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June 28, 2007

Changing your habits by changing your subconscious mind(2)

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least four times within a month.


Changing your habits by changing your subconscious mind(2)

This continues last time’s discussion of “Changing Your Habits”

Concerning the practice of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, in learning proper actions it is essential to develop new habits. I’d like to tell you about practical ways you can change your habits.

To change your habits “depth of consciousness” and “repetition” are very important. First, let me talk about “depth of consciousness.”

The dramatic experiences that come from bad habits can completely transform a person. A friend of mine drank heavily for many years, he got very sick and drifted near the brink of death. Fortunately, he recovered completely and never drank another drop.

Experiences that touch your very existence enter the depth of your consciousness. Things that enter your depth of consciousness can change your habits.

But, such dramatic experiences are not the stuff of daily life. In the first place, dramatic experiences more often come from unavoidable circumstances than from choice. Because there are so many experiences that do not come by choice, you may not necessarily be able to change your habits by your method of choice.

The idea of entering deeply in to consciousness naturally involves the subconscious, but that is a complex topic that I’d like to talk about another time.

With that, “repetition” is now the important thing to talk about. If you set your mind firmly you can change your habit through the repetition of action.

Last time’s practice-and-validation was about changing the way you put on your shoes. There are many people who, after initially putting their mind to start something new, forget after several days. That cannot become “repetition.” It’s difficult to remember to do something new, so it’s likely that you won’t.

So, how can you achieve “repetition’?

At seminars and other events, I’ve had people do the practice-and-validation exercise for putting on shoes.

One person did this: put a dress shoe on the left, and a sneaker on the right, a deliberate choice to put different kinds of shoes on each foot. With that, it was easy to remember. This person succeeded in changing the habit. As an aside, this person did get some strange looks while walking around town like that.

Another person had a different approach.

For sneakers, put an eye-catching ribbon on the left shoelace, and for dress shoes, change the color of just the left insole. Then, put post-it notes all around the house with the message “left shoe first”, working very had to engage the subconscious. This successfully changed the habit.

There is not much meaning in changing the way you put on your shoes. But, there is a lot of meaning in changing your habits through your own will power. The various methods for doing it are invaluable.

Koichi Tohei sensei has said “In any field, the top people are those who continuously strive to do quality work without tiring.” “Repetition” is essential to adopting good habits, but determination and toughness alone are not enough to sustain the effort. In order to sustain, daily methods are indispensable.

Daily methods, they are a way of learning ki.


Let’s practice and validate the following:

[Things to practice]
1. Like last time, change your normal left-right order when you put on your shoes. Knowing you can do it without being conscious of it, change your habit.
2. Think of three methods for “repetition” and try putting them in practice.

[Things to validate]
1. Which methods were effective in changing habits?
2. Can you apply the methods to changing other habits?

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June 14, 2007

Changing your habits by changing your subconscious mind

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least four times within a month.



Changing your habits changing your subconscious mind.

Your personality is expressed within your Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido techniques.

The techniques of someone who tends to be hasty will be rushed. The techniques of someone who tends to be tense will be tense. Even if you imitate the forms, this will be evident.

This is true not only for negative personalities. Positive personalities are also expressed. This is not surprising since the “mind moves the body”. You can never excel in Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido if you just concentrate on technique. You can excel only by changing your personality.

When I give this advice to my students, I am asked, “Isn’t your personality something you’re born with?”

What do you think about that? Many feel “you can not change your personality”, and yet we want to change our habits. Therein lies the contradiction.

“Personality” is a “collection of habits.” Habits are a set of behaviors based on how you perceive and respond to things.

A shy “personality” is a type of “habit” where you find rationalizations for not doing something, and therefore do not act. Thus you cannot resolve the “personality” of being shy by looking just into the soul.

In this case it is important to say to yourself “I can do this” and then establish a habit of taking action. That is to say, you must establish habits for both your mind and your body.

It is true that we are born with a particular disposition towards some personality. However, that is not the entire story. If you are a person who can change your habits, you can change your personality.

What does it mean to “change your habits”?

“Changing your habits” does not mean, “stopping your bad habits”. Most people wonder how one can stop bad habits. This is what makes changing habits difficult.

Please imagine for a moment that ink is being added to a glass of water.

When you add the ink, the water becomes cloudy. It is difficult to extract the ink from that cloudy water. However, if you add clean water to the glass, drop-by-drop, eventually, the water in the glass approaches being clear again.

Bad habits are like the ink in the water. It may be difficult to remove bad habits. However, it is definitely possible to learn new good habits. By applying your subconscious mind, and by patiently learning good habits, you can minimize your bad habits.

This is what I meant by “changing your habits”.

The same can be said of Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido training.

Although there are many people who try his/her hardest to correct a bad habit, this is very difficult to accomplish. It’s probably discouraging when bad habits can’t be corrected readily. However, there is no need for discouragement. You simply need to make a new habit of performing the proper movements. Once you realize this, you progress amazingly quickly.

In order to change a habit, you need to start from small things, no matter how small, instead of from the larger things. When you are able to change your habits through your own efforts, this will lead to great confidence.

When you accomplish this, you will gain the conviction that “you can change your habits”. And then, changing your habits will become a source of enjoyment.

It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. For now, I would like for you to try to change a habit in your daily life. I will share with you the how-to of changing habits in the next article.

Let’s practice and validate the following:

[Things to practice]

1. Try to remember if you put your right shoe on first or your left. If you can’t remember, put your shoes on.
2. If you put on your right shoe first, make a habit of putting on your left shoe first. If you put on your left shoe first, make a habit of putting on your right shoe first.
3. Devise three plans to help you do this, and then put it into practice.

[Things to validate]

1. Verify that you can accomplish this without conscious effort.
2. Reflect on the technique that was effective in establishing this new habit.

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June 07, 2007

Listen To Others Well

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least four times within a month.


Ki-Aikido has five principles of Aikido with mind and body unification:
  
1. Ki is extending
2. Know your opponent’s mind
3. Respect your opponent’s Ki
4. Put yourself in the place of your opponent
5. Perform with confidence

We cannot practice Ki-Aikido without following these principles.

If you try to throw your partner forcefully, partner’s mind will resist. It is very difficult to throw a person whose mind is resisting.

To lead your partner and throw, it is important to interact with your partner in the ways that these five principles suggest.

If you have a selfish mind which says, “I will throw you”, you will collide with your partner. In this case it is impossible to lead your partner. However, if you accept your partner, you can lead him very easily. To know this feeling, it is the best to experience it. Therefore, please attend seminar of H.Q. or a Ki Society near you.

This principle also holds true in every case in your daily life.

For example, let’s say you have something which you want others to understand. If you struggle to convince them, this is as same as throwing others forcefully. Surely their mind will resist. Once their mind has resisted, you cannot lead them any more. This is the same as colliding with others, and you will not be able to throw them.

Even if you have fluency of speech, if you struggle to convince others, they will not try to understand you. If you want others to understand, you must accept them first. Basically, we say “Listen to others first.”

If you say, “Oh, this is and easy thing to do!” then please look more carefully at yourself. Do you really listen to your family and friends well? Does your family or friends agree that you listen to them carefully? Is it possible that only you think you listen to others well, but others do not have this impression?

We human beings do not listen to others as well as we think. Those who realize this will be those who listen well to others.

“Listen to others well” does not mean to just listen to others without words.

When I was small, I often quarreled with my mother. We bickered constantly. Both my mother and I concentrated on making the other understand. Therefore neither of us understood the other. Our quarrels became heavy. We gave my father (Koichi Tohei sensei) a good deal of trouble.

One day, I was called by my father. He told me, “Listen others first. What you want to say is next.” And, father added, “Listen to your mother in silence until she finishes.”

After that, I had a chance to talk with my mother. I remembered my father’s words and actually listened to my mother in silence until the end. However, the result was that my mother got even more angry and I had even more stress. I did what my father told me, but the situation got worse.

I reported to my father, “I did what you told me, however, the situation get even worse.”

Then, my father said with smile, “That's understandable. It's all over your face that you did not agree with her!”

Then, finally, I began to understand that listening to others means to accept other’s mind. After that, I tried to understand my mother’s words from the heart. As a result, my mother’s preaching became very short. I could lead her well.

My mother is not an easy person. Therefore, sometimes I still failed to lead her. However, there were less quarrels after that.

In this same way, I began to not collide with others when I did Ki-Aikido technique.

To accept and respect the other person’s mind, and so to lead others in our daily life, is as same as throwing others in the dojo.

In this way, I throw others everyday in my daily life, not only in the dojo.

This is the meaning of “have joy when throwing, and have joy when being thrown”.

Let’s practice and validate the following:
First, listen to others well. What you want to say is next. (This means not just to accept their idea, but to fully accept their mind)

The point of validation is:
As a result of listening completely and carefully to others, how does their reaction change?
Can you tell others what you want to say as a result?
 

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