Kai Chi Do Generations


My 80 year old mother has taken to doing Kai Chi Do with our group on Sundays at Anderson Park.  She’ll be 81 in January.  She says, “I’m going to keep doing this as long as I’m able!”  Mom believes in the Use It or Lose It approach to health.  And she’s amazing.

And I have to say that it’s really been a healing experience for me, doing Kai Chi Do together.

First of all, there’s three generations of us together on Sunday:  My mom and us and our daughter Shanti.  And that just feels so cohesive.  Like a special kind of bond.

Secondly, any remnants of power struggles and control dynamics (and my mother and I have definitely had more than our share of those) go right out the window when you’re doing this process – you just can’t keep that in your head while you’re doing the breathing and the movements.  It’s mentally incompatible.  Control and flow just can’t occupy the same space.  For that hour we get beyond trying to figure each other out.   And I’ve been finding that our ability to suspend judgment of one another for that one hour is having a positive effect on all the other time we spend together.  It seems like we’ve planted seeds of a new kind of understanding and acceptance between us.  I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this.

And third, I love her declarations!  They’ve surprised me.  I mean raise-your-eyebrows surprise and delight.  I’ve heard my mother making declarations like:

To be more cooperative.

To listen better.

To be accepting.

Each one of her declarations is a gift to me – Words I’ve longed to hear.

And it was my birthday last week, so it’s a great time to say, “I love you, mom.”


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