“We need to talk.”
To anyone out there, when you hear that from your partner, you’re in for some pain.
As my wife and I dug in to our Rosh Hashanah dinner, we had a “talk.”
After 9 months of learning to be a parent while working in NYC, we hadn’t really talked much. I’ve heard it happens to new parents.
After a long day of work and putting your child to sleep, you just want a whole bunch of NOTHING topped with NOTHING.
To actually talk to each other? That’s exhausting (;
But now I remember how important it is to actually talk to your spouse.
We got pretty deep and out of this “talk,” the question was posed. I think it’s a question you’ll want to sit with for a while.
Are you the champion of your life?
If there were 100 possible variations of you…
…and only 1 variation was worthy of being called champion…
is that the life you are living?
Let’s define champion, and of course this is open to interpretation.
HEALTH: you have enough balance in your diet and fitness to think clearly, to sleep well, to have what my father in law calls “physicality.” Your body feels more like a vehicle than a prison.
EFFORT: you are applying yourself as a parent, partner, professional. This is not about results. We go through tough times and things don’t always work out. But you can always control your effort.
ENGAGEMENT: you are in the flow of life, working hard at something that you love, something that you feel makes the world a better place. If you haven’t found engagement, you will so long as you open to learning something new.
Not that this is easy. Pearl Buck famously said, “You can tell one’s age by the amount of pain they feel when they come in contact with a new idea.”
LOVE: You take the time to ask your heart how it feels. And give it the silence and space to answer. This is merely about asking the question. The rest takes care of itself.
FREEDOM: This is the one that is most elusive. The “Champion” is Free…and most of us, myself included, are not.
A Buddhist teacher was asked, “How would you describe the world?”
He answered, “Lost in thought.” We are living in a trance.
If you feel as if you are coming up short, in 11th place, or 5th place, or 2nd place…but you still have the desire to be champion of your life…
You have to awaken from the trance. A life spent lost in thought…is not a life well spent.
This isn’t spiritual or magical…this is about truth.
Meditation teacher Tara Brach says that most of the thoughts and stories we entertain each day may be real in our minds…but they are NOT TRUE.
You may think that you are sick and will never be healthy. That is real for you right now, but the fact that you will never be healthy is NOT TRUE.
You may think that you will never have the right relationship. That may be real this very moment, but the fact that you will never have the right relationship is NOT TRUE.
You may think that you will financially struggle forever. That may be real right now, but “forever” is NOT TRUE.
So long as you become the champion of your life, you will rise above these struggles because they are merely stories you perpetuate in your mind day after day. I know because I’ve got plenty of bullshit stories I tell myself. We all do.
A champion is free.
You know one when you see one.
Not because they are emerging from a fancy car or because they are arm in arm with a famous person. But because somehow, they started telling themselves a more beautiful, healthy, abundant story.
And most importantly, they are a champion because they have the audacity to say something to you that needs to be said to everyone on this increasingly disengaged planet.
“WE NEED TO TALK.”