The Skating Meditation

With the kids still home from school until Monday and the most amazing but busy Christmas season tucked warmly and  neatly in a very special place in my memory, it has been a bit of a challenge to keep two very active little girls occupied and happy.  Luckily several businesses in the area have sponsored free skating at the local arena and we have gone together for 2 hours every other day and we've gone to every one of them.

Finally, both of my little ones are able to skate independently without the back breaking necessity of me holding them up by the armpits and whirling them around the ice instead of their actually gliding along.

Which frees me up to skate independently!  The first glitch was that I can't find my figure skates but what I did find in the garage is a pair of size six boys hockey skates.  I have always skated in figure skates and while I realised there would be some obvious differences I was unaware of how much easier it is to skate in hockey skates!

So for nearly two hours every other day,  I go around and around with music playing, other skaters whizzing by avoiding collisions and practicing in the unusual but comfortable boy skates.  I feel the cool breeze on my cheeks as I circle the rink time and again.  My feet ache at first, my legs protest this new activity but I carry on because the sensation of pushing forward, then gliding effortlessly, then pushing again with a crunch of blade against the ice surface is invigorating and meditative.

Sometimes bliss comes from the most unexpected sources.  I expected to enjoy skating.  I did not expect to be transported.  Sometimes my thoughts drift to past days.  I remember skating on the frozen ocean from our cove on Change Islands to two smaller islands with my dad.  I was probably about ten.  I remember my dream of someday skating on the ice surface of an NHL arena.  But mostly I sit in that moment allowing all the good that is flowing my way to come.  Breaking even with my life, matching up with my dreams, living with my contentment.

Freedom.  It all comes down to that.  There is nothing in life more valuable than the freedom to do that thing that makes you happy.  It came to me in one blissful revolution around the rink that the reason I am able to be happy so easily is that I have chosen to be free.  I have chosen, not been made to feel that I "have" to do the things that I do in my life.  There is no force that I feel that makes me decide one way or another and in that autonomy I am free.

The road to this freedom is much like the skating..pushing off, avoiding the obstacles, falling occasionally when you are learning but then, with practice you start to glide through blissfully, happily, skimming the surface with just the occasional effortless push to propel yourself.  You slow or stop, then go again.  You get better at the entire thing until it becomes second nature and you know, with all your heart that this is where you are meant to be because you chose it.  It is your expectation, not the expectation of others that you meet.  It is your life that you live, not the one others would have you live.

I had the question asked of me the other day by someone who was completely burnt out from doing all that other people expected of them, "isn't happiness found in the service of others?"  This is a great question and I answered in the affirmative.  But I did qualify it.

It is actually in the service of ones self that happiness is found.  If it is true happiness, it is so immense and overflowing that simply being that way serves others.  A person who chooses to find their own happiness by being and doing that which pleases them is not selfish, they are simply doing what feels good and right.  And if they are truly reaping happiness from their behavior they will want to share that by doing good for others and they will also bring those around them up with their happiness and that is, indeed,  true service.

I spent all of my time before Christmas doing all of the things required for a happy holiday for all of us as do many others.  Unlike many others, I did it completely without resentment and of my own volition. No guilt trips and I didn't do anything because it was expected.  I stayed happy and enjoyed our holiday season.  I asked for help when I needed it and I got it.  Things got done.  Things didn't get done.  I moved on.  I also did some service work, volunteered to help with the Salvation Army food hampers and gave money to charities whenever I could.  All was in the service of others via my happiness and freedom.  It was easy to do and give because I was choosing to do and give.  I had not committed to do and give.  I said no when no was appropriate and said  yes as frequently as needed and to those things I wanted and did not want to do.

I have made only one commitment in my life and that is the commitment to my own happiness and well being. I have discovered freedom to be the key to that.  From that springs forth a giving spirit not a selfish one.  I take care of my family because it makes me happy.   I run my business because of that.  I write for my happiness and I choose when to do either or all of those things.

Big and fun things are coming in 2012 for me.  I will write about some of them here in the next few days.  Meanwhile give some thoughts to making your life yours, making yourself feel good so that you can share that good feeling.  Giving isn't about the doing, it's about the feeling.  In fact all of life is about the feeling so feel good whenever you can

Off to the rink this afternoon!  Cheers!