The Courage To Get Back On The Court
Being Breath is, of course, practices that are the creative engagement with everyday life.
It never ceases to amaze me what the smallest of moments can teach us about the experience of life, what profound emotions and sensations can arise from seemingly the most mundane of occurrences.
Let me offer you an example.
This week, my daughter started a 3-day basketball camp. (She's never played basketball before. Important side note.)
After the first day, she left nearly in tears. The camp had been directed towards those who had played before, and my daughter felt overwhelmed and often left out.
We had a lot to discuss the next day. It was one of those parenting moments that is indescribably difficult: holding your child's hurt emotions and pain with acknowledgment and gentleness while simultaneously encouraging them to not fully become that pain - to know strength outside of it. (Even as adults we often have no clue how to do this. Sometimes it feels like the blind leading the blind.)
After several admissions that she didn't want to go back, that she just didn't like basketball as much as she thought she did, and that she just felt done, we finally reached the point where she agreed to give it one more shot.
You might be able to guess what happened next.
I'd gone out to play tennis with my son during the first part of her practice. When I came back in to see her, she ran over during a drink break with a huge smile on her face, and said, "Mom, it is SO MUCH BETTER this time!".
After that night's practice, I learned that she had actually Googled some of the terms they'd used on the first night so that she'd feel more prepared.
When she went into practice, she courageously engaged with what she knew...and suddenly felt more a part of the whole process.
She was beaming as she recounted story after story of how she learned a different way to dribble, how she kept control of the ball when another girl was trying to take it away, and how she played defense well enough to keep the person she was guarding from getting the ball.
This is her story. AND it is an invitation into a shared story that has deeper value for me and for you.
She tried something new. She "failed" - in front of many of her peers. She wanted to give up.
Instead, she studied, did what she could, and showed up for the experience.
She was surprised with an enjoyable time and changed perspectives that will carry far beyond that evening.
See where I'm going with this?
Through a series of small, mundane, repeated decisions (filling out the form to sign up, putting on tennis shoes, Googling “screening” (basketball term), stepping onto the court on the second night, … )
she co-created an experience that has consequences that will ripple out through several days, if not several years.
She will remember (re*member : bring back as a part of herself) feeling the pains of “failure”, of exclusion. She will remember what it felt like to step back onto the court knowing those pains. She will remember what it felt like when it started to click … when she felt included and empowered and happy. And she will know that it was her mindset and actions that made that possible.
Back to our story. The Being Breath story.
We all have those decisions to make, hour after hour. The ones that keep us stuck in our pain and/or the ones that help us work through it. It isn’t easy, but we always have a choice.
Thankfully, we aren’t alone. There are always little bits of inspiration around to help us breathe easier with our practices….little bits of inspiration that might be as close as your own family member (and/or mine).