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Are You Winning?

We all have our ways of greeting people. “How are you?” “What’s up?” “How ya doing today?” “What’s new?" “All good?” We often react to these habitual expressions with an automatic “Good, how about you?” A good friend of mine uses one that makes me stop and think for a moment before I answer: “Are you winning today?”

Winning against who? Winning against the devil - the negative force within me that conspires to make me lean in a direction that compromises my integrity or weaken my resolve. Perhaps this is the universe’s way of challenging me to strengthen my resolve. This doesn’t mean that things have to be hard. Ease can be good. It’s not the same as laziness. Laziness is an attitude of compromise, a collapse of integrity. Integrity requires me to maintain the exertion of attentive and active receptivity. Not getting ahead of myself nor falling behind. That is the essence of the Fourth Agreement in theToltec teachings: Do your best.

Not compromising is more about intention than holding a position. Positions limit us. Martial arts teach us about the efficiency of balance. Equilibrium is the freedom to move in whichever direction is required - responding appropriately to what is presented to us. Our intention needs to go with the flow. A surfer will direct their attention to where it seems best to ride the wave, and their board will go in that direction but one needs to have wide angle vision to catch the changes in the wave and change it up to go with the flow. When we can do that we are winning and life is good.

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