Bringing Out The Tiger

March 22, 2010 by
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

Today (being Sunday March 14th) is the first time I’ve felt one hundred percent consciously present since I can remember. Not worrying about the future, not dwelling on the past, but being totally present.

I’ve practised Aikido since 2002, and re-graded for green belt again today after a couple years mental hiatus. Green belt is kind of halfway to black. I was going to write about this from Bruce Lipton’s angle of conscious versus unconscious living, but feeling this way today made so much more sense. The last time I felt like this was in 2001 when I was grading for my black belt in karate. There was a lot of nonsense going on in my life back then and putting one foot in front of the other some days seemed like an insurmountable task. I remember thinking if I don’t focus and become totally absorbed in this moment, I am going to get seriously hurt. And thus all the white noise immediately left. Through the motions there was absolute bliss for that brief period of time. The question is: Why can’t we do that all the time?

Much later after an aggressive initiation, sitting on the edge of a dam at sunset, bruised and battered with half a bottle of rum in my belly and the other half in my hand, someone said: Life is good. I remember that distinctly. Outside of that moment life really wasn’t that good because our problems don’t disappear simply because a bottle of rum does, but it felt good IN that moment. I was present. So without getting too hippy about this – because it’s all become very vogue these days, that is “being present”, “conscious awareness”, “the power of now”, blah blah blah – the practicality of it all is WHERE IS THE FUN? How can I move through this period (whatever is going on) and have fun at the same time? If I’m enjoying myself, there’s a strong likelihood I will be more present, be a joy to those around me, achieve more and distort the perception of time so it passes quicker. Case in point: The number one predictor for low back pain is job dissatisfaction. When I was a signwriter in my early days in NZ, I was always in some kind of discomfort. I hated it. Bliss of conscious presence? Get outta here. How many people do you know who are that tuned into their body and environment to draw a connection like that in order to make a conscious change?

Awareness of yourself in the moment and making a good job of it is like a karate teacher of mine used to call “bringing out the tiger”. Don’t just go through the motions of life. You’ve only got this one, as far as we can tell, so get disturbed enough; invigorated enough to go for what you want; to inject a new sense of spirit into life. One of my “goals” this year was to give my spirit a new sheen so what I want can be attracted to me. Worry, upset, frustration are machinations of a future that may not exist or a past that is never, ever going to change.

Practical action step: I don’t use Twitter, because it’s not like I don’t have enough to do already, but I use the concept of “what am I doing now?” for myself. I ask myself that question. What am I doing now? Oh, I’m worrying about this bill to pay. No, you’re actually driving your car. What am I doing now? Oh, I’m thinking about who said what to me which upset me back in 2007. No, you’re actually making a cup of coffee. Try Tweeting yourself to come back to the moment and see if there’s any fun in it, or if you prefer to keep worrying.

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