Stop And Listen To Yourself

How can you know what you want from life if you never stop to ask yourself?

Every morning, we wake up with an amazing opportunity. We wake up with the chance to start over. For a brief moment, we have a clean slate and nothing from the days, weeks, or months prior to this moment matter at all. This moment is fleeting, however, and every morning, we have to decide whether we embrace and honor it or whether we ignore it.

If we choose to ignore it, nothing will change. Our day will be just like the day before. We will check our phones to find out what others are saying about us. We will go through our emails to see what other people want or from us. We will get ready for work or school or whatever, and we will go out into the world to figure out what it needs from us today.

If, on the other hand, we choose to embrace, honor, and sit with this moment, this moment prior to any input, prior to any demands, and prior to any reminders of what others need, want, or say, everything can change. We will begin to see, separate from all of the noise and all of the distractions, that there is a voice deep inside of us that is trying to tell us something. It is trying to give us ideas. It is trying to give us vision. It is trying to give us direction.

At first, this voice will be very quiet. We will struggle to hear it. More often than not, it will escape us. Through practice, by giving it time, by giving it attention, and by giving it respect, it will become more clear. It will begin to shine through the darkness and reveal itself. If we find a way to channel this voice, we will find that we are far more insightful, creative, and powerful than we ever believed. There is far more to us than we have ever imagined.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-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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