"How old are you?" and "How old do you feel?" are two very different questions. They are questions of external versus internal; questions of authenticity versus a pseudo-you; and questions of freedom versus inhibition. Your outward appearance tells a very different story than your inner truth, if you can reveal it.
The world around us is surrounded by pointing fingers, lines in the sand, and razor sharp words of criticism. The amount of inflexibility in those who enact these destructive motives grows larger every minute they get older. The physical body, as it ages, changes in similar ways. Muscles get tighter; blood vessels get narrower; synapses in the brain fire slower; and our steps get shorter. It seems like we are heading downhill at an alarming speed as we age. But, as I like to say, that's one way of looking at it.
When was the last time you did something your parents told you growing up was either dangerous, difficult, or dirty?
Another way of looking at it is as if everyday we are getting younger. How do we do this? With each day your body gets older, you hold on to the young, free-willed, inspiring, and open-minded you. Can you remember one of your most precious and happiest childhood memories? When was the last time you let yourself experience it? When was the last time you skipped down the street? When was the last time you did something your parents told you growing up was either dangerous, difficult, or dirty? Perhaps you tell your own children these things!
If parents, teachers, and adults in general have the most influence on how children grow and develop their own personalities, then what are you doing to maintain your own inner child?
Can you access him or her at anytime you want?
Could you dance freely in the middle of a busy sidewalk?
Could you sing out loud in a big park?
Could you make up a song with only silly bathroom words that we yell at our kids for saying?
Your experience in life is determined by your ability to enjoy every moment. And if you have a difficult time letting go of your thoughts and beliefs about how life should be or about how other people should act, then your experience is going to be even more of a challenge. So much of a challenge that others will have a hard time being in your presence.
My suggestion to you is to awaken your inner child by first focusing on the most enjoyable experiences of your childhood. Close your eyes and re-experience them. Then, find a way to bring them back to life. Re-awaken your inner child by shedding the shrouds of judgement; the expectations of adulthood; and the belief that the good days are behind you. For the best days are ahead of you if you continue to look forward, move freely, and perhaps even dance a little on the way.
So, go nudge the little one inside you and tell them it's time to wake up.
Don't. Click. Anything.
Stop for a second and think. What was the last excuse you made before reading this?
Are you about to make an excuse right now so you can get back to Facebook or your email?
Stop. Just stop.
No more excuses. You've been making them too often and for too long.
Excuses lead to regret. Plain and simple.
What have your excuses kept you from doing (and ultimately experiencing) in your life? Have you missed countless open doorways that might have led you to a new job, a larger paycheck, or a bigger smile on your face? How would you know? You're too busy making excuses! Right?
This, my friend, is the road to regret. And it's staring you right in the face, laughing at you.
Excuses lead to regret. Plain and simple.
Hence why I'm telling you to STOP. I truly and desperately am working my rear-end off so that I can help as many people as possible live a life without suffering, without regret, and without excuses.
Why? Because I know what regret is. I let it be my teacher for such a long time that I've learned my lesson. And now, I regret nothing... absolutely nothing in my life. Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity just waiting for me to learn from. The same is true for all of us.
So what excuse did you make today? What story did you tell yourself so that you can stay on the side of the line where it says comfort? And what are you gonna do about it?
The first thing you should do is check out the podcast we just recorded for you (Ep3.5 - Stop Making Excuses) available through the following links. And leave us a comment telling us what excuses you're giving up now that you've read this! We'd love to hear your story!
Breathing. We all do it. You’re doing it right now. We do it all the time. But how many times do we think about our breathing? If you are like most people, the only time you think about it is when you are having trouble with it.
As a practitioner of the martial arts, healing arts, and brass wind instruments I have experienced first hand how an adjustment to our approach to breath can create profound change.
In the study of the Chinese internal martial arts, there is a common saying - “Yi, Qi, Li.” Our “Yi” is our intent. Our “Qi” is our energy. “Li” refers to muscle, or as it is used in this phrase, to our physical actions. The gist of this saying is that all three things must work together. So what does this have to do with breathing? Everything! You see, our breath is directly connected to our state of mind and quality of the movement of our energy and our body. Don’t believe me? Give this a try.
Think of something really exciting, like maybe you just won the lottery. Notice how your eyes open wide; notice how you breathe in; and notice that your breath is probably somewhat shallow. Now do the same thing while trying to move slowly. You may be able to do it, but it won’t be easy. Now try the opposite. Think of something sad. Notice how your eyes start to close and how you exhale. You may even feel your body start to slouch. Now do the same thing while trying to move quickly. Again, you might be able to, but it will take a lot of effort.
By simply changing how you breathe,
So what’s the point of this? Your mind and body want to be on the same page. When one of them gets off track it wants to pull the others along. The cool thing is that breath is the link between the internal world and external world, and by simply changing how you breathe you can change how you think, feel, and move.
And our breath goes far beyond our state of mind and quality of movement. It effects our health. All our metabolic functions are important. Our bodies are designed to be this wonderfully complex holistic system. And while these systems are important and act on their own, our breath is the one function that we can consciously control. And it is through our conscious decisions to adjust how we breathe that we can create change in our other functions. How we breathe has a direct effect on our circulatory, digestive, and even our nervous systems. It’s amazing to think how much impact this simple act has on our total health and well-being.
So, if you are interested in learning a little more about the basics of breathwork, go to my Personal Mastery and Growth online academy and take my FREE course on Breathing Fundamentals for Qigong.
About the Author
(See José's full in-person interview on YouTube)
José Johnson has been described as a modern Renaissance Man. Jose is an accomplished martial artist, musician, teacher, entrepreneur and change merchant. Jose currently owns and operates Jose Johnson’s Chinese Martial Arts & Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA. He is also the founder of Integrated Wellness Consultants and in 2017 established the Personal Mastery and Growth online academy. (link above)
As a martial artist, José’s accomplishments earned him the honor of being included in the 2008 publication “Extraordinary Chinese Martial Artists of the World” and the invitation to take part of the filming of the 2015 Chinese docu-drama “New Legends of Martial Arts.”
As a musician, José has developed a reputation as being one of Central Pennsylvania’s most dependable lead trumpet players and arrangers specializing in funk and R&B. He regularly works with The Impact Band, The Maxwell Project, Gumbo Junk Brass Band, Big Boy Brass and Windish Music & Productions. He is also an endorsing artist for Robinson’s Remedies and Warburton Music Products. José exclusively plays Warburton trumpets, flugelhorns and mouthpieces.
Here are a few places where you can find more about Master José Johnson
- José Johnson’s Chinese Martial Arts and Wellness Center: www.dowellness.com
- José Johnson’s Personal Website: www.josejohnson.com
During the recent blasts of cold weather in the Northeast, we thought it would be a great idea to share with you some of our favorite winter, warming foods for cold winter days. Be sure to click the links under each one if you’re not sure how to find it or make it! Enjoy and stay extra warm!!!
1. Turkey Chili (or another meat of your choice)
This is one of my favorite go-to foods during the cold winter months. It is SO EASY to put together in the early morning and prepare in a slow cooker. Let it cook in there for a good 6-8 hours, and you’re good to go…with a little cheese on top. We usually forego the sour cream, but we certainly can’t stop you! When it comes to meat, we never go home without it! Sorry vegans and vegetarians…we have some great teeth for chomping on those delicious muscle fibers, and we would hate to see those 4-leggeds perish without a delicious purpose! Bring on the MEAT!
Here’s an easy recipe that we absolutely LOVE
2. Korean Honey-Citron Tea
There are many types of teas out there that provide countless benefits and vary widely in taste. If you’re like most and you are preparing herbal tea, be careful not to steep it for too long as a bitter tea will quickly dry out your mucous membranes leading to dry airways, which is essentially an invitation to cold viruses and other nasty things that could put you out of commission. If you prefer a “moisturizing” tea, you could try Korean Honey-Citron Tea. Essentially, it’s a whole load of honey mixed with other delicious ingredients, including citron, which is packed full of Vitamin C and is perfect for strengthening you immune system. Just scoop a couple spoonfuls into your favorite mug, add hot water, and enjoy! You’ll feel the delicious tea coat your mouth and throat like a warm internal blanket. Yum! This can be found at almost any Asian supermarket, although we prefer the Korean style sold at your local HMart.
Find your nearest HMart here
Learn more about Korean Honey-Citron Tea here
3. Korean Ddeok Bokk Gi
This is a sensational Korean dish that is a very common street food which people quickly turn to when outside on a cold winter day (or night, which is happily accompanied by a bottle or two of Korean Soju!). It is very easy to whip up in your home kitchen, and trust me when I say the dish is much tastier than my loose English translation: something along the lines of…spicy rice cake with fish cake and red pepper sauce. (The picture does more justice…) Here’s a quick recipe you can follow. Any local Asian grocery store should have all the ingredients you need.
Find your nearest HMart here
Here’s a great Ddeok Bokk Gi recipe
4. Korean Style Ox Bone Soup
Here’s another Korean dish that is fabulous this time of year. The broth is usually prepared in a gigantic pot that fills the restaurant with a thin layer of steam (great for keeping your sinuses moist) and a distinct, delicious smell. The soup is then combined with additional ingredients, typically beef and long scrumptious noodles. You can then add seasoning yourself at the table and chives for color and taste. I prefer to enjoy this with a side of radish kim chi. You can even order a spicy version of this soup, which is perfect if you need a little extra warmth. I guarantee you will leave the restaurant with a full, warm belly and a smile on your face!
Here’s one restaurant in NOVA you can try
5. Hot Chocolate
Need I say more? Well, maybe a few words...there are so many recipes for doing this on your own, in addition to all the mixes available on the shelves. It’s worth it, though, to give it a shot and make a nice homemade cup of hot cocoa.
Here’s one recipe we plan on trying
Please share us your favorite recipe(s) in the comments below (if it’s not a secret)!
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inspirational ideas on healthy living through eastern medicine, optimism, and possibility through empowerment.