Black Belt Essay – Chandler Himmel
The dojo has been an anchor in my life for the majority of the time I have been a Life Ki-do student. It is the place where I most frequently meet my closest friends and where I can open up and be as expressive as I care to be. Life Ki-do to me represents a place where everyone is dedicated to the improvement, happiness, and fulfillment of themselves and the people around them. There is an understanding and a lack of judgment for people who are not feeling at their best and a constant and gentle effort to help them feel better. I feel that it is easiest for me to be the best person I can be when I am in the dojo and the dojo helps me to expand that time to the other areas of my life.
Life Ki-do has done so much to help me be aware of my own thoughts and feelings. During my training I developed an awareness of the unhelpful thoughts that were appearing in my mind saying hurtful things like “this is to hard” and “what is the point of this?”. The awareness gives me the chance to respond to these thoughts in helpful ways with statements like “you can do this” or just “That’s not helpful”. In this way I can immediately address the unhelpful thoughts and let them harmlessly pass by instead of holding them inside and dealing with them at a later date. Not having to hold those kind of thoughts inside has helped me to have a generally more positive image of myself at all times.
Life Ki-do has helped me more calmly communicate with others by implementing the same helpful tips for improving my state of mind during training when I talk with others. they help me in combating social anxiety and allow me to let more of my natural self out for others to see. My training has also helped me to more accurately read the body language and facial expressions of others to help me in understanding and connecting to their feelings.
I feel that Life Ki-do has helped me to value my experience of life over all else. I am not as concerned with whether or not I am eliciting praise from others or if I am making progress in my line of work. The most important thing is if I can enjoy the work even in periods of time where it seems like less has been achieved than normal. Progress should be exciting and sought for, but it should not be your only source of enjoyment. I start my days with a desire to approach my tasks for that day in a healthy way and to help myself improve as a person in the process.