Tag Archives: Jedi Living

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, Relationships, and the End…

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Romantic relationships can be hard work sometimes. Heck all relationships really. Communication. Trust. Attachment. Many things can happen in life where we act or react in a way that puts a strain on the relationships around us. Romantic relationships are great! Until they are not (a little Yogi Berra there for you). When you are in love it can be insanely difficult to tell if your relationship has come to an end. To clarify this doesn’t have to mean romantic love. Love of family and friends applies here as well. Though my point and focus for this is based upon romantic love.

I have had several core relationship in my life come to an end. I like it is a natural part of life. We continue to grow and sometimes we outgrow certain relationships. A few years ago my friendship with my best friend that I had known since Junior High came to an end. We drifted apart over the years, ignoring those differences until we just didn’t understand or trust each other anymore. I have gone through divorce with a woman I had every intention of spending the rest of my life with. But as the struggles of life hit we turned in different directions, sought different outlets, and lost what drew us together in the first place.

It is painful to lose someone we value. As such we can find ourselves holding onto toxic relationships simply because loss sucks. Doesn’t matter how much you experience it, it is still sad to find that something that was once central in your life just no longer has a place within it. Of course strong relationships mean strong emotions and as a Jedi we know what that means – judgment isn’t always clear. And “knowing” something doesn’t mean we act on it. Just because we understand the rational choice doesn’t mean we are anymore inclined to follow it. The heart wants what the hearts wants, but when can we tell it is time to Jedi-Up and take that first bold step in a new direction?

Over the years I have ended good relationships too early, stayed in bad relationships way too long, and vice versa. Eventually I found I needed a checklist. Something to use my Jedi-Mind in conjunction with my Emotional State of Being. It simply helps me make sure I am not making a completely emotional and impulsive decision in regards to my personal relationships. So here are the questions I present to myself. Through reflection, being honest with myself and my answers, I can come to a fair conclusion. As I find myself running through this checklist again, I figured I’d share it.
1.) When I think of this relationship ending what is my major feeling/emotion?
Fear? Loneliness? Relief? Sorrow? Apathy? Usually there is a mix (anger can make appearances), but generally you can feel one above the other. And it tells you a lot about the state of your relationship. Sometimes this alone can show you if you have already checked-out or that you were truly in a bad situation. Fear is rarely about love. Often it is something within us, a fear of being alone, a fear of public perception, a fear of loss of friends, or support. Sorrow and heartbreak can be clear indicators, that you really don’t want the relationship to end. That you value it and the person and while you would wish nothing but the best for them, you have no desire to remove the relationship from your life. Still, you have to make sure that is a balanced feeling, not just chemical levels dancing and jumping around. So. How do you feel about the end?

2.) How will I feel about this in two months?
A couple days can be enough to help calm, settle, and get perspective, but we are still close to the situation. Years down the road won’t matter, because we are survivors. We have lived through a lot and will continue to do so. And even when we get tired of it all, here we are, still taking each day as it comes. So in 20 years most things won’t matter. In 200, no one will care. But two months from now? Where will you be at? Honestly, how will you feel? Will you miss and regret and be wanting to build a time machine? Or will you already be in the process of moving forward? Will you be going through the mourning stages and allowing yourself the chance at something better? No one can predict the future. But we can take the time for honest self-reflection and get an idea of what we will do should this end. We know ourselves well enough (even if just barely) to understand if we can truly let go and move forward. Which often goes back to that first question of how your truly feel about an ending. If you are already planning your life without that person in two months – then you know your answer.

3.) Can I trust this person?
No, not “Do I trust” because frankly you may not within that moment and that may be perfectly justifiable. The question is not of right now, but is that trust gone forever. No wait, that is too long. The question is, will trust be there when things have calmed down? If a person says they will learn from the situation, do you believe that can happen? Will you be able to (in relative time) trust in their commitment to you and your relationship? In a couple months will you be wondering who they are talking to? Will you be worried about leaving your phone in their presence? When they say they miss you, or love you, or that everything is fine – will you believe them? Will you trust them? Again, trust takes time, so it is okay it have that shaken a bit for a little while. But if it is still going to be an issue down the road than you ask what is your relationship without trust?

4.) Can I talk to this person?
Communication is harped on time and time again. Read absolutely any article on successful relationships and it is one of the first two things mentioned. You cannot have ANY relationship without communication. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends that if we saw each other we would pick up right where we left off. Family experiences this a bit more, we don’t always have constant contact with certain family members. However the question is can we? Can you reach out to this person and trust them to get back to you in a reasonable amount of time? Not only that, but do you feel comfortable speaking to them? I have been in relationships where I was terrified to speak openly and honestly. I was scared to communicate because of what might happen. This is not healthy, you may experience some worry, but if you tremble at the thought of speaking up, that is not good. So the question is can you talk with this person? Will they ignore you? Will they get defensive and lash out at you? Blame you? If you are terrified to talk or on the flipside you are shouting into a vacuum then the answer of your relationship is pretty clear. Open and Honest Communication is necessary.

5.) Has there been a change in investment?
Relationships require investment of time and energy. When new and exciting we often invest a lot – hours of talking and emotional energy. As things settle that can change into a more comfortable schedule (which doesn’t make us fall asleep at work anymore). This is normal, but the question of investment is important. Especially if there has been a drastic change from one side. It is the first and most used way to create distance (which is a sign of things to come). The question to ask is – would this have been the same two weeks ago? If two weeks ago you were super busy and you still were talking with this person, has that changed? Is playing a video game now more important than talking? You have to know the difference between a gradual decline into schedules and comfort versus being made to feel less important than a tv show or whatever. If someone once made the effort to talk with you and now they are just “too busy” – that is something to look at. And if you cannot talk to them, if you are being shut out, shut down, or attacked – you have to ask, what kind of relationship is that really? Remember, no one is too busy to say hello or good morning or goodnight or so sorry I am busy we will talk later. It is a two second investment and if you aren’t worth that or they aren’t worth that to you then what relationship do you truly have?

Honorable Mention: Do I Love this Person?
I don’t have this numbered because it is a trick question. It IS an Important question. If the answer is no, then there you go. Hence why I am mentioning it, but the answer being yes doesn’t automatically mean to stick it out. You can absolutely love someone and still know it is not a healthy relationship. It is okay to miss people that no longer have a place in your life. As people grow and evolve (not about for better or worse, just different) so do relationships. And sometimes we love people but know they are not good for our lives. It is hard. It still sucks. Doesn’t make things easier. But while Love can go a very long way, it alone cannot save a relationship. You both need to be willing to spend time together, make sacrifices for each other, talk to one another. A good relationship is about love, communication, trust, and working together to build a steady and solid foundation for the future. If you are the only one willing to do that -or they are the only one willing to do that- then it is time to move on.

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.

Seeking Peace through the Jedi Lifestyle

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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.

Five Jedi Life Lessons

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1. Stay True to Your Word
“Easy it becomes to be false in big things, if false you are in small ones.” – Yoda
Do what you say you will do. It is really that simple. Don’t promise anything you aren’t comfortable with. If you really don’t want to do something and feel you won’t follow through (making plans to hangout, helping someone move, whatever) then don’t say you will do it. Say what you mean and do what you say. In this you will build a solid reputation and honor to your word.

2. Don’t be a Bystander
“Courage was something a Jedi did not think about. It was simply the will to do right. It was the discipline to move forward.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
It can be scary to stand-up for what is right. Equality, fairness, not to allow bullying. The silent observer is much safer and certainly has a time and place. But if something feels wrong it is okay to say something. Don’t stand on the sideline of your life. Don’t allow fear to make to accept hurtful and unfair behavior. The way we make changes and stop such things is by standing up and saying something. Showing that we will not allow such behavior to go unchecked.

3. Make a Change for the Better
“Must relax…reach out with my mind…reach inside…through the pain…renew!” – Ki-Adi-Mundi
Look in the mirror and commit to a positive change. Be willing to sacrifice who you are for who you want to become. You want to be a Jedi? Then be a Jedi. Commit to the practices and philosophy. Live it and understand that it will change how you see and approach life. This goes for all things. Make the effort to be better. At school, at work, in your social relationships, commit yourself to working pass the obstacles, fears, and pain, and being the best version of you possible.

4. Focus on Problem Solving, Not Problem Blaming
“If all who faced adversity surrendered to it, nothing of value would remain.” – Plo Koon
It doesn’t matter where the fault and blame lies. What matters is finding a solution and resolution to the problem at hand. We can point fingers and pass blame all we want – but it doesn’t matter if it was our fault or someone else’s. Focus instead on fixing and oslving the problems. Fault might be necessary for stopping an issue at its root, but don’t get so caught up in blame that you miss the core fixes and ways to avoid the similar problems in the future.

5. Act Now Not Later
“Use your time. You’ll find one day that you have too little of it.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
The best place you can apply this in chores and tasks and homework and all that stuff that most people want to put off. Forget that. Play the Nike slogan- Just Do It. Better to get it done and out of the way now and use the time later on for fun things. Focus on responsibilities, get them done and out of the way so you can enjoy what time you have left. Focus on the here and now. Handle your responsibilities. When asked to do something – stop, take care of it right then, and get back to doing things you’d preferring to do. This also applies to number 2. Don’t wait until things are out of control or too late. Act now, get it done, solve the problem, move forward.

Pokemon Go + Jedi = Charity!

First off I have to say I haven’t been into Pokemon for a long time. It is not really my thing, but when I was younger and it was relatively new – I did partake in the cartoon and games. But now they have released this new App Pokemon Go and it is not only pretty fun, but has really encouraged kids (of all ages) to get outside and walk around. So how does that work? Well it is simple. Pokemon Go is a ARG – Alternate Reality Game. In which you use your phone to track your movement/walks and stumble upon Pokemon out in the world. When that happens you pull up your camera and you use Poke Balls to catch the Pokemon. You collect as many as possible. And you find new Pokemon by going to new locations. Parks and major shopping areas tend to have stores and Gyms where you can connect with others. Overall it is a pretty interactive and fun little App that encourages outdoor exploration.

This has really come in handy in a couple service projects I am a part of. One is a little more limited in application – as it is with the Big Brother (Big Sister) program. And has really helped turn our little hikes into more regular events and much more interactive as well. This has been a great thing as we were struggling in common ground activities there for a bit. Especially in more active (and free) activities.  So this has help create a fun way to hike around and explore the city we live in. Driving to different parks, walking around the paths, hiking in the hills. It has really been a great experience. However this is a very personal experience and limited really to my current situation. There is a way to use Pokemon Go and your normal Dog Walks to help a great organization.

The WoofTrax App (http://www.wooftrax.com/) is a great thing I have been using recently which tracks your dog walks and helps support a local shelter in your area (or if there is not one in your area – a animal shelter of your choosing). Can you see the connection? Download WoofTrax, Download Pokemon Go, get out there and catch them all at the same time as supporting a great organization. If you don’t have a dog you can virtually walk their own rescue dog. This has been a great blend of modern technology, internet fade, and doing some community service.

No one said Community Service had to be trying, boring, or no fun. Blend your passions. Be a Jedi. Catch ALL the Pokemon. And support a wonderful cause at the same time.

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.

Tips for Remembering Your Jedi-Self

Yoda-Meditating

Everyone is a Critic.
Don’t lose track of the praise even in a stream of constructive criticism. Or vice versa.” – Luke Skywalker
More so in this day and age. The ease of putting out content and the ease of people being able to directly respond to said content (YouTube for example) has really helped the rise of the critic. Everyone feels their two cents is worth shouting from the rooftops – and it just might be. However the thing to reminder is not to get so caught up in all the critics and naysayers. Do what you do because you enjoy doing it. Know yourself, your goals, and keep to it. Don’t focus in on the negative things other people think or say you are. Take criticism with a grain of salt and use Jedi Self-Reflection practices as a way to stay grounded and focused on your goals.

Make Mistakes.
One can fail at a task but still learn the lesson.” – Luminara Unduli
You are going to. It is going to happen. No doubt you already have a few on your record. You are still here. Probably wiser for them. You live, you mess up, you learn, you grow. Sometimes we get success first try. That is nice. And refreshing. And it sucks when we try and fail. It doesn’t feel good to work towards something and fall flat. No fun. Especially when we are like – “that was just a boneheaded mistake. I am better than that.” But it does happen. Don’t live in fear of mistakes. You will have areas of weakness. You are not some all-knowing, all-powerful Jedi that is incapable of mistakes. Only I am that awesome as a Jedi ;). You work on areas that need improvement. You keep your strengths sharp. And when you make a mistake you acknowledge it, learn from it, and move forward wiser for it.

You Have Grown.
Patience. A Jedi you still are, and with you is the strength to overcome.” – Yoda
So if I met my 1999 self – that kid would get a stern lecturing and probably a few marshmallows thrown at his head (not a bad kid, just a bit misguided). My 2006 self? I’d just punch that dude in the mouth (eff that dude). You are not who you were, and in ten years? You are not going to be who you are now. Hopefully these changes and growth are for the better. A place you are good with and happy to continue to move forward from. You are reading Jedi stuff so I figure you are heading in an awesome direction ;). Just keep on. Put in the time and effort. You’ll get to where you want to be. So don’t dwell on who you were. Instead celebrate who you are and who you are becoming.

Things Change.
Always in motion the future is.” – Yoda
Nothing is set in stone. The end of your story hasn’t been written yet. Your journey is not at its end. You may find the Jedi Path is not for you. Cool. You can go a different direction at any time. You are not pegged in. You have the ability to make changes in your life. Feel free to make use of that ability at any time. Determine the direction you want to go and go boldly. But don’t feel that you aren’t able to alter your course. Course-Correction is a valuable practice. You are on the open seas, not railroad tracks.

Beware the Lies.
Trust isn’t worth anything when it’s built on lies.” – Seha Dorvald
Self-Honesty is key to the Jedi lifestyle. However some people have been telling themselves lies for a long time. How worthless they are. How nobody will miss them or cares about them. Lies told so often one begins to believe their own non-sense. You are not some perfect immortal butterfly all glorious and ever-lasting. You have weaknesses and flaws – wabi-sabi – that is what makes you beautiful and valuable. So beware the lies and instead be a bit more objective and honest with yourself. It is okay to see value in yourself. And when you see the flaws, the things you don’t like, just remember that you are in the process of growing and changing. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time to grow. Acceptance is peace.

Respect Your Feelings.
Search your feelings, every day. Keep careful watch. The worst monsters are not those from without.” – Ikrit
Your feelings are valuable indicators of the self. Letting you know your preferences and sensibilities. But they are not the entirety of the world. Don’t focus so much on you feelings that you ignore the facts of your situation. Don’t lose sight of your options, opportunities, and advantages by getting lost in over-confidence or defeatism. Your feelings are one of the many tools in your toolbox, not the only one.

Mind Your Company.
Friendship shows us who we really are.” – A Friend in Need, Clone Wars 4.14
Birds of a feather…. Surround yourself with people that are good for your environmental and overall personal well-being. Find people with similar interests. Join a dance class or a after-school gaming club. Don’t keep yourself tied to toxic people or relationships. Instead fill your world with people who see the best in you and encourage you to see the best in yourself. If we are going to be constantly bombarded with information, we can at least do our best to make that positive and useful information. Giving and spending our time with people who appreciate us (and that gift of time/company) is a wonderful thing to have in life.