Avoidance patterns – keeping it simple

“Everyone who works — everyone who lives – has struggles. Wars with other companies, skirmishes with co-workers, raids by family and friends, sieges by the public, ambushes by unpredictable tragedy, titanic combat for the hearts of their children, fatal wounds by terminal disease.

Sitting here, I am reminded of several things. One, that we all need a break. I’ve said it many times, but even a quiet walk away from it all is a kind of leave. Even a weekend drive to a different town is rest and relaxation. Two, that our struggles aren’t necessarily reality. It may be that we will discover, one day, that our joys and times of rest were ultimately far greater reflections of truth than the suffering we endured. And three, that going back into the fray is hard — harder than I remember.

But most important, perhaps, is number four — the acknowledgment that life is this battle. If you come home weary, if your heart is broken, your back sore, your hands calloused, your soul drained, it isn’t because you are weak or bad. It’s because the world in which you find yourself, the combat into which you were born, is bloody and difficult. You have my permission to embrace your wounds, to recognize them, and to know that they are not self-inflicted, but life-inflicted. So go and rest a little. Take leave” (1)

I’m trying to do that – whilst working hard, easing up a little where possible, creating a little oasis each week until can do something more. Its not just physical leave – detachment and avoidance from other life ‘invasions’ whether self-inflicted or not – I’ve started a period of healthy detachment such as not being on twitter (will check once a week probably but not really posting) and feel a lot better for it already. Finally learning and its so nice fitting in time for things like walking and hearing real birds singing. I’m also cutting down on other online activities such as online courses have been following, have done what I can for now and will concentrate on a&p more.

I was reminded of avoidance in an excellent taekwondo session yesterday led by one of our senior Dans who is also a senior aikido Dan. He is an amazing instructor and his awareness of the proximity of humans is incredible – he can punch and kick hard and it misses your head / skin within centimetres but he is totally controlled and knows completely where his hands and feet are at all times. Towards the end he gathered us together and reminded us that at the end of the day – one of the best answers to conflict may be avoidance. If someone wants to swing at your head – move your head, or move your body to the side. Step out of the way. He taught us unsoku which is a simple pattern of steps to avoid someone – just by keeping your fists up and stepping forward, backward, to the sides with the latter part of the pattern stepping in the shape of a letter H

Avoidance patterns = efficient use of energy = beautiful!

1. Leap E (2010) On Leave from the Life-inflicted Battle, Better Health and Edwin Leap.com, available at