Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elizabeth Wenscott - Annual Newsletter 2010

A Year in Retrospect

Less then a year ago I was given a copy of an article called, The Power of Curiosity Discover how cultivating an inquiring mind can help you lead a happier, healthier life, by Todd Kashad Ph.D.., Experience Life Magazine. In the article Todd asks the question “What do we want most in life? The answer he discovered was based on a year long study of more then 10,000 people from 48 countries... drum roll please.... HAPPINESS.

Happiness was viewed to be more important than success, intelligence, knowledge, maturity, wisdom, relationships, wealth and a sense of meaning in life!

What Todd continues to say in this article was that most people miss achieving happiness because time and time again they focused on what they THOUGHT would make them happy instead of nurturing and cultivating happiness through the joy of curiosity.

Curiosity! Yes! I love curiosity. This is the one, single word that can express my dedication to the art of tai chi for 29 years. It is curiosity, the desire to know through exploration and investigation. It is what has motivated me as a student, and it is what I hope will motivate you in your own practice, whether it is Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong or Meditation.

Over the years studying with my teacher Grandmaster Hsu Fun-Yuen, students would come up to him and ask "How long will it take to learn Tai Chi and be good at it?" or "What can I expect the benefits of all this hard work and practice will add up to?" He would always answer these open ended question with a snicker in his voice and a crooked smile, and say... “How deep is the ocean? How high is Heaven?"

Hsu, just like anyone that loves what they do (or is learning to love what they do) know that curiosity blended with practice and dedication is the vehicle and skill, health and happiness are just a few of the gifts.

This has been a great year the for the school because every single teacher at TC3 oozes curiosity and happiness for what they do. Below is my brief description of what each department accomplished.

The Tai Chi Program
Year of the Tiger came in with a roar, and TC3 and friends of TC3 raised nearly $1,500 dollars for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s, Save the Amur Tiger program! As a result 6 of us very lucky people got to go to the “Behind the Scenes at the Field Museum,” thanks to generosity of Bill Stanley and Laurel Ross! Looking ahead put this date on your calendar, February 5, 2011 Year of the Rabbit Celebration and Fundraiser.

  • Another successful turn out for World Tai Chi Day & Qigong Day
  • Seminars included Tai Chi Sword with Meridian Stretches and Da Lu.
  • Sas Stark launched the free Outdoor Tai Chi class.
  • Intensive Tai Chi continues to grow on Sunday mornings at 9am.
  • Ellen Sullivan competed in the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne read article.
  • Martha Fourt performed Tai Chi Sword at the Thousand Waves fundraiser
  • Dan Menzel made a few more "When is the Best Time For Tai Chi?" Videos.
    Jen Shen Chuan and Tai Chi Chuan in the Fog
    Wave Hands Like Clouds
  • Ravenswood Artwalk 2010 was considered by many “their favorite” to date. I don’t know... I have loved them all, but what made this year extra special was that we had an actual art opening the night before hosted by Laurie Cohen and Artist in Residence Christine Wallers.

    Qigong Program
    Don Tomei and Sharon Fierro received their Advanced Level Training in Qigong.

    Sharon Fierro has been helping to expand the Qigong Program by offering 8 Brocades Qigong Seminar and other enhancement classes.

    Yoga Program
    Tracy Von Kaenel offered the most creative, curiosity-driven, special summer yoga program to date. Classes such as; Choose Your Focus, Yin Yoga, Core/Cardio Focus, Philosophy Yamas, Sensory Yoga with Gong Bath, Partner/Wall, Yoga at the Lake, Yoga with live violin, and even a Guest Instructor.

    The Environmental Arm - Sustainable Return
    Has been extremely active this year! To see all that we have done, please read, Lisa Hish’s newsletter below.

    What is Next? How can You Help?

    What is Next in 2011?
    Tai Chi Fan with Chee Zhou will be offered in the new year.

    A top secret surprise for the Yoga program is just around the corner.

    How can You Help?
    Promote the school! Each class needs students. No students... no classes. You can help all the programs by telling everyone what you know about TC3. Also, you can also place our beautiful postcards anywhere you can think of (we have 5,000 of each!).

    Thank You's 2010
    I would like to thank the following students and friends for their generous help and timeliness:

  • All the teachers and assistant teachers, without you there would be just me.
  • Christine Wallers, Steven Leavitt, Kipling Swehla, Laurie Cohen, Dan Menzel, and Andrew & Casey Calhoun for fulfilling another great year of art and music for the Ravenswood ArtWalk.
  • Paul McEntee, CPA extraordinaire.
  • Sas Stark, for making everything in print look pretty.
  • Don Tomei, for making everything sound pretty.
  • Dan Menzel, for taking care of anything that requires manly muscle.
  • Ben Liberman, for keeping my computer working.
  • Dave Cole, for being the “man with the keys,” learning to speak to my plants, and for keeping the school on time.
  • Laurel Ross, for ideas in keeping the school connected to the natural world.
  • Lisa Hish, for always keeping me on my toes.
  • All the founding members!

    Final Notes

    Double Happiness
    Double Happiness is when happiness collides with happiness making it even bigger! This year the school celebrated two marriages; Kipling& Natalie, his very own princess bride, followed by the school's first “in house” marriage between Christopher & Sara (Thompson) Zalek! Congratulation to you all!

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