|My name is Allan Howlings, my interest in holistic therapies began shortly after I discovered Tai Chi back in 1995. Up until that point in my life I was very much a workaholic spending long hours at work and sometimes also at weekends. I was always far too busy to realize that there was more to life than work! I just could not see the wood for the trees so to speak (one of my favorite sayings nowadays).
I found that the more I got involved with Tai Chi the more the blinkers seemed to be falling away, allowing me to see life in a much more broader spectrum.
I will always remember that cold November evening back in 1995 when a fellow Tai Chi student gave me an impromptu Reiki healing outside our Tai Chi club, I was intrigued and had to find out more about it. Within two months I had found a Reiki master and had taken my first degree. From then on there was no looking back. I found that I was being drawn towards Chinese medicine and decided to study Shiatsu for a while passing my foundation and intermediate stages before deciding to study holistic therapies at my local college. This was a whole new experience going back to school and being in a classroom situation, something that I had not done for a very long time. It was a very interesting experience working and studying with like minded people.
In 1997 I took my third degree in Reiki and became a Reiki master, I was fortunate that I already had experience in teaching as I had been a teacher for the Royal Lifesaving Society for some time previously. I thoroughly enjoy teaching Reiki and being a part of a process that gives someone self empowerment and the opportunity to change their lives and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
For me Reiki has helped me to deal with all manner of life experiences that have come my way, some easier than others to
Understand. With the knowledge that we are only given life experiences that we can handle I have embraced them and tried my best to use those experiences positively.
I am a firm believer in positive thinking and self help. Life does not have to be all about materialism and monetary wealth. Real wealth comes in the form of health and happiness and that is something that money cannot buy. We have to learn to love and accept ourselves before we are able to help others. How many times have you heard someone say that they don't like themselves or the way that they look? Once we can accept ourselves for who we are with all our frailties then we can begin to grow and blossom which in turn will lead us to a more fulfilling life.
|My Tai Chi Journey
My exploration of tai chi began in 1994 at Springfield Tai Chi club in Milton Keynes with Marcus Evans. It was due to his patience that I stayed with the art, I was definitely very uncoordinated and always in a rush to learn something new. Gradually I realised that it was important to take things at a slower pace to learn the technique properly.
This introduced me to a very important principle of tai chi, PATIENCE.
I knew however from my first lesson that tai chi was something that I wanted to do and indeed something that I had been searching for.
I remember one evening waiting with Marcus for the caretaker to come along and open up for our two hour tai chi session,there was also a group of teenage lads playing about in the front play area. One of them was throwing pieces of gravel about and a piece caught Marcus on the arm, no big deal really but I was just about to say something to the lad when Marcus just brushed his arm down and smiled.
This taught me a big lesson, and a tai chi principle of not meeting force with force. The outcome was that the lads moved off and didn't bother us anymore, it could have been a much different outcome. Thanks for the lesson Marcus.
I started to teach within the confine of our club after about 6 years and all of a sudden it was a totally different ball game. I still had much to learn and found that I was learning just as much from our new students as they were learning from me. This is still true today, I enjoy the challenge of finding ways of making tai chi accessible to everyone regardless of any limitations or disabilities.
My teacher training with The Tai Chi and Chi Kung Forum for Health has helped me to understand the individual needs of the student much better and to take into consideration any medical conditions when teaching tai chi.
Tai chi is such an adaptable art form that everyone can learn it whever it be standing or seated. At the moment my oldest student is 88 years old and my youngest is 13 years old, who says that tai chi cannot appeal to every age group !