Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Get Off the Bus!

I like to tell the following story about my uncle Brian:
He’s a big golfer, and once a year he goes over to Ireland with his buddies to play a few rounds of golf on the gorgeous Irish courses. They always rent a van and on this particular trip, and for the purposes of this particular story, they were making their way from one course to another, and en route to a hotel. They were passing a bar my uncle had heard of and he wanted to stop. “Let’s have a drink,” he pitched to the group. No one agreed. It was late. They had an early-morning tee time. Who cares about some bar? Let’s just get to where we’re going.
But my uncle persisted. He had a feeling. He wanted to go to this bar! He made the bus pull over and with just one other guy, he got off. They went to the bar for a drink--- a small place, definitely off the map. It was packed. Jammed to the brim. My uncle thought hey, he was right, this place was a hit! Just then some musicians came in to play. People cheered, slammed down beers. My uncle and his buddy listened to Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ron Woods for the next couple of hours.
When my uncle tells the story he always ends it this way: Sometimes, Kate, you gotta get off the bus.
A few weeks ago, my uncle invited me on that same golfing trip. He offered to fly me over, put me up, play with me. I could, of course, think of a million reasons not to go. KTUGA is just back from summer. We’re starting new programs, picking up with our students. There is a ton of work to be done, work that needs my time and attention and presence. But then I remembered this exact story--- sometimes you gotta get off the bus.
I went.
It was an incredible trip, and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go. It was wonderful to spend so much time with my dear uncle, and to get to play on some of the world’s leading courses. But truth be told, the lesson was really the greatest part of the vacation—get off the bus. Often we think that saying “yes!” to things is a way of meeting a challenge--- of standing up to work, to difficulty, and bellowing our intention. This is true and it’s a big part of what I teach--- “Yes I can!” But sometimes saying yes is just getting off the bus. Sometimes saying yes is saying yes to adventure, to a change of course, to a silly idea no one has time for. Sometimes saying yes is giving yourself the opportunity to allow your ideas about success, progress, productivity-- to shift. It would have been prudent for my uncle to stay on that bus, to get a good night’s sleep and play a good round the next day. But he didn’t say yes to prudence, he said yes to something else--- some impulse of FUN. And he has a story now for the ages.
Think about getting off the bus this week. Think about saying yes to all aspects of your life--- to challenge, to adventure, to joy.
With love,

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