MONDAY MINDSET: YOU CAN ONLY FILL AN EMPTY CUP
Quick one this week; I want to a little of my own, personal process with you.
Bowing in and out of class can have many different meanings. In some ways, it’s to show deference to the instructor. In others, it’s to humble ourselves. Mostly, all of these meanings generally overlap into an overall gesture of humility.
For me, when I bow into class, I like to visualize that I am pouring out the contents of my head — any unnecessary thoughts, preconceived ideas about what’s “right,” and so on — and making room for the lesson ahead.
I’ve been around the block enough in martial arts to have my foundation of beliefs shattered a few times. I’ve truly believed I’d reached the end of a certain concept or technique more than a few times, only to find out that I was barking up the wrong tree all along.
Over time, a belief in my ability to know “right” from “wrong” (not ethically speaking, but in terms of combat sports) has been replaced with a general confidence in my ability to continue to evolve towards new and better ways of doing things.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have “learned” something — you may have some familiarity with it, some working knowledge of its applications, but there is always more to learn, more to develop, more to evolve. And often the best way to expose yourself to these new ideas is to approach the lesson like a beginner would: open to new ideas and possibilities.
In this way, we can both move towards experience and wisdom, and sort of an eternal wonder and youth on the mats.