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Reality is In Your Mind

As I was walking home in the rain along the crowded streets, some people around me were wet and miserable. I, myself, was just wet. We all take in our reality in different ways and put our opinions in front of it. We all feel that we are experiencing reality as it actually exists. When we are children, it is very difficult to understand that our reality may be different from someone else’s. All adults must go through the growth experience of recognizing that our perspective does not encompass all the perspectives there are. It takes humility to recognize that when our perspective differs with someone else's, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. We can then approach the misunderstanding with curiosity and open to learning. This is a vital skill for life and for relationships.


In truth, reality is in the mind. The way we intuit our world depends on myriad factors. Our upbringing, beliefs, traumas, and education all play a huge role in how we instinctively interpret the world around us. We consider events or experiences to be “good” or “bad” based on how we perceive they affect us. We also apply those labels to people and what we think of them. Those labels can be very difficult to get rid of once we form them because they are now part of the reality that lives in our minds. Every person we have ever interacted with has a version of ourselves in their world that is completely real to them.


Therein lies a powerful observation. In a threatening or hostile situation, the situation exists a certain way in reality, and a certain way in our minds. We can amplify or diminish the intensity of hostility we perceive, the extent of the threat, and most importantly, our own power in the situation. Think about how you would react if a gun is pulled on you as you are walking home from the bus stop. You are unarmed and adrenaline is pumping. You have to decide how to respond and deciding wrongly could cost you your life. Fighting or fleeing are both instinctive responses to this situation, but both are probably grave errors. Thoughts that amplify the feelings of danger inside us can prevent us from being able to manage the actual danger. In this scenario, staying calm and complying with the assailant's requests is usually the best thing to do. If robbery is the only intent, then certainly the items on your person are not worth undue risk. Keep in mind that it is, of course, cowardly to hide behind a gun. The assailant in this situation is certainly fearful as well. Your demeanor could make the difference between them into squeezing the trigger out of anxiety and the robbery transpiring without further incident. Every moment within this altercation is a moment where the way you have framed what is going on can change the outcome.

In Tumfo Tu, we learn to utilize this understanding in all sorts of circumstances. When a blow is coming at us, we can amplify its significance to us and become focused on getting away from it. Alternatively, we can realize that the blow coming at us left an opening we can strike and so we can take advantage of that opening. Every situation we face in life provides us the opportunity to find an advantage or to put ourselves at a disadvantage. In Tumfo Tu, we only move for power and advantage.

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