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Signed up to be Soto Deshi until the end of May. (This is the equivalent of being Uchi Deshi in other dojos. The only difference is that since Sensei lives at the Dojo you live at home.) I had been contemplating this for quite a while. It seemed like a good time to commit to Aikido on an even more rigorous scale. As far as training goes it will really only add Wednesday to my existing schedule. It does however remove the idea of having a little slop in Thursday and Friday night class attendance. The extra work on the Dojo and assisting sensei in various tasks is something that I have felt I needed to do for a while now.
There is still a bit of trepidation with this step. It shifts my focus from doing aikido with several other things that I have going to doing aikido and if possible fitting in the other things that I have going on. While this has always been the idea that Aikido came first, there have been times that an Aikido class or two has been skipped in order to get this or that thing done, or because I had been working in the bowels of some boat all day and had felt all cramped and bent up. This eliminates that whole escape and excuse pattern that I used to allow occasionally.
Also this is an opportunity to commit myself to working on myself for 6 months as my number one priority. This commitment is to working on the things that I need to work on both externally and internally. There are a number of places in my internal aikido realm that I need to get the bugs worked out still. There is always more water to bucket out of the pond, (reference to "Iron John" by Robert Bly). I keep getting closer to being where I want to be in my thinking bit by little bit, and like most people wonder what would happen if I devoted myself to the process for a while full time. Is the process of change driven in a linear time frame with time being the driving factor or is the driving factor one of work? Not pushing on what needs to be accomplished, but providing a space and activity to pursue it to the best of my ability each day. I will evaluate this at the end of May.