Thanks for the response; I wanted to take some time to further break this down, you’ve certainly pinpointed the root of the issue I’m having…

I constantly experience these cravings to overcome & “make progress” with something, it is very hard for me to be still, in regards to both my thought stream as well as in my day to day activities in life. Often the desire to overcome arises subconsciously and disguises itself as rational thought, which I then act on… however, I’m beginning to slowly see it is ALL well-devised by my clever Ego…

Oh, what a mess I’ve created!! ;)

Early in life I developed a defense system that drove the need to be the “best” at everything due to my fear of being viewed as less significant than my peers... my actions would reflect an attitude & desire to “be better” than my friends or classmates in school at everything… sports, art, music interests, even other groups of friends. I would learn the accepted behavior of a certain group of individuals and then play into that behavior in order to be accepted by them… I would hardly ever listen to my heart, especially if it was telling me to go against something the “crowd” didn’t accept.

Talk about going against the flow…

I think it’s something in our human nature, we crave acceptance and a way to validate that the decisions we make are the “right decisions”… unfortunately, instead of listening to the voice in our heart the voice of approval from comes from groups of friends & their accepted views of behavior. Their acceptance is viewed as more important than what our heart says, and when the decision comes from a place other than the heart, it only strengthens the Ego.

I think you’re right, I need to look into my overall approach to life and the situations that present themselves. Instead of overcoming, getting through, or achieving things… maybe I need to learn to accept things as they are and be guided by my heart.

When asking myself the following questions, I learn that if the answer to any of them is “the Ego” & not “the heart”, then I need to seriously reconsider the direction I’m headed.

-Who is deciding the goal?

-Who wants to succeed?

-Where is the battle and the victor?

I was contemplating joining martial arts in order to help better unify my mind & body and to help create that gap I described earlier… I even went to a free local Shaoilin Kung Fu session to see what it would be like!! But, after asking myself the above questions this weekend, I realized the desire to train in martial arts arose from an egocentric desire to – AGAIN - prove myself better than those around me and not as a tool to better myself for ME.

I asked myself the same questions in regards to my Yoga & Meditation practices, and the decision to continue with both most certainly came from my heart… making my decision to give up the desire to train in martial arts much easier. I need to simplify my life in many ways in order to be able to fully give my energy to what matters most to me.

I’ll stick to Yoga & Meditation and, as you said Open, learn to use the knowledge and energy of martial arts to develop something else… Or better yet to strengthen my connection to the Divine.

I guess the next subject of discussion is “How to surrender to the flow”, I’ll post another topic soon. As always, I welcome all wishing to expand on these issues, it certainly helps to get these thoughts out on paper!

I feel it appropriate to quote the famed Bruce Lee once more in closing:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times.” (Kicks = mediation… Fear = Respect)

I will continue to simplify my life and apply the dedication, focus, and discipline of a Martial Artist to my practices… I just need to learn to always be aware of my Ego’s ability to latch itself on to anything I show interest in!