It’s a rare Monday when I have the privilege of sleeping in. Today is one of those days. Except, it’s not. It’s only 6:30 am and I’m already wide awake, I’ve been reading this book by John Madina called Brain Rules, and it’s about brain neurology. It turns out that about 30% of the population are “larks” and wake early; about 30% are “owls” and sleep late. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is a lark. Ann Landers was an owl.
Apparently I’m a lark. No matter how late I go to bed, I wake early. No matter how sleep-indebted I am, I’m up. And increasingly, this means I’m ready for tai chi.
It’s not so much, when you come down to it. I tend to rush. I tend not to do the movements as precisely as they’re intended, especially when guesting in someone else’s house (no one wants to see me in my underwear, after all, grunting my way through Five Golden Coins). It’s not that much of an effort to get up and do the work. So it gets done. I added new routines to the form so slowy, it wasn’t that much of an added burden. Now it takes maybe 20 minutes a day, 40 of I’m being careful.
And yet it changes my whole day. The other day, my friend J said to me, “so… You’re doing meditation all the time.” And the truth is, no, not exactly. But I do feel as though I’m close to that — even now I’m breathing from my belly without thinking about it…. That is, I’m aware of my belly-based breathing, but I’m not consciously controlling it. And it’s pretty nice to have that. All the same, it’s not that much.