If you put the mask of the devil on violence, you are cutting your own legs from under you. Violence or in other less marred words intent focused action, is what keeps us alive and allows the rest of the chain to hold on. It is as important that one asserts their place in life and their mobility as any other part of the whole. One cannot eat the meat or write a poem without the safety violence provides.
The pen is mightier than the sword. It is proven by the victims and history governments create which far supersede anything any other group is responsible for. The second place award in that field would go to nature itself which really begs the question. How have we survived so far J
This is why ideas are so sharp in penetration. Be keen to notice the spread and influence of ideas and stand in force for what and who you believe in. The true evil feeds on silence most of all, for in that silence, the one voice of corruption and deceit will poison the entire stream.
” What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,.”
Now, let me tell you what can erode this creation as the water erodes the rock itself. Small things. It is the small everyday things that grab our awareness and attention. It is the small things that mislead us into chasing things outside of ourselves and deliver us a slow death by omission over a wasted lifetime. Avoid being liked by many. Be loved by a few.
Live your life and do something you care about.
The small stuff can wait.
Being attune and in the moment is simple but not easy. Here are three games to play to increase your natural tuning to what others and you are doing.
- Close your eyes and touch your partner in the chest. Count their breaths to ten and push on the ten. Verify that you counted well and move to a more obscure location for this count such as the back and then the limbs and head. This will extend your awareness to breath contact affect we have on each other and the partner being counted can work and move to obscure their breath by tension, movement and changing pace. Lo tech work but highly beneficial for any encounter later on as you are in tune with the breath tempo, depth and alignment of the contact.
- Open your eyes and view your partner from the front. Repeat the breath count work from a step away and as you make your way, one step at a time away from your partner, become more and more in tune with the slight movement and tempo of their life. Again, this will serve you well in the times ahead. Repeat the game from the side of the partner and then from the back. Wear different clothes and use whatever is there for your enjoyment and progress into yourself.
- Walk in nature ( a garden will do if you are in a city) and count your breaths per steps. Start with one breath phase (inhale, exhale, rest) for each step and go up in your count the moment you feel comfortable in the current count. Go as high as you can and climb down in the same manner. Join a partner in doing this and feel each change in breath phase as they make it without verbal or visible cues to mirror their breath so you can be in tune by choice. Make sure you also work to keep your tempo and depth free from auto mirroring as it produces a temptation all by itself. Be a social creature but be free first.
Breath work is a primal key. Use it to increase whatever else you do.
I have lived a few years in a tent. It made me appreciate buildings all the more 🙂
The door frame is a great tool for movement, tension exploration and fun. It can be used to ease into new movement and develop power within holds.
Here are a few examples of movements to build both power and freedom of movement:
- Stand in the doorframe and press your arms straight outward so they press against the doorframe. Keep the pressure for a few breaths while you keep your joints from locking and as you release your back and shoulders will release tension and build power over time. Play with the angle of your shoulders so the palms, backs and sides of the hand are against the doorframe every time. It works different parts of the shoulder, chest and back.
- Stand a step in front of behind the door frame. Place your forearms on the sides of the doorframes and do pushups or dips as you maintain the tension. This will strengthen your arms and your entire upper back in different angles as you place your body in angles to the doorframe.
- Stand a step or more away from the doorframe. Place your hands to grab the insides of the frame and lean on it. Walk up and down with your hands holding onto the doorframe insides and do it facing down and up. For a greater challenge, Place a sturdy piece of furniture to give your legs a boost and perform the walk with the elevation.
- Stand inside the doorframe and place your back against one side. Bring your clean feet and hands against the other side and brace yourself in the air for a few breaths. Mind to spread the force over your spine and avoid arching your bones against it.
- Stand inside the doorframe and place one hand and one opposing side leg on the other side. Breathe and lift yourself to get all four limbs in the air and hold with non-locked joints for a few breaths. Place with hand and leg placements and see if you can climb up within the tension. Mind your head J
- Place yourself in the push up position with your feet within the doorframe. Press them against the doorframe in the air and balance on fists on the ground and feet against the doorframe sides. Now bend your knees and bring your behind to the doorframe line and back while in the air. Repeat it while facing upwards and enjoy the movement.
Everything is your playground with a child mindset. Just do it at the right time J
I was usually victorious in the playground. I held my own against ones and twos and threes. I once faced six older bigger boys and they won. They won the first. They did not win the second.
Figure that as you will.
A side note: If you consider the tone harsh, you may not remember how children fight.
The subject of bullies usually goes towards the prevention of bullies. That will not happen as it is a part of the human condition to seek dominance and bullies represent a small type of that warfare.
Let us invest in accepting the human way of now and dealing with it. You do not cross the mountain by walking around it. You cross it by learning your innate ability to make the mountain your ally. fire is death and fire is life. Make the obstacle a ladder and climb it up. This may not seem kid friendly but kids are people and when you treat them as such they grow up instead of just growing old.
THE MIND GAME
We start at the mind because the affects stay there the longest. Bones mend but perceptions can scar a lifetime. The body makes its own micro choices but the mind is the leader.
Set up the inner playground:
- It is ok to lose. Just do better next time. Small steps are harder to stop.
- Some people say things because they want you to believe them. Not because they do.
- It is ok to make things up as you go. No one knows the entire picture.
- No one is perfect including dead heroes and the published word.
- Defense is answering a stupid question. Never answer, always choose.
- It is all right to say NO. It is a choice and it is yours.
- Always look at things from all sides of the transactions. Does everyone benefit ? Is it getting better or worse ? What is the direction ? Does it fit your needs as well as the needs of the others?
- Jokes and laughter take the sting and stink away from many things.
- No self improvement is ever finished. Enjoy the road and the wind in your hair if you have any.
- Sometimes you just lose. It can take a while to climb but seeing the landscape helps. There are small favors in each cruelty if you make it through and even if you don’t. Make the landscape wide in your head.
- Play the game of losing and winning in your head on a regular basis. Work it out so you know what you want to do when you win and when you lose. Win a few times (in different ways) for every time you lose in your head.
THE MOVEMENT GAME
I know about people who always win with grace. In books and comics.
- There is a great book – six ways in twelve ways out – find different ways to do the same thing. That goes for many things. Tying your shoe laces, the way to school, brushing your teeth and so on. Creating a mindset that you can find a way is more important than practicing common movement in a martial art class. Later on, there is a need to work this in a confrontational manner. bypass pushing hands and feet, find ways to keep moving when held and so on in small steps and with many laughs. Finding humor in the process of finding the way is key in continuing on that important facet of living.
- “From the top of the mountain you can only see the mountain” We all build walls around us to protect and shy away from the unknown and the dangerous in our mind. We can learn to use these inner walls and outer obstacles to climb up outside of the cave ( I know I am mixing theologies) without fearing it. For example, place a hand in the way out the kitchen (create a block in the predetermined path) and play with using the obstacles as help instead of avoiding them. Use this with words too. The mindset creates the landscape.
- Human touch is healing and we forget it over time. Play with the edges of touch by switching on cue from a hug to a tussle and have fun with moving on the scale. Allow yourself to accept both sides of the same coin and heal inside.
- Ties are knots in a rope ladder – Use your anchors as points of reference and find new anchors as you go along the sail. Physically you give yourself binds from not being able to use one arm to keeping both knees touching at all times and play a tussle and doing chores to find new ways to use the ropes and ladders. Every time you play with binds, you find new keys. It is not the keys that matter. It is the process which gives you the next step you need in a real bind.
The framework presented here is exceptionally wide of breadth and vague. Life is like that too and planting the seeds of innovation and going through the breach in the wall as a daily practice and game is the key to finding your way when the unexpected comes.
There are two great observation tools we have but we mostly point them toward the outside. Our ears and vibration sense throughout the body will grant us great insight on our emotions, reaction and movement if we just pay attention.
Start as you are still laying down to sleep. Feel your own pulse wherever it is easier to sense and with touch (the body responds with increased awareness where you press yourself with fingers or use muscle tension) extend the awareness to the pulse flow throughout the body.
Continue by closing your mouth if it is open and listen in to the voices of the breath through the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. Open your mouth only slightly and listen again. Keeping the mouth not closed and not open works best for your ears to pick up both inner and outer cues.
Breathe and sense and hear your breath moving your body even when prone. Feel and hear the wave of compression and decompression of the lungs and the rest of the body in turn.
Go inward by moving each joint at a time. Listen in to the sound of your skin moving, the joint and fluids that run through us hopefully and listen also to how the rest of the body align for each movement. We always try to accomodate ourselves and paying attention to it will free more inner space in movement and in thought.
Get up and start walking. Listen to your breath with each contact with the ground and let both contact and breath continue instead of being a clockwork human. Listen to the sound coming from your body and the ground as you make, shift and exit the contact and gain greater awareness in every sense.
The push up is a time tested movement to gain power and health. Let us explore variations of it to further explore its benefits.
- Elevated push ups – If you are starting now with push ups, do them against a wall, then a table, a chair and then on the ground. If you are already familiar with push ups, raise one leg in the air and then place them on a ball, a chair and finally on a wall to explore different angles and further add power and fun to your movement.
- Slow push ups – Do push ups that take, one breath to do, do them over ten breaths, extend the time you spend moving and create healthy connective tissue and joints. Form a greater awareness to every passage of the movement.
- Less limbs push ups – Do push ups with one leg over the other, do them with one leg in the air, do push ups with one arm in the air, do push ups with one arm and one leg in the air.
- Four corners push ups – Do push ups with your thumbs facing: Up, Down, outside, inside and play with it.
- Bendy push ups – Do push ups that end up with your behind spiked to the heavens, do push ups where you end up with your bald head facing the sunset on a romantic beach and play with it.
- Twisty push ups – Do push ups where you start one side before the other so you go right side first and wrong side later (slight pun, bear with me J) do push ups where you take one side of the hips forward and the other skyward and play with them.
- Location push ups – Place your hands or fists together or far apart, place them one up and one down. Move them for each push up and remember to have fun.
- Contact push ups – Do push ups on your palms, do them on your fists, Do them on the back of the hand and do them on the fingers with care.
- Jumpy push ups – Do push ups where you push yourself off the wall, Do them in various angles and remember to ease into contact with breath and tension attention TM (Pay attention to tense only what you want instead of in reaction)
- Walking push ups – start walking on your hands/fists and add push ups to the movement.
- One more … object push ups – Do push ups holding onto hammers or sticks or ropes in a hanging position or not if you can do magic. Do push ups holding onto one stick rolling on another stick. Be free and add to the game as you play.