Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Columns

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Comment
 
Column Tools
Impossible, Possible, Probable
Impossible, Possible, Probable
by Lynn Seiser
04-27-2014
Impossible, Possible, Probable

Breathe in, impossible
Breathe out, possible
probable

They say that whether we believe we can or not, we are always correct.

There is an old shaman story that was told in many ways throughout many cultures and time. It is about the people who come to visit a shaman who lives on a high cliff. He tells them that we cannot see the wings on our own back but that all of us can fly. As they get to the edge of the cliff, he tells them they must jump of their own free will. They all run away in fear. Yet, they all return. They often wonder why the others don't jump because they can see other people's wings. Because they cannot see their own, they stay in fear and don't jump. Until one day, they jump and find out that they all have wings and that they can all fly.

How do we make the impossible at least potentially possible? How do we make the potentially possible at least predictably probable? How do we make the predictably probable inevitable?
Impossible: (1) unbearable, incredible, terrible, awkward, difficult (2) unfeasible, impractical, unattainable, hopeless, not possible
The first time I saw Aikido, it looked impossible. (Guess that is one of the many reasons it took me so long before I actually started training.)

In the dojo, we all tend to struggle with believing that we can make Aikido work. Ki, or energy, follows the focus and the aim of our thoughts. Therefore, If we believe cannot make it work, the energy will not flow in that direction and it just doesn't work. We can do everything technically right but it will not work if you do not believe it. This is true in any martial art. When I was first learning to really hit (correctly), I had to lose my fear of the bag and hurting myself and get my head around some serious commitment to doing some serious damage. I finally had to believe I could slap-break two red-bricks before I stopped hurting my hand. We think it is impossible only because we have not learned the right skills and mindset.

In life, we all tend to struggle with believing that we can make love work. There is something very magical about love. Many people think love is impossible and unattainable. Many people have been taught that they are unworthy and unlovable. We have barriers to love. It is these self-imposed (though often learned from others) barriers that make intimacy and love impossible. We only let into our lives what we agree with. Love, like Aikido, has a specific skill and mindset.

What is impossible is not just the content but also the context of how we think about it and represent it. In general, if we think something is impossible we usually internally represent it as a small black and white picture way off in the distance that we feel no association or identification with and tell ourselves it is not us. Anything we represent that way, we will believe is impossible.
Possible: (1) likely, conceivable, imaginable, potential, promising (2) achievable, doable, feasible, viable, workable
In the dojo, just because we believe something is possible for others (and we have actually see them do it), doesn't mean we believe it is possible for us. Of course, we don't know that they too thought it was impossible at one time. The difference between the impossible and possible is if you know how and are willing to do the work to develop the body and mind skill set. Many people want the end result but do not accept the actual direction and discipline to make it a possibility. Many times we just cannot see the possibility from where we currently stand. Perhaps to see what is possible, we have to walk and train in the direction of what we once believed was impossible.

In life, just because we believe that something is possible doesn't mean we believe that it's possible for us. We often believe that we are the exception to the rule. Like the people in my first story, we can see the wings on others backs but we cannot see our own. We may believe that other people are worthy of happiness and love, but cannot quite give ourselves permission. There is some arrogance in that ignorance. If one of us is worthy of love, we all are. If one of us has found a way to make love possible, we all can. We just have to know how. Knowing how often means we have to see though the barriers of our past self-judgment, perception, and presentation.

When we think of what is possible, we often see a more colorful but foggy picture of ourselves or someone we identify with doing it, at a distance, and we tell ourselves "not yet".
Probable: (1) likely, possible, feasible, (2) plausible
In the dojo, and in life, despite our deep and mystical psychology and philosophy, we are creatures of habit. Physics tell us that the laws of inertia and momentum apply and that something in motion will tend to stay in motion unless otherwise acted upon. It will also continue to go in the same direction. Common sense tells us that if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always gotten. In program we say that insanity is trying the same thing expecting different results. If something has been impossible because of what we believe and do. To change the probably we may have to model those who have actually done it. In other words, do something different that has some proven possibilities and make the outcome we want probable.

In challenging our cognitive-distortions or beliefs systems we often have to do a little research into how we stop ourselves from having what we really want. We will often discover some small quiet voice in the back of our head that we recorded from someone else telling us we could not or will never make anything of ourselves. We may have to consider the source of those injunctions and realize that their perception was not personal about us. Rerecord that auditory track into the original voice (or better yet, make it a cartoon voice). At times we have to stop associating and identifying with people who also think that developing the right skill and mindset is impossible.

The instructors that helped me move from the impossible to the possible to the probable were those teachers who not only wowed me with their skills but also with their belief that I could do it too. I would rather mentally rehearse stepping out of the old impossible representation (making them a small black and white picture pushed away to such a distance I can no longer see, hear, or feel it) and then step into that color picture of someone who can do it, see/hear/feel what they see/hear/feel, hear their voice telling me I can do it, and then telling myself. This mindset may not instantly make new skills magically appear, but it will make them possible and eventually probable, and then inevitable.

When we bow onto the mat, we first empty ourselves of the external work and past impossibilities and then fill ourselves with the anticipation of learning something new and enjoying the process. When we step out into the world, we empty ourselves of past limits and cognitive-distortions and fill ourselves with the possibilities of health, happiness, and love.

Breathe in, impossible
Breathe out, possible
probable

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!
Lynn Seiser (b. 1950 Pontiac, Michigan), Ph.D. has been a perpetual student of martial arts, CQC/H2H, FMA/JKD, and other fighting systems for over 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) from Sensei Dang Thong Phong of the International Tenshinkai Aikido Federation and Sensei Andrew Sato of the Aikido World Alliance. He is the co-author of three books on Aikido (with Phong Sensei) and his martial art articles have appeared in Black Belt Magazine, Aikido Today Magazine, and Martial Arts and Combat Sports Magazine. He is the founder of Aiki-Solutions and IdentityTherapy and is an internationally respected psychotherapist in the clinical treatment of offenders, victims, and families of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. He is a professor of clinical and forensic psychology with an expertise in family violence and treatment. He currently lives in Marietta, GA and trains and teaches at Kyushinkan Dojo, Roswell Budokan.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf lseiser_2014_04.pdf (127.3 KB, 0 views)
Old 04-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #2
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

why is that shaman/wiseman always found in some cave, on top of a mountain, with no in door plumbing or running water? is it even possible to find shaman/wiseman in an ale house, playing pool for money, getting drunk and hitting on unsuspecting or even suspecting women?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
why is that shaman/wiseman always found in some cave, on top of a mountain, with no in door plumbing or running water? is it even possible to find shaman/wiseman in an ale house, playing pool for money, getting drunk and hitting on unsuspecting or even suspecting women?
Perhaps is is not about where, but about what.
Perhaps we find wise men (and women) doing wise things.
Not sure that getting drunk, gambling, and exploiting/manipulating people would be considered wise.
Any thoughts anyone?
LOL

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
Berney Fulcher
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
Location: Marietta, Ga
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 47
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Ahh, but are not good bartenders local wise men, dispensing advice in ale houses?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Berney Fulcher wrote: View Post
Ahh, but are not good bartenders local wise men, dispensing advice in ale houses?
Perhaps a truly wise bartender would advise people to stop using intoxicants, go home, and take good care of their families ...
because if they linger in the ale house too long it is possible and probable that their family life will only get worse ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 05:07 PM   #6
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 388
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Berney Fulcher wrote: View Post
Ahh, but are not good bartenders local wise men, dispensing advice in ale houses?
There's a lot of wisdom in a pint of wine, and not so much in a quart...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
James Sawers
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
James Sawers's Avatar
Dojo: Oak Park Aikikai, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 153
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
There's a lot of wisdom in a pint of wine, and not so much in a quart...
Ah, now you tell me.......
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 03:13 PM   #8
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,212
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

I like the story. I found out about correct feeling when I let go of what I knew and stepped into the not knowing. I then had a reference to build on. For me, there is no thinking from the head mind during aikido. Only from the body mind, for me...that is the part of letting go. That is where I can fly.

Thank you.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 04:25 PM   #9
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I found out about correct feeling when I let go of what I knew and stepped into the not knowing. I then had a reference to build on. For me, there is no thinking from the head mind during aikido. Only from the body mind, for me...that is the part of letting go. That is where I can fly.
Yes agreed Mary.
Impossible, possible, and probable are only frames of reference based on past experience.
Its important to see through them, transform them, before we let the go and fly.
Thanks for reading and responding ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #10
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
Ah, now you tell me.......
People has been telling me that for years before I could actually hear them ...
A lot like my teachers' instructions ... LOL

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 04:30 PM   #11
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
There's a lot of wisdom in a pint of wine, and not so much in a quart...
But ... if a little is good, isn't more better?
When I look back, it was always liquid ignorance and the wisdom came when I stopped ...
At first it seemed impossible, then possible (for others), then probable (for me), then it stopped being a frame of reference or a source of suffering ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
James Sawers
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
James Sawers's Avatar
Dojo: Oak Park Aikikai, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 153
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
People has been telling me that for years before I could actually hear them ...
A lot like my teachers' instructions ... LOL
I listen better when.....when.....
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 09:27 AM   #13
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
I listen better when.....when.....
LOL
I listen better when I shut-up (internally and externally) ...
They were always telling me it was possible and probable, but I was too busy listening to some internal rerecorded prerecorded message for people in my past who were telling me I couldn't, wouldn't, and shouldn't.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #14
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

didn't one of the truth seeker said "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth (possible)"

methink, the difficulty for us is to decide what is impossible.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
didn't one of the truth seeker said "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth (possible)" me think, the difficulty for us is to decide what is impossible.
IMHO, many people decide something is impossible before they even try.
I often ask people to reframe the "impossible" as "its not possible for me yet".
I am already doing what I once thought was impossible.
Who knows where the limits are?
Thanks for reading and responding.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 08:55 PM   #16
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,828
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

A friend of mine once observed that people in Japan say, "It's difficult" when they mean "No", and Americans say "No" when they mean "It's difficult".
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2014, 10:23 AM   #17
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Impossible, Possible, Probable

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
A friend of mine once observed that people in Japan say, "It's difficult" when they mean "No", and Americans say "No" when they mean "It's difficult".
Yes agreed.
And many people say "No, its impossible" when its just difficult (which simply means we are learning something new).

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido of Northern VA Seminars - Doran-sensei in Northern Virginia, March 2015



Comment


Currently Active Users Viewing This Column: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Column Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new columns
You may not post comment
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:55 AM.



Column powered by GARS 2.1.5 ©2005-2006

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate