Among the azaleas, magnolias and dogwoods a story unfolded. It is a story that has spanned decades and today came full-circle. It’s a story about adversity. It’s a story about struggle. It’s a story about mistakes, courage, and the relentless pursuit to attain success again. It’s a story about all of those things – and now, it’s a story about a comeback.
Some call it the greatest comeback of all time.
There was a moment when a judgmental world shook their head at him. His story that we didn’t understand at the time has now been redeemed into a fairytale of sorts. I think the reason his story is so incredible is because oftentimes, athletes don’t get the comeback they are hoping for and if they do, they don’t end up winning the championship again. His story is incredible because so many times, in sports and in life, hard things don’t end in greatness.
Tiger’s story is the story of hard work and non-negotiable drive. Relentless will and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. It’s the kind of feel-good story that Hollywood makes movies about.
The moment he embraced his caddy with his million dollar smile and yelled, “we did it!”, I felt a small lump form in my throat.
The moment he embraced his son, the Mama in me teared up.
The moment he embraced his Mama, the Mama in me sobbed.
The moment he embraced his daughter, the Mama in me ugly cried.
I can’t help but wonder if Tiger’s rise and fall and rise again is a lesson to us all. Sure, our stories don’t culminate on incredible golf courses with the world watching or end with beautiful green jackets that bring a tear to an eye. But they do happen in the secret places of our lives and our homes. Our growing and changing and successes and failures.
On a Sunday in April, at one of the most storied golf courses in all the land, with the world watching, Tiger put on a green jacket and gave us one of the greatest moments the sport has ever seen. On a human level, he offered the watching world the notion that we don’t have to ever be defined by who we were at one time. We can hold on to hope and redeem our path. We can be successful and create futures that are incredible no matter what or who our past says we are.
On a Sunday at Augusta, among the azaleas, magnolias and dogwoods a story unfolded- and what a story it was.
Does your soul ever get wonky? The kind of wonky where you feel itchy in your own skin. Like something is off and you’re unsettled.
Err… uhh… right. Me neither.
Except, can I be honest in this super safe space?
Sometimes I do.
Sometimes my soul feels wonky and I feel itchy in my own skin… more accurately in my own life. If I can be super honest, sometimes in the quiet moments of my day when I am alone in my thoughts, the ultimate joy-stealer starts to creep in… doubt.
Doubt about life.
Doubt about friendships.
Doubt about the way I am a Wife.
Doubt about the way I am a Mama.
Doubt about my health and my fitness journey.
Doubt about my career and education and if I am smart enough.
Doubt about finances and the best ways to invest, save, give or spend our money.
Y’all… SO. MUCH. DOUBT.
I bet if I went on that list long enough I might hit a doubt or few that get the best of you too.
In the Book of James, scripture describes someone who doubts “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” What a perfect description. Well played, God.
Would you agree that sometimes these storms of doubt leave us feeling seasick?
What do we do with this?
In the past, at the first sign of an unsettled heart, I did anything and everything I could to fill that wonky void. I didn’t want to feel the pain of an unsettled soul, so I attached myself to vices that helped me not pay attention to the unrest inside me. I think in these moments when our souls are unsettled and we feel itchy in our skin, when our urge is to fill the void and go as numb as we can, we have to turn our minds and hearts to the one who made us. Turn our minds and hearts to the only one who truly knows our minds and hearts because he created them.
During a recent journey through a storm of doubt, I realized what was happening and I stopped my brain in that moment. I flipped the flow on the waves of doubt. I stood up from where I was and took a deep breath. I walked to the nearest window and felt the sun on my face. I put my hand over my heart, and I got really still. That heartbeat I felt was mine. No one else’s. That heartbeat was God’s gift to me and signifies a purpose I have on this planet.
Know what the coolest thing about this is?
YOU HAVE ONE TOO!
When doubt and unrest creep into your day, your life, your moments, your thoughts – stop and flip the flow. Take a deep breath. Stand in truth. Feel your heart beating. That heart is beating to allow you to live your purpose. I have learned something along the way in this life- when I have purpose in my heart, I can’t have unrest in my soul. There isn’t any room for it.
The unrest fades away.
The doubt significantly diminishes.
In its place, the truth. Your truth. The truth that ultimately sets you free.
Meet you back here next week, same time, same place,
*Readers Note: #Life #Work #MarchMadness #Travel #OrangeTheoryObsession has kept me from my Monday Musings and a bit of social media for a few weeks… it’s been amazing to say the least… and now I am back… Here’s a musing to kick off your week!
p.s. Hey Spartan Nation… how ’bout #ourteamtho
#AllGreenEverything #Errrythaaang #FinalFour
I found myself situated in the back of an Uber in one of my favorite cities. The events that brought me here were nothing short of incredible. Some of it a little luck- but most of it, a lot of it, prayer. Some answered prayers and if we are being honest, some not-so-answered ones. I watched from the back of the car as Chicago and its people passed by. There was a lot on my brain and what I was about to embark on was something I had never experienced. My nerves started to get the best of me and I slowly became a mix of excitement and fear that made me fidget. I could feel myself getting annoyed at my fidgeting. It’s my tell-tale sign of nervousness, which then makes me annoyed at myself for being nervous, which makes me fidget more. It becomes a vicious cycle in my brain that makes me sweat a little.
You’re super welcome for that galavant through my psyche. Cheers.
Sitting in the back of an Uber and trapped in my thoughts, I let out a long and labored sigh. My uber driver peeked up at me in the rearview mirror and our eyes met. It was perhaps the first time I had actually looked at this man since I sat in his car. He smiled at me with one of those smiles that though I couldn’t see his mouth, I could see in his eyes he was beaming from ear to ear. He had a joy that radiated off him.
Uber Driver: You having a terrible day, Girl?
Me: No, no, not at all! It’s a good day!
Me: I am fine.
Another pause as I sift through my thoughts. I could see him glance up at me in the mirror again.
Me: Thank you for asking.
I offer him a half-smile. I think he could probably tell I was trying super hard to project an air of confidence that I 700% didn’t possess in that moment. It may have been the annoying higher than high pitch in my voice.
Uber Driver: Ok girl.
I could tell by his tone he was smirking.
Uber Driver: You know what, Girl? I never have a bad day.
Full disclosure: in my head I rolled my eyes at him. Being polite though, I smiled a fake smile that definitely didn’t reach my eyes like his did.
Me: Oh really?! What’s your secret?
Uber Driver: I wake up!
I wasn’t expecting this and I laughed – which also came out with a snort. It’s cool, I am sometimes awkward. Whatever.
Me: Well that’s an amazing way to look at life.
Uber Driver: Yes girl. I just wake up.
I felt myself slowly become amused with my newest Chicagoan friend.
Me: When I am having a bad day can I call you for a pep talk?
What he said next caught me by surprise and hit a place deep in my heart.
Uber Driver: Just look in the mirror, Girl. You don’t need anyone else.
Like clockwork, our eyes met again in the rearview mirror and I could see him smiling back at me. In that moment, I knew in the gut of my soul I had everything I needed to be successful. As my Uber rolled to a stop, I thanked him for his wisdom that also happened to be divine timing. I stepped out of the Uber and walked to the building that held life’s newest adventure. I paused on the sidewalk as Chicagoans sped past me. I took a breath that filled my lungs and I followed the windows of the building all the way up until they kissed the sky. My fidgets had faded and in their place, steadfast resolve for the next step.
Sweet friends, I can’t help but wonder if this sweet Uber driver’s wisdom resonates in a place within you? A place that every once in a while needs to be shaken up so you remember who you are. There is a pink sticky that hangs at my desk that says “so now that I was in this glamorous scene, I meant to make the most of its opportunities.” I don’t know who said it, and I don’t know where I found it, but it hits me hard in moments like this. One day we open our eyes and here we are in these divine moments on ordinary days. It’s these small moments, tiny conversations that change everything. Do something today to change your life. Have a conversation, make a choice, create an outcome. Let steadfast resolve sink into your bones and make the most of this day.
See you back here next week, same time, same place,
If you have hung around my blog for any amount of time, you know I am a big believer of life being lived in community. Our squads keep us moving forward and it takes villages to raise children. We have all heard the saying that we are “the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” While I believe that to be true, I also venture to say it’s many more than just five. We are deeply influenced by the people around us – including the ones we follow on social media.
Lately, Hubbz and I have been giving a lot of thought to our communities, both real and virtual. We have posed the question, “do our communities fan our flames or do they extinguish them?” then we flipped that on its head by asking, “do WE fan the flames of others or do we extinguish them?” While it is important to ensure we are surrounding ourselves with people who support our goals, I venture to say it is more important to ensure we are being the kind of people who show up for others.
Musing through my Monday morning, I pose two questions to you, sweet readers…
As you are pioneering adventures and setting your life ablaze, are the people you have around you fanning your flames or extinguishing them?
Are you deeply supporting the people around you on their quest to live their best life?
If the answer to one or both of those is no, I urge you to make an inquiry as to why? From the old testament to the new, the bible is full of verses that encourage supporting others. We live in a world that can feel riddled with selfish desires and we only have this one beautiful life. I wonder what would happen if we took a deep breath and on the exhale, fanned the flames of the lives around us. We just might create an inferno that infuses some warmth into this sometimes cold world.
Meet you back here next week, same time, same place,
I’ve been accused of being an overthinker. Mulling over things, beating dead horses, overusing my proverbial thinking cap until it explodes. For a long time I tried to change that about me because people told me I should… then one day I realized that I was going to be true to me and stop listening to people.
On that day I realized that my ability to see something so many different ways, to dissect it into parts that I could understand up-close, personal and raw- this way of living was beautiful. It means people like me, the over thinkers of the world, have taken the time to really truly see, know and understand. To look at situations from every angle and with deep reflection. To not just hear but listen. To see the flaws and the truly ugly in a person- yet love them and accept them- sometimes radically.
I’ve realized along the way not everyone is going to understand or agree with the depth in which I experience life. Not everyone is going to be able to grasp how deeply I feel and how fiercely I love. Not everyone is going to be able to handle my spirit that is a little wild and a lot free. I am finally at the point in my life where I can hold my head up and confidently say that is ok.
Perhaps there are places in you that feel the same?
Maybe you’re like me- or maybe you aren’t but know someone who is.
Maybe you totally get them and understand- or maybe they annoy you to no end and drive you batty.
Regardless of how you feel, my sweet readers, trust the ones who overthink all the things. It is through this ability to ponder so deeply that we infuse into world around us warmth, empathy, laughter, connection, and most important of all, love.
Meet you back here next week, same time, same place,