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February Misogi. Jiujitsu Everyday. A lesson in showing up and facing the day.

Taking complete ownership of your life means facing ALL of who you are—even the messy, shameful, vulnerable and insecure parts that make us feel unlovable and unworthy. It's not easy, and no doubt it's a long road, BUT I know that it will happen if we stick to the process. Not me acting like I know what I'm talking about 😂🫣 When we don't own the aforementioned (note that this list isn't exhaustive, by the way), our self-confidence slowly erodes, and it's not until we begin to live as who we're supposed to be that we begin to rebuild.

I believe how we take ownership is such a wide topic with many methods; being on the healing path means that we're walking the walk, taking action, and casting votes in favour of who we wish or need to become. Coming off the back of a few Ls, my confidence wasn't overly high. To add to that, I'll be the first to admit that I hadn't been showing up for myself.

After the excitement and distraction of January's travels, I returned home to New Zealand, barely sneaking through the flooded airport. I arrived unscathed; however, my bags were a few weeks late. No biggie! I had left Indonesia feeling inspired, excited to create, and pumped to embark on my Monthly Misogi journey. However, coming home was certainly a challenge; as anyone who's been away knows, post-trip blues are definitely a thing, and if I'm being honest and vulnerable, I didn't make it easy on myself either. As humans, we never do, I guess.

I needed some form of closure, so I saw my ex, which, while it did afford me a small amount of that, perhaps in hindsight it wasn't the best idea. It was a hard conversation, but it allowed me to begin letting go of that small amount of hope that I guess I had been holding on to. We had gotten to a place of compassion and understanding; we wanted the best for each other, and time, energy, and communication had allowed a loving relationship to develop. That's why that hope existed in the first place.

As I feared, I began slipping into old thought patterns, and it wasn't long before I'd wrapped myself back in my familiar blanket of pain—self-inflicted, of course, and all in the head. It had become my safe space—familiar and almost comforting. I'm sure a lot of us out here can resonate with this. We want so desperately for things to change, yet we remain too afraid to really live so we bask in stable ambiguity, accepting our path, often for years at a time.

We want so desperately for things to change, yet we remain too afraid to really live.


Jiujitsu Everyday

My Misogi for February was doing jiujitsu every available day that my club was open, which meant Monday through Saturday.

I chose jiujitsu every day as my February challenge for a couple of reasons. I knew that coming back would have its challenges, so having something to jump into right away would be a great way to start. I didn't need to think. All I had to do was simply show up. Show up again and keep showing up. I think this is where it's important to have some understanding of yourself and how your mind works. Knowing and recognising what you need and what will serve you, will go a long way in deciding your next step, but you have to be brutally honest with yourself.

By choosing Jiujitsu everyday, my goal was;

  • Show up for myself DAILY regardless of how I felt mentally and / or physically

  • Build confidence by doing what I said I'd do and collecting evidence that I'm who I say I am

  • Be surrounded by likeminded lads and gals who are on the "path"

  • Turning to the physical to help heal the emotional

  • Build good habits and remind myself I am capable

  • Create a new identity

  • It's hard - wait, that's not really a goal, but just a fact. The goal is CHOOSE HARD

  • Improve my jiujitsu skills

Day One went a little like this...

I turned up to training for the first time in a couple of months. I rolled averagely at best LOL. As fate would have it, session number one for February was about more than jiujitsu. I had a particularly important conversation after training with Nate, one of the lads who started training around the same time as myself. I had never really spoken too deeply with him, but that evening he opened up about his story and how he'd spent the last few years learning, growing, and focusing on doing the work—unlearning toxic behaviours and identifying limiting traumas and patterns. One thing he said that profoundly impacted me was that he'd tell himself, "Everyday, no matter what, I'll face the day." Those words stuck with me, and as the month of February progressed, I constantly reminded myself to show up and face the day. There were plenty of times when I was emotionally drained or too tired. I even injured my rib quite badly, but still I turned up, even just to watch or lightly drill. As my discipline began to grow, so did my confidence; the path was unfolding as a direct result of the action that I was taking and that continued to inspire more change.

Another thing that Nate and I spoke about that evening was showing up for yourself. What does that mean? It means holding yourself to a standard and having integrity in your own life. You are the only one who's keeping stock of your own actions—do they reflect the person you want to become or not? Whether we full-blown lie to ourselves, tell half-truths, or simply exaggerate, those seemingly minor white lies begin to weigh on our consciousness, and given enough time, they begin to grow until all that we're left with is low self-esteem and a shell of who we know we could have been. Unless you're a psychopath, it's impossible to be proud of yourself for things that you haven't accomplished.

Reading through February's journal entries was bloody cool. While there were plenty of up and down moments, progress was occurring.

I don't wish to take up too much of your time, so I'll leave you with a few journal entry snippets and where to from here.

Day 14. 14th February 2023

Today is exactly halfway through the month. Another gym session and another jiujitsu session down, and I'm still showing up for myself despite being quite sore. I worked on my website and blog and managed to be rather productive. For some reason, however, I've felt quite defeated, and there were moments where I could feel myself slipping back into old thought patterns. Maybe it's because it's Valentine's Day today, or perhaps I'm just feeling overwhelmed with everything. It's easy to spiral when this mood comes on, but I managed to realise it early and pull myself out. When I spot it happening in real-time, I've got two choices.

  1. Let it suck me in to the black cloud of negativity and self-pity, or,

  2. Fight. Reframe my thoughts. Change my focus.

Day 18. 18th February 2023

My friend Alexia sent me a line from the Atomic Habits book: "Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs and upgrade and expand your identity." This got me thinking about how, as humans, we tend to get attached. Be it with people, careers, ways of doing things, or materialistic possessions. The more attached we are, the more we can let these things define us and even restrict us, especially when it comes to our identity. Learning to be fluid and recognising when to disattach will allow growth and evolution to occur. We've all heard the phrase "stuck in their ways" to describe a person or a company, and when we stubbornly refuse to edit our beliefs and be open to change, we limit our potential.

Day 23. 23rd February 2023

I'm so grateful for the life I get to live. I may be a while away from figuring things out, but I did jiujitsu this morning, and now I'm sitting at the beach with a coffee (in my keep cup—save the environment, fam), getting to write. I'm grateful to call this place home. People are out surfing, running, and playing. What a moment! I'm grateful for friends, this place and today, sunlight.

We don't need to accept our current identity; through small habits, we CAN create a new person. In fact, we MUST. Our old self becomes suffocating, so like a crab shedding its shell in order to grow, we too must surrender to the process and become vulnerable for growth. I think surrender is such a major factor in the healing process, and despite the inherent struggle, we have to try and let go of control.


Now that February is complete, where to from here?

As we move into March, I'm no longer training jiujitsu every day, but I am remaining much more disciplined and consistent. I've dropped down to a minimum of 3 sessions per week, with an optional 4th. These monthly deep dives are designed to teach me a valuable lesson and put me outside of my comfort zone. When a new month arrives and my focus changes, I can take what worked and continue applying those skills / mindset while focusing on a new challenge. It's all about stacking good habits and collecting votes in favour of who you wish to become.

March Misogi

If you didn't already know, my March Misogi is starting a new business from scratch. I'll do the proper write-up at the end of March and explain in more detail, but there are a few main reasons I'd like to start a new business. I'll leave you with this one: I never want my creativity to pay for my bills.

I never want my creativity to pay for my bills

Yup, I love photography. It's my passion and my creative outlet, but only when I'm shooting things I enjoy or am interested in. I get it; every job has its "shit sandwich," as Mark Manson gracefully puts it, and we need to figure out what shit sandwich we can tolerate eating, but I just refuse to become that burned-out photographer who's lost their passion and is no longer creating their best work. Most of us know at least one. Simply put, I just never want to take a job I'm not interested in to pay some rent. Addressing some basic living cost issues while keeping a significant amount of time free for creativity is the goal, and I hope that it will be achievable. My end goal is that one day I'll be known for my style and/or niche, and this will be all I do, but until then, this seems like a reasonable idea.

Thanks for reading, team!

I feel immense gratitude for those who have imparted wisdom, learning, and encouragement throughout this month. 🤍

If you're in a bad spot, start by taking a single step. Do something a little challenging. Collect a win that you'll be proud of, and then don't stop. You got this.

Chat soon,

Charlie Mike - Continue Mission.

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