Self- Worth: The Cost of “Being” is Free


Self- Worth: The Cost of “Being” is Free

By Kaiden Blake

Self-worth is the fuel that enables us to live out our lives to our fullest potential. Most people, however, are living on “empty”—too preoccupied with the day-to-day to notice the flashing red light on the dashboard.


The truth is, we can’t think our way to self-worthiness. The human brain is programmed to navigate the world by way of processing information in a logical, dualistic format. For example: this is right, that is wrong and she’s a woman, he’s a man. When our mind tries to conceptualize the notion of self-worth, it’s automatically subjected to the realm of duality. Using our minds alone to understand our self-worth is like trying to stargaze with a pair of binoculars. Since self-worth is such a delicate and unique factor in each individual person, it needs to be honored as such. The mind insists on sequestering us away into nice, orderly groups, but surrendering to that method and mentality is harmful and unrealistic in regard to the deepest parts of ourselves.

The mind resides very closely to the ego, which is one of the most powerful detractors in our mission to achieving a sense of worth. The ego is never satisfied, and so our minds work overtime to try and compensate. When that happens, over-thinking and self-doubt are guaranteed to take over. Our minds will replay old tapes of who we thought we should be and will resurface all of the projections others have placed on us. It will re-hash doubts, insecurities, mistakes, and poor habits we’ve clung onto throughout our life. We’re rendered useless if we’re living in that headspace, as we’re taking on an imaginary script—a dialogue between fear and lack. We must see through this illusion, knowing that we’re far greater than to submit ourselves to the never-ending egoic cycle that readily offers itself to us. Instead, we must create our own script.

The objective isn’t to think our way to self-worthiness—the objective is to choose what we think about. This is paramount to our success. Though our thoughts often seem like innocent static noise, they’re hard at work at creating our reality. Since our thoughts have a profound effect on our psyche, they evoke strong emotions within us. Because we’re highly emotional beings, emotions can often seem to create our reality. While we want to fill up our lives with positive, life-affirming emotions, it’s unhealthy to live vicariously through a purely emotional state. Making decisions based on emotions alone is like building a skyscraper on a loose foundation. Next time you find your mind racing with unwanted thoughts or emotions, try to snap yourself out of the false created reality. Your true inner self never wants you to feel less than, for you are far greater than your thoughts and emotions.

Don’t ever believe that bodies are things that happen to other people. While everyone is aware of and acknowledges they have a body, few embrace them—and even fewer really listen to them. Self-worth is just as important on a physical level because our bodies are the vessels that carry our souls. We have a right to our bodies, and our bodies have a right to be treated in our highest regard.

We’ve been programmed from a very young age what to feel about our bodies. Television, media, and society have dictated what’s attractive, what fashions are acceptable or unacceptable and the implications they have, and how we’re meant to view the bodies of others. Because we’ve been fed that script, we’ve forgotten to not only live with our bodies on our own terms, but we’ve forgotten how to really tune in and listen to our bodies.

Here are some questions to ask yourself. Please answer honestly; your ego will want to rear up and get defensive, but the first step to true healing is being fully honest with yourself.

– Am I comfortable in my body?
– Do I feel comfortable in my body around others?
– Am I expressing myself for me, or for the validation of others?
– Do I treat my body well through my thoughts and actions?
– Am I putting harmful toxins, chemicals, and food in my body?
– When was the last time I did something positive to celebrate my body?

Many of you who answered those questions will realize how often our bodies fall by the wayside on our list of priorities. The truth is, our body never lies. Often times when we feel under the weather, our truest “self” is trying to get our attention by the only means it knows how. Instead of writing off every headache, stomach ache, or sense of unease, try to tune in to the feeling and let your body give you a message. Though many will scoff at the notion of listening in on the body, many people have overcome lifelong illnesses by doing so. It’s a matter of being fully in sync with the body. The healthier we treat our bodies and the more aware of them we are, the easier it is to prevent anything untoward or harmful from entering or permeating our lives.

It’s important to be gentle with ourselves and to acknowledge the uniqueness of our bodies. Every single being on this planet is a divine miracle. Life here on Earth has a habit of getting in the way of our inner knowingness of how incredible we are and how much potential each and every one of us has to offer. Our bodies are the vessels that enable us to reach for our dreams and to connect with others in the most wonderful of ways. Instead of taking on others’ projections of your body or your own insecurities, try celebrating your body. Know that you’re worthy and deserving of great health and opportunities. And most importantly, worthy of self-love.

Like our mind and body, our self-worth on our soul level stems from within—not from outside sources. It doesn’t come from jobs, credentials, or monetary gain. Believing in oneself can certainly pave the way to gain those things, but how we adorn our lives on the outside cannot fulfill the need within. It only, at best, can give us a sense of complacency. One of the biggest blocks to achieving self-worth is giving our power away to others.

Because of the constant chatter from our egos and the harsh world we live in, we lose faith in ourselves. Once we fall out of touch with our innermost sense of self, we base everything on outside sources. Instead of seeking approval from someone or something else, try asking yourself for it. And when you answer, try listening. Pay very close attention to your gut instincts. If you’re still feeling lost, ask the universe for a sign. Signs and confirmations can come to us in the most unsuspecting of ways—words we pick up at random, songs that come on the radio, or something we overhear in a passing conversation. One of the best tools we have is to simply listen. When human beings struggle, we often lash out—either out of frustration or desperation. When we really sit with ourselves and let go of all the noise from our thoughts and ego, we’re able to more easily get a firm grip on the situation or question at hand.

In addition to learning how to listen, let go of what you’ve been conditioned to believe about yourself. Connect yourself fully with the entire universe itself, and ask: “What is it within me that can make a positive, profound impact on the world?” Include yourself when you think of the world and the people around you. Instead of separating yourself and feeling isolated, know that you play just as important a part as everyone and everything else. In the highest truth, there is no separation. Once you step back into your power and cherish yourself, you’ll notice yourself going with the natural flow of life rather than against it. By fully actualizing your self-worth, you’re gifting yourself the ability to use the wings you’ve always had but forgot along the way.

Be you, and fly to great heights like I know you can.

“I honor and respect my truest self and all of the complexities that are within me. I am whole, worthy, and able. I have the confidence, freedom, safety, and security to fully be me at all times. I will not let my own ego or the words and actions of others to disempower me. I trust and believe in myself, and I am fully capable of accomplishing my dreams. I am me.”

Read it on page 17-18.

Kaiden Blake
Kaiden Blake is a recognized internet personality and artist, is currently anticipating the release of his forthcoming book. Kaiden’s incredibly strong bond with his fans, inspire personal empowerment across the globe.


Chu-Gi Loyalty

Chugi – Loyalty in Japanese Martial Arts


Chu (Chugi) | Duty and Loyalty – The warrior knows that s/he is accountable for their actions and words and accepts all consequences that may result from them. The warrior is intensely loyal to those s/he is responsible to and those s/he is responsible for. Trust and unity are the backbone of what Bushido represents.

Chu is a very typical and important rule for any person among the traditional Japanese martial arts world/ society. There is no equivalent word in English that truly captures the meaning of this type of fidelity between the student and teacher of Budo. For a non-Japanese speaker, to truly grasp its meaning, he/she has to deeply understand the uniqueness of Japanese culture.

The pursuit of duty, justice and correct action, is the best way to conceptualize this character trait. As a teacher of Budo (martial arts and disciplines), I chose this typical term within the traditional Japanese culture to show the beauty, the educational values and the benefits of understanding and following the rules of Chu.

Joining an authentic Dojo or school of martial arts such as the Budo Shingikan implies much more than taking an ordinary course. A serious Budoka (martial art student or practitioner) should know the tradition of Japanese martial arts and specifically that of Bushin Ryu, our history and heritage, and especially, the goals, disciplines and expectations.

In classical Japan, learning a martial art was a sole privilege for the warrior class. Each martial art school not only kept its techniques, strategy, and knowledge jealously secret, but was also strict about accepting students. It was impossible for any student to be accepted into a Dojo unless s/he was strongly recommended as a serious and good-natured person, worthy of becoming a member of that school. Now days, almost any school of martial arts all over the world is open to anybody. Many of them became extremely commercialized, concentrating in the physical parts only, abandoning the tradition, neglecting the mental, moral, and spiritual training and hardly dealing with the education of the individual. The Budo Shingikan Dojo has not done this and none of the Bushin Ryu schools will. I mostly blame the Budo teachers, product of the present world, of the social and educational systems in which they have almost lost all ideals and values or have been willing to compromise those for financial gain. Even in Japan, only few classical schools still keep that tradition and the quality of Chu is slowly dying, hence why I am so adamant about keeping these traditions in our schools.Martial Arts Mesa AZ

There are many schools which have their regulations written and displayed on their walls at the Dojo, or printed on paper for newly arriving students to receive upon joining the school. But there is nothing more important than the instructor teaching and educating, and above all his teaching through personal example. If the teacher goes into this relationship giving, then the student must mirror and match this behavior.

I remember in my youth that among the most valued and respected profession was the teacher. Now-a-days, to become a teacher is not a profession young men or women desire. Very few idealists, good and dedicated teachers still continue today, swimming against the current to fulfill the important mission of teaching and educating. There is a lack of appreciation and respect by society which mostly bows to richness, but not to the true quality of the person or the importance the teacher has in bringing up the new generations. In martial arts it goes even further in which students make a very big mistake and that is they treat quality teachers as if there are no differences. As if their education and by extension their teacher is a commodity, and they can get what they want anywhere, in fact they can get it cheaper, with no attachment or relationship what-so-ever. These days are sad.

A real teacher of Budo is not a lecturer that passes information to his students. He teaches knowledge, passing long years of wisdom educating his students, strengthening and polishing them to become not only warriors but also better people which can confront the difficulties of life not only with strength but with wisdom which will enrich their life and also contribute to society.

The teacher gives himself and all his love to his students, treating them as if they were his own family, strictly, jealously, but also with proudness and love. Now the questions are do students understand what is expected from them? Do they return this relationship? Do they see the value in this sincere way of being?  In my opinion, very little value sincerity or a truthful relationship with a teacher.

When I was a younger teacher, I remember many times when other students of Budo came to visit and asked to join my Dojo, I would always ask them whether their teacher knew they had come and if they had permission to learn here. When the answer was no, it showed me how little respect they had for their teacher. My answer was always no, they could not train with me, after all if this is how you treat your teacher it is only a matter of time before you treat me the same. The student shouldn’t have even talked to me without the permission of his/her teacher as it put both him and I in an awkward position. Few students these days think before action. Even talking to another teacher, school or organization without explicit consent from your teacher is a big no-no and shows that you are not a true student of Budo or understand what Bushido represents.

awaseIt is unquestionable that a serious student of Budo will not act without his teacher’s approval in any matters that concern Budo. This is an unwritten rule which comes with the study of Budo and belongs to a serious Dojo and is based on the two basic principles of Bushido, (the ethical code of the Samurai), loyalty and honor.

I have never considered myself as an ideal person or perfect Budoka and I have probably made all the mistakes that can be made and will surely make more in the future. What I do know is that each time I have made a mistake, not only could I not sleep several nights, but I still continue to carry the burden of my actions. However the outcome of it was my growth, not repeating those mistakes and becoming a better person. And in turn using my position as a Sensei, a teacher to educate my students and show them the right path. In many western countries especially the United States, educating people is a rather difficult task. Each one is a small General, each one thinks s/he is cleverer and knows better than anybody else. Many of them are “rebels” who believe protocol and tradition are irrelevant in our modern world and what can be more difficult for a teacher is that they are not disciplined individuals and working with them is almost a daily fight.

We can easily pre-frame the context of education as a Budoka simply by asking this question, “What is really important here as a student?” Having a genuine relationship with your teacher and gaining the respect of your teacher by showing fidelity and doing the right thing. After all if you have a sincere teacher he or she deserves that level of respect anyway. The alternative is that of rebelling and losing that respect and relationship forever. This is a two way street and must be reciprocated on both sides to be genuine.

The meaning of Chugi has universal importance not only among the traditional Japanese martial arts, but also to any person that wants the world to become a better place to live in, a healthier society, and to personally walk high, with dignity and self-respect with the knowledge of acting righteously. Acting right and paying respect should be done in the right measurement. The student-teacher relationship may be defined as the one who gives and the one who receives. Respect is the very fundamental basic rule in any martial art as well as in any kind of relation in society. It is, maybe, the highest and the most important principle in human life.

Today you are the child, but tomorrow you will be the parent. Right now you are a student of Budo, but later on you will be the teacher. Respecting others is respecting yourself. Doing the right thing is walking all your life with proudness and not with shame. Being a noble person with high self-esteem and admired by all.

In Oneness,