Category Archives: Personal Growth
“The bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly”
Have you ever wondered if those who post quotes on their social media sites actually read and truly live and believe in these quotes?
Are we posting them to inspire others or ourselves? Are they lashing out in anger, denial, crying out for help, griefing the death of a loved one or their favorite basketball team that didn’t make it into the final four of March Madness(no worries- mine is still in there- GO UNC!),- or deflecting upon others what we need to see or change within ourselves? Maybe our intentions are to bring about positive change in this world or open one another hearts and minds to a new perspective.
Perhaps it is all of these.
When scrolling through the other day, I came across this all too familiar quote and stopped to reflect on it. While idle gossip rarely serves any good purpose, there ARE plenty of good reasons to discuss people.
I discuss with my students Martin Seligman and people on campus who radiate positivity.
The children I mentor at the abuse shelter discuss who is being nice to them.
I discuss people who have inspired me to serve a purpose bigger than myself, pried opened my heart to the possibility of love again and those who share a mutual affection for nature.
I discuss great warriors, writers, teachers, coaches with my son.
What is important to keep in mind when scrolling through our social media feeds at lightening speed, is that we always have a choice of how we react and respond to it. If you use it to make you better, you’ll be a winner every time!
Have you ever felt like life keeps beating you down? Been dealt a bad hand? Had your heartbroken? Fallen ill with no support? Or perhaps hard financial times have knocked on your door more than once? The light that paves the way towards your dream has all but faded?
Yep, that’s what I thought…
Now think about a time when you were able to jump over that hurdle, cross that bridge and win the fight or know someone who did. How did you or they do it?
Chances are, someone was in your corner and you had the will to get back up. I used to think growing up and as a young adult that I could handle all of life’s challenges on my own. Man, was I wrong! Most often, it was lack of trust in others, my own pride and stubborn ways that kept me from accepting help or support- I. needed. no one.
I finally came to my senses that the only way I could overcome my obstacles, serve a purpose other than myself and strive to reach my dreams was two fold- work hard and have a team of supportive people by my side. We are not alone in the fight.
This is not to say that everyone should throw the towel in and rescue you from yourself and your troubles- struggle can bring tremendous personal growth. This is never more true right now than with my teenage daughter who wants everyone to give and do everything for her(yes, the word entitlement comes to mind). However, I am her Mickey- she just doesn’t realize it- yet!
Mickey was always there to push Rocky past the point of comfortable, work hard for what he wanted and move in a direction that not only led to wins in the ring but in life. In fact, most of the characters in the Rocky movies all played a different yet vital role in motivating him- especially his opponents- have you seen Ivan Drago?!
This David and Goliath fight was not only to avenge Apollo’s death but more importantly it was a brilliant metaphor of how big life’s challenges can be- yet- if we have the will to win and the right people in our corner, we can be victorious.
You may be wondering how you find your Mickey?
“I own my words, thoughts and actions.
I don’t own your reaction to them.
I don’t own your words, thoughts and actions.
I own my reaction to them.”
Opening day for another great season of baseball.
As it does each year, it brings with it the reminders of why we love the game…
The National Anthem played while the boys stand there with their hats held across their hearts, the smell of burgers and popcorn fill the air, volunteers everywhere, little siblings running up and down the bleachers-laughing, screaming, crying because they just dropped their ice cream-parents cheering for each and every kid on the team as if they were their own.
Yes, a sense of family is born each season- and with that, means teaching the boys to be humble for days that end with a win and dust off the clay when losses come their way, learn from them and keep on, keeping on. I venture to say this is true in most aspects of our lives.
What made today really awesome not only for my son but for all the players and parents was the umpire.
Charles is unlike any other. We have had the pleasure of getting to know him for a few seasons now. An Army veteran and former player himself-once upon a time was recruited and played for a Minor league team with dreams of making it big before repeated injuries set him on a slightly different path. Charles has a true passion for the game, and brings with him a genuine care and concern for each and every player. Often taking time to offer words of encouragement, give specific pointers, strutting his goofy dance moves on the field, always calling a fair game and keeping the kids and parents laughing with his amazing sense of humor and love of life.
He serves as a wonderful reminder that regardless of the obstacles we must overcome and where we work, we can do it with passion, to the best of our ability and seize every opportunity to make meaningful connections with others.
I thank him for his service to our country and to the kids in our community especially #42.
In the shadow of ourselves we worry not. We punch the time clock promptly @ 5 pm and hurry home to prop our feet up and forget about the day. Not a minute more will we exert ourselves for that crappy paying job. In the comfort of the shadow, we proclaim the police or local neighborhood watch group will take care of the recent string of burglaries wreaking havoc all around us. Never does it occur- that we should stand guard.
The shadow is our safety net; it is what author Steven Pressfield refers to in his book The War of Art as Resistance. Resistance is the consummate lover of fear, rationalization as to why you can’t or won’t do what your heart longs to do. This clever enemy will suffocate your soul with self doubt and familial critics.
It is a slow and sinister dance with the devil disguised as your Muse.
Steady your gait, feet properly aligned, eyes fixated on the rope, slow your breathing. Yes! You’ve done it. You peer back at the tightrope with great adulation. The rope is 20 feet off the ground and the net gleams with pride. With a sly grin and a wink of the eye, Resistance calls it a night. His work is done.
Nik Wallenda, the American acrobat has set nine Guinness World Records walking tightropes and riding bicycles at great heights soaring far above packed soil.
He got out of his way and chucked the net.
Ever breathed in the endless beauty of Yosemite National Park? Walked quietly among the Badlands?
Teddy Roosevelt stepped out of the shadow of his unspeakable grief and preserved these natural wonders and wildlife into an everlasting gift of 150 million acres of national forests, created the USFS and many national parks throughout the land that we still enjoy today.
Whatever calling or gift we possess within us- story teller, healer, protector, acrobat or conservationist must be excised from the soft silhouette and catapulted into the world.
Be not among the timid souls but dare greatly in stepping out from the comforts of the shadow and into The Arena.