I’ve been trying to be more open about myself lately, to present myself more honestly to people I meet. Usually, I think, “Well, I’ll never see this person again so why try?” But there’s also the other side, the idea that yes, this might be the only time I see this person, so why not be as genuine as you can be? It’s been really interesting because though I’ve always understood myself to be close-lipped, I never realized how much. It takes so much effort for me to reveal just one piece of information. I go through such a mental back and forth before even opening my mouth – but then afterward, there’s always questions. And that takes the most energy, I think, having to clarify or restate.
It does however, lead to more self-reflection, which has been really … beneficial isn’t the right word, because it seems like it’s only about what I get in return, but it really has helped me better understand myself and my goals. I feel like it makes life feel more full when I also participate in sharing. I don’t think I’ll ever change from being an introvert, but I think I can become more centered and at peace if I continue to be more conscious of not being *closed up.
Speaking of consciousness and effort, today was a very chill day at my BJJ gym. It’s been very interesting after the tournament. They say you learn more if you lose, but I’ve found that winning has opened my mind to so many new things. It was real confidence boost, winning my weight division, and though there are still many gaps in my knowledge, I feel like I’m starting to get the gist of more advanced techniques.
BJJ is fascinating because it’s very spatial and physics oriented. One of my teammates often says that BJJ is about moving through space – not simply linearly, but in all directions at all times. It also employs your whole body – everything gets used, even your toes. I’ve become much more aware of how my body moves ever since I started studying martial arts in 2007, but it wasn’t until starting BJJ that I learned how much the body is capable of. At times, BJJ is actually really, really silly. But it’s things like, being inverted and rolling between each other’s legs that reminds me that at the heart of it all, it’s just about having fun.
Anyway, today was a very chill day. It was just my instructor and I and we had a sustained sparring session that was more about flow than any sort of force. It was crazy! We were just rolling around but it was awesome to see how little things effect one’s balance, or how to move one’s body, etc. It was more about feel than anything else. We were talking afterward, and I mentioned how it was strange to realize that I actually rely on force when I do regular sparring, when really, it should be about going with the flow, using the other person’s energy against them.
My instructor started talking about how he’s noticed that sparring seems to bring out a different side of people, something primitive, perhaps triggering the flight or fight switch in us. We’re primed to choose between the two; relaxing and just going with the flow is something not natural to us as human beings.
(It makes me wonder if that’s connected to sharing about myself – perhaps I’m only now starting to learn to suppress the “panic” mode and allow myself to relax and be genuine … )
*I realize that moving away from LJ and Twitter seems hypocritical, like it’s pulling back and closing up, and in a sense maybe it is. But I feel like in those communities, I had lost sight of the person I want to become, of the path I want to take — that the time was right to move on, so to speak. I’m hoping that this blog will be a place different from previous “homes,” one more aligned with my goals and filled with more meaningful and honest sharing of my self.