Hello everybody !!!
To dare ! To let go ! That's something, isn't it ??
It is not so easy to leave known ground for the unknown, to make this leap beyond one's imagined limits.
Benny - the Jet - Urquidez, a martial artist specialized in kickboxing and full-contact Karate said something that made a deep imprint on me in a documentary I saw years ago. He was asked why he was teaching his art and why he seemed to have some very untypical students, some you would not expect to sign up for a kickboxing or full contact Karate class. He said that most of us are raised in fear. We learn to fear our surroundings, we learn to fear to make mistakes, we learn to fear to get hurt. This "learning" builds up incredible barriers in our mind of what we think is possible or not, of what we think we can do or not. For him, sharing his art was about getting people aware of their limits and little by little to enlarge them and to help them to dare to leap a bit further.
In the process, we may make mistakes, we may get hurt, we may fall down ... But we also grow and discover our wonderful potential.
Personally, I am very much involved in questions of intercultural dialogue: how much we cling to our world! How difficult it is to open up to another world! We have our certainties and we do not want to see them questioned. It's a question of survival. Especially as many of our limits are unconscious to us. We are not even aware of our invisible barriers. So when someone starts pushing and pulling on them, we feel they are not just playing with our barriers, but they are out to get us, and eventually we won't survive the encounter!
As, Robert Vachon, one of my very good friends and a big inspiration for intercultural dialogue, likes to say from a Christian perspective, "Intercultural dialogue is crucifying ... but liberating." I think any true dialogue, any true opening up to situations and ourselves is.
How do we dare to let go of our limitations and open up to the wonderful potential of a given situation?
I was very privileged during my last stay in India.
Interestingly, many Indians living on the coast do not know how to swim. I had the occasion to teach some of my very good friends. And I also wanted to teach Vidya, my Karate Do and Taiji Quan student whom I really like a lot.
We were supposed to go swimming for a while, but something always came in-between. There was only one possible occasion left: the very afternoon before I had to fly back home to Europe (on fourth july 2010).
So, what do you do in such a case? Well, you go for it and you try to make the best of the few hours you have.
Vidya had never been swimming. At the beginning, even with her swimming buoy and me holding her, she would not let go of the edge of the swimming pool. It took some time, but eventually she did let go.
Towards the end of the afternoon, I thought it was time to get her to let go even more and to dare to jump into the water without anything ... but me catching her.
A friend filmed lots of Vidya's swimming débuts. You can see a general impression of the afternoon at vimeo.com/13481064
Here you see her attempts to jump and let go towards the end of the afternoon, not long before we had to pack up so that I could go and catch my flight back home.
When I watched the video footage, it reminded me so much of our human situation where we have to let go and to jump into the BIG ocean of life ... and we do have to learn to swim ... first in order to survive ... and then, we may actually also start to enjoy it :-)
In moments of intensity, sometimes time seems to slow down or to stand still ... so I tried to capture this feeling by slowing down the footage.
I hope it conveys the feeling of indecision, of the space between "yes" and "no", of the play between these two poles.
Well, finally Vidya did jump. First, a little timidly, but then really, daringly.
I was very proud of her. And at the same time it made me think about the importance of trust. People can do amazing things if they are trusted and if they trust the people they relate to and work with.
I hope you will find this video inspiring :-)
A lot of good and beautiful daring inspirations to all of you !!!
PS: The music is Mike Oldfield's "Sentinel".
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