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Carolyn Cooper's
LIVING IN THE FLOW NEWSLETTER
Published by Tai Chi Flow, Inc.
Issue #5 Dec. 2004

Contents:
1) Carolyn's Comments
2) Tai Chi Q & A
3) Great Gift---Dream Binders by Guest Writer: Suzanne Falter-Barnes
4) Gift Wrap videos/dvds
5) Closing Thought

1) Hello my friends and Seasons Greetings!
Christmas is fast approaching-isn't it great?! Although I still haven't made a list OR checked it twice, I'm having a pretty relaxed holiday season so far. My family and I just returned home from a week of holiday cheer in Disneyland! (Complete with fake snow, which we don't see much of living here in the desert!) We had a fantastic time and I made the decision not to get too worked up over the unimportant holiday details this year. That leaves me with a lot more time to pay attention to the important things. How is your list this year? Are there any extras on it that could possibly be taken off? For me it's SIMPLIFYING everything; presents, festivities, and especially baked goods! These are replaced with more small acts of service for family, neighbors and friends, and taking a little peaceful meditation time for myself each day. It is my hope that this year we can all find the courage to let go of some of the unimportant stresses, and "FLOW" with the things that are truly in harmony with this spiritual season!

2) Tai Chi Q & A:
Q: Dear Carolyn, I love the Tai Chi Flow for Everybody tape. My question is, will I still feel benefits if I shorten the routine and just do the warm-up section some days and the tai chi movements other days? Roberta, TN.

A: Absolutely! I know we all have busy lives, that's why I created the video in two sections. I intended for people to be able to either do the entire 30 minutes, or break up the two parts and just do a quickie 15 minute routine on those extra busy days. Even those few minutes of movement along with the deep breathing are very beneficial. Once you are familiar with the movements feel free to skip ahead to the "smooth flow" section. NOTE: Those 15 min. each day go a long way in reducing holiday stress!

Q: Hi Carolyn, I have read how tai chi can help with coordination, which is something I really need. However, I have several tai chi videos, and find them difficult to follow along with, especially without turning my back to get on the same foot as the instructor. My friend told me about how, unlike other videos, yours is "mirror image". What exactly does that mean? Don, NY

A: That's a great question! Mirror image simply means that, I face you, and as if you are looking in a mirror, when you use your right arm I call it "your right" although I am using my left arm so that we are both moving on the same side. That way, I am the one who has figured out how to do it backwards, and you don't have to! (That comes from 17 years of teaching fitness classes-facing the participants. Just don't ask me directions to to drive somewhere!! Ha ha )

3) Guest Article: Make a Dream Binder for a Loved One or Yourself! BY: Suzanne Falter-Barnes
Recently, I came up with a big idea: creating a binder of goodies that supports the dream of someone you love. I'm all for homemade gifts in this season of com- petitive shopping ..and letting a friend or family member know their dream is supported is just about the best gift anyone can give.

Here's an example.

My daughter Teal has a big dream of being a country singer. Teal has a great voice and has been performing pretty much non-stop since she was about 6. And she spends a considerable amount of time every day simply singing sometimes for hours at a time. So for her 15th birthday, I'm making her a Dream Binder. (If you happen to know Teal, please don't mention it. It's a secret.) A Dream Binder is a great big book of support for any dream. Teal's Binder will include photos of her favorite country singers and stories of how they got discovered, information on contests, contacts at local radio stations, inspirational quotes for down days, helpful Web resources, and worksheets on things like keeping track of key contacts and planning next steps.

Her Dad, her brother and I will also probably add fun, mushy letters of support for her dream. And they'll most likely want to add more elements of their own, so the Dream Binder will become a family effort.

What's really great about these Binders is that you only start them. The recipient then takes the binder and can keep on adding lots of support pieces as his or her dream builds steam. (Hence the need for loose leaf in the back.)

So who do you know whose dream needs a boost beginning with you? I invite you to make lots of dream binders and share them with your fellow dreamers. They're easy and truly fun to make.

What you'll Need:

You'll need a binder with a clear sleeve on the front for inserting cover art, dividers, 3-hole punched paper, loose leaf or filler paper, and access to the Internet.

I've also put together a fr.ee download of Dream Binder workbook pages you can print out and use in your binders. They include exercises, questionnaires, and some helpful general articles on dream pursuit. Then print them out on 3-hole paper and pop them in the binder. (The cover art I created is only a suggestion - feel fr.ee to make your own very personal image for the recipient.)

How to Make It:

When you sit down to make your Dream Binder, take a blank piece of paper and ask yourself just what your friend's dream should have in it. Let your mind wander deliciously, and capture all the inspirations that come up. Then get on the Web and start surfing - I promise you all the information you're looking for is out there.

You can make your Dream Binder as simple or as complicated as you like. Divide it up into sections that seem most useful for the recipient. I recommend the following: Web resources Includes web sites, product or site reviews, fr.ee software URL's, and just about anything else you can think of. You can even give them gift certificates to helpful subscription services or retailers who sell dream-related products, if you want to add monetary value to this gift Inspirational biographies Stories of others who've succeeded in the field your friend wishes to go into Helpful contacts Could be names/addresses/etc. from anyone you can find in their dream field who might serve as mentor, or even cold contacts you don't personally know. Notes or messages from supportive friends/family . Fr.ee articles Include articles you download from the Web that tell them how to get started, or go to the next level with their dream. This holiday season, why not give the gift that really DOES keep on giving? Let someone you love (yes, that can include yourself) know that their dream matters and that you believe in them completely. You'll be so very glad you did.

Let the dreams begin!

For more information about Suzanne and her "joyful" products click this link: http://www.mcssl.com/app/aftrack.asp?afid=131333

4) Hurry while there is still time---
We all have those "hard to buy for" people on our gift list. May I suggest for the grandparent who has everything, the Tai Chi Flow for Everybody video or dvd? And what about those children who just don't need one more toy? Give them a Tai Chi Flow for Kids video or dvd. It's a memorable, unique gift, but more importantly it's useful! Give the gift of health this Christmas. We will be happy to gift wrap your package and upgrade shipping at no additional cost. Order by Fri.17th to insure delivery by Christmas. www.taichiflow.com/products.htm

5) Closing Thought:
If we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, becoming human-doings instead of human beings, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or ponder over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.

Thank you for your support and caring. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a joyful and healthy New Year.

2003 Tai Chi Flow, Inc