My son Jake mastering the thrill of the ride!
By now most kids are in full swing of the school year and may have been asked by their new teachers to write a paragraph about what they did on their summer vacation. Well, at least that’s what teachers used to do back in the day!
So, I felt compelled to reflect on my summer and write my adventures!
I hadn’t really thought about it until the end of August on a beautiful day at the beach. The ocean was really warm (warm enough for me to get wet up to my knees!) and the sun fed my soul as I sat with my toes digging into the sand; hands clenched on the sides of my beach chair and watched my 11-year-old-son dive head first into the waves!
My hoped-for relaxing day at the beach was no longer. I was reminded that the only way I could enjoy one of those kinds of beach days was to go alone. I glanced over at my 17-year-old daughter with ear buds in place, relaxing, tapping her foot to the beat reverberating in her ears and “doing the beach” the way I had at her age. A pang of envy surged. Then the sharp contrast of my current reality came into focus. Here I was poised and at the ready to run into the rollicking foam to save my son. Thankfully this wasn’t necessary. Call it overprotective or just plain not crazy when I don’t have control, but it appeared I was the only mother screaming at the water’s edge for the safety of their child. I will one day learn how to be one of “them” (well, maybe not) and just sit calmly on the blanket reading a book while Mother Nature had her way with their child.
When my son surfaced he was frustrated and angry. He wanted to conquer the waves. To beat and overpower them.
Stumbling to his feet he made his way over to me and I tried to give him some tips and let him to keep trying. What the voice in my head really, really wanted to do was to crazy glue him to the blanket next to me, so that he couldn’t subject himself – or me – to the battering of the ocean any further. Not wanting to instill my fears and insecurities upon him, I did what any good mom would do – I prayed.
I held my breath and watched him, again and again, take a beating and barreling. Each time he came up he was frustrated and pissed. One of my son’s gifts is the persistence he applies to things that he wants to accomplish. So, he took a couple of breaths, scowled at the waves, rejected my advice, took a couple of more breaths and then went at it again – with a vengeance.
After a few more times, he began to think to himself (without admitting to me of course) that maybe his mom knew a thing or two about riding his boogie board back to shore. Not that I blame him for doubting me. He knows his mother well. This type of adventure and activity is not high on my achievement list.
But I did know a thing or two about life and the numerous times I felt beat up and tossed around by the waves of fear, uneasiness, doubt and disappointment. I have tumbled. And I have also risen.
Now, he held his boogie board under his arm and walked out a bit. He teetered from side to side, resisting the movement of the ocean and kept moving forward until he was past the break of the waves. And this time without hesitation, when the next swell of salty sea rose up, my son placed his boogie board in the ocean, climbed on top and road into shore!! Woohoo! He did it with gusto, impeccable timing and a mighty dollop of joy!
I watched with delight (o.k. a little fear too). I began thinking about how you never know what the next wave will be like and that maybe it would be too big for him and maybe he would tumble and maybe, maybe, maybe.
He too was thinking about how you never know what the next wave will be like. Only the thoughts that followed for him sounded something like: “I don’t know what will happen next and isn’t this exciting? I can’t wait to test my new skills? I can’t wait to feel the exhilaration and energy rush again!”
So there I was on an ordinary day in August and my son had taught me some valuable lessons about boogie boarding and life!
1. If you can move past the discomfort, with consistent action, you find yourself on the other side of what seemed impossible to conquer.
2. Timing is everything!
3. Just because you get knocked down (a bunch of times), doesn’t mean you can’t find another way to get up.
4. When you keep doing the same thing and getting the same undesired results, stand up and try something different. (thank you Einstein).
5. It’s much more fun to move your power into the flow of the nature of things than it is to dive head first into opposition.
6. Don’t be afraid to surrender and feel the whoosh of joy!
What do a little girl and a giraffe have to do with the power of intention?
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was very good at doing the right thing. She lived in the Borough of Kings with her three sisters, one brother and her parents. Although not spoken, there was a quiet understanding in the castle that it was very important to be “good”. She thought to be loved – especially by God – that she had to be good, and therefore, never rocked the boat. She would do extra chores to gain attention and affection. This seemed to work well. She would go out of her way to be seen doing the right thing and then be praised and loved by all! Being good meant not answering back, doing as she was told and never speaking her mind or asking for what she wanted. Until one day………
She attended a private school in the kingdom where all the little boys and girls also knew the virtues and gifts of being good. This one spring, there was to be a celebration…a carnival bazaar with all sorts of games of chance and prizes. Their school master took the children down to where the carnival was to take place – just to have a preview of the delight that was to commence the next day.
She began to walk up and down the lane with her classmates. Peering upwards and craning her neck to see above the tall countertops she was suddenly aware of her slight stature. It was hard to imagine what it was going to be like as the lights and sounds that usually went along with this environment were silenced that day. As the other children rushed past her, every step she took was plotting and deliberate as she was filled with a sense of wonderment. Taking note of the different prizes and the allotment that would be needed to play the game, a sudden sense of overwhelm swept past her feet.
And then she saw it. The prize she wanted. No, the prize she knew she would win. Standing tall above the rest in the menagerie of stuffed animals was a giraffe. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Her friends tried to get her attention to continue walking, but she always came back to meet his gaze. He was majestic, calm and self-assured. The rest of her classmates were moving on, but her feet were cemented to the floor. She wasn’t sure what it was about the giraffe, but she liked how she felt inside when she would look at him. A sense of excitement and joy. Her heart felt full. That was it! Without using the word, she set her “intention” and would not be swayed.
Upon arriving at the castle that afternoon, she bolted up the cascading staircase. Out of breath but fueled by her exhilaration she began to tell her mother about her great discovery. There were not enough words in her 7-year-old vocabulary to describe what the giraffe was like or what it meant to her. She asked for a pittance to play the game for when she would return tomorrow. In her eagerness to describe every detail she sensed that her mother was not quite as enthusiastic. This bothered her and gave her a twinge of discomfort. In an instant she became aware of her own animation and when not met with the same fervor, she began to feel deflated. Deciding to curtail her exuberance, she began to focus more closely on the expression on her mother’s face. It was somewhat distracted and concerned. Her mother sat her down and explained that she shouldn’t get too excited because there was no way of predicting whether she would win the giraffe or not and she didn’t want her to be disappointed.
What? Not win? It hadn’t even occurred to her. In fact, at the mere suggestion, she began to get annoyed. “Why is she telling me this? Doesn’t she know that he is meant for me?” It was as if someone untied the knot on the end of her balloon and air was slowly escaping; shrinking her joy. The boundless elation she had felt just seconds before was now simmering and dimming its light. Her mother ended by saying, “but go ahead and have a good time; just don’t set your hopes too high.”
The seeds of doubt had been planted. Her magic had been doused. Or had it been?
She found a place deep inside her where she could continue to believe despite the warning she had been given. She imagined playing with her new friend and riding the giraffe for fun. She thought about tea parties they would share and began to smile again. In her world, anything was possible!
With a stipend in her pocket she left the castle and marched off in great anticipation of the carnival. As if waiting to see a great friend, her little legs were running double time as she bounded toward the counter. Yes! He was still there just waiting for her arrival!
The game was a spinning wheel and she would place her coin on the numbered space that she willed the wheel to stop on. She felt like she had played the game forever….and nothing. The conversation she had with her mother the day before began to seep into her consciousness. And she began to think to herself that perhaps her mother was right after all. But she didn’t want to believe it. Thoughts of the adventures she concocted began to reemerge and take residence in her mind and she could once again feel the sensations of positive possibilities. She hadn’t played any other games because she knew exactly what prize she was going to win and where he was. And then….one more spin of the wheel! The wheel stopped exactly on the number she had chosen this! There was a rush of accomplishment and euphoria! She did it….she had won her amazing prize. Her giraffe!
Her classmates and school master were equally surprised at her tenacity and determination. The 3:00 p.m. bell rang and she now had to figure out how she was going to take her new friend home to the castle – he was at least twice her size! A good friend offered to help her carry him. As she arrived at the castle and called out to her mother to come to the stairs she will never forget the astonished look on her mother’s face. She told her mother that she was so happy and said “see, I told you I could do it!” She called it her magic and after that day, she knew she was indeed a good girl.
Without knowing it, this little girl applied the steps to activate the power of intention:
- Set your intention or claim your desired outcome
- Believe it into being
- Feel the emotion in your imagination as if it has already happened
- Take persistent action toward your dream
I am this little girl and I still believe in magic. I didn’t live in a castle but a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, New York. To this day I’m not really sure if the person running the game fixed it so that I’d win because I was there for so long or if the wheel landed on the number “on its own.” Whatever the case, the power of intention was well into play! Throughout my life, I have fondly recalled this event and have used these very same steps to create what I wanted.
Paula G. Rosario, Leadership Coach
On the Edge of Greatness Coaching & Consulting
Paula G. Rosario is a brand marketer with over 20 years’ experience crafting marketing strategies and engaging target audiences. She has held numerous marketing roles in the fashion and retail industries and in her most recent position developed and executed award-winning promotional programs and achieved many firsts. One of which was becoming the organizations first female vice president. The success of her career was due to Paula’s creativity and ability to relate to people; from CEO’s to consumers. In time she realized she received much gratification from supporting, mentoring and coaching others because of the high value she places on authenticity and building relationships. Following her heart, in 2005 she pursued training as a leadership and Certified Energy Coach.
Paula is a mother of two children and has experienced first-hand the joys of having a family and successful career along with the battle for self-care, organization and the occasional fallout of “having it all.” Her frustration at trying to achieve the work/life balance ideal took her on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance where she concluded that harmony, flow and peace of mind was the healthier way to go. Paula’s passion is in using her unique combination of business know-how, personal experience and intuition to share what she has learned about the role of leadership, the art of self-thriving practices and living your greatest potential. Today, Paula is the owner of On the Edge of Greatness Coaching & Consulting. www.paulagrosario.com.
Paula is also a published author and lives in New York with her husband and children.
Paula G. Rosario
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