Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reality Check – Get Calm and Centered.

Please allow me to apologize in advance for the long wait between posts. This group of posts took a while to get just right. Now to the post.

The fact of the matter is our bodies and minds only work properly when we are calm, relaxed and centered. The martial artist, and actor, know this and study constantly to train body and mind to remain relaxed and calm in even the most extreme circumstances. What usually stops us from achieving this is our emotions.

Our emotions are a wonderful thing. They can tell us that something is wrong before we can consciously determine what that might be. They are the bellwether that gives us an uneasy feeling when we walk into a room that has just had a conflict in it. Even if the participants are no longer in conflict or even in the room.

But, they are just feelings and they should not run our lives and often we let them do just that. We must have control over our emotions so that we will be better able to determine what they are really telling us.

If we look at a calm pond on a clear day with no wind and toss a pebble into the water, we will be able to see each ripple that our stone has created. Take the same pond and toss the stone in on a stormy day with the wind whipping up the waves and it will be almost impossible to see the ripples we made with the stone even though they will still be there. In fact, we will be hard pressed to see even the initial splash our stone makes.

In order for us to understand what our emotions are telling us we must become like that still, calm pond. When we are calm, we can feel the faintest nuances of our feelings telling us about everything that is going on around us. We can then pick and choose what is important and what is not because we have all the information needed. When we are frenzied, we can barely understand what we are feeling through a cacophony of mixed emotions let alone tell what is going on around us.

Therefore, we must calm our emotions so that we, not they, are in charge. This is easy enough to say in a world that continuously tries to whip us into a frenzy over even the least little thing. So then, how do we achieve that calm state even when the world around us is anything but calm? It is easy with three simple things:

• Breathe and Be Still
• Be Relaxed
• Find Center and Balance

We will examine each of these in turn in the next few posts and then return to examining “How the Martial Artist Sees What is Really There - Maintain proper distance”. Coming up in the next post, Breathe.

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