Don’t hurt yourself, don’t push it, it’s not a competition.  I hear this over and over.  It’s true… Sometimes.

Don’t harm yourself, but yes, push it every now and then, and you are competing sometimes.  Do you know how to push it?   Who are you competing with and why?

Resistance makes us stronger. Period.  It can be a weight or our own minds, but sometimes we have to push through resistance.  I’m a pretty relaxed guy.  Because I spent a lot of time in a state of resistance.  Thus I’m relaxed when experiencing resistance, or stress, or hurt.  However, to remove this from our training early on is to develop delusional habits.   Relax in tai chi, then do 500 squats 3 times a week for a month and see how relaxed you get in your forms.

Be smart about it.  Do one more.  Don’t screw around with your neck or something that feels weak.  But Don’t remove hurt from your practice.  Be aware of potential harm.  Soft soft soft.  This is what soft people want.  Perhaps you’re too soft.  Open this, open that.  Why?  So you’re so open that any resistance destroys you or traumatizes you.   The most depressed, sensitive, and fragile people I know won’t stop opening up their heart chakras.  Perhaps they should close it a bit, cuz they’re in shambles.   A wound either heals or gets infected.  To keep it open all the time without the resources to protect is a timebomb.

Wei qi… The bodies energy to resist outside negative forces.  Do you cultivate this?  Because it could come in handy while you’re open.  It’s also known as guardian chi.  This is very important for us to cultivate so we can be open, so our hearts can be open without being infected.  It’s like an energetic immune system.  How do you develop it?  Resistance…  By massaging then slapping then striking.  Breathing and being soft during this practice is a part of being open too it.  It usually takes about 3 years to get through the basics, and your gonna want some clear guidance of a master, this isn’t done in a retreat.  Sound like something your into?  If so … I love you.  Thanks for walking willingly into patience and practice.

Compassion… At the root to the word it means “with pain”… How can we be compassionate if we remove pain and resistance from our lives… How can we help others in their own pain if we avoid our own or the basic discomforts of pushing ourselves?  This is a huge deal if we’re working towards being with our communities.  I wouldn’t go to a doctor if they cried for me or broke down with me in my time of discomfort.

Notice how I used the word discomfort.  Most of us, experience discomfort and a little pain, rarely are we in PAIN.  The ones I know that have experienced true pain, are pretty alright most of the time.  Am I saying your a wimp.  Probably… In some ways.  I’m one too.  Of course we are, we live in america where we don’t have that many struggles, or that much resistance.  I know so many people that complain about being broke but take week long vacations and eat out most of the week.  Sounds painful. I personally live below the poverty line, and I’m here on a computer, in a beautiful garden, I just got a massage, and some raw chocolate.  I’m below poverty level!!! One more time.. Poverty.  Really?  Is this what I should believe?  That I live in poverty.  Fridge is full, organic produce, filtered water, beautiful people, and a great life.   Then bring the poverty… And keep it comin.

Pain is pain, it’s all relative and I am empathetic.  I do know folks that struggle even in the plentiful USA.  So I’m not discrediting that although I may kid around.  I do however, know that we’re powerful, we’re able to adapt.  To remove struggle or resistance in our lives… We may have a harder time turning it on when we really need our spirit to get to work and punch through the clouds.

Competition is looked at in many ways.  I see it as a moment to see what you’re capable of.  To realize your capabilities, and to actualize as an individual.  I don’t see it as a trophy, a dominant display of physical or mental prowess.  Nope.  Just a path to awareness.  Here’s how…

Competition is for a time and place… We match tools to see who can achieve a certain result.  Thus agreements are made.  What are we using, when, where, with who, etc… This will lay out what I may be deficient in or capable of.  Right?  Do you really know how fast you can swim? I bet you will if you race your friend.  How far you can jump.. You can push yourself, but if you see someone jump 20 feet… You know it can be done.  Perhaps you didn’t even realize that was an option… Like the slam dunk.  How long did it take for that to happen?  Once it was accomplished look how many people could do it shortly after.

In nature, it’s not quite as safe to compete.  It’s now time to have that out of your system.  Be yourself be actualized. Why?

Imagine we were hiking and theres a giant gap.  It drops 50 feet and it’s about 10 feet wide.  You just finished a competition where luckily you discovered that you could only jump 9 feet.  Your buddy jumped 15.  He’s gonna make it.  It’s time for you to actualize and be yourself. Or you may just die.  Make sense?  The dojo is for the competition for the moment of turning a liability into an asset… It’s safe to lose there.  Nature and life may have too much riding on your skill so it’s now time to be yourself.  Nature often doesn’t supply a container to work out the details. I admit sometimes nature pushes us to overcome impossible odds.  It’s best though to learn to cultivate that spirit a little in our practice. If we have built the habit to not push and to avoid the discomfort of going beyond our capacities, perhaps if we do make it, we might not have the energy to recover or get home… What if you do tap into your spirit and jump that extra foot and make it over the gap… Then when you land, you realize you blew out your knee… Now what?

So let’s push a little.  Don’t be weird or careless,  we have stuff to do tomorrow, but do one more, or slow your breath down to hold the pose a little longer.  Build that awareness.  Meditate and integrate the new habits the new capacities, and take time to heal.  Push your comfort by maybe not working out for a day or two to completely heal your tired muscles.  How many times do we feel guilt for not training?  This is pain too.  Our own minds holding us hostage.  Take some time.  Push through… Sit around and know that you’re only getting stronger.