True irimi is not to escape injury. Instead, we are willing to be injured and move in anyway. At the beginning, of each series of classe, I usually ask, “ Is it possible to protect yourself?“ What I am asking, about is the sense of making ourselves safe from harm. In my experience, protecting ourselves is not really possible, and, in my belief, protecting ourselves is not the point. The point is to keep living in a way that is compassionate, skillful, and creative. Being hurt is not a terrible thing – is is a fact of life. We can experience hurt and still go forward with an open heart. We can go ahead even though we are afraid to move. We do not have to wait until we are healed to love.

To be able to go forward at a manageable rate, we need to move in increments that will not put our system on overload. In Western culture, high achievment is respected – the younger we are and the faster things are accomplished, the better. We need to reeducate ourselves to consider one- to the three-percent as positive and effective change, rather than a failure. Our internal systems organzie themselves around homeostatic response; that is, we become easely habituated. Any extreme change sends our systems into overload and we have an impulse to return to what is habitual. We need to develop ourselves in incremetns that will not send our systems into a state of overwhelm. Instead of thinking about all that we have not yet achieved, what sould it like to say, „I am one percent or three percent better. This is great.“ When the governement raises taxes a quarter of percent it is thought as a major increase. If we were to get a five-percent pay raise we would be pleased. It is important to remember that small increments are movements toward success – anything that is more is helpful. And yet, if we advance three percent in our positive relationship with ourselves, the typical response is to focus on what we have not yet accomplished. These one- to three-percent increases do have a cumulative effect overall. We can take little bites because they are movements in the right direction. We need do develop a postive coach for ourselves.

Wendy, Palmer. The intuitive Body. Discovering the Wisdom of Conscious Embodiment and Aikido, p. 113-114.

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