All morning my brain has been up to something, though I’m not sure what because its chosen to lock me out. Several times it quickly flashed me a distant memory before resuming its unresponsive state.
In the last one, I was standing in the dojo I trained in over 20 years ago. My Senpai stood in front of me wearing his usual ‘I’m going to teach you a lesson in humility’ smirk. “Come at me!”, he barked. Before I had the chance to respond, he hit me so fast, so hard, and in so many places that I flew backward and bounced off the ground. I must’ve had a stunned look because he gave a deep belly laugh before he put his hand out to lift me off the ground. Once I was on my feet he said, “Remember Kohai, always advance in a guarded stance. Attacking as a first response will only bring you pain. Understand?” I said ‘yes’ and bowed out of respect for the lesson. He smiled, bowed back and walked away.
My vision blurred for a fraction of a second, and I was standing once again in my kitchen. It was then I realised I had only understood the lesson from a superficial level. The need to understand further was upon me, so I raised my hands and moved about in a well guarded stance. Click! In that moment it hit. I truly knew from the depths of my soul what he was illustrating that day. He was teaching me about obstacles.
Obstacles are questionable things. Approached in the right way, they present great opportunities. But if attacked head on, they’ll devastate you. A defensive advance is no better because that entails expectation of aggression, and what you expect, you will receive. Only through guarded progress without aggression or assuming assault can you maintain a peaceful and harmonious balance.
As I pondered this, my brain suddenly felt the need to share, and it reminded me of all the times I played aggressor and victim throughout my life. Then my little grey friend went into hyper drive and began flashing better ways of handling many of my fobbed experiences. When it was through with me, I felt exhausted but at peace.
How do you approach obstacles? Did your way get you the results you wanted or at least a positive ones? If not, what will you do differently at the next obstacle?