Can you just, for a few minutes, be ok. With everything. Don’t tell anyone. Keep this a secret. Just sit there and be ok. Be ok that your life may be horrible right now. Seriously. Close your eyes and breathe (after you read this, of course). Be ok that you have the best life in the world. Be ok that you drive a hooptie. Be ok that you drive a Porsche. Be ok that you can’t afford your lifestyle. Be ok that your friends never listen to you. Be ok that you have no customers. Be ok that you are incredibly fortunate with your life and those in it. Whatever your situation/viewpoint is… Just.. Be… Ok.. It’s just where you are right now. It’s a blip in time. Go ahead, try it. Get crazy, you may have never done this before.

As you sit down to do this, things get really, amazingly light. You’re not denying that things may be really good or really bad, you’re just ok with it for now. This doesn’t mean you’re powerless. You’re putting your mind into a place of acceptance where real change can happen. Keep in mind I didn’t say tolerance. Acceptance, or ‘being ok’, is different. You’re allowing a greater awareness from yourself to take over from which to move from. Be fully comfortable and at peace with whatever. Then go. Now you can move in the direction you desire from this more balanced position.

We go through most of our life being not-okay with things. Out of balance. Our beingness determines our outcomes. Be ok.


Thanks to soukup for the image!


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Aiki Improv

I love our dojo.  I hadn’t trained in months except for a few sporadic classes here and there, but I was able to train the other night and am so glad I did.  It was improv night.  I saw the post for it on the dojo’s Facebook page and had no idea what to expect.  Vince Sensei had Michael Lewis, the instructor with our local theater improv company, Empire Improv, in  to guest teach.  It was awesome.  We did skits and drills that they do, and, I must say, it was very aiki.   I won’t go into detail about all of the drills we did, but there were a couple underlying principles I picked up from the class:

  • Listening – In improv, it doesn’t usually do you any good to think about what you’re going to say in advance because the effectiveness of the dialogue depends on the energy of your stage partnerin the moment.  You have to be fully listening, with your ears and intuition, for what your partner brings and use that energy to continue the scene.  If you’re in your own head thinking about what to say before the moment arises, it won’t mesh well with what’s going on in the moment and the energy will be thrown off.  I naturally tried to think about what to say a couple times and it froze the energy big time.  It worked out better if I was open to what my partner was giving me.  So very Aikido.
  • Always be moving forward – With the drills last night, I learned that once the energy stops, the scene’s shot.  You have to have such an empty mind to do this effectively because any thinking slows you down, and if you don’t say your line with the right timing, the energy drops and the scene’s done for.  If you are going to freeze, it must be intentional for emphasis.  You always have to be moving the scene forward and, in a way, saying yes to whatever comes up, no matter what.  Drawing back at all, freezing, or resisting is penalized with blank stares and a horrible stutter as you stammer out your line.  I know this by experience from last night.  Any hesitation is detrimental.  Again, so very Aikido.
Improv Aikido.  Brilliant idea by Vince Sensei, for sure.  Another great thing about the class was that my good friends Dan Messisco and Geoff Yudien stopped by on their way to Boulder, Co for a seminar.  Their first time training in Reno and they got to experience the hilarity.  The art of improv is definitely worth taking a look into for both Aikido and life off the mat.


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Cutting the Fat

The busy culture.  “Hey, how’s it going, ya staying busy?”  “Sorry I couldn’t get back to you, I’ve been crazy busy lately.”  Busy this.  Busy that.  It’s almost like a rite of passage in society.  If you’re not busy, you’re probably not living a productive life.   What are we really doing, though, in all our busyness?  The hamster in the wheel is busy as well, but is it really productive?

Sometimes I feel like that.  But what am I really getting done that matters?  Am I just going through the motions because it’s what I ‘should’ be doing?  The rat race is exhausting.  When getting caught up in it, we need to stop and reflect inward.  The question we must ask ourselves during these ‘busy’ times is:

“Is this necessary?”

Is what I am  thinking right now necessary?  Is what I am doing right now necessary?  If not, what is necessary?  Why is it so hard to do that which is necessary, but so easy to do the other stuff that is mainly just bullshit?

Imagine what you could get done if you only did the stuff that was necessary.  I’m not saying we should just work, work, work.  Spending time with your friends or loved ones may be necessary.  Reading a book that helps our situation may be necessary.  More sleep may be necessary.  Leisure may be necessary.     Just be sure it’s necessary.

It reminds me of sword training.  In Samurai sword duels, there was no room for any moves, thoughts, emotions, twitches, or anything that wasn’t absolutely essential to the task at hand (preserving your life… which usually meant taking the one facing you).  Any wasted movement or wayward thought was an opening for your adversary to cut you down.

Meditation for them was for cutting the fat of their minds and, in turn, physical movements, and, in turn, way of life, in order to survive and lead the best life they could.  It had nothing to do with ‘manifestation’ or ‘the law of attraction’ or materializing that brand new red car, concepts which the charlatans of our day have made a lot of money on (and bought their own red cars).   I digress… anyways…  the best Aikidoists I’ve trained with barely seem like they’re moving at all.  Every movement is concise and necessary.

Life is short.  Do the stuff that matters.  Cut the fat of everything else.  Do great work.  Reflect inward often to constantly re-evaluate, rinse, repeat.


Thanks to  dcafe for the image!



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As you go through your day, look around and see what kind of stuff flies with people.  Like this guy.

Stealing bikes in broad daylight in New York City.  Dozens of people walking right by.  No notice.  No concern.  No questioning.  Just blatant avoidance.  Nobody wants to confront the fact that there may be a thief in their midst.  Nobody wants to deal with the ramifications of possibly dealing with a violent criminal.  A lot of things could go wrong there.

The bike thief is one thing.  That’s obvious. Seeing the video made me think of all the stuff I avoid in my life.  We all have our issues.  If we zoom out a bit, we know there are things that are messed up in our relationships with others as well.  Our spouses, bosses, friends, baby-mommas.  Why aren’t they resolved?  Have we met the energy and handled it?

It’s not easy to do, but it just takes doing it.  Then it’s simple.  Thinking of this made me start with myself.  How do I carry myself?  Why am I not confident in these situations?  Why am I over-confident in these other situations?  Why am I poor?  What keeps me up at night?  There are usually plain and simple resolutions.  The reason we haven’t resolved them is the same reason that the people in Manhattan walked right by the thief.  We avoid them.  We don’t want to get messy.

It’s not really that bad, in most cases.  Our minds make it out to be way harder than it really is.  True, genuine self-awareness comes from slaying these dragons.

When’s the last time you met the energy and taken on an issue straight away?  Was it that bad?  How did you feel afterwards?  Does it get easier to do after time?  I’m curious.  Leave your comments below or email me.  Meet the energy.  Stop avoiding.


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ya know what you should do….

I hate that. “You know what you should do…”. Always uttered by  busy bodies trying to make it seem like they’re helping with the problem. This usually happens in meetings or social groups when more than two people gather in order to plan to accomplish something. This certain someone usually comes to the meeting with four or five ‘great ideas’.

“You know what you should do,” they say with excitement, “It’d be soooo easy to do this and do that and go back and do that again, because it’s so ugly right now, and it wouldn’t really take that long or that much money to…” Wow. It took you all of 2 seconds to knee-jerkishly dream up that idea before spewing it out on the table for us to clean up. Thanks.

Here’s an idea. How bout’, instead of puking out these half-baked ideas, which are apparently so great, how bout’ you fucking DO THEM. Sure, tell us about them. Make sure they’re good ideas. But execute. Not so easy, right? Oh, that’s right, you never sat down and rationally thought through just how much money, time, and effort that would take. You never thought if it was worth expending all of that money, time and effort to achieve whatever result they you were suggesting.

I think this comes from school. The teacher liked you a lot more when you raised your hand and spouted off the most answers. The more bullshit you could verbalize in front of the group, the more brownie points you got. Way to go.

Don’t tell, do. Don’t suggest, do. Shut your mouth and take action. If you really need to collaborate with the group in order to do it better, please, go ahead. Other than that, tell us what you’re going to do, and do it. Suggesting is one thing but actually doing is another.  Do the aiki thing.  Get it done.

P.S. This post isn’t directly pointed at anyone I currently know. I have experienced these people before in my days and was just talking to my wife about them the other day. Ghosts from the past is who inspired this one.

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