The consumption treadmill

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

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

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

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

Have you ever known someone that is constantly worrying?  If is not one thing it is another.  In fact I have known some who not only worry about bad things that could happen, but even when things are going really well they have to worry about when it is going to stop being good and maybe something bad will happen.
Interestingly worry is always about the future, the next minute, the next hour, what might happen or might not happen.  The worrier always projects themselves into the future and imagine something bad happening.
Andre’ Dubus said, “It is not hard to live a day if you can live through a moment.  What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.”
Gratitude brings you back to the present moment, it reminds you that right now things are pretty good.  It reminds you that so far you have received many things, and chances are you will continue to be supported on your journey through life.  That support may come in ways that you never guessed or chosen for yourself.
Don’t all of us have so much to be thankful for?  Today I am thankful that I get to see a group of students come in and with so much excitement test for their next rank.  They and their parents make me smile and remind me of when my own children had special days.

April 10 Announcements

April 12 – Belt Testing Day 5/6 year olds at 10AM

7/8 yr. olds @ 11:30 AM

9/12 yr olds @ 1:00 PM

April 13 – Diabetes Walk Navy Marine Corps Stadium starts @ 10 AM (be there a little early!
April 14 -18 Teacher Appreciation Week -Invite your teachers and let them see how you are doing
April 19 10: AM Rain Barrel painting.  There will be barrels for every age group.  We are still looking for some artist and schools/ groups to take part in this with us.  Please have them call Mr. Joe at 410-263-0050 for more information.
April 16, 17 Stripe Testing & Journals due.
Word of the month next week we will discuss Who are my favorite teachers and how can I thank them?