Tag Archives: Explaining Jedi

Waiting for you…

There is a difference between handling things and and dealing with things. This is one of the biggest traps for most people, including Jedi. Life can get busy. It can come at us quick. And we can feel we are doing a great job of dealing with things. that we are tackling each new challenge and responsibility that we encounter. The reality is often we are just managing these things. Marking a checklist and then moving on to the next thing. But when we slow down and find ourselves with a few minutes to just relax (meditation, laying down to sleep) things seem to creep in on us. And we start to feel bad or stressed or overwhelmed. Where did that accomplishment go? Why when things are finally done do we feel the most broken?

Human beings are great survivors. We are pretty tough. Doesn’t always seem like it, but individuals have been defying the odds for as long as we have kept records of it. Our ability to power through is a great asset, but it can mask emotional trauma. Something that is just as valid as physical illness. If you break your foot, you don’t power through it. You go to a medical professional, get it set, and than rest accordingly to allow the body to heal itself. Same with being sick, you rest up until you feel healed and ready to go. Yet we continually ignore this standard practice with our mental health.

And sure, there are some moments and even days when you have to suck it up and power through. This even goes for physical ailments. There are always exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking we need to be aware of our state of being and address it properly. Jedi have various practices which help us out in this endeavor. Self-reflection, Awareness, Meditation, there are many things we practice which have us stop and look within ourselves. These should be moments of relief and comfort. But what happens when we are not?

Well it could be a sign that we are managing things. We are dealing. We are getting by. We aren’t fully addressing what is going on within us or our lives. And we have come to no conclusion within ourselves about how we truly feel about what is happening within our lives at the moment. This isn’t really a failure of living the Jedi Way – again this can be a feeling that arises during Jedi practices. And this is how the Jedi Path can helps us. It gives us the chance (daily) to look at where we are at, how we are feeling, and that information is invaluable. You need to know something before you can do something about it.

So if you are meditating or laying down for bed and find that something is waiting for you – what can you do?
1.) Don’t run from it. I know you may have an important day tomorrow. Or in a few minutes. But you can’t keep putting it off. If you have a day off tomorrow or you know you’ll have time later to sit down with this and really look at it. Then obviously acknowledge that. Set that time up for yourself and then power through. But don’t keep running away from this feeling. Procrastination is not the answer that is going to help you here.
2.) Acknowledge and Accept. We all know this one, right Jedi? We have to be willing to face ourselves. Look ourselves in the mirror, be honest, and be willing to acknowledge and accept what we find facing us. It is only when we acknowledge a problem that we can begin the process of solving it. So – take that time to face this mountain that is casting a shadow over you. And accept that this is a process and it starts with being honest with ourselves.
3.) Patience. Nothing is fixed in a instant. It takes time. A broken bone doesn’t heal over night – why would a broken heart? The flu doesn’t go away because you have more important things to focus on, why would your stress? You have to approach it like any other health problem. That requires rest, patience, and treating yourself right.
4.) Meditation. The original tool for mental health. Constant and regular practice. Finding a technique that works for you within this moment. Since you are dealing with this emotional or mental injury you may have to change your normal meditation style. You might need to use a technique that helps you acknowledge, accept, and let go of the extra weight. Allowing yourself the time and energy to heal. So be mindful on your meditation and find a technique that you find helpful (keeping in mind that it may take a few sessions, patience). When in bed – focus on breathing and just letting go of that extra weight with each exhale.
5.) Professionals. Do not forget that there are resources out there for you. As you would go to the hospital for a severe injury you may want to consider seeking professional help with emotional of mental injury. That is a call you are going to have to make. But don’t rule it out. Even just seeking that professional online advice can provide you with more tools and resources for your recovery. Sometimes we reach the point as far as we can get on our own. In that case – make note that you will research professional help the next day, be at peace with that decision, and meditate until sleep takes you.

This my two pennies. I am not a professional – so as always – grain of salt. But as this was something I have been dealing with I wanted to write something on it and talk a little bit about my own practices and experiences. You have to be patient with yourself and accept who you are within the moment. The Jedi Path provides a lot of great tools and resources for growing beyond such experiences in a positive and healthy way. The Jedi Community can sometimes interfere with that. So be mindful of that. Still focus on the Path, live it as best you can, and I believe it will help right the ship. Meditation, Fitness, Awareness, Patience, etc. You’ll get there Jedi – just have to take it one step at a time.

Jedi Advice (Another Five List)

Define Your Focus
Your focus determines your reality.” A tried and true Jedi quote given to us by George Lucas through Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. What you chose to focus on will ultimately define your life and outlook. So before you begin anything, take a moment to really define your focus. Where is it going to be spent? Why? How? To what end? Dig into it and explore where you are putting your focus currently and what you would like to focus on from this point forward. Jedi, School, Career, Relationships, make sure you truly understand where you focus is and how much it takes. You cannot do everything. You don’t have enough time to focus on everyone. You are going to have to adjust and make the necessary commitments to the things you can invest your time and energy into. And sacrifice (at least temporarily) those things you simply cannot afford to invest in. You only have so much time and energy, so chose wisely, because where you put your focus will impact your life.

Outline Your Practice
Control, control, you must learn control.” Yoda the Green Muppet Master was ever the preacher of training and repetition. Both of which take a lot of patience, after-all practice takes time. People will say, ‘practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.’ But that is a silly and absurd way to look at things. Practice is about learning from the ground up. It means you will make mistakes, you will be sloppy, you won’t be perfect, but you will be working to correct that. Take control of your practice by outlining it. Outline what your exact goals are, long term and short term. Outline the methods you feel will best help you obtain them. Make your practice gradual. Again, you are not a superstar from day one. No one is born a Jedi Master. It will take time and a lot of trial and error to work out the problems and get to that steady level of “perfect practice.” So practice, be patient, and take control of your schedule. Time management is critical to your success in anything you do. So outline, plan, and be prepared.

Trust Your Instincts
Stretch out with your feelings. Trust your instincts.” – “Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.” Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn were great fictional mentors that inspired. When they spoke you felt you could block laser bolts blind-folded as well. These lines endure because we know them to be accurate. When we let go of the doubts, the over-thinking, and just take a deep breath and trust ourselves and that nameless force of the universe things tend to work out. When we are present within the moment and trust our training, study, and preparation we can let go and allow our feelings and instincts to help guide us to the right answers. Things don’t always go how we intended or hoped or deisred, but often we can feel good about the outcome and not have regrets over how we chose to live our lives.

Acknowledge Your Fear
There are many lines in which Jedi consider fear. But the main idea is not to ignore, banish, or bottle up your fear. You must acknowledge your fears. Then you need to seek to understand them. Why does public speaking terrify you? What can be done about it, if anything? Once you acknowledge your fear and face it head on, it loses a lot of its power. This isn’t to say you won’t feel it, or that you will stop sweating, shaking, or your heartbeat will return to normal. This simply means you are aware of it and as such in a much better place to act regardless of the chemicals coursing through your body. We can be afraid to try new things, because we are scared of failing or be laughed at. We can be afraid to trust someone because we are scared of being hurt and going through that emotional turmoil again. Without acknowledging this, we just blindly refuse these opportunities and let them pass us by. Yet if we acknowledge why we want to say no to these things, why we want to let them pass us by, then we can make a much more informed decision. And we can begin to make decision based upon knowledge and understanding rather than fear and ignorance.

Always More to Learn
Don’t get cocky kid.” A strong reminder by a grounded voice of experience. Han Solo was no Jedi, but certainly knew the price of over-confidence. He also knew the reward for trying new things and working from a confident state of mind. Sometimes you have to be willing to try new things and open to learning from experience. The character progression for Han Solo eventually shows him acknowledging that he had some things wrong. He learned the universe wasn’t exactly what he thought, but in that learning and growth he was in a position to help guide new heroes along their own journey. From Aayla Secura to Yoda the Jedi knew that learning never ended. And often when you thought you reached the top, life would kick you down to show how far you had yet to go. It is an on-going journey in which each days provides new opportunity to learning more, to experience something greater. Even if that lesson is simply when to slow down, relax, and enjoy the quiet moments.

Real Jedi, Activism (Written Lecture)

I was asked to do a video on this topic. Which yes, if you have a topic or question, ask away and I’ll do my best to address it. With some videos I feel having a written lecture or script to share helps people understand the topic better.

Okay. So, is Activism a part of the Jedi Path? And if so, what can we do as Jedi? If not, what actions can Jedi take? This will be a two-part look at the topic. The first on Activism. The second on Jedi less keen on Activism. Activism and Action is basically what I went with.

First let’s make sure we properly define Activism. Activism is defined as the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. I am sure people have their misconceptions of the word. But I’d prefer we approach this with a Beginner’s Mind. So try to put aside the assumptions about activism and lets just dig into it.

Activism is just about demonstrating the change you want to see in the world. What “change” will determine what group of people you will associate with. There are many activism groups out there; with a wide range from the NRA to Farm Sanctuary. However this is NOT a requirement for a Jedi. Yet many Jedi, due to our seemingly over-developed sense of justice, do have an eye towards political and social change. So many do find themselves seeking to be more proactive in these areas (on all sides of many topics).

If you are one of these Jedi who wants to get more involved – how can you do that? Basic Jedi Code stuff. Knowledge over Ignorance. First determine what you want to see changed. Then research what groups are available, especially in your area. Dig into the group and be sure they practice activism in a way that you agree with. Some groups go to extremes that can undermine their causes. Be sure their actions are things you won’t mind doing and supporting (especially as a Jedi). Knowledge, Information. Arm yourself properly before running off to change the world.

Along these lines – You may want to write clear goals and the vision you have. Help establish exactly the direction you want to take. Also – look at successful events which may help you organize peaceful events for your cause. Mainly it boils down to this.
Step 1 – Preparation/Planning. Have a clear outline of your event. Inform necessary people of your participation. Friends, Family, and Teachers. So they know where you are, what you are doing, and can respect your rights to peaceful protest.
Step 2 – Get Your Materials Together. Signage, Markers, Baked Goods. Whatever you need for your event.
Step 3 – Meet up with your group and those interested in participating to fully plan and organize your event.
Step 4 – Promote. Spreading the word about the event will help raise the awareness of the cause and encourage other people to join in your event.
Step 5 – Participate in Event. Don’t forget to have ways to record your event. Especially if there is strong or hostile opposition. We all have a voice and the right to be heard, but you want to protect yourself from any misinformation and ensure everything goes down peacefully.
Lastly – Use that footage, pictures, etc. to share with other like-minded groups and social media to continue to raise peaceful awareness and encourage and support the change you want.

As with all things in life exercise some moderation. Remember to be a Jedi. That means being patient. Changing the world takes time. Segregation in Schools in the US didn’t change over night. The right for women to vote didn’t happen overnight. Remember to take time out for you and your peace of mind. Self-Care is important. Do not burn yourself out. Remember it is okay to say No. You do not have to be at every event. If you had a 12 hour work shift, don’t feel you have to be at a protest for the next four hours thereafter. Don’t forget to take a break from Social Media, News Outlets, and even your fellow Activists. Disconnect to Reconnect. Go hiking for a day. Camping for the weekend. Stay in bed and cuddle with someone having marshmallow fights and candyland tournaments. And of course, keep up your daily Jedi practices.

In the end, be smart, be safe, be a Jedi. And if activism is your jam – here is a link to some great tips for getting involved.

Here is a link which has some great tips if Activism is your jam. http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/fw/9606/guide.html

Be smart. Be safe. Be a Jedi.

Seeking Peace through the Jedi Lifestyle

Ancient_Monument_TCG_by_Cynthie_Sheppard
Many seek to find a more peaceful life. One not defined by the hustle of life. The Jedi Way often talks of peace and peace of mind. But what ideas can we applied directly to our lives from our fictional counterparts to make that a reality?
“Conquer Materialism” – The desire for more is not a bad thing, but certainly moderation is key. The newest this or the slimmer that – are they needs? All material things are impermanent and will require replacing eventually. Enjoy what you have now. It may not be the best or where you want to be, but that doesn’t take away from the great things you do have in your life. The necessities of life, Water, Food, Shelter. So yes, enjoy that phone or computer (however you are reading this), but don’t get lost to the chase for more, more, more , more. Embrace your now and be content with what you do have.

“You were right about one thing master. The negotiations were short.” – If you cannot laugh at the situation or yourself you may be taking things a bit too seriously. This isn’t to say that a situation isn’t serious, but a dose of humor goes a long way to ensuring we don’t get caught in a stressful way of thinking. Laugh, Smile, seek the messed up humorous side of it all. Life can be pretty ridiculous, best to laugh with it.

“Jedi are encouraged to love.” – Love freely and openly. No that does not mean try to sleep with senators from Naboo. It means that this world has many great things to truly appreciate, enjoy, and love. Pets, family, friends, significant other, love deeply, richly, and openly. Again, nothing lasts forever. So enjoy these memories and relationships and connections while they are here. Do not worry about some ‘what if’ – instead embrace the love now with all your heart. Especially for pets. Give them pets and treats for me.

“Concentrate. Concentrate.” – Meditation. Focus. A daily routine and practice of meditation makes a impact. There is no – doing it wrong. Do a little research, find a meditation technique that you find enjoyable. Set it into your daily routine. We have a couple videos that may help. Whatever works for you. Do it and reap the benefits of cultivating a center of calm. It is well worth the investment.

“Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.” – The major theme here. Yes, future plans and goals are important. Yes, the past provides valuable lessons to learn from. But happiness, peace, these are found in this very moment. It is a choice. Turn off the tv, go admire the beauty and wonder of nature (even a local park in the city provides this). Just 10 minutes of not drowning yourself in media and noise – instead spend it outside just taking in the world around. Life. Concentrate on the moment – this time. This is for you. You have this moment – what will you do with it? Hopefully close this article and go enjoy what the moment has to offer. Even if that is merely looking out the window of your office building at the sky above.

5 Life Lessons from Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

Life is this crazy, wondrous, beautiful, and ever-changing thing. It is not always easy to navigate its fast and flowing currents and we can find ourselves a bit lost on how to proceed. Often in these times we look to areas which inspire us. People who have attained the goals they pursued. Or characters which we have come to identify with. For many Jedi that has been a lowly whiny farm boy turned confident hero, Luke Skywalker. Here we explore some quotes of the character for a little advice in life.

“It was never too late to correct a mistake.” – Luke Skywalker
It is going to happen – at some point you are going to make a mistakes. Gasp! Shock! Surprise! You will find a choice you made was not the best one and it had an affect on your life. But not everything is written in stone. Often sometimes we can adjust and make the most of a mistake. We can correct our course. We can apply the freshly learned lesson and make-up for a poor decision. Pencils have erasers because mistakes happens and sometimes we can correct them. That correction may take time, it may take years, but don’t just surrender yourself to a bad outcome. You are alive. You are wiser. You are capable of correcting past mistakes.

“Wishing that things were otherwise does nothing to erase memories. Wounds do not heal by ignoring them.” – Luke Skywalker
There are plenty of things in life that can leave a mark. Times we want like to change. But none of us have a time machine. Dreaming and wishing you could change things doesn’t affect anything. You cannot live life looking backwards. It is like driving a forward while staring in the rear-view mirror. Torturing yourself over the past only serves to blind you to what is in front of you. Learn from the past. Eventually accept and come to terms with the past. You cannot change it, but you can use it to help build a brighter future.

“Having more experience doesn’t mean making difficult decisions are easier, but it does let you know that sometimes the tough decisions must be made.” – Luke Skywalker
I have been doing this Jedi thing for, well, longer than most – lets just say that. And there are times in life when it is still difficult to Jedi-up and do the Jedi thing. When you first begin the training you’ll find plenty of obstacles and hurdles, but eventually a lot of those become easy and second-nature practices. Yet no matter how long you live, how long you are a Jedi, there will always be a time when you are faced with a tough decision and it is still a tough decision to make. But experience does remind you of one important thing – not making a decision is still making a decision. When presented with choices, you must move forward as best you can. Use your experience and training and make a decision you feel best.

“It was good for a Jedi to question… Discipline was necessary, but unquestioning obedience was a limiting thing, not a growing one.” – Luke Skywalker
When one first starts out on a path they are taking a lot of things on faith. They are assuming the practices and lessons are made out of experience and will lead to positive and beneficial changes. So not every little thing is questioned and faith is put into the instructors. Such is nice, but one should never follow blindly. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you do agree with soemthing, talk it out. If you something just doesn’t seem right, then discuss it. You can respectfully question material, methods, and practices. You can question traditions and why things are. This is a great tool in learning. Any real instructor will appreciate the questions because not everything is always covered in the lesson plan. Exploration is necessary. So dig into it and should you ever have a question – ask.

“Your overconfidence is your weakness.” – Luke Skywalker
It is absolutely important to believe in yourself. It is important to your know yourself. Your weaknesses, your strengths, and your limits are all core self-knowledge items. Some people will mistakes confidence and self-knowledge as arrogance and over-confidence. Know yourself and hold to it. Humility is knowing your strengths and using to them, not bragging about them. Still you will need to be careful of over-confidence. It blinds a person not only to their own flaws and weaknesses. It starts to rely heavily on assumption and begins to ignore information counter to your own belief. A small danger can become a huge one if you start to believe yourself infallible and untouchable. Over-confidence is a weakness that will cause you to get blindsided a harsh reality. Assume you can do anything and you’ll quickly find out how incorrect that is. Know yourself and know your obstacles and you will always overcome them (one way or another). So be objective, honest, and fair with yourself and you will grow into a very capable person.

Five Steps to Jedi Acceptance

 


First understand that there are different levels of acceptance. This isn’t an all or done sort of thing. Understand that acceptance doesn’t mean passivity. Acceptance does not equal inaction. Just because you accept your boss is a jerk and accept that is who they are, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your situation. The first step to correcting any problem is accepting that there is a problem. You need to acknowledge and accept the issue then you can begin to work on it. This is the first level of acceptance – that there is something you need to address.

Next step is to understand not everything is about you. When someone is a jerk (using our previous example) that is about them. Even if they seem to only be a jerk to you specifically, it is still their issue. They are the one with the problem and inability to express and communicate like a rational adult. Instead of addressing whatever -their- issue may be, they have decided to act out in a childish manner. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own issues. Once you can accept that it isn’t about you then you can focus on what you can do.

The next step is a bit tricky, because it does have something to do with you. More specifically you have to be aware of your motivations. A lot of our inability to accept something is because we have a very strong desire to be something else. We cannot accept that this person is a jerk because we expect and want them to be better. We expect them to be someone of quality and hold them to our own standards. It is not allowing people to be their normal messed up selves. So we find we cannot accept a situation because we have this expectation. The question then is – why do you have this expectation? What is motivating this desire to see a different reality then the one being presented to you? Try to let go of those expectations and simply accept what is presented to you and work from that rather than an idea of what it “should” be.

This brings us to our next step which is probably the most helpful. Your focus determines your reality, right? So adjust focus on solutions, not problems. You have probably heard that presented to you a bunch of times. The reason being is because it does wonders. When faced with a tough situation turn your eyes toward solutions rather than blame. Don’t look to blame anyone, including yourself, it is wasted effort. Instead find the solutions to the issue. There are usually many options available so look for them. Work through them. Find the best option for you. And if there is no solution to be had – look for the things within your control. What can you do? Where can you put your time, energy, and focus? Accept that you have control over you and where you put your time and energy and then use that ability to focus on more productive and happier things.

Last step is the over-used let it go. Don’t hang onto the past. You do what you do and then move forward. You make your decision and move forward. You don’t have a time machine. You cannot go back and change things, but what you can do is live in this moment to your fullest. You can learn from the past and use it to help create a brighter future. Shouldn’t have skipped that workout? You let that guilt go and when a day comes and you don’t feel like working out, you do a light workout knowing at least you did something. Stepped in some gum? Deep breath, done deal now, scrap it off, and move forward. Should have taken that job offer a couple years back? Keep an eye for a similar opportunity, never too late to take a new direction in life.

Acknowledge, Accept, Act (inaction counts, sometimes patience is the best action), and Move Forward. Acceptance is about realizing that we are always in motion, always moving forward. We have no reverse in this life. So deep breath – what is done is done – the question is now what – then go do that smarter and wiser for it.

Battling the Dark Side Five Tips from Qui-Gon Jinn

Battling the Dark Side – Five Tips from Qui-Gon Jinn
quigonjinn by wynahiros

Overcome Over-Thinking.
Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts. – Qui-Gon Jinn
It is going to happen. You are going to feel down. You are going to feel like you are in a dark place. That is okay. Don’t over-think it. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the repetitive trap of circular thinking. It is easy to get caught up in that down spiral of thought and rumination. Instead give yourself direction. Focus on the small steps. The obtainable goals. The little things you can do within this moment. Let go of the loftier goals and take your first steps toward the little accomplishments. Problem-solve rather than getting lost in the problem.

Nicely Done.
Your focus determines your reality. – Qui-Gon Jinn
When you feel in a dark place your judgment and thinking process can be clouded (and often is). To help balance that you need to remind yourself of a couple of facts. The first being the simple fact that you have survived this long. While you have faced many challenges and uphill battles you are in fact alive and not doing too bad for yourself. Especially considering what you have faced. You are alive and still capable of great things. Second, remind yourself of the good things you have done in the day (a worthy practice). All the little things and big things. Making someone smile. Helping someone out without recognition or credit. Feeling completely depressed and still getting in a 7 minute workout (available in the app store). Taking a couple minutes for meditation. Getting the dishes done though it was the last thing you wanted to do. Remind yourself of the good things and help balance your perspective. It isn’t all bad and you are moving one step at a time toward your goals.

The Present is a Present.
Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs. – Qui-Gon Jinn
The Past will get you every time. It is a dark place. Not because of events or happenings. But even the best memories can trap you from seeing what is happening right now in your life. You cannot drive forward while looking backwards, just as you cannot live life looking backwards. You are bound to crash eventually. Focus on the road ahead and just like driving you can only look so far down the road before it hinders what is in front of you. You have to stay present and aware. Look, you do not have a time machine. There is no going back. You have made mistakes. You probably have regrets. Things you’d like to do over. Meh. Such is life. Guess what, you just might get that second chance. But you will miss it, if you are not paying attention. So learn from the past. Then let it go. Mark the lessons. Look at those past events as prep work. Lessons for you to apply to your life now. And then live in the Now fully prepared with the life lessons you have earned the hard way.

The Future is in Motion.
You cannot prevent what you cannot see coming. You can only do what you think is right at each moment as you live it. We can plan, hope, and dread the future. What we cannot do is know it. – Qui-Gon Jinn
You can plan for the future. You can set goals, have dreams, and develop a plan of attack. Ultimately however you must live within the moment of day. You have to focus on where you are to get to where you are going. By working hard and wisely you can do your future self a favor. You can put yourself in a position to make your dreams come true, but that starts here and now. This moment, each moment, is when you begin making your goals into reality. So set down your plans and goals. Have an idea of how you are going to get there. But keep track of what you are doing each day to make it happen. Be fluid in your approach and adjust your sails as you need to.

Know Yourself.
You must be sure of what you want and believe. Sometimes the way will be confused, but allow yourself the time to understand yourself. – Qui-Gon Jinn
You are not defined by your past. Things which have happened to you do not define who you are. Take the time to really get to know you and your goals. What makes you – you. Then take the time to determine who you wish to be. Who do you want to become? Then start taking the steps to get there. One step at a time. One day at a time. Move forward with patience and trust in yourself. But don’t feel you have to do this alone. You are not alone. You have a social support structure there for you. Friends, Family, the Jedi Community even. Keep note of the people who help you move forward. Do not be afraid to lean on your friends when you feel tired and weak. It is okay to need a hand. You will need time to pick yourself up and get ready to attack life once again. Give yourself that time. Be patient and work steadily toward your dreams. Take the time to really get to know yourself. Your motivations, likes, dislikes, and what drives you. Push yourself when necessary and allow yourself time to rest and revitalize when necessary. Develop a basic schedule that works for you. A daily one and a realistic longer term one. Then take it a day at time adjusting as needed.

Developing a Good Jedi Relationship

Luke and Yoda

Developing a Good Jedi Relationship (for Apprenticeships)

Communication
“Each of us is still an individual. We will have worries and concerns that are unique to us. We cannot expect to always understand each other. The commitment (to each other) is what is important.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
(For the Student) First and foremost open and honest communication helps to cultivate the other items on our list (especially trust). Being a Jedi isn’t about being liked and agreed with by everyone (even if by “everyone” we mean only the Jedi Community). Likewise it isn’t agreeing or liking everyone. It is about being honest with yourself. There will be Jedi you won’t agree with or like and guess what? That is okay. This helps you tremendously in finding Jedi that gets your sense of style, humor, and approach. Which in turns help you as you explore the Jedi Path. You don’t want to enter an apprenticeship with someone who will make you tear out your hair on a constant basis (not as the student or mentor). Be You and explore and discuss the Path openly and honestly. I promise you will find someone who vibes with that.
(For the Mentor) Like the rest of the list this really starts with you. Your willingness to be open and honest, you communicating clearly and directly will set the tone for the Apprenticeship. Be as clear and upfront as possible. Don’t try to be someone you’re not (don’t play Yoda when you are more like Anakin). Talking about your experiences and views is important for your student and for finding a student that will be a good fit for you.

Trust
Secret, shall I tell you? Grand Master of Jedi Order am I. Won this job in a raffle I did, think you? “How did you know, how did you know, Master Yoda?” Master Yoda knows these things. His job it is.” – Yoda
(For the Student) There are certain things that you are going to have to trust in your Apprenticeship. That your Mentor earned their place and rank. That they will safe-guard your personal information and personal struggles. That they will not abandon you or throw you to the wolves. That they will be able to help you reach your goals. That they will be able handle your endless questions and boundless curiosity. And that when things get heavy, crazy, or outright seems like your universe is caving in on itself, that they will be able to help you not only survive it, but come out better for it. What is important here is that Trust. Because you may not fully get or understand why they are doing what they are doing. You may want them to respond and act a certain way. Their approach may not be what you were expecting. This can cause doubt, but it is here that you need to trust in the process. Trust in your mentor. Trust in the Path. And most importantly – trust in yourself.
(For the Mentor) Trust is a two-way street which begins with you. “Trust isn’t worth anything when it’s built on lies.” – Seha Dorvald (fictional Jedi Knight) If you really want a solid and firm training relationship than your student needs to trust you and that begins with you giving that trust. First and foremost, trust yourself that you didn’t pick a crazy Padawan that is going to run around throwing marshmallows at the Jedi Council during the Annual Jedi Gathering. I mean, unless the Council deserves it, which they probably do, so nevermind that example (and guess what we are doing this gathering now?). Still, point being that you chose your student for a reason. Presumably many reasons which were all grounded in common sense and good expectations. So extend them the courtesy of treating them as a honored Jedi whose council you value. Trust them so you can communicate what is going on in your life, what struggles you have faced, and may be facing. Trust that they will seek understanding and not ignore you or ditch you. Trust that they trust you.

Patience
Moving faster gives you little time to think.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
(For the Student) Or more to the point – little time to apply. The Jedi Way is not that complex. It is not this great mystery. You can learn the general concepts in a very short amount of time. What does not come out of that time is experience. There is a difference between knowing a thing and experiencing a thing. Reading a book on How-to Snowboard can teach you a lot, but it cannot make up for actually getting out there and snowboarding. Thus patience is required. Yes, you may know the Jedi Code, but how well have you lived it? There is a reason your Jedi mentor is a mentor. They have been there and done that a few times over. So be patient and trust the pace they set. And if that feels off – communicate that. Amazing how this all ties together right?
(For the Mentor) Simple – you were a slow-on-the-pick-up, million-question-asking, hungry-for-all-knowledge-ever, over-confident and brash young student as well. Relax. Keep it simple. Remember what it was like when you were a young and excited Jedi first exploring the path. No question is a stupid question. Because you have heard the question a million times before has no relevance to your student asking it for the first time. Empty your cup as well and embrace the long journey ahead. Treat your student with the patient respect they deserve. After-all they felt and agreed that you were the best mentor for them; don’t forget that trust they have placed in you.

Ask Questions
It was good for a Jedi to question…. Discipline was necessary, but unquestioning obedience was a limiting thing, not a growing one.” – Luke Skywalker
(For the Student) This is a core thing to do before Apprenticeship and definitely continues afterward. You will not know if you do not ask. If you don’t ask the answer will always be no. That sort of thing. So be sure to speak up. If something doesn’t seem right. If you find yourself confused. Whatever the reason may be, if you have a question ask it. You are not a bother. This is what your Mentor signed up for. Anytime, Any Question. So make use of your time with them. Bug them. Bury them with questions. Give no quarter. Doesn’t even have to be Jedi related. Want to know why the sky is blue? Ask. Want to know why they favor a green lightsaber blade? Ask. Want to know their stance on political voting and who they support? Ask. No question is off the table. Unless your Mentor specifically communicates to you that something is off the table. Sometimes a certain subject requires more time before it can be explored – if that happens, remember Trust and Patience.
(For the Mentor) So obviously you know to ask questions before taking on a student and the importance of all that. So the main thing I want to stress here is to Ask, don’t tell. Don’t feel you have to have all the answers. And whether you do have the answers or not, the most important thing you can do is simply ask more questions. Help develop that line questioning so that it leads to answers. Asking the right right question can make a lightbulb go off. Not only that, but asking questions allows a student to explore the topic themselves rather than getting an answer to memorize. Ask questions so the student can experience it, rather just be told an answer.

Be Humble
Do you remember Yoda’s little maxim about humility?”
“Humility endless is,” Anakin quoted.
“That’s the one. Did you ever hear Mace Windu’s translation?” Anakin shook
his head.
“You’re never too old to make another big mistake.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker
(For the Student) You are the Student for a reason. Clear? Empty your cup and remember that no is perfect or all-powerful or all-knowing. Be a student. Enjoy it. Relish it. Remember it.
(For the Mentor) You are a guide. You don’t get eminent domain over your student. You are a simple Jedi who got to where you are because of various other Jedi and people who helped you along the way. You are not special. You are not the best there is. You are not infallible. Take your ego out of it and simply offer the Jedi Way in a honest and open manner.

Failure is Okay
One can fail at a task but still learn the lesson.” – Luminara Unduli
(For the Student) It is going to happen. I mean that is just life. It helps with humility for sure. You will trip. You will stumble. You will make mistakes. And that is okay, as long as you learn from it. That is the key. Each success is a teachable moment and great experience as a Jedi. Each failure is a wonderful lesson and an important experience as a Jedi. Will you feel bad when you fail? Most likely. Failure rarely makes us feel happy and giddy. That is okay, it teaches us that we want to succeed. It provides as with information on how to succeed. You don’t have to like it, but understand it is okay to fail.
(For the Mentor) A good way to enforce humility is remembering the mistakes we made to get where we are. Part of remembering the importance of failure is looking at where we are and where we use to be. It is not the end. We still have a long road ahead of us. There will be more bumps along the path. Be as your student. Learn from it and remember that it is okay to learn the hard way. It is what you do after failure that matters the most.

Save the Apologies
Do not be sorry. Learn.” – Saba Sebatyne
(For the Student) “Sorry if I am asking too many questions.” “Sorry I messed up.” “Sorry I didn’t remember.” “Sorry I missed the due date.” “Sorry life got busy.” “Sorry I don’t know that one.” SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Don’t be sorry. Learn. The best apology is to not do it again. Or in the case of silly apologies like, “asking too many questions” pfft. Look, apologize for things that cause a problem. Asking questions, seeking guidance and learning, this is not something to apologize for. Smacking your Jedi Mentor in the face with a toy lightsaber? Yeah, probably apology territory, but again – best way is to simply learn from it. It use it as a lesson, learn from it. “I apologize, I didn’t mean that. I shall endeavor to not allow that to happen again.” Don’t wallow in sorrow. Don’t get lost in feeling sorry. No pity parties. Use it as a way to improve.
(For the Mentor) You should have this one down already. So I’ll leave it at the quote.

Developing a Jedi Attitude

Russell Walks

Number One: Acknowledge the Difficulty of the Task.
Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. Even still we are at times able to succeed in our task. Of course sometimes we fail. And that is okay because what we sought to do was difficult to begin with. This applies greatly to training as a Jedi. Sometimes we fail at living up to the Jedi name, but it is important remember that living up to the Jedi name is a very difficult task. Don’t allow success or failure to diminish the size and difficulty of the task you undertook.

Number Two: Acknowledge that Failure Happens.
Not everything goes according to plan. Things happen. Mistakes happen. That is okay. Failure is bound to happen. The more you seek to succeed at the more you can be sure to fail at times. It happens. Don’t get so focused on success and success stories that you don’t recognize the trials, errors, and stumbling blocks that happened on the way to success. It is rarely ever a smooth road to achieving our goals. There will be pitfalls, it is necessary to acknowledge that. Of course failure doesn’t have to mean The End. Just a part of the process.

Number Three: Remember that Success Does Not Define You.
When you reach your goals it is important to keep that Jedi warning of materialism in mind. Own, but don’t possess. Success, like failure, is just part of the process. It is a result of continued work, training, and dedication. Sometimes success brings a paycheck, which can be very nice, but that should not be point (merely a bonus). Don’t get so caught up in the end goal and the possessions of it that you forget who you are, what you believe in, and what brought you to the point of success.

Number Four: Acknowledge that the Force is Real.
I don’t care what you call it. The Force, Luck, Coincidence, the Hand of God, Happenstance, whatever. The point is that sometimes things happen beyond any reason, foretelling, planning, etc. Something just falls into place out of nowhere. This happens. Sometimes it works in our favor. We are blessed by the Gods of Humorous Happenstance and are given a wonderful opportunity. Sometimes we are cursed and find ourselves buried under things out of our control. It happens. Its fine. It is not the end. Acknowledge it and move forward. Prepare as best you can, but don’t discount the flow of the Force.

Number Five: Remember that Change is Inevitable.
Life moves forward. Time doesn’t stop, even if we wish it really would sometimes. With that comes the lovely concept that things change. “This too shall pass.” Bad times do not last forever. Good times do not last forever. Enjoy the moment when you can. Work until the bad times pass. As long as you keep moving forward things will evolve around you. Things will change in time, whether we want them to or not. Make use of this. Make it work for you. Know the bad times will pass and focus on getting pass that. Know the good times will pass and thus savor them deeply when they are here. And keep moving forward.

Solving Problems Like a Jedi Knight

Use Patience JediYou will know, when calm, at peace, passive.” – Yoda
Deep breath. Focus. Now, clearly identify that this is decision-making time. Don’t get stuck in indecision. Do you need to make a decision? Yes? Get to it. Not your place? Don’t need to make a decision? Outside of your control? Cool. Done. Time for some meditation or a workout or something.

You gather enough information to make your plan. If you’re planning without information, you’re planning for failure.” – Mara Jade Skywalker
Define the issue clearly and simply. Use very simple terms and breakdown exactly what the situation/problem is. What exactly are you addressing and making a decision on? Don’t overload the problem or add the unnecessary. Keep it in terms that are easy to understand and follow.

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
What are possible solutions? As Jedi we focus on the solutions rather than the problem. Brainstorm. Make a list. Include all you can think of, from the crazy solutions to the most simplistic solutions. Keep an open mind and list all possible choices. This is a good exercise in itself, but when faced with tough decisions you want to be able to consider all options.

Wisdom is knowing when you’ve given all you can.” – Leia Organa Solo
Start narrowing down that list by stipulations. Jedi Ideals (Ethics), Money (or lack thereof), Safety, Risk, etc. What you are willing and not willing to do. Work through your list crossing off the ones that just do not work for you. Rank them in order of which appeals the most to your values and addresses the problem at hand.

Make a decision, make another, but undo the past you cannot.” – Yoda
Evaluate your best option(s). Then make a decision and go for it. You can re-evaluate later if need be. But basically you are going to have to make a decision and determine how that plays out. Change tactics as necessary. Have some back-up options ready, but once you have gone through the list, make your decision and move forward confident in your choice. Believe in your abilities and capabilities.

Overall, keep it as simple as possible. You can narrow this process to a mental task that takes seconds really. Be specific about the issue at hand. Be clear about your limits (cost, time, money, energy, etc.). Be clear about the parameters, who gets final decision, what limitations have been placed upon the situation, etc. Allow outside options and seek advice from those you trust – more input can help clarify any situation. And ultimately experience is the best (if not the harshest) teacher. Trust your instincts and whether success or failure learn from the situation as you progress forward.