Today I had an opportunity to say a few words at the end of the seminar and now I can't remember what I said. :-)
I do know that I found myself feeling frustrated with my inability to communicate clearly. I often have the experience of speaking to a group about something and afterward knowing that what I managed to say was not nearly adequate enough to express what I wanted to say. It's interesting to me that verbal communication seems so clumsy sometimes in terms of making the connection with people in the same way that I experience on the mat nonverbally. I do experience connection in conversation, one to one. Speaking to a group however, is not easy. I use that occasion to practice keeping one point. That includes letting go of self judgement.
Finding the appropriate ideas and words to express myself clearly, is challenging. Self consciousness, nerves, whatever, pop up. And that just freezes me up and makes access to thoughts difficult. It's definitely a good practice for me. (I'm glad we're taking a break from talking after class. I needed it. Didn't know I needed a break but I did.) It's funny that I don't experience this so much anymore when I'm teaching aikido. Maybe because it's specific and focused in that moment and I know the topic. :-)
When I look at where I was in this one thing, speaking in front of a group, before aikido, and then look at where I am today, I know that aikido has helped me grow in confidence, self acceptance and courage. I understand more deeply how my aikido practice can be applied in my daily life. This is one of those ways. I'm very grateful.