Tag: Freedom

Independence, Boundaries and Self Defense

Safeguard Awareness — Vision is the ability to see what others only dream

Today, we celebrate 240 years of Freedom in the United States

Freedom and Independence from oppression.

While today, we face oppression globally from corporations, we also face oppression personally, every day from the distractions and fears we give our power to, that take away from our being present and appreciating and living our lives fully.


Have you ever been in a situation where you felt taken advantage of, or have you felt trapped in a situation, or forced into a position were you feel berated, mocked or attacked?


Perhaps it was a physical attack. More commonly, on a daily basis, we face mental, emotional or spiritual attacks. All of us have been in a difficult relationship or situation at some point in our lives. You might even be living in a situation like this right now. If it happened long ago, it could still affect you in ways that you don’t even realize.


Most of us have had some kind of toxic relationship with a family member, friend, partner, or a professional relationship. What makes those relationships and interactions toxic? These destructive patterns and relationships trigger and control us by feeding our fears, dominating and belittling us, instead of feeding the purpose and potential of our unique soul. These toxic relationships are insidious in that they can affect our inner-dialogue and sense of self, when we believe the criticisms and fears of others.


Training in martial arts points to a larger truth — self-defense encompasses all dimensions of a person’s being, setting healthy boundaries for ourselves on all levels:
  • spiritually
  • mentally
  • emotionally
  • physically


Setting healthy boundaries with others means taking your power back from anyone who would manipulate, steal from or attack you. In any way. This applies to all relationships in your life, whether they be strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, co-workers, classmates, spouses and partners, past and present — and even yourself, if you have internalized their attacks and criticisms.


Setting healthy boundaries helps you maintain your focus, vitality and health — and may even save your life. To create healthy relationships with nurturing family and friends — it must first start with yourself. You must find and appreciate your own unique value and cherish your own nature. Then you can create boundaries to protect what you care about.


If your boundaries are crossed, get centered and present — reclaim your power, so you can deal with a potential threat to your balance and well being.


When we compromise our sense of what’s right for us, our boundaries are compromised, and we loose or give away our power. 
When we are irritated at others, and feel annoyed at them and feel the need to criticize or condemn them, pay close attention to the impulse behind it — is it some trait we hate or refuse to see in ourselves? 
Think back to a time when a friend or family member judged or criticized us, and made us feel flawed, unworthy, bad or wrong. If the criticism comes from a place of compassionate support — I like to call “Heavy Metta”, or “tough love” — we usually feel an “aha” moment that inspires us to catharsis and growth. 
But if the criticism is aggressive, mean spirited or cruel, it usually comes from a place of self-righteous indignation, intolerance and anger rooted in insecurity, spiteful self-loathing and internal-ignorance of the aggressor. In these situations, if we accept and believe the judgement of others, it sucks our spirit by giving our power away to the person(s) who is lashing out to fill their own internal conflict and fear.
If the attack is physical, the aim is to dominate or steal some sense of power, energy, resources or life from us — whether personal or impersonal. Likewise, if the attack is emotional, mental or spiritual, it also steals our life, energy and resources from us.
So in martial arts training, we learn to be present, and self-aware that we can create healthy, nurturing boundaries for ourselves and our families, friends, communities and country. It all starts with ourselves, to be the change we want to see in the world.

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