May Announcements

word of month character

Word of the Month is Compassion

April 30, May 1 Stripe testing / Journals due

May 3 Where Does the Rain Go? Rain Barrel Event @ Merrill Center 2 PM This will be a wonderful benefit to our awareness and to help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Decorated rain barrels will be available in a silent auction and the debut of a video of our students learning about stormwater management at home.
May 14, 15 Stripe testing / Journals due Please be sure to bring your journal to class these days
May 17 Belt Testing
May 26 BLS Closed Memorial Day
June 6, 7 Student Art Show
June 10 BLS Closed Instructors will be out of town

Gratitude in the bad times

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It is not hard to be thankful when we are in the good times.  When everything is going our way and we are happy, everyone is getting along and times are feeling the best, we can be thankful for many things very easily.  It is when we are not happy, when we are feeling sad, frustrated, disappointed, angry or even envious that being able to see the things we have to be thankful about requires more work.
For me this comes back to how we talk to ourselves, and listening to the words and feelings of others that may bring us back to our ‘attitude of gratitude’.  Yesterday was not my best day of being a teacher.  I had been disappointed in a few students at the begining of the day and somehow I allowed this to affect my teaching style the rest of the day.
Has that ever happened to you?  Your disappointed by something or someone and you feel like you need to fix everything right now in this very day or moment.  What I should have done is as soon as I could see and feel this disappointment, is step back and look at what I have to be thankful for and meditate on that for a few minutes.  Had I done that I am sure I would have spent the rest of the day in a better frame of mind, and maybe even taught a better class.
I have said this before but I will repeat this again, for my own benefit.  You never accomplish your goals or be your best when you are trying or acting out of fear or anger.  It is only when you act out and respond to challenges and situations from a place of love and gratitude that you are able to reach your goals. I will continue to work on this and if you have ever had similar experience I would like to hear about them.  Sometimes it helps to know that we are not the only one that has an experience like the one I described.

The consumption treadmill

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Have you ever tried to go a period of time, be it a week, month or year, without buying anything new except for food and toiletries. It is a very interesting experiment. I have given both thought and practice on this and have found that when we consume less, it gives us the opportunity to appreciate more the items that we already have.
One of the real epiphanies for me in this regard was the day I needed to eat lunch and I looked in the refrigerator and cupboard and decided “we didn’t have anything to eat”. Have you ever done that? Then in a moment I looked again and I thought to myself, there is a enough food in the house here that if we were a family in the (fill in the blank) I could eat for a whole year. What is wrong with me?
I enjoy shopping, but I never thought I was a slave to it. However, when we think of the slogan about recycling many times we forget the first two- Reduce, Reuse and then Recycle. Giving thanks for what we have been given already, allows us to register on an emotional and spiritual level that we have in fact, been given enough. Take some time and decide to stop shopping for 2 weeks to start, and feel the effects. While doing this practice give thanks for all the things that you already have.

Getting to Black Belt

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The following is a message I received from my instructor about belt testing and black belts. Going from one rank to the next is not based on how much time did I put in or am I a nice person. It is based on physical ability, attitude (am I willing to put in the time and effort) and then of course all of the intangibles( am i living my life to be my best? am I giving back to my martial arts community and to the world?)
Often times whether we are 5 years old, a teenager or an adult the “getting the belt” or the “color of the belt” is the biggest hindrance we have. The harder we try to attain this “belt” the more time it takes. In martial arts as in many things in life, when we work hard and enjoy the journey the results come faster or at the very least seem to come faster. So here are the thoughts of my instructor;
Continue reading “Getting to Black Belt”

Jr. Diabetes Walk

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Sunday morning turned out to be a beautiful day for the Jr. Diabetes walk. So many of our students turned out many of them I did not see till we were walking or they were headed home. This was great to show our support for Chris and everyone else that deals with this everyday. Now we need to defend ourselves from Type 2 and BLS will be continuing to talk about how to protect ourselves, not only to our students, but to the community as well.
I am sorry that I did not get more photos of those that attended. I had a great time walking with our students and their families. Thank you again!
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April 12 testing

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What a great day we had with all the students. They were awesome!
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