Kendo’s Healing Message for July

Kendo is known for reminding us that challenges are meant to be risen to, and doing so brings out strengths we didn’t know we had. But what if you’ve been courageously striving onwards, yet things continue to seem as challenging as they have always been, and you haven’t found your efforts reflected in the diligence of others? What if you’re fed up, and everyone else around you seems to be too?

That’s when, Kendo tells us, we need to employ a little Kyu Shin Do – take a big step back, and look at it from the stillness of Zen; intriguingly, though, as Kendo’s wisdom is a blend of East and West, we can actually use a ‘thought experiment’ to help us aspire, and a rationalist might approach it as follows…

If events are destined, then we have no free will, so things will happen no matter what we do for good or ill – is this true? Kendo says ‘No’. He says, whatever happens, you have free will regarding yourself, and nothing can take that away from you. You’re not meant to be ground down by hardships – they are simply the means by which you get ever-stronger, and, whatever your circumstances, who you are now will always be a real achievement, of which you can be proud.

And this is where Kendo’s eclectic mix of East and West provides really inspiring symbolism. In the Western discipline of Astrology, the deepest reading reveals that how we react to destined events effectively shapes our karma, and we do have a choice. Even all the might of Pluto cannot make you feel pessimistic if you choose to look on the bright side. This is worth remembering when things get tough – just like the wonderful Tarot card, the Six of Cups, the observer is saddened by seeing three cups spilled, but hasn’t noticed the other three still upright and full, behind them. That’s the meaning of this wonderful card – don’t be disheartened by what you see in front of you – there’s a bigger picture, and looking for it is likely to reward your optimism.

This is the point that Kendo wants to share this month. You may be justifiably worn down by the challenges you’ve faced, and you may not have found optimism in the actions of others, but your own actions can lift you, and be a pleasant surprise for others, inspiring them. Kendo dares you to counfound hardship, because it can’t make you feel bad – you can choose to be positive. Your courageous choice to look for the up-side is the surest way to achieve the best outcome of a challenge, and – who knows – it may well help inspire someone who witnesses it, and is in need of a boost themselves.

These ideas are an alternate approach to the Buddhist way of always seeking to be the best you can be – your optimism is ‘paying it forward’, not only for yourself, but also for all those whom you contact. Kendo points out that we may even be destined to meet another optimist along the way! Onwards!

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