Tag Archives: Determination

Real Jedi, Bullies

It is an unfortunate reality that there are times when we are faced with improper behavior. There are people who are leeches. They seek to suck and drain those around them. The Jedi Community, like any other, is not immune to these type of people. If you find someone draining your time and energy, don’t play the victim. Remember to adjust your focus and concentrate on what is truly important. Make sure you are investing your time and energy wisely. If someone crosses a line, remember that Jedi are not doormats. Non-aggression, peace, acceptance, patience, these do not mean to suck it up and put up with bad behavior. Here are five things to remember when you find yourself harassed by a person.

(1) You are Not to Blame. It is important to not fall into the trap of thinking that you did this or that this is your fault. You are not responsible for the actions and choices of others. Someone treating you poorly is not a reflection of you – it is a reflection of that person’s character. Do not blame yourself, do not resign it to karma or fate. It is person acting improperly because they have chosen to do so. They are aware of their actions. They are responsible for them. And they are to be held accountable for them. Do not accept blame for their impropriety.

(2) Speak Up. If someone is doing something you do not like. Or you just want to be left alone. OR someone is within your personal space or comfort zone. Say so. Don’t suck it up. You can voice your preferences and opinions. Your voice is valuable. Your opinion is worthwhile. You can be polite. You can be diplomatic. You can ask a person to take a step back with a smile. You can tell a person to leave you alone. You can tell a person they are being rude and harassing. Say No. Voice your discomfort and displeasure. You are allowed. But don’t take this yourself. Speak Up to Friends and Family. Don’t suffer alone. Don’t shoulder a burden. Talk with your support structure around you.

(3) Record. If you are being harassed online – take screenshots. Time and Date it. Save it in a folder marked harassment. Date and Time the images so they are easy to find. Document the inappropriate behavior. Offline, this is a little more work. You have to be careful with phone photos and recordings because a really aggressive person might break it or escalate the situation. So be mindful. But you can write it down. Date – Time – Factual Incident Summary – People Nearby (witnesses). Keep a record of this improper behavior as it can really help soldify your stance. As well it can show just how much you are putting up with. Sometimes we are a little to nice and lenient and having a record can show just how much we have allowed bad behavior to happen to us.

(4) Remove. Take action by removing the person to the best of your ability out of your life. You have absolutely enough to deal with. You have your own life, responsibilities, struggles, and worries. Don’t sit there and add another by allowing a negative element to suck away your time, ebergy, and good graces. If online – Ban, Block, Ignore. Have an iphone? Block the number. Whatever you need. Make it happen and don’t waste another second on it. Most people (like myself) don’t like doing this, but again, you are not responsible for the actions of others. If they prove they don’t listen to you and your request to leave you alone – cut them out. This is tougher to do offline. School and workplace issues tend not to allow it. But you can do your best to keep your distance and not get involved in the same projects as the other person.

(5) Report. A way to ensure not being forced into a group project with the person is to tell those in-charge. Teacher, Manger (boss), whoever, you let them know of the issue you are having and your desire not to work with the person. You show your documentation and various times where you asked politely for space and the demeaning and harassing behavior of the individual in question. Perhaps a more permanent solution will be presented. If it is online, especially in the Jedi Community, you can report to administrators or website leaders. Again you present your record of behavior and problems and state your issue. Leadership should hold the person accountable.

The thing to remember is that a person’s behavior is very rarely directed at a singular person. It tends to be a radiating thing. It spreads to many people. And by speaking up you could be adding to an already compiling list of issues. Or you may be the first that encourages others to come forward with their issues. Either way. Don’t be a doormat. If you have a dealing with a negative person – take action. Value yourself enough not to simply accept continual abuse from a person.

Your words mean something to me

Troublemaker Lover like Fire

So I recently received a message on Tumblr thanking me for doing what I do. And I started to write a reply and realized there was something I really wanted to talk about. And instead of drowning out the Thank you message I decided to make a post here. So here is the issue. I suck at Gratitude and Compliments. I am at a loss. Most of the time I will deflect with a simple thank you and then shut up as if I just sold my voice to Ursula for a pair of legs. Or my main go to is self-deprecating humor. “I got your book Opie.” – “Oh! I am so sorry for you. I apologize for that.” Now most tend to throw this in the self-esteem category. And at one time – that was absolutely correct, but as a Jedi have worked hard on that. Some throw it into the misplaced humility – trying to play at being humble in other words. But again, the whole Jedi thing has ensured this is not the case either. So what is it? Why is it that every time someone thanks me for me work that it is like a little Jedi Trial for me?

When I joined the Jedi Community it was a lot different than it is now. Maybe on the surface it looks pretty similar, but it is very different. The support, the understanding, the experience, all of this was non-existent. We were all kids playing Jedi. Didn’t matter how wise someone thought they were. How well they knew Star Wars quotes. Or Campbell. Or Taoism. Or Stoicism. Or whatever. It was all book knowledge. There was no understanding of application. There was no one who had been living so ingrained in their lives that they had a core understanding of what it meant to live and call yourself a Jedi in everyday life. And because of that there were a lot of mistakes made. And I felt almost like I was lied to. That the Jedi Community was a fraud. I came in search of a Jedi Master – someone who could help me become a Jedi Knight for real. And instead I found Cronyism and Nepotism – which left me (along with many others) with positions and titles I was nowhere near ready for. I wanted to be a Jedi in the worse situations in life. When I was beat down by life – I wanted my knee-jerk reaction to be Jedi.

So I made that determination to be what I was looking for. I trained, studied, and engaged to create the material I had been looking for. I sought to implement change to training, standards, and remove the segregation and cronyism that was infesting our Community. As such I was labelled a Troublemaker. I was an outcast. I was a naysayer. I was written off – “Oh that is just Opie banging his drums again.” I was fighting, arguing, and being looked down upon the entire time. As my frustration grew my Jedi Diplomacy shrank. I’d ask blunt questions. I’d challenge things that didn’t make sense (from certain people made leaders or “Masters”) or lessons that were so fluffy and full of nothing tangible. For over ten years I was looked at as this disruptive and ill-mannered failure of a Jedi who did not radiate the Calm and Peace that we hold to our imaginary Jedi Masters. I was mocked, ignored, and banned by Jedi Masters and Councilors.

When I went through my divorce and had that what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-crisis I really fell apart. There was a lot of support for a so-called troublemaker of the Path. And the Community that should been the most help was just as worthless as when I first started. Platitudes that made excuses for my unJedi-like behavior. Platitudes that told me everything would be alright in the empty hallow way that doesn’t actually help you work through the issues. Left alone to face the darkness that I felt and the darker things I had done in my life. The feeling of failure and a life wasted. Suicide indeed came up as a very valid option more than once during that time. I was suppose to be this senior Jedi – someone with years under his belt. Someone who continually strove to make the Jedi Path better – more tangible – more applicable. I was someone who fought against the pretenders of the Path who just wanted a title. And yet there I was – a supposed Jedi getting into bar fights. Disgraceful.

So – what does this have to do with gratitude and compliments? Wouldn’t this just highlight feeling that they are undeserved and thus why I struggle with them? Nah, it isn’t that. I fought my way back. I took the time to take ALL that material I had been building over the years and live it. I took every lesson, lecture, rambling, and rant I had and read it several times over. I applied it to my life. I went back to basics. I started from the ground up and I worked my way back into a position I felt good about. I built Jedi Living (under different names) into something I felt would reflect that dedication and the result.

I cannot express how happy I am. How much I enjoy and love life. It is not great. I am not where I want to be. I still have a long road ahead of me. But that is what Jedi Living is about. Living as a Jedi and sharing the journey with other Jedi. The ups, the downs, and everything in-between. It was a renewing of the idea of Being the Jedi I wanted to find when I first started. Having the materials that would have helped me on my journey. Not giving any answers. You can’t really. But I can give my experience. My ideas. What I have gained from near thirty years of absolute failure at being a Jedi Knight.

In the past couple of years there has been a shift. I have not been written off. People in the Jedi Community have not been saying mean things behind my back (I mean some still, but that will always exist – you never escape high school :P). People have been sending me messages of Thanks. Of support. Of Encouragement. And I really have no experience – none what-so-ever – in responding to that. Praise? Gratitude? Appreciation? The Hell do I do with that? The past 13 (minus two for the recent years and five for the years I was just a quiet student and observer) years in the online Jedi Community prepared me on how to handle criticism, how to handle bullies, how to handle adversity. I learned that Endurance and Perseverance wins the day, because here we are. 2016. And somehow Opie-Wan Macleod has gone from Community troublemaker to a Jedi who gets message of Gratitude. So I struggle with that. However.

I want to say to anyone reading this. What I want to say to anyone who would thank me or appreciates the time, energy, and effort I have put into this. Just be better than me. All I ask. It may seem daunting if you are just starting out. But I have had over twenty years. And this is as far as I have gotten. I am not done. I am not standing still, but in ten years you can be a way better Jedi than me. You are the next to lead the new generation of Jedi. I fought against an entire Community and now the foundations are there (because of other Jedi, not saying because of me :P). You have lessons, actual academies with lectures based upon experience and understanding – not speculation and wishful thinking. And if somehow I have helped in your path as a Jedi – I am truly – 100% happy. I am glad that I have helped – provided some measure of information to help you grow in a lifestyle and path that you want live. I will never be able to truly express how grateful I am that you feel I have had a positive impact on your path. And if that is just one person – if it is just you (whoever you are reading this right now) – it makes all of it worth it. If I have helped one person achieve their dream of living as a Jedi in everyday life – my investment and life was absolutely worth it in my mind. So I guess if I were to try to make this a lesson the moral would be – be a troublemaker. Challenge – question – fight for what you believe is right. Because you may never get to experience it, but the next generation may very well benefit from your efforts.

So, Thank You! Be a Jedi. That is all the repayment I need. Heck just take some of the ideas and live a positive life – Jedi or not. That works to. And I will continue to do my best to create material that I always wanted. In the hopes that it may help future Jedi achieve their dreams. From the bottom of my heart – Thank you for your words of support and gratitude. I’ll continue to fight for you and the next generation. Love you Jedi.

Creating a Jedi Mood/Day

http://cocky-as-a-rooster.deviantart.com/art/Qui-Gon-284387644

Or Five Steps to Creating a Light Side Day. I am really horrible at naming these silly things. Okay, sappy Jedi time….

Step One: Stop! Number one Jedi practice time – deep breath. Take a minute. One minute. Just close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Got more than a minute? Get a glass/bottle of water and find a nice view. A tree, a bird singing, the lights of your cityscape, a park, the clouds in the sky. Pick something and just enjoy a moment of quiet for you. Enjoy your water and then go attack the day like you’re Obi-Wan and the day is Darth Maul.

Step Two: Lightsaber Duel! Okay, you may not be able to do this. Maybe bust out the lightsaber and simply practice Form One (Shii-Cho, Way of the Sarlacc, Determination Form) for a little. Okay. Some may not be able to do that right now either. Okay. How about just quickly rocking 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats? Bam! Just a little something to get some blood flowing. Here – I’ll start….. Okay. Your turn.

Step Three: Patience my Jedi friend. Time is a tool to be used, use it wisely. There is a time to press forward and a time to just allow things to unfold. Not everything happens when we want it to, but that doesn’t mean that it will NEVER happen. You have to be patient at certain times. Most of all you have to exercise patience with yourself. You are not infallible, you are not an all-powerful god, you are a perfectly flawed human being. So take it a day at a time, keep your focus on the present moment.

Step Four: Remember that you got this. It can seem overwhelming and crazy and just WAY too much, but You Got This. You will survive this and be better for it. Doesn’t matter what the day holds for you – because you are a Jedi and you are awesome. And you have a pretty good record thus far – survived 100% up to this point. So keep that up.

Step Five: Smile. Hold that for twenty seconds. Next, share that smile with someone today. Make it your mission. Sincerely wish someone a great day (or good, wonderful, nice, etc.). Hold a door open for someone. Give a big hug to the next family member you see. End every conversation with, May the Force Be With You. Okay, you don’t have to do that last one. But I telling you, smiles and confused replies to giggle with if you do.

Just be happy. I know life can be crappy. Very few of us are where we want to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. So really, just embrace life (even for a day). Just take the good, bad, and the absolutely insane as a learning experience. Don’t judge it. Don’t label it. Just grasp the day, accepting it without judgment, and determine to enjoy it despite the struggle. Be happy Jedi – you deserve it.

10 Jedi Running Tips

Commish__ZEE_FROLICKING_JEDI_by_Crispy_Gypsy

Pain – Is Not A Part of the Process. Yes, you will have muscle soreness. But shin-splint aren’t “just a by-product” of running. Joint pain is not “just a part of running”. Pain is a sign something is not working. Bad posture, over-exerting yourself, not recovering properly. You should be sore. But there is a big difference between muscle soreness and hurting yourself. If you’re experiencing pain – see a professional. Check with your doctor that you don’t have any issues preventing running. Go to a running clinic. See a sports-doctor. Or, you know, stop trying to be Usain Bolt and go easy on your runs. Be Sore, Not in Pain.

Relax – You are running, not disarming a bomb with 10 seconds left on the timer. You are not trying to solve all world problems. You are going for a run to help improve your overall well-being. So deep breath, relax, and be mindful that this extends to other areas. Your jaw should not be clenched during your runs. Relax. Breathe.
This extends to your hands: Keep your hands loose and below your chest. No making fists. Don’t punch forward, this isn’t a movie and you aren’t Rocky. Don’t hold anything. If you must (music player, dog leash) switch hands halfway through the run and make sure you aren’t squeezing the life out of what you holding.
This also extends to your upper body. Your shoulders should be at a natural position. If you need to, shrug your shoulders to your ears and let them fall naturally into place. Don’t be a statue. Don’t tense up. Enjoy the time you have to run.

Elbows – Running is very engaging, but make sure you aren’t over-extending or over-exerting yourself. Keep you elbows bent at about 90 degrees (or less). Don’t lose that bend in the “back swing”. You want to keep your arms close to you. In other words no failing arms, no windmills. Don’t waste energy swing your arms around. This goes with the above. Loose, relaxed, but not flinging about the place.

Your Core – Is your friend. Posture is important. So stand up straight. No leaning forward, no hunching over, and if any point you find yourself bent forward at the waist either correct it (or if you have been running awhile, consider that you are done for the day). Run tall. A natural slight lean forward will generally occur when you do so (from the ankles, not the waist). But relax, head up, run tall. Your body will work itself out.
Core training will help with this. Enjoy some nice core exercises in your overall routine. A strong core will help immensely with running posture. So don’t just count on running.

Quick-Stride – Don’t extend your stride. Avoid reaching forward with you foot. Longer strides are not your friend. This is where a lot of injury tends to happen. You are creating impact shocks which can damage joints and muscle. So keep a short, natural, quick stride. No worries, we got you covered on the how.

Strike – Your foot should strike under your knee. Foot-fall should not be in front of your knee. I prefer a mid-foot strike myself, but doesn’t matter if it is forefoot, mid, or heel (which I don’t like). The key is to make sure your foot is not in front of your knee. Especially if you are running downhill. Put your foot down under your hips. This requires a short stride and helps to keep you from over-extending. You are pushing up and off the ground. You can’t push up and off if you are over-extended pass the hips.

Cadence – 170 should be good for most people, eventually you can hit the generally accepted number of 180. What does this mean and how can you figure it out? This is simply how many times your feet hit the ground in one minute. So you could count how many times your right foot hits the ground in a minute, double it, and you’ll have your number. Or you can count your steps for 15 seconds and times that by four and you’ll have your number. Or I am sure there is some app out there for it. Either way you should look to get a cadence around 180 (it is a general guideline and not an exact number). Know what helps this? Not over-extending with long strides.

Breathe – Yeah. Repeating a bit here. But you should seek to have a good steady breath during your runs. Will you become out of breath? Eventually, sure. But if you are huffing and puffing, then you are most likely leaning forward and over-extending your stride. So just stop. Jedi can seek to modify the calming breath to help regulate. Or simply, in-breath three steps, out-breath three steps. Regulating your breathing is important and can help avoid cramping up during runs. Like the cadence this isn’t stone. Just something to be mindful of and to help make sure you aren’t killing yourself (especially on your first couple of outings).

Preparation – Invest in yourself and your physical well-being. Running can be a wonderful stress reliever. It can be a great meditation. It can be a wonderful tool. But you have to put a little effort into it. Preparation is key. That means making sure you have good shoes. Proper support makes a difference. That means taking the time to stretch out properly before your run. It means making sure you stay hydrated. In means not eating a McDonald’s Big Platter breakfast ten minutes before you go running. Or wearing sweatpants when it is 100 degrees outside. Invest in yourself and your practice – as you would anything else. Talk to the experts and get properly outfitted.

Recovery – Give yourself time to recover. Makes changes gradually and allow for your body to adjust. A good diet and plenty of water will help your recovery time/process. If you have a love one that likes to spoil you – get some massage time in.

Patience – Seriously, you are not Pheidippides (thankfully). This is a PROCESS. Start slow. Listen to your body DURING your runs. If you’re done after five minutes, you are done. How do you feel the next day? Good? Five minutes again, see maybe about seven minutes, if not no worries. Build up. Don’t worry about speed or distance when you first begin. Just focus on good running posture and listening to your body. At the end of your run: You should be sweaty and out of breath, but still smiling and feeling good. And absolutely you should be walking a bit funny the next day, but only because of sore leg muscles, not painful injuries.

Ten Things to Help You Survive Jedi Training

Accept It! – You knew this was not going to be easy right? But life has a way of smacking us upside the head with our own expectations. But you know what? That is life. So take a moment for yourself. Put down the study materials and take your dog for a walk. Or go swimming. Or watch an episode of a tv show. Then deep breath and finish up your Jedi assignments for the day.

Don’t Quit! – Yeah, you are going to want to, I promise. The reasons vary. Sometimes it is the online community. Sometimes it is a poor choice in mentors. Sometimes you realize you were holding Jedi to standard that doesn’t exist. Or it may all be internal, not feeling good enough. Not feeling capable. Feeling like you just will never be a Jedi. Forget all of that. Deep breath – remember, you’ve got this. You have survived so much worse. You can handle this and succeed at it. So don’t run away, don’t hide, but continue on and live it.

Learn! – Knowledge is Power, Power is Change. Smart is Sexy. Whatever motto helps you. But enjoy the process. Learn to take pleasure in learning new things. Seek out new information. Don’t shut other people out. Don’t think you already know this. Don’t tune out because you have heard it before. Listen, consider, ask questions, seek for something new, find something to learn.

Focus! – Specifically focus on you. You are not the hero yet. It is not your time to be the mentor, leader, or savior yet okay Jedi? Relax. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t worry about what some other site is doing. Focus on your studies and focus on your growth. You’ll have plenty of time to play Jedi Knight to Rescue later on. For now, get your stuff in order.

Be Kind! – Be considerate and respectful to your fellow humans. Especially your teachers and fellow students on the Jedi Path. It will make a difference I promise. Courtesy and Respect go a long way. So be nice to those within your life.

Ask Everything! – Seriously, ask the most stupidest of questions. Engage. Follow through. If someone replies trolling you? Forget them. Any Jedi worth their salt will treat ALL of your questions with sincerity and respect. They will appreciate and enjoy every single question you present. It is something all Jedi Mentors want to see. So ask absolutely everything that comes to mind. Mentors may give you the answer or may help you find it yourself or may simply pause for a second as you realize the answer as soon as you ask aloud. All of that is find and acceptable, so ask.

Prepare! – Have an understanding of yourself and how your next day is shaped up. Make sure you have time to get things ready. If you don’t get them ready in advance. Clothes, food, homework, make sure everything is squared away or ready to be at the start of your day. Make sure you make time for some sort of breakfast. Don’t starve yourself or hurt yourself because you are “too busy”. That just means you prepared poorly. So get your stuff together – it will ease your Jedi assignments and required practices. You’ll be much more able to juggle them with life properly.

Sleep! – Hey Jedi guess how far you’ll get if you allow sleep to be sacrificed for fitting in training? Not far. You will burn out. Something will give and it won’t be a pretty event. So get your Jedi Robe wearing butt into bed and get a good night’s rest. Do a before bed meditation to ease yourself down. Put on soothing waves or music that helps carry you to snore-zone. Whatever it is, get it done. It will have a direct impact on your energy and how you approach the next day.

Water! – Drink plenty and plenty and plenty of water. Keep a water bottle with you. Stay hydrated at all times. It is important. Water intake is vital and another core aspect which helps your energy. So drink plenty of water throughout the day. Will you have to know where bathrooms are at all times, probably. Consider an exercise in Jedi Mindfulness. But water will help in keeping your head in the game and knock those Jedi assignments out of the park.

Meditation! – Don’t you dare forget the importance of daily meditation. I don’t care what technique you adopt, just take a deep breath. Fine. But it is a vital part of being a Jedi because it helps remind us of an important thing. That is all going to work out. It is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. It helps make sure your vision is clear and you can approach each day at the best you can be within that moment. So breathe, get your meditation on, and remember that you are going to smash this Jedi Training stuff. You are going to be a great Jedi Student and an even better Jedi Knight.

Challenge Level: Life.

I recently embarked on a journey that is far beyond my capabilities. And I may have hit my ceiling. Not a roadblock, simply the point in which I cannot move beyond. Which may mean my pursuit is over. Over in the grand dream I had envisioned, but certainly not over as in quitting. Just means it is back to the drawing board. Back to studying and learning. 

It is hard to know when that pivotal moment in life is. It usually takes years and a lot of reflection for us to say – this moment, this one event had that course altering effect. All you can do is move forward as best you can. And when you are hurt, when you fall, and feel like crying then cry. But don’t cry and give up. You are already been through the pain. You already fell. So cry and keep going. Slowly pick yourself up and push yourself forward.

Bad days suck. No doubt there. My reminder to myself is this: Claw and crawl your way to f*king success. Just because the road isn’t easy, doesn’t mean the journey isn’t worth it. 

(Image Credit: http://choboroy.deviantart.com/art/Jedi-170051660 ) Forgot to do that last time.