Simone Olivier, Daoist Priest Lao Li Fu, Internal Martial Artist
Growing up in a small town in Louisiana, I often asked myself when reflecting on my life “Is this what it’s all about?”
I’m referring here to the parental and societal expectations many of us face — go to college, get a good job, find a spouse, and have children…live happily ever after.
Deep down inside was an urging that there was more to being alive than this accepted outlook on life. While in college working towards a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, I was introduced to Yoga, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Meditation, and discovered quickly I had an affinity for meditation and meditative movement, which offered me a way to calm the emotions that seemed to overwhelm me.
From here a clearer path toward understanding my behaviors and patterns began. I was drawn in particular to Tai Chi, Oriental Dance, the Chinese 5 Elements, and Feng Shui.
Unable to find a suitable teacher in my hometown, I learned as much as I could on my own and continued with the “program” and finished college with an engineering degree, gained employment in the oil and gas industry, moved to Houston, married, and had a child — everything that was expected of me, everything I was told would provide me with a good life and a life of happiness.
Nonetheless, I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled, and realizing that my happiness must come from somewhere within, I began making choices I felt were more authentic to my true nature and to the person I aspired to be. This is what led me to study Daoism and Internal Martial Arts.
From this training, I’ve learned that true happiness cannot be tethered to a handful of ideals or else you ultimately become a prisoner of those ideals.
Happiness comes from being who you are, which is a constant process in motion. Integrating the principles of Daoism and Internal Martial Arts into my everyday life has given me a greater appreciation of life’s shifting currents and helped me realize that fulfillment is about changing, growing, and accepting life’s many circumstances as they come.
Three years ago, I began teaching Qi Gong and Tai Chi to the elderly, and quickly I noticed a deep softening in my life. The elderly are excellent students of Tai Chi and Qi Gong and some of the most dedicated students because they so willingly and openly engage in and enjoy the entirety of the practice — the physical, energetic, and spiritual facets.
A year earlier, I started to teach kids yoga in several schools in Houston. Teaching children has instilled in me the importance of play, spontaneity, and creativity, even and especially in adult life. So I created a program for my young students to bring their practice into the elderly communities to demonstrate their skills and to bring their youthful exuberance and light — and what joy this has brought to everyone! From these experiences I found deep meaning and understanding in my life and knew that this was my life’s work.
Being so inspired, I created the Tai Chi for Health and Longevity program to teach adults how to apply the wisdom of Internal Martial Arts into their own practice and how to pass down this knowledge to their students, young and old. This program creates an opportunity to bring generations together by educating adults about how Internal Martial Arts may be utilized to help others live longer, healthier lives.
In addition to teaching Internal Martial Arts, I am also an Oriental Dance instructor, helping women tap into their feminine strength and inner beauty. I am a 22nd Generation Longmen (Dragon Gate) Daoist Priest and Disciple under Abbot Zhi Chang (Lao Shi). I hold a 1st Degree Blackbelt certification from the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association and am a member of the Dao Li Jiao (an organization committed to understanding the Way of Reason).
I offer Attunements and Empowerments called the Reunion of Heaven and Man. I am also a devoted wife and mother continuing on my path.
Check out my Tai Chi Teacher Training program , the new class starts January 1st .