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Old 03-20-2004, 08:37 AM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
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disillusionment

~~I've read a number of threads concerning training going sour, lackluster or suddenly not as interesting; folks losing motivation. Personally, I find bouts of disillusionment quite helpful. A new, not so cozy, thought or feeling prods you from the inside to really examine what you're doing concerning the thing that's bothering you. You go at it from different angles, think about it, pick at it, talk about it, sit with it...LIVE IT. You're doing the work of real training and learning, making it your own.

~~As frustrating as they can be, I am very grateful for these times as I believe that behind every disillusionment lies a bit more truth. I think it's also imperative, in this modern age of comfort, immediate gratification and ease, to wrangle with something greater than and uncomfortable to you. Why be here if you walk away from something or someone the moment the glow is gone? Take care, All

~~Paula~~
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Old 03-20-2004, 03:55 PM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,709
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dis-illusion: to get rid of illusions.

To find the truth, first see through the illusions.

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!
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:01 AM   #3
Virgil
Dojo: Aikido Juko Dojo
Location: Albuquerque
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 10
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Paula,

I'm coming out of such a period now, and it is both frustrating & constructive. I've been training for 3 yrs now, having come to this dojo when I moved here for a phd program I have since put the expectation on myself to get shodan before I leave town to find a job. Long & short of it, last month when I took my comprehensive exams I quit going to class - b/c I didn't feel that I could "do it."

From my sensei's perspective, he was ready to promote me to 5th kyu and then I dropped off the map! The problem is that I had become so fixated on each upcoming promotion, w/my eyes on the prize of the shodan, that aikido wasn't fun anymore, was another thing (like my college studies & prospectus) that I "have to do."

It's been frustrating (for sensei as well as me!), but it has made me review what I think about aikido, why I do it, and why (or even if) I want to continue. It had become product, rather than process, oriented, and now I'm trying to relax more and just feel it again, to heck w/the kyu rank and promotions.

V.
"In a pleasant spring morning all men's sins
are forgiven"
Thoreau, Walden
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:51 PM   #4
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
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When I was in college I was a competitive chessplayer, and made the rank of Expert. I came to a point where the extensive study and travel involved in keeping my rating high was going to prevent me from finishing my PhD. I could have kept playing at lesser intensity, but my rating would have dropped. I was too proud to take this, and I quit cold--haven't played in a tournament in nearly two decades.

One of the goals I've set myself with aikido is to keep my pride from running away with me like that again. It's a real danger--I'm competitively minded enough that if, say, I injured myself or had to take time off for work, I'd feel discouraged because I'd compare my lack of improvement with my classmates' improvement. I fear I'd be sorely tempted to quit if I found I was going to bumble along for a while, performing below everyone's expectations. But I've come to think this is a bad attitude, not conducive to happiness or personal growth. I hope I can lick it this time.

Mary Kaye
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:04 PM   #5
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Dojo: Puget Sound Aikikai
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 351
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One of the reasons I like to figure skate is that I have absolutely no talent, and have to remember that I'm doing it for fun. If I start taking Aikido too seriously and think about how I "look" its stops being fun. I have to treat it like I do skating.

By the way, the last time I beat anyone at chess, it was my 6 year old nephew, and he's way beyond me now.

Jeanne
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:14 PM   #6
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
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What I've mainly gone through disillusionment about has been my education.

I overcame my learning disabilities and learned how to learn in a College prep. high school, where most students, getting a C average there, would easily get an A average somewhere else. Then, after graduating, I came to Naropa University, and have found that it has not nearly been as challenging intellectually. I first became disillusioned with the idea that I didn't really care about the picture of me others had, the kid who pulled himself out of the gutter and became an excellent student. I discovered that I had a lot of pride towards that, so that was a big reason why I was so unsatisfied with my education at Naropa. I came to the conclusion that it was just a pride issue. Then, when I talked to Reggie Ray, a senior teacher in the Shambala lineage, I found that I almost cried when I said that, in college, I hadn't found that love of intellectual challenge I had in high school. I came to the conclusion that I did really have a love of intellectual challenge, and that I hadn't found that at Naropa. Later, I became disillusioned with that, and now I feel like I've lost any inclination towards wanting to be challenged intellectually. Maybe that was a love that just died. Or maybe it's still there and I'm going through a slump. What I'm currently going through is wondering where my dedication has gone, and seeing other stuents put in tons of work and get a lot out of their education.

My education at Naropa University, perhaps partly because of its contemplative nature, has been one disillusionment after the other about my education, myself, and my life plan. Sometimes I'm fine, sometimes I'm depressed for weeks.

Aikido has been the one constant for me throughout this. There have been times where I've scarcely come to the dojo, convinced at the idea that I'd leave Naropa and go to a university in Kathmandu. But at those times I was unrealistic--I really did still love aikido. Maybe because I've never really enjoyed something physical before, I've always found it to be a rewarding practice for me, even when I'm feeling like I'm doing badly.

Last edited by Anders Bjonback : 03-23-2004 at 12:17 PM.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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