Overthinking and Mindfulness

This Thursday, after a couple of weeks break from training, we were back in the dojo.  I have to say that I had recently lost interest in martial arts and was struggling to find the motivation to create a training programme – it felt like my interest was falling apart.  By coincidence we were not able to train for a bit due to a trip to Poland to visit the family, illness of members and our training hall being used as a polling station.  I think it was fate giving me a rest from training tiredness.  Recently I found myself overthinking the state of the club such as the drop in members training, which led to thoughts of closing down the club and focussing on my work.

It’s funny how life leads us on to greater things.  As a part of my work I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with therapists like myself from all different backgrounds from meditation techniques to manual therapies.   I spent about three hours listening to the different concepts and how each can help us.  I came out of this meeting with a completely clear head, free from worrying about the club’s future.  As one of the ladies said “Overthinking the future is stressing and when life is stressing you who do you think will win, you or life?  I’d put my money on life, so stop worrying about the future.” What great advice.  Another thing that changed my approach was examining quotes that were selected at random at the meeting, prepared by a Mindfulness therapist.  The quote that I got was “The most important point is to be really yourself and not to try to become anything that you are not. (Jon Kabat-Zinn)”.          I don’t know why, but these two pieces of advice sit perfectly together in my mind, so after consulting with club members it was decided that we will carry on with training sessions.  However, there will be a few changes to make it more affordable such as reducing the class time to one hour per session.  With fewer people training we can increase the pace of each session, focus more on technique and stick to a more structured programme.

I have now found a new wave of motivation for martial arts and have developed programmes for the various classes.  In the last session there were only four of us, but everything went very smoothly and was logically interlinked with kihon and bunkai complementing a physical workout.  I have not enjoyed a session as much for some time.  By not overthinking and sticking to who I am and how I teach I am able to make the sessions so much more enjoyable for me and therefore for my friends that train with me.  In this way we are happy to be a small, quality group who just enjoy training.  Whatever the future will bring we will be there standing tall and ready for it!

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