No Trash in Japan

When I visited Japan, the most profound thing that I noticed—and that I didn’t expect in my wildest imagination—was that, in Japan, there were no garbage cans. If my life depended on it, I could not throw a piece of paper away properly. And on the streets in Japan, any place we went, there was … [Read more…]

A Challenge Greater than Black Belt

We’ve been speaking in the classes this week about the black belt principle of “being a good-finder.” When I first heard the expression, I thought it was corny until I pondered it further and then saw its potency. Being a good-finder means that you find the good in everything, everyone, and every situation. Seem extreme and completely impractical?  Well, … [Read more…]

Favoritism: Why It’s Not What You Think

I recently had a conversation with a former schoolteacher. She told me that she believed that one of the hallmarks of being a good teacher was that students should never feel that a teacher is playing favorites. I agreed. She then went on to say that even though a teacher may have favorites, the students shouldn’t realize … [Read more…]

How Martial Artists Handle Fear

Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation with my mentor. She told me a story about how one of her family members, who is in the medical field, was required to take a fire safety class. The fire marshal who was running the class asked the attendees whether they knew what the number one cause … [Read more…]

Patience

In a recent conversation, my mentor talked to me about the quality of patience. She explained how patience promotes much progress in all areas of our lives, if we allow patience the opportunity to do so. I started thinking about how, if I applied this idea not only to my personal life but also to … [Read more…]

Missing The Mark?

This week in our classroom we’ve been discussing the concept of “forgiveness”. Heavy concept, I know : ) But let me share why I consider it a “black belt trait” and why it applies to our martial arts practice. Forgiveness is sometimes seen as this very intense, demanding , even religious concept. I prefer to … [Read more…]