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Being Honest is Scary

In Ramallah, my default was to avoiding talking about heading to Israel. In Israel, I’ve noticed my default state has been to avoid mentioning I was just in Palestine. When it does come up, I continue the conversation very cautiously.

I don’t know how people will respond. Will they be upset? Interested? Offended? Jealous? So far, I’ve seen a range of reactions.

Reactions of individuals in Palestine, on traveling to Israel:In general, no one get upset. At least on the surface.

Overall I’d say there was definitely curiosity, but some people definitely had an undertone of disappointment and jealousy because they could never go there. A few times I started talking about the rest of my trip (travel through Israel for a week, China for two weeks immediately after), and I think that undertone may have gotten stronger.

Christmas morning

On minimalift

I’ve had a hard time feeling relaxed over the past few years, even when I take measures to do relaxing things. A constant state of go - the green light reflex/Landau response - has taken its toll on my nerves and posture. I would say it’s been that way since applying for my first mortgage. The touch and go nature of this hellish eight month ordeal damaged me, and I never fully recovered. I would say that with my current mindset and approach to fear of loss, I would handle it better today - hindsight and so on.

Christmas morning I’m on the farm and something good happens. I’m brushing my teeth for a solid five minutes, and I’m enjoying it. Mindful, present, focused. Tranquility in motion - this is Way of the Sword level movement with a toothbrush in hand. This deep calm and tranquility continued throughout the day. Incidentally, this is the first Christmas that I’ve given and received nothing materially. Honestly, we didn’t even realise until late afternoon, and on observing this certainly didn’t feel we were missing out. Most of the day was spent lying in the sun, reading and saying little. The calm was universal.

I can trace this calm back to my Somatics practice in the two days prior, and you’re probably bored of hearing me prattle on about that. I have been working through The Myth of Aging and I hate that the Novato Institute hasn’t yet produced downloadable materials. It really would reduce the barrier to entry. Anyhow, I got to thinking about how I tend towards movement in meditation rather than static postures. As Thomas Hanna rightly notes, “kinesthetic learning is intoxicating” and because of its nature it’s impossible to describe in words how true this is. I am convinced that movement is paramount for recovery from mental distress.

Nick Horton discusses soft meditation in this blog post and I can see the value in his definition. He also touches on internal and external in martial arts. One thing I’d add is that the split doesn’t divide mental and physical, internal also includes physical movement (soft meditation?) but I get the analogy as applied to weightlifting practice. In the past he’s also gone to lengths to explain the yin/yang aspects of the quick lifts. If you were to hold up the lifts themselves as martial art they would be a “complete” system - both internal and external.

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