Antidotes to contemporary venoms.
Following on from last week article: “a boxed life“
Venoms: Detachment and laziness.
Antidotes: Awareness and enthusiasm.
Have you have tried to take a laser pointer and make a cat follow it? Pay attention here.
The awareness of the cat arises. All muscles create a disciplined tension. The fur slightly raises as a physical response to a flush of catecholamines poured into the system.
The claws come out slightly to allow a better anchoring to the ground. The beast lowers the stance, the back legs get ready to fire. The head and the tail create a tensed line that points directly to the red dot. The eyes fixate the objective while the pupils get wider to attract more light. Absolute discipline, control, attention appear under the form of deep, complete immobility.
Right before the creature jumps into action, turn the laser pointer off (yes, the cat will be confused, and a bit pissed, but don’t worry about that, it’s for the sake of science).
Now. Take out eight laser pointers and repeat the same experiment as before. Observe the feline. What happens?
The awareness of the cat arises. All muscles create a disciplined tension. The eyes will follow an objective for few seconds and then …it will start licking its fur. It will let all red lights go, too many targets, it will lose interest. This will happen 99 times out of 100 tries.
You think humans work differently?
Try it out. Turn on the news on TV (if you still have one in 2018), try to engage in a conversation while you check a new article as you decide on a new pair of shoes and listen to a new single from your
It’s impossible, or worst we can make it possible, but what happens to that person’s engagement?
The conversation won’t be meaningful.
The reflections on the piece of writing will be weak.
The judgment on the new pair of shoes will be shallow.
The song will become background noise.
You will end up being superficially entertained rather than actively involved, ending up losing enthusiastic interest towards all the beautiful details of life.
This will fast enough bring you to disengagement in presence. And this disengagement and scattered attention will bring you to laziness in the acts, tiredness to live life.
Stay full on when you do things, value every moment. Be the cat following a single prey.
When going to practice, do not close yourself into a gym watching a TV while talking gossip with the Tuesday’s stranger and about the bad day you had at work. That’s the fastest way to disconnect with your physicality forever.
Instead, find a community and a teacher you trust, get out there, do the work, engage in one project at a time, know what you are focusing on, value every activity you do, take risks, beware the “scattered attention state”, act before the long crouched and slimy fingers of procrastination wrap around your arms.
Do this and trust me, laziness, depression, disengagement will never be an issue ever again – you just won’t have time for those.
Venoms: Conformism and local life.
Antidotes: Courage and travels.
– “Ah, I wish I was young enough to do it…” – 37 years old man, coming out of the supermarket, without stopping.
– “Ohh interesting, is it some form of Circus the one you do?” – a couple in their twenties, walking with an umbrella under the snow.
– “What is it that you are doing?” – 25 years old girl, stopping by
– “Can you please do it again?” – a smiling old man, raising his eyes from a morning newspaper reading session.
– “Wow, I was also doing it when I was a kid” – a mass of random people passing by while shopping.
– “You must be some kind of superhero? / Are you some sort of thief? / Are you Spiderman?” – young kids.
I have engaged in millions of conversations when training everywhere, at any time per night and per day, with any weather condition. And I can tell you one thing: curiosity is powerful.
Everybody has it. You might be here reading these lines for the exact same reasons.
So, why in the name of Zeus and his lightings most people do not engage in diverse, new and exciting activities? Let me tell you what happens.
Well, the answer is that a certain amount of energy is needed to step in the unknown. I
However, if you manage to break through, you will suddenly find yourself fluctuating in an unknown matrix.
The unknown will bring fear. Fear will bring a challenge. Challenge will bring change. The change will bring development and growth, two attributes that directly define what means to live a life.
By opposite, not engaging in the unknown it means to slowly die. The slowest and most miserable death; you know why? Because on your last breath you will
Stay hungry and fascinated, repel what everyone tells you to do, follow your inner voice, dive into new worlds, smile at those confused looks from people, at their angry words – their eyes and their words always hide the question: “can I join in?”. Well, good news, you can.
A great way to start is to travel. Go look for what is interesting. Go where the gold is. Do not be satisfied with your neighborhood, follow signs and directions. Do everything you need to do, save and invest. Go to the source of your interest. Never, trust someone who doesn’t travel; it’s one of the 6 markers I look when making up my mind about someone.
Venom: De-responsibility and poor
Antidotes: Accountability and creativity.
A pigeon takes a big crap on your shirt. Whose fault is it? The pigeon or yours?
“The pigeon!” most people would say without a doubt.
“No, it was your fault. You were walking without paying enough attention”. I would argue.
Exaggeration? Maybe. But which one of the two argumentative standpoints is more productive? I would say, the second one.
Because it entails taking responsibility for any action. Even those who are not directly dependent on ourselves. It will just create a good habit: the act of taking responsibility.
Take responsibility for all that you do – you will cherish your successes and suffer your mistakes. And overall, you’ll live more truly.
Drop all excuses as simple as that. Be accountable for all you do. Even religion itself is a form of de-responsibility in many cases.
Something incredible occurs: humans land on the moon. What a grand thing, so unbelievable. It must be a miracle; a god must have done it.
Something terrible happens: the earth becomes inhabitable due to climate change. What a terrible day, so sad. It must be a punishment; a god must be behind it.
No. It’s on us. It’s on me. It’s on you. Like a drop in the sea, everyone does its part in the big scheme of things.
And as a direct corollary taking responsibility for our actions will make us
Drop the use of plastic, recycle when you can, do not pollute, do not over-consume, do not produce the useless. But how do we do it? Creativity and discipline folks. It’s again there.
And in a movement practice?
It’s the same. Stay sustainable, use what is there already (1), do not build for the sake of building, use space as it is, it is enough. It’s hard, but we are smart creatures.
See you next week,
(1). Small digression: In the process of using public spaces you will encounter many problems. Some of those solvable, others profoundly rooted in the society you are immersed in.
When using them, take into consideration the damage you might do to the elements you are using, who is around you and how they perceive you, the possibility of you getting hurt there, the responsibility of city councils, the effect of your movement practice on the people around you.
You will have a chance to make people more aware of what you are doing or to contribute to a detachment between practitioners and bystanders. Every time you step outside you gain much power, and from great power, comes great …well you all know how this end.
From those operating from the top (architects, politicians etc.) it is needed to build robust elements that can sustain impacts and usage, schedule renovation taking into consideration that the material will be allotted to diverse use, an architecture that will call for involvement and an educational system that explains and promotes movement creativity and active physicality.
Won’t it be too costly? Well, considering the enormous amount of money that would be saved from the health care system if people moved more and took care of themselves, not really.
Isn’t it utopic? Maybe; but I love utopias. Many times, they become a reality, especially when deadlines are set.
Anyway, let’s look at the other side.
From those operating from the bottom (the practitioners) here are some rules to practice using any space:
– take care of everything (you break? You fix).
– talk and create a dialogue with those who are scared or angry because of your
– know the rules and regulations of the country you are in and if you break them take responsibility for your actions.
– Be respectful at all times and everyone will respect you.
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