Sunday, 7 July 2013

Tennis Teachings

I watched the women's final yesterday of the Wimbledon Grand Slam.

France's Marion Bartoli won the Wimbledon title with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

What struck me was the contrast of the two players.

Sabine was overwhelmed in this match and yet has within her a fluency of game that is sheer delight to see when she is in her element. And though Marion has credit for not letting her be in her element, it was not really Marion's denial but  Sabine's self-doubt that manifested as her most crushing opponent.

Marion had wanted this championship since she was 6 years old. At 28 she is close to retiring age. Her serve would make her a laughing stock - if it were not such a winner - because it looks so ungraceful and in theory should not work well - and her demeanour can at times seem more of the 'ugly duckling' than the 'fairy princess' - and yet the shining of her spirit reveals a true beauty of character.

Marion demonstrated a singleminded determination to stay on purpose and I felt that she was not aiming to see how far she would get but set her sight and her belief in the championship itself. She DID have to have the tennis skills to win - but she also had to maintain her focus and play her best tennis consistently - which she did - and won the championship without losing a single set throughout.

Her aggression was not directed upon herself in becoming cross nor at her opponents when she was under pressure - but was a inner coaching directive to stay on the beam of her desire. So what I saw was of the subordination of her personal reactions or thoughts, to a true desire that she felt within her being. This is what I recognize as 'getting out of the way', so as to be an instrument of expression; to let her Life flow freely and purely in Expression - without taking credit or usurping the movement with personal wishes. So I felt her as a demonstration of a wish being uncovered to a true willingness.

Sabine is much more the princess, not just in her grace and beauty of demeanour and movement, but her authority in a fluency that reads the game, the ball the court - as her own body. And there is an innocence of delight that shines in her when she lets herself into her true game.

But she is not yet integrated as singleness of purpose, such that her wishful personal aspect starts to insinuate itself into her game and distracts her with hope and fear, to squelches her natural fluency in self-doubt. When she is in her element, she goes for winners and gets them far more than missing and holds the crucial points. But when she persists in playing out-from a disconnected sense, she compounds it to present a self-defeating failure to engage.

On her rise to the final she came up twice from 3 games and one set down, to win her match (one of these against Serena Williams), and this also shows her capacity to regain her game from the very jaws of defeat. Indeed it seems that she needs to come to such a pass in order to finally 'wake up' to who and what she is.

So in this final, Sabine largely demonstrated a wishful disconnection that wanted the game to line up with her dream and was crushed when it wasn't happening how she dreamed it. It isn't that she cant win such a championship - but that the dream itself is still an expression of herself in image rather than the movement of her Life unlocked into clear focussed action.

At the level of the world there seems to be winners and losers - but everyone is a winner, for the uncovering of what we most need to know at this moment is a win win situation. Marion is in a fulfilment of purpose that serves the rest of her life and Sabine has opened a clear lesson in humility in which a self-specialness has become exposed as a complete liability. I don't know if she sees this yet - because it takes time to see when so much self judgement is in play. But is its there for her to see when she is ready to walk out from the wreckage of disappointment, rejoin her Life and say ok - what do I need to learn from this?

I notice when watching, that I do not feel any engagement with a game or player unless I feel they really want it - and when both bring that desire actively present, the game shines. It is possible to want what we do not want - and act as if we DO want it - but it is not possible to be whole in such desire, and therefore are conflicted in ourselves.

To follow desire that integrates is to enjoy creative freedom.

The path of a Self-acceptance that passes through great obstacles is one path, but the acceptance of Self is only blocked within the dream of guilt that rises from the wish to prevail over Self!

For what is a wish but a pause from willing, in which to assert an imagination as if it were true?

Yet what is a wish revealed, but a hidden desire to awaken - activated?

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