Everyday Inspired June 1 – 3 Edition

June 1 – The drama of the goggles

“Mom, where are my goggles?” my middle school-aged daughter asks. My mind tunnels back through the gear we hauled from the car just moments ago, after crawling in rush hour traffic to her swim meet 10 miles from home. “Look in your bag again,” I say. I really want to scream: “Forgot your goggles? I’m not driving home to get them!”
So begins our summer swim team season. My swimmer has spent many hours training for this meet. And it all hinges on those damn goggles. Sighing, I drop to my knees and rummage with her.
SPE_038The plastic wonders will spend most of the swim meet perched on her head, slung over her shoulder, or gripped in her fist, spinning and tapping like a soft-sided set of klick-klacks. (I did play with those.) The goggles’ most essential moments are fleeting. They’ll shield her eyes from the sting of chlorinated water, magically boost her confidence, and transform her into a butterfly machine.
“Here they are!” she shouts, untangling the goggle straps from the drawstring of her spare shorts and darting off to claim her spot in the bullpen. I sigh and settle in among my comrades—the other parents who’ve invested the same time, gear, miles, and encouragement to bring their children to this moment.

Consider:

What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 2 – Goggles for grown ups

 

At my daughter’s swim meets, she ascends the block, tugging her suit down in back. Before hunching into the starting position, she places the goggles over her eyes like a superhero donning her mask, the edges of her lips dropping in determination. Her mission is clear. Her focus narrows to the lane before her, the water glistening with comfort and challenge. I try a little telepathy and send the Zen advice of many professional athletes: breathe deeply; be in the moment; trust your body to know what to do; and let go. The goggles are her companion and guard, connecting her to the preparation behind and the performance ahead. You bet they are important.
I wish they made Life Goggles for Grown Ups. At work and home, when I start a new project, I need my inner Wonder Woman to confidently climb the block, launch into the race, and win the heat. Where are my goggles to take me from quaking beginner to seasoned professional?

Actor Will Smith once said: “There’s nothing you’ve ever been successful at that you didn’t work on every day.” On the swim team, my daughter learns the values of discipline, goal setting, and daily attention to her craft. These values will serve her well in life. Our swim meet adventures inspire me to renew them in mine.

At work and at home, I wonder: Am I strong and skilled enough to see this through? Am I steady while waiting to begin? Have I prepared enough, and brought the right gear? Perhaps my goggles are a pen and paper, or the car keys, laptop, or phone. With each new challenge, I draw strength from my daughter’s poise and courage. Take a deep breath, mom. No turning back now. Trust and let go. Goggles in place—ready to dive.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 3 – What’re you looking at?

 

One day, I was in the backyard with our dog Shannon, first thing in the morning. Our backyard faces east, and as Shannon was doing his business, a Shannosebeautiful sunrise was emerging just over our neighbor’s roof. After several minutes the light caught my eye. I’d been staring at my dog’s, ahem, work, and I’d almost missed the sunrise.
How’s that for a metaphor for life? As we contemplate the tasks of the day, is our attention turned to the beauty around us, or on the less-desirable details of life? And where do we focus most of our energies? Perhaps, just for today, remember to lift your eyes from the stinky parts and find the good or true around you. As Paul wrote to the Philippians:

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4:8)

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

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