We went ice-skating last week at a Christmas market in a nearby village. And I’m just going to go ahead and say it – I totally nailed it! No, wait, I’ll actually go even further – I was the best skater of everyone there. I even brought my own skates from home (don’t get anywhere near me with those horrendous orange plastic rental ones!). I was there in a state of complete flow, gliding and swooshing, going forwards and backwards, masterfully weaving in and out among all those poor souls that were scrambling for balance and bumping into each other. Get this – I even got interviewed by the locals as to whether I was some famous dancer on ice they had seen on TV (while I perfectly understood the confusion, I patiently explained that not yet!).
OK, so maybe I have omited a few insignificant details. Now, I did have a small advantage over everyone there just by having had a few extra decades to perfect my ice-skating abilities. Yeah, OK OK! They were all – including my interviewees – kids. I also grew up in a country that has cold winters, which ensures that everyone develops their balance in icy conditions quite early on in life. Also, despite growing up in a city, we even had a pond in front of our flat building that was a source of constant adventures for kids and horrors for the parents. Ice-skating in the winter was part of this package.
But I digress. Yes, I love ice-skating enough to own a pair of skates (I repeat – the rental orange ones are really horrible) but I am not really that good at it. For example, nobody knows that after years of going to various ice-skating rinks that always direct everyone to go clockwise, I don’t feel as stable when I go counter-clockwise. I can only turn from going forwards to backwards but haven’t yet mastered how to do it the other way around – so instead I just stop.
While I was gliding away, this perfect analogy came to me about how living our lives authentically and being the best versions of ourselves that we can be is a little bit like ice-skating. The more we focus on finding our own balance and our own centre, the more ease and flow enters our lives. We live more bravely, more confidently, we weave in and out among the challenges that arise. We seem to bump into the lives of others less and if we do get knocked down, we get back on our feet quicker. By being more aligned within, we give others the possibility of seeing that as an option for themselves (those kids may have never even thought of a possibility of owning non-orange pair of ice-skates or trying to skate backwards!). By being in our own flow more, we inspire others to seek theirs (you might even get asked how you do it!). As a result, perhaps, we can then all become more honest with ourselves and see more clearly our self-imposed limitations that stop us in our tracks. And maybe that’s all that is needed to help us break out of that dizzying spinning around the clock that we get so easily stuck in.
Tags: ice-skating in the flow mindfulness Traveler's Notebook
The highest purpose of your life is to be yourself to the best of your ability and live each moment as fully as possible. ~Bashar~