8 Simple Steps To A Healthy Mind and Body In 2015
1. Keep it simple means to work strength, flexibility, aerobics, and timing. Together.
2. The desired result is athleticism. The style of athleticism is a mixture of both your own, and your genetic potential. And fun!
3. Healthy Mind should look like a focused, fluid, interactive form of concentration. In one form or another that translates to Cycles of Challenge and Cycles of Recovery. Mentally. When you workout the right way the result will make you happy!
4. The components of Mind and Body harmony respond to above three points. In a complex modern world we are routinely dragged away from that kind of balance in our middle to late 20’s. So a good rule of thumb is to be in touch with the emotions of early to middle childhood when we pay close attention to our activities more than any social approval system.
5. Our goal is to produce effortless focus in the moment. Modern first world adults typically have major challenges before we get that goal. Understandably. But there are still ‘reasons and causes, but no excuses’. For happy athletic harmony an effortless focus in the moment is a requirement.
6. Accountability Programs can cause athletes to move into control modes that inadvertently block the potential for ‘effortless‘ success. Look for the connections between balanced athletic systems, a feeling of relaxed intensity during your workout or training program, and a balance between Cycles of Challenge and Cycles of Recovery.
7. Some form of Workout Diaries, to track your progress and avoid overtraining, are the easiest way to create a sustainable Training Program, and reduce the risk of overtraining. Rest and Fatigue go together as partners.
8. Athletic success is multi-dimensional involving a number of interactive elements. But, like any other repeat pattern, there are risks of going stale. Habits and Reflexes are training stages that should feed each other. When they don’t that can lead to training plateaus.
For support on your goals and tools that can support your goals contact me at 310.202.8707
Happy Holidays & A Healthy New Year,
Mike Kennelly, M.S., SBN 5th Dan
The Transition Season
I was talking with one of my clients the other day about year end training programs. She owns a small business and this is the time of year that they assess how the business went this year-how it grew. And while her health and fitness confronted many challenges, the greatest challenge she faced was how to continue to grow their business in a tumultuous economy.
My answer was simple- do business with fundamentals in mind, and an up to the minute timing with a flexible perspective. In other words, go to foundations that reinforce stability in your life. Look to create clarity in your mind, and reduce tension in your body. Go to your life’s Milieu for guidance.
Reviewing the first steps in Applied Philosophy:
1.Milieus are a basic concept-everything you do in your life needs to work together harmoniously. If there is too much stress, it’s not harmonious. If you are angry at your significant other all the time-it’s not a harmonious relationship. If you’re angry at traffic everyday-your commute needs changing its path, or you need to change your attitude. The more advanced specifics of Spiral Cycles and Applied Philosophy are broader principles of your change program. So start with the basics-look to the tangible basics of your life. If you do, you’ll make massive growth steps as you move ahead.
2. The ‘feeling’ you are looking for is one of clarity connected to relaxed focus. Clarity is that sense that ‘I know where I’m trying to go’. Relaxed focus is the feeling that I’m going to get where I’m going so take a deep breath and start my trip now.
3. Your life starts to focus in the right direction when I begin to ‘feel’ that day to day events are slowing down. Why is the ‘feeling’ of slowing down so important? Those feelings help me feel much less stressed, and much more like I have enough time and resources to get where I need to go. As I mentioned in Point 1, your emotions will reflect that quickly. When you slow down a little bit, you seem to have more time. It’s an odd paradox. If we can slow down, we become more efficient, and we get more done with less effort. Our problems begin when we get out of touch with with the ‘feelings’ of everyday life. If we can check with ourself, we will see just what we‘re doing and how we are doing it. Am I happy? is actually a good question to ask frequently-even several times a day. If my answer is ‘I’m not sure’, then look further-what can I do that will make me feel happier. So often our feelings of ‘dull normal‘ are disguises for ‘I’m very unhappy, and I can’t seem to get out of it’. So how, and where can I look for a better quality of life?
4. I’m not saying you should be ‘happy‘ all the time. I’m saying that respecting the choices you make produces your quality of life. Learn what you can do to improve your daily life product. It really is about being willing to learn how to be ‘happy’ as an adult. You knew how to do it when you were younger, recall it as an adult. My experience as an adult, and with clients, is that we may need to re-learn ‘happiness’ several times in our different life stages. Good. Each re-learning stage, is actually learning for the first time how to reframe the specifics of Life-now!
5. For many of us becoming more adult, becoming more sophisticated, ruins our quality of life. Maybe it’s because we ‘think’ we know more, and there’s less to learn. We are trading ‘sophistication’ for hope and joy. Not a trade I’d make.
Mike Kennelly, MS
To contact me for consulting, call 310-202-8707
A Short Follow-Up on the Korean Parade
For all of us who participated in the 41st Annual Korean Parade Celebration there was a chance to see old friends again, make new friends, and connect with our expanding TaeKwonDo Community, the the rich and diverse community that Koreans have brought to the Greater Los Angeles area!
The Parade through Korea Town was one of the most important I’ve ever participated in-at least for me. For the first time I brought some of my students to the festival so they could participate in the Parade.
Our DoChang is the oldest in Korea Town, founded by Master Yong Kim in the community in the early 1970’s. A few years later after the school opened, I brought several members of my staff at Southwest Community Mental Health Services to study with Master Kim. I’ve talked about the reasons in other places so I won’t review them now.
This particular Parade was special for me because I brought my School for the first time, introduced my Senior Students to other members of the DoChang, and some of the affiliate schools from as far away as San Bernardino, and had a chance to meet young Master Erin Kim. For me it was like having the opportunity to meet a nephew that had been separated from me for years. Very emotional for both of us. I truly am the luckiest man in the World.
Leading schools from as far away as San Bernardino were Master Larry Ammons, Master Kwon Bai Kim from Korea Town here in Los Angeles, Grand Master Yong Kim (my subumnim), and me Master Mike Kennelly. Also leading, and providing important structure and an amazing Demonstration Team was my Nephew, Instructor Erin Kim.
As a Third Generation Angelino I have been privileged to see many, many, many changes in our L.A. Communities, and each change has added its richness to our Town. But no Community have I personally benefitted more from than the Korean Community here in Los Angeles. I hope you will too. See you next year at the Festival and Parade!
For years I’ve said that I am the luckiest man in the World. And this month highlights my good fortune, and my Town’s good fortune, for the 41st Annual Korean festival. Our school, Dosan, is the oldest continuously operating TaeKwonDo School in the L.A. Vicinity. We’ve been a founding part of the Parade for more than forty years. Congratulations to the Korean Community, congratulations to all of us for having the privilege of being a part of celebrating this Annual Festival with the community.
While I have taught TaeKwonDo for over 40 years here in Los Angeles, I’ve probably learned more from students of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds than students have learned from me. I’ve used the phrase ‘Teachers teach students and Students teach teachers how to teach them’! In our modern America that couldn’t be more true then it is today!
I first ran into Koreans in the then Republic of South Viet Nam. While that particular meeting place and time wasn’t my most pleasant experience, I very much learned to value Koreans, their character, and the many layers of strength, and indomitable will that their community, our community, brings to L.A. We are all enriched by this exposure.
Which brings us back to the here and now of our everyday lives.
We’ve been touching on the progressive forms of psychology that use Milieus as the format for everyday change. If you haven’t read some of the recent blogs about change, a Milieu is a very powerful tool from which to start your change cycles. Simply put, milieus use everyday life details to highlight the natural balance in a healthy life. I used that principle as a young therapist decades ago, and it still is one of the most powerful tools that Beginners can use to improve their lives.
The next step in modern progressive therapy is complicated by the daunting complexity of everyday American life. So I began to develop the Spiral Cycles disciplines. Still using the strength of Milieu Principles, I started to break down the steps of Growth and Change into their specific stages. Working with many people over the years, I found that most of us could make good progress for a while, only to become distracted by the volume and complexity of modern living. So I began to break down into tangible steps both the assets of rapid change and the distractions that came with them. And I found that the stages of Growth and Destruction could actually support each other’s rapid growth. If you gave up your defenses. And that is a big ‘if’ for any of us.
So the Spiral Cycles of Growth and Destruction work like this:
1. Beginning Beginning
2. Intuition Intuition
3. Insight Insight
4. Mechanism Mechanism
4. Habit Habit
5. Reflex Reflex
6. Mastery Mastery
7.Begin Again Begin Again
Why are Growth and Destruction Stages the same? Simple, the same things that challenge us, the same mistakes we make also focus our attention to what can be better. It is up to us to find the hidden gem in pain so that it stimulates growth.
You can begin to see the benefits of integrating Eastern Martial Arts Philosophy and Practice, and Western Progressive Psychology. For any person, or business, that integration guarantees the most rapid and sustainable period of growth and change that you’ll ever have. While that is not likely to be easy for any of us, it is an eyeopener in terms of dealing with developing our Potential.
So congratulations to our, my, Korean Community on it’s Forty plus years of contributions to our community in Los Angeles. ComSaMeDa. ‘Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!
Mike Kennelly SBN
5th Dan Black Belt
World TaeKwonDo Federation
Milieus: When Things Begin to Work Together
Most common mistakes follow simple patterns as well. Take too big an early step, and you’ll likely trip and fall. Take too small a step, and you’ll probably get bored, and make the ‘too big’ mistake because you got impatient. Milieus are great places for beginners to start because they commonly combine Body and Mind training at the same time but need to be taken with small, tangible, steps.
With milieus, every little step is a big step when you’re headed where you want to go! So try this ‘trick’, use ‘Partnership Pairs’ so that the burdens of extinguishing a habit are ‘paired’ with the tangible ‘rewards’ of incremental success.
Just as in our physical world our Mind and Body worlds thrive on things when ‘changes’ are assembled to form a broader foundation for our ‘health world’. So if I want to keep things simple how would I assemble three points to create ‘sustainable changes’ in my Life? Easy! Remember what we said? Body)(Mind)(Energy support each other! Body we discussed when we talked about exercise. Mind we discussed when we started counting cigarettes.
So what is Energy? Walking is exercise, so you lose weight gradually, right? But walking also stimulates endorphins, a hormone that is created naturally in several ways, including when you exercise ‘aerobically’. And the benefits of combining short exercise ‘periods’ into intervals is that you tend not to over extend yourself as much. But what an individual must be wary of is to resist ‘taking ourselves for granted’! Physically things like Workout Diaries are useful. But you should add a portion of ‘Recovery cycling‘ to your workout diaries so you resist the tendency to do ‘too much, for too long’. Also it can be useful to add a ‘component element’ that provides a ‘structural element’ to your exercise disciplines.
Having said that it is still a lifestyle balance that is at the heart of your physical, emotional-mental, and energy-vitality interface.
If these things are too general to be of use for you I can help you individually if that works better, or you can subscribe for a monthly news letter about specific issues that you find are coming up for you. The ‘subscription’ format is still under development so keep looking in from time to time to see what’s changing.
You can also call me at (310) 202-8707, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milieus: The Building Blocks of Successful Change
So what’s a Milieu, and how do I make it work for me?
Milieus are a form of lifestyle change which is the most Basic form of consistent growth. Milieus are the building blocks of success or failure in real life. Since Milieus work everyday, throughout the day, they are constantly available to you. Simply, a milieu is a way of approaching your daily life where you are trying to make incremental changes consistently. Most important, it’s how you assemble the details of your life so things work smoothly, and they work in balance.
How? The biggest point for any incremental change is exactly that-incremental. To succeed at changing a habit, break it down into its component parts, set up a simple change in basic behavior, and build from there.
Example 1: ‘I smoke, I want to quit!’
Count the number of cigarettes in a fresh pack. Remove one cigarette each day at the beginning of the day so there is one less in the pack and through it away before you start the first one of the day.
First day, thirty cigarettes in a fresh pack? Through one away as soon as you open the pack.
Second day start the day by tossing away two before you light up the first one.
Third day through toss three. Work one less cigarette each day until there are none.
I have helped smokers quit smoking for years with minimum back sliding. You can use it for any change you want-but you must be accountable to yourself, and incremental in your steps.
Example 2: What’s another basic behavior that I want to add? ‘I want to get in shape, so I better work out a little right now.’
Maybe go for a short walk, climb some stairs, nothing too demanding to start!’ Start small, build up in short steps. When you work your Mind be clear about what you’re trying to change so you can give yourself some tangible feedback about how you’re doing. The Body is easier because you can see it, feel it. The Mind gets easier when you do the same thing-see how you feel, think, and act automatically. Most common mistakes follow simple patterns as well. Take too big an early step, and you’ll likely trip and fall. Take too small a step, and you’ll probably get bored, and make the ‘too big’ mistake. Milieus are great places for beginners to start because they commonly combine Body and Mind training at the same time but with small, tangible, steps. Milieus, every little step is a big step when you’re headed where you want to go!
Backsliding is the most toxic of our mistakes, because we can begin to lose confidence in ourselves.
Example 3: Quit smoking AND Get In Shape? You have the beginnings of a Health Milieu
Milieus are useful places to start because that approach tends to weave the changes we make into our daily life, almost invisibly. You can learn to feel the small changes toward growth, or the small changes for backsliding. That sensitivity is useful to avoid unnecessary mistakes, and reward positive small steps in the right direction. Milieus create opportunities for rapid change, seamlessly. Start small, start immediately. I don’t care about mistakes, I care about progress, however slow. Fear is not the answer, clarity is. Mistakes are not the point, immediately getting back on your Program is the point. Start here.
Elements of a Milieu
There are very few simple principles to living a healthy, vital Life:
- Keep it simple
- Be consistent
- Balance exercise and recovery
- Watch out for Life stress-what you don’t see can kill you, or worse, take away your drive to live a better life
- Understand that you need to work your Body and Mind together to have the Energy that fuels the joy that your Life is capable of!
- Did I mention be consistent? That’s what Workout Diaries are for. You can do any program you want, no matter how simple, and it will make you healthier as long as you build up to it gradually, and you are consistent.
- So Programing your Life will look like this Mind)(Body)(Energy. Mind first because you need to make a clear decision to try to change your Life.
- So let’s start with the Basics of how you can get your Mind in shape first. That way you can add the beginnings of a simple Body training program to add physical consistency.
Working the Resource of your Mind (1)
Always begin any Program in an assessment stage, I call that Mapping:
-where are you now?
-what’s your point in beginning any single program, or learning all three of them sequentially?
-what are you working with, assets, liabilities, or a little bit of both?
-is there more urgency in some areas then in others?
-first things first, let’s get to your primary points, develop success that you can take to new levels of broader success, a step at a time!
-the first, and most important Step is Mapping yourself honestly! Mapping-where are you, where were you, where are you trying to go?
If you’re already working with Milieu practices successfully, try the next step up in your growth program!
The Steps of Spiral Cycles will bring things together tangibly so you increase your potential for growth and change! We can all learn from our mistakes……
Exhale To Excel
Pay attention, stay relaxed, be calm…the Path to your better Life. When? Now.
To develop confidence in change.
- Out-breath, because that is the method for learning to breath in long, deep, exhalations. Martial Arts Masters, and elite athletes know that trick. Reduce the adrenaline in this moment.
- Use your peripheral vision (it’s called the Unfocused Gaze in Martial Arts) whenever you can. That allows you to exercise the broadest perspective you can develop. Calm. Masters and elite athletes….
- ‘Balance to flow’ so that every aspect of your day to day Life is allowed to flow. The absence of physical tension, reduces emotional tension almost magically. As above Masters, musicians, and elite athletes practice this these skills as a way of life.
Skill Sets Needed?
- Physically-working to balance in motion.
- Mentally-working toward emotional discipline, reducing the perceived need for emotional control.
- Energetically: then increase the duration of out-breath while meditating on, or visualizing, successful change periods. When out-breath disciplines become a fact, vitality becomes a fact, and increased Energy becomes available to fuel Change.
- See-feel the differences between discipline and control, in all three skill sets listed above. Learn to make your Life tangible so you need not ‘float’ into old habits.
When you are working this program of out-breath, you are working with me and the principals I use for actors, musicians, successful business owners, and professional athletes.
To work with me try working this program. If you need direct contact with me, call 310.202.8707 or contact me online.
Your Check Engine Light
You know the line-If your Check Engine Light is On…..don’t ignore it. I don’t remember the commercial that uses that idea, but stress is your Body’s ‘check engine light’ and you really shouldn’t ignore stress either.
And, as the commercial points out, there may not be anything seriously wrong with your Life-unless you ignore it. But if you ignore your ‘self-warning light’ things can get ‘bad in a hurry’. So how do I know, how can I check me, and what can I do about it?
So what are the ‘sensitive’ components in your Life’s’ power-train’?
1. The Three Doors Principle identifies where you can look to develop your own Potential
(understanding your Potential is the Key to understanding your own Power Train)
- Body: possesses physical health and vitality.
- Mind: possesses the flexibility, focus, durability, perceptiveness, emotions, sensitivity, joys or depressions of your Life.
- Energy: provides the raw fuel for the long run, and the physical and emotional foundations for the short run. Resiliency and spontaneity are some of the products of proper Energy training.
2. If most of us ‘don’t need’ some big repair job, almost all of us could use some ‘tuning’ every so often. That tuning can allow us to function at a higher level for better performance, but more importantly, that can change our lives from ‘ok’ to ‘great’. Our higher ‘performance’ is called ‘success’. Our ‘success tuning’ allows us to function easily in the modern, high speed, high stress-high excitement, world without losing our Balance.
3. The good news about ‘tuning’ your Life is that tuning makes it more your Life. More your Life because it is an attitude, a skill set, and a reflex pattern that is defined by your own values, and your own needs.
- Attitude: there is more to me then I ever dreamed, and I can develop that Potential systematically.
- Skill Sets: while there are a million types of skills, and skill sets, don’t despair because you have your own basic style already so you don’t need to start at the very Beginning, but you do need to be open to changing so you can grow your Potential.
- Reflex Patterns: we all have them, we all learned them as children from family, friends, school, community-you already know that. What you may not know is that all of those ‘invisible’ training experiences have become both assets and liabilities as we became adults. What you may not know is that you’re still developing new Reflexes, so make them fit your Life at this time. That is the Check Engine Light I was referring to a minute ago. You’re moving through Life so you are still learning. Why not learn something ‘new’ so you can change your Life for the better? It’s not just ‘most engines‘ that ‘don’t need major Repairs’ it’s most people as well. That means you can have hope if you do a little ‘tuning’ of your potential, and you develop more of that Potential within you. Your own ‘conscious values’, not somebody’s marketing trained, consumer manipulated brain washing ad program. That’s important because there are so many competing opportunities and demands in your life that you may feel jerked around by outside forces all the time. The best thing about learning even basic martial arts skills is that you learn ‘mindfulness‘ at a reflex level-you learn to pay attention automatically, all day, everyday. Every second of every day, effortlessly. In other words, this world is just as dangerous, or more dangerous, then any time in History-only it is more deceptive when you add modern consumer marketing programs to ‘create‘ a consumer ‘demand‘ mentality.
4. Once your Life is in tune with your values you need to move to the next stage of your program-determine how much time, Energy, ambition, or other resources, you need to invest to achieve those goals. That’s important because ‘good ideas’ are only good if you implement them consistently. But remember what we all know from martial artists, musicians, and athletes in general (including you), constant ‘practice’ is necessary to develop your potential. If you make good choices, with a good plan in place, you are much more likely to implement that plan, and sustain that implementation. That is how you achieve any Change. That is how you achieve your dreams:
Good discipline program-I’ve learned to develop discipline skills
Good plan-good plans create a more resilient planner
Identify your resources-tangible assets support discipline and provide direction
Adversity can become an asset-think ‘obstacles can become your own personal gym’ for your Mind, stay in shape
Closure is an important aspect of feelings of Success, take the time to solidify your sense of progression
5. The final stage of your successful change program, at least for single focus point of this change, is to build a pattern of Reflex behaviors, just like Martial Arts Masters do: create a simple program that you will repeat daily until it becomes ‘reflexive’ for you. Mastery is unmistakeable for you-when you get there you’ll know it. And, by the Way, congratulations in advance. Once you really learn one basic level, once you acquire one new life skill at a basic reflexive level, you’ll never be totally fooled again for very long, and that helps a lot with confidence and self-esteem
So let’s review:
-the Three Doors Principle provides a solid foundation for developing your own unique style
-keep things as simple and basic as you can, but live your changes at habit and reflex levels for best results (KISS-my Dad’s mantra Keep It Simple Stupid)
-‘tune’ your Life to reduce various forms of internal resistance
-ambitious goals are good things but require constant ‘fueling’ to make them both practical and accessible-use adversity to ‘focus‘ your commitments, hone your Program
-use the Spiral Cycles Principles to make your program practical by clarifying the differences between random -vs- systematic (allowing you to support change by measuring it)
When you change your day
you become the Light for your Life,
and a Light for others too,
Mike Kennelly, SBN
The Mind is first because it is more complex and often feels less tangible. It’s not more powerful. Mind training is about using the mind freely without the interference of fear. Without the seductions of being judgmental to yourself or others. Having the skills, values, focus, and discipline of being open to your own potential and that of others. And the vision and skill to use it, every day.
Begin with Mapping because you (we) need to be on the same page to start. Spiral Cycles of Growth/Destruction are paired together because they act as partner assets with each other. Our problems highlight our need for change, and point out the direction we can look to first for answers. Basic Applied Philosophy is not really basic at all but builds the foundation of Symmetry for change stability.
As bullet points, the work looks like this:
- Presenting problems/issues
- Related history
Spiral Cycles Growth/Destruction
- The mechanisms of your life
- Beginning the education of dualities: Strengths that become Liabilities
- Mastering the refocus re-empathizing Strength as an asset
- For every gift there is a price
Basic Applied Philosophy
- Symmetry: The Foundation
- Ordered Priorities: Recognizing when the “norm” leads you astray
- Timeline: The Future is always Now
- Precedence: Flow Structure
Next blogs are about Body, then Energy.
If you need help starting, contact me here.
Body Training is personal, tangible, real, and yours. It is your body, train yourself your way – or at least to fit your goals.
You may not believe me, but Body Training is the easiest part of changing your Life, because it’s the most tangible, when people (even professional athletes) struggle to reach their potential it is not because of the weakness of their Body, it is because of the flawed training of their minds.
Bodies are for action, health, strength, self-expression. But your body is never separated from yourself – your mind, or the energy to live.
We start with the Mind. Then the Body is second because it is the tangible fuel that powers change. The sequence is: Aerobics, Flexibility, Strength, and Flow Skills because they are the sequence of health and longevity. The specific applications are yours to chose, but you need all of them, and they need to work together.
Body Centered Entering
- Aerobics: Breathing to Success
- Flexibility: Wherever you go there you are
- Strength: It moves you, rocks your world
- Flow Skills: Do it reflexively
- Rest & Recovery
Next blog, and completing the series is Energy Centered Entering.
If you need help starting, contact me here.