Calmness Wisest Way To Confront Adversity

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My first Aikido teacher and mentor Dr. Paul Linden was recently published in the Columbus Dispatch.  Here are some of the highlights of his article:

“Two concepts underlie Aikido as I practice and teach it.

First, emotions and attitudes are physiological events in the body, and, to receive an attacker in a peaceful way, the body must be trained to do so.

Second, the body moves with better strength and balance in a state of inner kindness and gratitude.

Practicing calmness when attacked carries over to stresses that aren’t attacks.”

Central to Dr. Linden’s philosophy is that kindness and gratitude are specific physiological states in the body. They are not merely emotional descriptors but defined physical conditions. Think about something that makes your heart smile. How does that make you feel?

Now compare that to how you feel on a day when everything goes wrong? You’ll see that your body feels dramatically different. There is a lightness and feeling of effortlessness to joy where sadness is filled with tension and weight.

The genius of Dr. Linden is that he is able to clearly define these physical states so that we can effectively emulate them ourselves. His definitions point the way, so that we can learn how to embody what matters to us most. Linden’s definitions transcend everyday emotional language to have us focus our own breath, posture and vision. Learning how to control these aspects of our body is the gateway to effective conflict resolution and a much happier life!

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