Chapter 4. Let Your Style Change

Dozens of kids in neat rows, all practicing the same simple movement, over and over again. Each of them concentrating like you didn’t know little kids could concentrate. This is my daughter’s preschool tae kwan do class.

Old people in the park in the early morning hours. Tracing the air with graceful movements, the forms of tai chi. Swooping and bending and doing something else besides—stilling their minds. This sight greets me as I take my morning walk.

If you ask someone in the group what they are doing, they would say, “We are practicing.”

My limited experience with tai chi over the past 15 years has taught me this, too. I first took a tai chi class as an up-and-coming businesswoman when it was recommended ...

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