Everything is ready for greeting New Year 2016!! I have done a lot of tidying over the past week and it is always a time for reflection. I found these medals from 2004 - my last year of synchronized swimming - and it is very hard (impossible!) to convey how much they mean. How much "blood, sweat and tears", dreams and goals and striving and strife and personal victories are imbued in each.
Here are some lessons I learned from a lifetime of training - in my mind, for the Olympics - and competing in this graceful, mysterious, difficult and rewarding sport. Retrospect is always 20/20, but it is valuable nonetheless, as you apply the lessons to present and future endeavors.
1.) Your Team, your Coach, and the People who surround you are everything. Everything.
2.) Your family - and friends who are like "family" - are the only ones who will stick by you the whole time, no matter what. They truly are everything.
3.) Do what you love and love what you do. It is the number one "vitamin", "medicine", "anti-depressant", and your best "Superpower" in life. It is the channel through which you tune in to your inner voice; it is also the channel through which you learn to let others in to give you much-needed guidance and constructive help (both critical life skills). There is so much insane positive energy behind doing what you love and feel you are meant to do - the world needs this. Really. It MATTERS. Find your true passion, find out what you love to do - and do it. Insanely.
4.) Talent is important. It is that one thing that will stay with you no matter what. You have to find it. You have to develop it and use it very mindfully. If you do not, you might as well be committing a small crime against humanity. But, first of all, against yourself. If you have a talent - you are certainly meant to use it, and the world has a use for it. The better-attuned you are to this special quality or set of qualities within you, the more rewarding and magical your journey. It starts with you!
5.) Lighten up. If you are not loving the pursuit of the thing you love, explore new ways of doing things, try to re-shift your body, mind or attitude, regimen or surroundings. Try different things until you find your "sweet spot" again. Flexibility is not gained through strain, and success does not come primarily from strife. Failure and challenges are part of the package. However, there simply has to be a feeling of joy in pursuing your passion - and you find that you are able to share THIS feeling and energy with the rest of the world. When that feeling slips, you are not performing to the best of your potential. Enjoyment is your inner compass that tells you to keep going, and the best way! Trust me. You will go much farther.
As I reflect on my years immersed in the grace, challenge and extreme athleticism of synchronized swimming to the present, embarking on the magical world of aerial cirque, contortion and the art of the Lyra, it is as if I am the same force learning to move through different mediums. From water to air. Over-archingly (no pun intended), I simply cannot wait to experience and share endless Love and Light through movement, which consistent training and performing entail.
Friendship. Love. Balance. Equanimity. Cheers to a Healthy, Happy, Love and achievement-filled 2016 :))) !