The hearts at Mindset are deeply saddened by recent events at Umpqua Community College.
Unfortunately, it is my belief that this will not be the last school shooting to take place. The rash of violence spreading across the nation against our schools and the innocents within is nothing short of evil.
My appreciation goes to the first responders, medical responders, crisis centers and others, whose grim tasks now include and necessitate drill upon drill of reacting to such domestic terrorist emergencies. No longer carrying an element of sheer surprise, these tragedies have become scenarios whose practiced responses are now a matter of protocol in our American culture. The re-enforced skill sets of our task forces, and other emergency preparedness teams and individuals have no doubt increased the likelihood of surviving such a horrifying scenario, however, much needs to be discussed and implemented to avert the terrorist act in the first place. It is not enough to deal with the after effects. These occurrences MUST be eliminated. It is my opinion that the most influential to facilitate effective change in our own schools lie with us, the civilian public.
I often wonder how many parents have asked the serious questions to our schools regarding security and preventativemeasures, and if so asked, what are the responses?
Our government representatives and the like, will address various talking points around gun control, mental health, etc., all of which are vital and valid and necessary discussions to have, for quite some time to come. However, let us not forget that it is not the government’s responsibility to appoint school security to all the schools in the nation and regulate it. Our Legislative branch will provide rules to govern society, and the Judicial branch will set ramifications when violations occur. The police and others will respond to such violations. However, the job of keeping our schools safe lie with us, the proactive general public. It simply is not acceptable or effective to wait around in fear for someone, or some other body of people, to do the job we need to be doing, which is stand up for safety of our youth and other personnel in schools.
If you are a parent, have you questioned your child’s school on security procedures? Do you know what the procedure is concerning lock down? Do you know if those procedures are drilled with any regularity? What situations are covered? Most importantly, how is the school addressing preventative measures? How is the school physically secured? Are there increased security measures in place? Are there “No Gun Zone” signs posted? Does your school believe that is a deterrent? Would they consider additional preventative security measures if the budget for such could be supplemented? Would you pull your child/young adult out of the school if you were not satisfied with their answers? Is there a parent group formed and it is applying pressure (and support) to the school to make the hard decisions and take serious action?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Do your children know how to adapt to life where they hear about school shootings in the news regularly? Do they really feel safe? And there is so much more.
If it is not worth the effort to find the answers to the above, and more so, to do everything possible in our power to protect our children in school, then we may loose a lot more lives waiting for others to address these issues on our behalf. I believe in prevention, and it begins in our own neighborhoods. Speak up, form a collective, offer solutions, pressure the schools to respond, financially contribute. It’s not about who “should” be doing what, it is about doing the best we can and now. Lives matter.
There are so many facets to the issue of school violence and violence prevention. Enforcing physical boundaries against it, before it happens, may just be the easy part.
Here is the real question: If we could go back to the day before each school shooting, knowing what we know now, would there be one thing that could be done differently? If the answer is no, then there is no need to pay attention to this post.
I am always interested in the studies of crime statistics, probabilities and scenarios. Certainly these studies yield important information and can act as prediction indicators of the occurrence of crime but the information they gather, simply put, are generalities. IF such and such is in place, THEN we may assume that x,y,z will follow. Basically, when it comes to crime indicators, I think the if-then scenario concludes the following predictability reliability: Sometimes. When it comes to predicting whether or not a certain person will commit a violent crime one must consider the individual with their ever changing experiences, chemistry and soul status. I am sure that even the most organic of us cannot predict with any certainty what another will do from one moment to the next.
No one is immune from crime. If we were, we wouldn’t need all those statistics, probabilities and studies to predict its occurrence in the first place. Life itself is an “if-then” scenario. If we are in the path of any number of scenarios that manifest into a violent crime, then we must know what to do. Danger is always brewing somewhere.
In terms of safety, we simply are safe until we are not. Sounds simple but it is true. Here’s another if-then scenario to think about. If you learn nothing, then you will know nothing. Although our basic instinct may be to survive in the face of danger, that often is not enough to actually survive. It is not enough to want to survive if you don’t know how.
Logically speaking, there are just too many threatening scenarios to think about preparing for. At the end of the day, we live with so many risks all around us that it just doesn’t make sense to consider them all and wonder which one we will most probably have to deal with. We rely on studies and statistics, to make educated choices about our safety based on our best guess of where we fit into those statistics and that is helpful, however, crime doesn’t always make sense therefore statistics can not be 100% accurate and only so much of our society can be patrolled at once.
Simply put you will never really know what is coming your way until it is happening.
The only thing we can really rely on is ourselves. The best defense to the myriad of risks that ebb and flow around each of our interactions in life is to know where we stand within them. By it’s very nature, violence is not a predictable event. If it were, no one would become a victim, and clearly, there are victims of violent crime every day all day long.
What safety really becomes is another if-then scenario. Simply put, if I am attacked, then I need to know what to do to survive. If I know what to do then it doesn’t really matter if I am attacked. I know how to defend myself so I will. That skill will help me get out of trouble. It is the same way that I approach renting a car at the airport. If I know how to drive, then it really doesn’t matter what make or model they hand me the keys to. If I know how to drive, then I will and increase my chances or arriving safely because I have the basic skill. You cannot always predict which threat in life you will have to deal with, but if you know how to protect yourself, then your chances of survival increase no matter what situation you find yourself in. But only if you have the skills.
We are not born with appropriate self-defends strategies because the nature of threats against us change with the climate of the era. However, it is essential that we do learn to protect ourselves because we never know which situation we will be handed. Without skills, we live a life of chance of which threat we may actually encounter, and common sense tells us that it is not a matter of If, but a matter of when.
Mindset Self-Defenese offers workshops, products and a cutting edge magazine dedicated to the self-defense, personal protection and safety of women. Learn more at http://www.mindsetselfdefense.com
Domestic Abuse is an umbrella term that covers different dimensions of abusive relationships: verbal, emotional, physical, and spiritual. It is important to understand and recognize the traits of an abuser as well as the traits of being in the victim position in order to transform into healthy change. Here are some of the traits of an abusive partner:
• Competitive with his/her
• Quick with comebacks or put-downs
• Lack of compassion
• Unable to be empathic
• Has difficulty listening
• Angers easily
• Shuts Down/goes dark
• Acts like a nice person to others
• Often is involved in one or more addictions
After living with this type of personality over time, the victim begins to experience a form of brainwashing. Here are the characteristics of brainwashing:
1. Omnipotence – the abuser behaves like he/she has all the power
2. Futility of the situation – the victim Is led to believe there is no way out
3. Threats – the abuser intimidates and undermines the confidence of the victim
4. Isolation – the victim is frequently barred from having outside attachments
5. Occasional Crumb – once in a while the abuser does something nice to keep the victim believing that things are going to improve.
Here is an example of the abusive system: Bill and Mary were married for three years and were very involved in their church activities. Bill was extremely jealous if Mary wanted to do any activity outside of work or the church, and would become threatened, and would proceed to “brainwash” his wife. Let’s look at the brainwashing cycle using Bill and Mary as an example.
1. Omnipotence – Bill was an elder in the church and wielded his power as a Godlike figure. He would speak down to Mary and criticize her imperfections.
2. Futility of the situation – Bill would denigrate Mary’s looks, her lack of education, and her confidence; often saying things like, “no one would ever want you.”
3. Threats – Bill would threaten that if Mary left him, she would be damned by the congregation and banned from the church, her primary support system.
4. Isolation – Bill prohibited Mary from being away from him by tormenting her with constant calls and texts when she was away from the home.
5. Occasional Crumb – when Bill sensed that Mary was maxed out from his abusive behavior, he would switch gears and temporarily act like the partner she always wished he would be.
If any of these red flags apply to you, please remember what you deserve to experience in your relationship:
• To communicate and feel heard and respected for your thoughts and feelings
• To feel safe and acceptable just as you are
• To not suffer personal attacks.To be able to accept constructive feedback without feeling worthless.
• To receive a genuine, heartfelt apology,without caveats or conditions.
• To be with a partner who can take responsibility for his/her anger and communicate it in a constructive way that serves to bring you closer together.
• The right to say “no.”
• The freedom to grow and experience outside interests.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you will need help to debrief from the brainwashing and guidance to lead you out of the fog of conflict. Please seek the appropriate support and you will find your strength and renew your faith in yourself.
Romance novels and blockbuster movies have been written about men who are courageous, strong, disciplined, loyal, generous and honest. Such works move men deep in their souls, because many of us know we are not who we were born to be.
Chivalry, which may be defined as a code of conduct and rules for behavior of an individual or group, dates back to the Medieval period which lasted from the 5th to the 15th century in Europe. The Medieval period began when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, continued through the Renaissance Era and into the late Middle Ages. Chivalry is often associated with the title of knighthood, a rank of high honor conferred upon men by a monarch or other leader. During this period, knighthood was typically bestowed to horse-mounted warriors who exemplified military prowess, gallantry, unwavering loyalty, social fellowship and service to others.
Knights were closely linked with the Catholic church and displayed moral characteristics such as: honor, courtesy and love, and were expected to protect those who could not protect themselves, particularly elders, women and children. Additionally, knights were highly disciplined, honest, and respected the honor of women at all times.
Now that it is clear where chivalry came from and its premises, let’s investigate its application in modern day society.
First and foremost, I believe it is hard wired into every man by God Himself to have the heart of a warrior, as described above. God Himself is a warrior and has made men in His image. Sadly, it seems that many men do not recognize this aspect of their nature. Since we live in a nation that is heavily protected by so many of these modern day knights, the rest of us may believe that there is no need to be a knightly man. I would categorically disagree. On the contrary, we are in dire need of men to be knights now more than any other time in history.
We watch as traditional marriages decline and rates of domestic violence rise. We witness the objectification of women and watch as pornography becomes more and more accessible to our youth. Human sex trafficking is one of the quickest rising crimes today, both within and outside of our country’s borders, and illegal drugs are becoming legal. It is hard not to see the cause of the degradation of our society and our world, as the fall of man and our inability to live up to who we are all born to be. Can we not look at man and…read more here
I talk about lifestyle quite a bit, more specifically martial arts or the warrior lifestyle. So what is it?
I remember when I started training in martial arts; I was 11 years old and I started studying Kenpo Karate. My Sensei at the time had a “mat chat” with a group of us. There were 15 or so children in the group and Sensei had us huddle up for a story. Sensei started by asking us to imagine a set of twins growing up together in virtually identical ways. As they got older seemingly small differences started to emerge. One of the twins would get up early every day and review the school work he had done the day before and make sure he was fully prepared for the day ahead. The other twin would sleep in and rush to get ready at the last minute, sloppily throwing together what he needed for the day. The twin who got up early generally had enough time to eat a good, healthy breakfast and pack a good lunch for the day. The other twin would grab whatever was available and then buy chips and snacks from the vending machines. After school, the early bird twin would go home and immediately do his homework and make sure his tasks and chores were all finished. Following that he would spend the remaining hours exercising, riding his bike, or participating in other physical activities. The other twin would come home, eat fast food or candy, and then play video games and spend the minimum amount of time available to do some of his homework, often times not having enough time to finish it.
The story had more depth to the behavioral patterns in both twins but I do not remember them all. What I remember most was the construct of the story and the questions Sensei asked after. At the conclusion of the story, Sensei asked us kids what differences we saw in the twins. It was clear what they were, so the next question he asked us was, what would be the differences between the two in a week’s worth of time. Not much right? So, then Sensei asked what would be the differences in 6 months or a year? Well, at this point the conversation got real interesting. Some kids said that the one twin would be out of shape from playing video games all the time and eating junk food so much. Others talked about the twin having bad teeth and cavities due to the bad diet. Others talked about the poor grades the twin would get because he never did his homework completely, and was always ill prepared for the day ahead of him. This list went on and the funny thing is that we children really saw the side effects of the “bad” twin. Rarely did anyone comment on the side effects and successes the “good” twin would receive based on his lifestyle.
“Instead of explaining why you’re complaining, change your reality altogether.”
When we think of what holds us back, we generally think of things outside of ourselves. It’s our rational mind’s way of finding a source for the “problem” and the ego’s way of shirking off responsibility and true independence. While the people, places, and situations around us may not be ideal, our reality is contingent upon the state of being we choose to create from within.
Many of us are familiar with those people in our lives who will seize any opportunity to complain about their current situations. Not only will they complain, but they’ll endlessly explain their justifications. When these people receive help, however, they typically reject it outright or don’t put enough faith and trust in the potential solution in order for it to make a significant change. This is because these types of people aren’t actually looking for their situations to change; they’re simply lost in their created cycle and refuse to make the necessary changes to get out. After all, doing the same thing over a long period of time can bring us to a nice sense of complacency, no matter what the situation is like.
The next time you feel the desire to complain or explain why you’re complaining, try using the same amount of effort to come up with creative solutions around the issue at hand. When we focus on the negative aspects of a situation, we will call more of that into our lives. Instead, focus on what it is that would make you feel happy, fulfilled, and abundant. Do this until you can feel it in a real, visceral way, and don’t be afraid to “dream big.” When you’ve captured that feeling, hold onto it and fuel that energy into all that you do, all that you feel, and all that you are.
Ironically, many of the times we face opposition or feel as though we’re dealing with a problematic situation, we’re not dealing with our own issues at all, but rather the issues we’ve taken on from others. For example, we all have met people who’ve said “I wish I could do ______ with my life.” Though what’s filled within the blank often seems farfetched, most times it’s quite achievable, albeit sometimes by being tweaked a bit. As beings living on this Earth and within the scrutiny of “society,” we tend to shoot ourselves down before we’ve had a chance to fly. We think, we feel, and we stop. What we should really be doing is thinking and feeling less about our current situations and instead take action to gain tracking on our future. Then, once we’ve made several real attempts, we can better gauge where we are and what we can put in place to get to where we want or need to be.
Your effort should always be indicative of what you desire. If you’re willing to complain about something 10 times a day, you should be just as willing to put the effort forth to usher change into your life 10 times a day. If these numbers don’t match, be honest with yourself. The goal is to reach a point in which you don’t feel it necessary to complain at all and naturally strive to change your life in positive, impactive ways. If you’re living solely in your mind rather than creating your physical reality, you’ll never be satisfied. Don’t be afraid to make what seem like mistakes, either. Be brave enough to step outside of your comfort zone and share yourself with others and with the world itself.
The body is an extraordinary vessel that gives us the opportunity to experience life here on Earth. It heals itself and asks for very little. Though our bodies are not who we are on a soul level, they must be respected. It’s important for us to treat them with the right care and consideration in order for us to optimize our Earthly experience. Know what you’re putting into your body. You wouldn’t blindly take up someone else’s belief system that’s thrown at you, and the same should be true for your body. This holds true on both a physical level and how you view your body.
When you’re choosing the foods you eat, research what they contain. Try your best to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet. So often we deem food and exercise as “things for other people,” but simple changes can have profound effects – not experienced or felt until they’re put into practice. The better we treat our bodies, the higher our energy will be, and the more adequately prepared we’ll be for the challenges we face and the things we’d like to accomplish.
Be sure to not let the opinions or lifestyles of other people overtake you. Though you should be receptive to science and information provided to you, it’s incredibly important to live life on your own terms. If people around you have a body image issue, don’t take their issue on yourself. Be comfortable in your body, listen to it, and work in concert with it. The more in sync you are with your body, the more you will be in all areas of your life. The best practice to put in place with the body is one with discipline. If you’re not a person who naturally thinks to exercise or eat properly, start making a list and follow it one task at a time without glossing over all of it and feeling overwhelmed. Some people have a hard time taking initiative on their own, so seek out community and try to get a friend or a group together to exercise or construct some meal plans together. Not only is it helpful to have people in your circle who are on the same page, but it’s fun and exciting and will help elongate the momentum you build.
Taking action on a soul-level is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Your soul is who, what, where, how, and why you are. If you don’t connect to it, your foundation will be rocky at best. Because the soul is not a physical entity, people often make the mistake of thinking it’s wishy-washy and can be viewed and treated as such. That mentality can’t be farther from the truth, and should instead be approached with as much discipline and severity as any other part of your life. Grounding or centering yourself will help you cope with the stressors and drama of living life as a human being. If you’re sensitive, you’ll pick up on other people’s energies easily and sometimes it’s hard to tune these frequencies out. Most of us in our daily lives encounter a vast array of people, both online and off. Without noticing it, we’re picking up on the vibrations they emit – and usually, we’re taking them with us into our very private, sacred places within us without even noticing it. This is one of the root causes of having anxiety or feeling “off” without good reason. If you’re feeling this way, start to peel the layers off like an onion. Whenever an untoward thought or feeling creeps its way into your being, single it out and affirm that it is not a part of your life path or what you need to experience at this time. Keep repeating this until you’ve sent away all that no longer serves you.
When you experience thoughts or feelings that make you uncomfortable but are in fact lessons you need to experience, simply quiet the mind and step into your own private stillness. Then, ask what it is you need to learn from this lesson and how you can process it in an non-harmful, peaceful way. This method can be put in place in all areas of your life with all issues. Remember that the experience is not the same as how we interpret it; though Earth can be a very rigorous and grueling place to grow and evolve, we endure experiences because they’re for our higher good – or someone else’s. If you have a traumatic experience but process it in a healthy way, you can then go on to share the experience with others in a beneficial way which can help prevent pain and turmoil in their lives.
Another great way to connect to the soul is by means of breathing exercises and meditation. So many people write these two things off because they’ve been branded as something exclusive to monks or spiritual masters. On the contrary, these two processes are readily and easily accessible to all. When doing a breathing or meditation exercise, focus on quieting the body down. Get yourself into a comfortable position that won’t distract you in any way. This can mean lying down, sitting upright in a chair, sitting pretzel-style on the floor, or any other position that resonates with you. There truly is no wrong way – it is your experience, and yours alone. When you’ve gotten comfortable, visualize a white light pouring in from the top of your head down through to your toes. This represents pure, cleansing energy that helps to wipe out all the debris within you in all forms. Once you’re filled with this light, take a deep breath in through the nose and visualize this air as being entirely pure, safe, clean, positive, and invigorating. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale through the mouth. The exhale should represent the emptying out of anything negative or that which you wish to do away with. The meditation part generally happens quite naturally after the breathing exercise. Simply relax and enter a very serene, safe place within you that isn’t contingent upon anything Earthly or man-made. Most people find this to be a place of rejuvenation and will receive some of their best ideas for creative projects or future endeavors.
After you’ve connected with your soul, you won’t differentiate you and your soul as being apart from one another. You’ll simply feel connected, whole, and at one with the Universe. All of the best and most important work comes from this place within you, so trust in it and allow for it to grow into something magnificent.
“I am fully capable of taking charge of my life. I’m making the commitment in the present moment to use my energy for the betterment of my life as opposed to the destruction of it. I become the reality I allow for, and I choose the reality that serves my highest good and the highest good of those around me.”
Kaiden Blake, 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.
Being a victim of bullying myself when I was young, I understand the effects bullying can have on a child’s life. All the motivation that a child has to succeed in school, sports, and any endeavor in life, comes from a child’s confidence and self-esteem. A bully robs a child of those very important attributes, and that can have a negative impact on the rest of their life.
Of all the memories I have of growing up, the times I was bullied remain some of the most vivid of all my memories. I can still tap into the emotions I felt in those moments. Lets first make sure we have a clear understanding of what bullying is and is not. If someone calls you a name, teases you about something, attempts to manipulate you for their benefit, or even puts their hands on you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting bullied.
There are plenty of mean, selfish people in the world who do and say such things to people. Bullying is when someone, or a group of people, single one person or a group of people out, and routinely aggravate, belittle, humiliate, intimidate, abuse, etc. that person or group. Bullying is usually not a one-time, isolated incident. It typically continues for days, weeks, or even months, if not dealt with.
Bullies are often misrepresented as children with low self-esteem, or children who suffer from abuse at home. In fact these categories make up a very small percentage of the bullies who are out there. According to the book, “Bullies and Victims in Schools,” by Valerie E. Besag, 96% of children will be bullied at least once in their lifetime. Of those children, 46% will suffer poor grades or will abstain from extra-curricular activities because of the bullying.
I want to help you give your child the confidence, self-esteem, and knowledge needed to defend themselves against bullies. Teaching children self-respect and self-worth are where the help must start. Instill in children, a belief system whereby they can say “I am valuable and worth protecting.” Furthermore, 2% of those children will commit suicide because of constant harassment from classmates.
When those beliefs are instilled in children two things occur:
1. They will have the confidence to stand up for themselves when faced with abuse.
2. They will realize the value of respect and will be less likely to bully others.
HOW TO HANDLE A BULLY
This is an integral part of our philosophy at Premier Martial Arts. It is in understanding conflict that we can begin to overcome problems, and prevent it. If conflict should arise, we have the option of neutralizing it quickly and humanely. Over the years, we have devised this simple and effective program to resolve conflict and give the student a way to resolve a conflict peacefully and walk away with dignity. A great teacher taught me that the best way of self defense is to “have no enemies”. This is the basis for this guide.
MAKE FRIENDS. The person with the most friends always wins! If, through kindness and respect, diplomacy and charm, we set out to be the friendliest student at our school, we are less likely be bullied. As parents, we can help our children build these valuable social skills through modeling and role playing.
TELL EVERYONE you have a problem with this person, especially parents and teachers. If any trouble arises, everyone will know who created the problem. It is the responsibility of the SCHOOL to keep our children safe from bullying. Some schools claim to have a “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy. But many times this is just lip service. You can’t prevent bullying before it happens, and schools don’t expel every student who bullies others. However, if bullying is reported by your child, the school MUST take action immediately to address the situation. If it continues the bully must be removed from the school.
AVOID. Keep away from the bully. Don’t return harsh insults, or looks. Stay out of the same room and simply don’t listen to their comments. You can’t be bullied if the bully isn’t in your presence.
DRAW A LINE.Teach your child to create a safety cushion if someone bullies them or makes them feel scared. When someone is bullying you and you can’t get an adult involved, it’s best to take action as soon as you can. If someone calls you a name or puts their hands on you, tell them to stop. As you get older you will learn the importance of handling problems when they are small. Remember, it’s a lot easier to blow out a match then to put out a forest fire. Do not ignore problems. If your belly hurts, tell your mom, if you’re having trouble in school, ask the teacher for help right away and if a bully is picking on you, take action and tell them to stop. Bullies want to pick on easy victims who won’t stick up for themselves.
If the bully continues, then you will increase the volume of your voice and put on a more intense facial expression. Once again create space, and in a louder more confident voice say: “I said, don’t touch me!!!”Tell them: “I don’t want to fight, but I will protect myself!” Show confidence, get double arms distance in between you and them and put your hands up.
NEUTRALIZE. This means to run away, defend yourself and do whatever is necessary to keep yourself from being injured. No one has the right to hurt you. And no one has the right to put their hands on you in an aggressive manner. You DON’T have to wait for them to attack you before you take action, but BE CAREFUL!! If you don’t have the fighting skills to protect yourself, don’t fight. It will only lead to you taking a beating and getting further humiliated. Instead, get the training you need to protect yourself. While nobody has a right to hurt you in any way, YOU are responsible for your own personal safety and developing the skills necessary to protect yourself.
Premier Martial Arts
Offering the finest in family martial arts, our Personal Achievement Program focuses on human development. Our proven character building Black Belt Success System instills empowering life skills including:
* Self Esteem Building – promoting healthy attitudes and well being about oneself * Focus Skills – promotes increased concentration and listening skills which improve grades * Discipline & Respect – instills good habits at home & school * Self Control – to focus energy in a positive manner * Goal Setting & Achievement – to break through limitation
For seminars or information on classes where these strategies and more are taught, call Premier Martial Arts at: (602) 909-0840.
What if someone told you to run as fast as you can into the side of a brick building — they convinced you that you had the power to run through walls just like in the movies and you tried it. And then after two weeks in the hospital and six weeks of rehab, you could finally walk again. OK, so now someone else is telling you to run into what looks like a brick wall. Would you do it? Of course not! Not unless they show you that it’s really just a towel that only looks like a brick wall and will easily move aside when you run through it. Many of the things that we believe to be solid brick walls in the world of fitness are really just towels that — when you finally believe you can run past them — they move quietly to the side and let you through.
What brick-wall beliefs are you holding on to? Let’s examine a couple:
Eating more will make me fat!
As you run toward this one, do you believe you can run through it, or does it stop you flat? You’ve been to the seminars with the fitness professionals and the nutrition specialists who tell you that you need to eat enough to support your body. If you starve yourself, your body will actually hold onto the fat because it wants to survive. But you’ve also heard over and over again that you need to eat less to lose weight. If you reduce your calories by 3,500 in a week, you will lose one pound of fat, right? So you should really just count calories, right? But the true professionals are telling you to eat enough to support your body and your goal of losing weight. You need to concentrate on eating the right foods each day: lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and good fats, and not just focus on calories. Eat more to weigh less, they say.
Can you accept this fact and run toward that brick wall, believing it is merely a towel that will wave as you blow past it? I know it sounds difficult because that brick wall seems so real — but you need to believe the science and your trainer, your doctor, your dietician. Run confidently toward lasting success in changing your body.
I won’t get lean unless I add hours of cardio to my workout routine.
This is a huge misconception, and a big brick wall that stops a lot of people, that hours of cardio are necessary to creating a lean body. Consider Heather, who was a successful competitive bodybuilder. She spent 2 hours a day on any number of cardio machines as she prepared for her competitions. Then she had kids, 2 beautiful children for whom she is very grateful and with whom she now enjoys each day to the fullest. She came to me to “get her body back and feel better about herself.” She didn’t want to compete anymore, but she wanted to get back into her pre-pregnancy clothes. As we started her program, she kept asking me when we would start incorporating the intensive cardio that she was used to.I told her that she really didn’t need it. She trusted me…sort of. She nervously followed the program that she later realized fit, amazingly, into her life. Just minutes each day — not hours. Time to spend with her kids. Real food — clean food — not coolers filled with plain chicken that she had to haul along on her vacations. Heather ran toward that brick wall that she thought was solid, that wall that told her she needed to kick up her cardio into high gear. She didn’t realize it was just a towel that looked like a brick wall until she went into her closet and tried on clothes that she hadn’t worn since before her children were born. Those clothes fit, and looked better on her than even before her competition! She was able to run right through that brick wall that said she needed to commit hours each day to cardio in order to look and feel her best!
These are just two examples of common “brick wall” beliefs.
What beliefs are holding you back from real success? Take some time to examine your goals and the typical way you approach them. Do you try to lose weight by starving yourself? By spending hours doing cardio on boring machines? Maybe you should re-examine your beliefs and trust the fitness professional in your life to help you run through these brick walls into the gratifying arena of true success!
Dianne has been providing professional weight management and sports conditioning training for individuals since 2002 and opened The Conditioning Classroom, a private personal training studio, in 2006. She earned the prestigious designation of Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist from the National Sports Conditioning Association in 2007. Dianne is dedicated to helping others learn to truly live as opposed to simply existing. From self-defense classes which teach living as an acute response, to helping create the right exercise and nutrition plan so that life becomes chronically enjoyable, Dianne and the trainers at The Conditioning Classroom have helped countless numbers of individuals become vibrantly alive!
Imagine you had the ability to embark on a journey into a brave new world, one in which you have never seen or heard of, one in which you do not speak the language and no one even really resembles you. The purpose of your journey is to navigate this new world, its terrain and elements, master its’ inhabitants’ language, and align with its’ culture. If successful, you have would have the opportunity to experience a new world full of natural beauty, empathetic compassion, soulful inter-connection and a myriad of physical sensations. Additionally, this new adventure holds the potential to learn skills and concepts beyond your current imagination. Your mind would expand exponentially. Best of all, this new environment is one full of hope, excitement and support where you can live, learn, grow and love in peace and safety.
What would you feel like and how would you behave once you have returned from your journey? How would it change you? Would you want your loved ones to go to the same place and have the same experience that you had? Would you dedicate your time and effort in assisting with their ability to journey as you did?
The fact is that we, as human beings, have already made the jump into that journey.
The day before you were born, you were very much alive. You did not breathe as you do now, but absorbed your oxygen and nutrients from the fluid that surrounded you. What you heard of the sounds of the world, and whatever you could see, also first passed through this same fluid. You had virtually no control of your body, knew nothing of the new world’s language, and had no idea what another human being even looked like. The journey you were on was completely foreign. If there were a way to infuse the knowledge to the vulnerable you that in 24 hours you would be breathing not water, but air for oxygen, eating food, learning the basics of a foreign language, navigate obstacles, see, hear and feel through new, yet undiscovered senses, in a land you could not even imagine, life would certainly at that point be utterly and completely unrecognizable to you. Yet, that is what ear and every one of us have done. Our truth and very existence changed in yet a few precious moments. I wonder how many of us would have in fact been brave and courageous enough to have been born, if given the choice?
There are other times in history where truths have changed. In Galileo’s time, the truth of the world was that its’ surface was flat. If we traveled to the “edge,” it was believed we would simply fall off into an endless abyss. Today we all know that concept was not the truth, simply “the truth of the time” and what the masses believed in, so for a while, it became their truth. What kind of spirit, fortitude, and belief in oneself, must it have taken for his theories to be pushed through until proven.
Then there were the myriad of courageous explorers in days gone by who traveled and colonized new lands. Armed with tools, ships and the like, their beliefs and sheer will were probably among their most important assets to continue onward. They just kept pushing forward toward a new world, a new life, and new truths.
The funny thing about some truths, is that they are not just there waiting to be discovered. There is no concrete substance to a truth that one seeks and then finds. Truth exists only in the minds of those who believe it, and the resulting culture is the manifestation of those thoughts and beliefs. Truth is evidenced into existence through action and behavior.
Fast forward to 2014 and our cultures have their own sets of current truths. One truth is that we live in a place of much beauty. Our lands are graced with natural beauty from majestic mountains to red rock canyons to turquoise waters and pure sandy beaches. We are blessed with an abundance of colors, changing and blending constantly everywhere, different species of life to live amongst and learn from, and the power of self-renewing passion and inner strength, that we can draw from and share with others of our own kind. Yet, there are other truths. The truths that some subscribe to that cause humans to choose to kill each other, imprison each other, torment, deny, and destroy each other. Clearly the former are simply supplied to us, luckily we come by such beauty naturally. Violence is always a choice. One that begins in the mind, out of fear.
The day before we were born we had no choice, and we had no fear, only progression. There was only one way to go, forward, and why not? Hopefully, that transition was into loving arms and a new beautiful world full of hope and possibility. That was the truth for some people, and not for others. Clearly then there is no one truth, and the only thing we can control is ourselves. There is only your truth that you bring to the world through your thoughts and your actions. This is our choice as human beings.
What would you choose if you had no fear? What could you become? Would you choose to shine with beauty as a gift to all those around you if you knew you would be accepted? Would you, like Galileo, take the natural gifts in front of us and pursue new ways to interpret and combine these elements to open up the boundaries of our environment? Or maybe it is simply enough to see the need in just one other person, and respond. If you are reading this, you probably have been around long enough to figure out, that there are many improvements we can make in the way we are living today and we could all use a little more grace.
No one asked you years ago if you were brave and courageous enough to leave the only home you ever knew and be born alone into a strange new one.Today, however, you can ask yourself if you are brave enough to choose a new attitude of enlightened empowerment, enhanced encouragement, deeper consideration, empathy, kindness, and support. If we did accept this challenge, that would certainly be the ultimate form of self-defense, because we simply would not need any.