Yesterday my yoga instructor invited the class to choose an Intention for the day. I breathed in, my body and mind was tight, it has seemed that way for some time. Into my mind came the word PEACE. I thought, “How corny. Really? Peace is what you come up with Sonya?” But I closed my eyes, and again it was Peace that resonated for me. Peace that I needed.
As we all know, life is busy. I don’t think my life is any busier than anyone else’s, but I haven’t been able to find the peace and calm that is so important to me, especially in the midst of chaos. I write, model, chauffeur kids (well, now down to one), fix and manage rental houses and over the past twenty plus years I’ve been coaching as well. And during my last few years as a head coach, not only did amazing things happen, but a lot of negative energy was thrown in my direction by a group of parents and it made finding peace a little more difficult.
This part of my time coaching is not something I write about very often because I do my best to keep out the bad energy, but it comes up for me from time to time since I live in the neighborhood, and attend events at the high school where I coached, so I often see these parents. It’s not easy to forgive and forget.
The old sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me, is only partially true. The recent Mindful Magazine article The Stickiness of Misinformation, explains that once a lie has been told, it sticks in the mind, and if continually repeated is seen as a truth. The repetition even emphasizes the lie. The lie becomes a truth in people’s minds. Political Scientist Adam Berinsky says, “Rumors acquire their power through familiarity. Merely repeating a rumor,”—including rebuking it—“ increases its strength.” More reason not to go there, not to talk about the lies.
Recently, when the mother of one of my former players was at her daughter’s Select Basketball games she was asked, “You must be so happy that your daughter’s old coach stepped down?” He had heard rumors. “No. Quite the opposite.” She replied. This parent had believed the lies. The lies had become truth.
I have a thick skin. Coaching (and Modeling) has done that to me. Still, have hateful rumors made it more difficult for me to find peace? At times. But recently I was invited to an event for The Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to freeing innocent prisoners using DNA and other new evidence and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice, and it made me think of how difficult it must be to find peace and forgiveness and to move forward with life when such a wrong has been placed upon you, when 10, 20, 40 years or more of your life has been wrongly spent in prison, away from your family and friends, and it opened my mind that much more to just letting go.
Should I care what others think or say? No, not when my heart is in the right place. But is it always easy? Of course not. Fortunately I have the support of many friends, family, and players who know me and know the love and energy I have put into coaching over the years. So yesterday when I closed my eyes to block out the craziness of the day and focus on my intention of Peace, I thought of those people, the good that surrounds me and the good in my heart, to find my calm. To find Peace.
How do you find peace? Who supports you in finding peace in your life?