“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,”
—U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven
To live in a constant state of stimulation is to live in a perpetual state of stress. Not only is stress unhealthy for us emotionally and physically, but it also affects the way that we make decisions and the way that we treat each other.
In a world of constant noise and distraction, with everyone and everything vying for our attention, our responses, and our reactions in every moment, we must find a way to look through the haze, to see the beauty that lies beneath the surface noise, and to behave accordingly.
It is unreasonable to think that we can ask the whole world around us to quiet down, to stop asking for so much from us, or to stop needing our attention and our participation. The world does not stop or slow down simply because we are overwhelmed or overextended.
If we are to break free of the toxic cycle of constant stimulus-response, it is up to step back, to breathe, to quiet ourselves so that we can act with integrity and calm, so that we can approach the world from a place of graciousness, instead of anxiety, fear, and aggression. This begins upon awakening. It is much more difficult to have a good day if we do not start it well.
“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, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu