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Old 02-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,435
Trusting center. Trusting god.

The process of finding and trusting my center is similar to my experience of finding and trusting god. First I was taught where my center was. Next I learned to feel my center as long as there were absolutely no distractions. Slowly through repeated references to my center, simple exercises done daily that help you focus on centered movement and Aikido technique with focus on feeling your center through technique my awareness of my center grew. I have learned to trust that feeling of centeredness. This has allowed me to not have to rely on controlling others or muscling my ukes around.
I remember the day I decided to trust my center. Gary and I were brown belts and good pals. We were working together at Summer Camp. One of us would kick and then place our foot down and the other would gently push on the kicker’s shoulder. This provided the kicker with the opportunity to reference their own center and keep balance. I was struggling when tested. I tried gripping the mat with my toes and not fall over. It’s not the most effective way to keep your balance. I was all in my head about how I was a brown belt and should be able to do this by now. I kicked and Gary pushed. Murayama Sensei pushed Gary away and said something (I never could understand him). Sensei pushed soft at first and progressively harder. I decided to let go and see what happened. I trusted my center. I leapt off the cliff. I decided it was okay to fail. But no, what happened was so exciting. I felt my center and kept my balance. I trusted that vague feeling. Sensei didn’t push me over. He grunted something. I think it was positive and walked on. Since that day I have trusted my center and developed a strong positive feel to my Aikido.
When I first started believing in god the process was much the same. I would turn something over to a something other than myself and watch what happened. Lo and behold, it was the same thing as my centered leap. My life got really different. Better different. It didn’t get perfect. Yet life felt much easier. Every time I trust my center it is there and every time I trust god things work out all right.
I don’t have to jump through any special hoops or do rituals. I don’t have to be a certain weight or religion. I trust. I just trust and there is my center and there is god. For me this creates connection. That connection helps me blend with people. Aikido’s lessons of centering and connection help me become the person I was meant to be all along,
Thank god for the willingness to center and let go and trust. I am stronger, calmer, happier, and easier to get along with, safer, lighter, funnier, and more loving because of my willingness to trust my center. I may not be always be able to connect with other people’s minds but I can connect with their hearts through our centers.
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