I have come across the word kotodama in my aikido practise. My understanding of it is that words have their own power and energy. I believe this means the language used in communication with others and our own internal dialogue can have a significant impact. The vocabulary used on the mat is one of positivity, and even if we move backwards, we are still extending forwards.
I aim to be kind and patient with others, but it has been my habit to deal with myself in a harsher, less forgiving manner. I have shocked myself at times as I would categorically not treat any one else like that!
I have recently been working to change my internal dialogue to one that encourages, rather than chastises. Some times I feel like I am talking to a child, but I think it is a learning process to undo a previously long-established habit.
The motto of Aikido Yuishinkai helps remind me to remain positive, and I was given it with the advice to recite it out loud each day:
I am mind itself.
If I hold positive thoughts in my mind, good things are likely to happen.
Holding negative thoughts in my mind works against my best interests.
Therefore, even if my body suffers physically, my mind remains optimistic.
Even if I encounter obstacles, my mind is never defeated.
Daily I fill my heart with thoughts of joy, gratitude and hope.
I face each new day with a bright and optimistic spirit,
which I express in word and deed.
I have faith in life, and life responds in kind.
Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder Aikido Yuishinkai.