Welcoming adversity

By Jon-Paul Oliva, Multnomah Aikikai

On Friday afternoon, May 25, 2012, we discovered a water leak in the women’s bathroom at Multnomah Aikikai that had gone undetected for over 12 hours. Despite member’s best efforts to shut off the water and clean up the affected area, the leak had overrun the bathroom, spilling out into the women’s dressing room and a portion of the dojo foyer.

To make matters worse, the water had permeated behind the bathroom vanity and much of the drywall was a total loss. In the days that followed, members helped to triage the affected areas, removing carpet and cabinets, performing demolition and clearing out the women’s dressing room to thoroughly dry out the space.

In the aftermath of the flood, we held a general membership meeting to discuss the way forward. Members quickly decided that it was a chance to embrace the event as an opportunity for change. We set about drafting plans for creating some much needed storage space, reconfiguring the bathroom entrance to allow separate access from the foyer area and creating a new office space for our chief instructor, Suzane Van Amburgh. Once we had a clear plan for remodeling the damaged space, work quickly commenced.

Thanks to the hard work of our members and some gracious assistance from our landlord, our home of over 20 years is now quickly transforming into a more optimal space for training. Our dojo community is strengthened as members share in the responsibility of maintaining the training environment during construction, selecting new bathroom hardware and fixtures and budgeting for the project expenses.

As we near completion of this unexpected project, it’s very clear to us that welcoming this unexpected adversity (in accordance with Ki-no-nagare principal) was critical to our success, and allowing the event to be a catalyst for larger change is very much in keeping with the spirit of our daily practice!

See more photos of the Multnomah Aikikai project here on Facebook.

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