In my last post, "Wujifa Bi-products: Single Leg Squats and the Zero Inch Punch", I discussed the idea that the physical Bi-products which people are seeking from martial arts develop out of a diligent practice in the basics of a system. In the process of working on the fundamentals, we discover the "flashy skills" without looking for them specifically, and they show up when the time is right, and are nourished by our deepening understandings of the root of our practice.
So often, people are looking for happiness, but perhaps happiness, like internal strength, is a bi-product. Henry David Thoreau said, "Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." But what are these other things we are to turn our attention to? What is the root of practice that leads to happiness showing up on its own? I'm beginning to think it has something to do with the practice of authenticity.
I've noticed that I can calibrate the degree of authenticity I am embodying by a certain feeling of rightness. Occasionally, this rightness feels like happiness - when conditions are right. Often the feeling of rightness will accompany fear, sadness, or anger as well, and gives it a certain joy all its own. There's a liveliness and Life that accompany this process. Here's another quote I read by Camus that really speaks to me on the subject of this kind of happiness. He asks, "But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"
Friends, how much harmony is there between you and your lives? How much liveliness can you let yourself experience day to day? I believe the practice is in listening to your heart, and the guidance you receive is a feeling of rightness. Not rightness as in justification, not in an "I'm RIGHT and you're WRONG" kind of way, but in a way in which your whole being opens up and greets the day. The feeling of rightness happens when regardless of circumstances, you allow your actions to be in harmony with who you are. Not who you KNOW you are, but who you are discovering yourself to be in the moment.
Speaking of living your life, the beautiful photo is by my friend Carol Wingert of iPhotographGod. She and her husband 20/20 aka Mr. Nature are out there living every day. Thanks for the inspiration, guys!