Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Noticing changes everything"

Taking a cue from Dan I will take on a less "serious" tone for my post and focus more on actual training methods (which are NOT the truth by the way... ;D ).

Ever have a problem area when doing stance? For example, pressure going to your knees, areas of tension that just don't want to relax, etc.? For me, especially, I have been experiencing sharp pressure in my left (and at odd times, right) knee as a result of tension in the belly, lower back, and the rear of the thigh (though presumably not limited to those three areas alone). For a while I've been trying to "play" around with this pressure, finding out which areas needed to relax; structurally, which areas needed to be rotated or lengthened, and the more I tried the more pressure I seemed to get in the knee. And then it hit me; why focus on the METHOD of relieving the pressure when I could actively find the FEELING of a non-pressured knee.

Merely NOTICING that there was pressure made me realize the OPPORTUNITY of non-pressure (for lack of better wording); I knew how it felt to have all that weight/pressure pent up in the knee, so why not try to feel what it would be like without all that pressure? And by golly, it actually worked! Seeking the FEELING of non-presssure somehow got me to the point of non-pressure! I felt more heavy in the legs, light on top, and actually more centered and balanced.

What did I take from all of this? That truly, "Noticing changes everything" and there are indeed opportunities in all areas of life! I will continue applying this mindset when training stance and hope that my knee pain will serve as inspiration in the future! ;D

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Responsible Mind

I'd like to continue in the same vein as my previous post on the nature of responsibility in practice and life. Certainly, we've all made excuses (for not practicing, etc.)..."IF only I had time...IF only I wasn't so sleepy...IF only I didn't have to work so hard... IF only things were more straightforward etc. etc." but it is in the act of just doing it (Nike stated it perfectly), whatever "it" may be, that we are able to grow.

A quote: "To protect yourself against negative influences, whether or your own making, or the result of the activities or negative people around you, recognize that you have a will-power, and put it into constant use, until it builds a wall of immunity against negative influences in your own mind"-Napoleon Hill (Thanks for the recommendation Rick! ;D )

Whether fighting the monkey mind or simply getting yourself to practice, it is important that we make time to do the things we plan to do. When doing stance/practice, we must recognize that we made the choice to do so and there we should carry through with our intention. If you find yourself getting off track, remind yourself "This is what I planned to do and I can worry about laundry etc. later" with the knowledge that we all have a choice in our own thoughts and actions. Having a strong will, perseverance, and sticking to one's word...these are all actions of the responsible mind.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking responsibility in Life and Training

The past few days have been really eye opening for me not just within training, but in learning about myself and who I am; what I consider my limits and what I can surpass in reality. Often times we set ourselves up and give in to the more lower levels of behavior and thought, telling ourselves to give up while ahead, afraid of the consequences of our actions and a fear of the unknown. What if something happens that I might regret? What if I get sick or hurt myself? What if the hard work just sucks and I don't want to go through with it? Unfortunately I have conditioned myself over the years in this very pattern of thought/behavior. Being spoon fed throughout my life I can recall the countless demonstrations of this mode of behavior...from quitting every sport I did as a kid in favor of video games and tv, in school never really having an opinion in political debate, and even in stance in instances of compromise ("I can skip it for now if I just do more later", etc.), I have rarely demonstrated a hard fought grit or determination in my daily affairs. Ultimately, at the root of my problem is a lack of responsibility. Making excuses, taking the easy way out, saying "I don't really care" is in actuality saying "I'm afraid to take responsibility for the things I do". There is also a sense of fear...fear of taking action and taking responsibility.

But now I'm taking a stance...I'm "man-ing up" as it were. I'm beginning to realize that its OK to be scared, its OK to fail, SO LONG AS YOU TAKE ACTION. ACTION must be responsible, ACTION must be real and thought out (not blind or stupid), and if it is, ACTION can become PROGRESS. PROGRESS because in our failures we will have taken responsibility and acted, growing as a person that can accept failure, learn from it and move on. PROGRESS in knowing that we are moving towards something better through ACTION and ANALYSIS. Not dwelling on our losses but investing in them, and this all begins with the simple act of NOTICING. I was recently told that "Noticing changes everything"...a simple yet profound truth that I am realizing more and more each day in so many applications.

So from now on, I will follow through with my word. If noticing is the first step, then action/doing is the next. I have noticed, I am acting, and I am scared and nervous; but in this knowledge I am comforted in the responsibility and know that I will be all the better for it...

...I am READY! (bring it on world! ;D )