Friday, November 10, 2017

Mindfulness from a Warriors Mindset!

Mindfulness from a Warriors Mindset!

I sometimes find the written word as a way for me to voice my opinion and to relieve myself of thoughts, frustrations, pain, or cheer.  I love to share how I feel, but most of all I love to share the things that I have learned over my almost 52 years on the planet.  Just like most authors, I see how the written word can be taken in so many ways.  Some authors love to be so descriptive, not leaving any room for the reader’s imagination. They control the color of the leaves on the tree, the smell that you smell, the feel of the scene as well as the what you should be thinking while reading.  However, I like to write in more of an Eastern way leaving your space for “food for thought.”  I personally like to reader to interpret my story, my words or my ideas to fit into their world, their imagination and their life. 

Unfortunately as I see this more and more on social media, people tend to see one story, from an entirely different point of view that was meant by the writer.  For example: The reader may see themselves sitting across the table from another person in deep conversation.  There are two cups on the table one is full and the other half empty. The cups represent the pessimistic mind and the optimistic mind.  One person grabs the cup that is full and pulls it in front of them, saying I always think from an optimistic point of view, and you (as they push the half empty cup across the table) always think from a pessimistic point of view.  The person on the other side of the table, reaches out and respectfully disagree ’s and switches the cup saying the same.

Each person sees themselves as the person who is optimistic from their perspective, while the other may disagree vehemently.   This is reality perception, the thought that each person believes what they think is true.  Meaning  “YOUR” reality, is your perception or your perception creates your own reality.  In other words, you create your own belief and world to some extent by believing a specific thought. This is easily understood, when one person says they hate the outdoors and camping, when another loves it, or one person loves spicy food, while the other cannot stand the taste of it. Two different realities both are true.  I was once on a wilderness retreat with my students up in the Catskill mountains. We climbed to the top of the peak on our way to this wonderful place called the “Ice Caves.”  Two students who were a couple stopped as the guy said to his girlfriend “take a picture.”   The girl friend replied “of what?”  He said “the beautiful scenery and nature!”  She then rolled her eyes and let out a breath of frustration and said “I am not wasting my film on nature, nature is stupid.”  We laughed for years about this, however, it was her reality and it was tremendously different from her boyfriend. 

Now here lies the dilemma of a Warrior or a Sensei!  At times, through experience an instructor, teaches from a plethora of experiences. Some of them came from the school of hard knocks, others came from years of making mistakes, while most of it, is a culmination of many, many years of life experiences.  When I teach, I teach from the position I stand in now, with 49 years of martial art training behind me and almost 53 years of life experience.  I also share the lessons from my point of view and over 35 years of teaching to 10’s of thousands of students all over the world.  This doesn’t come without a price though.  Because, as a teacher I have to find a way to slowly baby step people into a specific mindset, working piece by piece to understand something that currently their mind is simply not prepared to understand.   For those reading this that are adults and once heard their parents say when you are my age you will understand and they scoffed at their comments, now realize they were true in most cases.   Experience is what led them to the lesson.

The dilemma that I face continuously as a teacher is simple, how do you explain what you foresee happening in the future before it happens.   Similar to a personal trainer or doctor saying if you continue to eat in this way, you will end up fat, have clogged arteries and possibly die of a myriad of different illnesses.  The mind has been studied for hundreds of years and it is quite adaptable to believing what makes it feel  the best at that moment in time. In other words, it will block out negative thought or the reality of what a person is doing to themselves in order for them to achieve short term in the moment happiness.

My point being, it is difficult for a teacher to sometimes push a student (a parent) to see these ways, because, honestly it basically boils down to trust and letting go.  I understand as a parent of a young women, who has trained in the martial arts for over 16 years, this is not easy.  We as parents protect our children and as adults we avoid things that are uncomfortable.  It is not easy to have trust, when so many stories in the media, bad experiences and what you see going on around you, asks you to question everything.  I believe that you should never follow blindly and question something if they see something that makes them uncomfortable.  However, from a self-defense point of view, we find when this happens it puts a huge learning curve on the lessons taught.  Sometimes it even gets in the way and stops the individuals  progress. 

This article to some may come off as the reader being told what to do, or the listener being reprimanded or force fed a philosophy that they may not subscribe to.  Some may say it is someone trying to get the reader to DRINK the Cool-aide.  When in fact it is nothing more than trying to get listeners to shave years off the learning curve or potentially overcome the feelings of quitting the lesson due to not understanding the integrity of it.

You may be thinking, where does the lesson in Mindfulness come in.   Well, here we go……….
During the holidays I talk to my students young and old about being mindful of how lucky we are.  I went around the room of a youth class yesterday and asked my students “what is mindfulness? What is it that you are happy for this holiday season.”  They all responded with amazing answers, - love and appreciate my family, my pets, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, the clothes I have, the food on the table etc.”  All of these are amazing answers!  I then simply asked how are you mindful of this.  Most of them had no way of expressing it.  I then asked the students what their favorite food was and I got a host of different answers.  I asked them, “when was the last time you actually, recognized how delicious the food was.  As I spoke to the students  my daughter was listening in and verified, that when I eat and really enjoy something, as I chew I say “Mmmmm, this is delicious.” I may do that over and over as I take a bit to eat, but it is my way of taking the time to appreciate each bite and each taste of food and recognize its excellence.  I recognize being mindful and being mindful is about being in the moment and seeing clearly the different layers of what is going on.

What are Layers?
Well, there is so much to be mindful of.  For example, in the food, it is not only about the final product and the taste, it is about appreciating what ingredients and seasoning that went into the food. It is about the actual cooking and effort that went into the preparation before the food was cooked.  We can go deeper by thinking of how the food was grown or prepared and really being mindful of what goes into that simple meal.  In essence it is all about the taste, but all of those things enhance the taste.  I asked if the students understood that. They said, “they did.”  I then asked how many actually do what I say and not one person raised their hands.  Mindfulness takes practice. 

The Lesson of a different path!
The other night I taught a sparring class.  We were all geared up, headgear, handgear, foot gear, mouth piece etc.  We were about to start sparring – fighting each other.  While I realize fighting to me, has a different meaning then it does to some students and parents, I see it from a “Martial” point of view.  In other words, I see this from a battle point of view or the preparation for battle.  I realize it is a sport, it is the light version of the sport, however, I see this as a preparation for real life, for Self-Defense.  I do not TEACH a sport martial art, even though we teach sporting aspects of the art.

While I was teaching the class parents looked on in the lobby of my school.  From what one of my instructors saw, they were commenting on how, this kid hit the other kid, how that was not fair, or out of control or mean or negative.   They were riling each other up, and speaking negatively about the class, some of the students and even myself. They went on to say, I wasn’t watching, paying attention, or I did not see, what was going on.  The reality was I was totally 100% in the moment.  From my point of view, I saw every student and what was going on. In my mind, I was processing and creating situations of each event.  One kid was going to hard, so I encouraged him to lighten up, all while watching his opponent for safety.  I watched another young boy that every time his opponent charge him, he would turn his eyes away and fall to the ground. I reprimanded him and explained to him, that he can’t do that and had to speak to him in a loud stern voice in which some people see as yelling.  My yoga teacher would say, it is volume, in order to jar, listening. 

I watched the shy little girl as she timidly fought a person that I handpicked for her as an opponent etc.  This all was going on, as parents who really are inexperienced in coaching, or the martial arts watched and saw only what their mind would allow, their own perspective.  My 49 years of experience was in TOTA
L control of the class.  It all boiled down to trust and seeing the lesson. However, from their perspective I realize they couldn’t.  Sometimes we have to trust that the person in charge is making the right decision to teach the lesson.  We have to be mindful of the lesson!  We have to allow the lesson to come into our life.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I just released this video on You Tube - Check it out. Some amazing footage from Japan

This was a collection of footage that I have archived from my trips to Japan. The main thing is to see the beautfy of traditional martial arts and the magical temples of Japan.  I hope you enjoy this.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Build Your Spiritual Muscles

Today I want to share with you some  thoughts on how you can stay positive in negative times. The danger and devastation that is happening on the planet over the last few months in hard to handle. Texas, Mexico, The Islands and now Florida.

The hurricanes, earth quakes, and even political divide and cultural and religious separation. We discuss building those spiritual muscles, love and compassion and empathy and understanding.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"The attitude of gratitude, thinking positive and the laws of attraction.”

Hey everyone I wanted to chat about the topic of, "The attitude of gratitude, thinking positive and the laws of attraction.” 

Let me tell you why.  When I started my school I had no idea that it would flourish into something so huge.  Starting off in a 600 square foot school that had one locker room and only enough room for two people to change at a time with an office that was so small there was no room for chairs to sit and talk.  Only one chair fit behind my desk.  All the others had to stand.  Since then I built and opened branch schools in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Brewster N.Y., Canton Michigan, Bermuda , Long Island and now Flordia.  When I began I only had a few students but soon we outgrew our school.  Before we knew it we were in the Honbu Dojo – the headquarters in West Islip, N.Y. and remain in the same place 26years later.  We have taught thousands upon thousands of students from the ages of 2 years old on up to adults as old as 70. 
What really excites me is the continual contact I have with students that do not actively train with me any longer, but still consider them- selves students.  I wish there was a way to continually teach them even if they live far away and some of them have asked if I could put together an online training regime or class they can attend virtually.  This may be something I do in the near future.  My intention with writing books, doing this blog and shooting videos is to help reach those that are not capable of being at the dojo on a daily basis.  It is my goal to continually share with my students, friends, ex-students and also piers the philosophies that I have developed over my 49 years of training in the martial arts and my 52 years of life.   I remain honored that so many people have entrusted me with their children, themselves and consider me their teacher.  I don’t take this responsibility lightly.  So thank you for reading this, I am honored. 

What is “The Law of Attaction and the Attitude of Gratitude.” How can this benefit you and help enhance your life and your training.  What is this all about?  As you know I believe in Karma – if you want to put a theory to it, you can say  something like – what goes around comes around.  Life is filled with many mysteries.  The old biblical saying – Ask and yee shall receive is very true.  The concept of “The Law of Attraction” is very interesting and very real.  What you wish for you get.  Here are a few key examples. 
Have you ever hummed a song in your head only to find out when you turn the radio on, the song is at that very same spot on when you hear it?  Have you ever thought of some one your care about and you get a call from them soon after.  Have you ever thought of a friend from the past and bumped into them, or someone that knows them.  Why is it that people call this coincidence?  When in fact it could be something way more evidident.   

The simple answer is many people who believe in science or proof as the answer actually now have it.  Some may say that they don’t have an explanation, so it must be coincidence. What if your thoughts and intention really had a powerful imnpact on what you manifest in your life.  Have you ever been happy and found that more and more of the people you associate with are feeling the same way or oppositely have felt sad and found everyone around you or the people that come to you are feeling similarly.  What is it about energy that draws people to you? Both positive and negative?  As a teacher there are times when I walk into a classroom and everyone is feeling the same way, energized, melancholy or angry.  Why is it that an entire room of people can feel this way? Did they all speak to each other and make a conscious decision, this is the way everyone will feel?  Of course not!  So is it possible that this energy lies within all of us and we can sense it and it can serve you.  Sometimes we are not in tune enough to recognize this emotion and act upon it, so we are swept up in it.  Other times we just feel odd and have to get out of the situation or the emotion or simply we dismiss it as a coincidence. 

Have you ever walked into a party and just simply felt out of place.  In your head you said “this is just not right.”  Or have you ever had the weird feeling that someone was starring at you and you found that as you turn you head you are totally correct.  What is this energy that allows you to sense this? There are a few scientific terms for this but most of them are considered science.  Too many times scientists have explained this as a hoax a coincidence or something that simply isn’t real.  But you know as studies go further it is now being proven through scientific study.   So if this is true and it can benfiit us, then what can you do about it? 

The answer is quite simple:  Recognizing - is the first step.  The second step is to journal your experiences. Keep a record of how it happens, when and where.  Once you have written these experiences down for a long enough period of time, you will find some similarities and you can start making deductions as to whether this is real or not to you.   I have one test you can do I which I use all the time.  When ever I am about to enter into a parking lot, I start chanting (Speaking) I wish I had a spot close to the store, over and over again.  As I approach usually a spot is open for me.  If not if I wait just a few seconds and 90% of the time it opens up.  I laugh to myself at how much this works and have even gotten my daughter to do it with me.  I wonder if it will work for you, try it.  

The more you take on the belief of Abundance and tap into the Law of attraction the better off your life will be.  Life is designed to be blissful.  The belief system that you hold in your heart is the life you create.    Sometimes people can’t see through this and end up missing out on so many opportunities and so much happiness.  Abundance is available to everyone, however some chose to live the life of scarcity.  Continually making deductions that things are the way they are because you deserve them or the world is a terrible place.  Remember you create your own destiny.  You are in total control of the people you are with, the people you meet, the way your life is and the direction it is going.  If you chose to have a Black Cloud above your head, then the skies will always be cloudy, no matter how sunny it is.  If you chose to see and experience great things and open yourself up for the manifestation of greatness then it will happen.  As Forest Gumpf famous philosopher once said  “Life is a bowl of cherries.”  Life is what you make it.  Forest thought that way and that is the way it was to him. Some may say, “sure, Forest was an optimist, because he wasn’t mentally fit.”  But the reality is, what you believe is what you see.    

I believe in my gut feelings and instinct.  The times when I didn’t trust it, I found that I really lost out.  Usually the feeling you have about a person, place or thing initially is the correct one.  I had this happen to me recently, when two individuals in my circle, made me feel uncomfortable any time I was in their presence.  But I dismissed it as their mood or that is just the way they are.  So I ignored it. Inevetably it came to a head and turned out exactly how my premonition told me it would.  For example : you meet someone at a party and you like that individual.  Even though they do silly things and they act inappropriately, you still have a feeling of kindness for that person.  You are correct in your assumption.  Likewise in the opposite direction, sometimes people may rub you the wrong way, but how you feel in your gut is usually correct.  Learn to trust in your inner feelings a bit more.  Also, remember this doesn’t mean that this person is a bad person.  They just might not be put on the earth to meld and blend with your energy.  Which could be an entirely different topic. 

I remember some years ago, I had just returned from Japan.  Things were not going all that well in my personal life and I went to go to my dojo to teach.  For some strange reason from the moment I started my car, I had a bad feeling.  I ignored that feeling thinking it was a part of what was going on in my life.  No more then 10 minutes later I ended up in a car accident.  My gut knew, my brain never recognized it.  Sometimes believing in your feelings is a chancy thing. Do you not leave the house when you feel a specific way? I would say NO, this would be no way to live, but understanding that the way you feel would be enough to put you on high alert and that you should be careful or more aware of what is going on in your life at that moment. 

The law of attraction and abundance is something that we all can easily tap into, the simple fact is that you need to believe in it in order for it to happen and benefit from it.  As Depak Chopra said in his book, “The spontaneous Fullfillment of Desire” Think of coincidences as coded messages from the nonlocal intelligence. Pay attention, watch for clues, decipher their meanings and eventually the truth will be revealed.  In many ways, that’s exactly what happens.  After all, life is the ultimate mystery.  

He goes on to say “What makes life mysterious is that our destiny seems hidden from us, and only at the end of our lives will we be in a position to look back and see the path we followed.” 

Life moves so freely from time to time, age to age and it all seems okay when we look back. Even if life treated us unfairly with the proper attitude now, you can make changes that are so blissful.  You can live a fulfilled life. It has nothing to do with money, who you are with, or what job you have.  It is not about what status you have in your life, in your neighborhood or social ladder, it is only about you.  It is about being happy.  The law of attraction will fill your life with happiness if you believe you deserve it and work toward it.  You can not just wake up in the morning look in the mirror and say to yourself you are happy, when truly in your heart you are miserable.  You must start feeling that way a little at a time.  If a person is depressed, movement and a change of scenery sometimes make a difference but the mind is what controls your emotions. 

Sadly more so now then ever in my life time, it appears to be fashionable to be pessimistic, negative, confrontational and mean at times.  We tend to not think before we speak and if we speak in written text we seem to not even care, what we say and who it hurts or offends. We used curse words as if they are now a part of our language in the most inappropriate times, we think of free speech as being the write to allow us to put down, be negative and hurt others.  We are leaning more toward a violent society rather than a utopian one. 

A great story I read was about a terminally ill man in a hospital bed.  He was positioned in the middle of the room so he was one bed away from the window.  There was another man that was adjacent to the window next to him and continually looked out telling the other man all that went on outside his window.  The other man became bitter and started to resent the other man.  Even though on a regular basis the other man told him of all that was going on and when he did the other man was brought happiness.  The man in his inner mind became more and more bitter but enjoyed the stories of all that was going on outside the window.  Late at night the man closest to the window died of a heart attack.  The man in the middle felt sad for the loss of his room mate, but aslo felt happy that he could now have the spot next to the window.  Later that day they brought in another patient and the man screamed at the nurse.  It is my turn at the window. I am stuck here in this bed and I want to see all that is going on. The nurse shrugged her shoulders and obliged the old man.  When he arrived at his spot near the window he found nothing but a brick wall.  No view, no people and nothing going on.  He immediately felt sadness and realized the other man was making up those stories for his benefit and each day shared his love.  He received happiness by making someone else happy.  Perception is everything isn’t it?

As the Dalai Lama has said time and time again, you must train your mind. Train it as if it were a muscle.  For the muscle to grow strong you must work hard and exercise it daily.  A while ago, I was speaking with someone about religion.  In our conversation we spoke about subjecting your mind to specific areas.  For example: spending time with someone who curses regularly will create a space in your mind for this behavior.  I used to curse when I was younger but I never to curse any more. I very rarely slip I my head, but never out loud.  I do not use foul language of any type.  I think that it is unnecessary with the large vocabulary that is available to us.  My life was not always this way.  I had to re-train my mind.  I eliminated this kind of thought process to the point that it was no longer in my vocabulary.  Even when reading books – which I love to do, if they have curses I will replace the word with the letter or glance over it, not even reading it, not subjecting myself even to the thought.  It makes it much easier for me not to curse that way.  In this day an age, people do this without thinking. Speaking this way in front of children, men and women writing on social media and in my opinion it shows a lack of respect for others.  Why do this if you don’t have to?  Retrain your mind. 

Similarly you can do this with anything you want, sadness, happiness, violence etc.  Why not just retrain the mind to think a specific way.  Think positive thoughts, happy thoughts and believe in the law of attraction.  If you want more from life, then think this way, and spend time with people, places and things that will enhance this behavior. Wish for it and it will come, believe in it and it will be there for you.  Ask and yee shall receive.   

I have spoken about this many times in my seminars.  The easiest way it is to keep a tally, or if you can go out and by a bag of black marbles and white marbles and for each negative thought put in a black marble in a cup and for every positive thought put in a white marble.  It is your goal at the end of the day to have more white marbles then black.  At the end of the day write down how you did and start from scratch again. The goal is to recognize the way you are thinking and the things you are doing.  Change the process and retrain how you do it.  If you find your boss to be annoying, do not utter under you breathe what an idiot, think of something positive about that person.  Even when they are mean to you, think of something positive that you can say or do or feel, maybe thinking he works harder then anyone I know, or at the least maybe his life is tough at the top.  

Remember forgiving someone is to forget as well. Many time people say they are going to forgive but never forget. So later in life they end up bringing up the issues from the past only to reinforce that of the present.  In order to truly forgive you must truly forget.  So think positively and let it go.  Put a white marble in the cup.  Think of the abundance of happiness as a thought process.  

Here is a great scenario.  I spoke of this in my book “The Beginners Guide to Ninpo” and my newer book that is is called  “21st Century Ninjutsu.” Your personal philosophy is your DNA.  It will allow you to be happy or make your sad.  The goal is to think in such a way that will allow you the most happiness.  Remember the song, don’t worry be happy?  Well, if you think about it, what is it that makes you unhappy?  I taught my daughter from a very young age that she has the power to change her mood in the snap of her fingers.  She has two choices to either be happy or be sad.  What would she prefer to be?  Being a strong minded young girl she would sometimes point at one of my others fingers as I held them up saying “Mad.”  I told her it is okay to be mad but do you want to be happy or sad or even mad.  She would always think about it and chose the finger that represented happiness.  She would make the choice and I would then go on to tickle her into tears. She loved that.  It was our little game.  She is now going away to college to start her life as a young women.  As she gets older it is harder for me to shift her moods, because she is an independent thinker and she has to make that choice for herself.  So I use a method we use in our schools called “a pattern interrupts.”  This is utilized to get the person to think of an entirely different thing. It works well for children who are grumpy or crying.  I will ask them questions to take their mind off of the reason that they may be crying or grumpy. It works 99% of the time. 
You can use a pattern interrupt on yourself, by making the decision to be happy you change your entire physical make up, your “DNA” so to speak.  Doctors have found that laughter is a cure for many illnesses.  Why not prescribe more laughter. Or as an individual spend more time around it, reading about it, watching it on TV or thinking about it.  
I hope you enjoyed what I had to say so far and I hope that some of the methods that I recommended you have either written down or burned into your memory.  It is your choice if you want to live the life of Abundance, because abundance is a decision on your part.  There are many people with all the money in the world and anything they want, yet still miserable.  You see this with Rock and Movie stars continuously.  It is not about what you have it is all about what you appreciate and what you feel.    The opposite rings true when individuals have nothing, yet they are blissful.  Humans have only one desire and that is to be happy.  Sometimes short term people may chose a quick fix, like smoking, drinking or drugs.  This will temporarily fix how they feel altering how they see things. In the long term this will only make the situation worse.  So in the end the best choice is the training of the mind.  Re-training the mind to recognize sadness as a part of life, realizing that you can’t be happy all the time, but also it is the choices you make and how you perceive things that will make you happy.  

On a trip to Thailand some years ago I witnessed people who virtually according to our standards lived in shacks and had nothing.  People who didn’t have a floor or running water, but I saw smiles on their faces. The fathers loving their children and husbands and wives hand in hand very happy.  With out all the materialistic things how did they continue being happy.  It was a conscious decision I am sure and their perception of happiness was based off of their believe systems.  To a homeless person a roof over their head and a warm meal would be amazing.  To a millionaire with all the money in the world this would be torture.  What is your perception?  What do you want in life, what will make you happy. 

I want to recommend a few books to you –
1)   The Five Gateways to Happiness – by ME  - Allie Alberigo
2)   The spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire – by Depak Chopra.
3)   The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
4)   The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Depak Chopra
5)   Many Live many Master by Brian Weiss
6)   Manifest your Destiny – by Wayne Dyer
7)   Awaken the Giant Within – by Tony Robbins

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.