Our Story Of Becoming

We all need to feel supported in our pursuit of the person we are meant to be.

One of the greatest gifts we can receive from another person is to be believed by them, to have them see or hear the story we are trying to tell about who we are in the world and for them to believe that story. This type of belief is both empowering and uplifting. It gives us the permission we need to explore the places within ourselves we suspect are real and true, but are afraid will not be accepted or supported by the world around us.

We all want to be seen and heard in our own way. Having someone else believe what we are trying to say about who we imagine ourselves to be, even when our ability to express it has not yet fully formed into something clear and powerful, gives us the room to continue to grow into who we are. It tells us that it is okay to try, to fail, and to try again until we get it right, until what we feel and how we express those feelings converge into a single path leading us toward who we are meant to be.

This all takes time. It requires trust in and dedication to the process of becoming. Most of all, the process of becoming demands consistency. Once we know what we want to, or must, say with our lives, we cannot hesitate, we cannot waver, and we cannot stray from our path for too long lest we become lost in a world of distraction and confusion, unsure of who we are, who we are meant to be, and where we are headed. If we want others to believe us, we must first believe ourselves.


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.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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