Marc's Reflection on Aikido & True Play

A journey, a choice, from fear to joy

March 6, 2011 · No Comments

Excitement and or fear are my most common responses to change.

My professional life has been a protracted attempt to master my appearance–hiding, managing, controlling my fight or flight response; holding it in check and performing “as though” I am not in an adrenaline driven state.

Living in a control game with fear is reflected into all of my interactions. It generates tension and fear in others, and it is especially problematic for my teammates and for the people who report to me.

What if there was another way, a way to actually choose a non-adrenergic response? Is it possible that there is a peaceful (non-threatened) playful (play is not possible in a state of fear) flowing way of being with change and uncertainty?

Threat or Curiosity? Fearfulness or Playfulness?

It has become clear to me that there is such a choice–a choice always being made. The interesting thing is that the choice requires a movement from being in my head, where I analyze and interpret things as threatening (or not), to being in my body as I move in the moment in the physical world with many fewer threats than my head produces. This physical world in the present moment is dominated by some quite forcesgravity (a kind of attraction or love story between masses, one of which is me), balance (a dance between quite forces), breath (the steady rhythm of my life which reflects everything else) and extension (the physical intention to reach out and connect). Working with these quite forces requires only practice. None of these quite forces require words, in fact, words get in the way, unless the words flow from them.

It is the quietness of these forces that has worked against their use. Fear screams. Gravity, well… it is always there holding things together, like a good parent.

So, I cannot report that I have conquered fear (that approach would just exacerbate the problem), just that I finally have an alternative, and that the alternative is a set of simple practices, and I have found a community of people working with the same practices.

What have the early effects been? A much less hectic and stressed family life. An awareness of what is driving my feelings and reactions at work. The ability to be calmer and more of a team member at work.

Stress and fear just don’t add much that is useful to my life and my work. My journey continues. I am very optimistic. Those around me have commented that things are very different with me and them. I have a place and a way to practice true play–living in the moment with  joy.


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