WITBOY4 – High Heals

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Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

I saw a documentary years ago about women boxers.

Some women who go to the gym and learn to punch for self protection.  There are those women who are professional boxers that live and train to fight.

And then there were the women that were the focus of this film. They are mothers and wives who have a full life and a full time job.  And they box. They get into it for personal motivations that are part of their story.

I remember the single mother, let’s call her Suzie, being interviewed as she put her kit in the back of the car. Late 30’s, 2 children, at least 1 ex-husband, very cheerful. And she hits other women. For exercise!

I can imagine that it functions as therapy. So can shopping. And unless it is Black Friday nobody hits anyone.

So the stress release involved in boxing that Suzie feels is quite clear to see. The training required puts her into great shape. The adrenaline and associated hormones of landing a nice right hook help to feed part of her female life. So actually there is a lot of upside. As long as you don’t get knocked out.

Is that it? What else does she get out of it?

Doesn’t her body pay a price? They do have to wear protective head gear etc. Doesn’t it hurt? Yes. And without being sadistic, that’s part of the motivation. Part.

When you get hurt your body takes over the healing process. Without delay or excuses, with precision and efficiency: It is how the human body loves.

Even between rounds the body of a boxer starts to heal.  Healing is miraculous and beautiful. And it feels good.

Suzie wants to feel good. Remember she is cheerful. With all of life’s challenges she has turned out to be a happy, middle-aged single mom (who you don’t want to fight over a parking spot):)

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Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

 

When healing the white blood cells protect a wound from infection. They also produce chemical messengers called growth factors that help repair wounds.

Dopamine helps regulate new blood vessel creation in the healing process of skin wounds. More wounds = more dopamine.  Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that causes you to feel good.

Natural ways to generate dopamine are: exercise, meditation, sleep and certain foods to name a few.  Destructive ways to generate dopamine are: alcohol , drugs and related poor lifestyle habits.

Dopamine can help us heal and also be a factor in cementing a habit.  Whatever that habit might be: Smoking, drinking, boxing or getting hit by your boyfriend.

The hitting part hurts your face and damages your self esteem but the dopamine connects the whole process with getting better.  So some people end up using cocaine to get the dopamine.

Some women don’t leave the violent boyfriend so they can get hit again to get the feel good of healing dopamine.

Here is a crazy idea – that part of the difficulty of women to leave an abusive relationship is because, mixed up with their level of self respect, they kind of want the next fix of a neurotransmitter released in the healing process?

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Photo by Chris Ensey on Unsplash

Healing feels good. As it should – with all the goodies the body is generating. Don’t make healing from violence your source of feel good.

Instead …

Find something that pulls you up into Your Best Ego. Could be dancing, cooking, organizing, being a good mother, forgiving, inviting someone, highlighting someone else’s good trait in a difficult situation or having a connection moment with nature. Your Best Ego is you choosing for yourself how to live. Your Best Ego includes people that bring respect. Your Best Ego is at a level of energy that generates healthy sources of happiness. Your Best Ego seeks value to keep growing.

Be like your body and bring the growth factor; be the growth factor.

High heals.

It is true.

Is it true for you?

WITBOY2 – Standards Are Important

Kurt Vonnegut advised to ‘Start as close as close to the end as possible’.

The American writer had 8 Rules For Writing. Gems of guidance for creating an interesting story. The above is #5.

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing

Vonnegut’s writing put humanity on display – and it often wasn’t pretty.

Perhaps he was lazy. The closer you start to the end – the shorter the journey so the less you need to write. Perhaps starting close to the end is a story design method so the writer stays true to the intention of the story.

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Each conversation is a story. Even if that conversation in a dark 30 seconds on a downtown street is between strangers, full of swearing, worrisome and in full public view. What happened was this big and tall guy darted in front of two walking women (mother and daughter) and ‘BOO!!’ he yells out of nowhere. The daughter screams back; her mother said don’t. Daughter pursued him down the sidewalk to share her fright but he wasn’t interested. He already got what he wanted and wasn’t about to listen. His sudden scare manoeuvre works to steal some good energy. In this case: Female energy; high potency anger energy; the beautiful energy of being the focus of the ‘conversation’. All of this makes him feel important and makes up for a lack of relationship in his life.

Dirty business tactics on his part. The business of energy management –

we are all in the same business of energy: give and take, diminish and elevate.

The big, tall guy on the dark, downtown street was using guerrilla tactics. And he started quite close to the end of the intention of his story – which was to steal good energy. It only took him seconds. End of story. For him.

Does that mean he is good at what he does; steal? Or that he has no art? No energy art.

What about the others in the conversation?

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Still recovering from the disturbing encounter the mother was coaching her adult daughter as they resumed their journey. The residue on the daughter from the experience is anger. Next time ‘listen to your mother’.

And if her mother isn’t there next time then the daughter would do well to activate her strength of resistance. Meaning make the continuance of her life ( like the walking conversation with her mother) more important than a grown man who is blind to his own value (due to self esteem or illness).

Resist the low. Adhere to the high. You are important.  Standards are important.

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So, tonight when you lay your head down – wonder – ‘what is true because of you?’

What do you want to be true because of you? This is like Vonnegut telling his students to start as close to the end as possible. If you have a good day what is the energetic residue? If you have a bad day, what is the energetic residue? If you are alone? If you are accompanied?

Close your eyes and know:

Because of you there is a marriage with a sense of loving and being loved;

Because of you a woman has no fear of violence in her marriage.

Because of you a colleague knows they are valued.

Because of you nature spirits flourish.

Because of you …

Life will jump in front of you and scream ‘BOO!’ now and again. When it does, resist the low. Maintain your standards that seek the good.

AYM7 – Satisfaction and Fulfillment have been usurped by Blame and Guilt.

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Angry young men might have a valid argument for having anger issues.

Our golden retriever wasn’t very happy that my wife and I only took her on the short route for her evening walk. It was a chilly December day so it got dark early. Returning home from the walk we turn left out of the elevator and our noses catch the smell of warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that fragrants the hallway air.

Once in our kitchen I gulp down two still- soft cookie creations. A Gooey, messy, tasty sugar rush.

My daughter is now watching a movie, having made the cookies and feeling fulfilled at accomplishing the task she set out to bake. In relation to the same event I am in the kitchen breathing the deep breaths of satisfaction, having been cookied.

Meanwhile my wife is savouring a sense of various fulfillments. She was connecting with her husband on the evening walk thus responding to the urge of her romantic(and now married) life. Arriving home to a proactive daughter she fills with pride that cannot be measured but that is vital to her sense motherhood.

All of this after a day of the demands and successes of a full day of work.

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We are all responsible for seeking satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives. As children we receive the guidance of parents and teachers.

The gradual acceptance of responsibility for our words and actions is part of engaging adulthood.

If we can engage this next step in life with confidence, curiosity and healthy coping mechanisms then we will find satisfaction with a positive outlook.

If we aren’t ready to manoeuvre in the adult realms then we can feel overwhelmed and look to relieve ourselves of the weight of responsibility. An effective technique for getting that relief is blame. Blaming others. Reacting unconsciously because we haven’t decided to grow into our Best Ego. So we make someone else the creator of our reality. We convince ourselves there is almost no possibility we could have had control of the circumstances that brought us here.

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Young men need to be able to watch adults manage life with agility. Meaning a challenge is what happens when you grow. The challenge is not the one we encounter on the road of growth – outside of ourselves. The actual challenge is how we react and deal with the situation.

Do we frame it as a nuisance to pushed to the side ? And as a result do the minimum? Or do we apply belief in our abilities thus converting the same challenge into a springboard for growth?

Seeing the challenge as an external hassle means we are giving the pen that writes our life story to someone else.

However the challenge is actually a light that we can shine on our own qualities. To ensure we are grasping that same pen to decide the lines of our own life story.

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So …

Grab the pen.

Believe: in yourself, in your style of man, your kind of confidence, your version of strong, your adaptation of resourceful, your insight about elevating the expression of man.

Speak up about what you want. Speak out about what you feel.

Seek your satisfaction as a young man. Offer to others a young man who knows what it takes to uphold a positive outlook even if the situation isn’t fair.

Planetary Arts Series – Mars

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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.

Martial Arts.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

AI Versus the Juggler

Juggle.

AI cannot juggle.

Photo by Juan Pablo Rodriquez on Unsplash

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.

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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.

I have an I.D.E.A.

This is a compact tool to focus your energy to get stuff done.  Actually you can also use it at the same time for feeling a sense of purpose.  You can use it in the morning to approach the day or reflect on your participation at the end of the day.  It assumes you are seeking help to meet the new you, the next version of you and share it with the world.   The experience can facilitate an updated sense of self and sense of belonging while also contributing to your various communities (the many inner lives, family, nation, society).

Ask yourself – What do I want? That is the I.  And do something about it.  That is the A.   When it has a positive impact on your day, your mood and helps you to learn and participate – That is the D.  When you follow through on your intention and it causes you to make decisions and ask questions that are based in your sense of connection – that is the E. 

That is I.D.E.A.   The idea is that as you go through you life you don’t have to stop and make your spiritual pursuit a separate life endeavour.  You can be crafty in making some degree of your professional life provide the foundation for your soul development.

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                                      Photo by Austin Wade on Unsplash
I is for Intention – What you want to do that day.  You can have various ‘small’ intentions that you check off your list in the course of your day.  Things as simple as saying ‘hi’ to someone whose attention you want at school or work; getting 10 likes on an Instagram post; helping someone feel better.  You can have an intention for the day, week, work, family, health, planet, …
D is for Daily– the impact of your intention in your daily life.  Keep it simple: you want to feel proud of your work, fulfilled you helped around the house, encouraged to repeat your intention.  Here daily refers to your maintenance life: making money, staying healthy, finding friends and companionship.
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                                    Photo by Sunyu Kim on Unsplash
E is for Elevated– the residue you want in your soul life.   This is the result of applying your skills and strengths towards your Higher self.  This is your unique response to the religious energy that arrives in your life because you have a soul.
This can sound ethereal, cheesy, intangible, like a waste of time, difficult or simply beyond your reference and experience.  That makes sense but at the same time is the moment to push through and do your homework of you.  The art of you is connecting your daily intentions with whatever your Higher Self is.  Or perhaps it is to let the sincerity of  your daily efforts support your Higher Self .
The key understanding here is in the word ‘elevated’.  This means above; above normal, beyond daily, higher than what passes in daily life as enough, more connected than habit.
How does one elevate?  Taking Action (see below) with an Intention (see above) that is greater than oneself.  Think: teaching, mentoring, volunteering.  I am reminded of the guy I would bump into some mornings while I was walking my dog.  He had the garbage collecting tool and a bag.  On his own time – usually 6 am – he would go down to the lake shore and collect garbage – beer cans and coffee cups by majority.  I thanked him and he was so appreciative of my recognizing his service – cheerful guy.  He told me there were others who did the same thing as him.  Awesome!!
That guy is elevating above himself to offer without counting the cost or looking for reward.
Providing that selfless service provides meaning or fulfillment and makes us happier and easier to deal with:)
A is for Action  – that you take that attracts positive energy.  Like Nike – Just Do It (swoosh).  Take action towards accomplishing your intention that at the same time feeds your various (daily and elevated) Human levels.  Repeat.
What’s the big I.D.E.A.?! – you are the big idea!!  Your growing into your development trajectory as you emerge out of puberty into adulthood and travel through middle age and arrive into elderhood.

your body is a temple

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Photo by Ben Weber on Unsplash

 

Your body is a temple so why bother going to religious service.  You can never be late if your attend yourself:).  Current religious offerings rely more on the need  lost people than on the soul connection of the people running the religions.  Nothing wrong with being lost – especially being young and lost – just think of the Bieber.  There is something amiss when the people offering religiousness are more lost than you.  They are lost in their dogma and politics and confusion of lies.   So you need to find ways to be the spontaneous you, the agile you, the humble you as you struggle to stay true to the temple of truth and growth.

As you struggle, read the following:

 

What is the relationship between information and elevation on our journey of personal development?  Do you need more info or more inspiration?  More passion?
Do you want to change your location (on the x – y axis)? Why?

x is info and y is elevation.  Info gets you more of the same result pushing you further along the path.  Meanwhile elevation gets perception about improvement and growth and fulfillment.  Info can help elevation.  Too much info or addiction to its search can usurp the idea of growth and put urgency and status in its place.  Elevation gets you better info, better intel, better energetic friends who are interested in your best life.

So.
We need tools, references, resources, reasons and examples to learn how to re-locate responsibly.  A prescription for a specific x.  Align to a a higher y (why:))
We need tools to elevate our source of references and reasons to get perception about managing the balance of reference and elevation.
Tools include maintaining a healthy foundation in the body, mind and emotions; find a moment of peace, moving meditation, regularly distinguish between habit, routine and ritual and use them for your growth or phase them out, belief in higher purpose, be of service, teaching, mentoring and being mentored, telling stories, volunteering…