Overcoming Uncertainty

Aikido is a constant, delightful study. It challenges me to try my best, and yet constantly displays my errors and weaknesses. How ironic then, that one of the principles is to “Perform with confidence”.

The Fine Art of Failure

A few weeks ago, I started admitting my failures to the world.

Cutting Myself into Shape

Daily practice: standing tall Thank goodness the sun’s arrived! Today started out misty and cool, bordering on cold. By supper time it was hot and bright, neighbours on both sides were out, and everything was just fine.

Dancing on the Bleeding Edge

I spent this evening with 5 other men in a smallish wood-floored room, moving about each other with knives – sometimes bendy rubber ones, sometimes blunt metal ones, and sometimes sharp kitchen knives. That’s a surreal activity. There were moments in that room of connecting with something else. When all 5 were approaching me and I had to identify the one with the knife, I couldn’t do so logically or by assessing each one in turn – I had to trust the corners of my eyes, my instinct, and my body. When one was slashing slowly towards me, I had to learn the rhythm of his dance and join him wholeheartedly in it, no matter what his intention.

Baby, it’s cold outside

One of our radiators wasn’t working last night, so I bled it. Which led (almost inevitably given my plumbing skillz) to the radiator haemorrhaging as I dropped the key under a veritable geyser of increasingly hot water. At 6.30am this morning, with snow still lying out in the garden and a biting wind rattling the corrugated plastic awning over the back door, the boiler refused to kick into life. Worse still, I know that my tender ministrations towards the radiator yesterday are the cause. Not only are we cold – it’s half term so the whole family’s at home – but I’m to blame. Nothing deepens the chill like the knowledge that I did it myself.

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