Hello friend!

Before I start on today's letter, I want to celebrate with you all, for today is my Birthday! 🥳

I am not big on celebrations of the sort, but as I enter a new year (according to the sun), there are a few things that I like to do that I can share with you.

First, I fast, for 24 hours minimum. I only consume water, green tea, and black coffee. I find that fasting, on top of its health benefits, helps me to clear my mind; and so I can have a nice reset before starting a new year. 

The second thing that I do, is spend some time revising notes and taking some extra time to read and ponder. This year, I have chosen to read Seneca's letters again and to go through my notes on the Tao Te Ching. 

I spend more time meditating, not with a goal to meditate for longer, but letting myself take more time if I feel like it. When it comes to time spent meditating, I try to think of a cat. It sits there, and when it is done sitting, it moves along. 

This weekend, I took my family walking around a lake, and my son (2 years old) did the same: He sat in peace for a while, in front of the lake, and when he was done, he got up. I posted a story of him on my Instagram - and I need to clarify something here: When I say that he is my meditation teacher, I really mean it. The path to enlightenment and to awakening is not a path that goes up, but rather that regresses to who we are in our most natural state - like when we were young infants.

I spend as much time as possible with what really matters: my family. Since my son LOVES daycare, playing with other kids, and so on, we will have a little celebration when he comes back. My wife is preparing a nice little post-fast Japanese meal, we will have a piece of carrot cake, and play games. You spell the word love T.I.M.E. And so when I am with them, I am nowhere else. Today, I make sure that I reinforce that practice even further.

Last but not least, I write a lot. I don't have a planned retrospective, but I simply let the ink flow on the paper. Whatever comes to my mind is written, in an unfiltered and unedited way. I very rarely read it again, nor do I show it to anyone. I just let my mind and my body settle, and do what it needs to do, naturally.

Before we move on to today's letter, a celebration wouldn't be a celebration without gifts!

And so, I am happy to offer you a few discounts coupons for the meditation course and personal 1 on 1 coaching (1 session or packet of 5 sessions (saving 20% + 10%))

Here is the coupon for 70% off the meditation for transcendence course:
https://raphaelreiter.podia.com/transcendence-meditation?coupon=YOUTUBE70

Here is the coupon for 10% off a 1 on 1 hour with me: 
https://raphaelreiter.podia.com/coaching-practice?coupon=COACHING10

Here is a coupon for a 10% off, on top of 20%, for a pack of 5 sessions with me:
https://raphaelreiter.podia.com/ebce1e1d-08f3-4eb8-a310-63fb2b903883?coupon=5COACHING10

Unfortunately, Patreon is not letting me make coupons there, but as a small reminder, we meditate and contemplate every day there, and it's never too late to join the group! If you sign up today, let me know, and I will think of a perk. 😉 here is the link: https://www.patreon.com/raphaelreiter
 

And now, to our feature presentation:


Don't invite them to dinner

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. In some ways, she was a substitute for a mother, father, teacher, friend. She passed in 2017, but she had these unique expressions that stuck with me throughout the years. 

Today I want to share one with you that has helped me from a very young age, until... well again today, which is why I thought I'd write about it.

When we would sit for dinner, and I would tell her I was upset at this or that person (a teacher, my mom, a friend), she would always ask me the question: if you're upset at them, why are you inviting them to dinner? I made your favorite food. Let's enjoy it, the two of us.

This morning, the same thing happened: I started thinking of someone at work that was giving me a nasty attitude the previous day. I looked out the window to see the sun (a rare event in this part of the world) and realized it was Saturday - a day dedicated to spending as much time and having as much time as possible with my family. And so, the voice of my late guide resonated in my head: "It's a beautiful day, do you really want to invite that person to your family weekend?".

The answer was a clear no, so I moved on to prepare the day with some fun activity with my son.

This is something I want you to practice today and every day. Because the arrays of thoughts won't stop flying in your head if you meet them with resistance. Don't resist pain, "negative" feelings and thoughts: that will only make the whole thing explode. Let them in, and let them out. 

A true martial artist will never use force because force against force = disaster. The more muscular person wins all the time, and we go back to the "law of the jungle". A Judo or Aikido master accompanies a punch with no resistance and lets it go past him. With softness and cold-headedness, using the opponent's momentum to protect himself.

As a life coach, I have dozens of clients in a week. Most people that come to me are having problems and need my help. That's my duty: to guide, accompany and help people live a better life. But this also means, that when people come to me with problems, there is a lot of negativity and hardship to deal with. I talked about this with one of my students who is a psychotherapist in a clinic. It was imperative that we work together on this Judo of the soul so that he can protect himself and not be pulled under whilst trying to help others. It is more flagrant if you are a coach, a doctor, or a shrink, but whatever your daily activities, you need to practice this skill, to protect yourself from your Ego, and from other people's Egos.

This is how you need to protect yourself: Mind Judo. Judo, loosely translated, means the easy way (Ju + Do (Dow --> Tao)).

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tsu says: soft is strong. Remember that today and this week. Don't resist! Accompany, and let go.

Don't invite them for dinner or your special weekend. If they do show up, don't resist. Accompany them in, and out the back door.