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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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Nov 28, 2008

"This is funny..."

John Henry Holliday (Doc Holliday)

Above are the last words of legendary gunslinger, Doc Holliday; a dentist dying from tuberculosis. He led an adventurous life, gambling and drinking, living recklessly and hoping to die from a gun shot with his boots on, rather than from his disease.  Being fearless about death probably made him fearless with the gun, surviving all his encounters.  The irony did not escape this learned southern gentleman as he lay in bed with his bare feet, dying from his sickness instead of a gunshot; causing him to utter his famous last words.

How many of us spend a lifetime avoiding things, people, situations, or outcomes, only to eventually face what we've been avoiding anyway?  How much energy and effort do we use working against what we find in our lives, only to find it all in vain?

In Aikido, we practice working with what we are faced with, rather than against it.  Flowing with rather than clashing head on.  We turn away or enter into the heart of the force to blend with it instead of fighting it.  This is a challenging process as a fight or flight reaction is usual.  Even as a Sensei, I still work at improving myself and my technique; still correcting myself.  It is a never ending process.

Life is a series of opportunities to transform, redirect, amend, and improve ourselves.  It continues until the day we die.  Even death is a process of transformation.  There is no end to the process of becoming.  For instance, during my years as a broadcaster, all the people I interviewed or spoke to never wished to have worked longer or harder at the office.  It was always wishing to have spent more time with parents, children, loved ones, and family.  They echo the same sentiments: "If only I had known better, or changed my attitude to life... etcetera... etcetera."  Transformation is personal and begins within.

Is there something in your life you are trying hard to avoid?

See you in the Dojo.

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright November 2008: Rafael Oei)

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