Thursday, July 4, 2013

Never Give Up

Affirmation:  Because of visualization and dedication, I am a remarkable golfer and a terrific fiddler.

Once again I am learning about who I am and how I approach life by two of the more challenging hobbies I have chosen to pursue for these many years.  I hate to quit at something I've made up my mind to learn.  My learning style is more about being slow and steady.  I have discovered that as long as I don't give up, sooner or later I can become fairly proficient at what I want to do.  I do have a tendency to think of myself as a "jack of all trades, a master of none."  That's not a very positive affirmation, is it?  In some ways it has served me well because I will attempt to do something regardless of my knowledge or skill level.  I don't think I have to be perfect.  I don't expect perfection so why not give it a shot.  Unfortunately for me, however, I have a tendency to focus on those things at which I am not exceptional and not claim those skills at which I am very accomplished.  There are things I do very well.  There are skills and talents of which I have pursued and worked hard and feel good about but there are those of which I have told myself I will never be masterful.  I've often thought there are just some things where I reach my level of mediocrity and can't seem to break through it or chose not to break through it.  Golf and fiddling are two of those things. I thought I'd made peace with that.  I thought I was just fine still plugging along and not seeing any great improvement until my chiropractor, Joanne Noel, took some time to help me reframe my intentions. 

I mentioned my playing golf during my visit to her.  I'm sure I didn't sound too excited.  "Really" I tell myself and sometimes others, "I just play to keep my husband company and to be with my son and daughter-in-law.  If I don't keep score, I'm a really good golfer. I am!"  But, I don't know how to not keep score.  Even when I don't write it down, I find myself counting each stroke in my head.  At the end of 18 holes I always know how many times I have swung the club and it's always a lot of times.  I really don't understand it.  I have a few flubs now and then but if you were watching me I think you'd see that I hit the ball fairly far, I have a nice short game and I've become a pretty good putter but when I add all that up, it's always a lot.  How does one determine if a score represents a lot of swings?  It's determined by one's handicap and my handicap is the highest a woman can have.  This after playing this sport as of this year for 46 years!  

There is not a numerical handicap to determine one's fiddling skill.  As of this writing I  haven't been playing the fiddle for 46 years.  I really wish I had been.  I imagine I'd be much more skilled.  Although, if my golfing skills are an indication of how long it would take before I became a master, it might not make much of a difference but I do imagine, I actually dream that if I'd learned to play as a child and had practiced and played all these many years, I would play with abandonment and I'd make this wonderful sound and perhaps I could even play by ear.  I'd be able to join any jam session and when the song began there I'd be fiddling along either picking up the tune or adding to the beat with my knowledge and skill.  It's a dream.  It's good to have dreams but you can sit around forever wishing something to be true and if it involves learning and practice, it will never happen. Never! Never! Never! 

My music teacher, Mara Shea sent me the link to this You-tube video: Never Give Up.  If you have anything in your life you're working at improving, I highly recommend watching it.  It's not about golfing or fiddling.  It's the heroic story of a Gulf War veteran who was left severely handicapped after his time of service.  He was told he would never be able to walk on his own again.  It took quite a while but he decided they were wrong and he found a teacher and began practicing yoga.  It documents his journey.  With dedication and persistence he completely changed his life.  I wasn't sure if Mara sent it to me because I am a Yoga teacher and she knew I'd love it or because she wanted me to know that if I continue to practice and not give up, someday my dream of being a terrific fiddler will finally come true.  Regardless of her reason, I found it to be moving and motivational. 

My chiropractor, Joanne Noel responded to my comments about my golf game by telling me the story of a patient of hers who after years of being a sub par golfer one day decided to become a scratch golfer.  That's someone with a zero handicap.  Joanne shared that her patient hadn't yet reached her goal and maybe she never would but that her patient now had a remarkable golf game.  Remarkable!  Right then and there I knew I would one day have a remarkable golf game.  Mara Shea encourages me to become the best fiddler I can possibly be.  She'd love to see my dream of being a terrific fiddler come true.  Michelangelo said, "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."  I have been aiming too low.  But now, I am not going to simply sit around and wish that I become a remarkable golfer and a terrific fiddler, I have a new affirmation and I've already seen the beginnings of its power.  I have a vision and I am ready to work. 

What are your visions?  What dreams do you have that you are willing to work at?  I could continue writing this blog.  It's such a powerful concept, the concept of visualizing our lives and then stepping up our efforts to bring our visualization into reality but, I have to go practice the fiddle and later today, I will be practicing my golf swing.  I took a lesson this week and I need to relearn the way I hit my clubs.  I can already see that if I practice this new technique my swing will be more consistent and the ball will go further.  I can see that handicap score lowering any day now and I can hear that jam session calling me.  I'm getting ready!

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