Held Back

We all know what's good for us...eventually.  Once we are sufficiently inspired, we take steps, make plans and undertake the necessary compromises to embody this new shift. But, what happens to us after this initial seed of knowledge or excitement?  Do you keep your New Year's resolutions?  Do you manage to stay true to your instinct about what's best for you?  Do you keep working on your gaps in knowledge or keep practising your natural talents?

Thing is, it's fairly common that we relax, get distracted, make excuses and justify why we can't do something we know will pay dividends in the long-run.  I always have the intention of stretching each night before bed.  I've done it in the past.  I sleep better and wake up alert and bright-eyed, ready for the day.  All I have to do is a 15 minute stretch of my whole body while enjoying a movie or documentary after dinner, or chatting to my kids as I lay out on the lounge room floor.  It's not hard. I just have to stretch out my joints and limbs comfortably before bed.  Do I do it?  Rarely.  Why?  I wish I knew.  I've been doing it again recently and loving the benefits it garners.  Then I wonder, "Why haven't I kept this up?".  The answer is simple...ego.

I don't mean the type of arrogance we associate with a person who has a larger than life ego...think, Donald Trump.  I mean the spiritual definition of the word.  Our ego, is the (often) ruling, controlling part of our psyche that trips us up, convinces us that "We're doing ok", "We'll be alright", "No need to put yourself out".  The ego is very good at keeping us in a perpetual comfort zone.  We allow our ego to rule when things get a little uncomfortable.  It pulls us back under the covers on cold mornings.  It makes us sit down and relax for another few minutes.  It tells us, that the run we planned on doing, isn't really necessary.  That the slight discomfort of an ankle or shoulder is motivation enough to not go to training, when in reality, it would be better with some careful movement.  Then we feel the inevitable guilt about not doing the thing that we know is good for us.  Spare yourself this part, if you can.  My favourite saying about guilt is, "Guilt, is just the ego, fooling you into thinking you've made greater moral progress than you actually have".

So, where do you draw the line?  What gets you off your arse?  When do you say enough's enough?  What gets you moving when you've been procrastinating on that mission, or task, that's well overdue and will set you on a new course?  If we're serious about growth and cultivation (and there's an assumption here based on your pursuit of martial arts training) we'll do the things we need to do for our health, wellbeing and character development...eventually.  But why not do it now?  Do it for you, your training or your loved ones.  It may be a simple stretching regime that helps you once you're in the dojo.  It could be a quick morning meditation.  It could be to cut down on caffeine or eat a more balanced diet.  Do it!  Don't listen to your ego telling you that you've done plenty enough, or you can do it tomorrow. Stop procrastinating and use the knowledge and advice you know will benefit your path.

Travis de Clifford
Kensho Dojo


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