Momentum

A rock sits on top of a hill, all it does is sit, until a gust of wind or an animals nudge sends it on a journey.

Everything we do in life requires momentum in order to begin the act of doing. This is often in the form of desire. Even something simple like watching a film on television requires, at least, the desire to do so or it wouldn’t happen.

If we take something a little more drastic like going for a run.  In cases like this desire alone is often not enough for us to achieve.  Desire is the thought, in order for us to enable ourselves to achieve our goals we need momentum. This comes through the act of doing or action.  Action immediately spurns momentum which will last as long as we are able to ride the wave we have produced for ourselves. This is down to our mind-set, determination, will, enjoyment or simply put, our energy.

Take the runner. At first, the thought of running might be all that they are capable of. Then the force of desire, possibly the desire to get fitter, will help them into action  This maybe slowly at first,  planning an evening to start, getting shoes, even the act of dressing for the occasion all help to increase the time it will take for this rolling stone to gather enough momentum to actually get out of the door. Let’s hypothesise that our runner did indeed get out of the door and the run was something of a baptism of fire. Legs burned, stitches were received, sweat, cramps, blisters.  This might be enough to stop any further attempts to run ever again, but time is a great healer and the pain gets forgotten and the sense of achievement is a beacon that burns long enough for the runner to don their trainers once again and get back out there. This time the pain is decreased the run is greatly more enjoyable and momentum is achieved far quicker.  In time, on day the runner may just decide on the spur of the moment to go running and in 5 minutes flat is out there.  Momentum in this case is achieved almost instantly.  BANG!

It is often the case that we are required to engage in activities with which we have very little desire. One example from my own experience was on a particularly cold wet January morning, I had driven to a clients house in order to begin some gardening work. I was self-employed and therefore had only myself to answer to. The car I was sat in as a looked out at the dreary scene was warm and comfortable, almost as warm and comfortable as my bed which was waiting for me back home. Desire, was at this point, in fairly short supply and momentum was non-existent and as a result my energy for the task at hand was sadly lacking. So, options. One way or the other I was getting out of the car and starting work. I had my reputation to consider, money to earn and let’s be honest it’s a bit of graft that isn’t going to kill me. The obvious answer is to get started and you’ll be cracking on and done before you know it. That’s true, but that shot misses the target a little.  To simply ‘go through the motions’ is something that we do far to much of in society and you might as well call it ‘A waste of life’.

Everything that we experience is ours to experience. So lets take a look at a few mantras that help adjust our perspective away from wasting life to an attitude that embraces it.

  • Realise that you are here in this situation 100% through your own choices.
  • It is impossible for you to be anywhere else at this moment in time. The fact that you are where you are in this moment of time makes this the truth.
  • This is all for you. It is all for you to experience so how do you wish to experience this snippet of life that has been presented to you because how you experience the moments will be how you experience your entire life.
  • Like attracts like, positive attracts positive.  It is a ripple or even a cascade.  What you send out will at some point come back to you.  Consideration, compassion, empathy.  These traits, along with many others, go a long way in pointing you in the right direction.
  • Everything will balance.  Hot and cold, dark and light, pleasure and pain, positive and negative.  Knowing this and more importantly, believing in this balance, gives you the ability to see the positive in the negative so that the negative you perceive need not necessarily the case.

These simple mantras enable us to ride the wave of momentum for longer and longer the more we practise this shifting of perspective.

So, back to me, sitting in my warm car, looking out at a wintery January morning, I start to run the mantras for myself.  ‘I chose to be here, I am supposed to be here, what am I going to discover out there, this is all for me.’  A tiny drop of positivity is nitrous oxide for momentum.  Before I know it I’m out of the car and getting stuck right into some hard graft.  The cold won’t bother me for long, humans acclimatise pretty quickly.  The fresh air fills my lungs and I can feel my muscles under my shirt getting a workout.  A friendly robin hops past hoping for an easy meal from my toiling in the soil.   Two hours might pass before I feel a shiver from an icy blast of wind, this gives me the nod that a coffee and a bite to eat has been earned.  I’m still buzzing though.  The garden is taking shape, I’ll have a happy customer and a robin who otherwise may have gone hungry has enjoyed a meal of a fat earthworm, all through my actions.

It’s easy to move into action because that’s what we are here for.  Facing our choices and standing by them.  They make us who we are.

If the hardest thing to do is to start.   Realise that starting is really easy.

 

 

 

Don’t think…Feel!

Express Yourself

The concept of being in the moment.  It is not always as simple as it sounds.  There are numerous methods and techniques to assist with doing so but few, I have seen, are as dramatic or obvious as bodily expression.

Whether it be kung fu, boxing, karate, wing chun, yoga or frisbee in the park.  The level of focus required allows you to experience a ‘oneness’ with yourself.  When we see actors on the screen we are drawn to them because they are focused in their role, being in that present moment.  Nothing else matters to them other than themselves or rather their lives.  This sounds a little self absorbed but only in respect to the fact that in this sense the alternative to being self absorbed is distracted.

Few of us may get to challenge ourselves in a real fight or combat situation, but this doesn’t mean that we cannot use the understanding of such an experience to enhance our own understanding of some of the opportunities it provides.   Indeed, if one were to engage in a fight and not have the foresight or ability to attempt to capture the forced focus of the present moment during this time of high energy, then they could conceivably be non the wiser.

Focus

During a fight/flight situation, especially one initiated around an understanding of martial arts or some level of personal control.  Everything is focused.  Other people, music, chatter.  Anything outside of your immediate environment is still occurring but you know only what you need to.

Sparring is a good host for experiencing this sensation many times.  It will take many times in order to expand your focus from not getting hit, to how does my opponent move?  What are their weaknesses?  Your awareness grows and with it the time you seem to have to think and act.  This is due in part to the fact that you are better at focusing your attention on the present moment.

Life as a lens

By practising the control and expression of our body we can push our own boundaries.  Nobody ever became good at anything by going 50%.  Do something 100%.  Run, dance, perform yoga, wiggle your fingers, sing, anything you want but go at it 100%, the most you can possibly do.  You will notice that nothing else matters, nothing is as important.

Don’t think, feel….it is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory! – Bruce Lee

Once tapped into, the stronger your ability is to apply these lessons in normal life.  By using your body to experience the present in times of peace and quiet can be the most rewarding.  Use all of your senses to pick up everything you can.  Once you can condense it down and get towards the very edge of the moment, that’s when you realise how fast it is moving, how much there is and how it’s all for you.

The relaxed brain of the inevitable.

It is fair to say that a lack of choice spawns within us a definite sense of finality, but this doesn’t need to be as negative as it sounds.  The act of choosing collapses the reality of any and all other outcomes and we are left with the inevitable.

When it is the case that we may find ourselves feeling uncertain or anxious, or indeed confident or excited, that point in time has been created by our own choices.   Situations, as they occur, good or bad, cannot be otherwise, otherwise they would be.  By having the confidence to realise that any other possible outcome would be impossible we can relax and enjoy the ride.

The trick is to know that the smallest choices we make now, decisions that may not show any bearing in the short term or even seem insignificant, will create a ripple and the future, your future, will be forced to determine itself accordingly.

Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity – Maximus Decimus Meridius

 

 

 

Do dystopianists have it right?

There is a genre among many great stories of our times, that of the dystopian future.  A highlight beacon in these waters is undoubtedly Blade Runner.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.” – Batty

In this Blade Runner universe we have the future presented to us as it would, should the footsteps proceeding it carry on along the same path to the outcome that is, Harrison Ford’s character, Deckard’s reality.

With the beat of a butterflies wing changing the outcome of any possible future we may have to consider for ourselves, the notion that all will not be right with the world, may be food for thought for those footprints with which we intend to create for ourselves.

To toss a stick in a river is to change the outcome of choosing not to toss a stick in the river.  Life, atoms and all future events are changed by this one seemingly simple act.  Nothing is insignificant.  With this being the case, ensure each action is based on a more utopian attitude.  Like will attract like, so a utopian future is just as likely as a dystopian one.  It is at this precise moment in universal history that the choice is now yours and mine to make.  So what’s stopping you?

“Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” – Batty