Showing posts from July, 2015

An Aikido Story - The Cup of Tea

I recently traveled in Ireland for a couple of weeks. Irish people have an undeserved reputation for drinking a lot. People there do spend a lot of time in pubs, because pubs are social places where everyone gathers to catch up on the news, chat, and hear music. I think I saw more drunk people during two weeks in Japan.

During my trip I only saw one person who might have been drunk. But then again, he might have been mentally ill, or both.

I was having a cup of tea at an outdoor table. There were two young women sitting at a table near me. A man sat down next to them. He was obviously living a rough life - his face had deep creases, he had some facial ticks and grimaces, and he looked very sorry for himself. He started to harass the two women for money.

"Have you got a Euro? I need it to get the bus."

They said that they had just run out of cash, in the polite way we do when we don't want to admit that we just don't want to give someone money, whether we think we ar…

Just Keep Showing Up

I remember one time I was in the locker room at the Y with my friend Jan. We were putting on our aikido gi (uniforms) before class. There was a little girl of about seven in the locker room with her mom, changing after a swimming class. As we put on our black belts and tied them, the girl's eyes lit up with wonder.

"You're black belts?" she asked.

"Yes, we are!" said Jan, smiling.

I guess no matter how jaded you are, when you can impress a 7-year-old, it feels really good.

As the girl and her mom left, Jan looked at me and said quietly, "...and it's not as hard as you might think. All you really have to do is keep showing up."

Of course Jan was underplaying the hard work she's done to achieve a high level of mastery. However, she made a great point. There are times when the most important thing to do is to show up.

Whether you're writing a book, running a marathon, entering a violin competition, or just trying to get through your dail…