Way East of Flat Rock Road
22nd May 2012
If you watched the video for this weeks Qigong blog post, you’ll have noticed it’s a little different than the usual format. There’s a very important reason why I did this and I’ll share it with you at the end of this post.
The first lesson I’d like to share is how easy it is to forget what you know. Especially when you find yourself in a ‘stressful’ situation. The solution? Practice, practice, practice. Here’s the full story for you…
Lesson 01: Saturday 19th
Just got back an hour or so ago from Louis morning walk. We met up with a friend and his dogs on the big patch of public field near here.
It was all very civilized, I was having a good chat with my friend Dave. Louis, Cybil and Gilbert (Dave’s Spaniels) were enjoying running around, rolling in the wet grass and sniffing whatever it is that dogs like to sniff so much.
Like I said, a really lovely way to start a weekend.
Until two dogs burst on the scene like an explosion in a violence factory. A German Shepherd and a dog that looked like a Wolf.
Don’t get me wrong. I like big dogs, I understand that dogs do things ‘their’ way. But these dogs were scary. They ran after Cybil (she’s only 5 months old) growling and acting like they were going to tear her apart.
So we managed to break it up and the ‘Wolf’ went after Louis. Biting his neck and trying to mount his head! Which would have been funny if it hadn’t have been so charged with naked aggression.
Without thinking I went into this event shouting loudly ready to do ‘I don’t know what‘. But I wasn’t going to just stand by and watch this happen to Louis.
Louis made a run for it and the German Shepherd and the ‘Wolf’ finally moved towards their owner.
The whole situation was very highly charged and I was shouting at the owner telling him that if he can’t control his dogs he should keep then on the lead.
Dave (being older and wiser than me) led me away.
When I got home I felt awful.
My internal monologue was going into overdrive. It was laying into me really heavily. Telling me how I should have done this, I should have done that, blah, blah, blah – on and on like a broken record. And I was angry. But I was able to stop this anger from spilling out, from being misplaced at Louis or Clare or Ollie.
Clare asked me what the matter was. And I explained. I also explained how horrible the event had left me feeling.
And that was when she did me the huge favor of reminding me what I needed to know to be able to get a hold of this experience and put out the fire before it became an inferno and ruined the whole day.
“Sounds really stressful, you must have a real load of stress juice running through you right now. No wonder you’re in a state.”
I would have hugged her if she hadn’t of been heading out of the door to go to work, as she said it.
How could I have forgotten what happens when we’re faced with a stressful, potentially violent, aggressively charged situation? How could I have forgotten that the body responds to these situations by dumping a huge dose of ‘stress hormones’ into the blood stream? How could I have let this situation get the better of me?
Easily. Because even though the situation had ended, my bloodstream was still filled with the toxic stress cocktail of adrenaline and cortisol. Not a good environment for clear and rational thinking!
Luckily Clare’s comment as she’d headed out of the door, had reminded me and as a result I was able to quickly take the steps necessary to rapidly get rid of this stress cocktail. And get back into the ‘Safe Zone’.
If this short account is resonating with you, if you’re experiencing a continuous stream of stress, I recommend that you read pages 105 – 114 of Smiling From The Heart.
Make sure you pay special attention to the recommend list of techniques, tools and strategies on p.113 and 114 that can help you to quickly overcome the effects of negative stress and move back into the ‘Safe Zone’.
Even better though, remember the cub scout motto:
Don’t wait until your overwhelmed with stress before taking steps to manage it. The quote on page 106 says it all.
Right, now that I’ve got this written, I’m off for a dose of the ‘UMC’ – you’ll find it on p.36 – powerful medicine =)
Have a great weekend guys!
PS. Louis is fine by the way:
Lesson 02: Today
ABC stands for Application Beats Contemplation.
It took me years to work this out. I used to believe that if I read something then that was it. Done deal, I owned that information.
Yeah right, if only it was as easy as that!
I’m not going to go into much detail here, because I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this subject before. If you do a quick search you’ll find it (actually, hang on a minute… it’s here: Knowledge Is Not Power *You’re welcome*).
I have a very good friend who I affectionately refer to as ‘Action Man’. Now know this:
I’m smarter than him, better looking than him and have more hair than him (I’m more modest than him too). Yet when it comes to getting the job done (in any area of life) he’s always first. Why? Well the clue is in the ‘Action Man’ nickname I use for him.
I’m a perpetual learner, gatherer of more information. The usual result is I get very little actual ‘work’ done and end up with ‘Paralysis by analysis’. Whereas, he’s riding off into the sunset (quite literally) with another ‘success’ under his belt.
Anyway, if you want to succeed as quickly and as easily as possible (in any arena) you’ll take ABC to heart and start applying what you’ve read.
Lesson 03: A Few Hours Ago
“It’s easier to fix mistakes than it is to get started.” Eric Thomas – TGIM (S3 Ep33)
As you know, I’m a huge fan of Eric Thomas. Every morning, before starting work I watch one of his TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) videos.
Because it really puts me into a great place. It’s the cherry on top of my morning habit/ritual which looks something like this:
- Take Louis for his morning walk.
- Watch TGIM.
- Go to work!
After many years of experimenting I have found this to be the optimum way for me to start each day. Clearly as a father, a husband and a son – I sometimes have to be flexible. But this is the ritual I follow 6 mornings out of every 7.
I didn’t really mean to share my morning routine/habit/ritual with you. Consider it a bonus! What I wanted to talk to you about was the importance of getting started. The quote above by my friend Eric Thomas states it loud and clear.
Can you see a pattern here?
If you haven’t watched the video at the top of this Qigong blog post yet, I recommend you do so now. I’ll wait for you…
You’ll have noticed that I made quite a few mistakes before I got it right. I usually get rid of these mistakes using good old iMovie. But today I wanted you to witness that to make a 45 second video it can often take me more than 30 minutes!
I no longer let mistakes stop me from getting started (I used to). I have learned that it is easy to correct mistakes, but getting started… well that’s the difference that makes the difference in my opinion.
I just thought, if you’re wrestling with ‘getting started’ on a project you know is important, then you will find the solution here: The Cure For Procrastination.
You know, I’m still so proud of the Qigong365 project. Getting started on that project I wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete it. A Qigong specific blog post every day for a whole year! Well, it was tough.
But the lessons I learned through doing it…
My sincere wish for you is that you will get started on a project that is important to you and see it through. Or if you’ve started and stopped and started and stopped (like I have) on an important project…
Then you’ll start again and move closer to its completion.
The world needs you!
Marcus James Santer