A Life with Soft Edges

Sep 23, 2015

Tomorrow morning, I am embarking of my first T’ai Chi solo-retreat. It will begin on Friday morning at 4:30am […yes, you read that correctly, 4:30am] and go until late Sunday afternoon. This retreat has been structured by my teacher, Sifu Gardner, and includes sitting and moving meditation practice.

My retreat is not one of leisure… but one of dedicated practice, including four 2.5-hr sessions of a day. I have wanted to do one of these retreats for quite some time, with the milestone of my birthday passing last week, it feels like the perfect time. Plus, Fall is my favorite time of year, and connecting with nature and practicing T’ai Chi for a whole weekend sounds like pure bliss. […and no house chores!]

My husband asked me last week, “What types of goals/aspirations do you have now?” I thought about it for a few moments and then replied, “I want to live my life with soft edges.” Now, you may be asking yourself, what does that mean? Well to me, it means living what I teach—I can relate soft edges to all things T’ai Chi…

  • Nature
  • Go with the flow
  • Yield to loss
  • Choosing to be happy not right
  • Conduit of grace
  • Listening with an open heart (staying present)
  • A.B.C. (Alignment / Breath / Consciousness)
  • Intuitively Trust (IT)
  • Agree to disagree
  • Be present
  • Chi flows naturally
  • E.N.D. (Engage / Neutralize / Deflect)
  • Be flexible (mind & body)
  • Talk less… and listen more
  • Compassion / Patience / Wisdom

I could keep the list going, but I think you get the idea. To state it simply, letting go of the hard-ridges in my life. And, when they do begin to show themselves—which inevitable they will—I will choose to immediately begin to soften, with my breath, my body and open my heart.

I look forward to sharing insights with you about my retreat, in the meantime, consider how you can soften the edges in your life, what would it look like? How would it feel? I would love if you would share with us in the comments below…


  1. I am excited to hear about your T’ai Chi retreat, Toni!

    • Thank you D’Arcy, I look forward to sharing it with you.


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