Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

This weekend, I got to witness a heart transplant.  Under a buzz from bright fluorescent lights bouncing off the reflective shine on the floor, there was a sense of anticipation felt in the room.  Sweat dripped from the brows of all involved...and tears too.  Tears flowed at times, each holding a story of their own.  But there were no doctors or nurses in attendance.  Just the donor, recipient and all of us onlookers watching life being poured out and heart being given.

No...I was not in a hospital or medical clinic.  There were no scalpels, IV's or medical equipment.  This heart transplant happened on a volleyball court.  The one giving her heart was our amazing new coach.  And the recipient?  My daughter's volleyball team.

Now on the third coach of the season, our girls headed into this weekend with skills and drills, but missing something.  They knew the rhythm of "pass-set-hit", but knowing it and dancing with it are two different things.  Our coach, not knowing the girls (or parents) all that well, played it conservatively for the first two games, trying not to overwhelm the girls and get a feel for their rhythm.  There was execution that lacked "spark"; there was unsuredness all around.  

On watching the second game, another coach from our club questioned our coach with, "Why aren't you bringing Kathy?  Be Kathy!!"  Those words must have settled in and brought courage because during our third game, that is exactly what happened.  And that is when the miraculous heart transplant occurred.

As our coach (Kathy) brought all she had to the court - tough words of constructive criticism, reassuring looks and gestures when the girls made a mistake, and huge, joyous celebration for well executed achievements - our girls began to bring all they had to the court too!  It was seriously as though I was watching a heart transplant in action!  Kathy poured out her heart, the girls picked it up, and began to play differently.  As Kathy brought her strength to the court, it radiated out to the each player (heck, I think it was felt by the parents too!).

It reminded me of the quote from Akeelah and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually,
 who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the
 world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel
 insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make
 manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in
 everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
 permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
When we bring our whole heart  - everything we are - to those around us, it "automatically liberates others" and "playing small" does nothing for those around us.  Living authentically and passionately is risky but it causes a change in others.  People see it, grab the heart that is being poured out and want to live like that too!
Living wholeheartedly doesn't mean that everything will go perfectly.  We didn't win as many games as we would have liked, but we came ALIVE!!  And as we watched one person (Kathy) give everything she had, the girls AND the parents gave all they had too.  (We even had parents from another team in our club joining the "heart transplant movement"!!)  We cried for joy because it is always amazing to watch LIFE happen!  We laughed because there is always a paradoxical lightness when someone gives everything they have.  We cheered because when one person pours out their heart, that is the response from onlookers.

I am so grateful to have been watch the girls become a different watch Kathy being Kathy...and to be able to witness a heart transplant!!

May we all live life so fully that it inspires others to live too!  

Breathe, smile and go slowly.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Spot on and so very well told; both photos and words. You have caused me to well up again and gave me goose bumps. That was an experience I, and all present, will never forget and is what youth team sports is all about. When Mikaela came off of the court after her opportunity seizing performance and jumped into Kathy's arms, I lost it.

Thank you for your work.
Bryan Olin (Raven's Dad)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful posting. I am tearing up as we speak. Your words were so true! Thank you also for your wonderful pictures. We love them! Cara