Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emotion and Action

~Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior - Chapter 4: The Sword is Sharpening ~

"Nothing wrong with anger or any other emotion. Just pay attention to how you behave...Anger is a powerful tool to transform old habits...and replace them with new ones....Fear and sorrow inhibit action; anger generates it. When you learn to make proper use of your anger, you can change fear and sorrow to anger, then turn anger to action. That's the body's secret of internal alchemy."...

"How can I control my habits if I can't even seem to control my emotions?"

"You don't need to control emotions," he said, "Emotions are natural, like passing weather. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action."

We humans tend to live in a soap-opera existence, letting our emotions run the show. Believing that we have encountered problems, we seek ways to experience more positive emotions (like confidence and courage and compassion and motivation and passion) and to rid ourselves of so-called negative emotions (like fear and sorrow and anger) so that we can live well and behave better and accomplish more.

There are two basic methods to effect this change. Method One is quite popular: We quiet our minds and create empowering beliefs, practice positive self-talk, sharpen our focus, and affirm our power in order to free our emotions and visualize positive outcomes to develop self confidence and generate the courage to find the determination to make the commitment to feel sufficiently motivated to do whatever it is we need to do.
Method Two reflects the warrior's way: We just do it.

The caterpillar doesn't become a butterfly overnight. Some transformations take a little time.

Let's be gentle with ourselves as we turn from knowing into doing, and as we learn to use our emotions (instead of the other way around). As Mahatma Gandhi said, "As heat conserved becomes energy, our anger can become a power which can move the world."


While I didn't copy all of the passage, I tried to hit the main point. What a great rounding-out to my current train of thought these days. I embrace the thoughts given to me while sweating and shaking in various uncomfortable poses on the solitude of my yoga mat. "Embrace the stressful parts of your body. Breath through the tension. Take your practice into the rest of your life." I am slowly becoming more and more conscious and self-aware than ever before. Less judgment this time around.

As a recovering 'anger addict' I am coming to terms with the fact I use anger to manipulate those around me. A pattern I learned at an early age from parental figures (that are not longer in my life). Being upset at someone does not make them want to change - instead it instills fear and distrust. In the short term it creates strife, in the long run it pushes people away. Only the strong survive in my circle of friends. Only those who have stuck around long enough to realize (or care) that I am not an angry person...merely one who has allowed this emotion to run my life.

Being able to voice one's own opinion with grace, accept a change in plans, to allow life happen outside of expectations, are all decisions that are growing me into a much more content (happy) individual.

Red wine. Two bite brownies. Sade - Solider of Love. Life simply, is.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Snap! Crackle! Hop!

Highlights and reflections from this weekend...

My first real foray into teaching at a regional event since, oh say, 4 years and it was a great time. I must admit that I was bummed to be missing my Fearsome Threesome of Michelle and Mead, or the fun of downtown Decatur - but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Here are my highlights.

~Dancing in an old brothel on Friday night. Creepy and intriguing.
~Reminding myself why I don't particularly enjoy blues dances.
~Teaching aerials with Sosh and being super sore afterwards.
~Awesome students willing to be awkward and silly to learn safety and partnership.
~Tasty breakfast food.
~Amazing host with themed rooms. I slept in the 'Disney Princess' room.
~Decorating the halloween shaped cookies with non-halloween designs ranging from dirty to other holidays.
~E-Sparkle!! We were missing JoSparkle - but we broke it down either way.
~Dressing up as "Zombie Day at the Races Girl". My first year as a 'scary person'. It was also very fun to randomly chase Evita around making zombie noises.
~Taking a hip hop lesson on Sunday afternoon from a professional dancer. He just started to lindy hop in March and is freaking amazing already. We traded knowledge, dance for dance. I am pumped. MJQ this weekend for sure.
~Discovering new music. Slum Village Radio is my new jam.
~Meeting more people from the region, and meeting up with old friends.
~Sugar Glider of awesome.
~Still having blood stains from my zombie wounds. Sigh...the cheap stuff is hard to scrub off.
~Costume contest instead of J&J to win passes to dance events. I think this should happen on a more regular basis. Travel Gnome ftw!

The entire team of Red Hot Lindy Hop put together a very well-run event. It was small, personal, and full of enthusiastic students. I have found that I enjoy those kind of events more and more these days. The huge ones have a great energy, but the intimacy of only seeing the same 70 people all weekend can have it's bonuses too.

It was fun and challenging to teach big classes again. I dig it and hopefully will be able to travel around the SE more often.