Well, did you have them? You know, happy holidays? I did. After being away for a few months of teaching abroad, my wife came home a couple days before Christmas. Sure was nice spending time with family and friends just basically lounging around. As I get older, I realize this time of year has seemed to lose its magic. When I was a kid, the holidays were so much more exciting. Kinda sad, really. As we get older, life beats us up a little bit more and more every year. We hear of the suicide rate going up this time of year and all of a sudden, what was once an uplifting thing turns into a depressing, dark thing. How’d we let this happen?
This year I tried to turn that around a bit and really tried to enjoy it. Not in a childish, fake way, but a calm, fulfilled way. It still wasn’t like it used to be, but at least I feel I made a conscious decision to try to turn it around. Instead of being bitter that others had more than I had or wishing I could buy more stuff for my loved ones, I just tried to enjoy it for no reason at all.
Why should our happiness and fulfillment be justified? Why do we always have to have a valid, logical reason to be happy? I’m coming around to believe that we don’t. It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg. What comes first? Being happy, or the reason we’re happy? Do we need to do more stuff to make us happy, or do we need to be happy first in order to do the stuff that comes from that? Something worth pondering as we go into 2012, I guess. Here’s to a great one.
Aiki Living turns one year old today! Wow, can’t believe it’s been a year since starting this blog. For those of you who’ve been following it, you’ve seen it morph into a few different forms and formats, but I’m really happy with where it’s at right now. Writing about living the life of Aiki has changed my life and expanded my focus in countless ways. Feedback I’ve received by visitors of the site has been very positive, and I thank you for that. In the coming year of Aiki Living, I have some ideas for the site and am excited to see where it goes. I’d like to get more people involved in the conversation and hear some different perspectives. Look for more regular, random musings. Starting your day with an aiki intention can be great and that’s what this blog is intended for.
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I honestly think the ideas of Aiki are truly revolutionary and have the capability to change people’s worldview for the better. Why not share it, right? Also, as always, I encourage guest posts from anybody who has a story or new perspective of aiki-ness. They can train in Aikido or just be someone who has a positive message. Maybe someone who’s succeeded or prevailed against the odds, changed another life through their positive message, or been inspired by someone else who exudes these qualities.
I’d like to extend a happy birthday to the founder of the art of Aikido, O’Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba. What he created from years of strife and hardship, I believe, truly does have the power to change the world. Lofty goal for a martial art, for sure, but after training in the art for some time, I can see how it’s possible. It’s transformed my life and I’ve seen that transformation take place in many others’ as well. So here’s to O’Sensei.
I just want to take a few minutes to say thanks. I figured it was fitting being Thanksgiving and all. I Thank all of my friends, family, strangers, and enemies who have supported, subscribed, read, and spread this blog over the past 11 months. I know, a lot of you I promised bribes to if you read it, and I’m sorry I haven’t delivered, but… you’re still reading it, aren’t you? In all seriousness, thank you. Writing this blog has changed my life, and I won’t get all deep and cranberry saucey right here on ya, but please know, I appreciate all of your kind words of support. A lot of you have joined the conversation here at Aiki Living, and that’s great. I hope you’ve gotten as much out of it as I have. To all of my Aikido friends, I couldn’t be more thankful for a crazier group of aiki freaks than you. You’re the best, and it’s been wonderful growing with you on our journey through this great art. To all of my non-Aikido friends, well, you’re crazy too and I love ya. Here’s to a great Thanksgiving.
Why is it weird to meditate in public? It is. Think about it. You go to a park and see someone taking a nap under a tree or on a bench. No big deal. At that same park, you see a kid amped up on Mountain Dew and whatever else, with his mom screaming at him while his little sister lies on the grass crying because he just tested out his suplex on her. Not out of the ordinary. See someone meditating though, and you’re kinda like, wtf? It’s just kind of weird and out of place. Even for us who do meditate and are open to that kind of thing, it’s still kinda weird to see it in public in our western world. Why is that? I believe acceptance of it is growing, and although it’s not a big deal, I think it does say a lot about where we are. Complete unconsciousness is normal. Complete frantic chaos is normal. Relaxed introspection and practicing inner awareness is out of place in public. Just an observation.