Who knew cross-country skiing would provide such a perfect landscape for learning the basic principles of Conscious Living? Maybe somebody did. But I didn’t until recently (See my post from January 11, 2012)! And another lesson presented itself on Sunday. Seems like whatever I don’t learn during the week I get smacked upside the head with on the weekend!
Some of the basic tenets of Conscious Living are to stay/live in the present moment; keep your commitments to yourself and others; embrace the fact you are the creator of your life; take 100% responsibility for what is going on in your life.
Here’s what Conscious Living looks like when it is being played out in the minutia of daily life – because that is truly where it is played out, in the details.
I, LizMarie, committed to taking cross-country ski lessons this winter (commitment to myself).
We finally got snow in our neck of the woods! Happy dance, happy dance! My friend Chris had offered to teach me and several of my friends how to ski, so once it snowed, lessons were arranged for Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m. at a park in Madison.
Here is where the resistance starts. I complain to myself and My Guy about the early start time, I decided I don’t want to get out of bed that early on a Sunday morning (even though I’m usually awake by that time anyway – go figure). Instead of organizing clothing and equipment the night before, I decide I’m too tired and decide to do that in the morning.
Sunday morning arrives (bright and early!). Once I’ve had my coffee, I reaffirm to myself that ski lessons were part of my 2012 commitments and so I hustle into gear. Now, as you can imagine, because I didn’t take 100% responsibility the night before, I am now rushing around like a maniac to maintain the commitment to myself and the 9:00 a.m. start with my friends. Because the skis are organized so perfectly in the garage (a job taken on and completed by My Guy) they are hanging in a very logical, horizontal spot near the ceiling. I ask My Guy to get the skis down for me. Now this is important to note. I do not ask him to take the skis down for me and put them in my car. I merely ask him to get them down for me – which he does and he props them against the weight bench located in front of my car. Now, as you recall, I am rushing around like a maniac, not living anywhere in the present moment because I am too busy living into a future where I am sure I will be late; so I am pulling on clothes, scarfing down breakfast, filling water bottles, locating ski boots, wildly tossing a bag of stuff into the car. I back out of the driveway and race towards town and the park where the lessons have been scheduled.
Yep. I am parked in the parking lot of the park, 35 minutes away from my house before I realize I’d left my skis behind (an extra embarrassing admission: I walked past my skis leaning against the weight bench, not once, but twice, and never saw them – now that folks, is NOT living in the present moment!).
Major bummer. I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it. I check twice before it sinks in. I sit in my car for a moment, steaming. And then I breathe deeply and exhale. I think about my options:
- I could get angry and pin the blame on someone else (not optimal)…I must admit this instinct flitted through my mind – but happily, it didn’t stick around.
- I could take 100% responsibility for the way the morning had gone so far (not being committed, leaving things to the last minute, rushing like a maniac).
- I could accept what is – I forgot my skis – and I could go inside the park office and since I needed to pay for a park pass anyway, I could just fork over some more money and suck up the cost of renting skis (not a fan – but it is what is).
I, luckily, skipped over option number one pretty rapidly and moved into action with options two and three. Chris greeted me at the door of the park office. Once he heard I needed to rent skis before I could join the lesson, he offered me the extra set he had in his car. (What a guy! Now that is a commitment to a sport and to his friends! )
We had an absolutely fantastic lesson. Chris is a wonderful instructor. He took us out to a completely level spot and had us practicing all the basic movements of cross-country skiing, learning to balance, kick off, and glide without our poles. I came away feeling so much more confident about the mechanics of skiing. I can’t wait for the next lesson, how to go downhill and around a corner (without falling).
Here’s the lovely thing. Once I slowed down, relaxed into what is, and started living from the present moment, I had a great day! I got home and maintained that serene feeling all afternoon and into the evening (and got a bucket load of stuff done). I called My Guy (he was off doing guy things) and thanked him for getting the skis down for me (I’m certain I forgot to do that earlier).
Now, the other side of the story, as told to me later by My Guy: He realized shortly after I left the house, I’d forgotten my skis. He called me immediately on my cell phone. However, he heard the phone ringing from the depths of the house (yes, I’d even left my phone behind). He admitted to panicking briefly, wondering if I’d be mad and blame him for not taking the next logical step of putting my skis into the car for me. He thought of all the things he could do to try and rectify the situation, but realized for him to drive my skis to me would mean he would be breaking his commitments to himself (errands he needed to run) and to his friends (activities they had planned). So, he left them right where he had put them – leaning against the weight bench – and hoped I’d remember getting ready to go skiing was a 100% my responsibility.
I just had to laugh. I was glad I had settled into this awareness myself, before he had to point it out to me, otherwise, the lesson might not have gone so well.
Hugs and peace won out this weekend!