Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lesson From the Olympics

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." 

The montage of Olympic images still plays in my mind: a pile of snowy bodies in a heap of hugs on the frigid ground, the sound of whoops and hollers, the gleam of mouth-guarded grins of pure delight, the shouts of encouragement. I gripped the edge of my seat as I watched the Olympic snowboarding finalists.  
Each athlete took her turn sliding over the rail and soaring through the course to the finish line. Some had crashed and completed their run on their bottoms, some on their bellies. But unfailingly, each stood shouting with delight, fist pumping and smiling from ear to ear. Their jubilation was contagious. 
My own heart was pounding as I commented to my husband on their celebratory joy. We talked about how impressive it was to watch each woman rejoice as she completed her attempt to garner a medal in Sochi. They were not judging themselves or letting expectations of perfection rule their behavior. It appeared to me they were accepting that they had done their best and circumstances, sometimes beyond their control, had altered their desired outcome. The winning medalist was exuberantly embraced as the athletes celebrated each others' success as though it had been their own.
How do you manage with unexpected outcomes? How do you deal with surprises that alter your plans? Learning how to gracefully accept the ups and downs of life is a true accomplishment. What if an avenue to "flow and grace" was to put your heart and soul into everything you do while accepting that the desired results are never guaranteed? What if you allowed yourself to simply be proud that you have put forth your best effort? What if living in the present means rejoicing in others successes as well as your own? 
The Olympic snowboarders gave it their all and they celebrated. They were living in the the moment and they were doing it from their soul.  
Appreciate the effort you make each day to do and be your best. If you hit a patch of ice dust yourself off and start over. Think about finding the courage to celebrate with those who have already achieved your perceived goal. They are not beating you, they are just leading the way.