When I first started training, when the start of the year came around, Sifu suggested that I pick a word that would be something I could focus on throughout the whole year. It could be any word that came to mind. It could either be a word that helps my training, or life, it didn’t matter. I found it really works. The first year the word was relax. The second year it was control. This year its action. All things that I need to work on in my training. But I realized pretty quick that the words that I picked for my training transcend into everyday life as well. Not to say I’ve mastered any of these things but having them in my thoughts, writing them down, keeping them in mind not only when I’m training, but in everyday life, really helps. So if it’s something you think sounds interesting, I recommend it for sure. Just let it come. Don’t force it. What’s your word going to be?
I’ve been thinking about total awareness, and how important it really is to my training. We have just been through the holiday season: time of friends, family, giving, and thanks. I hope you all had a nice holiday, and hopefully came out of it with your nerves settled and ready to start the New Year.
I don’t know about you but whenever I’m out, I always do a lot of people watching. It fascinates me to try and understand what’s going on around me. While doing some holiday shopping, I noticed a man a couple blocks directly north of me, walking fast in a kind of zigzag pattern. At the same time, there was a woman on her cellphone walking her daughter who had to be around 3 and an older woman pushing the stroller. They were northwest of me about 30 feet. I noticed right away that this man focused on them, and started to walk straight toward them. Mom didn’t notice but grandma did. I definitely did. He started yelling at them, and making rude, inappropriate comments. I simply walked up to them, focused my energy on him, and in a firm voice said “Hey, check yourself, stop it!” He did and walked away.
This is just one of the ways Mo Duk Pai has helped me to serve the community. I don’t bring this up to sound like a tough guy, but merely to show how being aware of what’s around can not only help you, but help the people around you. How many times have you heard “look both ways” or simply “pay attention”? You never know what could happen.
So I challenge you with this: Pick one day a week, pick an hour out of that day, and see if during that hour you can have complete and total awareness. It doesn’t matter where, or what you are doing, that’s entirely up to you. But see if you can, notice the colors around you, who are the people around you? Are there little creatures walking across your path? It can be lots of fun. Can you turn that hour a week into two, then three, then four, all the way to twenty-four seven. I bet you can if that’s something you want to do. Oh yeah, you might want to turn your cellphone off for that first hour. It’s just an idea.