AikiCom can be defined as an approach that invites us to discover and live the Aiki attitude. This attitude is characterized by a form of martial kindness. AikiCom is a personal development approach advocating the application, in our daily lives, of the principles of aikido to communication —with communication being understood in the broadest sense of the term. By this, I mean any form of exchange with others, with the environment, and with ourselves. We are communicating beings, the product of a long period of evolution that gave us awareness, the ability to conceptualize and to give meaning to our experience and to share it with others.
Thus, when I communicate with a person, I share my view of the world and I express what I want as an autonomous being, endowed with awareness and therefore able to express my free will. Without the awareness of being me, I cannot even imagine the meaning of “to want,” “to feel like,” or “to desire.” My awareness lets me know the meaning of the word “I.” This concept contributes to forming my identity, which distinguishes me from the rest of the world. It makes me unique throughout my life, even if I change physically, my feelings follow one another, and my thoughts evolve over time as a result of my experiences.
I also communicate with my environment. I am constantly subjected to an unceasing stream of stimuli that will confirm or disprove my internal representation of what I believe the world to be. This map of the world that I keep in my memory allows me to give meaning to my experiences and, depending on whether this meaning is agreeable to me or not, sensations will arise in me that create my emotions. If the stimuli call to my mind something dangerous, I will feel fear; if they make me think of unfair treatment or a frustrating situation, I will feel anger; if they make me aware that I have lost something, I will feel sadness, etc.
Finally, I communicate with myself when I am torn between different options and I’m having difficulty deciding what to do. We often live as though we were made up of several parts. There are frequently times when we want to change something in our life and come to the bitter realization that, in spite of our desire to change, we are continuing to behave as we did before. Everything plays out as though a part of ourselves wanted to change and another acted to maintain the status quo. Our mind is the product of the incredible ability of our brain to connect experiences with each other. We are thus able to think, but also to think that we think and even to think that we think about the fact that we think. This is what mathematicians call recursiveness, which can be defined as the ability to apply a function to itself.
All these forms of communication connect us with others, with the world, and with ourselves.
We are aware and unique beings. The part of ourselves that we call the ego tends to intensify this feeling of being unique, of being endowed with willpower that we bring to the world in order to control our experience. However, very early in our childhood, we become aware that we do not master everything. We do not even master what takes place within us.
It is at this moment that the Aiki attitude comes into play in our relationship with the world, as an individual, in our interactions with our environment, and with ourselves. We can rebel and struggle against everything that thwarts our wishes or look for the path that blends energies and allows us to go with the flow of life.
As you will have guessed, AikiCom unwaveringly chooses the second option, to “go with the flow.” It’s not about letting things happen, or enduring, or being passive, but rather doing the right thing. It is about not forcing the course of things, but to make us be a part of life’s flow, aware of the fact that we are not as separate from the rest of the world as our ego believes.
If it were limited to these slightly “New Age” philosophical considerations, AikiCom would be nothing more than a pleasant way of filling late-evening conversations. The issue for us is to live our daily life according to aiki principles. Our relationship with the world can either drain our energy and exhaust us or give us the impression that we are surfing on a wave that is carrying us along. AikiCom helps us to move away from the first option so that we can live in the second one.