Classes Jan. 13th-May18th. Offered in 4 week sessions! Register now for multiple 4 week sessions.

Register online www://JJC.edu/LLC
Register by phone (815) 280-1555
For Veteran enrollment information contact Brenda Large (815)280-1504 or blarge@jjc.edu

I’m looking forward to flowing with you again in January! Until then, rest and fill your heart with joy. 

Registration is open. The link can be accessed through www.jjc.edu/llc

JJC will keep registration open until a section fills to capacity. 1 week before the start date JJC will confirm or cancel due to low enrollment.*

Here’s what you will need to know for 
registration. (Please consider registering for multiple sections while you are thinking about it!) *

Spring 2020- Life Long Learning Catalog 
TaijiFit™ Flow (LLC 5629) 
Instructor-Dawn Nader

Session 1: M 1/13-F 2/07 (No Class M 1/20 MLK Day) 4 Weeks. We are currently running Session 1 at Main Campus. * Please register now for our next 3 sessions. We offer TaijiFit at Main Campus in Joliet & North Campus in Romeoville. Register early so these offerings are not cancelled.
Session 2: M 2/24-F 3/20 4 Weeks
Session 3: M 3/23-F 4/17 4 Weeks
Session 4: M 4/20-F 5/15 4 Weeks

Sections:
T1 M 6:30-7:30PM Romeoville  
Jan. 13-Feb. 3 $49 (No class Jan. 20)

T2 W 10-11AM Romeoville 
Jan. 15-Feb. 5 $49

T3 W 5-6PM Main  
Jan. 15-Feb. 5 $49

T4 M 6:30-7:30PM Romeoville  
Feb. 24-March 16 $49

T5 W 10-11AM Romeoville  
Feb. 26-March 18 $49

T6 W 5-6PM Main  
Feb. 26-March 18 $49

T7 M 6:30-7:30PM Romeoville 
March 23-April 13 $49

T8 W 10-11AM Romeoville 
March 25-April 15 $49

T9 W 5-6PM Main 
March 25-April 15 $49

T10 M 6:30-7:30PM Romeoville 
April 20-May 11 $49

T11 W 10-11AM Romeoville 
April 22-May 13 $49

T12 W 5-6PM Main 
April 22-May 13 $49

*Due to cost recovery guidelines set by JJC a minimum of 5 paying participants in a section will be needed to keep the section from being cancelled. Rest assured, if you have registered for a section that does not meet the cost recovery guidelines you will be contacted by JJC and given options for a alternate sections or receive a refund. 
Once 5 paying participants have registered for a section of TaijiFit Flow it will be available for FREE to veterans who provide a V.A.C.C.N. referral. Beginning January 22 (Will, Dupage & Cook Counties) you can begin the referral process through your VA primary care provider. Have questions about referrals or the newly expanded VA CCN complimentary care benefits and the VA CCN Community Care Network of Tai Chi Service Providers please reach out to info@taijifit.net. David-Dorian Ross is the National Coordinator for Tai Chi for Veterans and is committed to helping Veterans gain access to Tai Chi. Please reach out. When you have a referral number contact Brenda Large at (815) 280-1504 or blarge@jjc.edu for veteran enrollment information.

https://jjc.edu/sites/default/files/Community/PDFs/JJCcommunitycatalog2019FL.pdf

Fry Family YMCA-Naperville, IL -TaijiFit-Flow Classes resume M Jan. 6th

Happy New Year- Our Winter / Spring Calendar begins on M Jan. 6th !

TaijiFit-Flow w/ Dawn Nader @ Fry Family YMCA- Naperville, IL

(95thSt. & Book Rd. )

Studio 1

M 10:25AM TaijiFit-Flow

W 7:30PM TaijiFit-Flow

F 10:30AM TaijiFit-Flow

January:

M 6, W 8 & F 10
M 13, W 15 & F 17 M 20, W 22 & F 24 M 27, W 29 & F 31

February:

M 2, W 4 & F 7
M 10, W 12 & F 14 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR)
M 17, W 19 & F 21 No Classes / No Meetups (Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR) M 24, W 26 & F 28

March:

M 2, W 4 & F 6
M 9, W 11 & F 13
M 16, W 18 & F 20
M 23, W 25 & F 27
M 30, W 1 & F 3

April:

M 6, W 8 & F 10
M 13, W 15 & F 17
M 20, W 22 & F 24
M 27, W 29 & F 1

May:

M 4, W 6 & F 8
M 11, W 13 & F 15
M 18, W 20 & F 22 (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)
M 25, W 27 & F 29 No Classes / No Meetups (May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL) (Joliet Junior College- No Classes)

Upcoming Travel: As of Jan. 1st. this is what I know. More dates for March, April & May are coming.

Feb. 8-9 San Antonio, TX – TF Weekend Workshop

Feb. 10-22 GoldBeach, OR Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang 

Feb. 1-2 or Feb. 29-March 1 TBD Damariscotta, Maine – TF Weekend Workshop 

May 23-29 U of I Urbana, IL – Training w/ Grand Master Chungliang “Al” Huang

Here’s to a year filled with possibility. We are celebrating our Fry Family Y Community & their dedication to making healthy lifestyle choices.  My heart is thankful for those who choose to come and play each week with an open heart and mind. Pictured below is just a few of our wonderful Fry Family Y TaijiFit-Flow Participants!

Come and FLOW with us in Studio 1 ! (FLOW- Follow Love Over Worry) All are welcome. Participate in this mindful exercise from a seated or standing position. The TaijiFit Method is a gentle way to exercise, a moving meditation, a sanctuary to heal & an ancient martial art. The goal in this movement experience is to improve the condition of the human body mind & spirit one exhale at a time. It is about noticing & reducing tension in the body-not creating more. Bring the body you have today and play. If you are breathing and smiling you know you are doing it right for you!

It is a pleasure to introduce Tai Chi to our YMCA Metro Chicago communities. It is a gift to observe participants discover ease in movement and find their own ahh—. TaijiFit Flow w/ Dawn Nader- Real. Simple. Easy to Follow Tai Chi. Unplug the noise. Connect to NOW.

#FryY #FryFamilyYMCA #MetroChicagoYMCA #TaijiFit #Flow #FeedYourHeart #FindYourAhh– #UnplugTheNoiseConnectToNOW #PowerFreedomFlow #FreeYourQi #FLOW-FeelLoveOverWorry #JourneyOutOfYourHead&IntoYourHeart

A Journey Out of the Head and into the heart. September 2019 Retreat Art of Living Retreat Center-Boone, NC

Art of Living Retreat Center-Boone, NC September 2019 TaijiFit Retreat-

What more could you ask for-A room with a view.  An environment filled with peace.  And, plenty of time to seek stillness.

In that stillness I could pause…breathe…pause and notice.

The 1st time I was at this retreat center I was overwhelmed by emotions and energy.  Closing off from everyone.   The waves would rise and come at me all at once.  I found safety in the rocking chairs and spent much of my free time watching the rain skim down the tall panes of glass while rocking.

I recall sitting with my teacher-he asked, “How are you?” and then there was a long silent pause.  

Sometime later I said, “I feel everything until I feel nothing.”

A distant voice invited me “Tell me more.” “I am here. But I am not here.”

“I don’t feel, see or hear what is going on around me. I go away. The world melts away.”

My teacher worked with me several times during that 1st visit to the retreat center.

My take home assignment was to get words to come out of my mouth.

The guidelines were straight forward…

Answer this question.

In this moment I feel_____?

I was not allowed to say:  fine, good or I don’t know.

I was allowed to say: at ease or uneasy

I have returned to the retreat center for the 2nd time.  I found myself drawn to the same place that brought me so many gifts during my 1st visit.  The room of windows and rocking chairs.  This time it was different.  Instead of the nervous leaking of energy-rocking continuously, I found myself seeking stillness.

So, I sat—the fog slipping into the crevasses of the Blue Ridge Mountains the drops of water merging to become one.  I closed my eyes and looked inward to the breathe and beating of my heart.  I placed my awareness on feeling the support of the chair.  I thought I was “relaxed” but in a single exhale felt my body let go suddenly and drop through the seat of the rocking chair.  A settling. 

Is this what it feels like to let go of the branch and fall?

Could the journey from head to heart begin with a single exhale?

Later that day, I had just finished leading a session and was moving quickly to the exit when an invitation to explore and reflect with my teacher was extended.  An opportunity to move from a place of worry toward love.  

My teacher stopped me and asked, “Where are you going so quickly?  Come and sit with me.”

A long pause followed as I sat feeling the activation scale tick up even higher.  Even though he was sitting next to me- I was far away and his distant voice found its way to me. 

He asked, “How did that experience feel?”  

A longer pause followed in a heavy fog of silence.

Feel something. Say anything…let go of the branch!

Suddenly, the words “I have to kick its butt!” rose like fog lifting from the crevices of my heart.  

He said, “That’s interesting.  Can you tell me more?”  

I don’t remember what I said or if I said anything.  Another long pause from a not so distant, distance. 

His words called me home saying, “What if you reframe that energy.  Instead, welcome the energy as a friend vs. an adversary- its presence a precursor that is letting you know something beautiful is about to happen.  I will be there to catch you…just let go of the branch.”

And then we walked out together. 

When I returned home this essay found me: 

Name It and Claim It-BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you.

Our feelings can sometimes present a very challenging aspect of our lives. We experience intense emotions without understanding precisely why and consequently find it difficult to identify the solutions that will soothe our distressed minds and hearts. Yet it is only when we are capable of naming our feelings that we can tame them by finding an appropriate resolution. We retake control of our personal power by becoming courageous enough to articulate, out loud and concisely, the essence of our emotions. Our assuming ownership of the challenges before us in this way empowers us to shift from one emotional state to another–we can let go of pain and upset because we have defined it, examined the effect it had on our lives, and then exerted our authority over it by making it our own. By naming our feelings, we claim the right to divest ourselves of them at will.

As you prepare to acknowledge your feelings aloud, gently remind yourself that being specific is an important part of exercising control. Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you. If you are afraid of a situation or intimidated by an individual, try not to mince words while giving voice to your anxiety. The precision with which you express yourself is indicative of your overall willingness to stare your feelings in the face without flinching. Naming and claiming cannot always work in the vacuum of the soul. There may be times in which you will find the release you desire only by admitting your feelings before others. When this is the case, your ability to outline your feelings explicitly can help you ask for the support, aid, or guidance you need without becoming mired in the feelings that led you to make such an admission in the first place.

When you have moved past the apprehension associated with expressing your distressing feelings out loud, you may be surprised to discover that you feel liberated and lightened. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give voice to your feelings, you must necessarily let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.

 

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Teacher and Student Lifelong Learners Side By Side

Living Tao Foundation Lan Ting Institute-Gold Beach, OR "River House" August 2019

Teacher and Student Lifelong Learners Side By Side
Gold Beach, OR August 2019 “River House” LAN Ting Institute Summer Seminarians

Teacher and Student Side By Side-Lifelong Learning in Gold Beach, OR-August 2019 “River House” Lang Ting Institute Summer Seminarians Master David-Dorian Ross and his student Dawn Nader continue to deepen their foundation in Yang Style Tai Chi w/ Grand Master Chungliang (Al Huang) during the Living Tao Foundation’s 3 Week Lan Ting Institute Summer Seminarian Program.

Grandmaster Chungliang (Al Huang) saying goodbye and welcoming Dawn as a student. Calligraphy that Dawn is holding means (the process of) blooming

Saying Goodbye & thank you- As their time at the “River House” comes to a close-a new chapter begins. Master David-Dorian Ross and his student Dawn Nader say thank you as Dawn is invited to join her teacher as a student, under Grandmaster Chungliang (Al Huang)- Gold Beach, OR @ the Living Tao Foundation “River House” Lan Ting Institute Summer Seminarians August 2019

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