So, some of you might not be aware, but I am a magician and videographer. I make short you tube films about Aikido, magic, calligraphy, philosophy...etc. You name it, I will give it a try.
I remember back to a seminar in the mid 1990s. A particularly powerful and intimidating Sensei came to teach my school the art of Aiki. After a few days of training, he asked if anyone wanted to get up an do some Aikido in front of the group. Almost paralyzed with dread, the entire room shut up. Until finally one young girl stood up and did her techniques. The teacher spent a lot of time with her in front of the group improving her methods. She just had to stick her neck out.
I feel that way with magic and martial arts. I stick my neck out. I film my work to let others see. I am good at both arts, but I am still a humble student on the paths. One thing that has amazed me in my time on the web - People can be freaking brutal behind the computer screen. People can be mean when they can get away with it.
So, I am in the middle of getting abused over my latest magic video.
Some guy on a magic site has had it out for me for years - an internet bully. Every time I see he has posted a note, a feel a flash of anger and tightening of my system. Invariably I quickly type a witty, sharp tongued and rude message back.
Then I hover over the send button. I ask myself - "Is this Aiki?"
Will this sharp toned accomplish any goal? Does this just add pressure to greater conflict? Is this just the beginning of an emotional attachment - to simple words on a computer screen. If I can't shield myself from negative attacks on a stupid web forum - how can I expect to remain Aiki on the mat, or when it really matters? How can I keep cool in front of a audience of 1000 people?
I have come to accept that a small minority of people will hate me for no good reason. I have come to see that my arts will never be accepted by everyone. But what is important is the practice...and the way I respond to critics and bullies. I can't control the disharmonic elements in my life but with practice, I can learn to control myself.