Today’s Eclipse… and the Martial Arts

I’ll bet you may be thinking, “What does an eclipse have to do with the martial arts?”  When you think about it, there are many parallels. 

So, let’s define things.  What is an eclipse?  For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on an eclipse being the result of one object passing in front of another and obscuring the light from that object.  Hmmm… has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever had a really good day, where you got up and felt rested, and had a great start, and then somebody looked at you and said, “Hey, you look really tired today.”  This single statement may then have stuck with you.  …On a day when you felt energized, somebody felt it was appropriate to look at you and tell you that you looked tired.  What’s that about?  I’ll tell you.  You see… that’s somebody trying to pass in front of you and obscure your light. *

I see this happen a lot.  We have a number of folks who train with us because they lack self-confidence.  They may not openly say that to me (but often they do).  We all have self-doubt, and that’s normal.  But, if you have enough people in your life who try to obscure your light, the result of that eclipse can carry over and become internalized.  That, my friends, is where we get a lot of our self-doubt.  

It’s important to recognize those people who would be such an object in your life.  You see, the thing about eclipses is that they don’t last.  Sometimes, they are partial and go away quickly.  Other times, they are full, and the totality of the eclipse can last for longer and leave a lot of darkness in its’ path.  Realizing this, it’s vital that you don’t internalize the negative comments from people.  This can be difficult, because parents, spouses, and siblings can often be the cause of these eclipses in your life.  And, if you let them, these people can snuff out your light.  (But, you have to let them!)  

There are many avenues we can go down as we think about this, and there’s a great spiritual significance that can be relayed to light.  (In my faith, I’m reminded of John 1:5, John 8:12, and even Genesis 1: 3-5.)

The significance of the battle between light and dark in our lives is not one that can be overstated.  Today, we have the opportunity to witness a near total eclipse in Connecticut.  (I believe we’re at 90% totality at about 3:26pm today.  The eclipse itself starts around 2:12pm and ends around 4:30pm) 

While there is a plethora that could be said about this eclipse and the light vs dark battle that we have internally, externally, and in our local area, nation, and the world at large (and we haven’t even mentioned about how this eclipse makes an “X” across the United States with the prior eclipse from 2017) … I’ll keep this short and focus on the singular fact that there are people who would bring darkness into your life.  Don’t let these people do anything more than make a brief eclipse across the path of your life.  I hope you recognize them for who they are, and that your light continues to grow and shine.

If you can… get outside and witness this amazing event today (April 8th, 2024).  And, it’s worthy to note that, even with 90% of the light being blocked, don’t look straight at the eclipse.  Why? Because you will damage your eyes!  That’s how much stronger the light is than the dark.  If you cover even 90% of it, the light is still more powerful.  (Remember that, and remember how much stronger you can be if you let the light shine in your life.)

Image Credit for Eclipse Totality: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International​

Degrees of change

Change often happens in degrees. This is a relief when you realize that you have miles to go on your fitness goals. There is no need to attempt all of the change at once – simply nudge yourself in the right direction each and every day and maintain the small changes as you go.

Did you eat a big bowl of spaghetti noodles with your favorite sauce for dinner last night? Tonight eat a smaller bowl. Next week eat zucchini noodles and your favorite sauce. The following week eat zucchini noodles with the protein-filled sauce recipe below.

Small changes in the right direction, maintained over time, will make a big difference as you strive toward your health and wellness goals.

Beef Ragu and Zucchini Noodles

Yes, it is possible to enjoy Spaghetti night while living a fit and lean lifestyle. This is accomplished with noodles made from fresh zucchini and a sauce that is simply made and packed with protein. Feel free to sub in ground beef for the minced beef if desired.

What you need
Serves 6

2 lbs minced, grass-fed beef
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon chili sauce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 zucchini
¼ cup fresh parsley


1. In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium-high heat. Drain the skillet and turn down to medium heat.

2. Add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, chili, cherry tomatoes and sea salt. Mix to combine. Sauté until the cherry tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Peel the green skins from the zucchini, the run through a spiral slicer to create long, thin spaghetti noodles.

4. Plate a handful of zucchini noodles topped with the beef sauce and a sprinkle of parsley.

255 calories, 7g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 33g protein.