Sports, Movies and Shamanic Journeys

February 12, 2020 | By Greg Friedman

Every single day we put on different masks, personas, patterns, and addictions. We have become indoctrinated into showing up in the ways we think people want us to be. We forget who we are and when we forget who we are, we forget how to connect with one another. Ultimately, life is a shamanic journey and sports and movies can help us remember and embrace the beauty of our humanity.

Heroes and Humanity Co-Exist

Movies and sports can take us on a “Hero’s Journey,” as we identify with a team, a player, a character or characters and feel with them as they rescue the world, fall in love, score a goal, make a touchdown or hit a homerun. And just as necessary, we can feel defeat, grief and heartbreak when a team loses, a ball is dropped or an actor loses his or her love. In the end, being human is a given, keeping our humanity is a choice.

Heroes by David Bowie

Through these mediums we give ourselves permission to celebrate with abandon or touch the center of our own sorrow. And then, in an odd, yet beautiful way… we give ourselves permission to turn to the person beside us and share in our humanity.
We connect with strangers, with our father, mother, brothers, sisters, and people we may have been feuding with and haven’t been able to speak to. Something inspires us to reach out to touch one another and that divide, if only for a moment, gets bridged.
A pivotal moment in the film “City Slickers” comes when Phil talks about the wall between he and his father… “When I was about 18 and we couldn’t talk about anything at all, we could still talk about baseball. And that was real.”
And that is real.

Glory Days by The Boss
Think about the magic of 100,000 people sitting shoulder to shoulder in a huge stadium. Strangers, many of whom disagree on subjects ranging from politics, race, religion and to even something as basic as food. And yet, in that one moment… in that setting; they can only band together to root for their team, they can also leave room for someone to root for the opposing team. Que the music, and they cheer together for the greater good. That one moment of greater being can be magic.

Often Played Video at Baseball Games | Thunderstruck by AC/DC

“The Breakfast Club” was one of the movies from the eighties that was so bad, it was good. At the very end, one of the last things you hear is… “We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Sports and Movies help us see and accept ourselves and others as we are, if only for a moment; we are no longer a label. That recognition helps us transcend and grow as individuals and as a society.

From Breakfast Club Soundtrack | Don’t You (Forget About Me) | by Simple Minds

Wars occur because people have opposing beliefs regarding culture, politics or religion and are too insecure to allow for a differing position. Think about how the world would be if we could find the courage to fervently pursue our passion and still have enough respect for ourselves and others that everyone would be allowed to follow their passion, even or perhaps especially when it’s opposite of our own dogma.
I’m not drawn to the Olympic for the events but talk about employing sports to transcend!!! The reality of the world coming together through sports to elevate beyond international conflicts or alliances rocks my world. The Olympics have provided a model of how beautifully athletics can help bridge that divide. Imagine if we used that model to help us realize that we can all live in harmony, appreciating the differences rather than diminishing them.

Jesse Owens | Hero, Humanitarian and Olympic Gold Medalist

Sports, movies and shamanic journeys help us experience the center of our own beings and clear a pathway toward connecting to one another when no other way may have been available. They help us remember and appreciate that each one of us is a superhero, a villain, powerful, weak, loving, and wounded and that we are more alike than different. Sports, movies and journeys help us remember that we are magic in the most gloriously human fashion… And that is real.

Heroes Come in ALL Shapes and Sizes

%d bloggers like this: