The Murk


Is it necessary to have clarity in my aikido practice? It feels like I should, like I should have something to work on and focus on every time I step on to the mat. I don’t. Perhaps the almost two month long break when I was sick has knocked me off my game. Not only am I not experiencing clarity, but I’m also not feeling confident about my practice, like I don’t know what I’m doing. I know that my aikido practice comes in fits and spurts, has peaks and valleys, and that sometimes, even after all these years, I struggle with some of the techniques. I know that on some days a technique like shiho nage will come easily and on other days it will be the hardest technique I’ve ever done.

Now everything feels murky and clouded. Part of me wants to fight my way out of it, but another part wants to let the murk clear on its own. I heard that if you find yourself stuck in quicksand you should not fight, but relax, and that relaxation will buoy your body up to the surface. If you fight, of course, you’ll get sucked under. The relaxation and letting go of the need to control what is happening is what allows you to float to the top and to safety.

So that’s what I will do. I will let go and relax and allow the cloudiness to disperse on its own. I won’t force it. Who knows? Maybe what crystallizes will be something amazing.

What about you? Have you experienced times of cloudiness when you didn’t know where your path led? If so, what did you do?

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