It appears the pandemic panic continues, so this blog series will too. In Part 1, we discussed responses and taking your power back. I want to delve into that a bit more now. Of course, that means we have to get back on those aikido mats to find our martial arts lessons.
In our dojo, we joke that a black belt’s job is to make the technique look easy. There’s nothing more frustrating than believing something is easy to do and then failing at it. This brings me to one of my favorite martial arts quotes. The only difference between a master and a student is that the master has failed more times than the student has tried.
Perhaps you’re still feeling fearful and are having a hard time taking positive action?
That’s okay. There are techniques I still struggle with after fifteen years. And no, surfing the river Zen isn’t something I’m known for (check out this blog post for more on that). I don’t shrug off failures easily. I get frustrated and have walked away in anger many times.
One of my black belt teachers and friends often reminded me that it was the journey, not the destination that mattered when training.
That’s a great philosophy that continues to take effort for me to remember and apply. I have failed…a lot.
‘Some epic journeys start with a stumble’ is the tag line for book 1 in my series for a reason, friends. My characters often stumble because that’s been my personal experience.
I have gotten better about embracing the failures though. I see them as part of the process which means I can’t get to any particular destination without them. I expect them. That expectation has made them easier to accept.
This shouldn’t be viewed as being negative or giving up. It should be viewed as a natural part of life, a natural part of us.
The cheetah doesn’t give up when it fails on the first hunt.
The tree doesn’t give up when its leaves change and drop that first fall.
The wave makes it to shore but keeps moving.
It’s okay to struggle and stumble during good times or tragic ones. It’s okay to fail. So, wherever you are in trying to deal with our new pandemic lives, embrace it. Breathe, move, and relax. Continue to train, learn, and adapt.
Are you trying new things during this crisis?
Have you succeeded?
Have you failed?
Please feel free to comment here so we can discuss. We aren’t alone in this! We can and should learn and grow together just as aikido partners on the mats do. There’s another saying in our dojo – you can learn from every partner (regardless of rank).
Let’s learn together, and keep a healthy discussion going!
And remember, you are a Rahki!