Sunday, 25 June 2006


I have recently finished a very interesting book 'Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ' by Daniel Goleman.

It talks about 'flow' - when you are relaxed, yet highly focused & it feels so good because every thing is aligned & in harmony. I know I haven't experienced this many times in my life, as previously concentration was always paired with some level of anxiety & trying too hard.
My yellow belt grading in aikido was definitely this flow. Completely focused, but relaxed & very aware - brilliant feeling!
I guess I want to experience more of this for both my aikido & shiatsu. The book says it's when your brain activity actually decreases & every thing comes together.
For example, one surgeon was so focused on his operation, that he didn't notice part of the ceiling collapsing in!!

I passed my motorbike test in 1994 & only sold my bike last year. I know that I would normally be in flow when riding. Some how I don't get that when driving my car, but I guess I only have 5 years car driving experience in comparison.
Riding a bike like that is fantastic. It's this state of heightened awareness that make every thing so easy & I've also heard it likened to the trance-like state you enter during hypnotherapy.
I guess it's also relevant to scuba diving too. The more slowly you breathe the longer you dive, but you still need to be aware of your air/equipment & surroundings. I still breathe too quickly, but that'll come with experience.

I miss riding a bike. I assume it has an awful lot to do with this flow, so I'd like to experience it more else where. There are wonderful moments in aikido where my brain doesn't interfere, I'm relaxed & all of a sudden my partner goes flying off to return with a big smile on their face.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Intensive courses & temping

Slightly different to first planned, I did my Stage 1 by the residential option. Except I commuted each day as it's only a 40 min drive. This means you pack a huge amount of study into 2 weeks, instead of say once a week for 12 weeks (another option).

Going back to my temping job was a shock to say the least. And I've been getting a bit nervy, not even really anxious. I've only just worked out what's going on. I've just finished week 1 of my Stage 2 course today (more to follow). I think I had thoughts that I should know Stage 1 stuff 100% before I start the next part. However, there' s so much info & really, we'll practice stuff again & again until it's 2nd nature. I suppose all my other purely academic courses have been study, take exams before you move on.

Work is becoming a problem... I've never been this bored before, & seriously it's started to get to me & been tiring me out. After an intensive week of study, I feel better & more full of energy than when I started. Well, I'm going to talk to the boss on Monday, & if need be, leave & try another placement else where. Weirdly, work isn't my priority at the moment, so I can't let it interfere with my study & general well-being either. It's just to support my shiatsu & aikido habits! It's odd to consider work in this way, & it's taken me a while to adjust away from the career way of thinking. I'm sure other folk have had the same thing with career changes, especially moving into a completely different area.

Stage 1 course

Well, after attending the introductory day in January, I wait to hear about dates to study.
All of a sudden there's a possibility of a course starting in March, arrgh! (I was planning for the autumn) So it's a case of giving up my job & moving house in time (including getting another tenant).
Ta da!! All done, & after a bit of 'will the course run or won't it' business, I'm due to start on 27th March for a week & then again on 8th May for the next week. I even manage to get a temping job that fits in too.
Some people have asked me, "So, is shiatsu some thing you've always wanted to do?" And I've got some odd looks when the reply is, "No, only since January".

Stage 1 is also called the foundation course, unsurprisingly. We also start to learn Qi Gong to help increase sensitivity & ki/chi.
Foundation is made up of practical elements:
  • prone (back) techniques
  • supine (front)
  • side
  • Kidney & Bladder channels (inc. theory)
  • what is shiatsu?
  • basics about ki, channels & tsubos (gateways/cavities where ki can open to the surface)
  • intro to Yin & Yang
  • anatomy - bones & joints
  • intro to kyo/jitsu (fullness or excess/deficiency or emptiness of ki)
  • intro to Five Elements.
There's lots of practicing, talking & feedback during the course. Our heads are full, we're knackered, but satisfied & excited when the course is over.
A major plus is that the dates for Stage 2 are all agreed & paid for at the end too.

This is certainly not like any other course I've done before...

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Why blog?

Some one recommended blogging on the HealthyPages forum, as a way to advertise & start a web presence.
Guess I'm curious about the whole blogging phenomenon too; is it just navel gazing? Do I really have any thing interesting to say about aikido or shiatsu?
For all I know, all or most of my visitors did 'next blog' & then immediately skipped to the next!
Any constructive comments would be greatly appreciated for this blogging newbie :)