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6S1D0196-LOne of the greatest quotes that influenced my life was from Steve Young.

He is a MVP Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers for those that don’t know him. 

Steve says, “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”

When I read that quote, I took it to heart.

Being a very competitive person ever since I was a kid, I was always trying to out do another person.

I remember in 7th grade, I competed with another classmate, Erickson, on every subject, English, Math, History, Science, and even physical education. That year, I received all As from every subject and my parents were really proud of me.

When we moved into 8th grade, Erickson and I had different teachers and we only had one class together. Since I did not have a worth competitor in the other classes, my grades started to drop. I was getting Bs and Cs.

I lacked motivation and I didn’t care much about studying. By mid semester, Erickson said to me, “What the heck happened to you? Why aren’t you doing well in school?”

I learned a life lesson that year. I realized that if I continue to seek others to compete, I am just filling up my insecurity.

When I started to compete against myself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, everything changed. I started to gain momentum again.

When I challenged myself, I grew faster.

This is what Tony Robbins talks about – CANI – Constant And Never-ending Improvement.

When you can CANI on a consistent basis, your life would just be that much richer.

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“No,” I did not reach enlightenment as the title might indicate. Well, sort of. I have received some insights but it’s not exactly holy. It is more of a hole to be exact.

Recently in the last few months, I have been finally able to do better balancing handstand poses now that I feel a lot stronger. I also feel like I can push myself a little more and learn to teeter around the edge a bit.

When my yoga teacher said to get into tripod headstand, I was a bit hesitant because of the previous neck injury caused by headstand two years ago. The pose caused bad compression on my neck and it took months for my Chiropractor to realign me.

Fast-forward two years later and here I feel like I am stronger now and I want to give headstand another shot. I had setup my arms like dolphin pose and gently rested the top of my head against my mat. Once I found the sturdiness of the pose, I slowly used my core to bring up my legs. I was also very mindful of not compressing my neck again, so I concentrated on the lifting part of the neck and spine. To my surprise, I was able to get up and balance with ease, well for a few seconds anyways.

“So far, so good,” I thought to myself.

Next thing I know, I felt the weight shifting forward and started to tip over to the front of my mat. The problem is that I know exactly what I am going to collide into. It was a large stereo amplifier with a bunch of sharp knobs.

What I heard next was a loud bang against the metal box after drop kicking it with my right knee and the other students’ loud gasps. I recovered from my fall and my yoga teacher immediate comes to me and asked if I was ok.

I felt fine and didn’t feel much pain so I just laughed it off and said, “I’m ok!”

I slowed everything down to assess the fall and I looked around my right knee since I did feel a bit of pain. To my surprise, I saw a dime size hole in my right leg, about ½ inch from my right knee cap.  I also noticed blood all over my mat, and some blood droplets near the stereo as well.

“It looks pretty bad,” my yoga teacher said.

From my Army medical training days, the first thing I did was to stop the bleeding. I grabbed my hand towel and firmly pressed it against the laceration. From there, I walked to the near by medical kit, taped myself up with gauze and medical tape and went back to the class to pack my things up. Then I rode off on my motorcycle and headed from the nearest hospital.

Since I had a few hours to kill at the hospital, I decided to reflect what just happened so here I am at the ER writing this blog on my phone.

I remember one of my favorite trainers, Scott Harris from Tony Robbins, talked about his concept “Feather, Brick, Truck.”

What does feather, brick, and truck have to do with my injury?

I have been experiencing some tenderness in my wrist from doing too many arm balance poses in the last few months and the soreness from my wrists are trying to tell me something. This is known as feather. It also doesn’t help that I am typing away for months now on a non-ergonomic laptop. I have noticed the pain in my wrist but I have been kind of ignoring it. Key word is “ignoring ” it.

“If you don’t pay attention to the feathers in your life, then you’ll get hit by a brick,” Scott says.

Bam, I get a deep laceration on my right kneed or AKA brick.

Since I understand feather, brick, truck, I realized what my body is trying to tell me. If I really don’t pay attention after this incident and continue to do what I’m doing, I will eventually experience truck and that will be some kind of a major injury.

I am fortunate that I did not injure my tendon or I will really be out of commission for a while. Even though I kept a real positive attitude by smiling all the way to the ER, I need to take care of my body. Due to this knee injury, I won’t be able to do yoga or chi gong for a while.  I also limp around my house from one chair to another and I can’t go out for a walk or drive my car or my motorcycle.

It’s the little things that we take for granted that we should always appreciate.

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Live.Love.Journey.

 

Many people in this world seek things that are external to us – money, power, trophy wives/husbands, social ranking, who’s got the fastest cars, who’s got the biggest diamonds, who’s got the most friends on FB. Many of us also judge one’s success purely based on those possessions and/or status. I am not here to judge their desires as I too have more possessions than I ever really need or deemed as necessity.

While we look for external items to keep our minds occupied, how many of us realize that we will never be able to hold on to any of these material possessions/status when we leave this world? Is it possible to say that we chase after these possessions/status all of our lives just to lose them all when we die? If so, then why do the most of us compromise our health, our heart, our integrity, our family/friends, and our happiness just to secure these possessions/status?

I have been looking for answers for a few years now and I know for a fact that having the possessions/status have made me temporary happy, but I was always perpetually hungry as I always wanted “one up” the last achievement. “Happiness moments” so I thought, were short-lived followed by more desires, and more hunger.

Since I started this yoga journey more than six years ago, I began to look inward and started looking for answers to my questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • Why do I see so many successful people so unhappy?
  • What do I want to do with the next chapter of my life?
  • What do I want to get out of my life?
  • What truly makes me happy?

One of my Yogini friends, a true inspiration to me, suggested that I start blogging. I thought to myself, “I’m not a writer. English is my second language. My grammar is not the best. My friends think I tell the worst jokes. I can’t possibly write and so on and so on…” I figure I’m just going to write from my heart.

Now, I’m going to let the next chapter of my life unfold and I would like to invite you to explore with me the journey inward… Nameste

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Live.Love.Journey!