Start With Strengths

Discovering your strengths can be empowering and sometimes a bit disappointing. After getting the results from Strengths Finder, ( Learner, Empathy, Connectedness, Relator, Ideation) I was happy to know that I was using my strengths and I was aware of them. On the other hand I was a bit disappointed I didn’t have “Stronger” attributes like Commander. It was like being disappointed with a genetic disposition like eye color or height. All of which made me think of how we often obsess over flaws to the point we don’t utilize our strengths.

We’ve become masters of hiding wrinkles, butts, and blemishes of all sorts but what happens when we try to fit our square pegs into a round hole? When an empathetic learner who’s been told she is an excellent teacher and mentor tries to become an engineer? I am fortunate that I am very aware of who I am (it’s one of my strengths) but what about those who don’t or suppress their talents for too many reasons to review here. This leads me to believe there are many frustrated unhappy individuals not living on purpose.

How do we change this paradigm? I believe we need to start recognizing one another’s strengths and praise them. We need to start doing this at an early age we need to be finders of good and strong rather than bad and weak. Imagine how the world would look then if we were all living our purpose…


Momentum Is Contagious…

I had a recent conversation with one of my staff members regarding momentum. I was explaining how each staff member has taken our training discipline and used it in other aspects of our lives.

Which got me to thinking, this momentum wasn’t just confined to my staff and me. Our momentum has been sort of  a wave that the entire school has been riding. The students in the school are more fit, training more seriously,  and we all are accomplishing wonderful things in the community. It doesn’t stop there our families have gained momentum as well…

Here are a few secrets for creating a momentum outbreak in your life. First start with one simple goal, see it through to the end. After completing one goal try for two. Make your goals in different areas of your life. For example; my fitness goal was to run in  more races — Now I have people joining me. I also tested for my sixth dan, gave away training tips and Friday I will promote two more black belts. My house painting has inspired at least three other friends to do the same!

So infect someone with your momentum, and see what happens!


While They’re Young…

You may or may not know that I’m a martial arts teacher. This is a calling I take very seriously. I’m not worried about high my students will kick, but what are the life lessons I can teach them. For example, yesterday I shared a simple example on the law of attraction.

It was warm and muggy, and we were practicing forms. I noticed a few of my students fanning themselves and giving me exasperated looks to show me how warm they were. I then noted a few other students practicing diligently. I stopped to speak to them. I asked the group who were focused on the heat what they were thinking about? “It’s hot” they proclaimed. I asked my second group what they were focused on, “Our form.” Then I asked the students who were hot how they thought their form was looking? Their answer was they didn’t know they were thinking about how hot they were. I then asked the second group if they noticed how hot it was? They said, “Not really we were doing the form.” Then one little guy piped up and said, “Wow, you only get what you think about!”

Why did I share this? Because kids get this stuff, so teach them so they can learn and put it into practice long before we did! Teach them while they’re young!



Did You Hear Yourself?

To teach is to learn twice. That was one of the first lessons taught to me as I embarked on my path of teaching… It is a lesson I share with my staff and students who wish to be teachers and it is one I’m conscious of every time I step on the mat – Like today. I was teaching a private lesson to an intermediate adult student. The physical or martial art lesson was forms. The philosophical or spiritual lesson was about letting go and just doing…

The Universe, Devine Conciousness or God (insert your preference) has a great sense of humor. While I was explaining the lesson behind the exercise, I began listening to what I was saying. Then I thought I heard another small voice saying,”Did you hear yourself?”  That’s when it struck me! No not hearing voices,but hearing my own voice. It was like reading instructions aloud so you can see and hear, therefore learn better!

Then it occurred to me. The Universe was using one lesson to teach two souls! I was only the mouthpiece… By the way dear Universe I did hear myself. My only question is should I only charge my student for a semi-private class?



We’re All In It Together…

Every once in a while I sit back and review how I got here from there… It never ceases to amaze me how many people have shared and are sharing my path. These people wear many disguises, and have been physically, spiritually and even metaphorically a part of my life and who I am…

There are no chance encounters – Everyone is a potential teacher, be open to their messages…

Be willing to share your message, because we’re all in it together!




Dojo To Myself…

I’m a martial artist first a runner second… Sundays are very special for me. After a week of sharing my dojo with students,staff, and visitors, I get to have the floor to myself!

I get to practice and be one with my art, in my space – Like running it is individual effort that can be shared with others. Yet when practiced on your own it becomes moving meditation a place where you find peace and a piece of yourself…

I hope you all have a sacred space where you can experience your heart’s desire and freedom for your soul… I’m blessed to have my dojo and where ever my running shoes take me!




When To?

Some of the most difficult decisions in my teaching career (and in life) are the “When To’s” . I’m an adult child of an alcoholic and a certified enabler. Therefore I tend to want to do everything, to make it easier or right for the others involved. On the surface this behavior seems rather benign – It isn’t.

Always doing for others especially staff and students, prevents them from experiencing the growth they need. Yet there are times when in order to teach them properly I need to actually do what I’m asking to get done… (I know I’m talking in circles) . This is the dilemma; When to interfere and when to let go?  I’m constantly at odds with myself over this. I want to get what I want the way I want without hurting anyone’s ego.

I know I have to trust my guides and learn from each situation, but it doesn’t make it any easier. For instance  “When To” end this commentary?



I’m spending a rare evening at home. Most nights I’m at my martial arts school. Some of you might think this was where I work, on the contrary its where I DO my work… Sitting at this computer gives me a whole different perspective of what my life is about; Its about service. Helping others learn how to set and reach goals gives me great pleasure. To have students gain confidence with each level inspires me to provide more energy and passion into what I teach and how I teach.

I also know as a master teacher that I must teach by example, to train how I want my students to train. So as I sit here reviewing my upcoming sixth dan exam I’ve come to realize the exam is not only a test of my martial art skills but a lesson for my students…




Today I was finishing up my essays for my upcoming sixth dan exam. I like to insert appropriate quotes at the beginning of each essay answer. In my search I found two of my favorite, one From George Bernard Shaw and the other from Lao Tzu’s Hua Hu Ching. I’d like to share parts of those quotes in this blog.

First George Bernard Shaw, This is the true joy in life: The being used for a purpose recognized by your self as a might one.

It goes on from there, but like a great introductory sentence it states the whole thought perfectly! No truer sentiment has been made. We all come alive when we do what we love for a greater purpose. This could be  as simple as cooking a meal for your family or it could be as big as discovering a cure for cancer! What ever the purpose make it a might one!

The second comes from The Hua Hu Ching or the Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu, translated by Brian Walker.

#54  Lines 2,3,and 4: These subtle arts were created through the linking of individual minds with the universal mind.

They are still taught by traditional teachers to those who display virtue and desire to assist others.

The student who seeks out and studies these teachings furthers the evolution of mankind as well as her own spiritual unfolding.

Again this reminds me of my path and my purpose to study and teach what I’ve learned. To be a vital force in my circle of influence.

When you read great words, or see great works it inspires you to do the same…

I hope these words I’ve shared today will do just that to all who take the time to read this blog.





Martial Arts Magic

To explain how I’ve seen Martial Arts transform people would take more than a blog post it would take VOLUMES!

I’ve been blessed to experience the magic myself. Twenty-eight years ago I walked into my instructors school looking for some self-defense. I did get a few pointers (wink) on defense. I also got in shape, learned to love running and how to train. Yet the greatest magic was discovering ME and who I was meant to be a TEACHER.

Today I saw that same magic in action at a small affiliation tournament. One of my students overcame one of his fears and competed. My other students who witnessed this performance, also have had the experience of slaying one of their personal dragons.

So when the tournament was through, we all applauded the small victory of third place but celebrated the real victory – Self-Confidence!

God I love my Job…

Ginnie, AKA Master A