Smooth and magical describes aikido done well. There is a subtle joyous quality to the movement. Once you experience it, you want it again and again just like in all great relationships.
Recently on the aikido mat I felt yanked around by my practice partner. I attempted to connect and blend as much as possible but I still felt yanked and a little annoyed. Curious, I asked my partner, “Do you feel you need to push or pull me to get me to move?” I was surprised with his response, “No, it felt very smooth to me.”
I smiled inside, thinking this happens so often in everyday communication. One person has an adverse reaction to what is being said or done; the other hasn’t a clue this is what the other experienced.
What happened next was interesting: His technique totally shifted to be more conscious of my experience. Yes! This is what I wanted.
I didn’t criticize his technique.
I merely asked what he was experiencing from me.
Whether you are in a position of authority or not, asking the other about what his or herexperience is of ‘you’ is powerful. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to have a ‘right’ answer, but it opens an awareness that allows transformation.
If your superior seems to be ‘yanking’ you around, ask him or her, “What can I do to improve?” Or, “Do you perceive I am dragging my feet?”Or, “How can I make this easier for you?” Situation and relationship dependent.
If your teenager is driving you nuts, ask him or her, “How am I doing as your parent?” This works!
It is important that you ask these questions from a place of center and curiosity or it could backfire. Let me know how it goes!
PS…thank you Darcy for reinacting this experience!