This week has been pretty crazy so far. Made the drive down to Oklahoma, by myself in a car with no AC on Monday night. Have been intensely job hunting, trying to finish up projects, reconcile feelings, have bumped into people that I haven't seen in years, among other things. Overall, its been kind of emotional.
Mainly, I am working on getting settled in at Sensei Nick's. I can't exactly say we've hit the ground running as far as martial arts is concerned, but that's probably not a bad thing. Having a few days to adjust and sort of plan things out has been pretty nice. I did a lot of job hunting this week and hopefully something will come through for me soon.
Later today we're going to solidify the uchideshi schedule and tomorrow we're going to start our practice run for the week.
In the mean time we've been sparring a bit and going over Heian Nidan. I really REALLY love kata. But I have to say, I've never had to struggle so much with learning a kata before. Sensei Nick is such a technical teacher, it really opens your eyes to how much some of the other schools are leaving out when they teach you these things. I cannot even begin to tell you how many things have been left out of my instruction prior to now. Aiki kata are different than kempo or karate kata, and even though Sensei Nick went over them in detail with me while I was studying under him in high school, it's not the same level of involvement as now.
Over the last couple days I have become increasingly aware that I am going to be the biggest obstacle I will have to face in my training. I am incredibly self critical and I get down on myself or discouraged very easily. I am usually pretty good about keeping after it and doing something anyway, but it can be difficult to focus and slow you down if you allow negative thoughts to take up space in your mind.
Sensei Nick sat down and had a conversation about this last night after we finished going over Heian Nidan. He said that fear and doubt are normal and that everyone experiences them, the trick is to be able to acknowledge those feelings, and then set them aside and continue to do what you need to do. To be able to see that part of yourself, take it for what it is, but not let it control you.
This all kind of goes back to Miller's blog post about yes and no people. People who are trail blazers and refuse to allow fear and negative feelings to hold them back. I want to be like that. Even if it scares the shit out of me, I want to continue on the path I've chosen.
I want to leave you with a quote Sensei Nick mentioned last night in our discussion. "With an intense, fresh and undelaying spirit, one will make his judgments within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side." Hagakure
Have a good weekend all, tomorrow the uchideshi madness begins so I'll be sure to keep you all posted.
~ Samurai Girl Sahara