Over the past few weeks there has been this little sports competition that has captured everyones attention ... the 2014 Word Cup!!
Held in Brazil (only the second time it's been held in South America), it has proven to be a spectacle of epic proportions, with many favourites not doing as well as expected and other, not so well known football countries doing surprisingly well (like my own home country Australia!). However, it was the Germany v Brazil match that I want to draw your attention too. This semi-final was geared to be a top game, with Brazil likely to win due to the home ground advantage ... but no, it was a whitewash of German players outclassing the Brazilians ... i watched in amused horror as Germany first got one, two, then three goals, within the space of minutes, the Brazilians body language said it all - disbelief, horror, dare I say it, fear?!?
But this is where the problem lay for Brazil, the pressure obviously became too much and the much needed team dynamic and discipline unraveled in the face of the impossible - defeat.
And there was Germany, an obviously tight team, almost seemingly able to read each others minds, so in-tune with each other they were. With an efficiency the Germans are renowned for, they took control of the game, as a team, and kicked butt like no one has ever seen.
That is the clue, the step to their success, efficient team work.
(image from here)
On friday night I was invited to watch the Leeds Rhinos play Hull in Rugby League at Leeds Carnegie Stadium. It has been years (if not decades) since I watched a Rugby League match live. I was going for Leeds, of course, and as I watched the first half I could not believe it as no-one seemed to be scoring. In fact, both teams seemed slightly disconnected, missing obvious plays, and lacking in communication. When they went off at half time I though if they keep on playing like this then this could be the first time I ever see a Rugby League match end nil all.
As they came out to play the second half I noticed a perceptible change in the Leeds side. They seemed more relaxed, more in touch with each other as they made their way out to line up - this change was evident in the first ten minutes when they communicated themselves to an eighteen/nil lead over Hull. What a change to first half! They were talking to each other, directing each other, intuitively passing the ball to each other, suddenly they were in the flow, the stream of success and things were going their way. Sound familiar? Like a particular German football team that blitzed Brazil?
(image from here)
So, what is Germany and the Leeds Rhinos trick to awesome teamwork leading to amazing success?
1. They all know what they want to achieve ... as a whole. The goal they have is clear in everyones mind and because of this there is no deviation from the game plan, no ego's involved, just plain understanding of what each cog in the wheel has to do to get the required results. Simple really!
2. They bond like no-ones business. They communicate clearly with each other and will listen to all opinions, knowing that this is best for the team dynamic - no-one feels left out or disregarded, everyones opinion is valid and this fosters a relationship of trust and triumph.
3. Because they trust each other they can get a little creative in their plays, take a few risks, knowing that their team members will be there to back them up. AND whether the risk is a success or not, the team does not blame them, in fact they forgive, learn, and move on.
4. They give a hundred percent of effort, because the game isn't just for them, it is also for everyone else on that team, and therefore the responsibility is greater and something they take seriously. They do, however, understand that people can have bad days, but in recognising this they support and take up the slack without complaining if a team member is out of sorts.
5. They have a fantastic leader (or team captain) who doesn't let their ego get in the way of the team dynamic, in fact, they will often sacrifice themselves for the good of the team, knowing that the shared goal is more important than the individual.
Can you think of anything else that makes a great team? Let me know in the comments.
Sorry I haven't been around much lately peeps, between trying to get my book written and getting organised for Christmas, but the past few months have seen a huge shift in my life, a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration and a great desire to go into the next year with positivity and fun.
I am loving life at the moment, with my Mastermind group up and running, and the amazing, positive support I am getting from so many people in my life - both professionally and personally, I am feeling very blessed at the moment. Part of the fun and excitement of life at the moment is the fact that it is almost Christmas time and also nearly 2014.
What does Christmas and the beginning of a new year mean to you?
Christmas has always held such fond memories for me - and whether I am with my family in Australia, or with my UK peeps, I always have a wonderful Christmas day. With Capitalism taking so much of the focus of Christmas away from spiritual meaning, I always try to remember the deeper side of the day - being with those you love, giving, openness, and acceptance. For about the past twenty years I have always received more pleasure from giving presents then receiving them, I have always appreciated the food shared with family and friends, and the quiet reflectiveness of Christmas night, when you are stuffed to the gills with turkey and pudding, and reminiscing not just the day, but the past year.
I still have to decorate the tree!! I still have to make some presents!!
But this is the fun, the pleasure, the outside-of-reality that Christmas embodies, the tossing aside of the mundane everyday and the embracing of overeating, making, buying, and wrapping of fantastical items for those you love.
However, Christmas also signals the coming end of the year, and boy what a year I have had. It had been an up and down year, good things and bad things, lessons learnt, things let go of, and new promises made to myself. In fact the past two years have been like this, but I feel that this topsy-turvy time has been a huge signifier of change. I am changing, as we all are, opening up to life and all experiences, both negative and positive, and recognising that no matter what life throws at you you have to remain true to yourself and your own life aims and goals.
So on reflecting on the past twelve months, here are some things that I have learnt:
- Truth and Honesty is King; trust myself because that is the most important thing
- Be as open as possible; holding onto hurt does no-one any good, better to let go and move on
-Embrace those that support you and love you no matter what, a big shout out to my twister and PSA peeps here
- You must always look after yourself first, then you can look after others
- Forgiveness is the path to freedom; I have forgiven and I have moved on, I am looking forward to the next journey that life has for me
- Be Present, enthusiastic always, I have knocked some talks right out of the ball park this year, simply by being absolutely present to the moment and embracing the enthusiasm for life that this brings
-Yoga, what more can I say, it has been a lifesaver
- and lastly, but most importantly, reaffirming my love for my Ma and Pa, they have always believed in me and I wouldn't be where I am today without them and for that I will be forever grateful.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
So what are you reflecting on this year? How has your life been the past twelve months? What lessons had life taught you?
Comment below ....
(image via pinterest)
I haven't had an epiphany for awhile (a few weeks at least!! LOL). However, the practice of yoga, I have noticed, is helping me notice my thoughts and really pay attention to what they are saying, allowing me time to let go of the "rot" and really listen to the 'gems.' AND these 'gems' are proving to be quite revelatory, or epiphany like.
On of these revelations was about the thoughts that create anxiety/stress/worry, and how these thoughts truly stop you from expanding into life, living the life of your dreams, from really being YOU! I also saw where these thoughts are coming from - they are coming from the past and the future (not literally, of course!!).
When you look at your life outside of the present (you know, this moment right now, this moment as I am typing or you are reading this post), your thoughts turn either to the past or to the future. What do you see in that past? What do you see in the future?
Negative crap? Long held issues and disaster movie scenarios? Anger? Sadness? Frustration?
about things that have happened and you can't change or things that may or may not happen.
This, quite obviously, is not a path to happiness, acceptance, and gratitude.
Being in the present? Inhaling Prana? (Prana = life force or breath) Going inside to see what's going on . . . how you feel in that moment, what you are thinking, seeing, tasting, hearing? Noticing and accepting change? (because frankly change is the only thing you can be sure of). Exhaling that which is mad, bad, and sad?
(image via pinterest)
This was my epiphany the other day - an epiphany I have had a few times in life, but one, it seems, I have to have over and over again . . . hopefully this time it will stick. Our stress and worry is all a construct of the mind - what causes us stress are moments from the past and thinking about the future in negative terms. Our minds create stories that are designed to leave us in a heightened state of awareness, that leaves our bodies on alert to potential danger, that drags our adrenal glands through the wringer (adrenals - controller of all icky stress hormones).
But how to release ourselves from this self perpetuating stress? One thing yoga has been teaching me is that our bodies and minds are as they are, no fiction or fakery about it! Well, what if we approached our thoughts with this idea of our thoughts being fiction; that we should step back and look at the fact before buying into the tragic disaster our minds are telling us has happened or is going to happen?
when we step back and allow our minds to take account of the here and now, we can see that the stories we have told ourselves, especially about the future, are in all likely hood a good trick from the brain trying to control the hype that is reality - when in actual fact, reality cannot be controlled.
So, how I am trying to combat the storyteller that is residing in my head? I am practicing and practicing and practicing focusing on the moment, being present, living in the here and now. Of course its not an easy, quick fix, the process of awareness, breathing, meditation, and yoga is an ongoing process - hence why it is called a practice and not a goal (or solid concrete ball of unchangeable limits). When I find my mind wandering to the past or the future in a non-nostalgic/optimism kind of way I gently remind myself that this is the storyteller that is trying to make drama and I bring my thoughts softly back to my breath, bring my awareness back to what I am going in that moment - I take note of how my body is feeling, what I am smelling, hearing, and seeing. You see, we cannot change the past, we cannot control the future, and we certainly can't control other people, but we can control how we respond to the current moment and if we respond to the current moment with a positive light that can only step us into the next moment and the next moment with a peaceful calm and a smile on our faces.
IMAGINE NOW, when you let go of your fears, your worries, and your stress, HOW MUCH MORE OPEN LIFE IS TO YOU NOW - THERE ARE NO LIMITS, JUST YOU IN THE MOMENT!
(image via pinterest)
I am evolving, changing, growing, learning to listen to my body and my mind, learning to ask, learning to say "no", learning to let go, learning to ask for space, learning to forgive, learning to be happy, even when the proverbial 's%$t' hits the fan, I am steeling my strength, I am saying it is okay to be emotional, it is also okay to speak the truth, I am learning to love myself unconditionally and through that love I hope to learn to love all others unconditionally.
How are YOU changing?
. . . and changing that which can.
(image via pinterest)
There is a HUGE thing in my life that cannot be changed, and it is a thing that many people, if they had it, would want to change - but I don't. Want to change it that is. My disability is with me for life, and the quicker that I accepted that the better, and I accepted it at a pretty young age. SO I can't change my missing limbs, I can't change growing old, and I can't change change my sex (well I can, if I wanted too, with surgery and all that, but I feel very much like a woman, so no enchilada - literally!) but I can change other things. I can change my mind, I can change my health, I can change my career, I can change my response, I can change my heart, I can change my strength, I can change my breathe, I can change how I see things, I can change, just purely and simply change. AND the magic of this change is that it can do something marvelous to the unchangeable . . . read on.
In the process of change comes the process of acceptance, acceptance of the unchangeable.
What do you find unchangeable in your own life? Or, what can you change?
(image via pinterest)
Change, essentially, is an evolutionary process, we are in constant shifts, at no point are we ever exactly the same as we ever have been. But to have a certain level of openness to change means that you can direct it towards passion, towards peace, towards life party time!!
Tara Gentile, entrepreneur extraordinary, say, "We are always rejecting and reclaiming, in what is often both a beautiful and ugly cycle. We resist change and then embrace it. We are open to possibility and then make up our minds."
Change becomes the unchangeable, to only change again, it is only through static positions that we fail to see the beautiful possibilities.
I see possibilities, even with my disability. Through caring for my body, strengthening it, I can achieve what would have been physical impossibilities - I shift what is essentially unchangeable. I say I shift the unchangeable, because my limbs aren't going to grow back, but I can shift my energy and strength to open up more physical possibilities.
But, to shift the body, is to change the mind, to let go so that you can be open. In the process of letting go of drama, angst, and confrontation, you are embracing the present and you are embracing your future, imperfect, self . . . you know, your 'warts and all!!' Cause guess what, acceptance and letting go are actually the same thing.
Accepting that my limbs won't grow back is not being defeatist . . . cause honestly, they ain't coming back!! Accepting my missing limbs as missing is strength and knowledge of myself . . . and your own inherently unchangeable factor can also make you strong and knowledgeable, cause that strength is already there, deep deep down, it can just take a little digging to find it.
The best changes come about without criticism, without condemnation, without regret. Our lives are our lives are our lives, and they have made us who we are, and each changeable step forward takes us even further into ourselves. Hence, change is not scary, it is an intrinsic part of you, and that which cannot be changed can be shifted, shifted to empower you even more.
Change while you can, whilst you are aware, embrace it, love it, see life as the journey that it is, cause quite frankly it can be wonderful if you want it to be . . .
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright