Teachers come in many shapes in forms. Sometimes we know them well, other times not at all. There are three individuals who inspired me greatly this week, and they are reminding me to be graceful, deliberate, and dedicated in all that I do.
Meet teacher #1: Pharrell Williams.
This ah-ha moment came while watching my new favorite show, The Voice. Now, I'm not much of a TV fan. However, I got hooked on this show at the end of last season while visiting my brother in New York. Now I can hardly wait for Monday night to arrive! Now that the NFL and the Voice are on the same night, I'm always excited for a new week to start!
That being said, I've never watched this show from beginning to end. From the very first night of blind auditions, Pharrell caught my attention. I just get HAPPY thinking about his hit song. But, I'm even more impressed with the way he speaks with clarity and poise.
I'm the kind of person, that when excited about things, tends to jump to the moon and back. I speak faster and my hands say what my words cannot. I get flustered. I get antsy. And, I often lose my composure.
Pharrell is teaching me to be deliberate in what I think, and then how I put those thoughts into words. He is uplifting to every singers and he eloquently (and effortlessly) puts his ides into succinct phrases that are meaningful. After watching the show again last night, I'm reminded to add more of this art of speaking deliberately into my daily conversations.
Then, I was pleasantly surprised to get to watch two incredible athletes in action while visiting my hometown of Redondo Beach over the weekend. The Toyota Sports Center is the practice venue for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, and I drove up Monday morning to catch a little behind-the-scenes action.
I felt a bit like a stalker walking into this incredible building at such an odd hour. The place was relatively quiet, and the entire team wasn't practicing at their usual 10 am time. (Insert sad face). However, there was a 1-on-1 session with one bearded King and his coach. Now I felt like a super stalker, as I was the only one who sat down in the front row next to the glass to watch this one player (who looked like Kyle Clifford) repeat skating and shooting drills on the ice. His power, stamina, and precision was memorizing!
After watching in awe for almost 20 minutes, (and to appear less creepy) I walked around to the figure skating rink. Lo and behold, Gracie Gold (US Olympic Figure Skater) was rocking her triple-flipping-graceful-toeloops... or whatever you call those amazing aerials. While there were about 12 other skaters being coached on the ice at the same time (of all ages and nationalities, mind you), Gracie stood out with her blonde ponytail and bright red lipstick.
She was even more graceful in person. Each twist and turn appeared seamless. Her stride was confident and easy. I almost giggled with excitement just watching!
In the stillness of this arena, I was most struck by the dedication of these athletes. Day in and day out they practice their sport. They repeat fundamental tasks to stay sharp. They courageously try new things. And, they maintain a focus for their larger goal through it all.
Not only was I inspired to continue to my dedication to my yoga practice--something that definitely requires strength, patience, and courage--I was reminded that life is not all about the shining moments. While those are fun, it's often the times we chose to be deliberate, graceful, and dedicated when the lights are not shining on us that make the biggest difference in our lives (and the lives of others).
The stories of many individuals on this show are inspiring in and of themselves.