I have been browsing the web searching some material about women in Aikido and I have found a really inspiring quote on this site by the Aikidoka Coryl Crane, here is some information about her:
6th Dan, Shidoin, North County Aikikai
Crane Sensei began her aikido training in 1978 while at the University of California, San Diego, where she was studying for a visual arts degree. In 1981 she commenced studying with T.K. Chiba, Shihan. In 1991, she founded the North County Aikikai, presently located in Solana Beach. She is a certified instructor (shidoin) of the U.S. Aikido Federation Western Region, and has long been involved in its organization. Her study of the martial arts also includes Iaido, the art of the sword, and Zen sitting meditation. Aikido has taken her often to Europe, where she has taught in England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In 1999 she published “Aikido Conversations in Drawings and Words” which she co-authored with artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw.
The quote goes as follows:
"I think we're all inhibited in many different ways. And I see aikido as a process of dropping those inhibitions and releasing a spirit of aliveness and vitality, that you can say that is really that person, that is unique to each person. And I really believe that that's what aikido is about for all of us."
--- Coryl Crane Sensei
I find this observation really applicable to myself also. I feel most of the time really tensed on trainings and still need to find the path to set myself free. At the beginning it is the fall that causes you trouble and the unusual position of the body. The strange movements and names of techniques might make you feel uneasy. I do feel that easiness and lightness of mind and spirit once I am at home after the trainings. I still need to develop to reach that special state of mind that Crane Sensei is describing above while practicing aikido.