Freedom means being able to choose how we respond to things

~ A. Olendzki

aikido, like buddhism, seeks to clarify the mind, find harmony, and uncover peace in the present. in many instances, these are only achievable if we have freedom.

freedom in such an instance, or the ability to chose, is not only being able to chose how we respond to things, it is choosing. by choosing, you’ve given yourself freedom. do not choose, and you abandon freedom. simple – yes. easy – not really.

hence why we practice.

to close, another wonderful referenceto freedom is invictus (by william ernest henley) which inspired nelson mandela…

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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