Friday, August 18, 2017

I am blessed to have you!

Hey everyone:-

My blogs have slowed down a bit.  I do apologize because I have been winding down our summer camps at our martial art school and also getting ready to send my daughter off to college.  Just thinking about it fills me with mixed emotions.

As a parent, I worked hard to give my daughter a stable, loving and supportive environment in which she can thrive. I have been with her almost every day of her life, dropping her off and picking her up personally from school. We have spent 1000's of hours in the martial art dojo together, her as my student and also eventually her assisting me in teaching.  To see her grow up is both a blessing and also, scary for me.  It is almost as if I am losing my little girl but in my logical mind I know that not to be true.  She will embark on many amazing things, go many places, meet new people and be influenced by others. Hopefully all good.

I hope as a parent (along with her mom) that we have done our job properly and she stays on a path free from bad influences and bad things. I also pray she becomes the most productive adult she can be and continues to make us proud.

When I went out to my garden the other day, I picked a bunch of veggies that my girlfriend (who I am also blessed for finding) and I grew from scratch.  I felt pride while carrying them into the house.  I also felt a sense of happiness at how blessed I am to be as lucky that I have food on my counter and in my refrigerator.  I feel blessed to have a beautiful girlfriend and daughter and all the things that I have. I am honored and blessed that I have students in my dojo's training with me and also fall in love with the art that I teach. I recognize how lucky I am.

The other day I did yoga after teaching classes.  It was dark, so we lit the fire pit, turned on the glowing outside lights and did Yoga under the stars.  I remembered, (not Realized) remembered, how we tend to take lightly how lucky we really are.  Every day is a blessing, a gift and special. We have no guarantee's as to how long we will live and how long those around us will be with us.  So we should appreciate every day what we have.

I also want to thank those that are haters, (people who dislike me and what I do). Those people remind me daily of how I should do my best to live my life in appreciation of all I have and all the people that I am surrounded by that treat me with respect and love.  I am appreciative of even my enemies if you can call someone that because I don't really feel I have any. However, those that do not like me are there to help me stay grounded and appreciate the people that love me even more.

So thank you to all out there that read my blog and share it and also to each and every one of you that make my life special. I am so happy to be with you and experience my wonderful life with you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

David and Goliath insurmountable odds!

The Philistine army had gathered for war against their rivals Israel. The two armies locked in battle faced off.  Camped for battle for forty days and nights a great giant named Goliath measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor, came out each day harassing and spreading fear into the Israelites urging them to fight.

On the other side stood a rather small meek young man named David, the youngest son, of his family and a teenager.  Having heard the threats of Goliath, David responded, to the challenge.  Turning down offers from his king he dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd's staff, sling shot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults and trying to intimidate him, but David spoke, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.” 

Image result for david and goliath

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and shot a stone at Goliath's head. Finding a weakness in the armor, the stone sank into the giant's forehead defeating him.  David was the victor and it was truly a show of someone overcoming insurmountable odds at any cost.  David is a prime example of the put your mind to it and you will achieve attitude. He didn’t let fear and self-doubt cripple him.  He just stayed focused and believed in himself.  On this day he was a true warrior. 

Comparing this story to the martial arts

• David's faith caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations and overcome them we will become champions. 
• When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or even waiver. Everyone else cowered in fear, but David ran to the battle.

Questions for Reflection:

Are you facing a giant problem or impossible situation? Take some time to look at your situation and refocus. If you see the situation from a more focused point of view will you excel?

Do you need to take courageous action in the face of insults and fearful circumstances?

What will you do next time you face a challenging situation? 

Just something to ponder..........................  

Please add your comments below..............

Friday, June 30, 2017

Be Altruistically Selfish

There is a great episode on one of my all-time favorite shows “Friends.”  In the episode Joey debates Phoebe on whether good deeds can ever be selfless.  Phoebe says, that many people do good things and they are selfless, but Joey begs to differ, saying “there are no selfless good deeds, ever.”  He goes on to explain that if you do something nice and it helps someone and that makes you feel good, the deed in itself was not selfless.
Image result for selfless personRather than talking semantics of whether doing something nice for others is selfless or not, it is certainly something we should do more often.  If more and more people go a little bit out of their way to simply do nice things for each other, there will be a monumental shift in our attitudes and the global attitude on the planet.  Imagine a world, where we work hard on a daily basis to do nice things for people.  They then react by paying it forward to others and so on.  This will have a dynamic shift in our planet and the way others are affected and it could create a very euphoric world.  

But you may say, it is hard to continually go out of your way to help others or to be nice.  Sometimes you may not be in a good mood, and that also makes it very difficult for you to be nice or happy.  However, if you follow my method of being “Altruistically Selfish,” every good deed you do, as selfless as it may appear, will also have its rewards.  You just have to learn to recognize the feelings you receive from doing
nice things for others.  
The confusion may lie, with the thought of expectation.  For example:  You hold the door for someone, and you expect them to say thank you, or hold the door back.  If they fail to do so, for whatever reason, and there may be many, then you may be disappointed.  Your expectation of the reaction to your good deed, causes you pain or aggravation.  So when looking at this, you may want to rid yourself of expectation and just look for the happiness it brings you, when in return, it is bringing the person happiness as well. 

Image result for dalai lamaThinking this way is healthy for you and is very rewarding.  I also want to touch on forgiveness.  When we forgive someone who has done something wrong to us, we tend to see this as a selfless deed.  We are forgiving them for the wrong doing, releasing them of the pain.  While this may be true for those that truly realize what they did is wrong, then we also do forgive for ourselves. Forgiveness, as it may be looked at as a good deed, it is also another Altruistically Selfish deed.  Of course I don’t mean this in a bad way, but it relieves you of the pain, anguish and continual stress that you may carry around with you, when you harbor ill will toward someone. So when you forgive someone and let go, of that emotion, you not only do it for them, you do it for yourself as well. 

I know this may not be as easy as it seems, but you must remind yourself, forgiveness and Selfish Altruism has a direct benefit to you and those around you.  If you are happy, then those around you are happy too.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Letting Go - for your own sake!

When I was much younger, I was on a quest to take over the world and open up Ninjutsu Schools everywhere.  At one point we had 6 schools on Long Island, West Islip, East Islip, Bayshore, Port Jefferson, Sayville and Lindenhurst.   I had one in Brewster N.Y. as well as one in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.  It was incredibly busy to say the least and I was away nearly two weekends per month, just visiting my schools.  My life of course changed when my daughter was born.  I no longer wanted to be away from her, so I changed my mindset and goals.  Through the quest for world domination I learned something very special about the law of detachment. 

As in any relationship - one of my schools, the only one with a partnership started to have some issues due to differences of opinion.  I wanted to move full force straight ahead and the student who ran my school was on a different level then I. I worked harder and it seemed I cared more about his future then he did or that was my observation at the time.  In any event, I decided to close the school and relieve myself of the stress and focus on the other locations, which I had full control of.  Well to say the least the relationship went downhill real fast and the student and I didn't speak for many years.  This bothered me, because in my eyes, I believed I did nothing but help this individual.  I later would realize, perception is reality for each person.  I am also sure he saw it differently.  To cut to the chase, he and I are now sociable and friendly and he apologized and gave me credit for helping teach him all that I did. He is a quite successful school owner now.  I am proud of him and that I was a part of his upbringing.  

In any event, due to the stress I took a trip to train with Steven Seagal - take shihan, mega movie star and martial art icon.  While at the seminar during a question and answer section, I raised my hand to get some clarity on why this happened with my student and said "Sensei, I was wondering."  Before I could finish my sentence,  he looked at me with the Seagal stare and said, "let it go, allie."  I was shocked and he moved on to the next person.  I thought to myself, either this guy is a mind reader or he is pulling one of the best parlor tricks ever. How easy would it be for someone to say that to any question asked.  I was smarter, than to let that happen to me. So I raised my hand again and said "sensei what do you do if."  He cut me off again by waiving his hand and said, "Allie didn't I say - Let it go?"  I had chills run up my arms, and I do as I write this at the moment. But I couldn't give up at that.  I guess I wasn't ready to believe he was that good.  So I said "Sensei but."  He cut me off again and replied "Some students will come and go, some will leave on good terms, others will leave hating you for whatever their conscience makes them justify and feel good about themselves.  You just need to let your student go and make mistakes on his own.  I know one day he will come back around, mark my words."  

I looked at my student Frank Olmeda and we both stood there with our mouths open.  Seagal Sensei was amazing.  I was blown away.  That was the day - I realized when things happen, your frustration sometimes lies within you and your non ability to control the outcome.  If you can accept things for how they are, then your life will be filled with so much peace.  If you are doing bad things, you can correct your behavior, if you are not doing bad things, and people still do not like you, or they perceive in their own way, then you can't do anything to influence their view.  Remember you can't get frustrated at the rain, for coming out of the clouds, or the sun for creating heat.  You need to live in the moment and enjoy, life and breath.  Just let it go.........This is not as easy as it sounds, it takes work.  I am still working on it after all these years. I highly recommend, working at it.  It will create a life of bliss for you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Learn Everyday from those around you! - Learn from every conversation.......

This is an interesting blog post, it speaks to the martial art students or student parents.  It is a shift in paradigm for those that may believe things to be the way they want to be. It helps educate the parents about the normal diagnosis or generalizing or comparing their children with others.

Tell me what you think. I would love for you to share this with other parents.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness........

I posted this last year on this day, but it seemed so fitting to re-release it. I also wanted to ad a quick synopsis at the bottom for insight.......

"There are three hungers that people are trying to feed throughout their lives. The first is to connect deeply with the creative spirit of life. The second is to know and express your gifts and talents. The third is to know that our lives matter. Fulfillment comes from feeding these three hungers."
-- Richard Leider, executive

As Tony Robbins says "there is only one human goal and that is to experience happiness!" Sadly, there are many avenues to attain happiness.  Some are short term, RE: diet, drugs, alcohol, sex etc. While others are longer term - RE: a relationship, a new apartment, a move from one place to the next, from one state to another etc. Then there are is long term happiness - that lasts a lifetime. These long term happiness qualities are really developed with learning how to ward off short term happiness and creating good habits that turn into long term happiness. Creating a life-style that is pure, and consistent. This life style still includes short term happiness, but the experiences are the building blocks for the future. 

For example: As a teacher of the martial arts, I see students, join and train and have the time of their lives. (at that moment, this is short term happiness) Then they quit out of boredom or lack of discipline, because they have not created a habit, which develops long term happiness. The only see the lull after the high, from the initial fun in which they experience.  However, if they stick with it through the lull, the highs will become a regular occurrence and a better overall long term experience. 

We as humans in our current state of life, are always in search of happiness, however, we are too unfocused to stick with things and we continue to be in constant search of the pursuit of happiness or in search to find something that really clicks with us. This is actually the real issue in regards to long term happiness.  We as humans are very whimsical in regards to experiential events.  We love that high we get from a quick burst of adrenaline. For example: People join my martial art school kickboxing program, sign up, pay a deposit and pay monthly payments. Many of them show up at most for a few weeks and then they quit. Some blame the program, blame the music, blame the short term at the moment experience.  When the reality is, it is the same program, when they first started. The same hard, workout that burns calories. Yes, we create variety, we change the workout, change the music and much more. However, when the intiatial excitement dies down, the only thing left is creating good habits that last a life time, and finding enjoyment out of the experience and results, not the adrenaline rush, that comes initially.  
We need to remind ourselves and shift our paradigm from initial experience to long term benefits, creating a happiness from the end goal and the journey getting there.  This takes a discipline that most people lack these days.  If you have any questions on creating this mindset, ask your question below and I will give you some examples. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Clouds sometimes make it appear as there are no Mountains in sight!

This morning I had a rather nice debate with a friend of mine and quite a debate it was - she is an attorney.  It was an interesting conversation about veganism.  For those of you that do not know, I have been a Vegetarian for over 18 years and a Vegan for over 8 years. At the time of writing this article some years ago, I hadn't made the jump to fully becoming Vegan and I considered myself 99% vegan, but due to the fact that I am a diabetic, at times, I struggle with things to eat when I am traveling.  

My friend pointed out to me that it is mostly about preparation and choice. She is 100% correct.   I have to admit, at times I fall short of just that.  When I travel, I sometimes resort to dairy products, breads etc.  hence why I am 99% vegan.  I do agree with my friend wholeheartedly, that dairy and the carnivore diet does cause a great deal of suffering on animals and the planet at large, but that is another conversation to be had.  

My goal with this post is simple - at times we make judgments and I have to be honest, I have done this quite often in my life.  We as a society judge people on their looks, their views, their diets, their social hierarchy in society, their religious beliefs and political affiliation etc. Just look at all the silly comments and bickering that goes on Face Book.  My goal has turned from looking at situations and making a snap decision to seeing many layers deep then what it appears to be on the surface.  I am doing my best to understand the root cause, before I react and make any decisions.  

For example: while debating with my friend, she spoke about Veganism and asked "Why don't I just cut the little bit out of dairy that I eat?"  I agree - with her and said "I should," I just have to make that commitment and prepare and do it.  I can't make excuses, I can't say there are reasons, even though sometimes I have a few.  What I need to do is make the decision and do it.  I easily make decisions much harder than this on a daily basis, so with some effort this will be easy.   I then thought I would play devil's advocate and ask her opinion on smoking and drinking.  She doesn't smoke but believes smoking is bad, for those forced to endure - for example - second hand smoke.  But if a person consciously chooses to smoke that is their choice.  I also asked about drinking and she said the same.  I then commented saying - "that many people make choices based on their own preferences.  No matter whether they are good for them or bad or society at large.  We as a country or a civilization look out for the better good of all mankind.  Why else wouldn't we just allow everyone to destroy the planet with pollution or possibly child labor laws.  There are rules put in affect to stop the destruction of the planet and humankind.  No matter where we live - we are all interconnected a great deal closer than one would imagine. Why is it though that we have mixed emotions on things like smoking, drinking, drugs, over eating etc.  Why as a society do we turn the other cheek?"

I then asked my friend - what about the layer that go much deeper. For example: If I drink milk, it causes pain to the cow producing it for many reasons.  Why do we not think of the ramifications of cigarettes and the migrant workers who have to work for pennies on the dollar producing it, or the land that is being destroyed to produce the tobacco, or the litter from all of the people who discard their cigarettes out the windows of their cars or toss the old cigarette on the floor?  The layers are many aren't they?  If we eliminated cigarettes there would be a host of bad things going as well.  Alas, people have freedom of choice, so we allow them to chose - hence why companies make a fortune on things that are bad.
This all stirs up thought,  I hope would get you to thinking.  I go back to the simple solution. Try to think in layers.  Try your best to act with a global consciousness.  Do not fall back on the simple choice of saying "what can I do about the big picture?" the doing nothing syndrome.  The simple answer is,  just your actions, creates a wave f consciousness and actions within others. If you chose to act a specific way, then some may follow. If you speak about a specific issue then others may listen.  Try your best to  "Be the Change in the World, you want."   Do not just write off, "well this is what I do, or this is how it is."  Do your best to make a difference. Even if your best is not 100% - it will most certainly make an impact on the world we live. See yourself as  the conduit for greatness - Be the example............. Live the example and change the world - one little step at a time.  Be a part of "The Change in the world we want".......It starts with a simple decision and a simple action. 

Please check out the many sponsors on my blog, all of them are helping me continue to blog post and share my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Do you do the martial Arts? Or are you a Martial Artist?

Do you do the martial Arts?

Quite often I ask my students this question - "do you do the martial arts - or are you a martial artist?  For most they look at me and stare with a confused look.  Others smile as if they understand nodding at all the appropriate times.  For the most part I believe there are a select group that eventually understand the answer to my question.  This is what I call "Oblivious Ignorance."  Quite simply - "you don't know what you don't know."  To me the martial arts is a way of life. After performing for many years as a child, there was a light that went off in my head and I knew that I would be a martial artist for ever.  I knew that no matter what career I pursued, or where my life journey took me, I was taking it as a martial artist.  

It doesn't have to be all consuming and the only thing you do, or your only part of life.  In other words, you don't have to train 24 hours a day - 7 days per week.  However if you are a martial artist, you only live as one.  Again, this doesn't mean to cut your hair and put it in a Samurai knot and walk around town in your Ninja Tabi, bowing at everyone you see, talking in riddles with broken English. 

To me I live the martial arts on a daily basis 24/7.  I have been doing the martial arts for so long (over 4 decades) I can't separate the two.  I can't go home and say, I will not live as a martial artist because every part of me,  lives as one. I can't leave the training floor and take off my uniform (Gi) and say I am done being a martial artist for the day.  The uniform or the belt of my students doesn't represent who I am as a martial artist.  When I think, I use strategy - derived from my martial art training, ideals and lessons taken from all of my teachers, all of my trials, tribulations and injuries etc.  When I deal with people I strive to act with compassion, empathy - traits I learned from years of martial art training and years of living.  When I run into struggles and life throws me lemons - I use my skills of patience - which I learned from training, teaching, dealing with students and their parents and being an owner of a school as well as all the physical lesson.  I never look at things as problems - I look at them each as unique situation, similar to that of a math problem. I only need to think of the equation to come up with the answer to the problem and those decisions are rooted in me being a martial artist.   So my mind can sort through the issues and make lemonade out of the lemons martial art style.

When I wake up in the morning I do it as a martial artist - throughout the day, I live as a martial artist and at night when I go to sleep - I lay my head to rest as a martial artist.  You see for me, the physical training is what brought me to where  I am now and my physical training may slow down as I get older and  I have to remain a physical warrior on a daily basis.  When I am not training physically -  I use my spiritual training and mental training as a martial artist, to live as a warrior.  I consider myself a martial artist.  So I ask you, do you do the martial arts or are you a MARTIAL ARTIST??  

Shihan Allie Alberigo is a career martial artist with 48 years experience, 25 in which he has taught 10's of thousands of students since he has opened his school.  If you have any questions or requests for future blogs, do not hesitate to email him or post a comment below.