Playing in the Zone
You know that zone where everything synchronistically lines up and feels perfectly orchestrated? I have no doubt that it’s happened in your life. But have you noticed it? For some reason this zone can be a literal one and seems to occur repeatedly for me when I travel between LA and Big Sur.
Twenty five years ago, a theft of my belongings on Melrose Avenue sent me scurrying up the coast road to get the hell out of LA. The drive ended with my being delivered to the Esalen Institute for the first of dozens of visits to follow.
At another time, heading in the opposite direction down Highway 1, I scored an oceanfront campsite for $25 in a “closed” campground when everything else in the area was booked.
On yet another trip, a traffic accident on Highway 5 rerouted me to a music festival hosted by the Agape Spiritual Center on a private ranch. I was standing next to this guy with long braids, thinking he looked rather familiar. Those of you who know who I’m talking about will laugh. (I was unfamiliar with Agape at the time.)
I’ve often claimed that Spirit knows how to delight me. Landing me in amazing locations, with incredible experiences has certainly been proof of that for me.
I’ve also held that these synchronistic events occurred because there was special juju for me in this part of the country. And I do believe that to be true.
However, I also believe that this kind of alignment can be a way of daily life – where miracles abound, pieces clink into place, life flows and sings with ease.
But realistically, on a day-to-day basis, how do we maintain that state?
Well, I was never interested in sports growing up so referencing a famous basketball meme would definitely amuse my siblings. Even today, having gone to a famously athletic university, Ohio State, and living in the land of the Dubs, my lack of awareness of the current state of teams or playoffs or virtually anything sports related is definitely known amongst my friends and family.
So, despite this disaffection from anything sports-related, I came across a quote by NBA player Earl “the Pearl” Monroe that was a total game changer for me. Here goes:
“Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don't rush. Be quick, but don't hurry.”
This suggestion was attributed as the key to the success of Michael Jordan when his coach, Phil Jackson, reminded him of it.
In his sports ethics blog, Pat Dobel reminds us that “A play can open up at any moment. You have to be ready to strike. Forcing an action in sports that you're not prepared for often fails. Success requires character and self-discipline.”
So if the way to win in sports involves letting the ball come to you, what if we trusted that the plays that we needed to make in life, would come to us? That all of the players and pieces would move into place in precisely the right time? That ALL that we had to do was to be ready to jump in and act when the opportunity presented itself?
If we create a clean slate, a playing board or court, that is open, and we are willing to be of service in the most powerful, best, most efficient way possible; what if we prepare as best we can, state our intention, show up for the game, and get out-of-the-way?
If we can center ourselves daily, poised to act when we see an opportunity and trust that that is enough, wouldn’t that be divine (ha!)?
No more striving and trying to force solutions. Our job would simply be to trust that the Master Coach knows all of the right strategies and moves within this game to direct us to win it. It would all play out perfectly, with ease and grace. We wouldn't have to manipulate, control or force anything to happen. We wouldn't make moves and decisions based in fear. We wouldn't need to control and manage.
But we would have to be able to discern between Good Orderly Direction and Siri's voice on Apple Maps!