I'm writing this as we are driving home from Rochester, Minnesota, where Delaney's softball team competed at ASA Northern Nationals. The result of the tournament in terms of winning games was not what the desired outcome had been for her team. But I'm proud of them. It was good watching them bond and grow over the last twelve months. Now the season is over, and the team splits up. Some of the girls will move up to another age group, some will stay where they are on the team, and some might drift off to new teams. It's a bittersweet time every August, but one that Delaney wouldn't miss for anything.
Delaney loves softball and makes it her business to learn and grow with it constantly. I'm proud of her drive, and I love not much more in life than watching this creature become a determined young woman in her own right on the field. She's usually filthy and exhausted......and content afterwards.
Watching her team this weekend and listening to them call out their chants and cheers in the dugout brought mantras to my mind. I've been using them a little bit myself, working with positive self-talk in my yoga practice and to help calm my mind or to focus during other parts of the day. I like the idea of using positive energy that I can access through the power of my own thoughts.
Well, these girls yell the same chants and cheers all season long (with only a few exceptions.....I'm betting all the parents catch themselves chanting them quietly on the way to work or hear them as they try to go to sleep.) I have to believe that the chants and cheers have an effect similar to a mantra. When at the plate, I doubt if Delaney or anyone else even hears them, because each girl is so focused on her job at that moment. However, the cheers are a collective voice of positivity. They increase the energy around them in getting fired up with cheers.
Now, think about each of us going about our day with our little personal mantras. I like to think of all those positive thoughts being sent out into the air around us, giving us all a bit more positive possibility. Too "out there" for you? I'm sorry. But I love the image it invokes.
So, next time you need a little......something more positive or more calming for yourself, practice a mantra. As you breath fully, repeat a phrase to yourself that embodies the situation as you want it to be. "I am calm and thinking clearly," when you are about to blow your top at the child standing in front of you. "I feel refreshed and ready to focus," as you walk into a meeting at work you've been dreading. It might not fix your situation, but it can lift you up enough to get through the task at hand in a manner that allows you to feel better about yourself.
And if you'd like a little chuckle before closing this blog post, here it is. My yoga mat strap came in quite handy when I couldn't find Riley's leash in our hotel room yesterday. I wonder what mantra she's silently repeating to herself to combat the embarrassment she must feel for being subjected to such a spectacle.