"We are getting so great at Bridge!", my 84 year old client shared with me. "My husband and I are tickled pink because we truly beat everyone we play!" She laughed and then continued, "Do you know what my son said when I told him that we are winning every game?"
Her son is President of a major Institution, and a widely known, very successful inspirational speaker and teacher.
She continued, "He said to me, 'Mom, then you are playing with the wrong people.'"
I love this advice because at some point in our lives, as our skills grow, our wisdom increases, and we aren't learning anymore, we have to make the choice to find new Bridge partners or risk playing small for the rest of our lives. It reminds me of high-school basketball games. Our coach would often yell, "You guys are playing down to the other team's level. You are so much better than them." We often played our best games against the most skilled teams.
I just returned to Manhattan from an incredible girlfriend retreat with my beautiful friend Molly. Every time I spend time with Molly in person, or over the phone, I am challenged, inspired, and awakened. Her depth of Being, her spiritual journey, and her incredible wisdom are so life giving for me. When I am with Molly, I am Me. No filter, no playing small, no trying to hide my light, or my dark, for that matter. I am truly alive and in the Now.
When I am with Molly, I am definitely playing Bridge with the RIGHT person.
Ali Brown, A Business and Empowerment Coach, shared in one of her tele-seminars that we are the sum of the five people in our lives with whom we spend the most time.
Who are my Top 5?
The children I tutor
The Chef at the house of the children I tutor (I REALLY love her gazpacho, so I tend to "drop in" to the kitchen quite often!!)
Probably in that order...oh boy. These are my bridge partners. Am I truly playing with the right people in my life?
Ali began to take questions from the class. One woman (We'll call her Susan) shared that she had all these huge dreams and goals and she was so excited about them, but her friends seemed less than enthused when she shared these aloud. They told her that her dreams were "kinda big and crazy."
What did Ali say? You might have guessed already, but her response was as follows; "It's time to get new friends." She went on to share that Susan didn't have to STOP loving her old friends, but needed to find other people who supported her, who wanted to play it BIG in life also.
Ali recommended that it was time for Susan to start playing Bridge with the right people.
My senior year of high-school, I had a major shift in life perspective around the time of Hurricane Katrina. The day I heard about the catastrophe, I couldn't sleep at night. I kept picturing people trying to sleep without a roof, blankets, and pillows. In the morning, I called my friends Nichole and Preeti, and we decided to start a group called Project Esperanza (Hope in Spanish), a Community Service group that would raise money for the Red Cross. We used a Double Date Raffle(totally rigged in my favor by the way! My secret is out Aaron and Grant!), a MORP (Sadie Hawkin's Dance, and Singing Telegrams...HILARIOUS! We raised A LOT of money AND had a ton of fun. I felt like I was playing BIG, answering my Calling, and living in a flow deeply connected to Source.
What really surprised me at the time, was how many of my other "friends" weren't very supportive of this endeavor. "Oh, Cora just started this club for attention or for her college applications." (brilliant idea, but I'd already applied...lol) In truth, my "Party on the Weekend" friends and I began to drift apart. The people who I connected with around Project Esperanza, around hope and service, became my closest friends moving forward. Many of these folks are still my friends to this day.
Eckhart Tolle says that as we embark on the path to living in the Now, from our Authentic Self, connected to the Divine, it will become more and more clear when we are not surrounded by others who are vibrating at that frequency also. He states that it will be like "oil and water". He says that trying to change the other people is impossible. It is time to move on, to find new friends, new relationships, your very own Molly.:)
I have come to believe that in life, certain relationships with people, jobs, and other commitments are meant to transform, and sometimes even come to completion. I have learned not to see this as a "bad" thing, but as a natural falling away, like the changing of seasons.
One of my Vision Boards reads:
"Every time you let go of something limiting, you make room for something better."
This does not mean that the shift has to be dramatic, nasty, or ugly. Quite the opposite, actually. This can be a peaceful, natural, parting or closure.
There might be a short mourning or reflection time as we change Bridge partners, but soon this this will be replaced by a new chapter, an amazing opportunity, a beautiful manifestation of our true destiny.
Who will my top 5 be in three months?
Ben, God, my incredible family, my business partner, acting and singing coaches, my USM family, the Editor of my book, my agent, my celebrity clients?
I do know one thing, that my Top 5 will be different. Because I am growing, saying YES to the Divine's Plan for me, playing it BIG! I am finding new Bridge partners. I am feeling the changing of the seasons and I am embracing the shift with peace, joy, and gratitude.
For now, I will relish every spoonful of Gazpacho...