I have just had a revelation that I would like to share with you and would also like to know if any of you have had this happen to you based on your practice.
I have had the mirror put up to my personality and one of my faults pointed out by a good friend of mine. My initial reaction to this was to view it as an attack on my person and I treated it as such by defending myself and my ego. I then realized that what this person was telling me as the truth and that I had gotten complacent in my life. In other words I had found a comfortable place to sit and be mediocre. Realizing this of course was a shock and a wakeup call.
In retrospect I thought about this revelation of my stagnation and went to practice. Where at the end of pratice I noticed that I was fighting back all the time and not allowing myself to feel anything. In other words not relaxing and basically not listening to what my body was doing. Which was basically what I was doing at the mad phase of the conversation with my friend. This made a light bulb go off and I then realized that I was not listening to what has been going on in my life and have dropped myself into mediocrity.
This made me go into soul search mode and I found that I have been slipping back into my habits of old that I really did not like and I have made a pact with myself to get out of the rut and continue to better myself in all the things I do in life. In my opinion had I never found Aikido and its teachings I believe that I would not have been able to realize what my friend was doing for me, accepted it and been able to look into myself for what is wrong. I guess to me this is the spiritual side of my practice; the ability to look into yourself and work on the things that you do not like. In the words of Chuck Clark, "Make your inside match your outside." I finally have experienced a spirit forging practice and know what it means a little.