(This post was written by a senior student at Vermont Aikido.)

Aikido offers the unique opportunity to take a look at where we are in our lives, spiritually and emotionally, as we learn and grow within the walls of the dojo.  Are we joyous as we walk in the door?  Do we feel angry and irritated with our partners?  Are we looking across the room to see who we would like to train with next rather than appreciating the gift in front of us?  Are we looking at the clock? Are we avoiding anyone?  Is our movement rigid, or are we able to be flexible today?  Are we crying from frustration or taking pleasure in the learning process?

I think I have been around long enough to say that these are questions all aikidōka can ask themselves.  The answers do not tell us whether we are good or bad, or right or wrong.  They simply give us information about where our growth edge is that day.  What can we work on today so that we can better reflect our spiritual potential tomorrow?

Let’s remember that the opportunity to grow is wonderful and precious, and wherever we are in the learning process, whatever space we are in on a given day, it is reason to celebrate!