Navigating Rejection and Failure. A Series.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

- Winston Churchill

“Today’s rejection may become tomorrow’s acceptance.”

― Ehsan Sehgal

 

Everyone deals with rejection and failure. 

This is something we sign up for the day we are born. We face it almost everywhere we go, yet somehow, I’m not sure it ever gets any easier. 

It’s important to note that failure and rejection are for the most part subjective. You may look at an experience and feel like you've failed, while someone on the outside looking in may view your experience as a win. I’m not here to debate what failure and rejection are and what they are not. It’s an individual experience that we will ALL face and feel and it’s hard.

As a former athlete playing at a highly competitive DI program, I faced rejection almost every day on and off the field. As a former college coach I remember countless...

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Self Compassion. Moving From Concept to Practice.

Welcome back to part 3 of this Self Compassion Series. If you haven’t been able to read my 2 previous posts I urge you to go back and give them a go prior to diving into this piece. 

One of the main ways we can practice Self Compassion is through our meditation practice. 

Meditation practices that are typically used for cultivating Self Compassion are called Metta Meditation or Loving Kindness Meditation. The goal is to cultivate feelings of loving kindness for ourselves AND others by repeating simple phrases. 

The traditional form of Metta Meditation uses a series of phrases that are repeated to cultivate loving kindness for yourself, for someone you love, for someone that is difficult and lastly for the world as a whole (or ALL beings). 

The world renown teacher Sharon Salzburg is a wonderful resource for all things LovingKindness. After reading her book “Real Love” I embarked on this journey to practice Metta Meditation more consistently. But...

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Self Compassion. Where to Start?

Self Compassion. Where to Start? 

If you were unable to catch my recent post about redefining resilience I suggest you do so. I wholeheartedly stand by my belief that self compassion is really what we need in order to be resilient. 

Easier said than done. 

Self compassion is extremely counterintuitive to modern day society. Especially in sport I’m not sure I have faced an athlete that isn’t their own worst critic. So how do we get started with this so-called self compassion? 

In January of 2019 I committed to spending an entire year dedicating my nightly meditation practice to self compassion. Every single night. It was brutal to start. 

Let’s start by defining what Self Compassion is. Kristen Neff, the pioneer of this work defines Self Compassion as having compassion towards yourself with the three core elements of mindfulness, self kindness and commun humanity. Essentially, we use mindfulness to attune to our emotional experience in a...

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Meditation. Where to Begin.

Meditation. 

Where to even begin! 

There are many ways to meditate and many different kinds of meditation. Deciphering where to start with a meditation practice can be difficult. 

I am a huge fan of keeping things simple when you are just getting started with a meditation practice. 

When I start working with athletes I encourage them to use what is called a Concentration meditation. This type of meditation helps us “train” our attention and focus.  When we are practicing a Concentration meditation we use an anchor, such as the feeling of the body or the feeling of the breath. This anchor is the focal point for our attention. The goal here is to notice when we get distracted and then simply return back to our anchor. 

I also encourage my athletes (or anyone who is just getting started with meditation) to start small. Try a Concentration meditation practice for 2-3 minutes. In many ways training the brain is just like training other parts of...

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I Can't Meditate. My Mind Is Too Busy.

Your mind is busy? 

Mine too. Welcome to the club. Meditation is just for you! 

This is something I hear often when I speak about Meditation to both athletes and coaches. 

The human brain is fascinating. Its power and capacity seize to amaze me and it is constantly on the go. We won’t go 3 seconds without “thinking” and this is what makes us human. However for many, this is the reason that they stay away from Meditation. 

 

“I don’t like to be with my own thoughts in stillness.”

“I can’t sit still for very long.” 

“I can’t deal with the quiet.” 

“I get too antsy and I think about everything that I should be doing.” 

“I can’t get my mind to shut off.” 

“My brain just feels all over the place.” 

 

All of these are valid. 

In my opinion, these responses are all the more reason to try meditation. It’s a common...

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Why Mindfulness for an Athlete?

{As seen on and written for https://soccergrlprobs.com }

 

As I continue to navigate through my line of work and teaching Elite Athletes about Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga, I do my best to take the time to explain WHY these practices are so important.  

My response usually starts with a quote: 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. 

In that space is our power to choose our response. 

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” 

– Viktor Frankl

I found this quote about 2 months after being released from inpatient psychiatric care. At that point, I had spent almost a full year living panic attack to panic attack. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t leave my house most days. I was at a complete loss for how I was supposed to continue to live my life. When I eventually landed in inpatient care I felt like I had truly hit my rock bottom. I weathered that storm and when I made it out alive I made a...

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In a Time With So Much Uncertainty, Why Can’t Coaches and Athletes Afford to Skip Out On Taking Care of Their Minds?

 

We’re coming up on 7 months of this new normal. Since the cancellation of collegiate spring sports and various "Bubble" scenarios for pro leagues the Athletic Community is very much still navigating this new normal. 

 

We have already seen collegiate sports cut, budgets deflated and resources going towards a LOT of testing. Athletic staff's have restructured weight rooms and worked tirelessly to make sure that facilities are set up to maintain standards and protocols that put student athlete safety first. As if there were not already a plethora of demands placed on college athletes, having to maneuver through a season and the normal day to day among the COVID crisis is definitely an added task. 

 

There’s a lot to navigate here. 

 

Take COVID away and regular student athlete life is challenging enough. Time to simply get everything done academically, athletically, and socially is strained. There’s the added piece of...

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