Ice Skating

On Saturday we went ice skating. It didn’t seem like ice skating weather at all–in the 40s, and sunny, but hell, it was January, afterall. January: The Ice Skating Month, am I right?  We called the rink to make sure there was…ice, and there was,  so we went.

The rink was filled with kids, lots of them. Pushing chairs. This rink gives plastic chairs to kids to hang on to as they get used to their skates.

Little girls with chairs

The chairs kept them upright, made them braver. But it’s hard to find your center of gravity when you are hunched over a chair, so I questioned the advisability of these props.

It was fun, though. and I enjoyed the feeling of gliding along, but I got bored fairly quickly. At about the 20th time around the rink, I wondered how many more times I could go around and it still continue to be fun.

Once I had gotten over the newness of the skates, and remembered how to do this, how to stay upright and how to go faster, there was really nothing left.

Except to look at the sky, which was beautiful, all pink and purple as the sun set. Or look at the kids in their various lumps and piles of fallen-downness.

I winced as some of them wiped out pretty spectacularly right in front of me, and then admired their grit as they just got up and kept going.

I had to keep an eagle-eye on the little whipper-snappers (boys) who were speeding around at a warp speed, coats open, some of them with helmuts on, hell bent for leather. They were on some kind of mission, so the best thing I could do was stay out of their way.

Skating at this rink was like driving on an insane highway where people were in big mash-ups of accidents, others were creeping along in the berm, the handicapped were pushing their chairs, the speed demons were changing lanes unpredictably, and there were impromptu meetings of tween girls in the middle of traffic, gossiping about the whole scene.

Then there were the safety patrol people in their yellow vests skating around, picking kids up, asking them if they were okay.

I skated around for an hour, wondering about ice skating: What would make it more fun? Lessons?  Learning to skate backwards or pirouette, or to be so comfortable on skates that I could skate with my hands in my pockets and just maneuver gracefully around like I saw some fellow doing?  To feel comfortable and in command on the ice, to be able to skate as easily as walk? Yeah. That would be fun.

G skates

G said I should take lessons.  Maybe if this rink were closer I might consider it, but no. I have too much on my plate as it is. It was just a thought.

After an hour we left and went to The Cellar where I drank a lovely new Pinot and we ate half-price appetizers, and got home early enough for G to watch the late game and for me to pin more stuff onto my Pinterest boards.

Lovely day.

We laugh

17 Things I Need To Be Happy

I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest lately.  It’s making me aware of things I like, things that make me happy,  and places I would love to visit.

But mostly, Pinterest has been making me think of things.

Except that it’s not things that make me happy.  Mostly what makes me happy are when “conditions” are right. Like weather, only on a psycho-spiritual level.

As I’ve been creating Pinterest boards and pinning things onto them, I’ve been thinking about what might be my “recipe” for  personal happiness on a day-to-day basis.  What floats my boat?  What would be the “minimum daily requirement” for my personal contentment, satisfaction, and happiness.

So I sat down this morning and rapped out these 17 things off the top of my head. There are probably a hundred things I’ve left out, but these are definitely key.

So, what are your things? What do you need to be happy?

17 Things I Need to Be Happy

Enough sleep. (9 hours, preferably.)

High quality food, and a good grocery store nearby to buy it.

To sweat and detox daily.

Yoga. (Every. Single. Day)

20 minutes of Meditation. (Every. Single. Day)

Regular fun and play.

Order in my surroundings.

A clean kitchen.

Sun.

Warmth.

A hot bath. (with bubbles, and a wind-up duck)

Wine (in moderation)

Inspiring people in my immediate neighborhood. (Real people. Not online “friends.”)

Beautiful, natural surroundings to live in.

One large cup of extraordinary, extra bold coffee, every morning.

A big, warm, soft bed to sleep in. Alone.

Somebody to speak my soul to, to share my neuroses with, and to tell me (even if it’s not true) that I’m not nuts. Every. Single. Day.

2012 Reading List

Today I gathered together the books I intend to read this year and amassed them next to my winterized Space Chair for this photo-op.

Winterized Space Chair

It’s a good list, I think, but a long one.

reading list (with Vishuda)

(Vishuda is my gargoyle hand puppet, in case you were wondering.)

The 2012 stack

I have had these books in my possession for a long time but have not “gotten around” to them.

One, the Tantra one, I read awhile ago but feel the  need to re-read now that I have been through so many trainings.

I have also started the Daniel Ingram book multiple times. I have gotten through one chapter doing the exercises in the Contemplative Photography book, as well.

So here’s my rather daunting  list from top to bottom:

Yoga Spandakarika

The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi

The Great Good Place

Bringing Home the Dharma

What We Say Matters

A Path With Heart

Tantra: Path of Ecstasy

Transformational Speaking

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha

Yoga Body

The Beauty of Different

The Practice of Contemplative Photography

The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui

If you made a reading list for this year, care to share?

The First Post of the New Year

It’s been a slow day. Kind of introspective. Spent a lot of time going back through archives just to see what I was resolving to do this time last year.

This is the day of resolutions and I like resolutions, but I always wind up not doing them. I don’t feel bad about that mostly, because I end up doing other wonderful things instead.

Who can know in January, how things will be in June? So I am getting more relaxed about resolutions and goals, thanks in large part to reading Zen Habits and really resonating with Leo.

But to briefly recap: The two things I am happiest about this year are my ongoing and unbroken streaks: 400 days without a miss in 750 words, and nearing 100 consecutive days of personal yoga practice, not teaching yoga.

I just got back from a 5 Day training at Kripalu with Yoganand, and the training and the timing could not have been more perfect. I left the day after Christmas and returned the day before New Year’s Eve.

I now feel de-toxed from all the butter cookies and other holiday indulgences, and am happily back to my usual diet of kale, brown rice and lemon water.

I have decided not to make resolutions this year, but instead, try to envision the psycho-spiritual place I would like to be in next year and figure out the steps and behaviors it would take for me to get there.

Here’s what I have come up with thusfar:

  • I want to continue to deepen my yoga practice and add a consistent meditation practice to it.
  • I want to continue with 750 words and also with the writing in my Scrivener Project
  • I want to read at least 12 books and write about them here.
  • I want to finally learn my camera and take more, and hopefully better, pictures.
  • I want to gradually change the focus of this blog so that it reflects more accurately, and vividly, my real life. In line with this, I also want to post more regularly, but keep the posts to 200 words or less, (but include more pictures, and maybe even video.)

That seems like plenty, given the hours in the day.

Care to share what you have up your sleeve for this year?