Archive for June, 2008

A Walk on the Beach

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

A good friend of mine called me the other day and mentioned she had just had a wonderful experience this past weekend.  She took a walk on the beach by herself.  For a good hour, she marveled at the wonderful serenity of being alone for a while.  All of sudden, her roles were “suspended” in time; she wasn’t the mother, the teacher, the wife, the friend, etc.  “It felt awesome to just be myself for a while!”; she told me.

I pondered on our conversation for a while and thought that I wish more people would do just that; spend more time with their own selves!  “Suspend” the roles they all play in life and just enjoy their own company…  It’s almost like stopping time! 

Ultimately we are all alone in life.  We nurture relationships with our family, our partners, our friends, our colleagues and we develop a community.  People come and go in and out of our lives and we are left with the lessons and memories – the most precious gifts they can give us.  However, the person we must face at the end of the day and at the end of our lives, is ourselves.  So, the natural question is:  Are you developing a relationship with yourself?  Another good one is:  Do you feel in peace in your own company? 

Taking the time to be alone is crucial to develop a good relationship with our own selves. Enjoying the silence of our own company, or talking to ourselves are great ways to become comfortable in our own skins.  What we will find is that deep inside ourselves something incredible is waiting to be known.

Take yourself out on a date this weekend and enjoy it!

With energy,

Ana

Parenting and the Olympics

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

As I was reading the paper today, I came across a couple Olympic stories.  One was about my former team – Coral Springs Swim Team – in Weston, Florida.  It was great to see that Coach Lohberg has been able to preserve the atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie after many years as their head coach.  The other story was about the US gymnastics team and their training.  Bela Karolyi and his wife Martha are wonderful examples of coaches committed to the growth of the sport and not to their own individual agendas. 

As I read about the athletes and their getting ready for the games, I went back in time to take a look at my own athletic career.  I was a successful swimmer, extremely driven and full of discipline.  

Often we see the involvement of the parents and wonder how much of a contribution they are making to their son/daughter athletic career?  Speaking from the point of view of a daughter-athlete, I would like to offer my two cents here.  When parents allow the space for the child to choose his/her own path, without imposing their views, hopes and dreams for themselves on their child, there is a great chance their son/daughter will become successful.  When they transfer their hopes and frustrated dreams to their child things tend to get a bit discombobulated.  If my parents had pushed me to become a swimmer and had not allowed me to make that choice myself, I doubt that I would have followed that path.  Especially knowing that when people try to boss me around, my nature is to do exactly the opposite! 

There are all sorts of patterns in successful athletes’ lives but the one that remains most consistent has to do with parenting styles.  Every champion has the same story:  Their parents allowed them to be who they were and to go for it at their own pace.  It’s all about meeting your child where he/she is without trying to impose your own views on them.  In other words, let them write their own story.  I am extremely thankful my parents allowed me the “space” to do just that. 

On that note:  Happy Father’s Day Dad! 🙂  And also to all of you fathers out there!

With energy,

Ana

Becoming a Parent-Coach

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

One of my clients came to me because she was having trouble understanding her teenage son.  She was familiar with coaching and her goal was to become a Parent-Coach.  Her clarity was amazing and within a few sessions it became clear to her how to achieve her goal.  She gave me permission to discuss some of her findings in my blog.

She realized that as her son changed, she had to change as well.  Most amazingly, she realized that the root of some of the troubles they were having was her unwillingness to change!  Her son was mirroring some of the things she wanted to change about herself and she naturally resisted the change.  Their parent-child relationship had evolved and this realization was major for her to better her relationship with her son.

The major point here is: Get to know yourself first so that you can better understand others.  You will then be able to recognize when the opportunities for your change and growth arrive.  A change in the parent-child relationship, for example, is a huge opportunity for personal growth even if it comes wrapped up in what it seems to be a conflict. 

Once you are able to recognize these opportunities, you will begin to feel grateful to whoever brings them into your life and will not take their reactions in a personal manner.  You will begin to feel gratitude toward them because they allow for you to see the possibility for your own growth!  It is indeed a major shift in our thinking and it is one that can truly change our relationships with the ones we love the most.  I dare say it’s a shift that can change our world for the best!

Have fun shifting!

With energy,

Ana