Archive for December, 2012

 

Check it out…I know it may be old news, but I just now found it and find it quite fascinating really. Could just be a hoax, but we never truly know when something is not fully explained. I guess this all happened in 2011 though…so I would think it would be more open on the news and what-not unless someone paid a lot of money to keep it all hush-hush.

I originally found this on a SITH forum though…they believe that this proof of the SITH Lords coming from the Galaxy Far, Far Away. They believe that December 21st will bring about the Era of Endarkenment when the Empire will rise from the belly of the Earth and they will have supreme power over everything. There is more to that prophecy as well, but lets focus on this ship found in Afghanistan, shall we?

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I always have had the desire to do something big with my life. I have always had that desire to be strong. I think that is one reason I had always been obsessed with becoming something like a soldier or a police officer. They were like the modern-day superheroes of our time, and I longed for that power that they held…longed for the power to protect something greater than myself…like my loved ones, my hometown, and my country.

I went for a run today…it was raining hard and it was rather cold outside. I knew that it wasn’t the best idea…but something was drawing me to the outside world, calling me, telling me to challenge my personal limits.
Here I lay now wheezing, freezing, and ultimately unable to breathe ( and with a rather terrible ear-ache) but, I have no complaints.

I wore my ACU’s outside…I know I’m not a soldier nor anything close, but, wearing them outside and running always does something to me, it empowers me, it makes me feel free.
As I was running through the rain, I could feel my breath hot against my lips before I watched it become most and spiral in front of me. I smiled as I made it a lot farther than I used to when I would go running with Taz, and I smiled even more as cars would pass me, they would honk, they would slow down and salute.

People recognize those uniforms and know that they are free because the sacrifice of our soldiers…and the only thing putting a damper on this moment of personal triumph, beauty, and strength is that I was merely playing pretend…and that it is people like Taz, Jax, James, David, and Damon who are truly the honored ones here.

I salute you all…and as I stared down at the collecting rain amongst the rocks and clover, I thank you for this daily inspiration.

May the Force be with you.

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…I just read the passages about knowing your weaknesses and loving them (or loving yourself for them…or however you wish to word that), and while it was comforting in knowing that there are others who acknowledge their limits and take the best actions to protect themselves from a break down…I have bigger things to worry about.

This week has been nothing but one bad thing after another…I’m used to riding this roller-coaster that occasionally goes into the dark tunnel…I understand that it’s all a part of the thrill and that, eventually, the roller-coaster must surface again…but with all the current things that have been happening to me all week, it’s all just becoming a bit much for me to handle, and I feel as though I am falling to pieces.

First, there was the fact that I fell into a really deep depression which started Sunday. I looked at all the things that I had to do during the week (doctor’s appointment, buying stuff for the Consulate trip, making the trip to Chicago for the consulate, hoping that they were going to cancel mandatory overtime and etc.), and just slumped.
At first it started out with my being lazy…I just laid about and all I could think about was getting more sleep. I did not exercise like I planned, never signed up for my Krav Maga lessons like I wanted to, did not get to the storage unit right away…I was just too exhausted to do ANYTHING. Then, came the guilt-tripping myself.

I don’t know what came over me…but the more time that passed in the week, the more I started beating myself up over the dumbest things that had happened in the past. I started crying about the time I took Personal Time off work and wasted it when I could have used it to spend time with Taz. I cried about the time I got my second final written warning because I had wasted a day of work, just to be with Taz, AND it got my friend so mad at me that he verbally attacked Taz, and now, he is practically non-existent in my life because it only causes more drama. Finally I was beating myself up over the fact that I have not saved up as much money as Taz for the Germany trip, and it had me feeling like I was the worst girlfriend in the world.

Then…Taz and I got into a fight. One night we are fine, the next, we are arguing about money, and my moving, because I did not have the exact costs for certain things when I should have already been looking into it. I knew that it was important…but that goes back to the exhaustion, the depression, and that being lazy thing.

Finally, when Taz and I stop fighting, it’s the day that I’m heading to the German Consulate in Chicago to apply for my permanent residency visa. And you want to know what happened? NOTHING!!!

They had never heard of an Amazon.com in Germany, they did not even know where Graben was, they said that my Offer Letter for employment at MUC3 within Graben (which is the Amazon.com warehouse facility—MUC3) did not count as a ‘contract of employment’ because it did not list my salary, it did not list my employment position, it did not list my health benefits, and etc. They said that because I was missing this ‘contract’ that my purpose could not be filled with them and if I tried to apply for my visa anyways, I would be rejected and never be allowed to apply for a visa ever again!!!

They told me I could not start work on February 1st without my residency visa that I can not get now until I arrive in Germany the last couple of week of January!!! In fact, they said that I would have to change my start date to March 1st because it might take weeks for them to review my case because something like my case has never been heard of before. Gah!!!!!

So not only have I spent $800 on a plane ticket, not only do I have a room-for-rent on reserve for me, but, I cannot start working when I had planned, now I have to wait for those people that took 3 months to get back to me to get me a ‘contract of employment’ in less than 6 weeks or else I am officially screwed and will wind up getting deported back to the United States. Not at ALL what I wanted to hear after driving 4 hours just to get there and then dealing with rude-ass Germans that looked at me like I was a complete idiot.

Meditation isn’t helping, sleep isn’t helping, tea isn’t helping, and not even talking to Taz is helping because all it makes me want to do is cry. Advice anyone?!

P101 – L6

Posted: December 5, 2012 in IJRS Courses

Pros and Cons with the Basic Self

1. Write down the biggest thing you want to change about yourself.
—I want to make less excuses and be more truthful about things.
I want to stop using white-lies as a way to justify my actions and do things that produce positive consequences so that I do not have to fear the negative ones.

2. Make a list of the main things you will lose when you make this change.
—I will lose the ability to hide behind the lie when things get tough.
I will actually have to deal with the negative consequences that come my way because I chose to NOT do something when I should have.

3. Make a list of the main things you will gain when you make this change.
—I will be considered more truthful.
I can accept the fact that I am no longer ‘one big excuse’.
I can be rewarded with positive outcomes rather than always hiding from negative ones.
I will be considered more responsible and productive.
It will make Taz happy to see my working harder for the benefit of us both and our future.
I will no longer have to live with the guilt of those bad decisions and the lies told thereafter making said-decisions.

4. Compare the lists and decide – is it worth it? If you are struggling with this activity, ask the class or instructor for some other perspectives.
Change…as long as it is for the better, is always worth it.
If it is something to help someone financially, mentally, physically, emotionally…if it’s to become more healthy, become more happy, remove guilt, and remove the barriers that make one feel insignificant and inadequate then change is always worth it. I believe that this would be worth it.

5. What ideas do you have to excite the Basic Self to support you in this change?

—Just think of how happy Taz will be when I am in Germany and she did not have to spend as much of her money as she thought because I was able to pay for most of it myself with my own hard-earned cash because I chose to stay and put in for the overtime in order to make this happen. Just think of all the exciting adventures we will be able to have using extra cash earned because it all wasn’t going into helping me move.

So in a recent Lesson for Personal 101 @ the Institute…the lesson was discussing excuses. Mainly it was focusing on how excuses can pull someone from the Jedi-Path, but it got me to thinking about excuses in general.

Unfortunately, I am the type of person who is always full of excuses. I have been told multiple times by multiple people that this is true. In fact, during fights, it is one of Taz’s favorite things to say: “You’re nothing but one big excuse!” and while I would like to sit there and argue with her (when this happens), I never can because she is actually right to some extent.

On top of using excuses to often justify my rather stupid-decisions, I am also something of a chronic-white-liar. I use white lies to get me out of tricky situations. Like, today….
Today, I took off of work because they were letting people go home. Granted, I should have stayed at work to make money, but I was tired, cranky, and all-around depressed. Before work began (right as I was pulling into the parking lot), I started thinking about my past when Taz was home. I had done something really stupid— It was one of those days where Taz and I were fighting with each other. We weren’t really ‘together’ during this time, but I remember that we had been fighting before work. Because of this, Taz had decided to take her own car to work and I had to take mine (we normally rode together otherwise to cut down on gas costs).

Well, as the night went on (it had only been an hour or so)…I just could not stop crying over what we had been fighting about before work. It was embarrassing me and it made me furious with Taz for having hurt me so deeply and having made me so upset before having to deal with that warehouse. It all just became too much. Well, I had enough Personal Time (PTO) to sign out and go home (paid) for the night. So, I told Taz that I was going home to do laundry (because we had been fighting about the house being dirty methinks) and I left without a second blink.

Well, on lunch time, she called me in a rage, asking me where I was and etc. When I reminded her that I had come home to do laundry, she was infuriated even more. She started screaming and cussing, and all manner of things. When I asked her what the big deal was, she said,”So…instead of using that time to spend on me before I leave, you’re wasting it. Fine, guess I’ll just use up the rest of my time and spend it with my friends while you’re at work.”

And…that’s when it really hit me. I had been so stupid to leave work because…she was right. She was leaving for the Army in less than a year and here I was folding towels just because I didn’t want to have to see her face and deal with her while at work…in fact, it was because I didn’t want to work in such a sorry state. And now I was wasting what precious time we could have had together…we could have taken off our anniversary together if it had not been for what I did. PLUS, that only made her even more angry than what she had been when we had left home, which made for an even longer fight than usual…so all-in-all, it was a mistake on my part, one that (for some odd reason), I still cannot forgive myself for. And because of that, I just wanted to sit in my car and cry.

Earlier that day I had little less than 3 hours sleep because I had stayed up talking to Taz, then I had to go to the doctor’s for my physical, go to the storage unit to look for somethings that were misplaced, I had to head to auto-zone to fix some things on my car, and so…realizing just how mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted I was…when my manager asked if anyone wanted to go home because of a lack of work…I signed the sheet and left.

That’s a day I wont get paid…that’s less money I have for Germany, and if Taz found out, she would be so furious with me because it is showing that I am irresponsible. I could have made it through the night. I could have held out even in my crappy mood…and because I was so stupid about taking off a day, I’m paying back for it by taking on voluntary-overtime next week to make my paychecks even (Ungh)…now I have to give up my Thursday JUST because I did not feel like working today.

Then to make matters worse…not only did I make an excuse as to why I shouldn’t work…then I go and make sure to tell Taz that they sent me home because there was nothing to do. Granted, it’s something they do quite often…but today, that wasn’t the case. I just know that if I told her the truth she would think it’s a waste to help me pay my way to Germany. She would think I was using her even though (so far) I have paid for everything I have needed (plane ticket, new laptop, passport) minus the sleeping bag and new shoes. I’m still trying to buy things ahead of time so she wont have to spend her money on me…

She says she doesn’t mind helping me get there and that I can pay her back in loves and cuddles—but throughout our relationship, she has always been so iffy with lending me money or giving me money. She was always complaining about helping me out, and so now, to see her saving up thousands of dollars so that I can live in another country with her…well, it shows how much she has grown up and has changed for the better.

I only wish I could do the same.

It used to be that I was the grown-up girlfriend with the plans, and was always helping HER out, and was always one step above her. Now I just feel inadequate and small…useless…like I’m not good enough for her.

Where the hell are all these hormones coming from?!

P101 – L5

Posted: December 5, 2012 in IJRS Courses
“Overcoming Barriers to Training” by Joe Cavazos ―
Don‘t let the things you can‘t do prevent you from doing the things you can do.‖ – John Wooden John Wooden was one of the top college basketball coaches of all time. He coached the mighty UCLA Bruins and almost every year that he was coaching his basketball team won the NCAA championship. Most of the basketball players on his college teams went on to play at the game highest level – the NBA.
My high school basketball coach used to tell me, ―Stop making excuses!‖ John Wooden‘s quote is more eloquently expressed, but both men were sending the same message. My high school basketball coach, Roy Garcia, was one of the most influential people, outside of my parents, that helped to shape the person that I am today. Of course, it is my decisions and actions that have and continue to determine my life‘s path and consequences. What does this analogy have to do with aikido? Mainichi no keiko – and all of the excuses that I have heard over my years in aikido as to why my fellow aikidoka and my aikido students cannot make it to training! They have used the excuse of things they can‘t do prevent them from going to train. When I would see my sensei, the late Bill Sosa, at seminars that he was conducting, the first thing he would ask me was how often I was training. When I first began aikido, the instructor used to teach that aikido is a ―way of life.‖ I have heard many students recite this mantra when asked in their first ever kyu test, ―What is aikido to you?‖ Then I never saw them again in the dojo, some of them ever! In 2007 I celebrated 10 years of having opened my own dojo. Any aikido teacher that has been in business for over 10 years will have seen hundreds, if not thousands of potential aikido students walk through their door, stay a while, then leave. Almost every one of those students enjoyed the benefits of aikido but every one of them found a reason to prevent the continued study of the art. It may be that aikido was too hard, their progress was too slow, training was interfering with another area of their lives, they got hurt, the cost was too high, they found that aikido didn‘t work for them in an altercation, etc The martial arts are not for everyone. If it were easy every student who walked through the door would still be in aikido today and would be instant black belt candidates. I don‘t expect aikido to be for everyone. I expect a certain number of beginning students to not last a year. I honestlyCopyright 2009 Jax, aka Jackie Meyer
thank every one of those ex-students that have come and gone. Thanks to them, the serious stu- dents have the opportunity to continue training. Those students helped pay the rent and utilities for the extreme few that have continued to train over the years. They have provided us the oppor- tunity to work with ukes of different heights, weights, body structures, attacks and attitudes. It has helped us to forge our aikido into what it is today. The ones that really bother me are those students that have been aikido for many years, have some rank (nidan or above), then mysteriously leave the art. They found something else in their lives that filled the space that aikido used to fill or they found a reason to stop training. It has led me to a theory: I think that most aikido students are trying to find a reason to quit. They look for excuses not to come to class: it was raining, it was cold, my back hurts (substitute any other part of the body), my hakama was torn, my uniform wasn‘t washed, etc. As an aikido teacher, it is my job to nullify the reason for a student to quit or, rather, create a reason for the student to continue coming to class. Maybe this is the real job of any martial arts instructor, making a reason to come to training. Maybe it isn‘t enough to have impeccable waza or technique, if we don‘t have the students there to hand this down to. Returning to the idea of excuses for not coming to class, learning to train with pain or minor in- juries is part of the martial arts training. If your fingers are hurt, learn how to continue training with the pain. If you shoulder hurts, learn how to roll in that situation. If your back hurts, learn how to move with your stiff back. You just might learn something about yourself when you work through the pain. ―Don‘t allow the things that you can‘t do prevent you from doing the things that you can do.‖ It‘s more than just trying to find an excuse not to come to class, it‘s trying to find a solution to train daily – mainichi no keiko. Part of the training is self improvement and finding out the body‘s limitations – physically and mentally. When you know what your limita- tions are, the next step is to overcome those limitations. You can only find this through daily training. The highest level shihans today trained through pain, trained long hours, overcame all of their limitations to become who they are today. I am pretty sure that many of today‘s ―warriors‖ would have never made it through O‘Sensei‘s ―hell dojo‖ days like our shihans did. Our current aikidokas would have found an excuse to not be there. I would like to thank those shihans alive today that continued training so that they would have something to hand down to us. I will be there – no excuses! Joe Cavazos Houston, Texas A student of Hiroshi Kato Sensei (Suginami Aikikai) jycavazos@yahoo.com www.freewebs.com/acst

1. How does this article apply to the Jedi path?
— As I may or may have not said in previous assignments, The Jedi Path is not only a religion but it is also a lifestyle. Both of those things come with a price, the price of time and dedication, and sometimes, that is not something that people are willing to part with. The students mentioned in the article above…well, some of them suffered from three-day monk symptom. They took one look at the things that the martial art could promise them, it blew their minds, and for a few weeks, that was their life, they were going to be the best at what they set out to do, and suddenly the future looked so much brighter.
But alas, other things caught their attention and thus they drifted away from the martial art and on to what they thought was the next ‘big thing’ that would change their lives forever.
Other students stayed only to find out just how much ‘work’ was involved in the martial art. It was not something they could just walk into and hope that their instructors would make them into the perfect fighting machine. It does not work that way. Loss of time due to practicing and the fact that they were not the best in their class will often deter even the most dedicated of people at some time or other…and the ones that cannot deal with this reality that training takes priority over other things will leave.

The same things goes with being Jedi. Obviously, lessons and training take time and energy to complete…reading the lessons, answering the questions, the meditations, the fitness, the integrative practices…all take time and effort to get the best results. All those things make for a transformation which occurs ‘over time’. But, unfortunately, people often jump into things like this expecting a ‘quick fix’ to their problems and ‘instant enlightenment’ through The Force. But again, this is reality…and that’s not how the world works.

Sometimes meditations will not produce what you originally expected, that’s why you try again. Sometimes answers to some questions do not come to you instantly and you have to actually sit there and think. It will be something of a frustrating process at times because there are other things that you would like to be doing…but if business owners, farmers, grocers, and etc just decided not to do something just because they had better things on their mind to do, where would this world be today?

2. Do you feel you find excuses to avoid training? (This is rarely something we are aware of in the moment, so think back.) Why or why not?

—I know for a fact that there have been times where I have avoided training. There are many instances where I am on the internet doing absolutely nothing, and I fail to open my workbook merely because ‘I don’t feel like it’. Sometimes I make the excuse that,”…if I do not feel like doing something and thus are forcing myself to do it because it needs to be done, I’m not going to gain 100% of the intended result because I am not giving my all.”
Meaning, if I am disinterested in something but make myself do it anyways that, I will just rush over it and not really put in my quality work (whether that be meditating, working out, or answering questions). While some people might argue that something is better than nothing…depending on the day, I might just disagree.

I’m sure there are other excuses as well (as I am often full of them) but I cannot think of them at the moment.