Be free! Be radical! Just don’t let them run rampant in your body because that is going to make you old, older, oldish. Free radicals cause aging. Smiles and wrinkles are free. Thinking for yourself keeps you right on track with whatever age you are.
What is the oldest anti-aging product in the history of those sorts of things?
Funny. Use something old so you don’t become old. Is that hypocrisy? Marketing?
Is this one of those ads at the back of a magazine in the classifieds?
The natural way not not to age is to grow.
Obviously:). We are not talking about freezing your body or botoxing or any medical procedure.
We are talking about your mindset. And what life development trajectory that puts you on.
Because we all get old.
Day by day.
We all get wrinkles, lose hair, slow down, change priorities. That is different from aging.
Aging is when we cannot flow with the progression of life stages. Each life stage offers us the necessary energies and knowings to participate in it. Each stage also requires our participation be regenerative. To be clear being regenerative is taking what you are given and making something positive with it. It might not be fair or fun but it is wise. And wisdom is the residue of operating with an elder mindset. It’s an attitude that can form and construct the foundation for your next stage in life.
So be nice. And grow. Grow up. Towards the light. Grow more curious and thorough as you grow old. Grow the service aspect of your life. Service to others, the planet, your body, your soul.
My teacher Elliott taught Xing-yi in the park. It was $10 a class or pay what you can. I think at least half the class took the second option. Most of us were 20 something new arrivals in Taos, New Mexico working in cafes or construction waiting for ski season.
This class was my first exposure to martial arts. Elliott was an awesome instructor. I remember he asked if I had any experience – ‘no’. He said that was usually better because I didn’t have any habits to overcome. I went for a few months that autumn and never returned.
However you could say I had been into martial arts most my life.
What is meant by that is illustrated in the following brief writing.
Bruce Lee was the man! He was the whole Hollywood package. Taking Kung fu to the people.
Martial Arts, if we break it down, could be said to be the Art of War at an individual level companioning the pursuit of peace at tribal level.
Fighting happens. We need to protect ourselves. Our community and at the same time each one of us. Because of the energies involved in the physical or strategic battles it can be very hard, coarse, adversarial, debilitating, draining. That does not mean it is artless. The very stress of the fight, battle and struggle calls for specific skills. If we can activate our skills of self management in war then we have the way to move beyond it. Fighting is a way to communicate what we value and is not a form of communication in itself. Meaning we are fighting for something. For safety or peace or integrity or dignity.
Mars was the god of war from Ancient Rome which speaks to the tribal level of martial managment. The Chinese masters have brought forward with dedication through the ages the forms and sequences of self management of the energy of the red planet. Today we are equally tasked to manage what energy we attract, process and how we dispose of it. We dispose of energy in so many simple and natural ways: conversation, sleep, digestión and organ function in the body.
Said in a conceptual sense, Martial Arts are the system of cleaning, garbage and recycling. So in reality we could say planetary/environmental stewardship is a martial art. At which by majority we have been failing as a group. The human arts of these natural systems are qualities like: forgiveness, making important things important, humour, elevating vision, curiosity plus humility.
On a development journey Martial cleansing activity (yoga, tai chi, aikido) combines very well with the planetary arts of Mercurial vision or earth perception (topics covered in this series).
The art is of thinking ahead. Of engraving mental and emotional pathways in conjunction with life sequences of movements to process life in the moment. Thus maintaining focus on the journey without being sidelined by one’s own reaction or intrusion by bullying. These are forces that cannot grasp the need to hold the apparent contradiction of something in them and not pass judgement.
Think about these three levels of engagement of your natural Martial art:
Low – not letting yourself get damaged but not being the author of your own story.
Medium – using what comes at you for you – think aikido.
High – using what comes at you to elevate your art of perception that powers your red art.
This is a mental model for understanding what you seek with your language and actions, intentions and vision.
The organization OpenAI has done really impressive work in the territory of robotic manual dexterity. But which robot has a reason to juggle? It has no reason to do so. On the other hand, we all juggle priorities like health, work, relationships and family, income and studying and maintenance of a home. AI is probably integrated into all of those aspects of
life but will never have an overarching need that goes into decisions that determine how the juggling of life is juggled.
So to keep control of our lives out if y the hands of robots we need lives that AI cannot touch. Yes robots and algorithms have their functions. Those functions are to get a result and use the result to get better at getting the next result. But there is no sense of elevating those functions to a transcendent goal.
So should we be scared about AI. You bet! A scan of the lifestyle of our global culture does not indicate that a higher purpose has been identified that influences education systems, youth and corporate, towards any sort of not for profit perception. Therefore we are in direct competition with robots for various functions.
Back to our juggler. She doesn’t look at each ball directly but looks forward to maintain all the balls in the air. Jugglers use a rhythm of letting go and grabbing so they can keep giving attention and direction to everything they have on the go. Whether that be 3 balls in the air or children, their own business, caring for aging parents, improving their education, finding a partner or possibly deepening their religious awareness.
Developing this religious awareness, or soul life, can open other doors; individually to feel less threatened by a machine and, as a culture we can create an array of service industries based on the thriving soul lives within us that seek learning for self development as a human.
My university roommate emailed me to see if I wanted a ticket to the Canada versus New Zealand rugby game in Toronto. We haven’t been in touch very much over the years but he knew I would be interested.
I was as much interested to see the Haka live as the game itself.
Watch this video:
The Haka is simple in message: unity in pursuit of peace. Since it is originally a Maori Dance of War, that pursuit included the possibility of death which tells me they are serious about their rugby.
The Haka is the full-on song and dance the national rugby team of New Zealand performs before every match. And is it effective in capturing their opponent’s attention? Well the All Blacks, as the team is called, from a 2 island nation of just 3 million people, dominate international rugby. I just checked the rankings and the Kiwis are #1 in the world as of September 30,2019. Awesome!
When another national rugby team plays against Australia or the Springboks of South Africa or Wales or France or Fiji – they are
playing against a national team. But when you play the All Blacks you are facing a tribe. A tribe, as the song illustrates, who seem to unblinkingly accept the battle that may result in death.
Singing the song at midfield they are living their culture in a way that they feed it and it feeds them.
The Haka is an assertion of belief in their people, the validity of their past and its vitality in the now.
What’s your Haka?
What’s your song and dance to highlight your past and align your now? How do harmonize the support of your team towards a higher goal? Your team is your: body, blood and brains, mind and soul in conjunction with the intense emotion for satisfaction and purpose. This team in harmony with your DNA can provide a strong foundation for you to sing your song and dance your steps.
It is definitely a struggle to be at the vanguard of your own growth and development. That struggle can be rewarding or debilitating. It can be a confusion due to a lack of self love/understanding, disease, lack of guidance.
So give your song and dance some direction in both your daily and soul lives. Start by naming your tribe of physical mechanisms and spiritual workings. Give it a name. Take the time to find one that reflects the amazing human faculties and your finesse with them. Know that you are the chief of that tribe. Your daily Haka is the song and dance of your refinement of today’s man. Your elevated Haka is the reassurance of being accompanied on the human journey.
Write it down. Move it around. Talk it out. Try it. Sing it. Share it.
The tribe of you through your unique song and dance.
Tennis great Roger Federer after an awesome back hand winner down the line as he walks pensive to the other side of the court to receive serve. Severely champion cool.
Rupi Kaur the Indian/Canadian poet has her own version of cool: smile, flick of the long black hair with the hand while eyes thinking of how to connect next. Poet cool.
On the inside, after you have done something authentic you are cooling down:
Authentic talent, authentic effort, authentic bringing things together for an elevated result.
Now your blood is reorganizing itself based on the impact of your new experience.
From the outside, this is magnetic to people’s attention even if they don’t know why. They usually don’t know why. This mystical magnetism is what we call cool.
Cool outfit. Cool car you fixed up. Cool upholding the truth when someone was bad-mouthing your buddy. Cool fade away jumper.
Professional Posers like the Kardashians imitate cool. They are brittle and hollow while the cool you is agile and spontaneous. The cool you is in the zone and loves being loved.
Funny thing is for the real cool what acutally happens is you heat up your blood. In your blood lives your history, your initiative, your best and your worst. Cool means knowing the worst and focusing on your best.
To get to cool you draw on your personal history of struggle, of growing and learning, of visualizing and wanting, recalibrating after a defeat and of allowing yourself to be inspired. Cool comes once you put your vulnerable/yet confident/authentic self out there; living your life now – then you rest and your blood cools down. That’s when you bask in the glow of your cooling blood that loved the vigour of sincere human effort.
How does it relate to your comfort zone? Is it an escape or reinforcement?
Is life for doing and your cave for being? is it the shed out back, a canoe from your teenage years, yoga, the barbecue (in January!)?
Can you make your man cave mobile so you never have to retreat from life or your marriage? So you can stay and figure things out through conversation.