Life Engagement, Personal Intention, and Passion are all important. I see people today engaging in life through their mobile phones and their tablets. In a coffee shop the other day there were four separate couples with their heads in their phones and they never once spoke to their partners. I understand it is a generational thing, but I do hope that they engage with life and feel the excitement and thrill of living more fully, so that they are drawn into the joy of being alive. We deepen relationships with others through interaction. We can communicate at a distance but the more we focus on a task or a person the more fully we will connect.
I understand that life is about engagement and connection. Business meetings, public speaking, dates, performing arts and sports are most successful when there is engagement, the feeling of presence and charisma that is undeniable and powerful. I teach and practise martial arts. When you perform a block or punch you may think that you are blocking or punching with your hand or your arm. This only diminishes your power and potential. In fact you are blocking and punching with so much more- your whole body is connected to that arm, and with good technique you can amplify the mechanical force of that movement. Good stance and posture, relaxation of the body, fluid motion, accuracy, timing and rhythm all contribute to the power of the movement.
There is more. There is intention behind that block or punch, the coherence of the mind and body working together to create a powerful movement. There is commitment. In “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” Susan Jeffers describes an exercise to demonstrate the influence of thoughts on the body. Thinking in a positive mind frame palpably makes the body stronger than a negative mind frame, but she states that this affect is most profound the more the participant commits and feels what they are saying. I have tried this many times, and people are always surprised at the power their thoughts have on their physical being. A block or a punch will be far more powerful when there is commitment and focus on doing the technique. Focussing on fear weakens the body. In martial arts you practice technique to perfect union of mind, body and spirit in a positive and empowered state of being.
Effortless engagement with life
There is also passion that comes from the freedom of doing something effortlessly that is well practised and the subconscious trust and belief that the block or punch will work to defend the body. All these energies coalescing and focussing on the point of the punch or the block mean that you are punching and blocking with your entire being, not just with your arm. To do something with your whole being is to be fully connected and engaged with life. This is an expansive, liberating experience leading to freedom of expression and one’s uniqueness.
I passionately believe that martial arts are a mirror of life. When you look deeply enough you can take the lessons out of the training hall and apply them to life. And so it is with this…… it is a life- time’s practice to engage and remain engaged with life. To be truly present is to experience the moment entirely, to listen fully, to see clearly and to feel deeply.
In the movie Avatar there is a greeting the Na’ vi people make that I love. They say “I see you”, implying that there is more about you than the physical form I am looking at. There is something deeper.
We can all glimpse the deeper inner beauty of others and when that is sensed there is a realisation of how exciting that inner beauty can be.
Deep engagement with life and others will “Nourish the Flame Within”. When you feel the power of your connection with life it truly nourishes and sustains you. It amplifies passion of all sorts, and that is something worth living for!