What Is Your Story?

“There’s no such thing as a mistake. A mistake is an opportunity to do something else.”

—Ralph Steadman

“Perspective” a tattoo designed by my friend Tommie Parker aka Mountain Teep

The way we experience our life, the things we do, and the things that happen to us or around us, is quite often a matter of the story that we tell ourselves about these occurrences. In our story, are we the victim, the hero, the villain, or the innocent bystander? Did this particular experience set us back, push us forward, or keep us stuck where we are? Is our life an adventure, a tragedy, or a comedy?

Once we acknowledge that our perception of our experience is nothing more than a story, we gain the power to change the way that we tell that story to ourselves and to the world. If we face every experience with openness and curiosity, we give ourselves the permission to not be reactive, to not feel as if life is happening to us, but is happening with us.

By not being reactive to our experiences, we give ourselves the space and the opportunity to tell a new story, to begin writing it with consciousness and intention, to not see mistakes or to feel regret, but to see opportunities for learning, growth, and change.

“As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.”

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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