January 12, 2008

Please, (Don't) Contain Yourself

football-dance.jpg“Whatever happened to a little humility?”

That was my boyfriend’s disappointed comment when one of the football players on his team did something good (maybe it was a touchdown, I don’t really know) that inspired him to a little dance right there on the field.
I always thought those little dances the big guys do were kind of cute. I get a kick out of seeing someone be so proud of and happy with themselves. (My ex says he’d dance, too, if he made that much money.)
But now that I was seeing it through my boyfriend’s eyes, it wasn’t as entertaining.
I thought, “He’s right. Whatever happened to humility? Look at these guys, so full of themselves. It’s distasteful.”
And I felt myself slip a notch or two.
“What’s WRONG with this world?” I continued this line of thought. No one has any loyalty or sportsmanship. (Which I know from hearing my sweetie complain about how players move and are traded from team to team or city to city, and how as soon as a guy gets a big contract he stops playing with his heart now that he’s got his payday and doesn’t have to work so hard any more.)
Yeah, this place really isn’t what it used to be.
After all, I myself had just commented that this football thing is like modern gladiators. They put a bunch of guys out there to pound the pieces out of each other, and we fill an entire stadium (not to mention Sunday afternoons all over the country) to watch it happen. We glorify the players (who abuse drugs, women, and dogs in their leisure time) and have an entire culture built around this “sport.”
And these guys can’t even be humble. What’s WRONG with them?
But something didn’t jive with those thoughts. My “feel good” was starting to get scrambled.
I thought of how Russ shakes his head at me with a half smile when I say, “Who couldn’t like ME? I’m the easiest person on the planet to like!” He has a hard time hearing someone toot their own horn. (Even though I was just being factual.)
And I thought of the affirmation I picked up from my Marine Corps dad that’s front and center on my desk: “I’m the best there is.”
Well, yeah, where IS the humility? Certainly not at my house.
My vibe was definitely sinking now. This path of thinking definitely didn’t suit me. That encroaching “feel bad” was my Inner Being saying “wrong way, Jeannette.”
So I started looking around – for new thoughts.
Is it wrong to think highly of yourself? Is it wrong to aspire to be the best? Is it wrong to acknowledge your successes with a big parade? I honestly considered it.
ha! (There it is again -my feel good coming back!)
Of course it’s not wrong to toot our own horns! That sounds like a fabulous time, doesn’t it? In fact, that’s one of the best parts of those games: their little enjoyment of themselves in the end zones! It’s so cute!
Truth be told, I’d like to see Russ do a little dance when he’s happy. I would like to see my own little trademark happy dance, too.
I’ve written before about how one of my favorite clients does a happy dance in the parking lot when she gets her favorite parking spot. Just the thought of her dancing out in the lot makes me smile.
At a live theater production I attended the other day, the emcee on stage made a joke about someone in the audience and he was so proud of himself he did a little dance in his own “end zone” right there on stage. It made me laugh even more than his joke did!
I’m not arguing that cocky is attractive. Confidence sure is! But there’s a middle ground that is fun to hang out in.
Now that I think of it, this is partly where the game of golf could improve. You know when the guy makes a great shot and he’s so … well, HUMBLE about it … it’s kind of a letdown. The crowd’s going wild, but he just reaches down and pulls out his golf ball like it’s just another day, just another shot. We’re lucky to get a wave or half smile of acknowledgement from him.
Come ON.
Why not be proud of ourselves? Let’s toot our horns and dance for whatever reasons inspire us! Let’s stop downplaying ourselves and embrace our big beautiful beings, enjoying who we are and letting everyone else do the same.
Because let’s face it … we’re the best there is!
And that thought feels good to me. So it’s a keeper. 😉

  • Well said, Charlie! Very nice distinction between tooting and bragging. And I’m with you, the tootin’ competitors are much more engaging and easier to enjoy seeing win!
    (Glad that story had a happy ending.) : )
    Thanks for posting here, Charlie! Hope to hear your perspective again sometime!

  • Charlie says:

    I was thinking about this when I watched the Australian Open men’s final on Sunday. The commentators explained that the Australians in the crowd were rooting for Tsonga because he was much more humble in his wins than Djokovic who had done a sort of victory dance after winning the semi-final.
    I could not understand why that would make Djokovic an unattractive competitor to the crowd! In the semi-finals he beat Federer, the number 1 player in the world! That is something to get excited about! Plus, his demonstration showed that he really cares about the competition. I didn’t want to root for Tsonga because he didn’t seem to give a rat’s whether he hit a good or bad shot. Djokovic cheered every point he got!
    If you didn’t see the match, can you guess who won?? Djokovic of course!
    I think a lot of people mistake tooting your own horn with bragging. Bragging is done with the purpose of making someone else feel inferior. Tooting your own horn is just showing the excitement that you feel when something great happens!

  • Jorge says:

    Your Dad is right:
    “I’m the best there is.”
    The Universe was created in order to let me write down here that I appreciate your smile. This is the reason why the Universe exists…

  • Flavia says:

    I love this post and I love to dance and dacing to celebrate anything feel right up my alley and it’s a good reminder to do it more often.
    We did a celebration dance on New Year’s. I don’t know how else to describe it but we did the ta-ta-ta-ta-TA!ta-ta-ta-ta-TA!and we did the train. It was so much fun and I started it it cause I was feeling so good. Yep! Just because I was excited about the coming year!

  • Kim says:

    I am loving all this dancing too! And I wanted to say, that the Dance is a natural, sacred way of giving thanks….that was much of its roots–we dance to say thank you and I think that’s exactly what those gorgeous hunks of men are doing when they score a touch down….
    It’s not really about pride or humility, is it? It’s about gratitude, to Self, to the Divine….
    Dance is sacred…I do it all the time!! Dance for joy!
    Woooo Hoooooooo
    xx Kim

  • Amy, I laughed out loud with delight at the thought of your son teaching us how to get excited about a table being ready. Not only how to be excited about the “little stuff,” but also how to let it show! How much more fun would every day things be if we got that kind of excited regularly? “My favorite cereal is on sale! Yay!” “Russ changed the light bulb for me! Woo hoo!!” “I caught the phone before it went to voice mail! I rock!!” lol
    What a wonderful mentor your son must be!
    Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Amy. I am positive I would love to be in the restaurant lobby when your table became ready!
    And thanks for posting a comment here on the blog! I’m fairly new to blogging myself, so I’m still learning the lingo too.
    I can already see your son’s happy dance: “Mom posted a comment on a blog entry!” lol What a joy!

  • Amy says:

    I really enjoyed this happy dance entry! I’m new to blogging- is entry the right word?
    My son does happy dances all day long. He takes breaks to eat and sleep, of course ;). He’s 7 1/2 and autistic, and wears his emotions inside and out! When he’s happy the whole world knows it!
    I have found, now that he’s no longer a baby, I can, at times get a bit anxious about what others must think of his displays in public. But, I’ve decided, (especially after my intro to Abraham) who am I to deny anyone ramping up their joy another notch-or more!?
    I agree that our training is that restraint is more attractive, but a lot less fun. I also agree that a middle ground is a great place to hang out for the rest of us who aren’t ready to dance a jig in the middle of a restaurant because our table is ready! (We love to go out to eat!)

  • Ah!!! Not messin’ with the mojo!! I get it, Kirsten. Thanks for that.
    Wow, I have to say, in reflecting on that the sport almost appeals to me now just to develop that intense meditate state. I can imagine how much better Russ’ game would get if HE would do that!
    Thanks for posting, Kirsten!

  • Kirsten says:

    Golf is a highly introverted sport. Having taken golf lessons as I kid, I learned two things: 1.) I was terrible at it, and switched to other activities (and everyone sighed in relief that no more windows would be broken) and 2.) in order to be successful at it, the player has to enter an *intense* meditative mental state. I think that’s why they’re so restrained when they sink a putt–they don’t want to break the mojo.

  • Nikki says:

    I love me some football. And yeah, I have a team in the BCS fight tonight as well.
    You’ll have to ask your boyfriend what BCS actually stands for, I just know it is the ranking system that ranks college football teams.
    Maybe the reason I love football is the same reason why (I can’t believe I’m admitting this in a public forum) I’m excited about the return of American Gladiators show. (I am so not proud of that and I sat there wondering WHY am I excited about this crazy show?) Maybe it taps into that part of our DNA that had us sitting in the Coliseum in Rome cheering the sport of men beating the crap out of eachother.
    Then again, maybe it just comes from being athletic and loving sports and the energy of going to a game is a HUGE feel good for me! As for the TV show thing, I think I’m just a goober.

  • Leslie says:

    I love victory dances, no matter how they come. I think we need to do it more often…loving what you just manifested.
    Love Leslie

  • Okay, what’s the BCS, and what are all my women friends doing watching football?! lol Is it because we love sitting by our guys once in a while, or is there really something to football that I’m missing out on?!
    Someone clue me in!

  • Paulette says:

    Jeanette … loved those videos! I agree with Nikki — my feel good ramped up pretty darn high!!!
    I get to watch my alma mater play in the BCS national championship. When they win (though not a huge football fan), I think that I will have to give honor to my team by celebrating with my own version of an end zone dance.
    And… knowing how excited I will be, coupled with how much I love to dance … I am pretty confident that I (won’t) contain myself — woo hoo!!!

  • Nikki says:

    As an NFL season ticket holder whose team lost in the playoffs, I just gotta say that those videos you linked to certainly ramped up my “feel good.”
    🙂 Thanks!

  • Ellie, do you know what I would pay to be able to watch a copy of your custom Happy Dance on YouTube?!?!

  • Ellie Walsh says:

    Hi Jeannette…
    I Love the New Blog — I hope you are doing a Happy Dance!!
    When I am delighted – especially with me 😉 – I do a Happy Dance — doesn’t matter where I am – doesn’t matter who is watching — I just Love to do my Happy Dance….
    It is the celebration of alignment with me — so let’s all Happy Dance!! 🙂

  • I couldn’t help sharing this quote from Abraham that arrived in email after writing this post:
    “You are the creator of your own reality, you are the god that is the creator of worlds. Don’t be humble and try to make yourself apart from that. Embrace it, and accept it and ride that wave.”
    Abraham, Alaska 2005 Cruise

  • Doesn’t it just FEEL SO GOOD to enjoy ourselves?! I’m up for ANY excuse to revel in it!
    Thanks again for posting, Martha. You are making my night!!!!

  • Martha says:

    I love the victory dances. I love the high fives. My dog does a butt wiggle EVERY time she does something good, and that is what all this human dancing reminds me of. Our bodies crave joy!

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