Fear is contagious, but so is hope.
Humans are emotionally porous creatures. How we experience the world, how we feel about what we experience, and how we express those feelings all have an affect on the people around us. Likewise, how others experience the world, how they feel about that experience, and how they express those feelings all have an affect on us.
Our emotions are not ours alone. They do not exist in isolation, contained securely within our hearts, minds, and bodies. We are not the only ones who experience them. Good or bad, they emanate out of us and are absorbed by others. Likewise, for better or worse, the emotions of the people around us become part of who we are and the way we experience our lives and the world.
It behooves us, then, to be careful with regards to the types of emotions we expose ourselves and others to on a regular basis. Negativity and positivity are both contagious, but because negativity demands nothing from us and positivity demands action, negativity seeps in and takes hold of us more easily than positivity does. For this reason, it is imperative that we do our best to both emit and absorb as much positivity as possible because how we feel and how we express that actually shapes the world around us.
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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