Yielding…

It amazes me how we mentally adjust to the seasons. Right now I feel as though my body/mind is yielding for the winter… With the physical energy of summer waning and the weather changes forcing me inside. I find myself going inside my head. Sitting quietly no longer seems like time wasted but time needed.

I’m sure this feeling will change come February when cabin fever sets in. As for now I will try to  go with the slow flow…

I know in martial arts we yield our energies all the time, maybe its time to practice what I preach!

Namaste,

Ginnie

Lifetimes…

Testing students for black belt is always a pleasure. This is because you’ve had an opportunity to see their growth, in the art and as individuals. Then there are the students that literally grow up. That was the case today where one candidate started at age five and the other at age eight.

What an honor to have been a part of their lives – To hopefully have been an influence on these young men and the others who came before them. What a blessing to be able to share the arts – To have all these lifetimes intersect  with mine.

Namaste,

Ginnie

From Here…

Did you ever wake up some mornings and say to your self how did I get here? I’m not speaking of the what happens in Vegas kind of mornings, but the morning awakenings that jar you into the present. You know the kind, the yesterday I was twenty something and had it all figured out and today I’m fifty something and haven’t a clue! You can’t figure out where the time went, how you got to be who you are and sometimes you’re not even sure you know yourself!

So what do you do from here? You can roll over and forget you’ve just received a notice from God/The Universe/Your Higher Power or you take advantage of the message and answer those questions. How? By looking for what moves your spirit. What inspires you? Start by listening to your inner voice trusting your gut! Many of us feel unfulfilled because we’ve followed paths created by others.

The next step is decide what you want and ask for it… Be willing to accept all that will come along with it – Nothing is for free. We always have karma to pay back…

As for me, I’m figuring that out, I’ll keep lacing my shoes and run, tying my belt and teach but I’ll be sitting quietly and listen to what my heart desires…

Namaste,

Ginnie

Next Steps…

I’ve noticed a lot of changes in the lives of people around me and including me. Some have lost loved ones. Others have gone off to college or changed jobs or simply moved away. For what ever reason many of us are on the precipice of our next step. No matter how large or small the step maybe, it still can be daunting. Especially to those of us who don’t deal well with change.

In the next couple of months I’ll be preparing to leave a space I’ve occupied for over twelve years.The current training area of my karate school has been a source of  inspiration, heartache and celebration – Soon it will be a memory. After twelve great years we will be moving to an adjacent area in the plaza which is more affordable. Although the move should require very little labor or disruption it will be difficult to leave. There are so many “next steps” that will be left behind as we march into the future…

I wonder where this Next Step will lead? I’m looking forward to the challenges that await my martial art family and me. The path has been interesting so far…

Ginnie

 

White Belt Again…

For those of you unfamiliar with the ranking system in martial arts, white belt is a beginner. It’s the beginning of your journey – A martial artists’ childhood – No matter what age they started. Being a beginner is like spring, fresh and new. There are so many first experiences and everything is exciting. Even after twenty-seven years of training there are days when I get that white belt feeling. Today was one of them. Anytime I get to share a new experience through my students, I’m back at white belt.

My students competed in a tournament today. A first time for many.  To see their excitement and feel their nervous anticipation brought me back (cue Glory Days) to my first tournaments. These moments are what I live for, seeing students loving what I love. Learning lessons only the arts can teach. Sharing the victories and the defeats while celebrating both!

AS for me, a sixth dan looms in my future and although it’s a honor to be considered for testing and I welcome the challenge. I’d do anything to be a white belt again…

Master A

Framing…

The proper frame can give an ordinary photograph or painting more depth and substance. On the other hand a poorly framed photograph can lose depth and substance. What am I getting at? Why am I so interested in framing?

I’m not interested in writing about framing photographs (although I enjoy framing photographs). I’m speaking metaphorically, I’m referring to  how we “frame” our thoughts and or beliefs. How our  view on a subject can either create depth or lose substance depending on our perspective. For example, I was informed today that I’m to be tested for my 6th Dan in February. On one hand I could view this as a challenge that my body no longer wants to endure. After all I’m 54 with a number of minor nagging complaints. Do I really need to aggravate these injuries?  On the other hand this is an honor and an opportunity for me to learn to push myself with in my limits and to be an example to my students.

Which leaves me to wonder how many times I’ll be reframing my view from now and until February? I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long winter!

Ginnie

Ode To A Little Dragon…

The days they pass so quickly now; nights are seldom long… John Denver’s voice echos in my headphones as I write this. I’m having one of those revisit moments. You know when we hit a place in our lives when we need to look back before we go forward. My last crew of little dragons have graduated high  school and are off to college. I tested long time students for high ranking dans. September looms and another “Season” for the school (although true martial arts knows no season) is about to begin. Walls to wash, mats to flip, curriculum to review and marketing to plan. It’s the same theme but some of the favorite characters are gone. More will be there to replace the long time regulars but it will be different… The innocents is gone. They grew up with me and I with them, they got karate and life lessons – I honed teaching and administrative skills. There was kicking kata, universal five, first tournament nerves, Jr. Black Belt Tests, four or five rebuilds of the dojo, and love, lots of love, for the art and for each other… They are all embarking on another chapter, so will I. Things can never stay the same… I hope they remember what they’ve learned, not any particular technique, but the life lessons of respect, courtesy  and self-discipline. I pray they become the people we need them to be, compassionate leaders with vision.

As we travel on love’s what we’ll remember… is now on the ipod, ironic, and no I won’t forget or regret what I did for love…

So Alex, Jeff, Alex, Brandon and all who’ve already gone; once more for old time sake; Sensei says,”have a great life” Lock in Bow… Class Dismissed.

 

Master Amaral