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The whimsy of the season tickled class this Saturday morning. During the last class before our holiday break I found it hard to be serious and laughed at every opportunity. Celebration for me is around fellowship and shared experiences. Our class was filled with fun and good cheer. Megan was missed and Jocelyn was wished a speedy recovery as we quietly celebrated Anne's birthday.
After class Dora sang a lovely Polish birthday song wishing Anne a hundred more years. May you all live a hundred more years in peace and joy. Our next class will be on December 29th. Come enjoy a little harmony and sweat to help keep sane during this holiday season.
Thursday night in class I felt out of sorts: awkward and self-conscious…half a bubble off. After class I felt anxious. While chatting about class with Ron I felt unworthy of being a teacher ever again. I tend to lean to extremes especially when I am tired.
Saturday morning I was supposed to be the first teacher. I told Ron he should just teach the whole class. He called me out saying that it was my turn to start and I needed to do it.
And I did. I started class with a drill I called "Halt". I demonstrated a complicated kokyu nage from a yokemen attack and challenged us all to say "halt" every time we had a thought. Then we were to voice the thought and start again.
As we trained together (there were ten of us on the mat) I heard many "halts" and much communication and some chuckles as ukes and nages worked together to let go of thought and just train.
I noticed again that when I let go and just be… Aikido happens. My ideas are creative, challenging and interesting. The group benefits from a teacher's lack of self-consciousness. Self-centered fear inhibits creativity and spontaneity.
An aikido class is a like a merrily wrapped holiday present. As we pay close attention the experience reveals itself to us bit by bit.
Before Aikido there was fear, constant fear, unrecognized fear, paralyzing fear,and unconscious fear. Fear manifested itself in buildings not entered, encounters avoided, and many drinks taken way past the point of where drinking was helpful. Fear prohibited conversation, stifled movement and restricted involvement.
After aikido fear got different. Fear was noticed, acknowledged, breathed through, talked about and released though training and sometimes through tears. On the aikido mat fear was met again and again in a safe, supported and controlled environment.
FEAR. Face everything and recover. Fear is slipping away.