A woman called me the other day with this question: "I am preparing to divorce my husband. For financial reasons we are still living in the same house but lately his narcissism has escalated and I fear he is going to get violent. Would you recommend I take a self-defense class?"
If you find yourself asking a similar question, my answer may be helpful when making your decision.
As a student, competitor and teacher of the Martial Arts, in 1998 I began teaching self-defense to women.
This was an exciting time for me because it's how my Mastering Your Beliefs program got its start. As a Martial Artist, I was learning the physical as well as the mental aspect of Martial Arts. The more I understood why our mind is our most powerful weapon; I wanted to share how empowering this can be with other women. When you understand how to use your chi (energy) as both offense and defense, you create synergy between you and your opponent. But if you learn the physical without the mental (mindset), you will often find yourself in a mindset of victim mode (wanting to right the wrongs you believe were done to you) or the anticipation of a physical altercation.
I've been there, I know what it's like to feel so powerless because another person chooses to victimize you. I also know what it's like to be in the very same situation as the woman who called me looking for advice. The most powerful weapon you possess, is your mind. If you want to take self-defense classes, it's important to know "Your Why".
Are you in a situation where you fear for your life? (If you fear for your life, CLICK HERE for professional resources.) Are you in a situation where things aren't too bad at the moment but you fear the situation will escalate? Most women I talk with want to learn self-defense "just in case" - but they don't stop to think about what "just in case" really means to them.
When you "Master" something, it means you've learned to make it part of your daily habit and have done the necessary work to be able to draw on it whenever you require support and guidance. As a Martial Artist, we train for hours, days, months and years to be able to act instead of react so our mind instinctively knows what to do. Much like driving a car, there are many steps involved but it all happens without you having to think about it. You can't take a class or spend a few hours a week and expect to master the art of self-defense.
I have experienced how domestic violence can escalate very quickly when the situation becomes physical but the best way to win any fight is not to be there. Remember, everything is energy. The people and experiences you attract into your life are teaching you what you want more of and what you want less of. You are attracting your experiences based on how you feel (energy).
Everything is energy and every one of your thoughts are associated with a feeling (energy). Why are you attracting the energy of being in your current situation? Your definition of fault, attracting, and responsibility for your actions can be confusing if you are unaware of the law of attraction (energy).
Based on the mental, verbal and physical abuse that escalated to sexual abuse by the time I was 12 years old, as an adult, I was still carrying the energy of those experiences. It felt "normal" to me to be afraid of people and situations where I could easily be victimized. This fear included feelings of being a victim, blame, shame, guilt, degradation and low self-worth.
My child-self had created a belief about who I am and what I could do, be or have based on my childhood experiences. When my adult-self was still making choices based on childhood beliefs, my feelings (energy) were vibrating at a level that was attracting more reasons to be a victim. Being raised with violence, I believed violence was the answer to stop feeling like a victim.
When I learned that our feelings are our internal GPS, and are guiding us through every choice we make, I finally understood why I kept attracting the people and experiences I did not want. If your beliefs are based on negative feelings, you will attract negative people and experiences into your life.
You can take the long path to understand how to keep yourself safe, like I did by learning to fight, or you can take the easy path and learn how to master the beliefs that are creating your thoughts, feelings and emotions about your current situations or experiences.
Every feeling is associated with a belief - what do you believe about why you need to learn to defend yourself? Do you believe you're weak, vulnerable, easy prey, or have no choice about your current situation? Do you believe that lack (lack of funds, lack of knowledge, lack of having what you deserve) is keeping you from living the life you want?
You do have the power to remove yourself from any unwanted situation or experience but first you need to know "your why". Why do you believe you are where you are and why do you believe there is only one choice?
Every choice we make is based on one of two choices - you choose from fear or you choose from faith. Faith based choices are made from your highest levels of "SELF" (self-love, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image, self-worth).
You have an inner strength that is powerful beyond measure. Learn to pay attention to your "why" because "your why" is what you believe you are, or are not, capable of. As you get better and better at identifying your beliefs, you create the opportunity to master any belief that feels like fear.
I believe that every person has the power to step out of negative, unwanted situations. Do you?
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei