You know something? I feel like I’m growing into something. I’ve crossed this dividing line. Maybe it’s like the Stanford Prison Experiment: You stick a guy in a black belt and hakama and he takes on the role that he feels is expected of him and then taking on that role changes his perspective.
I sit differently, I stand differently, I move differently and I’m more reserved. I feel like I’m responsible for these people now. They have to be able to look at me and see a dan grade, someone that they can look up to, someone who does things right and who is a role model, an example. I feel different too. I feel calmer, more focused, more relaxed.
There’s that body follows mind, mind follows body thing. I can’t really sit cross legged on the mat as easily so I sit in seiza. In seiza my back is straight, my palms are resting on my thighs and this makes me feel alert and then this feeds into my posture because I’m aware of my body. I stand up, rising straight up into stance, my movements are clean, deliberate, focused and I’m calm, centred, undistracted – almost meditative. I’m not here to have a laugh with you, although I won’t kill the fun, but I’m here to get you through your next grading, to get me to ready for mine, to bring us all to a pinnacle of achievement. I don’t want to be distracted from that.
The interesting thing is that I feel this bleeding into the rest of my life. I feel the distractions clearing and melting away like clouds in the summer sun. I feel this new focus emerging and a new sense of confidence and capability and it seems like I rediscover this every day and every time I step on the mat, every time I look in the mirror.
You know something? There is a brash, outgoing, side to me but there’s also a quiet, introspective, quite introverted side to me. I feel like now I can pretty much just be introverted and quiet now. Maybe it’s a feeling of not needing to prove anything or something. Maybe I’m just feeling calm…………
It’s weird and wonderful at the same time.