WHEN YOU ARE KNOCKED DOWN AND THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
Maggie H is a Global Explorer and Wellness Advocate from Hong Kong. Among many spiritual endeavors, Maggie practices and leads Qigong meditation to help people around the world find their inner balance. Find out more about this and other Eastern Philosophy & Meditation practices every Monday on the ICBRKR blog.
Way back when only one TV set per household was a common phenomenon, it used to be the most precious possession in the house and everyone in the family gathered around for entertainment in the evening. Unlike now, we had only a handful of channels to choose from and even then, the power of choosing and switching channels was entirely given to the breadwinner of the family.
This was in the 70's and my dad loved watching boxing matches. By default, I watched all the hot matches of the time — and got my lifetime quota of boxing matches.
In a boxing match, when a fighter gets knocked down either from a hard punch or due to exhaustion, the referee sends the other fighter to the neutral corner, then goes over to the downed fighter to start counting to ten. The knocked down fighter is now given ten seconds to get back up and show his/her will to continue on. If the referee finds the fighter's condition to be good enough to continue, the match continues until the bell rings for the round. If the fighter stands up but the referee doesn't find him/her fit to go on, the downed fighter is announced knocked-out and the opponent is declared the winner.
There have been some debatable cases where the countdown seemed longer than ten seconds or the referee took extra time before beginning the countdown, but this ten-second break can be an all-important chance for the downed fighter to gather the strength to throw the last deadly punch in order to knock out his/her opponent.
Although a knockout is the surest way of winning a match, a fighter can still win on points. In order to secure points, it's best not to get knocked down in the first place. However, I remember a match where a fighter was knocked down a couple of times in a row and even the commentator was concerned about whether he could make it to the end of the round. One thing people noticed was that the fighter was utilising his ten-second break to its fullest. Each time he fell on his knee or his rear, he pulled himself up almost strategically and carefully checked out his opponent. The crowd was cheering loudly for his opponent, and it was just a matter of time before the referee was to announce his win by points, and merely seconds until the bell rang.
After the countdown, the downed fighter stood up, ready to engage, and something unbelievable happened. He threw a sharp and precise punch to his opponent with all his strength, and knocked him out clean, winning the match seconds before the bell rang. Just like that.
In life, there are times when we do fall flat on the ground unexpectedly. We may find ourselves with scratches or injuries which require a little break to patch up, or we need a bit of time to gather some strength before continuing on. While we treat our wounds, we see friends moving ahead of us, seeming to pick up speed. It can make us feel extremely anxious to think that we may fall behind forever if we don't get up and run right away. The thought of cutting short our treatment and rushing out the door does cross the mind.
When that happens, hold that thought for a second, and evaluate how much more time you have and how fit you are to get back in the game. How do we know if we are ready to get back? It's simple: if you're ready, you will see a clear spot for you to join in, or you will be asked to join in. Until then, focus on pulling yourself together and getting yourself ready.
And do not worry! As long as you don't throw in the towel, you are very much in the match with a good chance to win.
Maggie H is a Life Cartographer, Eastern philosopher, Qigong master, Buddhist and Taoist meditator, Feng Shui practitioner, and researcher of Buddhist scriptures. She lives in Hong Kong, and regularly travels to both India and South Korea to further her spiritual growth and development. Her lifelong motto is: "benefit to all humankind."