Hiwatari (Fire Walking)

Leadership No Comments »

hiwatari In Japan there is an annual event called Hiwatari (Fire walking). It happens at Mount Takao in Hachioji to mark the coming of the spring. It is an event that I wish to attend because it is a reminder of the potential of the human body and spirit.
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Each person, old and young, has the same genetic makeup as all humans. They have hands, feet, nerves, bodies and skin just like us. They feel pain, they experience fear and they have the potential to burn. Against existing thought (and instinct), they do not experience injury from walking over the flaming embers.

There is no trick to Hiwatari. It is like any other goal you attempt to achieve: it takes practice, mindset, consistent training and belief. Witnessing an event such as Hiwatari, reminds us: the limits of the human body are unknown and anything you perceive, see, aim to accomplish, wish or dare to do, should be able to be done with the proper focus.
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In the world around us, we see things that show us how weak we are. We just look around and see examples of disease, accidents and injuries. We are told we will get weaker as we age. People tell us to “be careful” and “don’t do that.” So we stay in between the lines and follow those thoughts and visions.
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My hope is when you see another fellow human do something extraordinary, you know you can do the same or better. You have the same tools and genetics. Plus, you are one step ahead because now you have more insight that the task is doable. Furthermore, there is an infinite source of strength, wisdom and insight in each of us to accomplish anything.
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What is your Hiwatari you should focus on in order to remind you of your greatness?

Don’t be “That Guy”

General Health No Comments »

Usually around 6:30PM you find “That Guy” at the gym. “That Guy” was probably a pretty good athlete in high school and college, and now realizes he must do some kind of exercise because he is starting to look more like his father. “That Guy” decides he must hit the gym 5 days a week because he feels this is the only place where he can improve his body. At the gym, he is often found telling stories of his “glory days” and lifting hearty amounts of weights, attempting to turn back the clock. He starts to feel pain, beyond muscle soreness, but continues to power through the exercises. He does not realize pain occurs because his body is not supported properly which leads him to feel old and defeated.
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The irony is that he exercises and lifts weights at the gym no differently than how he uses his body at work, home or with his kids. He carries the stress of his day, the body language of fatigue and mental overload into the gym where he fortifies it into his musculature and nervous system with the repetitive action of exercising. And when he leaves the gym, he leaves with the same rounded shoulders, droopy stomach and fatigued walk he had when he left the office.
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Are you interested in learning how not to be “That Guy”?
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The goal of exercise is to improve the body in various ways. You will get better results if you become more aware, conscious and focused on the task. Here are the steps:
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1. Use your imagination: Before, during and after you work out, envision your ideal body shape in your mind. This is what you want, so why not know what to work towards.
2. Connect through each movement: Each weight you lift, each rep you do, each step you take: do it by connecting all your muscle groups to your core abdominals. Do you feel the difference in connecting vs. powering through? Feel each part of your body working in a way to meet your goals.
3. Consciously activate every detail: including posture, balance, coordination and core connection.
4. Think Extra weight: Imagine each rep is twice the amount you are actually lifting and each step you take feels like your there is twice the load on your muscles.
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These steps will take practice to incorporate so be patient. If you truly do this, you will feel satisfied with your workouts because you are fully involved in changing your body. You will also limit physical stress that can put the body at risk for injury.
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Experiment with this for 12 weeks. Be consistent and see what happens to your body. If you are not totally involved, it will not work because these steps ask for you to be fully present. Just imagine if someone wanted to participate more in your life. How different would things be? Would work get done faster? Would things be more in order? How long until that participation trickles into other aspects of your life? The ultimate goal is to go from being “that Guy” to “The Guy.”