Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fidning Freedom

I love to play guitar. I have always said that I would give up my talent for golf if I could learn how to play the guitar and speak Italian fluently. Va bene.

I recently bit the bullet and bought a guitar. Not anything phenomenal but something to mediate the fact that the Italian thing just doesn’t seem to be working out.
And oh, I love to play. I’ve been playing at home a lot, practicing and strumming, and this week I decided to bring the guitar in and play for the children. Sometimes between regular and extended day I will lie down with the children and play some music. Usually this involves the mellower side of my ipod shuffle but this week it was yours truly, on the guitar.

The children loved it. I strummed and they dozed and it was so peaceful and beautifully calm in that room I wanted to stay put forever. But something else was happening, too. Something that made me feel able to strum without fear: I felt free.
In front of adults I am hesitant about my guitar. I think that perhaps I don’t play well enough and they are going to judge me, critique me, or anything of the sort, but with the children I felt simply at peace. Remarkably so. I looked out into their resting bodies and droopy eyes and felt again a profound sense of freedom.

This is not something incredible new. I teach children because they make me feel free, because they allow me to be my goofy, silly, REAL self all the time. They don’t care if I get it “right” or if I’m “correct” they just care that I am there and that I am authentic and that I am present.

I speak all the time about how much children give me, how much I learn from them, but this is perhaps the most precious gift they offer: the gift of freedom.
They provide the space in which to feel, to fly to the highest reaches of myself and defy the odds of what I thought my limitations were. I love them because in that space of freedom, they challenge me. They challenge me to accept myself for who I am and to stay open and present to all that life has to offer. The gift of freedom…is there anything better?

Live in peace,


Monday, February 1, 2010

Toot Your Own Horn

I know I blog a lot about intention and community and how we are all connected and all of that is TRUE, to be sure, but sometimes, on some days, you just gotta brag a little. Yes, toot your own horn.

I credit Dana Radar with first inspiring me to “toot my own horn.” Dana Radar started her own golf program and has been incredibly successful. She came into my first LPGA week-long seminar nearly three years ago to talk about the business side of golf and I remember her standing up there and saying “sometimes, you just HAVE to toot your own horn.” She was inspiring, eloquent and I have never forgotten her words.

During golf on Monday we were having a particularly silly time. One little girl, Catherine, said to me “this is crazy fun!” and then, a few minutes later, “this is WILD fun!”

Wild fun indeed. We were having a rollicking good time. SNAG obstacle courses, lots of laugher, and of course, some serious talent. I must admit, we were all in top form.

“I am the best golfer,” Catherine said, smiling.

“I am the best golfer, too!” Julianne said.

Don’t you love how it wasn’t a competition, simply a session of encouragement? Children are so good at that!

“Ok, I have an idea,” I told the girls, “let’s show off to the boys.”

We called them over, those boys. The girls rocked it. Absolutely nailed it. They were practicing their chip shots and swings and all kinds of moves. They were empowered by this show off thing. They were hot stuff!

Usually we are told to be modest and kind. We are taught to lift others up sometimes at the expense of pushing ourselves down. But, I must ask, what is the harm of being your own champion now and again? I’m not saying to feed our egos but hey, some self confidence never hurt anyone.

My teaching method has always been about empowerment. The power to see yourself as great and the power to envision greatness. What I saw in the children when they showed off was not ego maniacs but people who felt empowered, who KNEW the power of their own presence and who wanted to cultivate and maintain that.

What are you good at? Go on, toot your own horn. Let’s hear them sound!