It is by design that we strive to be our best and through that desire we reach for the stars. Some people speak of humble beginnings and my friends in Kibera are a testament of the strength of spirit.
It is also by design that we strive to do so efficiently but in doing so we tend to carve the comfortable paths deeply and the ones that teach us further less and less as time goes on.
This is one of the reasons we learn so fast as children and have to invest in force of will to do the same as adults.
Emotion is a key component in balancing the equation.
We start up not caring how we look like and how the process of playing evolves into knowledge and ability. Social and ego structures harden the walls of our minds from a learning genius into a cog in the machine.
Releasing the harmful parts of social conditioning can happen fast and loose.
Begin by paying attention to the frustration and pain that resides within our inner world. That is the most common prison on earth.
Continue to add play and long term freedom goals into your daily practice be it by counting the cats between one train station to another (awareness) or learning a new skill by trial and error, play and exploration (intuition)
Find a simple task such as brewing tea for the family and time it so each motion it started with a breath and find ways to cut the number of breaths needed.
Combine the serious and the fun – Learn to juggle metal balls (The first time you bang your fingers hurts the most, I know)
Find something you know and try to unlearn it. For example. Find a complete other way to tie your shoes, A different way to think of money and investment (financial farming) and a new way to strike that does not strike back.
Change something simple in a repetitive movement. Walk on the sides of the soles, do push ups on the backs of the palms, do pull ups where you start from the top and only come down and return up.
Cardiovascular ability is quite the dirty word in many martial art schools whose worth is mostly in performance in the dojo.
I agree to some extent as investing in
the parts of the whole without context gives very little to advance the
abilities of the practitioner.
It is putting things together which brings us to a higher level of freedom and ability under PRESSURE.
Runners do not make better fighters
necessarily. Doing hard things where your mind and emotions connect with
the struggle is what elevates us into calm under pressure.
Breath during running:
Begin running and match your breath rhythm with your steps. Inhale for one step and exhale for one. Increase the count first on the inhale and later on, on the exhale until you reach the apex of the pyramid. Place your awareness in your face, your neck and torso to find out where the tension crawls and shake or release it by shifting your alignment and continuing to breathe.
Begin running and match your breath rhythm with your steps. Increase only the exhale stage of the breath and let it stretch to the max and again find where the tension goes and add listening to your thoughts telling you to inhale more and maintain a steady rhythm for a while until the body and mind find out they can release excess and exist beyond what we believe is our limits.
Begin running and breathe solely through your nose. Inhale and exhale through the nose and focus on maintaining a relaxed face, neck and torso as you nose breathe. Increase the pace of the run as possible (while avoiding moving cars and stray leopards) until you find a new place of silence within.
ADVANCEMENT MUST OCCUR IN ALL OUR LAYERS OR ELSE IT REVEALS THE HUBRIS OF MAN
Training is just a tool. It is not a purpose. If your aim is to be good at training, than what is your purpose ?
I was asked today how to find a purpose by a student. He asked how to get out of depression and depression is a lack of purpose.
People survived and thrived for eons with a single purpose. It can be raising the next generation, it can be teaching a principle or knowledge of value and it can be dance.
It is purpose we seek and it is purpose that gives our lives meaning. Training is again, just a tool.
Clarity – What mark you wish to leave in your wake – education ? Knowledge ? A stronger clan ?
Competence – Strive to be good in what you do.
Consistency – Do what matters every day. Value your time and your life.
Read this article for more information and always aim to appreciate knowledge outside the immediate circle of your practice. A Samurai leaned to arrange flowers to harness his spirit, A soldier of these days may wish to invest in electronics, languages and a multitude of other subjects. The world is as big as we make it.