If energy can only be changed, not created or destroyed, we must decide what kind of change we are going to make with the energy we have.
We do not get to choose all of the input we receive in our lives. We do not get to decide the circumstances we are born into and we only have some modicum of say about the relationships we have and the joys and tragedies we experience along the way.
Whether we like it or not, all of this has an effect on us. It changes us. In turn, as we change, we perceive and interact with the world differently and, through us, the world is then changed as well.
Much of the time, this all happens without us really being conscious of it, without us even noticing it, and without us having much control over it. At some point, however, if we want to lead lives of purpose, we must stop to acknowledge our role in the cycle of change.
While all that happens to us may not always be within our control, once we recognize that our circumstances, our relationships, and our experiences affect us and the way we affect others, the onus is on us to decide exactly what kind of change we want to facilitate.
Every moment is an opportunity to take what we experience and to transform it into something else, into something positive or something negative, into something better or something worse, into either love or fear.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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