Unbridled Permission

It was at this very spot!On a cool summer morning, at the impressionable age of six, I joined the swim team at the neighborhood pool. Decked out in my new warm-up suit, Speedo and goggles, I was ready to go.

When Coach Thomas blew his whistle and hollered, “Let’s go guys, let’s get in there and warm up.” I tore off my warm-up suit, put on my goggles and ran across the deck of the pool to dive in. But just as I was about to make my first big dive, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, my fellow teammates had barely even moved.

A bit confused and not wanting to look silly, I slowed down and nonchalantly walked back to my original position, waving my arms back and forth as to make it look like this was all part of my warm-up.

As I stood there swinging my arms with my goggles still on, waiting for what felt like an eternity for my fellow teammates to get moving, Coach Thomas, seeing my excitement, came up from behind, placed his enormous hands on my small shoulders and said with a gentle nudge, “Go get’em Tiger. Show them how it’s done.” Without skipping a beat, I ran across the deck, dove in to the frigid water and swam my heart out.

At the end of practice, while attempting to warm myself up from a mild case of hypothermia, Coach Thomas, walked over to me and said, “You did good kid. Real good.”Before I could say anything, he turned and walked away. But then, all of the sudden, he turned back around and said. “Oh Yeah, and kid? You don’t need my permission to get in that pool and swim. You got that?”

“Yes, Sir.” I answered through shivering teeth.

“Good.” he said, turning and walking away.

From that day on I was the first one in and the last one out of the pool each and every practice. In no time at all, I became and remained one of the best in the league in my age group.

Looking back over the years, I often wondered why I didn’t excel in everything I endeavored like I did swimming. And then it occurred to me a few years back, the missing ingredient was unbridled permission. Coach Thomas, perhaps unknowingly, gave me the incredible gift of unbridled permission by making it clear I didn’t need his to swim my heart out.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize his words applied to anything I wanted in my life. But I am glad I finally realized I don’t need anyone else’s permission to live my heart’s desires.

And while I don’t need anyone else’s permission, I do need my own. To remedy that, I crafted a bunch of permission slips I write to myself that say this. I, (I fill in my name), give myself permission to (whatever I wish to be, do, have, create or experience) with all my heart and soul. After I have written my permission slip out, I read it to myself often and carry it with me wherever I go. It has made all the difference in the world.

Copyright Rob Gruber 2009
Present Life Mastery Coach

20 responses to “Unbridled Permission

  1. Dear Grace,

    Thank you for the complement and for seeing the “happy” in it. in psychology one might say you are simply projecting the happiness that is within you on to my world. Either way, I am grateful for your presence here,


  2. Rob,
    I’ve been doing alot of work and have found myself grounded, aware and very present. I’ve given myself permission to forgive myself and to let myself be loved and love in return. Also I’ve found some amazing tools (my power tools) such as love, hope faith, justice, courage, prudence and humility. Giving myself permission every day to use these tools has been the best gift I’ve ever recieved. The rewards are amazing.
    Thank you for everything. Not forgotten

  3. Brilliant… as usual!! I love your story and it is a beautiful reminder of such a simple concept. Thank you for reminding me to give myself permission… to go deep, to open my heart, to step outside the box, to live and love with reckless abandon and yes, make mistakes and being vulnerable while doing it!! I miss you!! Love and gratitude,
    Charlene :0) xo

  4. Thanks Char,

    Thank you for all your support! I miss you too.

    Inspired by you:

    “I give myself permission to go deep, to open my heart, to step outside the box, to live and love with reckless abandon and yes, make mistakes and be vulnerable while doing it, with all my heart and soul.” Amen to that!

    -Love ya kid!

  5. This is a wonderful story and a fantastic lesson. We are the only ones who stand in our way, we too often live within the limitations of our mind. When we give ourselves permission we create an awareness which helps to eliminate our self imposed limitations.

  6. Which makes me think,

    How would I feel good?

    I think I know the answer. Now I wonder, is that going to come into my Life?

    I don´t know but at least I have done my Job by thinking about that (about the things or situations or whatever) that would make me feel good; I mean, close to God, or the Goddess, or my True Being or whatever is the name.

    Now I just must go on Working (in my mind, soul and Heart) in keeping the image of Paradise in my awareness.

    Of course I would like to experience my Paradise also into the Seen but I accept that if that is not the True Will, for me is ok. The oppositte (not accepting God´s Will) has only lead me to a constant state of anxiousness.

    I realise that the only Job I have to do is to Help with my thoughts to bring Paradise here to Earth, whether I am lucky enough to Experience myself or not.

  7. Love So Be It,

    Thank you for your heart-felt sharing.

    I have found that in life when you listen to your heart and give it permission to simply be, you find the love and peace that has always been there waiting for you.

    Giving yourself permission is not about getting your way but rather getting out of your own way. Once you are out of your way, the world has a way of opening up to you.

    Peace be with you,
    Rob Gruber

  8. This is such a heart warming story and I am so grateful to have found it.

    I give myself permission to be me with all my heart and soul.

    Thank you so much

    Best wishes


  9. Pingback: Being Unique « Control Your Destiny

  10. I give myself permission to be clueless every once in awhile.

    I give myself permission to give do little things for myself without feeling guilty.

  11. Those are great Monica.

    Permission to be clueless (knowing you don’t know) is the very height of wisdom!

    Guilt is illusion that the past can dictate your present. Let those past ideas of what is better or worse and you will no longer feel guilty.

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