Warrior Wednesday – Beginner’s Mind

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One of the concepts we bandy about at martial arts is The Beginner’s Mind. Basically, the idea is to approach something as if you are a white belt and know nothing.

I use it often. At school or while in some other learning environment like a seminar, even if I have learned much of the content before, I clear my mind and pretend I know very little. By doing this, I can listen and absorb things because I don’t dismiss anything. Now, I don’t completely ignore what I’ve learned before. I use that previous knowledge to help me fill in a gap. For example, we were discussing how to get a play script sold and the way the teacher was explaining things seemed a bit convoluted to me. That’s when I used what I knew from film and TV classes to figure out that while in TV and film you need to find a willing producer, with plays, you need to be the producer. To be a producer in TV and film, you need to go to film school. Not so for plays.

I also use this technique when going out on a date because I’d rather assume I know nothing about someone than that I know everything. I may not remember everything discussed, but I’ll know far more than I would otherwise.

It’s helpful with a new martial art because while you’ll know some aspects due to the body only having a limited amount of ways that it can move, the devil can be in the details. Coming to jodo after karate was difficult before I knew about beginner’s mind because I spent so much time in karate trying to square up my stances only to find I need to have an angled stance in jodo. Iaido is more square, but not low, wide, and deep like karate. I actually had to stop doing jodo altogether for awhile because I couldn’t leave my learning from karate behind to allow myself to take on something new.

Beginner’s mind is something I also use to connect with people who are in a different lifestyle or stage of life than I am. It lets me avoid assuming things about people in my classes like their ability to be successful is really only limited by their will to persevere and has nothing at all to do with their age or current level of writing ability.

Now, I only recently came to this last bit about those younger than me. I have been rather stupid lately in regards to things like the Tide Pod epidemic. I’m sorry for that and I’m going to continue to try and be a better person.

One of the things that has made me realize that was the recent trip to Toronto to pitch our projects. At the home of Orphan Black, the woman we met with had us each say a bit about ourselves. I really enjoyed learning more about my younger classmates as many of them have had such a variety of life experiences. Many have traveled more than I have. Many have lived through things like the loss of a parent. I thankfully have not had that experience though I’ve lost many people in my life. The point is that age is mostly just a number. I do think there is a balance between assuming someone younger is inferior in any way and in giving them free reign to change national policies, but that’s not to say they have nothing valuable to contribute to a discussion. It’s more that they don’t know what they don’t know yet.

I haven’t been able to do this yet with music, but maybe someday. Language learning is another area this may help with, but I’m not there with that either.

I feel that The Beginner’s Mind fits quite well with entropy as one must basically blow up all they know and rearrange the pieces to either expand what was already known or to capture what one knew little about previously.

R~

Frisky Friday – A Romantic Checkup

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So, this week, I started a new thing on my blog where all my posts look at the same word from different perspectives. It was check. Today, I’m looking at it from my usual Friday view.

I think it can be helpful to check where you are occasionally in the romantic sense. For example, for me right now, I know that I’m somewhat interested in a couple of men, but we’re all busy people and so if we go out, it’s all very casual. I know I’m graduating soon and don’t really know what happens after that, so I haven’t wanted to get too close to anyone. I’m hoping to stay in Ottawa, but it’s possible I’ll have to consider moving and while long distance could be okay with the right person, I know I can’t currently promise anything and don’t want to unnecessarily hurt anyone.

Do you know what your current wants and needs are?

It’s okay if you’re just looking for a bed buddy, but it can be awfully awkward to suggest it and not come off sounding like a pervert…

If you have a partner, if can be helpful to check how they’re feeling about the relationship once in awhile. Try not to do it too often or you’ll cause problems where there weren’t any, and that is SUPER annoying, but I think a good time would be while you seem to be going through a rough patch. Those happen to the best of couples.

I rather like where I am because right now dating is completely free from expectations. I don’t know if anything will turn into more, but I’m not focused on it. It’s just one part among many other parts of my life. Sure, I’m hoping to find that person that really gets me, but I feel like that might be easier once school is done and I have a more set schedule.

In my youth, I was so focused on things like having a boyfriend and not on just getting to know someone and figuring out if we were meant to be friends or were actually romantically compatible. It was as if having the title of girlfriend was critical to who I was. While it’s certainly nice to be with someone, I’m not focused on labels these days.

Right now is all about light-hearted fun for me and just seeing where things organically lead. I like that we can all just do our stuff and connect when we have time without some idea that we should be seeing each other more than we are as if we should be blindly following some Vice or Cosmo article on the subject. I don’t need to follow what other people think the relationship checkpoints should be.

I’m also not eager to get to the drama that often comes with being with someone. Fights over things like garbage cans, what’s for dinner, or what movie to watch I’m in no rush for. I find people over-complicate so much in dating.

Another important thing to check in with yourself about in regards to relationships and dating are your deal-breakers and warning flags.

Abusiveness is my deal-breaker.

What’s a deal breaker? It’s something you won’t tolerate in your relationship.

I also really don’t enjoy being with someone who doesn’t have their own hobbies. It’s not that we can’t have some of those in common, but I need alone time to write and create things. I need me time to think about how I feel about stuff that probably has nothing to do with them. I’ve had that relationship where we had to be together almost every minute of every day and it’s suffocating. It’s suffocating to the point of filling me with anxiety and making me not want to spend time together at all.

One thing that really annoys me?

Being bossed around. I’m picky about who I let dictate to me. I’m not your child or your property. I’m my own person who has her own wants and needs. I have agency. I’m not the woman who responds well to controlling behaviours. This is a warning flag for me.

We all have warning flags often gotten from past relationships. It’s important to talk about them when they’re triggered, so you can give a new person a chance. Just because someone does one thing like someone who things didn’t work with doesn’t mean they are in any way like that person. Our instincts are trying to save us from harm, but there may be no real base for us to feel that way.

See I think I’ve even over complicated things.

If you like someone, show them. If they do things that upset you, talk to them about it. Otherwise, have fun.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Frisky Friday – Being Me

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It’s so easy to convince ourselves of the wrong things, especially when it comes to dating, relationships, and sex.

Being a writer with food issues has me searching the Internet for all kinds of things, so when I saw the meme below on the Just Laugh’s Facebook page, I had to share it.

Over-thinking causes me to over-complicate things often. I mean, I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out if a wink and smile is something more by reading Your Tango articles and other such drivel and… Well, I’ve realized I need to stop doing that. 

I think it’s better to just find a way to show interest and see what happens next. 

I know convincing yourself to be something you aren’t isn’t the way to go ever. But people often try to be someone they aren’t when they like someone rather than admit they might not be compatible in the least. I used to do that. It never worked out well. 

Here’s the meme before I completely lose you. 

tadpoles

Anyway, this morning I decided to pull out my Gryffindor courage and be clear about my feelings. Life is complicated enough, so I don’t need to add to it.

I’m also being unapologetically me these days. I love Harry Potter, Star Wars, South Park, Wonder Woman, martial arts, video games, TV/movies, and music. I’m an ambitious writer and I swear more than I probably should. I also like reading when I have the time. I’m Christian, but I’m relaxed about it. I believe it’s entirely possible to admit you have a weakness without letting that define who you are or who you will be. Sometimes I love really deep philosophical conversations and sometimes I love less intense talks. I prefer balance over extremism. I think all 3 major political parties suck in this country. I believe people focus too much on what makes us different from each other rather than just showing each other love and kindness. 

A simpler version? I’m just going to be me. I think this works for this marital arts grading too. I’m going to try my best. 

I’m off to do the last few things I need to before leaving town. 

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Hurricane Season

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It’s hurricane season. Thankfully, where I live I don’t get much more than heavy rains.

I find it interesting that the US elections are held near the end of hurricane season. I suppose if they can make it through the elections, they can handle anything.

I do sometimes feel like my life is one storm followed by another. I’m not saying that in search of some pity. It’s just an observation. Outside of the challenges I face from allergies and such, I get very busy during the year from April through to December. It makes it hard to feel like I have my shit together in the slightest.

Someday, I may have a clean home, but that’s going to take a partner that can work with me on keeping it clean. I’m hesitant to bring someone else into the hot mess that is my life. I know the right one will help rather than compound the hard things, but there has been far more of the wrong.

Largely, I feel like living life is far more important than my dishes and laundry always being clean and put away. There are languages, martial arts, and instruments to learn. There are stories to read and stories to write. There are people to spend quality time with.

Some people I know have it together better than I do, but they are involved in less activities. Mostly, they watch TV.

I’m not sure if it’s just a fairy tale idea I have that things will be better with another person in my life. They could be a hot mess too for all I know. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up too high.

For now, there’s tacos cooking on my stove.

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Dating

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Dating is what is on my mind tonight. Why? I suppose that’s the newest thing in my life. I’m really hoping it will get better. I really don’t like wasting time with men who obviously don’t care about anything but getting naked. I’m looking for someone who can be a friend too. That means we need more things in common than being close in height and a decent vocabulary. I need someone who has a good heart.

What I’ve experienced most recently was someone who is very judgemental about the sex lives of women. Someone who thinks it’s wrong for women to have “special friends” and to be with one man this week and a different one the following week all while expecting a woman to put out on the first date. Also while declaring what birth control methods will be used going forward.

When I was safe in my own home, I told him there was no forward. Then he sent a barrage of messages and phone calls my way. He said there must be miscommunication somewhere because couldn’t I see he wasn’t just wanting sex? Except that dominated the conversation when he wasn’t declaring how trustworthy he was. Because trustworthy people bring that up in casual conversation all the time…

Oh, but I kissed you so we aren’t strangers anymore.

Right…

I have another date planned for tomorrow. It won’t take much to be better than that one. Maybe I’ll tell the man that, so he can relax. The live band seems promising at least. Also, this one is into martial arts, so that’s got a little more potential than a Taylor Swift lover. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s OK, but I’m more of an Amy Lee, Tori Amos, Bjork, M0, and well a whole lot of others fan.

One of my former boyfriends asked me how the hell I find these guys. I honestly don’t know. It’s a skill I’d like to unlearn.

Anyway, I have laundry and such to do as it’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I’m getting ready to visit the family.

Ciao,
R~