Presence, Joy, & Regret

Be grateful for the moments of joy you experience with those you love, no matter how brief they may be, because someday they will be but a memory. 

Neither time nor joy are promised to us. How much we experience of each in this life is largely a factor of providence. How well we experience each, however, is largely a matter of choice, the choice to be present. 

If we are fortunate enough to enjoy time with people we love and who love us in return, how that time is experienced is as important, perhaps more important, than the actual quantity of it. Whereas quantity is largely out of our control, quality is not. For however many joyful moments we are blessed to experience with our loved ones, it is entirely our responsibility to be present for them, to cherish them, and to make the most of them.

Presence is the absence of expectations, agendas, motives. It is the absence of distraction and disturbance, from within and without. It is openness to and acceptance of what is happening and being exactly who is needed in that moment for those who are there. 

Presence is service to the moment and those within that moment. In the end, the moments and people we were present for will become our memories. The ones we were not will become our regrets.  

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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