Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Not being very sportsy, I haven’t played basketball much. A few days ago I got to watch my 12 years old grandson participate in a basketball camp. It was very interesting to watch. The boys were divided into groups of four with a high school mentor helping them with their skills. There was much attention to detail, such as how to hold your elbow when you shoot; when and how to use your toes; which muscles contribute to the power in your shot. Playing basketball is more than just accidental talent. It takes skills which can be carefully cultivated.

Life takes skills too; skills that can be carefully cultivated. I thought how nice it would be if we could have a little life skills camp. We could divide into groups of four with a carefully chosen mentor and we could practice our skills in classes like Courage For Beginners, Intermediate Trust, or Confidence 101. We could include things like how to deal with disappointment; how to keep trying when we feel like giving up; how to get along with difficult people.

Sometimes life is hard. We may struggle because we have been hurt. Maybe we have been told that we are not good enough. We may struggle under a burden of criticism, doubt, and blame. If we accept this negative programming, the battle will be long and there will be no victors. Perhaps we could learn in our life skills camp how to believe in ourselves; how to enjoy the journey; how to choose again.

Sometimes the enemy is within. We battle our own high expectations, often coming up short. We demand a degree of perfection that we cannot deliver. We may grapple with guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and shadowy fears. We beat ourselves up when we could be building ourselves up. We can be our own worst enemy. Wouldn’t you love a life skills camp that would teach us how to release our negative programming, how to love and support ourselves; how to be true to ourselves; how to remember who we really are.

I once read that most of our programming, both positive and negative, happens by the age of three. It sounds like we have been carrying those negative beliefs for a very long time. Isn’t it time for a change?

Do something kind for yourself today. Be willing to change some of that negative programming. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are good enough. Be your own best friend.


Linda Garner


Carolyn V. said...

Wow Linda, That is so inspirational. =) You always have great insight. I've been a little hard on myself recently and am grateful for your words today. Thanks.

Chas Hathaway said...

Very cool. I think I'll start a family life skills camp. For the kids it could be directed by parents, and for adults we could work together on each other.

We can all use boosts like that!

- Chas

LexiconLuvr said...

Oh Linda, this is so beautiful. Your voice is so desperately needed in the world--by myself especially. Thank you for this wonderful post. You always help me to feel like I can change, become better, and live a more peaceful, happy life. Thank you.