it's time to play ball, but first we need to do...

growth, growth and development, growth mindset, journey -

it's time to play ball, but first we need to do...

Going back a few years, a woman arrived at a wide river and needed to find a way to the other side to continue her journey. 

No ferry, bridge, or path could take her there, so she built a raft with the grass, twigs, sticks, and mud around her. Supported by the raft and paddling with her feet and hands, she reached the other side safely. 

As one could imagine, she was grateful for her raft and wondered, since it had been so essential, if she should take it with her. 

What would you do? 

Michael often shares the importance of letting go of the rocks in our backpacks. It's a sensible practice because those rocks never served us well, but what about the things that have helped us along the way, like her raft? 

What got you here won't get you there. - Marshall Goldsmith

As a sports fan, Michael loves this time of year. We have the end of March Madness, the spring cycling classics, and the start of baseball. 

If you don't follow "America's Pastime," you might not realize that baseball eased its grip on its raft (i.e., the homerun) and implemented new rules to make the game more exciting and faster. 

Even as a cheerleader for slow is fast, Michael recognizes that baseball was s-l-o-w-e-r than molasses in the winter, and the home run, which is part of our lexicon, was to blame. Yes, the long ball helped baseball survive and prosper in the years following its last strike, but it became overly reliant on it. 

Over the last several years, many baseball purists have been clutching their rafts and resisting change. For them, the idea that baseball was dull was part of its charm.

Michael appreciates their perspective, but "come on, man," the games were way too long.  Michael cannot remember the last time he stayed up to watch nine innings during the week. 

By letting go, they've made the games shorter by nearly thirty minutes and more exciting (e.g., more stolen bases) and positioned baseball for an exciting season and future.  

What raft are you holding on to? 

Life constantly throws us curve balls, and our old ways may not work well enough anymore. As we enter the holiest week of the year for many, our rafts may be philosophies or beliefs that we've carried since we were children or a way of working and living that was fine before the pandemic. It could even be a protective self-narrative or a way of being. It might even be your attitude toward mindfulness - had to seek that one in because "90% of baseball is half mental." - Yogi Berra. 

One thing is sure - we will experience errors, strikeouts, and things will come out of the left field. Sometimes the way we've always done it will work, but if you wish to go from here to the World Series, you may need to leave that raft behind and empty your backpack. 

On our Pause Breathe Reflect app, you will find recorded and live meditations to help you go from here to there and ease your stress - especially if you're a Mets fan, but you'll need to download it first to help you enjoy the rest of the season.