“When you REACT, you are giving away your power.  When you RESPOND, you are staying  in control of yourself.”  - Bob Proctor For most, a stressful situation can trigger a reaction fuelled with untamed emotions which can leave us feeling regretful and powerless. When we lose control of our emotions we are doing so without any mindful thought to the consequences that will ensue due to our immediate reaction to a stimuli.  There is another option available to us….we can respond instead of react.  Our response is a thoughtful and intentional action. It is taking control over our emotional reaction and using a higher level of consciousness to craft an intentional response. By activating our mind to take a slight pause it will allow the need for an emotional reaction to flow by and instead we can respond with conscious thought.  When we continuously train ourselves to stay in control of our responses, over time it will become habitual and soon this method can be quite useful in life and also our martial arts training. For instance when we are in the dojo practicing our sparring, the purpose is to make both partners better, we work on flow, smoother techniques, and to improve our confidence. Yet the practice of sparring also refines our ability to create better responses to our partner’s attacks instead of flailing around with uncontrolled reactions and sloppy techniques. As many of us know, sparring can become a mess quickly if we allow our emotions to get the better of us, and if it does, it will erode our confidence, create hesitations in our techniques and we lose our power. To deliver better responses it takes practice, we need to train our skills so proper techniques can be delivered without thought, when we refine our skills confidence follows, and with confidence we are less likely to be shaken by triggers of stress or even attacks. Training of skills and the mind work together and are essential for being able to create the response desired.  To get there with our sparring, it is essential we train our minds. Here are some strategies to use in our everyday life to help find our centre, calm our emotions and respond by staying in control of ourselves.
  1. PAUSE - take a few mindful moments to take breaths, count to 10, observe what is happening and let the knee jerk reaction pass you by
  2. ROOT YOURSELF - it’s setting yourself in a grounded position physically so you may receive the energy of the earth and be in control of your energy and emotions
  3. CHOOSE - choose the energetic response you want to have. Remember the law of attraction, the energy you put out is the energy you are going to receive back. Choose to respond calming will get a calm response in return. Choosing to be kind will attract kindness in return. 
REMEMBER we cannot control what happens, we can only control how we chose to respond. The enclosed video demonstrates how a situation can be experienced and handled differently based on one’s ability to manage their response.     By Kohai Dianne Hadad 3rd Degree Black Belt, Renge Dojo Certified Professional Coach, Warrior Spirit Circle 647-203-4882   dianne.hadad@gmail.com