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With so much brown belt energy around it seemed as if the dojo might explode like a teenager does when confronted by a parent: Hurdling accusations, running in fear, hiding in the woods, peeking out to see if it is safe to come out.
The dojo is not just a physical space. It is a combination of energies that synergize to hold us all when we are weak or strong, emotional, vulnerable, serene or hurting.
We can be ourselves here in this place of mutual respect where we learn to give and get. We can hold space and energy for people here and we can receive both when we are in need.
Our dojo is not for everyone. One must be very brave and have fortitude to stay when the very naked aspect of our true selves arrive.
The dojo can hold space for most of us. But it cannot fix issues that must be addressed in other ways.
We are what we are, which is strong, true and even magnificent. Aikido training can complement our path and it can enhance self-knowledge and self-defense. And we are not the answer to all of life's ills.