In sports, when it comes down to the last second of a game for a player to make a shot or miss, he often feels like a hero or a failure, responsible for losing the game. Increase the pressure by making it the last game of the season, the last game of the boy’s high school career and the state championship game. This is what my son faced last week.  He was one of five players in a shootout to win or lose the Minnesota State High School Soccer Championship.

As I’m watching him go through this, I recall when I was a senior in high school. The worst year of my life. The school I had attended since third grade closed that summer and for my senior year I was in a new school. I went from a class of 50 where I knew everyone in the school to a class of 250.  And I knew one person. In that transition, my four-year relationship with my boyfriend also ended.  But I had my family. I thought. At Christmas break, when my older siblings were home from college, my parents shocked me with the announcement  that they would be separating, immediately.

Through high school I had been working at a movie theater. After the movies I’d hang out with my coworkers and there were opportunities to party. During my time of distress, it sounded like a good idea to me. I chose to drink and try some drugs.

In the spring my sport season started. I was a runner and was used to doing well. But that was a small school and at this level I was untested. I went out for track and practiced with the team. I didn’t know if I could race down the track over the hurdles and have a time that was good enough. The morning of the first track meet of the season, I quit. I quit, because I was scared, alone and couldn’t face not doing well.

Back to my son, Jared. Ever since he was four, he was always kicking the soccer ball, if not on the field, we would pass back and forth on the sidelines. We would keep a soccer ball in the trunk of our car so we could stop at any soccer field and Jared could “shoot on the net .” Then hours and years of practice to get to this game.

In the semi-finals of the state tournament he played really well and the coach moved him to a position where he would defend against the attacking strikers. Wayzata beat the first ranked, undefeated team Eastridge.

In the championship game it was cold and windy, we had the wind at our back and scored in the first half. Anoka scored in the second half. The teams went through two ten minute overtimes and still remained tied. In a soccer tournament, to determine the winners, they go to a shootout where five players of each team are chosen to shoot at the net with just the goalie defending. Jared was one of those five. The first three players of each team all scored. Then Jared came to the line. He kicked, the ball hit the upper crossbar  – and bounced out. He fell to his knees, collapsing in disappointment. The rest of the players made their shots and Anoka went on to win.

The team was supportive of Jared. The community was supportive. And I hope he felt support from his family. He didn’t want to talk about it for a couple of days but now he can and went to go to the soccer banquet to celebrate their success of getting 2nd in the state.

After the game, during my meditation, I had an image come to me. It was of Jared as an adult leader or coach. He stood talk, confident and erect, referring back to this challenging time in a meaningful way.

Over the years I have gradually left behind that timid teenager. Since I have been doing Tantra, I have jettisoned into another level of empowerment. I have been stepping up.  For public speaking, for taking more of a leadership role, for expressing my feelings more vulnerably and bringing more passion into my life. When Jared dared to step up to that line, he became my hero. He honorably faced one of the hardest challenges that an athlete of his age can face.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is hard to fail, but is worse to have not tried to succeed.”



Clearly something needs to change, I told myself. I had a dream about blood and mucus dripping from me and I was trying to clean it off my shoes realizing, “I need to work less.” The amount of hours I work and the responsibility I feel is killing me. I find myself thinking, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a heart attack.

Something has to change. But what??  I have tried to figure this out for a few years. I feel trapped in a job that provides the benefits for the family. The things I’d prefer to do don’t provide enough income to replace the benefits and salary. I don’t see a way out of the daily grind, this trap.

I am so stuck on this question. How do I find an answer? What do I do? Like any good evolved being – whine, complain and cry. Not this time! Chakra Wisdom to the rescue. I will ask my chakras the question to get clear answers from different aspects of myself and my inner wisdom.

Great, now what is the question?  “How can I work less?” That answer is too easy – quit my job. It’s more complex than that. What does working give me that I don’t want to give up? Security. So the question is, “How can I feel more secure and work less?” But that could mean personally secure. “To trust in myself and all will be taken care of???” I’m not ready to give up the belief that some external security is needed. “Just trust myself,” doesn’t work for me. I still need money to feel secure. Okay, I will add a qualifier – “How can I feel more secure – financially and work less?” I understand it may mean I need to do less. I am a doer. Constantly filling every moment. Never enough time to do it all.

Lately, I notice I am often more stressed on my days off because I am trying to get so much done I get frazzled by the end of the day realizing I haven’t gotten to a lot of the stuff I want to do. As my work schedule has expanded into my free time the free time becomes more precious and I am less able to feel fulfilled.

Now that I have the question, I begin my Chakra Wisdom – while running. It is the time of the week when I can go for a run so I do both. I have found it is effective for me so long as I stay focused on the guided meditation. Sometimes that means replaying sections if I get distracted or stopping and writing down the answers so I don’t have to work to remember them.

Since I haven’t run in a while, tonight I was thinking of running all the way around the lake. It’s a big commitment once I start the eight mile journey. Sometimes I feel quite miserable by the time I stop. Other times I feel proud of accomplishing a big achievement. Yet, as I approach the choice point of possibly taking a shorter route I am faced with my dilemma, my question, “How to not work so hard?” The fear comes up that if I don’t commit to the longer distance, where I can’t take a short cut, I may fall short. Short? I find myself saying, “Sara, your problem is you push yourself too hard; not that you fall short.” I decide I need to listen to myself about not pressuring myself to work hard and take the shorter route. Also, with the knowledge that I can add on more loops if I feel like it as I go.

I ran, stopping and writing, dreaming about possibilities, running and asking the question in each chakra. The answers came to me. They included, to trust the universe to provide – and myself that I will provide in some way. I can let go of this being the only way. I am a worker and a doer. When I present myself to the world from a place of love and creativity I will be compensated. I have many skills that people are happy to receive. My efforts need to be redistributed to a direction of building myself rather than maintaining stability. Everything is possible. I have been holding myself back for some time so I can’t begin to imagine of what I am capable. I don’t need to know the details of – how – at this time. Through ongoing meditations, my energy work and building community, the path will become clearer.

In the end I ran farther than if I had gone around the lake. Imagine that! I let go of my fear, my pressure to achieve, and was open to possibilities. Being in the moment about what feels right and see what happens.