As a child, my first and one of the best lessons in paying attention came from an Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan novel.
The sentiment was simple but profound. It was not the elephant or tiger he feared but the silent beetle who carried death in its touch.
I ask you to consider this thought as you place your goals before you:
Is it something that we need to add to ourselves or remove from ourselves to get the job done?
Nature does not waste. You will not see a cat sneaking when there is no dog about nor will a bird issue an alarm if there is no true cause to it. As humans, we must strive to do the same.
Avoid trying to enhance a ready stance at every moment and a tense posture full of apparent power. Instead, remove the inner obstacles that hold you from raising your normal level of awareness.
By increasing our base line of awareness instead of just the heightened alertness, you will achieve what veterans see as true vigilance. You do nothing but reveal your weaknesses and fear by posing and wavering between moments of alertness and those of stupor.
A few examples and drills:
1 Walk down the street and close one eye at a time. Notice what you do not see and then open your eye. Work on this until you do not take your eyes for granted and feel the growing of both awareness and calm within you.
2 Open a cupboard and locate your favorite mug without making any sound.
3 Slowly raise one arm as you place your awareness in the placement of mass throughout the soles of your feet. Feel the changes from this simple movement and with a bit of work you will move as one.
And don’t forget, Nature is not impressed by your efforts. Be calm, be graceful but do not act calm or try to be graceful. Let it come to you by paying attention and by removing the obstacles within.
In this video we follow two lines of reason. First we go with acceptance of what is happening and working with it and Second: We purposely resist reality (stick strikes) to come to terms with the fear and tension that reside within us. Only with acceptance both within and for what is around us can we be truly free
When you believe there is danger or when you feel it, things happen. Those can include a shifting of time perception from freezing to speeding up the inner picture of events unfolding to lifting of barriers we carry within ourselves from tiredness to codes of conduct someone else put to pen.
When actual danger happens you may not even feel it or recognize it at the time thus danger and the recognition of it are not always one and the same. Some die without knowing how it transpired or feeling it.
People work for a goal so the work needs to reflect that. The outcome of the work is to make you more and more comfortable in different conditions and avoid increasing your inner and outer tension superficially. The more aware you are on the base level of inhale and exhale, the more you actually live and recognize what is there. There is another gift given with the connection made between perception and actual threat if you are honest with yourself. For example between the distinction between gesture to harm and the actual attack.
Work as much as needed to get results but not to the point of self damage. Allow the progress made from the work today to run the course instead of inflicting damage on yourself. Don’t forget that feeling sorry for yourself is ok as long as you acknowledge it and work from a place of awareness.
There is no real need to be humble, brave or dedicated. Just be yourself honestly with your emotions, with your thoughts and in your body. Do what is good for you now with good goals such as being able to go home at the end of the day.