Just relax…

Yes, we can talk about meditation, deep breath, yoga and other East-inspired practices to calm down and get through any potentially perceived tense situation. Like anything else, it takes repetition, some kind of a process, to reach a certain level of mastery. My years of training, both in my schools/universities and in sports, have helped me get more and more confident about the arts I was (and still am) studying. Confidence, however, keeps getting challenged, and it is a good thing because one gets to constantly learn. As I just passed yet another test to now be called a Sensei in martial arts, I am digging into more history, and philosophies, to support and refine this discipline.

Planning a project, grappling with its logistics, taking its milestones down to the minute, if not the second, requires some method. One may not be better than another one: like anything, it takes practice, and an appreciation for and understanding of what calm looks like under pressure. As Japanese swordsman Musashi’s philosophy and tactics are dissected in his book of five rings, also interpreted by Stephen Kaufman, how one handles the operational phase of what has been planned reveals the training s/he has gone through (where training combines education and experience). “Masters plan for contingency even when it appears that they are only improvising”: simple.

Just relax

Retreat at Skaha Lake, BC © OFL

Remaining calm at all times is not necessarily natural, especially when something unexpected gets thrown at one unprepared person. Patience, action, understanding, learning and regular practice bring an advantage to the one committing to that discipline, keeping engaged to the environment in a detached manner, emotionally speaking. It is easy to get overwhelmed in a tensed situation, and I learned that any move to a target demands three basic components: strength (more from the mind than from the body), relaxed demeanor and focus. With these, and a minimum of distraction(s), if at all, delivering a project (or a kick) is actually easier and more accurate, as long as the objective is clear and determination set on the desired outcome.

Of course, plans and reality may not match (there is almost always a little glitch that contributes to building memories): that is when a relaxed and devoted attitude becomes essential in implementing and composing any kind of “what if” scenarios. Predispositions in hyperventilation and resistance to unfamiliar ideas can be a concern in emergency circumstances (or any situation, really). Multitasking may appear quite appealing at crushing times, taking up one thing at a time still proves to be wise and more adequate, effective and auspicious in the longer run. Because it takes time to learn how to calm down and still be focused and industrious, never stop learning… and relax.