Last Wee Wu Dang,
“It's better to be happy than to be right. It's not worth giving up your connection to your well-being in order to justify your position of being right.”
-Stephanie Joy Johnson
It is with deep sadness that I inform you that as of 8/8/'16, I gave my two weeks notice and am resigning as Chief Instructor of Twin Cities Tai-Chi Chuan Studio. My first class in that beautiful space, and teaching full time for a non-profit, was Sept. 14, 1993. My last class will be 8/18/'16, the Disciple's Class, how fitting! A career just a few weeks shy of 23 years! It has been a great experience for me. My learning, practicing, and teaching have grown by leaps and bounds and I've met so many wonderful people on this part of my path. Thank you all!
On 8/3/'16 I withdrew my proposal, which had over two months of scrutiny. I hold no blame or ill will towards the Studio Board. The options and decisions facing them are dismal. They have worked so hard to try to keep the Studio going. They have been slowed down by threats of litigation, fear of lawsuits, false accusations, rumor, gossip, and a lack of time and resources. As time ran out, and rumors increased, the Studio became a hostile working environment for me. If this is all news to you, then I am happy. The atmosphere of students should be one of learning, exploration, and discovery, not of donor fatigue, politics, gossip, and dirty laundry. An atmosphere of tension, hostility, and toxicity has plagued not only the Board, but me as well. Nasty notes, harassment, false accusations, and disrespect have left me sad and exhausted. Like the proverbial “frog in a well,” a vocal few took partial information and claimed to tell others a whole story that will soon prove to be false, incomplete, and mis-guided.
As to all the communications being left for all to read, and those for me personally, they have been left unsigned. With just a little research, I found out who the authors are. Either they are not as subtle as they think, or they wanted me to know who was doing all the writing. Of course, if they really wanted to get credit, and credibility, they would have signed their work! I will not “out” them so that they can stay at the Studio with immunity and anonymity. Let the healing begin!!! I wish Twin Cities Tai-Chi Chuan Studio all the best and hope it prospers and flourishes. My blood, sweat, and tears will be forever in that space and soaked into that gorgeous floor. The Studio will ever be part of my inner landscape forever. Wo Ai Ni!
I will be taking September off from group classes. I will still meet my private students during September. I am able to accommodate 1-3 people at my home, so I can add a few more private students to my schedule. We can also use any of the great parks and open spaces, just like when I moved here in 1984! I am negotiating a new space and will resume group classes in October. If you want me to keep you posted, send me an e-mail or a text and I will send you updates and information. I am also re-issuing my book, Lessons with Master Liang, and shooting DVD s for my future projects. For more info, you can always check in with my blog, which will be my main communication for now.
And so, too many to thank...
For the current Board of Directors, thank you so much for your service in the most difficult of times and situations!
For Kim Hayward, thank you for being my true partner in building this amazing Studio!
For Margo Bock, who has gone so far above and beyond as a Board member, as a student, and a Tai-Chi practitioner, thank you!
For Sally, Sharon, Tom, and all other Poster Ninjas, thank you for your energy and service!
For Joanne Von Blon, for believing in me, supporting my art and teaching, and providing the best Studio ever, (one that Master Liang NEVER failed to compliment) thank you!
For Sifu Mike Cain, for all your insights, support, and help, thank you!
For Master Paul Gallagher, thank you for all your wisdom, guidance, help, and friendship, I love you!
Lastly, thank you Naja, my root, my willow, my power... I can get through this because of you, I love you!
I bow from the waist to all of you,
At first I take up Tai-Chi as a hobby,
Gradually I become addicted to it,
Finally I can no longer get rid of it.
I must keep on practicing for my whole life-
it is the only way to preserve health.
The more I practice, the more I want to learn
from teachers and books.
The more I learn, the less I feel I know.
The theory and philosophy of Tai-Chi is so
profound and abstruse!
I must continue studying forever and ever...
It is the only way to improve and better myself.
-Master T. T. Liang
My Blog: The Inspired Teacher (rayhayward.com)
Facebook: Ray Hayward, Ray Hayward Enterprises