This morning was rough, but I got everything done – I even made myself sit through my entire meditation time instead of letting myself off easy. Yeah it’s a wrestling match with my mind trying to focus on a single thing for even 10 minutes – today I simply focused on my breathing – in and out. Yeah I had a lot of thoughts and my mind wanted to follow them.
A couple were thoughts about tasks I had forgotten to do, and so rather than constantly re-attending to them, I gave myself a pause to make some notes. Then I went back to focusing on my breathing. Right around the 9 minute mark, my mind really started rebelling, my muscles in my neck were getting tired, I wanted breakfast. But I told myself I’ll move my neck and get up and get some breakfast after the timer goes off.
This was all after I let myself get pulled aside by the mornings events – I needed to help get my son ready to go and then I realized I could still really use some further sleep, then I let myself get sucked into a YouTube and then a game rabbit hole.
But I made myself sit down and do a full 10 minutes of meditation – well outside of 30 seconds to write a couple of things down.
In other happenings around my daily routine, I only read the introduction to Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic and then my new copy of Way of the Peaceful Warrior showed up in the mail. I indulged myself and I’ve been reading Peaceful Warrior for the last few mornings.
I do find it funny that the one of the first lessons in the book is about how life is a mystery – that was the next chapter in Taoism for Beginners.
I am reconnecting with my spiritual side, yeah I’m still an Agnostic Atheist – in that I think there’s more than likely nothing outside of this existence – but does it really matter one way or the other? Nothing I do will change the truth of the matter.
Meanwhile – I was journaling and continued a thought that came up while I was training with one of my martial arts teachers – well really it’s been popping up a lot and I’m realizing this is one of processes in my life that’s keeping me from being content and delving into greater depths of experience and understanding.
Most things of note that I done in my life are things I’ve done simply to check a box – deep down because I believed a greater number of checks would get people to like to me. But thanks to a realization about myself from a few days ago – I suddenly don’t feel the need for them.
While deep down I simply love martial arts, I’ve not been able to let go of the superficial shit:
- What rank am I?
- Am I practicing enough of the right things?
- What do other people think of my skills?
I mean really shit that doesn’t matter.
I’m a 4th degree black belt in American Kenpo – what is it about the rank that’s important to me? My grandmaster Tony Martinez Sr. promoted me to the rank – and I respect him.
I value the rank because I value Tony’s opinion of my skills.
If I wanted a new black belt with more red stripes on it, there’s nothing stopping me from doing it – but people I respect would know it was bullshit.
Ultimately, what is that I want from my martial arts training?
- Some fitness/flexibility/mobility training
- Build some combat effectiveness against a single un-armed attacker
- Develop a skillset that I can use to help others develop themselves
The checking a box is the type of thinking that lead me to go to college and simply do the bare minimum to get a piece of paper – yeah I’ve learned a lot of interesting things – things I could have gotten from the local library.
But I accept that I’m a crap academic – I love learning and exploring, but I went to college for the piece of paper – and that was all I got out of the experience – jumping through hoops for something I don’t really care about. Woohoo.