Posts tagged "World Tai Chi Day Boca"

What Martial Art … Helps Change A Habit?


By Diane Gold

Okay, you knew. It’s tai chi, the system of movement that looks like rolling liquid that never stops. It teaches personal protection and awareness, creates relaxation of both mind and body (yeah, spirit, too, but there are too many discussions and interpretations on that subject that we won’t mention again in this piece), improves health, feels good and looks good.

In order to talk about how tai chi helps change a habit, let’s define the different aspects of the training, similar to what happens when someone joins the United State Military Service or a dance troupe.

According to Staff Seargent Curtis Osburn, USMC, San Diego,

“…from the minute recruits get off the bus, they are guided through physical challenges, mental challenges and moral challenges.”

So far, this sounds like any martial art. We get strong  of mind, body and moral fiber by going through the physical demands of the movement system. The physical regime prepares us to be flexible of mind as well as body.

According to New England Journal Medicine, Feb. 9, 2012, tai chi helped Parkinson’s patients with balance more than stretching and weight training.

Tai Chi Air SurfingBut tai chi has other functions. There is scientific evidence that tai chi also improves flexibility, focus, respiration, muscle response, memory, mental attitude.

To the tai chi player (as the rest of the world says it), it feels similar to dancing or swimming because each movement is connected to the previous. I like to call it “air surfing.”

So, how can this change a habit?

Okay, remember that we build habits by receiving some signal (THE CUE) which leads us to do the same BEHAVIOR over and over to receive a REWARD. We eat 3 pieces of pie so we can say,

3 Pieces Of Pie




We take chemical or recreational risks because we like “the instant stimulation or rush” or because someone prescribed it. Sometimes we get stuck repeating the behaviors over and over again in a habit.

Where it used to be unusual for us to eat 3 pieces of cake, now it is normal to do so and seemingly impossible to stop. We crave it regularly.

Where it used to be occasional to drink champagne at New Year’s Eve, now it is normal to skip dinner and drink alcohol. It is seemingly impossible to stop. We crave it regularly.
The once exceptional event has become the standard way to act. Those brave souls among us who want to change a habit to support their lives in the best way possible want to reverse the process.

Tai chi can help. Here’s how.

Tai Chi Helps Change A HabitIn order to learn tai chi, we have to concentrate on the actual movement we are doing. We do the same movement over and over again until it becomes familiar to us. Sounds a little like a habit, right? It is different from jumping rope, doing a dance routine, going to the gym because every time we do it, it is different. Tai chi movement involves every single part of the body. And we are different of mind and body every day. That is why it is different. As with any martial art, the movement is a tool for training and changing the mind. However, the physical way we execute the motion is related to our mood at the moment, what we choose to express, how relaxed our body is and whether we are working on warding off a potential attacker. These factors affect the movement and make it unique in the world of movement arts.

Change A HabitThe fact that tai chi involves mind, body and the way we live our lives, but all we have to do is watch our moving hand or foot to grasp our own attention is the very reason it can help change a habit. When we get the CUE, that urge, craving, onset of desire to behave habitually, we can


We just have to plan it!

I’m being a bit dramatic here because this statement is all we have to do, even though thinking about it may make it seem impossible. Of course, it may not be easy or we would have done it already. But it’s doable. I’m living proof many times over.


Here’s where tai chi comes into play. And these are the sequential steps that allow us to change a habit using tai chi:

1) Tai chi teaches us to take our time with movement because understanding the movement takes time.

2) In order for us to be successful at tai chi, we learn patience.

3) This patience with learning tai chi, a martial arts system, translates to patience in our lives and more control over what we do, including our impulses and the cravings that appear out of nowhere and demand some type of behavior.

4) This control translates into having the strength to do a new behavior, different from the old one, that also creates some type of reward.

TrickAt the beginning, meaning for 3 to 4 weeks, if possible; it’s a good idea not to look at the new reward or evaluate it or compare it to the old reward. We have to remember it took lots of repetition to learn the old behavior, so give the new behavior some time to become beneficial to our lives before deciding to judge it. Otherwise the mind will play the old trick that the new behavior doesn’t work for us (which is. most of the time, a self-con so that we can go back to our old behavior).

Just like with tai chi, the reward of a new behavior takes time to learn, time to appreciate, time before it becomes a habit.


So once we have decided that we have a habit that is not supporting our life, here are some simple suggestions to start moving toward success:

Write It Down!1) WRITE IT DOWN!

When you are not craving, urging, desiring your old behavior – which may only be for a quick minute at a time – get out a pen and paper and write down what new behavior you will do instead of the old one. This way, you are contracting with yourself.



Go to the mirror and tell yourself that, when you get your next cue, you will do your new behavior.


Consider doing something physically exerting for your new behavior, like walking around the closest building or house, so that using your physical body has a chance at calming down your urges through the release of new hormones or neurotransmitters that feel good to the body. to   so that It should be physical and in a different location from the one where you do the old behavior.


Make sure that you go in the opposite direction from the place where you did your old behavior. Sometimes if you travel away from the source, you will be too lazy to go toward it, or, by the time you get part way toward the location of the old behavior, your urge will be gone.


It’s simple distractions such as these that keep us focused on our new behaviors.

Call Someone5) CALL SOMEONE

Find a friend, a stranger or an association where you can call and tell someone you are traveling away from the source, or you are walking around the building. You are more likely to talk yourself down (talk yourself out of falling back into the old behavior) if you have a supporter.


If you don’t know who to call, call 211, option 3, to talk to someone. As of February, 2013, this free service is available in 50 states (39 of them with 100% coverage) and Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico (100% coverage).


Tai chi is a beautiful system of movement that makes our minds more flexible to succeed at our goals. That’s why it is so helpful when we want to change a habit. It’s also another alternative we can choose instead of our old behavior. We can write about it, do it in a mirror, it’s physical, we can do it far away from our old behavior location, and we can call someone else who does tai chi.

It’s a great preparer for life’s changes. We become rooted physically from the actual movement we learn as our legs gain strength. We begin to see a glimmer of understanding about why it’s called an art – because each of us creates our way of doing it. Our will power grows and can support us when we change a habit.


This article is dedicated to the art of tai chi and what it does for those who do it. It’s also a good place to announce WORLD TAI CHI AND CHI KUNG DAY, April 27, 2013, a free event where close to one million people all over the world do tai chi and chi kung in public events starting at 10 am local time in the first time zone and continue in most time zones across the globe to create a wave of peace and harmony.

As the organizer of the Boca Raton event, we welcome you to participate. It’s the 14th year for Boca. We’ll be in Sanborn Square, Boca Raton, Florida 33432 to celebrate. Details here:

If you are not local to Boca Raton (which most of you are not), we may be able to help you find an event in your city. Bottom line, If it sounds good, put it on the calendar. It’s free and fun. If you can’t make it, think tai chi at 10 am on April 27, 2013.


Please leave  a comment and LIKE.


Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She has seen how tai chi helps change a habit. She has watched people balance their weight, their emotional state, their physical habit of falling, their appetite. She says,

“Tai chi gives us a foundation, a root, like the root of a tree. When we have this infrastructure, we can require of ourselves new behavior by using tai chi principle. While doing tai chi, we do tai chi. We don’t think of shopping, finances, family feuds. In this same way, when we get our cue which used to cause the old behavior, we can do the new behavior by not thinking about it. We will just do it. That’s how we do tai chi: we just do it.If we are thinking about it, we’re not doing it. So we don’t think about it when we’re doing it.

“Similar to the scientist who can apply the scientific theory anywhere in the universe, the tai chi principle of “just doing it,” with no thought or mind deliberation, can be applied to changing a habit or any situation in life.”

Tai Chi: How Tai Chi Can Position Us To Change The World


in honor of: World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day 2012 – Apr. 28 – 10 am

by Diane Gold

Global IssuesThis coming Saturday, April 28, is my birthday. Oh, wait. Broadcasting this fact is the very opposite of our message here: that of getting away from me, me, me. This article is about the power we have as developed individuals to make a difference on global issues.

Tai chi, chi kung and other mind/body training teach us self-cultivation. Alone, the training can make us remarkably well-tuned, aware and healthy. However, we may classify it as the “what’s in it for me” attitude if we don’t take it further. With continual training, the true goal of mind/body teachings – to inspire, cultivate and motivate change for humanity – is realized and embodied. When people dabble, they rarely learn this true purpose. So, let’s begin again.

Of interest to all is that World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day, April 28, 2012, is a world event, the 14th annual. It is a coming together of tai chi and chi kung teachers, students and community members to do tai chi and chi kung and view lively demonstrations.

What’s bigger about it than just doing tai chi and chi kung as a group is how it can make change. Although it introduces people to tai chi and chi kung that can heal our bodies, minds and spirits; the real treasure that most people don’t get to, because they see it as an exercise program, is that the strength and understanding we get from the program gives us the power and the incentive to do good. If we stop at fixing our arthritis, our weight or our mental stability; the world is still better off because we are better human beings from the training. But, that is small scale. If, however, we take it to the next level, which comes with “time, experience and inner balance,” we will find it our duty to take humanitarian action to cause and be change.

Nicole Brochu, journalist at the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, opens her coverage of World Tai Chi Day by saying,

“Think of it as the yoga version of a tandem flash mob.”

Diane Gold leading tai chiI like that image. Let this flamboyant vision not lead us away from the grand ultimate purpose of tai chi in 2012, which is not a display for publicity, a way to get a date, a way to be cool or marketing for consumerism; although all of these things may happen as a result of doing the training in a public place. The point is to spread peace, harmony and unity through exposing people to movement that changes mindset leading to global action. Change in mindset, as with any discipline, is a process.

Tai chi is a way of being. World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day is an event to harness the harmony, compassion and balance of the tai chi way. What we do with the embodiment of harmony determines how and whether we will make a difference in the world. If we keep our tai chi-found bliss for ourselves, our opportunity to impact our world is minimized. We are still younger, more vibrant, happier people; but it has been scientifically shown that, if we give of ourselves, we get it back exponentially. And if we don’t, it may not grow.

When people do tai chi once, it’s rare that they gain enough wisdom and momentum from it to become landmarks of social change because of tai chi energy. With experience doing tai chi; commitment and understanding grow in a way where practitioners are more driven to help humanity. The rooting learned as a physical exercise transfers to personally ground the motivated leader.

Similarly, when we go on a weight loss program and gain wisdom through the success of action; we gain a spiritual connection with ourselves. When we choose to keep our stories to ourselves, meaning the “what’s in it for me” attitude; we have improved ourselves only. If we share what we have accomplished – our story, our knowledge – we help others.

Another example is that, when we attend a seminar, we become motivated to act. The internal motivation we get usually dissipates within 48 hours into non-action. It’s not that we are lazy lugs; it is because we need continued exposure for the motivation to stick and develop our minds. If we study the seminar subject for 3 hours every week for 52 weeks; we have an arsenal of knowledge that will stay with us.


When the physical work of tai chi causes us to become more tranquil, we have made the first change.

The second part is that we take this peace we have created and give it back to the world. This can be in a number of ways:

1)    Through being a positive influence in the world, which causes more positive energy to exist.

2)    Through being kind to others.

3)    Through mediating arguments in day-to-day life using the skills that personal balance supplies.

4)    Through teaching others how to live a harmonious existence.

5)    Through volunteering services or choosing a business that helps the world.


When someone has a belief system and talks about it, isn’t this a step toward change? Since we know marketing is everything, it depends upon how many people hear about the idea and its benefits.

Take any large religious group. The spread of a belief system caused changes in behavior. These changes cause mindset change. This mindset change causes global action.

Take any political system. The spread of support for a system causes change in behavior. These changes mindset change, which, in turn, cause political change.

Take tai chi. Its personal benefits help personal struggles. People minimize depression, arthritis, vertigo and anger, by doing tai chi. Without this help, people wouldn’t be available as thinking, acting, supporting, inspired individuals; they would be busy struggling. The tai chi causes biological changes. These changes cause spiritual development. This development takes us to pursue personal and global passions.

passion WomanPASSION

People who do tai chi and chi kung, like many who are committed to other studies, are privileged. They can do meditation-on-demand (similar to Dish TV on demand) by accessing their own internal renewable energy. And there’s no monthly bill for the energy.

There is nothing more special than this ability to harness our own power, focus and noise buffering. We become tai chi, rather than doing it. Analogous, we go from waving hands and doing movement to becoming responsible to our world.


Some of us are socially conscious leaders who have become popular. We have best-selling books, make appearances as motivational speakers and mentors. We engage the masses, command an audience and have built an access point to change the world. After all, isn’t changing the world, changing many minds at a time so that they take action and keep taking action until a goal is met? Without the popularity, we can be creative to make a global change, as long as we are heard.

Student PyramidIf I do tai chi and teach 8 students, then 8 minds get changed. If these 8 students have 8 students, then 64 minds get changed. If these 64 have 8 students, then 512 minds get changed. If this group of 512 goes to 1 of the 300 World Tai Chi And Chi Kung Day events and mingles with the 512 students of each of 10 other teachers; that’s 5,632 minds at 300 events. That’s over a million changed minds, which is the power of community.



In our consumeristic society, why do we hire celebrities to campaign for us? It is because listeners, buyers and joiners act because they see others acting. The concept of “social proof” is, oh, so common.

If the popular people are doing it, others will follow. If the obscure people are doing it, although it may be just as valid, others usually will look away.

Tai chi training teaches us to act based on ourselves. The knowledge of right and wrong leads to global action.


Because tai chi is a martial art, I will mention one tenets of a true martial artist. And that has to do with caring for humanity. Skills are honed for the betterment of the world. Martial artists train to fight for social justice, whatever brand it is, whether this means temperance and patience or assertion and mobilization. Their actions change the world.


We each change the world by the minute actions we take, by the minute thoughts we have, by our very connections to each other. We bring ourselves with us when we act. When we develop ourselves through going to an event such as World Tai Chi Day, taking a seminar or studying auto mechanics; we cultivate ourselves and bring that development with us. The more advanced we are, the higher the synergy created, the bigger the action that ensues. The more we work on change, the more change occurs.


Pick one goal related to a passion, and study it for 30 days, whether it’s saving the world or saving yourself. Write down what you have achieved in that short time and, somehow, keep going.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music and stress expert and a dedicated mom. She believes we can all make a positive difference in the world. She says, “Some go about it from the inside out; others self-develop through fixing the world. Either way its done, we are all on the human mission. Decide whether you will get side-tracked.”