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Carolyn Cooper's
Published by Tai Chi Flow, Inc.
Issue #6 Jan. 2005

1) Carolyn's Comments: Visualize Your Goals
2) Featured Article: Tai Chi Among Top Fitness Trends
3) Energy Therapy Q & A 4) Closing Thought

1) A new year is here once again and since it is now mid-January, I suppose you have already taken time to reflect, ponder, and set goals for 2005. I, too, have briefly outlined some goals for the new year, but I've found what works best for me is not to write a year-long list in January, but rather, take a little time to meditate on each idea at whatever season it shows up in my life. Of course I do have a "Things To Do Before I Die" list. Which seems to keep getting longer, the more I check things off, because each time I achieve one goal, I'm conquering more fears and believe in myself more, therefore inspiring more ideas! A good way to extend my life! Here is a process I use to manifest my intentions, perhaps this will help you as well.

I always have a notebook handy to jot down things I want to accomplish or have happen. I call it my "manifesting pages", and actually, I have several of them by now. For me, I find writing goals down serves two purposes. First, it helps clarify my intentions, and second, it is my way of sending those words out to the Universe to begin the creating process. After writing it down, I go one step further, by taking a few minutes to meditate on each specific intention. The more senses I can involve, the more real it becomes. For example, "I am... (insert your goal here, in present tense) crossing the finish line at a triathlon" I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I am sweating and feeling the pounding of my heart, I feel the camaraderie with the other participants and it is very empowering! I see my surroundings-a beautiful, crisp day, the mountains, the ocean, Each time I inhale I smell the clean, morning air, Hearing the crowd cheer as I near the finish line is so validating! I taste a cool drink of water-ahh, refreshing!

I take a minute to sit with each of these emotions to anchor them into my psyche. I am in the energy of gratitude for a healthy body, my circumstances, and all the opportunities that aligned to make this goal possible for me to achieve. By visualizing my goals this way, instead of just writing them down, my picture of the end result is so clear and precise that it seems to manifest on its own. Then I am free to appreciate each moment of the process. One more important point is to let go of outcome, knowing that if it ends up with a better or different outcome, God is ultimately in charge and whether or not I can see it at the time, He always provides what is for my highest good. By knowing this, I set my intention, visualize it, do my best, and at the same time release any desperate feelings of it having to turn out my way. That keeps me 'in the flow' of possibilities, and many times I have been pleasantly surprised with much more than I anticipated!

2) Tai Chi makes ACE's Top 3 List
As a fitness professional certified through the American Council on Exercise for the past 17 years, I have seen (and taught) many different types of fitness classes. Some of these types of workouts stand the test of time, while others last only a short while, or don't catch on at all. As a Tai Chi instructor, I am very pleased that people are now placing more value on the mindfulness of exercise, and not just the body. Mind-body movement focuses on the present, not the future. There is no goal, just a continuing practice, which is more congruent with overall wellness. Through the American Council on Exercise's research, "workout watchdog" studies, and worldwide network of certified fitness professionals, they continue to accurately monitor America's growing interest in fitness.

Here are the top three fitness trends for 2005:

Balance training grows in popularity. Balance training activities (e.g., tai chi, yoga, Pilates, etc.) and equipment (e.g., foam rollers, wobble boards, Bosu balls, etc.) are among the fastest growing and most popular exercise options for adults. Health clubs and trainers are offering balance training programs for virtually all levels and types of participants. **Research shows that Tai Chi is more than twice as effective in improving balance than any other exercise or type of equipment known.

A growing tendency to blend popular mind-body programs such as tai chi and yoga with more traditional forms of exercise. These fusion classes and programs will combine the traditional elements of a fitness regimen with many of the key elements of mind-body activities including proper posture, breathing and body awareness. By incorporating elements of mental and spiritual fitness, individuals will take better care of their entire being and psychological self, not just their bodies.

Shorter duration workouts continue to become more widespread. Lack of time continues to be the most frequently cited reason why individuals do not exercise on a regular basis. Time-starved Americans continue to seek out effective, yet time- efficient workouts pushing health clubs and trainers to offer express circuits and abbreviated routines. **Since Tai Chi can be done without even breaking a sweat, it is a great workout you can do during a fifteen minute break at work, in your regular work clothes, or in your pajamas when you get up. It won't leave you out of breath and fatigued, but it will leave you feeling clear, peaceful, and despite its slow and gentle pace, you will also burn calories!

3) Energy Therapy Q & A
Since I get so many questions about the energy healing work that I do, I have now added a page of frequently asked questions about Energy Therapy to my website. To view it go to www.taichiflow.com/energytherapy.html You will find an article about Wings of Excellence (the main modality I use), Success Stories, how to schedule a Private Phone Appointment, and as mentioned earlier, FAQs about what it is and what it can do for you. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any additional questions.

***I heard there was a glitch in somewhere in the system last month when I sent out the newsletter. Included was an article by my colleague, Suzanne Falter-Barnes, about a great gift idea. If December's Newsletter did not get to you, you can read it at www.taichiflow.com/news.htm

4) Closing Thought: To go along with the "Visualize your Goals" thoughts at the top of this newsletter, here are a couple inspiring quotes from one of my all-time favorite books, "The Alchemist" By Paulo Coelho:

"..people are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of."

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."

"When you have a worthy goal, the entire Universe conspires to help you achieve it."

2003 Tai Chi Flow, Inc