Do You Want to Argue How It’s Done or Fix the Problem?

Posted in Blogging, Books, Commentary, Current Events, Inner Strength, Introspection, Life, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2014 by Ronin

I have been studying a book by a favorite author, slightly off-topic from his usual work that I am finding to be a veritable gold mine. It is entitled Conflict Communications or ConCom for short, and if you type that into Amazon’s search bar, you will be taken to condoms. Fun Fact.bruce-lee-quote-to-know-oneself-is-to-study-oneself-in-action-with-another

Either way it breaks down social conflict, its predictability, how to work around it so you can fix the real issue. I can sum it up like this, ‘do you want to argue how things are done or fix the problem?’ With this new knowledge, I started testing it, watching others and myself when we interact.


One incident is a former friend who found veganism, who enthusiastically embraced it, making it part of his self-identity. He dropped me, maybe because I am not a vegan, I do not know. However, I see the reasoning. Think about something that you love to do so much you make time for it. With me, it is hard style kettlebell training and Jeet Kune Do/Kali.

Now someone says what you do sucks, even just questions its effectiveness, or tells you that you are getting just a little preachy. How does that make you feel? If we feel anything that is the limbic system in our brain is firing in the Triune Brain Model, where the emotions reside and when they trigger our rationality starts to climb out the window.

Have you ever been able to reason with someone in an intense argument? I used to get in political arguments all the time for example, and it usually gets down to how someone feels things should be done. Not a cold blooded, logical by the numbers calculation. It happens to me, it happens to you, and when we get emotional, I know now, that I cannot accomplish anything of substance until I have calmed down.

I found Stoic Principles help with that, along with not taking things so serious. I mean, if I cannot put it in a bag and carry it, it is not that serious of an issue. Reasoned debate is more fun that way, and out of context analogies are kept to a minimum. I found that not verbally attacking someone by telling them they are wrong would go a lot further to getting them to give your way a try. This principle works with all areas of life, politics, religion, even every day communication. After all, in the end, unless it keeps us alive, the rest is the story you tell. Interesting, but unnecessary.images (3)


A Leg Of The Journey Ends

Posted in Authors, Books, Commentary, Current Events, Inner Strength, Introspection, Life, writing with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2014 by Ronin

Week 35

Final week revealed quite a bit as far as my foundation and where to go from there. What drives me out of bed had not changed at all over the last four introspections. Going to the next level, I revisited the Soul Diamond from TWIWC II to discover a near 180-degree turn from before. It has four quadrants/hearts: lion, dragon, eagle, and angel, where I had no qualities before, I had shifted to them and where I had some qualities, I now had none in that area.

Looking over the Unchained questions again, I found my life’s path had changed, I had woke up and working to be a better person. A work-in-progress, but progress, with some glitches from the last few months being ironed over time. I was reminded of the perception and reality not being the same, a topic I hit enough that I should have remembered it. Combined with ConCom I should have enough tools and explanations for the new path I undertake.

The Journey Continues

Posted in Books, Commentary, Current Events, Inner Strength, Introspection, Life with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2014 by Ronin

Week 34

This week I revisited, for the fourth time, the questions from Unchained. Awhile back, I took an in-depth look inside during a blog post series entitled ‘Forging Ronin’. The revisit showed some startling changes in focus from inward to outward.

I still have some issues but I am slowly pulling their teeth one-by-one. I am also learning to do what helps with your recovery, if it works to minimize or to stop instead of drowning or burying it then do it. It will be okay, some may not understand however, everyone’s path is a bit different. Mine has taken me on a search for ways to deal with it, rediscovering and starting again; scarred, slightly wounded, yet more mature and stronger.

Looking From The Outside In

Posted in Authors, Books, Commentary, Current Events, Inner Strength, Introspection, Life, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by Ronin

Week 33 I picked up Rory Miller’s new book ConCom, looking deeper into the Triune Brain Theory as a model of human behavior. While I read, I wondered if Stoicism when applied could tame the limbic system enough to let the neocortex have more of a say. Think of the monkey calming down enough to let the human work. It has done an excellent job of giving me something to think about, showing where I can be manipulated and mental weaknesses lie. Knowing your limits and distinguishing your strengths is not a bad thing; with the plus of seeing and mitigating your reflexive actions helps keep you in control. Over the course of the week, I saw my amygdala (lizard brain), the oldest part of the human brain, plus my wife’s take two different courses of action. On the way home, our tire exploded, triggering a terrifying flashback in her that left her screaming as she was forced to relieve that day. For me the amygdala hijacked me and emotionlessly on automatic, I pulled over with the neocortex taking inventory, noting her screaming and what was needed to fix it. The mind is amazingly complex, even allowing me to understand the why, what and how of my behavior and how to adapt.

Optimium Body Composition; New Program Experiment

Posted in Current Events, Health & Fitness, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by Ronin

This cycle of Simple & Sinister is ending, taking its place as my go-to program among the kettlebell pantheon. I fixed the under recovery/overtraining issue by dropping the reps from 100 two-hand swings to 40 one-hand swings and not worrying about the time. My rest periods were decided by the highly scientific method of looking at the kettlebell while asking myself, “again?” I went when I felt like it I went to the next set with my time condensing naturally, as I got fitter. When three days passed with consistently good form under Pavel’s set time limits, I added a set or weight.

During the time, I read Easy Strength by Pavel and Dan John and was intrigued by the 40 Day Workout outlined in there. Five movements, same amount of reps broke up as you wish, lifting 85% of your one-rep max five days a week. I wanted to try this, looked for a kettlebell variation, and found Pat Flynn’s. He went for the five basic movements and I will keep three and the rep scheme of two ladders of 1-2-3. The Suitcase Carry and Snatches will fill the other two slots.

Diet-wise I just kept the carbs under 150, with the protein around 120 grams minimum. While I was not worried about calories, I still ran a deficit eating until I was satisfied. Started experimenting with creatine to see how my body responded, quickly learning the answer was ‘poorly’. Even at the recommended maintenance dose of 5mg, then 2.5, my kidneys hurt. Three weeks into it I stopped, the supplement and I do not get along. Then I focused on fish oil more after reading Dan John’s praises, so I tinkered with the doses. Increasing it, per his advice, daily from the 900mg of Omega-3s I originally took in. 300 milligrams a day until I hit 4500mg and realized I hit my limit. 3900mg (3.9 grams) is my sweet spot with them and I am feeling a lot better. I recommend researching and trying it yourself.

So, what has this done for my body composition?

Body Composition (inches)

Body Part                      Before                  After                   -/+

Neck                               14.3                   14.5               +0.2

Shoulders             44                   43.75            -.25

Chest                      37.50            37                  -.50

Waist                             33                  32            -1.0

Biceps                    12.5                 12.5             0

Forearms                   11               10.75           -0.25

Thighs                         22.55                 21.82        -0.73

Calves                          13.6                    13.62             -0.02

Weight                  155.6 lbs          152.2           -3.4

Body Fat %                16%                14%          -2.0%

Lean Body Mass    130.7lbs            130.9           -.20 lbs

Well, like I hear Mark Sisson say on his podcast a lot, ‘fat-burning beast’. My muscle mass grew slightly however the fat fell off at a healthy half a pound a week. Maintenance continues, and curious what the 40 Day Workout brings. With the warm weather coming back I’ll be back outside training again.

A good way to start the year…



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