For the past few weeks I have felt like things, and I mean everything, have been a struggle to get through. I have had trouble at work with some big and repeated breakdowns, I managed to hurt my hand just before going to a karate tournament called a Gasshuku, I have fallen behind on getting things ready for winter around the house and my primary telescope broke down. This is just the short list. I was getting to the point where I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and frustrated because I have not felt like I have been able to get on top of things.
As well I have been thinking quite a bit about my Mother. It is just past the anniversary of her passing away. My Mother was a real source of strength to me and a true inspiration.
Then, during last week's karate class, Sensei Laurie talked about the Gasshuku and about the effort that is required for this kind of thing and for many things in life. I had never really thought about it before joining the Karateka, but there is so much training to it. Not just for the body but also for the mind. To have one without the other still adds up to nothing. The quote or phrase Sensei talked about was, “If you demand more from yourself, expect more in return.” She asked us to consider just how encompassing a statement like this is and what it means to us. Not just in karate, but in life. As I interpret this, this applies not just to doing the physical part of the training but to engaging yourself totally in it. Focus your efforts on everything you do and commit to doing your best. Your efforts will pay you back in ways you will see right away and in ways you will not immediately see.
So, with this in mind, I have endeavoured to put my worries into perspective and committed myself to moving ahead. There will still be obstacles to overcome, my hand is still injured, things will continue to break, the house still needs work and I still very much miss my Mother, BUT, life must go forward and we must commit ourselves to it.
This means maintaining focus. To me, it also means not being blind to what is going on around you. Just because it seems bad at the time, use it and learn from it. Learn from others who offer their help and PRACTICE.