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Showing posts from 2016

The Dawn of a New Year

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Here we are at the end of yet another year! My, my they are going really fast now-a-days! It surely doesn't feel like it should almost be 2017! Shouldn't we be flying around w/jet packs, beaming ourselves on Mars, basking in the afterglow of world peace and prosperity for all by now?!

Not so much...

Some of my 2016 goals worked out about that well too!

I don't know about you, but I get excited to look at my New Years goals from the previous year.  I  compare what I set out to do with what actually transpired. If you remember from my blog last year, I had three main goals which were:

#1 - Finish my Book
#2 - On-Line PeaceWalker Classroom Mgt Course for Teachers.
#3 - (Monthly) PeaceWalker Webinar Series

Well, so how did I do?

Um... Oh... *blush* I didn't actually accomplish anything on that list. I know, I should be fired! (Good thing I'm self employed!)  So what the heck happened? What DID I do then? No more excuses Gray!

Here's the rundown:

My book - In March…

Keep Calm & Drink Coffee

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A wonderfully gray and chilly Michigan winter day. Roads are icy, so its slow going to my chiropractic appointment at Chiropractic Unlimited. After a little snap, crackle, pop, I walk into one of my favorite coffee shops to do some work on my newly designed Ronin Krav Maga website(Link is to the current site. The new one isn't quite ready yet). There are a group of about six young ladies ordering and asking the barista a number of questions about the coffee selections, so I go to my usual spot and start unpacking my gear. I take off my coat, stuff my scarf into my sleeve. Out comes my computer, plug in the cord, get my earbuds, put in my thumb drive, grab my notebook, get situated. Forgot my phone is in my jacket pocket, I'll need that. Oh, my calendar is in my pack too. Have to have that too. Finally after all of that's done I sit down and see that the internet connection isn't working.  I screw around with that for a few minutes... still not working. Get up check to…

Drinking From a Firehose

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I was out in New Jersey training with Jack Hoban this weekend. It takes some time to traverse the 1600 mile round trip, so I get to catch up on my emails, phone calls and reading. On this trip I was able to make it through two books: Nicole Zaagman's Bee Badass and Brilliant and Russell Brunson's DotCom Secrets. A good way to make use of down time on planes, trains, layovers and such.

Brunson's book was about marketing on the web and was full (and I mean FULL) of so many good marketing strategies that by the end my head was spinning how to use them in my own business. He must have been reading my mind because in his conclusion he wrote:

Being overwhelmed is actually a good thing because even though you feel like all that information is a big, jumbled MESS upstairs, your brain is subconsciously making the connections. Right now, without you consciously doing anything, it's figuring out how to use all of the knowledge you just took in. All this is happening, even though …

215lbs Lifestyle

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We are smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season. That means family, friends, food and fun. It can add meaning to our lives and inches our waistlines! As I've gotten older it's getting more and more difficult to maintain my weight. Since my late thirties my standard weight hangs around 190# take or give. More if I don't watch what I eat, less when I do. If I didn't workout, I'd easily be well over 210#. Yep, I want a 180# body but live a 215# lifestyle. When I was younger I could cheat. My eating lifestyle didn't matter much. Although I did watch what I ate, you could barely tell if I fell off the "healthy eating wagon" so to speak. I was lean, active and had a decent metabolism, so if I cheated at my diet it didn't effect me much (unless I was competing where I had to make a specific weight class). Weight dropped off with ease. Not to mention I held that weight in different places than I do now (hello belly and love handles!). Naturally as I…

Anchors

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You could look at an anchor in a number of ways such as a heavy object attached to a rope or chain and used to moor a vessel to the sea bottom. An anchor can also be meant figuratively in a negative way like, "they're holding you down like an anchor." The reference can also be said in a positive way; such as, "that really anchors me."

The reference I would like to discuss is meant in a positive way. Things that anchor us, giving us stability, safety and comfort.  The holiday rituals that some of us have developed can act as an anchor (obviously they can have the opposite effect as well!). Doing the same things over and over can bring a sense of structure and comfort. Sometimes we may not even realize the calming effect some of these things bring into our lives until they are no longer there. These "things" include people (and other companions), places, events, routines, songs, etc.

I realize how lucky I have been to have had many positive anchors in …

Drawing Boundaries

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We often see how being too assertive or gung ho can be hazardous, however, so can being too gun shy or passive. Failing to define and communicate clear boundaries can get us (and others) into trouble as easily as being hot headed. The first step of this process is being clear on what your boundaries are. This may sound easy, but it's not always as clear cut as one might think. Take something "simple" like losing weight. Going on a diet to limit your calories (setting a boundary) sounds easy enough, however people fail at it because it is more difficult than just eating less. Being clear about what and why you are doing something is necessary. The clearer you are able to connect your why, what and how (and leave some room for a little flexibility) the more successful you'll be. It is easy to drift off target, so clarity is important. The clearer the better.

The how involves communicating your clarity to others in a way that gets your point across non-verbally, verbal…

Put "Thanks" Back in Thanksgiving

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It's the day before Thanksgiving. A cold rainy day. A good day for contemplation. But, instead of eagerly awaiting tomorrows festivities with family and thankfulness, I sit here at my favorite coffee house feeling anxious about other things. Many things. Too many things. It is easy to let the uncertainties of life erode your feelings of well being. It's also easy to let your "certainties" get at you too. Sometimes its difficult to feel thankful for those things that you have, when you are too busy being anxious about what you don't have, can't do or want to change. Grounding yourself can help you to be in this moment, so you can let go of all of the things that prevent you from being thankful and enjoying your time with your loved ones and yourself. There are many grounding methods, but here is a simple one that only takes a couple seconds and you can do anytime, anywhere:
Take a deep breath.Straighten your posture (spine straight, shoulders back & down).…

Split Decision: The 2016 Presidential Election

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It has been an emotional time for many as this tumultuous election season comes to a close. Many Americans are satisfied with the outcome of the election and many aren't.  It saddens me to read the venom on facebook from people on both sides of the political spectrum. Winning with grace and losing with dignity seems to be a lesson just out of reach at the moment. 

I am fortunate that I have a diverse group of friends ranging from staunch Republican to ultra liberal Democrats. From my LGBT and professor friends to my military and law enforcement com padres', perspectives often clash in their views of how things are and should be. I love them all (people not views), even when I don't agree with them.

The greatness of our country is that we have a government where we hold public elections, choose and change political officials without the violence of a bloody revolution (for the most part). We have a system of checks and balances and term limits. We live with compromise. Co…

The Jar of Life

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My last post, Embrace the Suck I told you that I would talk about priorities, so here you go! Fellow RGI colleague  Joe Marine tells this wonderful tie-in story called the Jar of Life. It's about priorities. It's an oldie but a goodie. You can find it here in his book: Tie-Ins for Life.


The Jar of Life
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember a jar, golf balls, marbles, sand and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of marbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The marbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor…

Embrace the Suck

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People often ask, "What do you want out of life?" The responses you get are pretty standard.


"To have a good job."
"To have a fulfilling career."
"To have that special someone who I love and loves me." 
"To have a  happy family."
"To have good friends."
"To be healthy."
"To be thin."
"To be physically fit."
"To look good."
"To be financially secure."
"To feel safe."
"To be happy." 

Those are all good things, but that's the easy question. Here's the real question: What are you willing to sacrifice to get those things? What pain are you willing to endure to achieve and maintain the things in your life that you say you want? Everything costs you something, be it time, money or attention, so what suck are you willing to embrace to get what you want?

Have you every seen someone play "air guitar" to their favorite rock song? They mimic the movements of th…

Seasons

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A beautiful fall day. 70 degrees, sunny with a breeze. My mind is full yet restless on this Autumn morning. It won't be long before the snow will begin to fly. Winter's fine through January anyway. Luckily this year I'm off on a Caribbean sailing trip in February to break up the cold. Shortly after, Spring will arrive, followed by Summer. Then of course Autumn will come once again repeating the cycle.

Life and training is like this as well. There are seasons. The things we practice, the lives we live, the people we become, the generations we represent all change, yet if you look, there are noticeable patterns and cycles.  If we are open to it we can broaden and deepen our experience with each new cycle, but to do this we must be in this moment while we connect the dots from our previous experiences.

If it's fall, but we act as if it is still summer, not only will we miss the beauty of the season we are in, we may do inappropriate and ineffective things. Wearing short …

You Have to Steal It (Part 2)

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