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Is Baseball Spiritual?

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
-Babe Ruth

When baseball is put in the context of a story that I heard from one of my dear mentors, it certainly can be. I am not usually one for remembering jokes and stories, but this one really stuck with me because it was a very clear example of how perception, or one’s perspective really functions. It is also a tale of wisdom. Another reason I really liked this story was because it was short, but packed full of little nuggets I could remember and take with me. So, what is this amazing story you may be asking?

Umpire

Well, maybe it is not super amazing, but it is “The Tale of Three Umpires” and it goes like this:

Three umpires were standing around and talking at home plate, waiting for the home team to take the field. They were discussing how they each call balls and stikes.

“I may be a new umpire,” said the first one, “but it just isn’t that hard. I call them as they are.”

The second umpire smiled and shook his head knowingly, for as a more experienced umpire, he knows that isn’t really the case.

“I used to think I called them as they were, but now I know better. I call them as I see them.”

The third umpire, the most experienced and wisest of the three, smiled and shook his head knowingly.

“I used to think that I called them as they are, and then I realized that I simply called them the way I saw them. But now I know they ain’t nothin’ until I call ‘em.”

Baseball-2

This story exemplifies the growth of wisdom through experience and understanding.

The first umpire thinks he is dealing in facts, that the thoughts in his head are the Truth. Like us, he is making judgment calls as we do about ourselves: “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t do …,” I will look ridiculous,” “I’m a disappointment.” The next thing we know, life reveals itself to be consistent with our thoughts, providing further evidence for our self-proclaimed statements.

 

The second umpire realizes that he makes judgments about what he saw, that he doesn’t deal in facts. When we find ourselves at this stage, we realize that our perspectives and attitudes have a big influence on how we experience and live our lives. At this point, we are also open to learning from others, reading books, taking classes, and workshops that help us develop our potential and get past obstacles that present themselves in our lives.

 

The third umpire knows he has the power to choose his perspective and that his choice is what determines “reality” for him. When we reach this stage, we realize that not only does our attitude affect our actions but we can also choose our attitude. Regardless of circumstances, at this point, we see ourselves as the source of our choices and actions. We are no longer victims of circumstances, but take responsibility for our thoughts, emotions, and choices every moment of every day.

Which umpire are you going to be today?

How Many Days Are In A Day?

Have you ever woken up “on the wrong side of the bed” feeling as grumpy as ever? Ever think the only solution for your day would be for that day to be over? I have too, and it is no fun! What I have come to realize throughout the years though, is this: there are many days within our day. Let me tell you about my day the other week, and maybe that will clarify what I mean.

Grumpy

My day started shortly after I went to bed. I was awakened roughly six times throughout my nightly slumber by our feline friend who felt compelled to snuggle, and once snuggling suddenly had some other urgent business to take care of. Each time he enters the room it is preceded by shrill meowing. As you can imagine, I was working on falling back asleep only to hear my alarm for the day chime in.

tired

I was so tired and grumpy I could hardly form words. I proceeded to put together an edible lunch for my daughter for school, made some feeble attempts at helping her get ready and out the door so we could arrive on time, before 8am. We walked through the doors at 7:59, just barely making eluding the dreaded tardy slip. After that, I knew I needed some strong caffeination fast if I was going to turn this day around. What I have also come to realize over the years, is that there are many aspects to a day, and a nice, warm Americano was just the thing to begin this process. What happens to so many people is that those waking moments have a great tendency to define and shape our entire day. When we begin to look at those many aspects of our day as new days within our day, it is much easier to “start over”, “hit “reset”, or recalibrate our course. I chose to redirect mine with a cup of coffee and a pause to choose how I wanted the rest of my day to go.

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. – Nido Qubein

In another fifteen minutes, I was at my Chiropractic appointment. I had about half of my coffee before I got there and it hadn’t quite kicked in yet, but I was already feeling better. They call what a chiropractor does, making an adjustment, and this morning, it couldn’t have been truer as I was getting physically adjusted, so was my attitude. As I was feeling better, I also realized that I needed some breakfast, so I stopped to get my favorite scone at the local market. As I sat there eating and drinking the rest of my coffee, the sun literally and figuratively poked its head out of the clouds.

 

What I have come to know and practice in my life is that any act can be a meditation, if you give yourself the time and space to be present. I used to think that meditation meant sitting, or lying down for a period of time, but I now do my best to make the actions in my life a meditation as well. I can be sipping my coffee or going for a walk and that is my meditation. I give myself the space and time to clear my mind, then focus and decide how I want to proceed with what I am doing next. Outcomes are not determined by what I do as much as they are by how I do them, and that goes for the course of my day too.