Does your structure support your intention.
​- Sam Masich, Tai Chi master

Hello friends,

In Tai Chi, one of the first things we learn is how to find a relaxed-but-supportive structure. The word we use for structure, in Chinese, is ‘peng‘ – referring to an awning or shelter. If you don’t have a supportive shelter (or don’t know how to relax), then you are compelled to push, force and brace, or else risk collapsing under the pressure. So the principle goes, that if you are forcing, bracing and pushing, then directing your energy towards your intention becomes very ineffective.

Many health practitioners feel that they are wearing themselves thin with work, while simultaneously unsatisfied with the results they’re achieving. They feel they have more to give, want to make a greater impact or get better client outcomes. Perhaps you struggle to bring forth what you know you are capable of precisely because you working so damn hard. What if all that hard work is actually in your own way?

Here we can gain some insight from ancient wisdom. If you can’t adopt a relaxed-but-supportive position, your efforts will be ultimately ineffective. So you’re trying to make an impact, get great client outcomes or progress your career. But do your lifestyle, systems, methods and mindset (ie. your structure) really support those intentions?

Recently I realized that my intentions and my structure have been misaligned. Working long hours and taking on a bunch of projects made it harder for me to access the spacious, loving state that allows me to express my best work for my clients. In this way, working less has actually led to better results.

Of course, we still want our structure to support the work we want to do for those we are called to serve. It’s not about quitting or being lazy. It’s actually the opposite. How can you serve better by doing less? What if we didn’t relegate things like rest, nourishing your soul, or nurturing your connections to the dreary, dank corners of mere self-care? Instead we could see these activities as vital and indispensable keys to producing our best work.

Obsessing over a superficial concept of productivity is a trap that dishonours the human condition. It’s a trap that has ensnared most of our culture. As health professionals, isn’t safeguarding the human condition what our calling is all about? We must not become caught in the same trap of busyness. If we do, we are losing sight of our purpose and getting lost in the noise.

In what ways is the structure of your life misaligned with your desired outcomes?

And thanks for all your efforts.



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