Ash Barty’s return to tennis and subsequent Australian Open victory was inspirational! As a regular tennis player, I am deeply impressed with the upbeat, gracious, young woman who was able to win from 1-5 down in the Final. I was keen to learn more – not only to win at tennis – but to understand what drives such self-belief in her. An interview with her mindset coach, Ben Crowe, on ABC’s Conversations provided that opportunity.
‘Crowie’ suggests that Ash’s transformation began when she could answer the basic questions: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What do I want?’ Intentional, positive re-framing of our lives from our earliest memories, provides a hopeful basis on which to build. Recognising the power of our own perspective, having self-belief, self-compassion, self-worth and recognising our God-given gifts, enables us to move forward to use them for the benefit of the world. So, when Ash takes credit, it’s always ‘we’ did it. She wins for others too – her family, her team, Aussies, Indigenous people. The resilient hope within her creates a culture of hope around her.
Finding hope amidst today’s constant bad news also requires us to focus beyond ourselves. How can we be change agents to counter the bad news? Even performing small actions to improve a difficult situation gives us hope. Climate change is an enormous issue where we can feel powerless to make a difference. Yet, concerned people find hope by deliberately consuming less, recycling more and maybe growing their own vegetables. Banding together with fellow activists, who support each other and speak with a common voice, also produces hope for a better future.
Hope is also found in looking beyond the present to a higher reality. A faith community can provide multiple dimensions of hope at once. Our new worship community, Sacred Space, encourages encounter with God in a natural environment, amidst an inclusive, supportive community. It’s a place to know and be known at a deeper level. Gently embracing our uniqueness enables us to develop confidence to be our real, best selves beyond the gathering. Contact me to join us.
A final tip from Ben Crowe for parents and grandparents: say ‘I love to watch you play/dance/draw’ to your little ones. It affirms them at whatever level they engage in the activity and emphasises their participation rather than competition with others.
The old saying, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (The Bible, Mark 12:31 NIV) holds great wisdom, intrinsically providing hope in its outworking.
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The articles here were written by Peter Andrews on behalf of the Chaplaincy Team from beginning 2023.