Hope Instead Of Helplessness


We are repeatedly subjected to seemingly uncontrollable circumstances every day. 

At this very moment, you may be experiencing the pain of loss, separation, loneliness, unpredictability, or health difficulties. You may have experienced a wide range of mental and emotional health challenges, or feel like your psychological reserves have been drained. You may feel anxious or depressed about life.

If so, then you may be suffering from learned helplessness. Learned helplessness occurs when you face a negative uncontrollable situation. And for whatever reason, you stop trying to change your circumstances.

Are you suffering from learned helplessness?

Have you lost the belief that you do have the internal resources you need to promote positive change?

Well, then you must cultivate a sense of hope and aliveness in the face of helplessness and despair. This is not easy to do…

Studies have shown that we are far more trainable toward helplessness and despair than toward action, hope or joy.

This underscores the importance of re-educating yourself around the perceptions of helplessness. It’s important to prepare your mind and body to be aware of how helplessness has impacted you. 

One major impact it has on you: You are constantly thinking negative thoughts. You’re always thinking about your losses. You’re always in the loop of ‘this went wrong’ or ‘this is not going right’ thoughts.

You may not be thinking about the little wins you have every single day. 

From mindful awareness, you can recall how current circumstances have contributed to feelings of helplessness. Then you can find ways to change your circumstances, such as by practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi can be your ongoing practice to prepare your mind and body for embodied joy and aliveness.

Tai Chi practice helps give you a sense of greater responsibility to take action in a more deeply integrated way.

How do you prepare and train your mind-body to be more aware and feel some level of control over your movements?

And how do you train your thoughts when you are faced with seemingly uncontrollable circumstances around you?

1. Be mindful of your own body.

Mindfulness activates the insula in your brain. The insula is the part of your brain that is responsible for awareness of the internal state of your body. Research has shown that the more aware you are of your own body, the heightened your immune function and your sense of wellbeing will be.

2. Note and take in each breath. With each breath, take in all the stars in the sky. The universe contributes to the air you breathe in. So take in the whole universe!

3. Take a deep breath and savor it.

4. As you do Tai Chi, extend yourself into space and feel that you’re a part of this infinite universe around you. When we talk about Tai Chi, we emphasize sinking and relaxing down. We don’t point out enough the expansion that occurs when you energize in the Tai Chi postures.

This is very important because when you have the feeling of expansion, then you can actually make a change in your life. Merely expanding your thoughts, actions, and beliefs go a long way. 

Tai Chi provides a discipline for you to enhance your enjoyment in life. It is a practice for awakening who you really are in the moment. Tai Chi awakens the innate intelligence, which we call Chi and this intelligence is self-sensing, self-organizing, and self-renewing. Tai Chi unfolds as the perfect learning environment for being present, fully alive, and free.

Let’s do some Tai Chi and experience joy from inside ourselves.

1. Start by sinking down into your feet.

2. Step with your left foot.

3. Shift the weight.

4. Turn in, and exhale. Relax. Let go.

From there,

1. Energize the fingers up in front of you.

2. Exhale, sink back down.

3. Energize the fingers.

4. Relax back down, empty out. Let everything go.

Then, we get into the next round of movements.

1. Energize, turn.

2. Shift the weight.

3. Step with your left foot.

4. Put your left foot down. Exhale.

5. Energize to make your shape.


1. One hand faces the other.

2. Turn your body to the right.

3. Step with your right foot, and exhale all the way. Let go.

4. Energize to make your shape.

5. Turn, shift the way back. Exhale.

6. Energize, and roll back. 

7. Shift the weight forward.

8. Exhale and let go. 

9. Energize to make your shape.  Expand.

In the end, let everything go. Let everything fall to your feet.

What if you can change how your mind responds to the circumstances and conditions of your life?

What if you can shift from survival mode to thriving mode?
What are some more ways to embody mindfulness in Tai Chi practice? Follow me on Twitter to learn how to receive the gift of embodiment here and now.

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