“Aikido & The Power Of Choice” is the 3rd video in my teaching series on “Aikido & The Evolution Of Response”, my developmental system for having greater awareness, connection, and creativity in the midst of stress and conflict. Be sure two previous videos on “Aikido & The Survival Instinct”, and “Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification” if you haven’t seen them yet.
Let’s Start With Looking At Rockets
It’s quite common these days to see another rocket being shot into space. It is easy to forget how incredibly difficult it is to make such a journey. So many things can go wrong, and so many things MUST go right. If some very complex conditions are not just right the whole thing falls apart. One of those crucial conditions is the fuel and its relationship to gravity.
As it turns out, gravity is at its strongest the closer the rocket is to the earth. This means that 80% of the rocket fuel is needed just for the first 20% of the journey. It takes a tremendous amount of lift for a rocket to break free from the earth’s gravitational pull.
The “gravitational pull” of our Survival Instinct
I like to use the rocket as a metaphor for evolutionary development in relation to stress and conflict. It is incredibly difficult it to make the developmental journey from survival instinct to your greater potential. There are so many things can go wrong, and so many things that must go right. The developmental conditions need to be just right.
The first condition in this journey is that you must learn to work with, overcome, and integrate your own survival instinct. This begins with appreciating the hundred’s of thousands of years of hard-wired evolutionary momentum to survive. The fact is, that when you are confronted with stress and conflict, that momentum will pull you into your lower instincts quite automatically. That’s the bad news.
There is good news, however. It won’t take you hundred’s of thousands of years to break free of the pull of survival momentum. But it will take some effort. And just like the rocket, where 80% of the fuel is for the first 20% of the journey, you will need the fuel of intention and effort to break free of the evolutionary momentum for the survival instinct.
Aikido & The Power Of Choice
So what exactly is the fuel needed to lift us out of the lower instincts and into our higher potential? Many of the “awareness” practices we do in Aikido are like fuel: grounding, connecting, listening, and centering (my next video will be all about centering). But one of the most crucial “fueling practices” is none other than the “Power Of Choice.”
Here are some of the benefits you will gain from the Power Of Choice
- You will have a clear and distinct understanding of the low road survival reactions, and high road intentional responses to conflict.
- You will govern yourself with a moral and ethical code (don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, etc.). Like Aikido’s injunction “Masakatsu Agatsu” – True Victory Is Self Victory.
- You will live more intentionally, and deliberately – especially in the face of stress & conflict.
- You will be more straightforward & honest in relationships.
- You will take responsibility for your fear, and your fight, flight, freeze impulses.
Power Of Choice Is Your Only True Power
The Power Of Choice is the only place that you truly have power. This is because it does not come from any external source, but rather from within your own inner intention. It is not dependent on anyone else, nor external conditions.
The Power Of Choice is not a power you hold over anyone else. But rather it is an internal power you yourself hold ( in this case over your own survival instincts). No one can give it to you, and no one can take it away from you.
For this reason, it is your only true power. And as it turns out, it is the exact power you need to lift your self upwards from your lower instincts, and towards the awakening and development of your higher intelligences.
The Necessity Of Effort
Overcoming the survival instinct and placing your self on the path towards your higher potential does indeed take effort. Just like the metaphor of the rocket fuel, where 80% of the fuel is used for the first 20% of the journey.
But don’t think its only hard work. You also need to balance your practice of effort and control, with freedom and letting go. And just like the rocket, as you move into the higher developmental stages, they begin to take less effort and are you’ll experience more freedom and emotional agility in the face of stress and conflict. But it all begins with engaging the Power Of Choice.
Question: How does the “Power Of Choice” apply to your Aikido practice? Watch the above video replay then join the conversation by leaving your comments below!
To help you go a bit deeper into this teaching on “Aikido & The Power Of Choice” I’ve created a gift for you! Click the link below to get your free PDF reference guide and worksheet on “Aikido & The Power Of Choice.” Just CLICK THE BOX BELOW!