Category: Living in the Now

Defeat

Defeat

How many times have you lost your home, your job, and your means for making money and stayed smiling? I guess not many. It would be like falling about three times on a gymnastic event, then dismounting and nailing the landing. You might look around for people to clap and expect that the world would be ok, ‘cause you landed on your feet. But when you fall, you get deducted points. When you get deducted points, you lose value. When you lose value, it’s hard to make ends meet. Then what’s next?

I have had times in my life when I lived off of $10 a week for groceries. I ate Ramen noodles, chicken thighs and legs, the cheapest tuna I could find ($.39 a can), lots and lots of pasta and potatoes. I remember a time living in NYC when I didn’t have a job and my rent was due and I had no money for groceries. I lay on the floor and prayed and cried out to the Lord to help.

The next day I got a cashier’s check in the mail from an anonymous person. It was enough for my rent, some food, and cash to keep me afloat until a check due me from working as a costume character—Tony Dorno’s “Sporto the Duck” in 5 surrounding cities in NY—which had been about 90 days late, finally came in.

I ate on an ironing board and a chair that I found in the street. My bed was a cot. And I can’t even remember what the rest of my furniture looked like, if it was furniture. It may have been boxes. Being an actor in New York was all I wanted to be. I didn’t think before I left Beaver Falls, PA, with $150 in my pocket and just the promise of a NY sublet for 3 months. Those were times when I lived totally on stupidity and stupidity alone. I think the roaches and the mice in my five-floor walk-up were better fed than I.

I remember a short Hispanic woman who always wore a babushka lived above me. She had an abusive husband who never gave her money. She raised one the sweetest little girls for her daughter who was in prison. I remember now, she wanted to thank me for something I gave her one day, and she invited me to eat at her home.

I sat down at the table. She took a plate from the sink of dirty dishes and wiped it off with water and her hand and placed it before me. Before she set the plate on the table, five roaches scattered and she brushed them to the floor and stomped on one. She also took some utensils from the sink and rinsed them before placing them on a paper towel in front of me. She proceeded to give me a helping of fish head goulash over yellow rice.

Honest to God, I don’t know how I got through the meal without regurgitating. I have a weak stomach as it is. But I couldn’t hurt this little lady’s feelings. She kept saying, “You like? You like?”

I kept chewing the same bite, trying to swallow, nodding. “Si, si.” I speak minimal Spanish. Finally the first bite went down.

I ate a few more bites when a loud crash came from the living room. She ran ahead of me.  Her husband had fallen dead of a heart attack in the front room. I’ve never been more relieved for a person to die. He was a mean man. She wore a black dress for about a month. She smiled a lot more after that. Defeat has a way of relieving itself if you let it.

I don’t think that God expects any of us to stay challenged for our entire life as some would think. I believe that there are seasons for challenge and maybe even seasons for defeat, just as there are seasons for success. We have to experience all of it to understand the wide spectrum of life. Without failure, how could you know the sweetness of success? Without hunger, could you honestly know how beautiful a piece of hard crusted bread with butter tastes? The simple things in life become blessings when you can see from all sides.

So defeat is merely the way to understand the fullness of success. If you are in the place of challenge now, remember that it is a season. Soon the season will be over. You will step forward using all of your talents and time to get the best job, the highest pay and the most out of life if you want to. I’m knowing that for you now.

Please follow and like us:
0

Breaking Better

Breaking Better

“I wasn’t naturally a tenderloin—not born perfect and rich. I was spawned more a round steak. To make me tasty, I had to be marinated, pounded, stripped, cooked slowly and seasoned greatly.” Bo Sebastian

I wonder how hard it is to sustain training for years as an athlete, then have a major break or injury, soon to come back from that injury and compete again and actually win gold, as is the story of many Olympic athletes.

We tend to believe that when we fail it is a devastating blow at all levels. We wonder if we could ever get our lives back together. We imagine if we could ever come back from things like bankruptcy, business failure, or the loss of a job.  And even worse when we fall from grace with messy divorces, drug addiction, alcoholism and spiritual tyranny, does this mean we will never find our way back to the light?

Certainly not. This is just fodder for our personal growth? Don’t we just set ourselves up for the welcoming arms of a loving Father-Mother God who can’t help but to smile when we open our hearts for the greatest lessons of our lives? “Welcome home, my loving son or daughter!”

I look back at my own life and remember what has made me the man I’ve become. Had I not failed and walked a million miles in the garments of so many different emotions, I would never had the tenacity and compassion to help the people I coach now. Every moment that I had been broken and then healed, I remember as if it were yesterday. I know what it took to heal: the strength, the moxie, the spiritual depth, and the friendships and family support to move back into life with grace. No life is without falls and breaks. But the best lives and the greatest stories are the trips back from the falls.

“Today, make my life a testament. Find me in the place I am and lead me home, whatever that means, oh Great Spirit. I want to be Whole!”

Please follow and like us:
0

Your Own Olympic-Sized Dreams

Your Own Olympic-Sized Dreams

Today we all get to embark upon what we’ve been waiting for, for four years—the Summer Olympics. And despite Mitt Romney’s strangely absurd remarks this morning, I think they are going to find it to be grand and filled with all the wonder we all are waiting for, especially in the swimming, track, and gymnastics this year.

I can’t help but to think about why the Olympics, or any sport, is so important to us as viewers. Why do we get so wrapped up in the viewing and our team winning? Is it because we let a part of us be in the mix? Could it be possible that when a team member from Podunk, USA wins a gold, it somehow means that we are winning a gold, or that we also have a chance at winning a gold medal in our minds? I think so.

There is a saying that when one monkey achieves something on one island, all the monkeys on every other island achieve it as well. The simple fact of one person overcoming obstacles, liberates the whole. It’s a fact!

So, when you challenge yourself at the gym this week to lose that 15 lbs you’ve been wanting to lose for 3 years or quit smoking or stop yelling at every slow driver on your way to work, you actually are changing the fabric of the universe. You have no idea who you will touch in your quest to be a better person.

So, when a young woman of 16 years of age leaps up on to the 4-inch balance beam to do amazing feats like full twisting back flips and one-footed leaps with the other foot touching her head from the back and landing back on the beam with that same one foot with perfect balance, we know that we are part of her own spirit helping her to stay on that beam. We can feel our bodies twitching in our seats to keep her steady. We even feel a sense of concentration. We become one with so many people feeling the same thing at the same time. It’s almost mesmerizing.

This is the perfect connection and power we feel when we watch sports. Yes, it’s exciting and wonderful. But it’s also as spiritual as it is physical. When you get that many people wishing for one thing at the same time, magic happens. The Olympics are magic because we are focused together on one thing. Imagine if that one thing were something like changing the world for the better, what we could do for the world.

Please follow and like us:
0
Loading...
X

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)