Have you ever taken something, or someone, for granted? I’ve been on this kick of trying to live in every moment – ever since a rewatch of The Last Samurai (“life in every breath”). After something that I consider to be deep passes, I stop and ask myself “what have I gained from this moment?”
Now, I don’t mean a material gain; it’s not a method of looking at people or things with eyes for what I can get from them. I’m talking about looking back on an event I felt was important and trying to find its place in my life. Can I take something away from this? Did I conduct myself in a manner that lines up with my beliefs? Did I make the right decisions?
I’ll be frank; I typically ask these questions of myself after an episode of The Flash or The Originals (the answers from the latter are interesting; there’s a lot to take away from that show). But sometimes they’re moments that mean something on a more personal level. Take yesterday for instance.
Five years ago my sifu (that’s Chinese for skillful person or master) moved back to his homeland of Spain. Before then I had trained under him for nine years in numerous martial arts (Jeet Kune Do, Kali/Escrima, Tai Chi Chuan, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Kyusho Jitsu…he’s traveled the world collecting martial arts styles and has no qualms about passing on his wealth of knowledge; and I was a sponge). But during the last year or two of my training, I wasn’t all that dedicated.
I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be opening a martial arts school and lost sight of the value of the instruction I was receiving. But before my sifu left, he certified me as a Jeet Kune Do instructor because he felt that I had earned it; that I understood his lessons and could pass them along to future generations.
But once he left, and the bug to train bit me again, the quality of instruction I had under him couldn’t be found in my city anymore. And the personal relationships I built with other instructors did not have the same closeness. Not only had a great teacher moved away, but a great friend, as well.
I had the privilege to sit with my sifu, Joaquim Almeria, and talk. It was likely to be his last visit to Las Vegas – he has no other connections here except students who like to reminisce through long-winded blog and Facebook posts.
As with all of our conversations, I gained instruction and wisdom, but we also talked as friends. I learned more about his home; he learned how things have been here. It was a great couple of hours.
He reminded me of how much I had taken for granted before he left and how important it is to live in the moment and not in a distant dreamland of “some day…”
What about you? Are there things you have taken for granted? Do you have any tricks for living in the moment?