Anger Management

mad kitty

“Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!” – Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

You gotta love a great villain, especially one with deliciously quotable lines like Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars series. (Besides, that overused Yoda quote “Do or not do, there is no try” is a bunch of smarmy self-righteous crap.) Palpatine’s taunting statement made me think about anger, how we express it, when to use it to our advantage, and when to let it go.
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Doing What We Dread Can Do Us Good

quote-about-discipline-is-doing-what-needs-to-be-done-when-we-dont-want-to-do-it “Well, the majority voted for forms so we’ll do self-defense tonight. If no one wants to work on it that must mean that’s where we need the most help, right?” one of the instructors said cheerfully as we all inwardly groaned. It was Wednesday night, which is reserved for sparring followed by red and black belt class. Most of us in the late class had already attended sparring class and were so exhausted that we were ready for an easy evening of gliding through forms. Instead we would be spending the next hour working on intricate hand-to-hand techniques.
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Happy Fails to You

failure kirk

“Failure is the new awesome,” my yoga teacher said in his deep booming voice as we eased back into child’s pose after a hearty, vigorous vinyasa series. This is interesting, I thought as I breathed into the space between my nose and my mat. I wonder where he’s going with this?

“We’re afraid to fail. Some people say the opposite of success is failure. I beg to differ. Winston Churchill said, ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ When you fail it means you’re awesome. It means you took a risk, you stuck you’re neck out.”
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Swan Lake Would Have Been a Lot More Interesting with an Odile/Odette Smackdown

SwanFight2
Ultimate Fighter, Waterfowl Edition

“Move over, ballerina,” my instructor said impatiently as I was attempting a takedown during hand-to-hand practice. “You’re taking these little steps and going nowhere,” he continued. “Take one big step around like THIS,” he said, swooping his leg around into a low stance and swiftly pulling the other student to the ground.

“So I can’t do little pique turns?” I said, grinning and waggling my eyebrows. He rolled his eyes and stalked off.
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Tricks Up Your (Dobok) Sleeve — The Poomsae Series Part 9

An ace up the sleeve (Credit Image: Image Source/ZUMA Press)
An ace up the sleeve (Credit Image: Image Source/ZUMA Press)

“It’s a short form. If you can do palgwe pal-jang you can do this form,” one of the masters said as he walked me through the form I will need to perform when I test for black belt.

Famous last words.
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Dragged Kicking and Screaming Into…well, Kicking and Screaming

inner peace

“Don’t let it escalate,” my instructor offered as a final tip for the evening. We were hanging around the dojang practicing some self-defense techniques. I was a little disappointed when he said that. I’ll admit that I’ve daydreamed about snapping the elbow and repeatedly stomping on the face of some nameless gropey man, a drunk at a bar or perhaps a cocky teenager trying to show off for his friends, screaming “Women aren’t squeeze toys! If you do this to me or any woman again I’ll hunt you down and gut you like a f*cking fish!! Now apologize!!!”
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Kicks, Camaraderie, and Cake

dobok cake
This cake is insanely beautiful. I must wear it and I must eat it…not sure which one I’ll do first. Maybe both at the same time.

The best laid plans for playing hooky are often waylaid by the promise of cake. For the last two days I have been EXHAUSTED. It’s not from Monday night’s TKD class or my Tuesday morning swim. It’s not from work. It’s from the little gray blob between my ears.
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Loss and Gain

toy-breed-puppies
It’s actually possible to be sad even when you’re in a pile of puppies.

My brother’s dog has been so depressed since I left after a weekend visit that he won’t eat and had to sleep in bed with my brother and his wife. They said they’ve never seen him so despondent before.

Either that little dog has a pretty smooth racket going or we are witnessing grief in its simplest and most innocent form.
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Spar Though Your Heart Is Breaking

brucelee smile
If I had abs like that I’d never stop smiling.

At the end of Tuesday night’s yoga class we quietly transitioned from savasna to the fetal position. Throughout the hour our teacher encouraged us to go big, take life, and when necessary, let go. “You can breathe through the tension, smile in discomfort, and use strength you didn’t know you had,” he said before summoning us to sit up. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I have had to face discomfort and uncertainty and tap into a strength I didn’t know I had. I’ve had to let go.
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Back in White

peek-through-a-hole-carlos-caetano

Tonight was my first taekwondo class in about a week and a half. I took off two Fridays ago to spend time with my parents and it seemed like a good idea at the time to skip the entire following week. As I’ve said in previous posts I was burned out. I needed a break from taekwondo, even though it was more of a mental break than physical.
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