Thanks for the shout out 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but this is just a quick post of my handstand progress and what I’m aiming for. From a few months ago I couldn’t hold half a second hand stand to now my best in the video about 25 seconds. Handstands are absolutely incredible for upper body strength.
My goal first is to hold a perfect handstand for a solid minute. From there I will work on doing handstand push ups without a wall to assist.
Something I’ve been thinking about for quite a long time, and even more so after writing in a birthday card for a friend recently; is our ability, as humans, to place incredible emphasis on ‘dates’ and ‘occasions’ for some reason or another. Now, I haven’t put too much thought into writing a card for quite a while and not since undergoing a lot of mental changes, so writing this proved not only a challenge but quite a thought-engaging process for me, which I wish to go into detail about.
I don’t have any problem with a celebration, in fact I love celebrating. However, what I think our problem is, is this unreasonable view on certain days as somehow being more important than other days. And then it becomes almost like an obligation to prepare for this day in some way. It gets to the point where people are hurt, angry, resentful or whatever emotion when this particular day hasn’t gone to ‘plan’ or been ‘planned’ for by someone important to them. ‘He didn’t get me anything for my birthday’, ‘My partner is going to be overseas on my birthday’, ‘I can’t believe you’re not spending Christmas with your family’, ‘this is terrible I can’t believe this is happening on x day’ and so on. But then the opposite holds true, we feel so happy when things work out on that day. But I ask, why? Why do I need to put special emphasis on a day just because its ‘that’ day which society has deemed to be more important than another day. The zen idea of letting go of attachments applies to this as much as any other attachment.
While I was writing this card, I kept thinking back to what it means to be living in the present moment, and it was hard to reconcile these thoughts because the whole point of living in the present is letting go of the past. Which got me thinking, our ‘special occasions’ are always tied to a date in the past. If that’s the case, celebrating a particular day for something that isn’t real anymore doesn’t make too much sense to me. Why do we feel the need to place special focus on these dates? If you observe nature, there is no such thing as this day or that day, simply now. And what is happening in nature now is tied only to what is happening now. The seasons are constantly changing, but not because nature thinks ‘oh, it was Winter before, now it’s time to be Spring’, but because of the relative position of the Earth in our solar system.
But it’s just the way it is right? As humans, we like to celebrate for some reason or another. We like reminders, we make time limits, having things to ‘look forward too’, yet it’s all imaginary in the end. The only reason we even know what ‘day’ it is, is because we invented time. And, I won’t go too much deeper on this thought as I have an idea for my next post based on it. But I’ll state that: By creating a calender, we have artificially created ‘dates’. Try to picture any day of the week without reference to a calender. It’s both mind-boggling and inconceivable. But if it were the case, it wouldn’t be possible to have ‘special occasions’ tied to something in the past. And this is what I attempted to express in this card. That while it’s her ‘birthday’, none of that even matters because I’m celebrating every moment of our existence.
Great passage from Paulo Coelho’s The Manual of the Warrior of Light:
First: God is sacrifice. Suffer in this life and you will be happy in the next.
Second: People who have fun are childish. Remain tense at all times.
Third: Other people know what is best for us because they have more experience.
Fourth: Our duty is to make other people happy. We must please them even if that means making major sacrifices.
Fifth: We must not drink from the cup of happiness; we might get to like it and we won’t always have it in our hands.
Sixth: We must accept all punishments. We are guilty.
Seventh: Fear is a warning. We don’t want to take any risks.
These are the commandments that no warrior of light can obey.
Great message about not following ‘tradition’ or ‘rules’, cutting your own path through life. I recommend reading the whole book, it’s not a story but a series of passages like the above as guidance for being a ‘warrior of light’ in a seemingly dark world. Maybe Dan Millman and Paulo can get together and write ‘The Peaceful Warrior of Light’?
Here’s the first half of my social Futsal team season highlights. Putting it together to have a really good full season video but thought I’d release this one to see what people thought. Will probably put more effort into editing, speeds, music and generally flow for the final one. It is a little long but I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Feel like doing something different this post and posting a few of my favourite quotes from one of, if not, my biggest inspiration and role model – Bruce Lee. (Little Dragon was the meaning of his Chinese screen name, Li Xiaolong) To some, Bruce was just a pioneer of martial arts movies. But he was so much more than that. A philosopher, teacher, martial artist, actor, dancer, evolutionary, and much more. Those who know him only from his appearances on screen only see the tip of the iceberg. He has written a great deal of books, created is own style of martial arts (which by definition isn’t a ‘style’), taught martial arts and so on. While I could write a great deal about him, in fact I probably will dedicate a post to his life, I just wanted to expose a few of his gems of insight: (in no particular order) [Also I’d like to point out that much of Bruce Lee’s life philosophies quite well tie together a great deal of what I have written about]
‘A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at’
‘I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine’
‘If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them’
‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times’
‘Real living is living for others’
‘”What is” is more important than “what should be.” Too many people are looking at “what is” from a position of thinking “what should be”‘
‘The “moment” has not yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and, therefore, has not time’
‘To understand one another, there must be a state of choiceless awareness where there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for a further development of discussion in order to agree or disagree. Above all, don’t start from a conclusion’
‘Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success’
‘Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it’
‘Flow in the living moment. We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo’
‘Absorb what is useful, discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own’
‘When we hold to the core, the opposite sides are the same if they are seen from the center of the moving circle. I do not experience; I am experience. I am not the subject of experience; I am that experience. I am awareness. Nothing else can be I or can exist’
Two words that I loathe more than any: I can’t. It should not even be grammatically correct to use those two words. These are the words that will probably prevent 90% of people to do things they want. To try new things. To actually experience their lives rather than ride shotgun in an armour plated safety car. So I wanted to express my feelings towards these words and why I feel you should remove them completely.
I’ll start with my alternatives: I will/will not, I have/have not, I do/do not. These are either or, in or out, win or lose. They do not imply being stuck in some sort of limbo between trying and giving up. Which is exactly what I can’t is. You can’t give up something you haven’t tried, but you can’t be trying at something you haven’t even started. It is something that exist entirely in your head. People will use it as an excuse for things they actually don’t want to do or have no real interest in doing, but they feign interest this way. Like ‘Oh I wish I could wake up early but I just can’t’ ‘I want to be better at x but I just can’t’ ‘I can’t play the guitar’ ‘I can’t can’t can’t’etc etc. And the problem begins before anything takes place, this mindset will then stop people from even attempting something. So what is the solution?
A revolution is the only solution. A shift from insecurities and doubts into confidence and excitement. A movement from thoughts of failure to possibilities of success. But most important, the idea that trying, attempting something is the only possible way to know whether you can or not. But not just trying, actually putting your heart and soul into it. Don’t even worry about whether or not you will fail. If you fail you have two choices: quit, or think about what you did incorrectly and then adjust. The author of The Practicing Mind puts it perfectly with his method called DOC, which stands for ‘Do, Observe, Correct’. This is an incredibly useful tool. While used extensively for dedicated practice, it can prove to be quite useful when beginning something. It requires removing all judgement and ego completely. The idea being is you ‘do’ what it is you try to do, say shooting a basketball. You then ‘observe’ what happened. Did you overthrow or underthrow? Now, before any tiny bit of judgement like ‘damn I suck’ or ‘I’ll never get that hoop’, you immediately ‘Correct’. Now correcting a mistake in something may require more knowledge in the field, however the idea stands: do what is necessary to correct what went wrong and try again. Wash, rinse and repeat.
This simple methodology can really be applied in any aspect of your life. But it is extremely important to remove any judgement. Forget about winning or losing, doing the right thing or hitting the target. These things are not what are important. The greatest athletes on earth have missed far more than they’ve hit. You simply attempt it, see what went wrong and adjust accordingly. If everybody applied this to any new endeavour, I don’t think ‘I can’t’ would be known anymore. The issue of course is people don’t want to try something they already think they can’t do. Most people want safe. They are afraid of ridicule, of failing, of looking silly. Unfortunately without removing these a person may never come close to achieving their full potential, which is the sad thing about life. Summed up in another Socrates quote from the book that really stuck a chord after the passing of his friend:
‘Death isn’t sad. The sad thing is: most people don’t live at all’
So dive head-first into life