Netflix is now streaming The Last Dance docuseries which follows the Chicago Bulls' 1997-98 season and it is giving me the energy I need to finish out 2020. Now It’s time for you to channel the championship energy Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the rest of the Bulls team brought to the world as well as learn about the mindfulness behind the greatest athletes.
This episode is based off the 2015 HuffPost article Michael Jordan's Mindfulness Meditation Coach: The Secret Weapon of Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and You By Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee, Contributor Co-Hosts of Inspire Nation
Hey Big Vibers! Welcome to the third episode of the Big Vibe Energy podcast. I am a huge Netflixer these days and I was suggested to watch The Last Dance docuseries. It aired first on ESPN in April 2020 and then as of July 19, 2020 … Netflix is now streaming it on their platform. The docuseries follows the Chicago Bulls' 1997-98 season from start to finish, while also covering the rest of the chapters in Jordan's remarkable career. And honestly… it is giving me the energy I needed to finish out 2020. Ever since I started the 10-episode series… I have been channeling the championship energy Michael, Scottie Pippen and the rest of the Bulls team brought to the world. So you could say I have been a little obsessed with researching the mindfulness behind the athletes. In my research I found this amazing HuffPost article written back in 2015 by the Inspire Nation co-hosts Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee. So I am going to read you some of article and also introduce you to all the wellness coaches behind the greatest athletes of all time.
The article titled Michael Jordan's Mindfulness Meditation Coach: The Secret Weapon of Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and You first introduces us to George Mumford. He's the mindfulness coach and secret weapon behind Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin as well and many of the most successful NBA players and teams in the sport. He’s also the author of the Mindful Athlete…which I am obviously ordering ASAP. And could possibly even be our first official Big Vibe Energy book club read. I’ll want to hear from you, my listeners, about the your thoughts on the book. I even have a way to let you all send a voice message to my podcast host and I can replay it on air. So let me know on Instagram if you that sounds fun.
Anyways…back to George — And I am quoting from the HuffPost article here.. “In college George wanted to play for the NBA, ironically, his roommate was the incredible Dr. J himself. But while Dr. J went on to greatness on the court, George struggled badly with injuries, pain and later addiction. It wasn't until George found mindfulness, that'd he'd make an equally impressive mark on the game.” So George ended up studying under Jon Kabat-Zinn who is the author of the famous book Wherever You Go, There You Are, and also the founder of the wonderful Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts.
But before George hit the lockers in the NBA.. he actually helped prison inmates.. And I quote..”George began teaching mindfulness to a program for prison inmates. While there, George discovered how he could help inmates take triggers that once caused incredible anxiety and even violent melt-downs, and flip them on their heads, so these same triggers helped them become quiet, introspective, and even more peaceful.” DANG WHAT IS THAT METHOD? I’ll have to make a mini-episode on that one… so… STAY TUNED.
Ok so after that program he meets Phil Jackson and takes on the challenge of mentoring MJ, Scottie P and the other big personalities on the team. And get this.. since was the late 90s…mindfulness wasn’t really a common term yet… so George couldn't even use the word mindfulness. It was considered too out there. Instead he had to be ..and I quote.., “a chameleon; carefully choosing words that wouldn't scare the players.” For example.. he still doesn’t use the word compassion… instead.. he says something like, Don't be hatin' on em!" That is so interesting to me and I am so grateful mindfulness is becoming mainstream and is also one of the reasons I started this podcast… I want to help be a little part of normalizing the work it takes to develop true mental strength.
He worked with Phil Jackson on the following mindfulness lesson and this is the BIG VIBE ENERGY MINDFULNESS LESSON OF THE DAY: five fingers, one breath and one mind, in essence community building, or as George puts it "putting the we before the me, while nurturing the me"--where each individual brings his own skills, but let's go of his ego, the entire team works together as one.
This lesson “.. the five fingers, one breath and one mind” concept helped Michael learn to and I quote..”how to not push distractions away, but instead embrace them, to become fully aware, noticing and observing everything around him, and then to let it all go; stepping out of his own way and taking THE SHOT in the 1998 playoffs as we all remember so well. And according to George, Michael Jordan said ‘that Zen Buddhist stuff’ really works!”
The article ends with a little more about the life of George… I am quoting..”George says he walks around in a state of love, blessings, and continuous forgiveness.” I think we should stop right here and I am going to reread that… “he walks around in a state of love, blessings, and continuous forgiveness.” That is GOALS.
So let’s do our Big Vibe Energy mantra of the day… I continuously forgive. I continuously forgive. I continuously forgive. I continuously forgive.
I’ll end this episode with Georges wish for us all…”Through mindfulness he hopes you'll discover something sacred inside of yourself, and live with greater joy, love, and compassion.”
I am the light and the light is in me / “Namaste” means “the light in me honors the light in you.”