What does it mean to “take your Aikido off the mat”? As your Aikido skill develops in the dojo, is it also helping you to develop your “life skills”? Just how much is your practice impacting your life? As part of my “Aikido & The Evolution Of Response” blog series, I recently did a Facebook Live broadcast that gets to the heart of these questions; namely “3 Life Lessons From Aikido.”
This Facebook Live video (see below) is an extension of my last blog post on “10 Way Centering In Aikido Helps You Grow”. In that post, I spoke about several “life benefits” that result from an intentional centering practice. Especially in relation to Aikido and your survival instinct.
The fact is “centering” is a very important station on your developmental journey in Aikido. It’s so important that you could spend years developing, and enjoying the benefits of this station. However, there are further stations along your Aikido journey to be developed that will profoundly impact your life.
In the below Facebook Live replay, I touch the following “3 Life Lessons From Aikido.”
- From stress to center: as an Aikidoka the first move in any stressful conflict is to turn in, mindfully bringing your attention to your breath, to your “hara” (your belly) and creating an inner container for the inner stress and fear.
- From center to connection: once internally established in your center, energetically extend outward into connection with the person who is the source of conflict. Connecting with the center and open awareness allows you to have a greater responsiveness, as well as an intuitive understanding of the other’s desires, needs, and intentions. Responding to a person’s intention, rather than their “attack” significantly increases the potential to resolve the conflict, rather than to perpetuate it.
- From connection to harmony: Harmony in Aikido is not something that you can “do”, but is rather is the result of your “skillful means” in dealing with conflict. Being functional and competent in how you deal with conflict determines the end result. And being centered and connected are pre-requisites to returning to harmony and restoring wholeness.
These “3 Life Lessons From Aikido” are very simple (but not easy) and incredibly profound. Even though we can practice these lessons in Aikido for years, their greatest impact is when you take these lessons off the mat and into your life. Because then they truly become “life lessons.”
As always I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Just leave your comments below the video.
Question: What “life lessons” do you take from your Aikido practice? Watch the above Facebook Live replay and join the conversation by leaving your comments below!
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