Paying back living forward

In an ideal world, family relationships are such that parents care for their children and, after time, those children grow up wanting to care for their parents. This isn’t always the case. Some relationships are too toxic to continue or too fractured to recover. Sometimes distance, severe infirmity, or financial strain stand in the way between what the heart wants and what can actually be accomplished. However, when all else aligns, a child’s ability to payback love and care—in whatever capacity—is one of the greatest joys in life. Such has been, and continues to be, my experience.

Having worked all his life in finance, through life insurance, real estate, and stock markets, my father is, thankfully, financially secure and independent. No small accomplishment. So the care he needs at this stage in his life involves emotional and logistic support. It’s not easy to suddenly live alone after seventy years of marriage, nor is it easy to lose physical capabilities and mental acuity. But after ninety years on the planet, it happens.

As Dad is fond of saying, “I don’t know what this disease is, but I know how to spell it: AGE.”

It has been my privilege to smooth this natural transition and help my father to live the way he wants to live: with ease, safety, and minimal stress. To accomplish this, I find myself relying on my ninja skills.


If this surprised you, check out my book Empowered Living for small examples of how we modern-day ninja apply fighting strategies to harmonious living. Suffice it to say that I use my skills each day from the moment I wake to the moments before I fall asleep.

Chief among those skills are energy manipulation, slipping seamlessly into the flow, astute prediction, and deep listening. Each of these skills (and countless more) are as intrinsic to “effortless” fighting as they are for creating harmonic interactions. These are the true secrets of the ninja art.

The end result? Smooth traveling, a positive perception of every detail (regardless of conditions), joy, energy, and gratitude—for family, for each other, and for this opportunity to pay back and live forward.

Tori Eldridge
Tori Eldridge is a Honolulu-born writer, a 5th degree black belt ninja, and a former actress, dancer, singer on Broadway, television, and film. She writes action-packed, culturally-rich thrillers and mystically intriguing suspense, empowering non-fiction, and has taught ninjutsu and empowerment across the country.
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