Tuesday, 31 January 2012

An Abundant Life

This life is a gift.
I welcome it fully.
I share what is given
With others.

About eight years ago I published Learning to Swim: Reflections on Living. The book is a collection of nonfiction stories, all drawn from my years as a competitive swimmer and coach. Its back cover claims the contents “affirm the potential in everyone, and offer lessons that illuminate the lives of both athletes and non-athletes alike.”

I did a number of interviews supporting this release. These were print exchanges mostly, plus one television appearance and a handful of radio slots. In this latter category, was a discussion with Lynn Thompson, host of Living On Purpose.

We sat together near Naniamo’s outdoor swimming pool on a warm Saturday morning, she and I, talking about the book and the journey that lead me toward it. The resulting interview was aired on Malaspina College’s Radio CHLY shortly thereafter.

Two years later, I heard her voice again. “I’ll be in Victoria soon and thought we might catch up,” she said during a phone call. In the time since our last meeting, my work life had fallen apart: I left coaching after twenty years, book sales dribbled toward nothing, and the speaking career I hoped would emerge didn’t.

Riding these waves became the focus of our conversation. Over a long pot of tea, Lynn and I explored how my meditative training had helped me navigate the waters I found myself paddling through - giving me a practice to work with during the tumult and a perspective with which to understand unfolding events. Once again our conversation was aired and that, I thought for the second time, was the end of it.

Recently, however, I heard from Lynn again. She wanted to rebroadcast our second exchange on Zeus Radio, home to her new show, Lynn Thompson’s Light Feed. Her intention was to put it out under the title ‘Living An Abundant Life’. “Will you listen in order to make certain it’s okay?” she requested. A bit skeptical of the heading, I did listen and was struck by a couple of things.

The first is the crucial role my wife’s insight played in what happened after my work world collapsed. This is often the case. Her words sometimes seem to come from ‘elsewhere’, propelling me into territories I would not otherwise enter. “You’re trained to teach meditation,” she offers. The implications continue to resonate.

Also striking is how clearly the span since our previous interview is seen as a time of abundance. “Life gives us what we need,” I often say during classes and workshops. To be honest, I sometimes lose sight of this. In this interview, however, these words ring with truth. For this reason, I am glad to have had the chance to hear it again. I hope you enjoy listening.


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