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23.667 Hours, 1 Minute, 32.222 Seconds

posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:21 PM by Eric Banks

“If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.”

-Alex Noble


So, this past weekend I took a quick, quick trip to Atlanta for training at the Kata Day seminar.  The plane left KC at 5:30 am.  Yep, that’s 5:30 in the morning, on a Saturday morning.   My return flight left the ATL, Hot-lanta, at 7:30 am Sunday and I got back to KC at 8:30 am.  I was in Atlanta less than 24 hours…yeah, quick trip, but…it was so worth it!


I received some valuable training and insight from Shimoji Sensei, and I learned some new things about the art and about myself.  Isn’t that what it’s all about, learning about yourself?  Most of the time, we are on ‘autopilot’, just tryin’ to make it through the parts of our days that are just necessary or even unpleasant, and we lose sight of the wonder around us, and within us.  This trip, like so many others, helped me to turn off the autopilot and expand my many horizons; I was challenged and encouraged, I was frustrated with myself at times, but man, like I said before, it was worth it.


On the mornings that I arrive, I always like sitting in the Atlanta airport, eatin’ a sandwich and watchin’ the people go by.  That, the people watching, is an art in itself.  I observe the tall, the short, the young, the old, the happy, the tired, the pretty and the ordinary folks as they stroll by, or run by, or just stand and wait.   I realize, again, that, man, this is a big fat world, filled with people of many, many dimensions, many, many varieties, that this planet, the world’s culture, is a whole lot richer, a whole lot bigger than my tiny corner of the box.   And as I watch them, I listen to the thoughts and feelings I have within and I realize, I remember, that no matter what we look like, how we dress, how we move, how many tattoos or body-piercings we may have, no matter what we may believe or choose not to believe, God (not “a” god or a force, but THE Creator), loves each individual with a love that we’ll never understand, and can never comprehend.  I realize and I remember that we have something special here: life and freedom.


And then there’s the training.  Man, I always learn so much, and I am always reminded of just how much I DON’T know!  Wow.  It can be a little frustrating, a little intimidating, but that’s all a part of it, learning to handle the frustrating and emotions, to manage your energy in a positive and constructive way.  Little by little, with hard work, consistent work and relaxed focus, I’m getting better and better.  But yeah, dude, I’ve got so much to learn.


It’s good to go beyond your normal shores, to learn about the wide, wide world out there, but even better to return enlightened and inspired, different because of the challenges, stronger, wiser, a little tired and sore, but encouraged and ready to do it again, even if it means wakin’ up at 2:00 am on a Saturday.