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I recently came across the idea of being able to accept "no" shows maturity. Being able to embrace "yes" does too.
Aikido helps with both. I can say "yes" as I accept each uke I am offered
Each uke brings a specific set of skills, commitment, athletic abilities and energy to each encounter. At each moment each uke can be different. Some days an uke might feel stiff and slow and then towards the end of class that same uke might feel more limber and energized.
My goal as nage is to be with uke as they are in each moment. By stepping into the situation with an open heart and an attentive center I can access what actually is and move with my uke; blending with the energy of the moment.
This information is perceived not from just from the mind in our head but from the soul mind, that includes the mind in our head and our body and spirit. Our openness takes in the circumstances of the moment as they are and moves into "yes" for uke and nage.
This is not a practice for the faint of heart. The ego wants to blame and the body wants to complain. Yet we can say "yes" to what is and move with the energy of the uke we get, to create the beauty that is aikido. Nothing needs to be changed; only accepted and reconciled into peacefulness. Yes!
Mine includes god, people in 12 step fellowships, Ron, members of my dojo and my daughters, my ancestors and angels, and people everywhere that are recovering from hurts.
On the show Longmire, the picture of the young woman on the couch describing her feelings as she was raped was me. I saw myself in her. She was in the exact position on her couch as I was on mine, with our blankets at the same place under our chins. She shook me to my center as she spoke for me. Ron suggested that we had had enough of that show for the night.
The next night we watched the woman call her self back. The old wise woman said that her self was taken from her. The wise old woman insisted that she call out "Morning Star, Come back." Morning Star dared to call herself back. "Morning Star," she called out, softly and bravely. "Come back."
Then she cried and her circle of women embraced her.
I thought to myself, "I could do that."
That night I prayed and hopped into bed and slept soundly. I awoke in the early morning hours. I noticed how comfy and safe I felt in my warm bed with Ron sleeping peacefully next to me. It occurred to me that it was time to call myself back. I called out softly and bravely, "Come back, Mary Catherine, come back." I fell back asleep. When I woke up in the morning I could feel her. Mary Catherine is back. I am so grateful.
I am sharing this with my circle. I know that my circle includes all who been hurt
With Megan breaking her foot and Charlie not falling because a very sore knee we have been focusing on training with the body you have on any given day. Why should we wait until we feel perfectly healthy to train?
As Morihei Ueshiba said, "Heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train."
I see this to mean we can train anywhere and at any time and to mean that by accepting our body, mind and spirit as they are in the now we do the best we can with conditions at hand.
I have seen Anne train with remnants of a migraine and I regularly train when I am triggered to near panic. Linda, the oldest living member of the dojo, has trained through dental work and a very sore shoulder. Dora's back was very sore this week so she moved more slowly but not anymore deliberately that she always does.
We are all welcome on the mat unless we are contagious or throwing up because we all know there is absolutely no "hurling" on the mat.