I mentioned in a prior blog that our brains are literally hardwired to push us toward focusing on the negative, to be scanning for perceived danger and threats. To make matters worse, our neocortex, which is the seat of imagination, is good at making things up.
It was a Monday morning. My knee was more painful than usual. I had spent most of the previous day working in my yard in the humid Florida heat. It was definitely one of those “really don’t feel like doing this” days. I had successfully followed through on my base line self-discipline rule, which is; no matter how much I may not feel like working out I will at least take my body to the gym. If after being there for ten or fifteen minutes I still “really” don’t feel like doing it, I will allow myself to blow it off.
Recently I was working with a new life coach client. At our first meeting he got very emotional and asked me why he felt he was always struggling with a sense of negativity. He said he had looked into whether he was clinically depressed and felt that this was not the case. “I’m not really depressed I don’t think,” he said, “but I just hear myself being negative too often and I don’t like it. I don’t want to be that way all the time.”
It was a typical summer day in London, shifting temperatures and periods of light rain. I was just outside the British museum spending time with friend and teacher Lama Rigdzin Dorje deepening my understanding of the esoteric Buddhist practice of Vajrakilaya. This practice is very complex. Simply, and esceedingly briefly described, the practice centers on removing obstacles to liberation and enlightenment, and understanding that most, if not all of them, reside within.
Mark Sentoshi Russo often publishes articles of guidance and wisdom directly to his students as they take on the journey of learning self-defense at his martial arts school in Tampa, FL. This blog post was written as encouragement to his students aiming for perfection in every technique, but can be applied to any area of our lives and any goal we are pursuing.