Within the last month or so, I started giving my gawjuss daughter Michaline, long meaningful hugs. It’s a gesture I started doing without giving it much thought. “I’m hugging you as if it’s the last time” I said. (“I don’t want to see this posted anywhere” she said regarding the pic. There are times when you ask for forgiveness later.)
I tend to make meaningful lasting changes on a moment’s notice. Like the time I quit smoking 25 years ago. I never make New Years resolutions because odds are, they have a short shelf life, I a short memory, or simply the lack of drive or unwillingness to follow through. I, like most people, need a spark to get the flame going.
Sometimes the spark needed to create significant change is a tragedy like the shootings at Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and now the nightmare at Newtown. These moments reminds us of the proverbial phrase, life is short.
Although we’re provided with the match to light the flame, time passes and the change we thought we wanted to make becomes a weak flickering afterthought. We go back to living the same lives, and displaying the same behaviors, prior to the national event.
Recently, I successfully completed a 30 Day Challenge to attend a yoga class, every day for 30 days. In fact, I’ve got day 60 on my radar screen. The secret sauce to my success? Whether it’s showing more affection to my daughter, quitting smoking, or attempting a yogi marathon; all of these changes align with the values of who I am.
Changes that stick, mirror your authentic self.
As a coach, I bring out the “true who” of the client and unlock the dormant potential that fuels the bigger end game.
In light of the tragedy at Newtown, I thought this post was worth a second look.
Flip the Switch
I never know what I’ll write about until a day or two before I post on Sunday evening. Then, I woke up to the headlines of the Aurora Century 16 shooting on Friday, July 20th, 2012.
At a midnight premier screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” a 24 year old male, dressed like an armed video game character, opened fire emotionless on moviegoers at the sold out Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado.
Some of the innocent cinema patrons planned seeing the premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” weeks in advance and already had their tickets in hand. Others rushed in line hours before the 12am showing to ensure a seat. Then, there are those who waited until the last minute, only to discover the motion picture was sold out and they’d have to see Batman another day. I wonder how those people are feeling, knowing they escaped an indescribable tragedy.
A male teenage Aurora witness said “you never know which day will be your last.” A Gen Y’r with baby son in his lap, and girlfriend by his side, described the horrific scene in movie like fashion, frame by frame. The same day, he flipped the impromptu marriage proposal switch for his son’s Mom who said yes. “Going through 10 minutes of thinking he was dead and I would never see him again, you never want that feeling again,” she said. And yet another survivor said, “Right now find four people and give them the best hug you have.”
As of now, 12 people dead, another 50 injured. Some in critical condition. Our nation’s prayers are with all of them, including families and friends.
A sobering moment, like the one painted on the canvas of Aurora, gives a vivid picture of the fragility of life.
You know that -one thing- you’ve been meaning to finish or start? For some reason, you’ve delayed flipping the switch. The reason could be anything from fear, doubt, too big an ego, not having all the pieces, etc. Or, you think, “I have plenty of time. I’ll do it soon.”
Jessica Ghawi, 24, was shot and killed on this night. She escaped another shooting in Toronto only a few weeks ago. What are the odds of that happening? She blogged about the Canada incident and said: “Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift.”