Friday, December 17, 2010

A Good Foundation

I have been working on my health improvement for just about 2 years now. For the last year of this little journey, I have been taking Karate.

Initially I was looking at this as nothing more that a way to improve my fitness. I have noticed that as the last year has gone by, I have been working harder and harder at Karate. I have also been doing a fair bit of reading. Not just about karate, but the martial arts in general.

There are many references to the SPIRITUAL side of this art form. When I say spiritual, I don’t mean religious. I have always believed that the Martial Arts did involve the body and mind but did not really understand just what that meant or how deep the meaning could be.

For the last couple of weeks I have noticed or more like felt a change in my thought processes involved when I am working out or practicing. I knew it was there but I really didn’t know what IT was until this week.

In the past Sensei has asked me to lead the class through warm-up. I was honoured and happy to do this but I felt very self contous and awkward doing it. I think Sensei noticed this. It has been a while but this past Monday Sensei again asked me to lead the class through warm-ups. This time was very different.

I felt no anxiety or self contousness at all. I led the class through a routine that is very familiar to me because it was basically what I do at home almost every day. I shared some of my thoughts and reasons for certain exercises with the class as we went. It felt, I don’t know just how to put it, I would say comfortable and good. I enjoyed sharing this with my classmates and it charged me up even more.

Following the warm-up routine Sensei continued with kata practice. This time I contusly noticed that I was able to apply more of the correction I have been given and also able to make my movements feel a little smoother.

I have been thinking about this rather unexpected process or feeling for the past couple of days and I believe I know what it is. It is the SPIRITUAL side of things. I have noticed that my workouts have become a form of meditation for me. I just let my mind grow calm and my body stretch and work. Kata is becoming the same way. I still concentrate very hard on it as I work on improvements, but sometimes, I just do it. I let it happen and flow through me. Thinking about it now, I realize that when I am doing this with my regular workout or my katas I seem to have almost found a trance like state of mind. It also seems that the harder I work, the deeper this state becomes.

I have also noticed that in my day to day life, things have changed. I had suffered a number of disappointments at work and it was getting me. I was at the point where I was having trouble getting myself into work and getting through the day. I have always been a bit closed minded about some things and I have always had trouble walking away, even if for just a moment, something that I was engaged in because I know if I allowed myself to be distracted, I would have trouble getting re-engaged.

Now, a lot of this has just gone away. I look forward to the challenges of everyday life these days. This includes work. My wife has also told me that she has noticed a considerable change in my general attitude. I think I am no to something.

I only now started my journey. I have built my foundation. The cement is still wet but it will be a good strong foundation. There is many years of building ahead of me but now I can see with my whole self that one day my structure will be ready. I will open the door and step through into a whole new world of learning and discoveries.

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