“Your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive. Keep it tight, quality over quantity.” Anonymous
Hey man, I feel we got cut off today and needed more time to talk. I can’t even imagine what is going on in your mind right now. To be “betrayed” week by week by the state once you had a plan in place for the date they originally gave you. I am sorry that I cannot empathize with you. I have never been in the situation that you have… owning a gym, having to close, figuring out a game plan to reopen, being told you can, then getting the rug pulled out from underneath you. I have no words. These are simply strange times.
At what point do we say “Enough is enough!?” At what point do we give up our resolve to be as safe as “we’re told” to be? Are the pandemic numbers real? If someone from the gym gets infected will they get sick? Would they have gotten sick from the gym? Who’s infected but has no symptoms but would be considered a carrier and an “infector?” What if you become infected? Do you believe that you’d be immune? Your wife? Kids? Dad? What if you’re being too cautious and missing out on time that you and your members will NEVER get back? Will BJJ always be there for you? Will you lose friendships? Can you rebuild if you hold out? Will your business partner be able to support his family if closed? Can you sleep at night with your decision? Is the pandemic running you down? Is there a pandemic? Is your vision of BJJ and the gym strong enough to weather this storm even if it were 10 years long? Can you live without it? All shit that I’m thinking of and I don’t have the mental or physical investment that you do. I do NOT want to make the situation worse nor do I want to cause you anymore anxiety. That’s being a shitty friend and it isn’t my intent. I guess, selfishly, I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes and how I’d mentally deal and organize all that is going on. But it’s not my choice. It’s not my struggle. So how to move forward?
I have no clue man. None. I can give the same BS reasons that you and I want to believe, and try to practice, but sometimes end up being empty gestures… “It’s going to be fine, we have our health, a home, food, family, love, friends, and even a paycheck from my job. It’s really not a big deal, I, and everyone I cherish are healthy and that’s all that matters. My friends tell me that whatever decision I make is the right one and that they support me.”
But this is a deciding moment. Do you really believe these things or are they talking points for times when we are comfortable in life? Are these statements even accurate if you are seriously committed to the mindset we’ve spent so much time talking about recently? Am I off the mark and you have a completely different view? Is it easy for me to talk from my ivory tower because he and his wife still have jobs, are comfortable, and do not know what it’s like to own something that is slipping between their fingers? What do YOU feel deep down is the thing to do? From all of your meditations, to yoga, to the clarity you feel from rolling, what you teach, what you discuss with your wife, what you’re teaching your kids, what do you feel is the righteous path? These are tough questions man. I don’t know how I can help other than to shut the fuck up and listen to what you have to say? Answer questions only when asked? All I know man, is that at this moment, right now, focus on what is the right thing to do. Maybe it’s deleting this email. Maybe it’s playing a game with the kids. Reading them a book. Talking about life with your wife. Taking a deep breath. Writing in your journal. Going for a walk. Going fishing. Breaking shit. Going outside and screaming as loud as you can. Step. Go in a direction, it doesn’t fucking matter which direction it is in. You can ALWAYS readjust your bearings. But right now, live in the moment. Do what feels instinctive. Do it with conviction. Belief. Trust your wisdom. Trust your virtues. You have absolutely ZERO reason not to trust your intuition… where has it TRULY failed you in life? Where you couldn’t recover? Or say you’re sorry? Or not be able to correct your direction? You have a true and calibrated moral compass. Use it. But make sure you believe in yourself. All the time. During this shitstorm. It is during THIS time in history that tests a person. What the fuck are you going to do about it? Bitch? Of course, you’re human, and any one of us would do the same. But you can’t bitch forever. You have to man up. Deal with one obstacle at a time. And get through it. Because Life really doesn’t care about our feelings. And we can’t change life. It is a universal law. So work your way through it. Through the obstacle. ONE AT A TIME. And that’s all you can do.
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”
I love you man. I’m here for you. I want you to be happy.
Thanks for this one, man. Wish I had checked my email a week ago! Anyways, the answer is, and always will be, to remain in the present moment and only leave it on MY terms when I need to plan or draw upon my past experiences. I have made plans that are aligned with my authentic moral compass, and can honestly say I have done my honest best each day since this all started. All I can do now is stay present and follow the plan that I set out. I cannot control the past or the future, and realize that trying to do so will only create suffering.
To me, these past 2 years of competition have been the perfect training for the situation we now face. It is a chance to practice the Mushin mind in a new, real life scenario. I am extremely grateful for the mental work we’ve put in together throughout these last 2 years. I’d imagine I would be struggling much more if it wasn’t for developing all those coping strategies. So, THANK YOU!
Act. Do. Step. Going forward is the only way to purposefully go through life. Will we fail? I hope so. Will we recover? You better. Does recovery have to be instant? NO. But move. Move towards a result. Move in any direction. Make sure you step with both feet, one after the other. Not one step at a time with the same foot leading you to an infinite circle while being truly lost at the same time. It’s all we can do, right? Gather as much information as possible to make that informed decision that we think is the right one. Commit to it. Adjust. Re-adjust. And again. But keep forging forward. We are wired to move with purpose each day or we’d all end up in bed for 24 hours. We have to keep evolving. Very few of us have the luxury where we stand at a point so when where we step, it is in one direction. No one really lives at the poles. Where a single step is always in one direction. We have choices. And sitting around and worrying about the choice we made leaves us with anxiety.
“The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.”
~ L. A. Seneca
Take the step. Believe in your experiences to guide you. No one said you had to race. Or run. Or even jog. Just take a step. You can always correct your course. In fact, you WILL correct your course. This is how we grow. No one said we can’t use the guard rails to bounce us back on the road. These rails come from experience. Where do you get it? From stepping. Go do what YOU intuitively know what is right. Maybe what you believe to be right for you might not be right for others. It’s not up to you, that’s up to them. No one said they have to follow your path. BUT, you must follow yours. And if you do, without reservation, without hesitation, with all your being, your love, soul, and purpose, and as Rich Roll would say, the Universe has no choice but to conspire to help you.
“There is no genius without a touch of madness.”
~ L. A. Seneca