As a child whenever I saw a rainbow after a storm I would put on my shoes and race out to find the pot of gold at the end of it. If I found it, it would be the solution to all our problems and we wouldn’t be poor anymore. My mother smiled at my naivety.
For months now there have only been one or two other students in class which made me really feel like an advanced student. I eagerly put on my gi, ready to show what I knew. Recently we got a bunch of newbies and I was working with a beginner on a basic wrist hold. They hold your wrist with one hand and you line up with their ki then step forward, pivot and end up at their side. Every time I tried to move I collided with the student allowing him to grip me tighter, getting me nowhere fast. I felt like such a dork. This is easy, surely the sensei’s never have this happen.
Later I was working on the same hold with an instructor in the ki class in Portland. Maxson Sensei is truly a master at understanding the use of ki. Needless to say I was having the same problem and he pointed out what I missed. You can not tense up as you move or you collide with your partner and give them something to fight against. You must relax and move while continuing to extend ki. I explained my previous failure with a white belt and he smiled knowingly.
“We all feel like that at times.” he sympathized.
In that moment I realized that chasing rainbows with a goal in mind is folly. The pot of gold isn’t riches or finding that perfect job, spouse or that degree. The real pot of gold is in the search itself.