A Major Change: A Foot

A major change is afoot – or should I say, a major change is literally a foot?  I say this half joking and half serious. Every change begins with a step in the right direction and we step with presence of mind.

I’ve met a few people who had dinner with legendary UCLA college basketball coach John Wooden. Wooden was known for his wisdom and establishing a “pyramid of success” which he applied to his life and proved successful winning him 11 National Championships. The pyramid looks at how character shapes our destinies. He examines how virtues can be employed to our lives in meaningful ways to help us reshape our thinking.

When my friends went to dinner with Wooden they expected to glean stories and tricks of the trade to apply to their own lives. One of the people who had dinner with him was a basketball coach. All Wooden would talk about was how important it was to put on clean socks and taking care of the feet.

Perplexed by his gentle and kind but one note song, my friend reflected on the night.  She couldn’t get over that whenever she asked this great “Wizard of Westwood” a question, his response went back to taking care of your feet in preparation for a game. She finally realized.  It’s the preparation for the world that makes it all happen in the world.

Biblically speaking, it’s the little things we do in life that reflect on the bigger things we do in life. In other words, we need to take small steps in our lives to make big steps towards our dreams.

I’ve been distracted in life lately.  I’ve had writer’s block.  I’ve been able to journalize, but not been able to create a unified piece that I felt was worthy of showing others. I worked my way out of this slump by going back to the basics; praying, meditating, studying, and mental self- care; reclaiming my own desires for creating something meaningful. It’s opened the world to me again. I’m attending to my work in a meaningful way and figuratively have discovered an extra spring in my step.

It was a tough semester and my focus was on making things happen in the classroom.  I redirected my creative sensibilities with care and concern for my students and overcoming the mental and social lags of covid. 

Teachers across the country have been saying the same things. One friend who has been teaching for 30 years is done. The year has been such a struggle, she’s redirecting her energies to attending to problems in the classroom and teaching students how to behave rather than learn. Students have been away from socialization and this act of reconnecting with others has presented problems for teachers.

As I reflect on my own inadequacies and honestly face them, I realize that I just need to return to the basics. The change afoot is the change we seek in ourselves. Realizing that we all align ourselves to what is important, we become what we think. “Where the mind goes the energy flows.”

This year many resolutions will be made. We think about what we can do to make it all happen for ourselves; exercise, lose that extra body weight, rethink career, work on relationships etc.

Where you are consciously will be the step in the direction you need to take. Go back to the basics.  Selfcare goes a long way in bringing change. Perspective shifts allow for a dynamic understanding to take hold.

Most importantly, reaching out to others and allowing others in to the process of your understanding will clarify things for you. The small steps we make in the inner world are the giant leaps forward to assist us in our own evolution.

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