Here are some steps to add Hansel in your tea time.
Step 1. Already know what you want to reflect on. Instead of being random, like, “what was good today?”, come to your tea time with the focus of what you want to think about.
Step 2. Review. Think on things like:
- What was my intent in doing this?
- What actions did I take to get the result I wanted?
- What was the expected outcome?
- What was the actual outcome?
- What was the difference?
Step 3. Come up with focus sentence that addresses the review you had. Write down the sentence and keep it nearby to help guide you or keep you on track in what you want to accomplish.
Step 4. Keep a journal of your journey. You don’t have to go into deep details of everything, just a quick entry of what your hansei was about, and what your focus sentence was. You may notice repeating patterns or habits you have that needs prayer and to be broken.
Step 5. Make a commitment to the solutions you come up with.
Only focusing on strength is a sign of weakness, because pride comes before a fall. When you know your weaknesses and you are able to tackle them head on, you become unbelievably stronger than ever before!
Earlier we talked about Lingchi - Death by a thousand cuts, which is a slow death overcoming you from all of the uncontrollable desires we are opening the doors for, which becomes the flood of the seven deadly sins to come overtake us. Today, we are closing the doors and keeping them closed, by knowing when those doors start to creep open.
Han - Look upon and turn over
Sei - Look back and review the past
Hansei - Self Reflection:
- Be aware of short-comings and flaws
- Know what tempts you
- Take responsibility for safe guarding against falling
- Avoid blaming everyone else
- Learn from past mistakes
History often repeats itself. Mainly because the lesson life was teaching was not learned. Reflections on past mistakes will ultimately see you through if things start down the same road as before. You cannot be trapped in the past, reliving the mistakes, you must visit to see what and what not to do for future references.
There are two parts to Hansei:
First, there needs to be reflection on things gone wrong. How did the door open? What started the desire and what fed it until it was uncontrollable?
Second, there has to be an action plan to stop it from happening again.
How can I fix this? Who can help me if it starts again? Where can I go for help?
Set aside some time to seriously start to reflect and search for opening doors. Remember Kaizen, take it a little bit at a time for long lasting improvements.
The straight forward frustrations of everyday life usually will not bring us down, we are resilient! We overcome so many day to day challenges, it’s not even funny. But the slowly creeping attacks on our happiness that happens on all fronts, this is where we start to get that sinking, I’m losing everything, feeling. Missing a bill you forgot to pay will hurt a little. But getting the late fee, then your stocks tank, and now having to put the car in the shop, AC breaking down at the house, subscription renewal fees, and having to pay a traffic ticket may have you feeling like it’s impossible to get ahead.
This is a metaphorical Lingchi, “Death by a thousand cuts”. When we look at being overwhelmed with frustrations, when we are in the middle of it, it will seem as though the world is totally against you. It may well be. But here is something I would like for you to consider, have we set ourselves up for this? Have we left open doors for adversity to come in and wreck what we are trying to accomplish?
The doors we leave open are usually in these areas:
- Lust, which uncontrollable desire
- Gluttony, over indulgence or over consumption of something
- Greed, the never-satisfied pursuit of material things
- Sloth, laziness and apathy towards things
- Wrath, uncontrolled anger, where you only think of revenge and rage
- Envy, jealousy and resentment over things others have or are doing
- Pride, arrogance and misplaced self-confidence coming from the admiration of self
We all have a little bit of each of these going on in our minds most of the time, but when it becomes uncontrollable and we act on these desires, this is when we start our fall down into situations we don’t want to be in. These are doors opening us up to experience “death by a thousand cuts”.
So I just realized that all of us are working on our goals everyday, and the effectiveness of the goals we set for ourselves depends on how big we scale them. This is what I mean, some of our goals may be to get breakfast, and not think beyond that. Others may be working on their 10 year plan everyday and day to day tasks do not really mean much to them.
Because we are all different, with differing opinions, thoughts, and personalities, every person sets their own pace towards the things they want to accomplish thief life.
I’m learning there has to be balance. Ikigai (your reasons for living) to set standards, and kaizen (continuous small improvements) to be able to accomplish them. We often lack in motivation to live a full life because we either set things too low and crush them quickly and are bored and not fulfilled, or way too high where it seems like the goal is never reached, or obtainable and we steadily lose interest in trying to accomplish it.
Two things go on in our minds as we are living life. What we want to do, and what we enjoy doing. Unfortunately, these functions happen in two different sections of our consciousness. When they agree, we do great things! When they don’t agree, we procrastinate, get bored, or do things begrudgingly. We are going to get our minds on one accord and do big things!
The next few episodes will be on getting balance through lingchi, hansai, ikigai, and kaizen.
In reading this morning, I came across this concept introduced in certain communities in Japan in the late 90s.
Fureai - translates to “close mutuality”, and it is like the bond between mentor and mentee, nurses and their patients, or like teachers and their students. A friendship, but more a respect/serving type of bond.
Kippu simply means ticket.
So they introduced a social currency that could be traded or exchanged from earning tickets through community services. To me, that could boost community involvement, seems to be a good idea, but I know that that is in a different culture.
So I wanted to you to think about your relationships today. We may not have social currencies, but we do have emotional bank accounts that we deposit and withdraw from every time we get together with anyone. Make sure you are making more deposits than withdrawals. If you make more withdrawals than you have in the account, then your relationship will become overdrawn and things will start to get rocky every time you speak. People become cold and bitter and argue and fight often, because no more deposits are being made. Then soon bankruptcy. No more relations at all.
Let’s focus on making deposits today in all of our relationships, spiritual, mental, and physical.
Look over your blessings because it is really easy to overlook them and forget how far you’ve come. Because we are always looking forward (greedily or being hopeful) it gets hard to sit down and reflect on what got you into the present situation. Not only that, but taking time to appreciate what you have, and what you have done.
Wabi Sabi sees the perfection in imperfections, but it also appreciates the beauty of what you’ve already acquired, and repurposes it if need be to keep it fresh and new, even when it has become old and worn out.
So should be with the wonderful things God has done for us, we keep them, appreciate them, and see the beauty and usefulness in them to live a full life.
Recall and reconsider some great victories you’ve made and reflect on them to see if you can still use the lessons learned from those experiences.
Is there something you wish to do, but don’t know about how to do it? More than likely, someone has left the knowledge of how they’ve done it for you. In book form or as a YouTube video, someone somewhere made it just for you. The funny thing about wisdom, and understanding is that they call to you, but they rarely just come, you have to go get them.
In proverbs, wisdom is telling the people:
“Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”
Proverbs 8:14, 17-18, 20-21 NIV
Let’s get what we need today!
To wish some one good luck before they set off to do something is a good way to show your support, encourage them, and extend a feeling you have for them to reach their success.
Ganbare / Ganbatte / Ganbarimasu
Sometimes you may hear me say, “Ganbatte yo!”, which is kind of like good luck but has a deeper meaning. It’s used the same way: to show support, encourage, and extend the feeling you have for them to reach their success, but it translates to “Do your best!”, or “Give it your all!”.
You can wish someone good luck, but in this sense, you are encouraging them to give it everything they have and that it will all work out. To me, when you do all that you can, success is inevitable, even if you hit your target or not.
I’d like to take this a step further, also place what you are setting out to do in the hands of the Lord. You can give it your all, but He can add that extra “umph” to get it to where it needs to go. This morning I read Psalms 37, and this jumped out at me:
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
Psalms 37:5-6 NIV
Most of my life I believed that we were called for a specific purpose. God placed us here to accomplish that one thing, and it takes most of our lives trying to figure out what that one thing is. But I no longer think like that.
Who we are is made of many likes and dislikes, skills, gifts, and talents, and utilizing it for just one purpose would be hard to do. Your ikigai (your reason for being) is not limited to one thing in life and then locked into it till death, it is multi-faceted taking on many shapes and forms in your life because you are forever growing and coming in closer contact with the one who created you to live your best life.
To limit your purpose to one thing that you aren’t sure that it is the one thing will cause you to turn down or turn away from other things that could greatly impact or improve your life.
A Japanese Proverb:
“If you try, you may succeed.
If you don’t try, you will not succeed.
This is true of all things.
Not succeeding is the result of not trying.”
This is important because we look to fulfill a specific purpose in life, while all along we pass up living our one life full of purpose, which is our many things we have working for us to help us accomplish many purposes, not just one. Go do great things!
“We must let go of the good to grab hold of the better. To live a better life, it's better to have less of what doesn't matter and more of what does.” - from the Bible app’s “the better reading plan”
As I was sitting in my thinking chair, having better conversations to enhance Ichigo Ichies came up. In early childhood education there is a strategy to talk to kids called T.A.L.K., to have deeper meaningful conversations. (It works with anyone)
T - Tune In - Be present in the conversation. Talk about what you notice around you, what you are thinking as you talk, and what you are hearing for your understanding.
A - Ask Questions - To better understand, ask questions. To further conversations, ask open-ended questions based on what you are talking about.
L - Lift Language - Go deeper into conversations by expounding on what is being said. Apply the conversation to experiences you’ve had, and lessons that you have learned.
K - Keep it Going - Get the most out of the experience as you can!
Use TALK for this to be an Ichigo Ichie. INVOLVE yourself in the conversation by making connections and do not be afraid to tell how it is making you EVOLVE into a better person!