THIS WEEK’S TINY ACTION FOR BIG TRANSFORMATION: – STAY IN THE GAME!
I am back at the basketball court again. I am watching my growing girl running up and down the court with a terrible limp. She is playing her heart out. Can you recall a time you played like that? Grace ends up having her best game of her season. The team loses but she has won. Her ankle swells like a balloon, The doc puts her on crutches for a few days and says, “next time just don’t play injured,” I suspect medically he is right. However, as I have grown up and grow older, I learn we play through our heartaches and our pain. We learn we struggle a bit to play our best even on the days when everything is less than perfect. Otherwise how many days would we be off the bench at all?
The butterfly, “in training” as a cocoon, wiggles and struggles and dares to keep going until she emerges as her new being. She knows intuitively that she must do this or die. We, however, have minds and thoughts that get in the way. We may know intuitively that each time we step back from the game it can take another small bite from our spirit. But our minds will cheer louder, “Don’t play! You can’t win.” You don’t even deserve to win.” Or fill in a thousand blanks…Our fear of failing or succeeding wants to stop us at every turn.
I love this quote from basketball legend, Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
So this week, my tiny action for big change is to stay in the game. Not necessarily to be Michael Jordan and not to the detriment of your health, of course. But to the betterment of your self esteem. To not be defeated. How can we do this? – By creating a few new cheers. Here are a few of mine.
Trust your strengths.
If you don’t trust them – count them first.
Praise yourself. Pass it on.
Learn the rules of the game.
Bend a rule. Reshape as needed.
Know your heart’s definition of win and lose.
Sometimes giving up is our victory unbeatable.
Play the hand you are dealt and shuffle the deck with new attitudes.
Give to the game and watch the game give back double.
Keep your arms open to catch the ball.
Consider it can take as much energy to hold ourselves back as it does to get out on the field.
And don’t miss the moment. Because we rarely get instant replays. Once my sweet daughter stretched her tiny fingers upward to the sky with all her might just to be able to reach my hand. She was playing her heart out. Now when we hold hands, hers almost completely fills mine. And it powers the ball that she dribbles and tosses to her team mates and watches fly through the air. And I am so very grateful. For every moment I am welcomed into her world. For each experience she has and will have in her life playing her game and enjoying. And for my own life – for every minute the time clock is still running, the scoreboard comes up win-win; and I am playing my heart out. Even if right now I am on the bench “riding wood.”
With grace and gratitude,