Perspective and Focus

I believe this, and then some.  Where our focus goes is what we see most. . . 

It’s OKAY to have a bad day.  It’s OKAY to have goals and want more for yourself.  It’s flat-out OKAY to just be “human.”

But don’t forget the blessings right under your nose. Recognizing and appreciating what we do have isn’t a goodie-two-shoes approach – it’s one that will prevent difficulties from derailing you completely.  

Life is fleeting, and therefore so very precious.  Perspective keeps the focus on the good, and when we “vibrate” – in every way – on that level, more of it comes our way. Magic, indeed…

Train The Way You (Want To) Fight

Training the way you want to fight isn’t always so easy. . .but in a way, isn’t that supposed to be the point? That we train in order to potentially defend ourselves?

The tough reality is that what your muscles remember under duress – which is going to be what you have painstakingly programmed them to do in class, lessons, practice – is what matters.  If you train to hand the gun back to the perpetrator – even with mindfulness and the knowledge that you *shouldn’t* – it may happen in real life.  Terrifying it may be, I’ve actually heard of cases in which just that has occurred… Scary.

The other day in class, our Sensei decided to do a drill combining old school (as in centuries-old Ninpo) traditional movements with a modern-day scenario and vibe.  We had to disable our opponent with a distraction or strike, get away (using those traditional techniques), get to and behind cover, and then “draw” our weapon. The drill was one of the most fun I think I’ve ever done…but I was also so incredibly excited to have another opportunity to flesh out a possible, modern situation. No matter how old movements, or kata, or patterns may be, there are gems within them that can be adapted for, and applied to the times.

I don’t carry, for one thing…so I’m not likely to have a firearm at the ready.  But the idea was what was most important here, and learning to do all of those things – without the stress – was hugely valuable.  What makes it stick? Repetition!  Memory needs to be formed so that when we ARE stressed, we can still perform those functions. Just one day of that particular drill isn’t necessarily going to help me out if something really goes down.  But…the principles and techniques ARE ones we use every day…

We learn to strike, distract, disable…that’s number 1. 

We learn how to efficiently get away, and to not injure our bodies (or injure as little as possible!) as we attempt to do so.

We learn to asses for cover and get behind it if that’s what the situation requires (versus getting away.) 

In practicing those things, our muscles learn on such a level that we work on “autopilot” after a point.  And that’s what you want!

The difficulty in this particular environment is that we don’t have real firearms, and we aren’t truly hurting our “attacker.”  On a range, in a special type of training, an individual who DOES carry can certainly practice his or her ability to draw, aim, shoot, and make the weapon safe – frankly I think anyone in a job in which carrying a pistol is required SHOULD be doing that anyway! 

For us at the dojo, we are working on handling whatever is coming at us as quickly and smartly as possible – but again, there are some strikes we simply cannot do.  In Ninpo, strikes can be highly unorthodox and nasty – breaking fingers, ripping ears, gouging eyes…it goes on.  It’s tough knowing we aren’t going 100% in this case, but we can’t exactly…  So we have to keep in mind that in real life, were our safety on the line, we can’t play the but-he’s-a-nice-“uke” (opponent / attacker) game. It’s a challenge, honestly – how do we bridge the gap, then?  I’m not sure you really CAN because none of us are out to break another classmate’s limb!

This is – for me – where the repetition comes in.  Learning to master even basic movement can take a lifetime, forget years! But in the daily (or as many days as can be managed!) practice helps solidify as many of the effective ways in which to handle a particular threat.  There are – keep in mind – an infinite number of movements available to us, and if we could study every Art and master it in a lifetime, we’d be golden.  Not the reality, sad to say!  Learning to even do a handful of “go-to”s is great – learn to do them properly, to do them well, and to do them with all shapes and sizes (some techniques are really tough with a HUGE partner!)  If you want a real challenge, do them blindfolded.

It’s a very “wax on, wax off” concept – the drills help our bodies to do these things as involuntarily as possible so, should the need arise, we actually CAN do something about it. We don’t always have the luxury of training exactly how we fight – this isn’t the Colosseum, after all – but we *can* do everything in our power to focus, to drill, and to get our muscles so familiar with the movements that they will come to our aid when we need them most.

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Starve Your Distractions, Feed Your Focus

Doesn’t matter in which area of your Life. . .

(If there happens to be a black panther present, give a heartfelt “thanks.” I mean just look at it… I’ve not yet seen a single photo in which they don’t appear to be utterly, and wholly, laser-focused on what they want.  (Probably the bipedal meal with the camera but anyway…))

 

Long Term, And One Day At A Time

Sometimes we get so focused on the long-term, overall picture that we – inadvertently – land ourselves in a state of overwhelming, nigh-perpetual, high anxiety.

A long-term goal is GREAT to have – without our sights set on the future, how can we ensure that we can create a solid plan of attack to successfully achieve that goal?  Not easily! (no goal = a lot of shots in the dark, sometimes without any progress at all.)

Generally, though, the path to what we want isn’t going to be a smooth, straight, upward-driving line – it’s probably “all over the map.” And you know what? That’s OKAY. 

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The stresses of daily life can add up quickly, and dominate every action and aspect of our lives. . .but it doesn’t have to be that way, even when we are feverishly striving for that end result.

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Sometimes the best thing for our sanity is to focus on a day at a time.  A MOMENT at a time if you have to – and I’ve definitely been there!

When we slow it down, and remove the mountainous task in front of us, we can put out attention to what’s more attainable (and manageable) in that moment.  Maybe its crossing off one or two more things on the “to-do” list that day (instead of forcefully trying to accomplish seven or eight that will, no doubt, only end up rushed or riddled with mistakes.) Or it could be that just making one call will put you closer to fanning out the connections you ultimately need – one call might still be moving in the right direction versus none…or ten poorly executed ones.

Some days we can go full-bore – we feel able to tackle any challenge, and prepared to take on the larger projects.  But when serious stress hits, and we are simply too overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a deep breath and focus on only what you CAN change – if anything – at that moment alone.

Progress is progress – it doesn’t have to be leaps and bounds to qualify as a step in the right direction.  

 

More random positivity here

Above hyperlink (“tackle any challenge”) is for the article “Overcoming These Challenges Will Make You More Successful by Dr. Travis Bradberry.”

Fitness Humor – Please Go Away…

I think most people can relate to this regardless of the surroundings, though it did give me a good laugh thinking about recent workout interruptions…

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(c) Sarah Andersen

You’ve been there, right?  You’re clearly “in the zone,” totally plugged into your tunes, but someone still interrupts?  Or, even better, they start waving to get your attention?

I always try to figure out what about me looking in the opposite direction, simultaneously lifting, and possibly even singing along to my Rob Zombie didn’t give the (solid, I thought!) indication I wasn’t in chat mode. 

Maybe I should try a sign??

Awareness goes a looooong way!

New Physicians Formula

Sharing because I’ve not seen these posted, but did see them in-store.  What’s interesting is their whole “InstaReady” and “filter” angle – certainly not new (from them or other cosmetic companies) but largely speaking to modern culture’s obsession with social media (this could take a positive spin…or a negative one – that’s up to the individual!)

What it means for companies is that though cosmetics have always been designed to help us achieve and us-but-better look – why bother, otherwise? – the approach has shifted to facilitate looking even better (airbrushed, anyone?!) in photos and video.  In addition, the focus is also on getting ready as quickly as possible – how do I add a filter asap without the camera, kind of thing…

Life in 2016 (nearly 2017)!

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