Well, Russ, you have a family, full-time employment, the works. Perhaps you aren't seeing the forest for the trees blocking your view. The ideas of aikido, though originally phrased and structured from japanese culture/history are not wholly alien to us. You may very likely be acting the part without realizing it.
but how do I go about channeling the laws of heaven ..etc.
There are universal truths of the human condition present in the philosophy of aikido. Say, the golden rule for instance, something similar anyhow. Treating someone as you would prefer to be treated is not specific to western ethics. It just makes plain good sense as a rational human being.
I want to ask how can't you see it all around you.. Though I tend to nerd out pretty heavily, and am often accused of 'over-analysis'
Lose all the writings, texts, sound bytes that confuse you, define your personal language for your training and observation of aikido based on your teacher's actions and explanations as you
understand them, in your head
. , and use that to correlate it, connect it, to your life.
Anyhow, good weekend everyone!