Before I acknowledge the obvious fact that I haven’t posted on this blog for over a year, I have a story to tell.

Two days ago, I went back to a tai chi class that I hadn’t been to in a while. It was wonderful and lovely, especially the feeling of floating with arms and legs moving in unison, despite a toe cramp. And even that “just was.”

As I clumsily bore down on the toe, thrashing it around to avoid the cramp going up into my leg, I grinned sheepishly to the few others who had made the mistake of watching me for the moves instead of the instructor. For a few seconds my one-legged tirade set off a domino effect of spastic tai chi moves (American Idiot Gets a Leg Cramp in leui of White Crane Spreads It’s Wings, anyone?).  In the end it made for a good laugh.

As the giddiness subsided, we fell into a calm silence again and I turned my attention to the outside world. It was wonderful to see the familiar edge of lawn just outside the window of the tiny community room and the babbling brook and a family of deer nibbling in the tiny parking lot.


What if we could stay in that “tai chi state of mind” all day?

At the end of the hour, we all came to a peaceful end to our practice. Then a man in his fifties or so suddenly piped up in an unexpected voice. He sounded like a blow horn—Emergency! Emergency!—as he went on about Trump and about the state of the world and about how it is all going to hell in a handbasket as he put on his shoes and prepared to go. Others nodded in agreement and sighed. One gal played along willingly and threatened to move to Italy. I felt like a deer blinking in the headlights of an oncoming train.

What was going to hell in a handbasket? I was still focused on the deer and the babbling brook and the sun that was shyly peeking out from beneath the autumn clouds. In my world at that moment, it was all lovely.

Still, the energy in the room had changed and I felt it. Gone were the ebbs and flows of noticeable “Chi” that were so palpable while we were “holding the ball” just moments ago. And the subtle awareness of feet on the earth, arms caressing the air. It was as if none of it mattered much anymore in the light of modern politics and the tweeting prowess of one single man.

I was left with a curious kind of confusion. I gulped again. And then a realization that came as a question with limitless answers:

Most of us don’t stay in our tai chi state of mind after we leave the mat, but what would happen if we did?

— — — —

So back to the long absence. Yes, it has been a while.

I guess I needed the time to gather the courage to really write honestly, in my own goofy, detail-oriented way. Truthfully. Sincerely. Not really cleverly, but clearly enough to pose the  obvious yet hard-to-answer questions that might just piss some people off.

So what’s next in the weeks to come?

For the most part, I don’t know. But, as Oprah says, “this I know for sure:”

I will not be gone for a year! AND there will be:

More random ponderings (sorry folks!),

-more interviews with interesting peeps doing incredible things,

-more Creativity Corners,

-more articles shedding a light on the subjects of health and travel,

And also other juicy topics like:



-Ancient technology,

-hyperdimensional physics,

-musings on space and time

-and maybe even a cornball joke or two!

At any rate, it is sure to be a fun ride, so I hope you hop on board every once in a while!

Nikki Lyn Pugh (aka The Gentle Traveler) is an alternative health writer, teacher and health coach. When she is not learning, writing or teaching, she is plugging away on her first novel or searching out the nearest hot spring (especially in winter!). For more information about her or to learn more about her writing and/or health classes and coaching services, please email