Re: getting harder
It's good to read from the experienced people that the plateaus will continue to come and go - yay! lol
It was indeed exactly 7 months after I had started practicing that I reached that first plateau/crisis point. My internal dialogue included a lot of stuff about how badly I stunk at Aikido and why was I fooling myself that I could ever be a martial artist, blah blah.
Then I had to question WHY I was training, and get very clear about my personal goals. If the goal was to be better than somebody else, some other random person who was "better" than me... well, that was a pretty ego-based and pointless goal, I concluded. There will always be someone who is better than me - a whole lot of someones!
In the end, I think I got back to the fact that practicing Aikido is something that I enjoy in the moment, whether I am doing it well or doing it poorly. Of course it is frustrating on the days when I can't seem to get anything right, but it is frustrating for good reason: because Aikido is not easy to learn, and because it is very valuable to learn.
So, to quote Dory from "Finding Nemo" I decided to: "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."