How am I limiting myself?

I have posted about past Aikido In Focus workshops. They are held at our dojo, and led by Dave Goldberg Sensei. Each (as the name suggests) focuses on one aspect of Aikido. I’ve done all that have been offered since joining the dojo, and each its own way has been life changing.

My first, just over a year ago, was called “Relax, It’s Aikido.” You can read about my experience of that workshop here. The work we did in that short morning session let me see there was a whole way of being I had unconsciously walled myself off from, and allowed me to regain access to that way of experiencing life.

So here we are with another workshop coming up this weekend. I signed up for it weeks ago. I’m looking forward to it in the way one might normally reserve for going skydiving, or doing a ropes course: Excited, nervous, hopeful, maybe a little scared, giddy… I try to balance this against the reality that this is just a 2-½ hour one-time thing, with one very human sensei leading it, and a varied handful of students. Who knows how it might go. I try to not get my hopes up about what could be accomplished in so short a time. But then my past experiences tell me that significant insights and changes are possible.

Here is the subject of this workshop:

In what ways am I getting in my own way?
How am I limiting myself?
What should I be “looking at” in my own practice?

Interesting. I don’t feel frustrated or stuck. I haven’t been on a plateau. I’m preparing for my upcoming 4th kyu test. I’m enjoying training – especially working with the brand-new newbies. I feel like I’ve been making decent progress. I don’t feel limited, or like I’m getting in my own way. Of course, I don’t suppose I’d see it on my own, even if I were, now would I?

Past Aikido In Focus workshops have been recorded on video, which we review together at the end. This one will not be. Instead it is to be a very personal training process, requiring “an open-minded and mature approach from each participant.”

It’s possible I will learn that I’m pretty much on the right track, and I should just keep up the good work. It’s more likely, however, that I will get my ass handed to me in one way or another.

In any case, I’ve been living in the question, “How am I limiting myself?” At the same time, I’m not trying to figure out in advance what I might discover. My experience of these workshops is never what I expect, and what I’ve learned about myself has usually had little to do with the stated subject. So I’ll just go.

I have no idea what I will discover, or if I will share here what I learn about myself. Whatever’s there, I’m open to seeing it.