The Gift of Energy

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When attack becomes dance, everything is seen as a gift of energy.”

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That sounds great, doesn’t it?

Couldn’t we all use a little more energy from time to time? I know I could. Right now, for instance, I have been bone tired. The kind of tired that sneaks up on you and slams you. So you find yourself sleeping until noon or going to bed earlier than usual. I could definitely use the gift of energy like most days, right?! Do you have days like that? Weeks?

The martial art Aikido (The Way of Harmony) teaches us to see everything that comes our way as energy to be danced with. By centering and extending our ki (life energy) we connect and blend with the energy of attack, making it a part of us. We redirect it from center, keeping ourselves and our attacker safe from harm.

How this elegant metaphor applies to situations in our personal and professional lives is a continuing source of study and fascination for me. One of the ways I work at integrating Aiki principles into my life is by sharing mindfulness and relaxation here on my beauty website.

So I sit, wondering how I can dance with this attack of fatigue. Even centering doesn’t stop the feeling of tiredness. I have no ki to extend (it seems to have retreated to the innermost recesses of my system). The only thing I can think to do is to acknowledge and embrace.

But that, at least, is a beginning. In years past, I would not acknowledge being overtired. When I was doing too much, I would often ignore the signs and keep on going anyway. I plowed through what needed doing with half a spirit and wore myself out. I probably could have just embraced and accepted the fact that I was not on the up and up. Instead I would be ill-tempered, depressed and depressing to be around. If I can’t acknowledge what’s going on, whether it’s a cold or a problem at home, I surely can’t embrace it. By this I mean make it a part of me, connect with it so that I can begin to look for solutions.

Most of our conflicts, internal or external, would resolve themselves if we would only take this first step – acknowledge them! But because we see them as negative, we immediately resist by fighting or fleeing. If I can see what comes my way as energy, with no positive or negative charge other than what I give it, I can be more curious about it. As unwanted as it may be, there’s definitely more power in dancing with it than in resisting it.

As for my fatigue and tiredness, I’m still trying to learn if there’s a gift here somewhere. Let’s see – I’ve already shared with my siblings and my hubby that I am under the weather and that I should not be so hard on myself. I have what you would call a Type A personality and if you know about Type A personalities, we keep going…and going…and pretty much run ourselves ragged until our bodies let us know we can’t. So I am embracing my fatigue and tiredness, acknowledging my body signs and lastly saying “No” to huge projects. Also getting some much needed rest. I may not always know what the energy offers, but when I can ask the question “Where’s the gift?” I’ve taken a step in a new direction.