While in Chicago I learned a lot about Chinese Medicine, healing, and Tai Chi Chuan from my mentor there. Being in college and working closely with Dr. Zayner helped me hone in on the purpose of my Tai Chi, and massage practice. I progressed in many ways and found lots of contradictions in my Tai Chi practice and the various other styles I had previously.
Faced with these contradictions it made me sink in and deeply evaluate what it was that I truly believed to be the purpose of Tai Chi Chuan in relation to my Kung Fu practice. The revelations I experienced during that time, and currently experience in the Tai Chi practice continue to shape the very foundations of my soul.
The greatest insight I had in Chicago, (although I didn't grasp its depth at the time) was the two main principles of my Tai Chi practice...
Invest in loss, Return to the root!
I remember very clearly Dr. Zayner looking at me after receiving a Naprapathic Treatment and asking me,
"What would you do if you had to completely give up everything that you enjoy doing?"
"If you had to stop practicing Kung Fu or any other thing for one reason or another?"
"Is it that important to hold onto?"
"Would you be able to live with yourself never being able to do what you passionately enjoy now?"
"To be content with that and live a great life regardless of it is what it means to Invest in loss, and Return to the root."
Familly and keeping my word was a very important thing to me, still is. Although I feel at the time it was quite unbalanced. After getting married, my relationship and home life took a turn for the worst. This worsened after I stopped receiving my aid from Veterans Affairs for attending school.
Without money coming in and no way for me to get a job in my field at the time, I was left living out of my savings account. In a few short months because of a mixture of circumstance and poor financial decisions we were without money, lost our house and had to move to Ohio.
After about 6 months, I was finally able to get a job in Ohio. I saved up the money necessary, we got a house and after a year I was able to get my massage license. All the while we had financial troubles and stayed in a constant state of stress barely keeping afloat.
These were hard times for me, the financial stress continued to pile on lots of problems in my relationship with my wife, family and long time friends in Ohio. I ended up falling out of my Kung Fu practice after 1 1/2 years of being back. I managed to anger my family and friends. At the time, I simply clung to my wife, although we were highly bitter and fought with each other constantly. To make matters worse, we ran out of money again and got evicted from our house for a second time!
This time, we moved down to North Carolina. After struggling to keep my relationship together, make ends meat working various jobs, and not being able to come out ahead financially or in my relationship. I decided to seek help, I went to counseling and decided to get a divorce.
The process helped me understand what it is to invest in loss and return to the root. I found that you're not always right when you try so hard not to be wrong. It is important to know yourself, hold your ground, set your boundaries and keep your foundations intact! This was the day I learned truly what it is to "Invest in loss and return to the root."
Hitting rock bottom revealed my purpose...
Daniel R. Hyde