Not everyone can win an Olympic gold medal, however, everyone has a gold medal inside of them. We are all champions. We are all winners, even when we sometimes lose. The gold can be found inside us if we take a deep look and follow our bliss. Olympic gold medalists are athletes who have committed themselves to their goals, some since childhood. Not everyone knows their goals in childhood, but those who do, follow their dreams to reality. The common denominator in gold medal champions like swimmer Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, runners like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, English Gardner, Elaine Thompson, Mo Farah, gymnasts like Simone Biles and all the others who gold medaled found their “zone”, that place that brings their wholeness together in one giant force. It’s in that place that the flame within burns and connects with universal energy. It takes years for those moments to happen. Those years are filled with commitment, fortitude, determination, hard work, self-worth, a dedicated coach, mind/body/spirit connection, people who love and support you and sometimes, just plain good luck!
Not everyone can be an Olympic gold medalist. Not everyone can sing like Barbra Streisand, dance like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell or Anna Pavlova. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg nor a talent like Elvis, Michael Jackson or Prince. We are each a shining star in our own destiny. The trick is to allow it to express itself and commit to its life force. And sometimes even doing all that is necessary and having the best of everyone behind you is not enough. The truth is, we don’t always make it to the top. However, what is most important is that we don’t need a gold medal to prove our worth.
Gold medals come in different fashions. I may not be a wizard therapist but in my world, I give my best to my clients when they walk through my doors. My daughter, Monica never graduated from high school. She had learning disabilities in elementary school that was not diagnosed and treated the way they are today. She received her GED and went to vocational school to become a hairdresser. Today, after many years of personal and professional growth, she is a “hair designer” with a waiting list to get into her salon. She stayed committed to the process, learning by apprenticing, trial and error and determination to be the best she could be. That is a gold medalist.
When Susan Boyle walked to the center stage wearing a frumpy, unstylish dress and looked like she used an egg beater instead of a comb and brush declaring that she wanted to sing like Elaine Page, the audience snickered and looked at her in disbelief. When Simon asked her name and age, she responded wearing a cherubic smile that melted the audience’s doubtful effect. Tossing her hips from side to side, she replied, “I’m forty-seven and I’ve never been kissed,” she said in her Scottish brogue, “…and that’s only half of me.” The audience broke their state of cynicism with a chuckle that morphed into a howl. When Simon asked why she had come to Britain’s Got Talent, Susan’s response was as natural and spontaneous as when she told her name and age. “I want to be a professional singer and always wanted to sing before a large audience.”
“What stopped you?”
“I never had the chance. Perhaps now I have”.
“What are you going to sing for us?”
Looking directly at Simon with the innocence of a child and the confidence and pride of a seasoned artist, she spoke:
“I’m going to sing I DREAMED A DREAM from LES MISERABLES.”
Simon rolled his eyes, flashed a doubtful glance and gave her the cue to get started. From the moment she belted out the first note, the audience was captivated. Simon’s smile spread across his face. Amanda covered her open mouth with both her hands in astonishment. Pier bit his lower lip, gulping in disbelief and together with the audience, dumbfounded and mesmerized, they all rose in unison with a standing ovation, cheering even before she completed her last note. Susan Boyle seemed unaware that in the next ten minutes her life would change forever. In ten minutes Susan Boyle had transformed herself into the singer she always knew she could be, and the world was eager to celebrate her stardom. Taking a bow, she strolled off stage, only to be prompted back to hear the results. Hearing that she received all three “Yes’s”, she threw her arms in the air, stomped her feet and in the most humble manner, thanked the audience and gracefully blew them a kiss.
Perhaps I wasn’t totally accurate on every word that was exchanged between Susan and Simon. But for sure, I am certain that in those few moments when the world had the unexpected pleasure and privilege to view her on national television, Susan Boyle catapulted to fame becoming the woman she was intended to be; evidence that the ordinary is extraordinary!
There is a Susan Boyle in each of us. There is an Olympic gold medalist in each of us. There is that need to become what we are intended to be. It is true that if not for Britain’s Got Talent she may have gone her whole life unkissed, unmarried, and undiscovered. However, she had to have the belief she had a special gift, take the risk to make it happen and the rest was up to fate.
Not unlike Susan, we all need the same thing if we want to follow our bliss. Susan Boyle’s relationship with herself and having the faith that she could make it happen is something we must have if we are to make our dreams come true. Walt Disney manifested his creative ideas; most of which he heard were absurd and preposterous. Albert Einstein was relentless with his need to understand and develop the Theory of Relativity and Obama did it with a belief that change can occur; most of what many of us thought would never happen. Susan Boyle did it too. It took courage, faith, and love of self, perhaps the most important relationship of all; to love oneself and to trust oneself. Not unlike Disney, Einstein and Obama and all the other dreamers living among us, Susan Boyle showed us once again that anything is possible.
I always tell my clients that when a person decides to commit, the universe will cooperate. Take the first step forward, and trust that the world will be the wind beneath your wings.
Joan E. Childs, LCSW