A month ago I started writing this newsletter, and then, a few days later a war began.
I was first shocked that such a terrible thing can still happen nowadays and even more that is happening in Europe. As if the 2 world wars + the cold war weren’t enough to teach us how much of a bad idea it is to start a war and invade another country.
Today I took that newsletter back in my hands and I decided to send it out. Because this war is an extreme representation of the topic I wrote about: the power of Focus. In this case, one powerful man decided to focus on competition instead of connection.
The root of the word focus is latin, and it comes from the words fire.
Metaphorically it is like when we focus on something we give it energy, we fire it up, it becomes hot, relevant.
I discovered that putting an effort to be aware of where I put my focus, and training to direct it towards what I really long for has a great positive effect in my life.
However, oftentimes by default, my mind tends to focus on negative thoughts, problems, and differences. This immediately affects negatively my mood, the quality of my day, my productivity, and my relationship with the people that surround me.
In Playfight, we train to focus consciously, and we do it using competition. Yes, competition. Exactly the thing that is often mystified, and seen as the root of problems.
In Playfight we believe that competition is a powerful force that can fuel determination, grit, and assertiveness and that at the same time it can also lead to unconscious aggressivity, and disconnection if not used consciously. The direction it takes depends on how we use our focus.
Playfight’s purpose is to create Connection, with oneself and the other. Yet the game is a competitive one, pinning down the other. If there wouldn't be the competitive aspect we wouldn't challenge our capacity to split our attention into being engaged in the game while remaining focused on the Connection.
Sometimes in the middle of the Encounter people forget about the Connection and unconsciously start to focus only on the game. A primal survival instinct kicks in, making them want to “win over the other”, instead of having fun together. This instinct is part of us, is a program of our reptilian brain that tries to protect us by seeing the other as a threat to defeat. Does it sound familiar?
This is the base for conflicts and ultimately for war.
When this happens during an encounter we don’t mystify it. It’s not wrong, is part of our animal root, and yet as humans, we can observe it, recognize it, and chose consciously if it’s what we long for or not. This training of mindfulness is what we take home.
In fact, there are plenty of moments where a subtle competition, not that obvious like in the Playfight game, can hook us. This hook then makes us lose the connection with the people that surround us, especially our beloved.
Did it ever happen to you to enter into a discussion with your partner in which you had different opinions about something of very little importance? and you end up distant and disconnected?
Imagine that instead of sticking to that opinion you would be able to remind yourself that the connection with that person is much more important than being right. You can then focus back on the quality of the connection you are having, while keep discussing that different opinion.
And that's the whole point, you don't need to stop discussing or try to have the same opinion in order to have a connection. There can be a “fight” while being in connection. This we train in our Circles.
Playfight teaches how to not identify with the fight, but to “play the fight”, remaining connected with oneself and the other.
A dear friend from Romania, a country that is bordering on Ukraine told me: “maybe if instead of learning Judo and Sambo, Putin would have been doing Playfight he wouldn’t even think of starting a war”.
I don’t know if that would be the case. Unfortunately, Playfight is not an antidote for this kind of war. Political and economical interests are on another scale, but certainly, Playfight can be a support for inner and relational wars. Those that happen in our daily lives.
Great personal transformation can happen in a Playfight Circle, and inner change grows from the fertile soil of the will to change.
And if you too hold that wish, I invite you to join one of the next events we are organizing.
France/Switzerland - GenevaPF Immersion with the focus: Archetypes 21-24 of April
PF Facilitator Training 24-28 of April
PF Advanced Training 21-29 of Aprilril
Germany - FreiburgPF weekend 30 of April - 1 of Mayy
Germany - BerlinPF Immersion 5-8 of May
PF Facilitator Training 8-11 of Mayay
Poland - WroclawPF Immersion 12-15 of May
PF Facilitator Training 15-18 of Mayay
Portugal - Aljezur PF Immersion + PF Facilitator Training (end of June)
Romania - BrasovPF Immersion 25-28 of July
PF Facilitator Training 28-31 of Julyly
Italy - ChiavariPF Immersion with the focus: Relationship 4-7 of August
PF Facilitator Training 7-10 of August
PF Advanced Training 4-11 of Augustust
Visit www.playfight.org/events to read more about each event!
We are planning more events in summer and autumn! So if these dates don't work for you, no worries, I hope the future ones will!
I wish you a beautiful day.