Werner Erhard once said, “Anything that you can let be, lets you be.”
Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba said, “Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.”
Let yourself be, and set yourself free. Just saying.
In Aikido, there’s jyuwaza training. In jyuwaza, multiple people attack albeit in quick succession coming either to strike or grab with one or both hands. As the nage receiving the attack, I throw the attacker whether executing iriminage (clothesline to the head), nikkyo (joint lock), or various other techniques matching up with the force and speed of the attack. Awase. Jyuwaza transpires for several minutes. Tough training. Intense training. It’s fun.
The common mistake is thinking, “I’m going to do this…” Really, I don’t know what the attack is until it’s literally in my face. Wait it out. Take a glancing blow if I have to. Enter the attack. Throw the attacker. Move on to what’s next.
The late Mizukami Sensei instructed, “When there’s the most pressure, that’s when your mind is the most calm.” Words easier said than done. Mushin: Clear my mind. Move into the attack. Throw. Practice over, and over, and over, and over again. Just train.
Sensei’s words have stayed with me to this day. Perhaps evolving as part of my DNA? Hopefully so. No, I’m not always calmest in the midst of the raging storm. Still, I do my best. I just train. I make it work, regardless of what comes at me. As with most things that Sensei taught, the value is applying the lesson outside the Dojo, in life.
When I interviewed with 5 Program Managers for a new systems engineering position at work, they asked me questions in rapid succession. It was on. I heard Sensei’s voice, “Throw one at a time.” No, I didn’t yoke the managers to the floor. Yet, I answered each question as authentically as I could. Then I moved on to the next question. If I didn’t know something, I said, “I don’t know.” Wait it out. Take a glancing blow, kind of. Calm in the storm.
The managers were gracious and rigorous for 45 minutes. Ironically, I had fun, too. Yes, I got the job. I enjoy my job.
When I met smart, pretty Jacqui for our Match dot com date at the movie theater, I got that she had expected someone taller. In full disclosure, I wrote that I’m 5’ 3” in my profile. I let go of “I’m a loser.” Jacqui was the gracious sport in continuing our date. She actually loved seeing “Wonder Woman”. She didn’t see many movies other than the ones on her in-flight business travel.
After the movie, we had fun, genuine conversation over dinner. She asked, “So you’ve never been married?” No, I have not. Maybe, whimsical props. She did yoga. I did Aikido. We both loved hamachi sushi and cucumber kimchee. Jacqui was a good kind daughter, who looked after her parents from Korea.
Jacqui spoke of the heartbreak of her cheating ex-husband. She expressed the joy of training to do missionary work in Africa. No, I wasn’t what Jacqui was looking for. I was just thankful that I got to spend a fun evening together. Jacqui was a beautiful human being. I hope that she found her next love story.
When I let go, I get to be me, my authentic self. So, whatever the surroundings, the circumstance I’m free to be. Over the years, I got that I do my best to get out of my own way. Maybe, I’m not always the calmest in the midst of life’s turmoil and inclement trials. Still, I’m as authentic as I can be, as human as I can be. Something we all can do. Something we all can practice.
Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true.” Throughout my trials and tribulations, I get: Love and forgive thine own self, too. Let go. Let yourself be. Just saying.
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