The Mental Arts Tidbit (Mar. 15)
Space is So Cool
The Mental Arts Tidbit for the Day
I once had a coach tell me to question everything that I heard.
It really messed me up, because what I needed at that time was balance and stability, not to doubt the voices of people trying to help me.
The Mental Arts is about life and martial arts. It is an admittedly broad topic filled with countless complexity. Yet, I try to keep the container on my expectations relatively small, particularly with regard to the level and frequency of influence that I may have. This comes from a recognition on my part that I won’t be able to tell how you are feeling at the moment and what you need. All I can do is tune into my intuition and write accordingly (or, write for myself).
I’ve found that in giving advice, in my experience, it is better to refrain from doing it unless asked and invited. Whenever I do feel the need to say something, I try ot ask myself if instead I can hold space for that person so that they may have the opportunity to consider their own experience.
In martial arts, there is this frequent discussion of spaciousness as well, whether in terms of filling space, taking away space, or creating spaces:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” - Bruce Lee
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there. - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Space comes into play when it comes to organizing your training time, thinking about the physical space you train in, the space you inhabit with your mind, the space to pull of a technique…you get the idea, space is infinite. And in that way, there is a connection to this notion of freedom and abundance, and a certain detachment of the limited way of thinking of making something “mine” or “yours.”
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Where might you make more space in your life, training, work, relationships, or play?