Training Journal: The Cookie, not the cookie cutter

Milk--Cookie-ShotsFor the past two training sessions my JW Sensei has been hammering into our heads the difference between learning technique and learning the actual movements.

He stated that the difference between focusing on improving the technique and improving yourself – is like focusing on getting a better cookie cutter vs. focusing on the process of making a cookie.

Confused? No

At my dojo we’ve always concentrated on being relaxed and “being present” versus focusing on improve our technique.

Over two training sessions, he stated that most Aikidoists (and I feel most martial artists in general) focus on getting the technique “right” – when in fact if one wants to get the technique “right”, one has to be present in their mind-body-feel presentness.

Basically, just be present and in the moment – and the act of baking your favorite “cookies” will come together.

Don’t focus on the cookie cutter. Don’t!

My take away? Focusing on the cookie cutter will only get you a nice cookie cutter. The cutter itself is just part of the process of creating the process. Besides, you don’t need a formal cutter in order to make cookies!

The Beast Within

a1637752c5e9f77a61b8a421af23c1b3I’m an INFP

Probably the un-beastly beast out there.

Which also explains all of the mishaps, pitfalls, failed-attempts, and failures that I’ve had in my entire life up till now.

I had a personality test a few years back, stated that I was a ISTP – that was a good read, but I remember thinking to myself that didn’t fit. I was too emotional to be a cold hearted assassin or mechanic.

And now I came to this.

Don’t know why it took me three time to find out, but I think I finally figured out why I’ve been the way that I am all these years. I think I’ve also realized how I’m going to succeed in this world.

“You were not friendly enough”

No I was not caught seeing this! But given how “bored” I was – probably.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

At least it wasn’t my “fault” necessarily.

Those were the words out of my boss’s boss’s mouth during one-on-one meeting. Or what should have been our first 1-on-1 in the 2.5 weeks since I started at this job being the front desk kiss-ass of all trades clerk at a local non-profit. You see the reasons that I’ve come to remember boiled down to this:

Several customers that complained to the directors of the non-profit (board of directors? Damn I must be bad!) that I was “not friendly enough” and that I also came off as “off putting”.

I seemed very bored at work

I played around with my smartphone. In my defense, I did so only during down times (when no customers were entering the lobby). However I did notice I was “checking” it (social media…who knew!) and one of my supervisors actually whispered in my ear that people have noticed said behavior. However despite changes to limit my “bored” state – this was a factor in them letting me go.

I was told that I was more fit as a “technical” person who was in the “back end”.

And with that said – they let me go. There wasn’t even a discussion during this suppose it employee review time. The review was the firing.

However sad – and shocking! – it was for me at that moment (I barely said a word and left), I look back and realize “Good Riddance”. Fuck them – if a company doesn’t want to take a 5 minute pre talk to mold the employee to the image that they want, then they deserve to hire a 2nd rate replacement.

As for me? I have vowed that I will become such a great customer service connoisseur that the bitch who fired me would eat her own words from sheer surprise the next time we meet.

Quitting the Y

Intuition-Two-26408605_S-570x570Honestly quitting the Y was the best decision.

And lying about the reason why I had to quit? No

I honestly didn’t know why I had accepted the position in the first place. Maybe I had artificially convinced myself that I had needed the money/the job. I had allowed my need to…take over my ability to feel, think critically, and trust my instincts.

Honestly, I had a bad feeling in my gut about this job back in November when I had originally applied. It was a gut feeling that haunted me all the way from November till the last week of March – which was when I had quit.

I do remember one moment in particular that stood out as “the” red flag – among the few that I noticed but don’t remember. It was the scene of a 5th grade girl who shouted out “God damn it” to runaway basketball that had bounced off the of the rim during brunch.

The director, who was next to me, then asked her “watch your language Danielle*”

All I remember was how…meek he was in his request. Now that I’m recalling it 7 months after the fact, it really did seem like he was asking her – a fucking 5th grader – rather than telling her to not cuss.

That should have the red flag for me to turn the other way and not look back. Alas, lesson learned.

As for my lie? I had stated that I had received a long term substitute assignment as the local Catholic school district. Of course, I did turn back to subbing as a form of income – but long term sub assignment there was not. I felt that my boss had no reason to let me go without discussion (he was short on manpower and couldn’t afford to lose one of his subordinates), so that’s the main reason why I lied.

YMCA Story #4

Little+shit_41020f_4415869A mom was visiting her son during the after school time. Now keep in mind her son was one of the trouble makers of my class – a spoiled brat that made my sister looked like a goody two shoes.

Mind you, we’ve (my boss and I) have spoken to her a few times about the behavior of her son in my presence. I’ve also spoken to some of the 5th grade teachers regarding him and the impression I got was that this particular mother was a “spacey” and unreliable one regarding keeping her child accountable for his homework and behavior.

Little did I realize how little accountability she had of her son until this particular day.

As I was standing there in front of the library (where we usually met), I saw that she had a small audience around her and her son – lets called him Max. At this time I had already put in my two weeks and not wanted to stir up more drama than needed I allowed Max and the rest of his compadres to do what they wished during homework (instead of doing homework).

Anyway, while removing myself from the small group of 11th grade 5th grade boys around the mom, I started observing their interactions out of the corner of my eye.

Now remember, I’m a feeler type – I pay attention to the emotional exchange rather than the actual words exchanged.

Being this, I saw – and felt – how instead of being an authoritative/leader figure she was looking as her child with…I don’t know how to say it? Can-do-no-wrong attitude? It’s hard to describe, but what I felt was the relationship one would see from a parent who had been spoiling their child(ten) for the majority of their lives.

During the conversation they were talking about the lady bugs that Max had caught. This was with 4 other boys in the group. I’ve forgotten what was discussed long ago, but I distinctly remember how all 5 boys were talking as if they were 20 year olds and the moms was just being a doormat/ass kisser/allower.

Honestly, it as gross – and I say that with the conviction of someone who was spoiled themselves. Years of martial arts training has reverse my attitude regarding the adult-child dynamic. I believe that adults who are flawed are no better than flawed children, but Max’s mother was one who’d take the cake for perpetuating her son’s lack of discipline, respect, common sense, and lack of boundaries.

I was actually cringing as I was listening in on their conversations – and I’m still cringing now.

Martial arts + Life

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