Gratitude is a magic key

Gratitude is not just a key, it is a magic key, and all you have to do is use it. When you use it all kinds of beauty and wonderful things open up to you to enjoy. It is really simple, but not particularly easy due to all of the distractions and negative attitudes from around us and sometimes in the way we were raised as kids. But all you really need to do is make a commitment to do it, and the magic will be yours.
I have said before in class “just smile”, it will make you feel so good. It is impossible to be negative and positive at the same time. If you have an attitude of gratitude, you will have positive feelings like love, joy, compassion and hope. When you focus on what you are thankful for, fear, anger, and bitterness or envy just seem to melt away, and this without a whole lot of effort.
The reason for this is that gratitude helps us focus on our success and what is right in our life. SMILE, and think about what you are grateful for.

Appreciating what we have

This week we are talking about looking at what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t have or worse, what others have that we wish we had. This has been something that I have working on for myself for a while.
There is a quote from Lao Tzu that says, “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
I mentioned to the kids last night in class that every year they see approximately 40,000 commercials on TV, not to mention all the other ways advertisers have of reaching us. All of this is to drive us to want and to buy. In fact 75% of our economy in America is based on consumerism. What the overall effect of that is on us and the world is staggering. That is for another time to discuss, but for now I would suggest that for our own peace of mind that all of us take a moment every day and give thanks for what we have, not concerned about getting something new or better.
If we can teach our kids to think like that we help them to live in harmony with the earth and themselves, creating a peace for them that many in the world do not have today. Now here is a practical way of starting that process. Turn the TV off – Watch less, Do more and spend as little time as possible in the shopping malls.

April Word of the Month: Gratitude

Over the next few days I will be writing some notes about gratitude and listing some of the things that I am grateful for on a day to day basis. It is very powerful for me to sit and think about what it is that I am grateful for. Especially this is true when I think of all that has been given to me and shared with me.
I am very grateful for my wife, and I am feeling that even more over the last few days. She has been visiting our daughter in California (29th birthday) and I have been here holding down the fort. The first day was very hard and I got very little done. So I am happy that she is on her way home in the morning and I will be very happy to have her around again.
I am also very thankful for all of our students and their parents. It just seems that we have attracted the very kind of people that I enjoy being around. I am thankful for that.
I am going to mention very quickly Mr. Tom Callos. Some of you have heard me speak of him. I will be telling you more about the impact he has had on my life as a person as well as an instructor.
Well there are a couple of ones from me. What are you grateful for? Please leave them in comment for me and come back often as you spend this month of April considering this.

Facts about Diabetes

  • There are 22 million Americans with diabetes
  • 7 million of them do not know it
  • 54 million are at risk for developing the disease
  • The cost each year here in America – $225 BILLION

Two months ago I was completely clueless when it came to this disease. Oh I had heard of it, but honestly did not know anyone who dealt with it. Or at least I did not think that I did. In fact there were individuals all around me that did. Quietly, without complaint, going about what they did with great courage.
My instructor, Mr. Tom Callos, suggested that we should be teaching our students and the community about this disease. So I started to learn about it and found out that it is manageable, but requires constant attention. That is why we put the program together we talked about earlier and we will be doing the walk with Chris and his family.
Will you join us? I hope you can. In the next few months, together with some of the interested students and adults here at Balanced Life Skills, we will try to create a program and video to do more with the education of others about this disease. In the meantime please look at the Defeat Diabetes Foundation’s website for more information, including a screening test. As Andy Mandell says, “The only thing worse than finding out you have diabetes, IS NOT FINDING OUT.”
Balanced Life Skills is committed to teaching self defense beyond the physical. We are working on curriculum with others to address stress, anger management, environmental issues, apathy, consumption, and of course Teaching Peace.

Diabetes Awareness

On Saturday March 29 at our studio we put on a program to bring about some awareness to the subject of diabetes. around 30 kids and their parents were able to attend along with some from the community who are not a part of our school. Included in the program was a short video prepared by myself, with the guidance of the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, and two of our students parents who are ‘experts’ due to their first hand experience with the disease.
I tried to include the video we used (that didn’t work)but here are some pictures of the kids doing an art project and getting to know ‘Chris’ who came to show off his pump and let the kids see that even if you have diabetes you are able to do anything you want, you just have to be careful with your level of sugar in your blood stream.
What a great kid he was and we had a lot of fun and learned a lot too. Before beginning the preparation of this day, I was really clueless about this disease. Thanks to everyone involved I know a little bit more and certainly enough that I know we need to have empathy for those who live with this and we must defend ourselves from Type 2 diabetes. Watch the video and learn more. Join us on April 13 at the Naval Academy Stadium with your art work and lets walk to raise awareness of Jr. Diabetes and to support Chris and his family.