The Inferior State is the only condition in which we can Learn anything. Mastery is nothing more than having the ability to Infinitely Exist in a Childlike State of Inferiority which is the key to living in Constant Exuberant Wonder.

We are created as feeling beings.

Feelings are the first language we know.

This, we do not need to learn, how to feel.  It is our ability to feel that teaches us, but we have to listen.  Our learning state is our feeling state, nurtured by our silent state.  Without feeling you don’t have the ability to actually learn.  You may go through the motions, but to actually learn, we must feel and that is why all the greatest teachers make you feel.  What you don’t feel is forgotten, because, until it becomes a feeling it remains anonymous.  I think this is why I have such a hard time remembering names, unless I feel you, I don’t connect and without a connection I just forget.

When a baby is learning how to crawl and walk, much of this is done during the stages where speech is just a bunch of sounds, but babies feel and if you watch them in their learning process, that is when you understand the power of feeling and the meaningless of words.  Babies learn everything from feeling and feeling stems from the ability to listen and I am not talking about the listening that is done with the ears.  The skill of listening, for the art of learning, spurred by the feeling of inferiority, not because we are inferior beings, but because we should always exist in an inferior state, if our desire is really to learn.  Babies have no ego to distract from the delight of discovery that can only be birthed from an inferior state.

I am often puzzled by people who have to brag about all they do know.  Knowledge is a kind of roundtable.  What do we really know? We all possess different kinds of knowledge, even if we think about something the same way, it is always intriguing to learn the differences of our same ways and the differences of our differences.

The fear of inferiority is something we somehow acquire as adults, some of us at least.  To watch full grown adults make a mockery of themselves for proclaiming all they know and then time, the greatest truth serum, uncovering all they don’t know and then some.  People who name drop and don’t really know anybody.  People who brag, distorting facts that catch up with them eventually.  All of this done because of some strange vanity of wanting to look superior, while exposing the stupidity of so many.

We are created as feeling beings.  Feelings are a universal language we all speak. Feeling is how you should approach everything in life and your feelings will also teach you what you should not allow in your life.

I was working with a private client who has issues with her balance, but I know the problem isn’t physical, it’s in her head.  I listen to the words my students use to describe what they think their physical problems are and I also listen to how they express frustrations while we are learning together.  A key comment she has made on many occasions which was a HUGE insight was when she said,

“My body won’t listen to what my mind is telling it to do”

I responded,

“The mind shouldn’t be telling the body anything.  Your body should feel how to do the movements.  The mind should just be listening.  Tai Chi is your brain in action which requires the language of feeling to translate physically.  If you think about what you should be feeling, you will never achieve balance.”

My student is a retired doctor and her approach is very old school asian, where we have to push ourselves to excel, but there’s pushing yourself towards something and then once you go beyond that you begin to push yourself away.

This is why language of feeling is important, the whole purpose of feeling is to achieve balance.

Existing in a comfortably inferior state is the key to accessing feeling.  Nobody knows everything ever.

Insecurity about what you think you don’t know only maintains your state of ignorance.

Without feeling, there is no movement.

Movement can only be initiated from a place of feeling, which is why all great stances for change are called “Movements”.

 

 

 

The Lift… One of my most positive negative reviews of a product EVER!!!

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My arsenal of Skinfoods is endless but, I can only handle a certain amount, since I make everything fresh and small batch.  Some products need to be made fresh, to order, I offer a them as Bespoke items.

Occasionally I’ll change up my product list when I notice a new formula I have put together making such an incredible difference on my skin.  The Lift is one of those products.

It’s an oil-free moisturizer which also functions as a toner, anti-aging treatment, skinfood delivery system, hydration mask, eye bag eraser, it heals burns, from my kitchen and also skin that has been chemically burned from untagging treatments at the dermatologist.  The base is an Aloe/Rosewater combination with Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic Acid takes about two weeks to show a difference and the difference I saw in my skin was so significant I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.  Our bodies contain Hyaluronic Acid, after 30 we become depleted in it and supplementation is necessary. I not only use my Hyaluronic Acid treatments on my skin I also consume it daily.

My gay husband uses my product line and I was so excited to hear his feedback on The Lift.  Here is his review:

“Tiff, I don’t like The Lift, it makes me too beautiful.  I use it with my Everything Spray and it makes me too glowy, smooth and soft looking.  I’m starting to look like a girl and just too beautiful, I don’t like it, I’m a boy”

I couldn’t stop laughing.

I knew my new product was incredible, but I never thought a side effect would be “Too much beauty”.

Those who are impolite, rough and even a bit mean are some of the most important people in your life. They will teach you how to Excel and Master the Incredible Task of Life with Finesse and Gratitude. Because of who they are, they will Teach you Appreciation in a way nobody who ever really does Love and Care for you ever can.

This past weekend I attended my first tournament in a couple of years.  I wasn’t a competitor this time, I was one of the many supporters and I went to support our students.  Two of our students are new to competing and both are unique athletes in their own very special way.  Both are also very sweet, good natured, honest, well-mannered, respectful and polite.

I had completely forgotten what it was like competing for the first time, my first time was 23 years ago.  Seeing our guys in action brought back a lot of memories and reminded me of how impolite competition can be.  Not because people want to be impolite, nerves make people different.  Even our own nerves make us different.  Things we were sensitive to, we might not be so sensitive to and in some ways we can become over-sensitive.  Nerves can create internal noise that makes it difficult to listen to the instincts we ave cultivated in calmer, more nurturing environments.  The whole entire idea of competition can just get into your head, affecting your ability not only as an athlete, your ability to just function as a semi-sane person.  Cause lets face it, there really isn’t anything very sane about people who train in martial arts and there’s a delightful element of complete insanity, to actually make the conscious decision to enter yourself into amateur competition.  The whole thought process and training process for competition is drenched in a nuttery that only your fellow competitive athletes can understand, appreciate and really LOVE.  Cause if you don’t LOVE what you do, you would never have the fortitude to train for what we do.

Watching our guys made me realize that we have been far too polite to them.  That’s the environment of our school.  We have such a humble, fun, intriguing environment of uniquely diverse people who come to share in this learning experience we are all a student of.  I’ve never experienced a learning environment quite like ours and I think that’s what made learning difficult for me in many ways too.  Learning negates ego, people for some reason are very egomaniacal, even if it contributes to a having a negative effect on people around them, which is what the ego loves, attention.

The Ego Loves Attention… Yes, Attention, I deliberately chose this word over Respect.  Respect doesn’t seek for anything extraneous other than the acquisition of more knowledge.  Respect runs deep.  Attention, just think what the purpose of a clown, in the circus, so many assume this roll in the circus of their own lives.

Ever since Sunday I have been thinking about how to tweak the learning process for the students who are going to be our school’s next generation of champions and it all made me reflect on my learning process and the people I have learned the most from.

The people I have really learned the most from are the Assholes I’ve met in my life, plain and simple.  If any of them read this, they know who they are and they are the same people who will always try and characterize other people for being “nasty”, “selfish” or “mean”, because those words are symbolic of their own true character.

People have always asked me how I handle the pressure in the ring and I do have to say that the ring is where I felt the least amount of pressure, because I knew there would be no deceptions manipulated with vocabulary.  Nothing exposes a person’s true character more than how they respond to pressure.  I’ve always said there is no greater truth serum than the boxing ring and life has proved me right, time and time again.

To me the pressure of competition was a relief from the “pressures” of life.  When I talk about “pressures” of life I am talking about the pressures of understanding that people really mean what they say and that whatever anybody says to you, to be mostly a calculated endeavor on their end, for what they are trying to manipulate for their own greed, vanity, selfishness.

It wasn’t the goodness in people that sharpened my skills and it wasn’t kindness that has helped me read the person behind the mask almost everyone seems to come with nowadays.  It was always someone shady and from some toxic background of self manufactured “fabulosity” who taught me to put my foot down and become stronger from their manipulations.  It’s also teaching me to trust only actions, no matter what emotions they have learned to emit or vocabulary they have learned to twist.

Learning from the misgivings of those manufactured from a synthetic way of life teaches you the gratitude for being able to live a life, organic and from the heart.  You never realize how much more the people who have created a synthetic existence actually teach you about the treasure of living with Dignity and Integrity.

On that note, I have adjusted the training for our new competitors to be rough and without apology.  Maybe a little nasty at moments too, because nothing has taught me better lessons than the people who have taken advantage, lied, manipulate and have hurt.

They have made me stronger and have helped me keep the quality of my life up to the standard my parents have raised me by.

Thank you to those who taught me the lessons which those who love me could never hurt me with.

Pain is temporary, triumph lasts forever.

 

I thought Good Hearts were Extinct.

Dad’s email got hacked yesterday.

I assumed that everyone should have known it was a hacking because dad would never ask his students to buy him anything, let alone, iTunes gift cards for his niece.

We have been in business before emailing was a thing, so what I’m saying that we are a business, so we have quite a number of people on our mailing list.

I received the strangest messages where people were making it sound like it had been discovered that they were affiliated with our school somehow and selected for this message.  I think we all know it was just something that happens all the time, this time was just our turn.

I have to admit I was a bit of an ass when it came to this, I thought anyone who had thought this was real to be a bit more self absorbed and “airy”.  I thought anyone who would have actually purchased this to be weird, but then I spoke to one of the guys who did purchase the cards and I felt like an ass about myself when I heard him explain the process and he hit one part of his story that really touched me.

He had been rejected several times by walmart and amazon for these purchases, so he drove to a store to buy the 3/$100 gift cards for dad.

I commented that he was a bit too determined, that I would have never gotten into my car to drive to the store and he says:

“This is William CC Chen asking me.  I HAVE to do this.  I have to get this done”

In this day and age where almost everyone is only motivated by a selfish gain, I think my many recent experiences just made me give up on the idea of people being selfless and good.

Hearing Dennis go through his whole story today made me run over and hug him and it just felt so good to be reminded, in the flesh that people are as good as people are meant to be and I probably wouldn’t appreciate this if I hadn’t had the misfortune of dealing with people cut entirely from a different type of synthetic material lately.

Christmas just came early for me this year cause I don’t think there is anything that filled my heart with more warmth than hearing the love and devotion for my father from another one of our most sincere of students.

Competing always feels like the first time competing in so many ways. It’s a bit of Ground Hog Day, but you always have a different set of injuries to differentiate the different Competitive Experiences. Good Luck to Everyone Competing tomorrow, I’m looking forward to cheering you on.

Competition never gets old.  That’s the whole point isn’t it?  It’s about testing your skill and the point is to constantly reintroduce yourself to an entirely new set of challenges, even though they seem to be in the same type of setting.

I have to say that my first time competing was probably my most distracting experience. I didn’t realize there was dress code.  I am not a fan of dress codes or being told how to dress. I am just me and I like to be comfortable and if I am competing, the last thing I want to be concerned with is how I look.  Then there was the fact that I have my dad, who is my dad.  He is just dad to me, but people in martial arts see my dad a little differently, although he is dad to all of our martial arts family, it’s different for me than them, because I fart around my dad and he farts around me and we talk about the magnificence of bodily functions, the way you can only do with the people who are your blood family, because they are stuck with you of life, they made you, they can’t get rid of you.

Aside from being inappropriately attired (in a sloppy way, not slutty way) and having to wear my father’s outfit there was this incredibly strange distraction of people looking at me as though I was a circus act and it was uncomfortable.  I was just a kid about to compete in my first martial arts experience and it became weird experience of feeling more like an exhibit, than a competitor, but on the other hand, you are performing, so I had to just get over it.  Besides, I’m a female and raised in NYC, people are always looking at you for one reason or another.

Then the attention turned to dad, but I do remember dad being so happy and proud and I hadn’t even won anything.  It was the first time in my life where I ever heard my father bragging, so much so I had to pull mom aside and tell him that I didn’t like him telling everyone I was competing, because people ask really stupid questions like…

“Are you nervous?”

“You do know who your father is, does that make you nervous?”

“Wow, it’s so incredible that you are competing, do you feel pressure cause of who your dad is?”

“You’re so pretty, how is it that you’re competing in Martial Arts”

“Wow, are you gonna make your father proud?”

I was 16 and these are some of the many stupid questions I was asked.  As a kid I was always taught to be respectful and as an adult I’ve learned that people are just so stupid sometimes.

I have this a Tabula Rasa approach to competition, life and people where my approach is always from the Blankest of Slates and then people scribbled all over that slate with all kinds of weirdness.

Why would anyone approach a 16 year old kid with questions like these? Keep it short.  Keep it positive.  Or just leave me alone.  This goes for all of you who want to ask competitors silly ass questions before they compete.  When you feel your mind getting inquisitive, just shut up and be helpful by allowing the competition to focus.  Be helpful, but not distraction.  Stay in the background and work on your skills of empathy, where you sit quietly so you can sense what the competitor needs and silently approach them with a bottle of water or a towel or some healthy snacks.  DO NOT offer snacks when a person is in between bouts or just about to go up.

We have a couple guys competing tomorrow in Queens.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a Martial Arts Tournament and I just had all these memories flooding back to me and just thinking about how I can help my boys stay calm and focused, so if any of you come up to them tomorrow with silly things to say, I’m gonna be in Momma Chen mode and will be keeping watch.

On that note, Good Luck tomorrow.  Leave my boys alone, until after they have competed.

xoxo, tiff

A bit of a happy rant today on my Tai Chi life… I am the Master’s Daughter, but I am the same, in that I am different, because I am Me.

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Dad was away teaching in Hawaii last week.

When he’s gone, I cover most of his classes and it’s always interesting to feel the dynamic of how the students fell about me.  How they adjust to me.  How some of them look at me with hesitation.  How some of them look at me with enthusiasm.

Then, there are those who look at me quietly, but I can see in their eyes that they aren’t at all pleased with getting he Master’s Daughter, but they almost welcome the experience the way a knight gets ready for battle, the way I’ve seen in the movies at least.  There’s the look in the eye which matches the feeling in the air and this buzz of anticipation which feels similar to the energy you sense when you step in the ring.  It’s as though they are preparing to jab intellectually if I expose any weaknesses and I in turn breath in the exhilaration of this funny kind of competition, because I know that this is just another test of my skills as a teacher to know if I really do deserve to be a teacher at my father’s school.

When people admire my athletic nature I do joke that I have dad’s DNA, but you can’t be born into anything.  You have to earn what you get, but first you have to own who you are.

I’ve gone through an evolution of learning and having started teaching at so young, I have really learned the inns and outs of myself.  I used to teach by literally reciting everything that dad in class, I was kid.  I didn’t understand what I was really talking about, because I hadn’t achieved the level of feeling necessary to even understand what on earth it was that dad was talking about.  I was still feeling myself out.

Many years later and many life experiences later, I’m back in the classroom and what I enjoy most about where I am in life is that actually have a sense of self.  I finally know who I am and I am fearless.  I don’t care what others think, although I am very caring of others. There’s a significant difference.

It’s funny, the years I spent in the ring were the years I was probably the most insecure.  I’d have people laugh at me fight day (mostly in boxing) sometimes because I didn’t look like a fighter.  The paranoia about weight.  The constant of living in the “unknown”, because you never do know who you are gonna meet in the ring fight day.  There’s was something about the fighting years where I never felt that I was good enough, not to be confused with lacking confidence.  I would have confidence that I gave it my all in training and that I would hold my own, but it’s a fighter and I’m a fighter and the simple logic exist where I also knew that, I wasn’t stepping in the ring to show off skills, I am a fighter, we step in the ring to prove our skills and what sense is there in proving your skill level if you aren’t testing yourself against a worthy opponent?  This dynamic thrilled me, scared me, excited me and also keeps me humble.  Aside from the physical skills, the mind of an athlete is so complex and we all are so different in how we handle the fitness balance of our mind.

I left the martial arts world for a bit and then I came back.

The most rewarding feeling I have had in a long time was walking into the school last week and having one of the students spot me and say excitedly “Are you teaching us today?”.  I was little preoccupied with something I was trying to upload from my phone, but the moment this student jumped up so enthusiastically when I walked in and said this, I just melted.  Dad was back and everyone is so happy when he’s around it’s almost like I feel the rest of us at the school disappear a bit, but we don’t mind, we all just love dad so much, who cares if we are forgotten because Poppa Chen is back.

 

 

When I was IKF’s Woman of the Year and this sweet woman named Violet Lee stopped by to talk to Dad and Myself.

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Throughout the years I have given so many interviews I have lost track.  Sometimes someone brings an article in, or I get emails of things people enjoyed reading and it’s always so nice to be reminded of how much people enjoy your work.

Violet was particularly sweet and very gentle.

It was such a pleasure to speak with her and have her at our school and admire and respect her work incredibly.  She speaks entirely from the heart and she has an honesty that touches you from the first “hello”.

 

 

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