Tie on your skates and jump on the ice. We've got lots of life lessons to discuss today...

Eyes on the present

Every self-help book and guru out there will tell you something about how you shouldn't focus on the past, how you should plan for the future, but how you should always be in the present. Of course, I have some insights into that, too.

This insight comes from spins and jumps on ice -- really, any rotational move. The lesson is that there is a time to look at the past, a time to look to the future, and a time to keep yourself firmly planted in the present. And the source of the lesson? Head position before, during and after rotation. No, seriously, there's something to this.

When I teach beginners how to do a two foot spin, there is a very common mistake where the skater looks back away from the direction of rotation. If they are turning counter-clockwise, their head turns to the right. I call this "looking to the past", and it completely messes up their spin. We can't move onward until that's fixed.

In the midst of nearly any spin, you want to make sure that you are "in the present", not looking to the past (away from your rotation) or to the future (into your rotation). In order to make sure that you have your head in the right place, it's useful to try to see specific features on the walls of the ice rink as you go around. They may blur past you, but if you are watching for them, you will always know where you are.

In the midst of the main tasks of life, your job, spending time with your family, or chores around the house, the advice is the same. Attention to detail and being fully present make you better at whatever you are doing, and will help you to reach your full potential.

Be here now is such cliched advice, but it really does make a difference. In fact, I'd say that one of the great things about ritual practices and rules is that they can help you to develop that mindfulness, that full awareness of the present moment. Whether you are a religious person or not, you can keep your eyes open for the markers in your day, the metaphorical walls of the ice rink in your constant rotations.

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