Never in my lifetime did I think the world would stop. Sure, I’ve experienced moments when time stood still—the deaths of my twins, my mother, my father and two brothers. But that was just my personal world. Then came Rona (Corona Virus’ new nickname.) And the global shutdown. Rona imposed death, destruction, and massive uncertainty. Lives were upended. Normalcy dismantled. Couple that with the worldwide social discord over the murder of unarmed and handcuffed George Floyd, captured on video by bystanders. Several earthquakes felt in Las Vegas. “What is happening?”
About four weeks into the shutdown, I had an epiphany. The introvert in me loved being at home when not working as an “essential”. I caught up on rest, reorganized my garage, got creative with The Glen Alex Show, and wrote more. While the accomplishments were time well spent, I still did not like my choices being taken away. Nor did I enjoy the inconsistent mandates based seemingly on political interests rather than science. Plus no tennis!?!?!? Frustration was my quarantine companion.
Then I saw the light. I am a thinker who is always in pursuit of a higher purpose for everything I do. So as I performed those rewarding tasks in my space, it opened my mind to see possibilities. For the past two years or so, I seriously reflected on my life and working 7 days per week knowing I couldn’t keep up that pace. Nor did I want to. In December 2019, my cousin asked on Facebook for a one-word intention for 2020.
Clarity. My intention for this year was to become clear about my goals and choices and results. While I don’t recall the exact moment of my breakthrough, I recognized it immediately. In order to achieve the balance I want in my life, something really important to me had to give. “Yes, this is what I need to do.”
An overwhelming peace settled throughout my being. I won’t say what I chose to give up because that is the most irrelevant part of my epiphany. The importance is the clarity I gained about the opportunity to make a change.
Rona caused so much pain and provided opportunity, as do all challenges. Rona provided the best time to step away because I was already away, for a month at that point. “Now is the time.”
Conditions are favorable for positive, lasting changes for us all. Order is always preceded by chaos. Recession gives rise to upturn. Thus collectively we can create a new world, one full of purpose and camaraderie and mutual respect of each other’s humanity.
Tennis may be the most appropriate blueprint for this shift. It is the love of my life because tennis always shows me what I do well, how good I can be, and what skills I need to develop to be better. Tennis presents challenges along with the provisions to grow through them.
The best results on court come from intention (visualization), practice (preparation), learning (skill development), and most importantly problem solving. Transfer the beauty of tennis to daily life. Set your intention. Prepare to actualize it. Learn coping skills to effectively deal with challenges. And make adjustments as needed.
It is my hope for all of us that we awaken to this opportunity, be ready to act upon it, and have the drive to see it through. Even when life is hard. Even when your world is interrupted.