As we approach Thanksgiving, this is a perfect time to talk about one of the most powerful of human emotions - GRATITUDE.
One of our primary missions here at Ohana Karate is helping parents with the emotional and social development of their children. It is no coincidence, we close every karate class with a reminder of the two most powerful emotions we all have - Love and Gratitude. We do this in a subtle way by saying the words "I Love You. Thank You." from the heart three times. One of the reasons we do this is because it is often very easy for you and all of us to go through an entire day without feeling or expressing either?
It is important for you to understand why gratitude is so powerful and how you can use it as a life changing tool. As humans, we have the unique gift of being able to control our thoughts and emotions. It is very hard "not" to think or feel something. It is much easier to displace the undesired feeling or emotion with a desired one. Here in lies the power of gratitude.
The emotions of fear and hatred cannot exist at the same time as love and gratitude. They are opposites so the human mind and body cannot do and feel both at the same time.
Here is a simple example. When you find yourself watching too much news on TV or following all the craziness on social media, how can you help but feel the emotion and energy of fear, worry and anxiety. Instead of saying "Ah, stop worrying" or "It's not that bad.", use the tool of displacing your feeling of fear. You can do this by intentionally choosing to take a media break. Go outside and take a nice long walk in nature, take in the fresh air and use the time to think about all the things you are grateful for right now. Think of things that are big and small. Think of the many things you take for granted. Family. Friends. Nature. Even the food we eat and air we breathe.
Teach this emotional tool to your children. Their world is already too filled with fear and anxiety. They do not know any different. They do not know any better . . . until we teach them.
So, just remember this one principle in life: Fear and hatred cannot exist with love and gratitude. (And, vice versa?)
We have far more to be thankful for than fearful of this Thanksgiving.
Enjoy this Thanksgiving with your Family,
Sensei and Mrs. Sensei