When I was younger, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. In some ways, she was a substitute for a mother, father, teacher, friend... She passed in 2017, but she had these unique expressions that stuck with me throughout the years.
Today I want to share one with you that has helped me from a very young age, until… well again today, which is why I thought I’d write about it.
When we would sit for dinner, and I would tell her I was upset at this or that person (a teacher, my mom, a friend), she would always ask me the question: if you’re upset at them, why are you inviting them to dinner? I made your favorite food. Let’s enjoy it, the two of us.
This morning, the same thing happened: I started thinking of someone at work who was giving me a negative attitude the previous day. I looked out the window to see the sun (a rare event in this part of the world) and realized it was Saturday — a day dedicated to spending as much time and having as much time as possible with my family. And so, the voice of my late guide resonated in my head: “It’s a beautiful day, do you really want to invite that person to your family weekend?”.
The answer was a clear no, so I moved on to prepare for the day with some fun activities with my son.
This is something I want you to practice today and every day. Because the arrays of thoughts won’t stop flying in your head if you meet them with resistance. Don’t resist pain, “negative” feelings, and thoughts: that will only make the whole thing explode. Let them in, and let them out.
A true martial artist will never use force because force against force = disaster. The more muscular person wins all the time, and we go back to the “law of the jungle”. A Judo or Aikido master accompanies a punch with no resistance and lets it go past him. With softness and cold-headedness, using the opponent’s momentum to protect himself.
As a life coach, I have many clients that I work with every week. Most people that come to me are having problems and need my help. That’s my duty: to guide, accompany and help people live a better life. But this also means, that when people come to me with problems, there is a lot of negativity and hardship to deal with. I talked about this with one of my students who is a psychotherapist in a clinic. It was imperative that we work together on this Judo of the soul so that he can protect himself and not be pulled under whilst trying to help others. It is more flagrant if you are a coach, a doctor or a shrink, but whatever your daily activities, you need to practice this skill, to protect yourself from your Ego, and from other people’s Egos.
This is how you need to protect yourself: Mind Judo. Judo, loosely translated, means the easy way (Ju + Do (Dow → Tao)).
In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tsu says:
"Soft is strong."
Remember that today and this week. Don’t resist! Accompany, and let go.
Don’t invite them for dinner or your special weekend. If they do show up, don’t resist. Accompany them in, and out the back door.