The Lady Yoda: An Unexpected Black Belt

    She’s a sixth degree black belt, weighs in at about 92 pounds and is a petite 5’2″ tall. And that’s not the cool part. What goes on in her head, her philosophy about life, as she teaches the (mostly) men students she works with, that’s the cool part.  Meet the strikingly attractive Aikido master Lynn Fabia, a native of the Philippines who lives and teaches today in Dallas, Texas.
I had an opportunity to get to know Lynn over the last year and most recently, to watch her in action last Saturday morning during a brilliant talk she gave, using six of her male students. With Aikido concepts, as they attacked, deflected, and flipped one another, her team demonstrated key principles she believes apply to everyday life. For example, she opened her talk with, “You are either living in fear or creativity. Those are the only choices.”

Lynn then showed the audience exactly what she was talking about as we walk around doing our daily activities with our heads in a cloud.  We are rarely centered and hardly present to our surroundings.  We’re so “busy” thinking about this or that, we miss the obvious. Thinking about the fear I see in so many people’s eyes about the economy, her words resonated strongly.

    Case in point, I was in a board of director’s meeting today. The President expressed concern about how much the organization is going to be hurt as a result of the economy. The economy. The economy.
Well, yes. It is serious. Well, yes. It is probably worse than we even realize. And rarely have I been more hopeful. The US economy has been a mess for many decades, slowly eroded by decisions that the average person has no way of understanding. Yet, the Economy is neither black magic as being painted today, nor is it white magic, as it has been painted before-no matter how many magical money men, media pseudo experts, political soothsayers and plain charlatans there are out there.
When it appears that things are going well, both parties in Congress fight like calico cats and gingham dogs. When all hell breaks loose, it’s actually better. We forget partisan politics and work together to move forward. We may be close to that point. We’re not there yet, but we are closer than we have been in about eight years.
What I believe Lynn Fabia has down accurately is the idea that living in fear tends to create actions that are reactionary and ill-advised. Living in a state of constant creativity, of looking for solutions, looking for ways to create harmony, these are states our minds must remain in to come out of this hole whole.

What Lynn has to teach doesn’t happen overnight. She spent years studying and working to create a flawless sense of grace. She made lots of errors to get it right. Today, this 60-year old woman can flip a man three times her size- if she has to. Mostly, she doesn’t because as she says, Aikido is about deflecting danger before it gets to that point. (Hello! Congress? Did that idea ever ocurr to you?) What Lynn has is something this country needs. For my money, the real “run” wasn’t on the banks or the infamous credit crises, it was the evaporation of common sense and wisdom from our think tanks.
Far from disaster, today is a rare opportunity, as Lynn might say, to find our “centers,” the place of wholeness and wellspring of all good answers for re-solving the economic challenges we face as a nation.