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Activism and Drawing From The Principles of Tai Chi Chuan

As well as my work at in2gr8mentalhealth CIC, and as a critical Clinical Psychologist, I spend part of my week as a Clinical Tutor at a University, helping to train the next Clinical Psychologists who hope to be out in the world alleviating the determinants of mental health difficulties. To do so is no less than a full socio-economic-political endeavour, with care of the individual or family at the centre who manifest the pain that our world has created in them, because of our splits and divides.

Our trainees are humans too, and I am always touched by their heartfelt wish to help make the world a better place, even when we can feel up against an impossible task. We do it together, and in concert with our experienced colleagues, all the other lights out there who are working to make a difference. We also do it standing on the shoulders of giants. We hope do it gathering and acknowledging the wisdom from all cultures and peoples that can guide us towards internal and external peace.

The education system itself is fraught with its own problems, linked inevitably with some of society's ills. I am an activist within the profession and probably within education. I hope to help hold and encourage the space to challenge what feels oppressive and difficult, and I do that supported by a team that cares to do the same.

When challenging, I am guided by much I have learnt on my travels so far, and in the recent past, my beginner learnings from Tai Chi principles become an embodied part of that through a different lens: develop your roots to ground the lightning strikes of backlash when you stand up for something, develop moving with incoming energies in order to read them and work with them efficiently. Practise keeping your mind body centred in any storm. Practise nourishing your energy in order to sustain yourself.

Our world can be a complicated place to find ourselves in, contrary to how we might think, relaxing as much as possible through it all will give us a better chance to sensitise and respond wisely, rather than tense up and react without mind.

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