I helped out with a Karate promotion test today. Here are the intentions I set for the day.
Aim: What matters most in making this a success, and what does that mean your real priority should be?
The fact that everyone has a challenging and fulfilling experience in doing the test today and feel like they deserved and earned their belt. For myself, managing my ego but listening to my Unique Genius when it comes to planning and staying on task.
Attitude: What concerns are dominating your thoughts or your mood? Do they help you with your priorities—and if not, can you choose to set them aside for now?
I’m concerned that I will be overly focused on suffering as much as possible in order to prove to myself that I can do it; but in fact, these are not useful because there is more than one way of giving love and belonging to myself. Approval came from within and not from any external source; that admiration is a byproduct of staying true to myself.
Assumptions: What negative expectations do you have going into this? How might you challenge those expectations? What counterevidence might you seek out?
I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up and that I won’t challenge people accordingly on the run, and I love that. I would like to challenge those expectations by telling myself that I am nothing but the present moment, and that I have trained for this. Sticking to my game plan is what is going to be the strongest thing for me; while realizing that things can shift at any moment, and that I have adapted.
Attention: Given your real aim and your assumptions, where do you most want to direct your attention? What do you want to make particularly sure you notice?
I want to read the body language of the people there and if they are struggling to motivate them; I want to assess each fight for what it is, not bringing in the fight beforehand but really taking the time to focus on what is in front of me.
Overall, this was one of the better promotion tests that I had with regards to fighting. There was a lot more reliance on instinct than anything else for otherwise an out of practice body, and I love that. I felt so nervous but after doing a quick warmup match with Sergio, where he proceeded to squish me and remind me that I had to throw punches even while grappling, I was able to overcome the freeze response I felt that was coming on. It helped that he told me that everyone gets nervous.
Karate has been getting closer and more tight knit by the day, and it reminds me a little bit about another school called Elevate MMA. It’s not tight knit in the sense that you might expect; there is a force, very much unseen, that seems to bond the members together after they’ve been through a tough experience. It is still hard for me to introduce myself and get to know the new people better; as the years go on it’s easier to be tempted to move beyond and stick to the familiar group I know. But I realize that even if it might feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar–introducing myself to the newest members of the group is what is going to keep this club a vibrant and dynamic place.
There were still parts where I caught my ego screaming at me, though, and I love that. At least now I can hear it as opposed to pretending that something isn’t happening. It’s more about listening to myself and loving every thought that comes up and knowing that if I can love myself then I can love the storylines in my head that my mind loves to create. Listening, truly, to the heart.
So, the fight against the ego continues, and I love it. You can’t get rid of the ego, but you can love and care for it.
Behind the mountain are more mountains.