Saturday, December 16, 2006

Breaking Through

board breakingOur Karate school had a board breaking event today. Professor Hafner called it the "Smash All Fears" Fundraiser for the Ann Arbor Homeless Shelter. Basically, participants made a donation and, in return got the chance to break a board (or a slab of concrete). The idea was to make the board represent some limiting fear or belief in your life.

Before I go any further, one warning: Please do not try board breaking unless you are with an experienced coach. Doing things incorrectly will very likely lead to injury. Imagine willingly slamming your hand into a brick wall with all your strength and you'll get some idea of the possible results.

Some of the people who participated were doing this for the first time. Heck, some of them weren't even in the martial arts! We had several moms and dads, sometimes at the urging of their children, getting out on the floor and giving it a whack. I'll tell you, there is something truly amazing about watching someone's face the first time they break. I saw it today on five-year-old children and 60-year-old grandmothers. They suddenly realize that, despite their fears -- of failure or pain or disaster -- they did this thing which seemed impossible. That look of personal power shone through in their eyes and, as one of the coaches for the event, I felt a tremendous rush just to be a part of that moment.

I've broken many times in the past myself, the most recent was last year, when my Karate Master, Professor Hafner, had me break five 1-inch concrete slabs. The amazing thing I learned in that moment was that I have the power of focus, to such an extent that, for me, the obstacle ceases to exist. To me, breaking through those slabs was no more difficult than pushing my hand through the air. My challenge, and my excitement, is to apply that same focus to my goals in the rest of my life. What could I achieve??

One of my favorite quotes is by Marianne Williamson and it begins:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
On a day like today I understand that fear, and I am ready to push beyond it.

So, what experience have you had which uncovered your fear that you are "powerful beyond measure"?

16 days.

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