Four-year old Jenny decided that she wanted to learn to fly. It seemed easy enough for her to do, because even the birds do it. So, she stood on her couch, started flapping her arms and JUMPED. Her first attempt was not entirely successful.
She thought that because birds have feathers, that must be the missing ingredient. She found two feathers and confidently clutching them in her two hands, she JUMPED again into the air. Jenny later told her mother that the feathers had definitely helped. (a story by Dan Millman)
If we can approach training as a little child with an unlimited, open mind that is not boxed in by previous labels -- clumsy, klutz, not a jock, too small, too big, etc. -- think what we could accomplish. As a child we had the "pure potential" to learn anything within our human capacity.
I remember as a Brown Belt trying to learn the "dreaded" (in my mind) Seisan jump-back. I would get to that point in the kata and my back would lock-up, my arms and legs would become heavy. I told myself I was too heavy to do so. My Sensei and Sr. Instructor at the time and long since recognized the ways in which I sabotaged my training and asked why do I continually box my mind in?
I thought long and hard about this statement and began to look at other ways that I did this in training. I remembered the childhood story of the little train who kept saying "I think I can" as it trudged up the hill.
Everytime I approached the jump back, I said to myself I KNOW I CAN, I KNOW I CAN ... it took almost a year and a half back then of saying this in my mind, but I was able to execute the jumpback. Then, I was able to let go and clear my mind (Now, I'm spending the rest of my life learning to perfect it.)
As my mind becomes more discplined and freer my heart becomes more open and my body becomes more alive. All is truly is in Sanchin.
[This message has been edited by Jackie Olsen (edited 06-26-99).]