With the start of the new year, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim of Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy has been having some very special morning training classes for the senior black belts. I am not a fan of getting up early and being outside when the weather is cold. (Ok, so getting up at 5:40 am really isn’t all that early, and 40-degree weather really isn’t all that cold). But, working out is so important these days, especially when there are so many stories in the news lately about how our nation is becoming obese. What better way to get in shape than to do it with a bunch of others who have the same goals in mind?
I’ve attended several of these classes and it is SO amazing to experience this! My lazy mind tells me to stay in bed where it is warm. My spirit tells me to get up and get moving! I’m so happy when I put aside my laziness! Not only do I feel good about myself when I overcome this laziness, it is also great working out with other people to, as that helps motivate me.
The setting where we work out is beyond beautiful! Where I live, we have mountains. Being able to stand on some of the tallest mountains in this area and see the sunrise is majestic! It is breathtaking! Seeing God’s glory shine over the top of the adjacent mountain and then feeling the warmth of the sun on my face is priceless! All the different colors and the energy is beyond words.
On some mornings, we don’t actually see the sun because it is cloudy. A very important lesson that this reminds me of is how critical it is to have faith – to believe in myself. Just because I don’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean the sun no longer exists. It is merely covered up by clouds, which will eventually roll away. Same in my life: when I have days that are overly challenging, days that seem to be really bleak, I know that those feelings are just clouds temporarily covering up my true being. Yet, too often, I give in to stress or worry, and soon I’m consumed by those negative emotions and things seem to get progressively worse.
In one of Dr. Kim’s books, Seven Steps to Inner Power, she talks about how to deal with negative emotions, and uses examples from nature. We need to first acknowledge that we feel negative, then we have to “choose” to let it go. If you’ve ever met someone who is always negative or always talking bad about other people, it is obvious that their state of mind isn’t one that wants to promote harmony. It’s usually pretty clear that a person like that might never be able to pull out of that negativity, no matter how much you want them to succeed. Soon, all that negative emotion will end up alienating that person from others, and probably will cause some serious health issues too. They’ve chosen to carve that negativity into them, just like carving a name into wet cement or a tree, making it a permanent part of their life.
A better solution is to write the negativity in water…water flows, so we can’t really carve anything in it, and that is what we should do with negative emotions – first acknowledge them, then let them go, refuse to focus on them. “You do not deny it, but you do release it.” as Dr. Kim writes. For me, the times when I feel something negative, when I can let it go, it is pure beauty and it is treating myself with the love that I deserve. When I carve something in, it is a terrible feeling, and I am certainly not treating myself well. God tells us to love each other as He has loved us and to also forgive. That includes loving ourselves and forgiving ourselves.