Mindfulness in Black and White Sunsets Sidewalks and Skateboarders
Here in Mazatlan, Mexico, there's a broad walkway that runs for miles along the coastline. This malecon features a mostly-tiled sidewalk with a low concrete wall separating it from the sandy beach.Dotted with food stalls, sculptures, restaurants and even cliff divers, it's the preferred locale for joggers, lovers, dog-walkers, fishermen, families, roller-bladers and those who enjoy spectacular sunsets.I love to walk the malecon and see the different ways people use and enjoy it.
Recently, as I was strolling along late in the afternoon, I spotted a group of skateboarders.Now, some might have an immediate negative reaction to the idea that skateboarders might be using what is intended as a public walkway.Not me.
You see, a few years ago, my husband and I owned a retail store that catered to skateboarders and snowboarders. As a result, we heard plenty of complaints from both local businesspeople and the kids they chased from in front of their storefronts. We thought, "Let's build a skatepark so they'll have a place to skateboard.
".Many city meetings later, we finally got permission to pour a large glass-smooth concrete slab in a local park and provide a variety of wooden ramps to accommodate different styles and levels.I'll never forget the day the park opened--there were at least 50 skaters of all ages zipping past each other, and despite our fears that someone could get hurt (and yes, sue us), there wasn't a single mishap on that day or any of the others that followed.
In fact, that concrete slab was so packed on a regular basis that the city decided a few years later to upgrade our hard-won $10,000 square by developing a state-of-the-art park with a price tag of nearly half a million dollars.I have a great deal of affection and admiration for skateboarders. Their art requires a tremendous amount of courage and concentration. I challenge anyone to attempt (repeatedly) the ways in which skateboarders defy gravity with such grace. Sure, there are those who behave badly, but I know firsthand that the majority are courteous athletes who just want to practice their sport.So, I was pleased to see that these particular skateboarders, in their black Korn and Sepultura t-shirts, were being mindful of those who might be intimidated or annoyed by their skateboarding on the malecon.
They kept to one side, looked both ways before attempting a move, and always gave children and older people a wide berth.But as I stopped to watch the descending sun, I witnessed a moving and humorous sight. Sitting side-by-side, facing the glorious sky, there were two very distinct groups: black-clad skateboarders and nuns in full white habits.Both were silent. Both were focused on the golden orb sinking into the Pacific.
Both were fully engaged in the moment.When the sun was no longer visible, the nuns got up to continue their walk. The skateboarders respectfully ushered them on their way and then, after checking for pedestrians, resumed their activities.This was such a simple and beautiful example of sharing space peacefully. It illustrated--in black and white--the fact that we, as humans, have more that connects than separates us from each other.Whether we're dressed in white or black, whether our passion requires prayer or kickflips, we share an innate recognition of the majesty of nature and we are inspired by moments of full-on presence.
By sharing our sidewalks and sunsets, we have an opportunity to pay attention to those around us and become mindful of our similarities as well as our differences.Start seeing how black and white can go together beautifully..Maya Talisman Frost has taught thousands of people how to pay attention. Her playful, eyes-wide-open approach to mindfulness has been featured in over 150 publications worldwide, ranging from Family Circle to Penthouse. She publishes the Friday Mind Massage, a weekly ezine with subscribers in over 100 countries.
To read her free tips and tricks for practical awareness, visit http://www.Real-WorldMindfulness.com.
By: Maya Talisman Frost
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