Archives for the month of: October, 2013

Or, for that matter, what it isn’t.  These are subjects for another day – soon.

Today I am focusing on openness and intimacy, fearlessly approaching and being approachable. Eye contact. Observation. Being in the moment, because the moment is what I have. Making room to feel, to be involved in my own experience. Breathing, and finding that still calm place.  Taking practices of mindful self-acceptance, compassion, and gratitude, and applying them to my relationships with others.

Today I find balance, because I choose balance, and compassion because I choose compassion. Today I will change the world.

Every moment holds all the potential that exists to choose well.

Every moment holds all the potential that exists to choose well.

I really wanted to come home and write. I have something bubbling up in  my consciousness, a new level of understanding of something that seems… worth the time and the words….

…but I feel angry. I feel annoyed. I feel… too close to the darkness that lurks within, poetically speaking. I’d rather not taint my tender epiphany with any of that. It’s worth more. So, I am taking some time to chill and contemplate how human we each are, how easily I can identify with many facets of a conflict, how difficult perspective and balance can be – so tenuous, so fragile – in the face of strong emotion.

Sometimes a change in perspective doesn't really answer any questions.

Sometimes a change in perspective doesn’t really answer any questions. It isn’t always about answers.

I continue to chill. To breath. To study. It could be that the most important changes for me of late have been moving away from a need to know, to a comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty, letting go of the desire to ‘be right’ in favor of being calm, and letting go of mastery and answering questions to be a student, every day, asking more questions than I answer, and being open to what is… sometimes more than others; I am, after all, still human. 🙂

Today did bring a nice moment of surprise – I’d forgotten I had ordered a couple of books in pursuit of my studies, and they came today.  Siddhartha; a favorite novel that didn’t open my eyes when I read it in the 70s. I was young, and broken, and more than any of that, I was not ready, now I am, and I really want to read it with new understanding.  I also ordered a book I never read, but could have… but didn’t.  I want to read it now.  As if only I could read all the words, I would be able to… something.  Something more than I can, so far.  Buddha in Blue Jeans. Quite tiny and slim and unassuming (some of my most enduring favorites and influential tomes are tiny).  I opened it tenderly, randomly, in that vaguely reverent  way people who love books do. It’s a keeper. Pretty words. 🙂

Lest you think me more serious than I am, there was a third book. 101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Mmm, even the title sounds tasty. 😀

Nightfall has over taken twilight. Time to consider things, and take care of me.

Another relaxed lovely morning, quiet and serene, unfolding gently within and around me.  I woke easily, and even ‘slept in’ a bit, which feels very nourishing and luxurious. The house is quiet. My latte is warm and tasty, falling nicely into the ‘just right’ category.  Yoga first thing, and meditation.

As an extension of my meditation this morning I found myself considering each person dear to me for a moment or two, and feeling grateful to know them, and giving some time to contemplate the joy they bring me, to remember shared experiences that have helped me grow, to honor their existence and reflect on the meaning of their life if they are gone.  I didn’t plan this, it began as a simple heartfelt ‘thank you’ that my partners are part of my life, each as they are, with their struggles and imperfections, and the great value they bring to my experience, and it cascaded from there through all the relationships I have now, or have had, and their importance to me.  I feel moved, and supported, thinking about all the amazing people I know.

You are one of them. (Even if we’ve never met in the flesh, here you are now, reading my words and connecting with me through them. That matters to me; I thank you.)

Today feels good. There isn’t much more to say about that, beyond observing the feelings: contentment, balance, serenity, comfort, quiet joy, hopeful, friendly, open, relaxed, and something softer than happy, less boisterous than joy – but very much on that end of the emotional spectrum. It used to be incredibly rare to feel anything even a little like this. Somehow, then, I thought that fighting to get here, screaming in hurt and rage when it felt ‘taken away’, struggling endlessly to force this experience to exist would ‘make it happen’.  I didn’t understand. I still lack ‘certainty’ about ‘how it all works’. I am learning, and in learning is progress.  That’s enough. I am learning to be comfortable with uncertainty, and unafraid of unanswered questions; it is the questions themselves that have the greater value to me, at least for now.

Now. Now is something I am becoming pretty comfortable with. Mutable and timeless Now – it suits me more than I understood it could. Yielding to Now. Surrendering to Now. Embracing Now. Learning the amazing difference between ‘giving up’ (or ‘giving in’) through futility, apathy, or pain, and the wide open vista of experience and emotion in yielding and surrendering through openness, through acceptance, and through perspective in this precious Now.  It’s powerful, and so far… incredibly difficult to share. It’s a puzzle. All I have are words, and it isn’t about words.

I am not a missionary.

I find myself filled with conviction, hope, and experiencing my life very differently these days, and no amount of word-sharing actually has any real potential to communicate that every bit of what I have gained is freely available to anyone who chooses to embrace it for themselves. It is incredibly hard to watch people I love choose to suffer. It is a whole other lesson in life’s curriculum that the choices of others belong to them entirely as much as my own belong to me.  Another facet of ‘we are each having our own experience’, certainly, and it simply isn’t productive to shout ‘Be the change!’  🙂

So here it is, a lovely morning.  Today I am kind. I am content. I am compassionate. I am eager to embrace the new day, mindfully, and savoring each precious moment.

A lighthouse is a good metaphor today.

A lighthouse is a good metaphor today.

I start the day with a quiet morning. It’s lovely.

Yesterday turned out well.  Aside from some pretty understandable challenges with the morning, subjective, limited, and largely pretty inconsequential in the grander scheme of things, the day was a good one. I found myself more easily able to reach for the appropriate tools in the moment, able to make use of them in a pretty natural way, and more and more I find myself relying on the simplest basics of mindfulness to ease me through momentary stress. It’s so far beyond being a goodness that I don’t really have words to express the sense of relief I feel when I find myself looking back on a challenge from the perspective of having handled it well, and already putting it behind me ‘so easily’.

Therapy is… ‘blessed torment’. I’m not a practitioner of a major religion, so it feels odd to reach for those words to describe my weekly visit with my care provider, but… yeah.  It’s not the gentlest hour of my week, and the ripples through my Thursday, my weekend, and the days following are more than opportunities to reflect, to heal, to practice new skills.  It is a time to tear down what doesn’t ‘work’, isn’t functional, hasn’t served me well.  It is a time to challenge assumptions, ask powerful questions, to share painful ‘truths’ to be examined critically in a very bright light. It is a time to fight seemingly invincible demons, with an unstoppable army of… two.  It is a time to rebuild with a plan, and will, and intent, and compassion, and a time to reinforce the best of what I have, who I am, and the values I choose to honor.  I’m very fortunate to have met this particular being on my journey; for the first time, therapy is making a real difference, long-term, not just acting as crisis intervention.  Not one dime I’ve ever spent on myself has been more worthwhile.

Autumn is really getting into things now; fall foliage in radiant colors, chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, the smells of fall cooking on the air, the last barbecues of the year, the first fires in the hearth, and different flowers show their colors along the sidewalks and roadsides. I have no idea why fall is my favorite season.  I think of long walks around the lake near Ft Devens, Massachusetts, and beautiful cities showing fall colors: Augsburg, Annapolis, Portland. I love walking outside in the autumn, bundled in a warm sweater, cheeks rosy and a big smile.

Autumn days, autumn skies.

Autumn days, autumn skies.

I love the walks, the sights, the calm enthusiasm for life that I feel in the autumn.

Some of the most dramatic flowers show off in the autumn.

Some of the most dramatic flowers show off in the autumn.

I find myself feeling more focused and purposeful, without feeling driven or obligated.

I find myself enjoying this up close and with intent.

I find myself enjoying each moment up close and with intent.

Simple pleasures seem more than enough in the autumn.

I am content to look at beauty from more than one perspective, to linger, to savor it.

I am content to look at beauty from more than one perspective, to linger, to savor it.

Autumn feels more leisurely than spring, less urgent than winter, less defiant than summer. Autumn is also a time of year to openly and wantonly plan and daydream of coming Yule festivities. The winter holiday season, for me, begins with Thanksgiving, and lingers until New Year’s Day.  I love the winter holidays in all their lavish glory and festive excess.

The most awesome holiday wreath ever?! I think maybe...

The most awesome holiday wreath ever?! I think maybe…

So, here it is, autumn, a quiet morning of study, meditation, and yoga – and an excellent latte.  Later I will garden. It is time to prune the roses for winter, tidy the greenhouse for autumn crops, and cut back summer stalks that now obstruct rather than adorn.  Today, mine is a very pleasant experience.




Since last Thursday I’ve been living eyes-wide-open, head up, and observing the world, and making time to meditate when I can. Funny, it often seems that when I want to meditate more, the opportunities to do so are fewer. I’m not bitching, just expressing a subjective impression of my experience.  My ‘cognitive space’ seems a bit limited lately. Or…maybe I have a lot to think about? 🙂

There could be a an inspiring caption here...

There could be a an inspiring caption here…

It is Thursday. Therapy. A day to focus on me, generally… it’s off to a strange start. I feel distracted and struggling to engage myself with my own needs and thoughts. Struggling to focus, struggling to be the important thing on my agenda… and slowly the stress and anxiety build.  So, fewer words today, more meditation.

Somehow I failed on some little things of great importance this morning. Failed to connect. Failed at intimacy. Failed at love and Love. Failed at conversation. Failed what started as a lovely morning and turned into… loneliness.  Still human. Capable of hurting. Likely to struggle. Prone to error.  What do I need? What do I want? I guess it is progress that I can at least express my feelings; disappointed, sad, frustrated – emotional.

I am grateful that I can feel.

Today I hope to make wise choices, to speak with compassion, to listen with my whole attention and consideration about other experiences. Today I hope to challenge my assumptions, and treat myself with compassion, too.  I hope to find my way out of the darkness and into the light.

Today I will change the world.