Jena Ball in Not Perfect Hat Club, Lifestyle, Education and Training Founder • The Not Perfect Hat Club Sep 24, 2016 · 1 min read · +700

Don't Hold Back

Don't Hold Back

I've been thinking a lot about difficulty. More accurately, I've been experiencing and feeling my way through a series of difficulties that my rat race mind is ill-equipped to handle. While this is nothing new (I've known for a long time that the mind's ability to come up with solutions is useful only in the final stages of a lesson), it is still tempting to let my thoughts run through familiar mazes. I'll spare you the details, but when I finally arrive battered, exhausted and without a penny to my name at the same place I began, I finally start to let go.

I picture myself as a Kyudo archer practicing "Standing Zen." The goal is to breathe, be present, acknowledge and release anything that comes up. So many people, so much pain, so much anger, resentment and blame. I breathe, nock an arrow, raise and draw the bow. 

In "Standing Zen," shooting the arrow is not a test of skill, but a way to focus on an inward target - something you are intent on knowing and remembering about yourself. Free from past and future, balanced and focused in the present, you shoot from your heart towards the center of yourself.

I pause.

With every breath I allow who and what I am to pour into that arrow. I infuse it with gratitude and wonder, satisfaction and delight. I cure the wood of the shaft with love of earth - the songs of cicadas and whales and wolves; the light of fireflies flaunting their passion and the cooing of doves nestling into sleep. I stroke the feathers, smoothing the barbs into place so their flight will be effortless and true. Finally, I let myself feel the arrowhead itself - shaped and sharpened with the ability to kill. An arrow like this must only be shot with clear intent - with all the creative chuzpah your heart can muster while focused on the goal - my goal - of expressing, sharing and being abundantly supported for who and what I am in the world.

I take one last deep breath and settle in, gathering my strength, mustering my courage as I pull the string back close to my cheek. When I exhale, the arrow flies, driven by love. I don't hold back.  - Jena Ball

To learn more about that goal I'm shooting for visit:


Jena Ball Sep 26, 2016 · #8

#7 Thank you Deb. It was quite a process to write, so I'm thrilled you "felt" it.

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Deb Helfrich Sep 25, 2016 · #7

Awe-inspiring, @Jena Ball. I got goosebumps as every ounce of feeling came across in these words.

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Jena Ball Sep 25, 2016 · #6

#1 Joe my friend! Did I lure you over to BeBee? I hope so. There are a lot of good and insightful writers here with whom to share good books, thoughts on life and photos of adorable pets ;-) I appreciate you feedback and support very much.

Jena Ball Sep 25, 2016 · #5

#3 Thank you Debasish. I'm really glad you enjoyed.

Jena Ball Sep 25, 2016 · #4

#2 How could you tell Dean ;-)
Japan changed my life in many positive ways, and this insight through both Aikido and Kyudo was one of the best.

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debasish majumder Sep 25, 2016 · #3

nice insight Jena Ball. enjoyed read. thank you for sharing the post.

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Dean Owen Sep 25, 2016 · #2

I love the message here. You must also be missing Japan tremendously!

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Joe Ganci Sep 25, 2016 · #1

A very important message for me too. Thank you!

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