"A League of Our Own" & Choosing JOY
On Saturday evening, I turned on the TV and the movie "A League of Their Own" was on. If you haven't seen this movie (or not in a while) it is a wonderful enactment of how Women were recruited and hired to play professional baseball when the "boys" went off to fight in World War II. And, it occurred to me that it is often during times of upheaval, change, and the unknown that new and exciting opportunities...open up. Not only that, but the solutions we create are NOT less better, we are not "settling", we are just moving forward by imagining other options. Was baseball less great when Women played than when Men played? No sir! These Women were tremendous athletes! And, it was a HUGE step forward for Women and helped to shift long-standing expectations of social roles in a very new way. Equally important, it brought joy and nurtured the American spirit during a very dark time.
With information right at our fingertips, and constant access to pop culture and news, we often have a feeling that "we know what is going on." And we know how "things are done." We are always so "certain" we know what the world IS. But sometimes we realize that what we think to be "true" may not be as static as we once thought. Just last week we used to think that Toilet Paper was not very valuable, we hardly gave it a second thought - but we have seen the value shift tremendously in the last few days and people are standing in line for hours to get some - whoever would have called THAT!?
In the past few days, we have seen ourselves make swift behavioral changes on a huge social scale. If anything, this shows me - that as a group - we can change anything very quickly. For the better or the worse. We as a group can CHOOSE how to behave and then implement it. We have the gift and privilege of choice at any given moment.
My friend Gina says "Choose Joy." She is a cancer survivor and during the entire time of chemo, she competitively ballroom danced, and continued her work as an Executive Level Business Coach. When people ask her how she did all that, she always says, "I chose JOY."
I absolutely want all of you to be healthy and safe and take any precautions you choose - to protect yourself, family, and neighbors from harm, and I also want to remind us that in the midst of that we can choose safety, health, AND joy.
Imagine yourself sitting in a giant open window sill right now. The window is open, and your legs are dangling on the outside. You have 4 choices: 1) get off the sill and go back inside; 2) if you choose to go back inside you can keep the window open or close it; 3) you can sit there and enjoy the view and the breeze; 4) or you can jump out and walk around. Often, we sit behind a metaphorical window, looking at what we want, but not feeling like we can go after it because the window is closed and "that's just how things are - or have to be - because that is how they are "done." Right now, change is happening - quickly, and it's wide open as to what the lasting impacts will be - will everything go back to being the same after this? Maybe, maybe not! (I know I will never get down to my very last roll of toilet paper ever again!) Dust is flying and where it settles is unknown - what happens next? We don't know. Some people may say that now is the time to hunker down and don't move. Others are saying, now is the time to make your dreams come true! How are you looking at it? What are you saying?
Right now we are experiencing a pause in the norm - an open window if you will. We have a chance to become paralyzed with fear or evaluate, re-evaluate, pivot, and create. Yes, we are in uncertain times and some of us are scared, and no one has answers of what the aftermath will look like, but we can control what we visualize for the world and the future we want to see at the end of this. I agree with you if you are thinking that there is so much outside of your/our control. That is 100% true - as it always is. What we can control is our attitude, our words, our stories, what we are sharing, how we are caring, what we are doing, what we are watching and listening to, and what we are using to shape with our world.
Just as we are not still concerned about the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century, or the Spanish Flu of the early 1900's, Bird Flu of 1997, or SARS of 2003, we can be sure that this virus will be contained, and it will go away eventually (hopefully with the most minimal damage). But while we are in the midst of social distancing and taking extra precautions around each other, let us also not lose our connections and let us see hope, joy, and the opportunity to make changes for the better while the dust is flying. Let us create a League of our Own.
I revel in the downtime to be at home and appreciate our blessings, families, friends, comfort, health, and the gift of home delivery, online shopping, and social media connection. I also love being out in the world, shopping in real stores, seeing people, giant hugs, and brunch dates. So, to be honest, these impending shutdowns, having to stop interacting in person, going to the places I love to frequent and support, and the possibility that I might have to wipe my butt with a washcloth is stressing me out, but I am CHOOSING JOY.
I am focusing HARD on positivity and love. Thinking about all of you gives me hope and I am visualizing all of your lives becoming better and more abundant as the result of this open window. I am visualizing all of us having some much needed time to rest and relax and appreciate the little things. I am visualizing all of us "catching up" on those little projects we never seem to get to. I am visualizing us all snuggled up on our couches with some tea, our pets, and our favorite books. I am visualizing us picking up our phones and calling people to chat and catch up. I am visualizing all of us journaling about our most perfect lives and expanding on all of our hopes and dreams.
One of my favorite books is called The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. If you are looking for a story that will sweep you off your feet and make the world completely melt away - this is it. And all of her other books are absolute magic as well.
Take care, keep in touch, and I love you.
PS: you can always connect via DM on instagram @beautenouveau and will be filling the feed and stories with positivity over the next few days to keep us inspired.