Archives for the month of: September, 2014

…Or at least with this ringing in my ears that is always with me. I woke with a wicked headache this morning. It creeps up through my arthritic vertebrae to the base of my skull, and the ringing in my ears seems both louder, and more distinctive; it’s actually several tones, frequencies, and noises, and it differs left and right. lol. This morning, the headache being what it is, I am listening to the ringing in my ears; the sound of my fingers on the keyboard serves reasonably well as percussion. I can’t change it, I may as well….something.

My coffee is good, and hot. I slept badly and it meets a need this morning, more than suiting an aesthetic of mornings in general. No nightmares, I just struggled to fall asleep, slept restlessly, woke often, and just didn’t rack up enough hours of rest. My traveling partner has expressed concern that I am pushing myself to hard at work. It’s a fair concern; I am. It’s a thing I do, and I frame it up as ‘playing to my strengths’ but I am aware I need to ease up and treat myself as a human being, and consider other needs, my own needs, too. Work kept my mind busy last night, and I did not rest well. That’s enough of that; it has to stop.

Right at the moment, from the perspective of the delicate new day, still unfolding, all potential nothing yet actual, today has a lot to offer. I hope it lives up to its potential.

Utterly unrelated to this moment and its beauty, right here, I’ll pause to observe that I continue to be concerned about the increase in spelling mistakes and difficulty finding the right word since my TIAs (transient ischemic attack) at the end of July. Painfully obvious to me, actually, and concerning way beyond vanity; this is my health, my life, and I exist in a fairly fragile vessel of flesh and mortality. I haven’t had another since mid-August, and it was ‘just’ those three… doesn’t stop me wondering what caused them, why now, or will I be okay. Especially on days with other headaches. I want to be around a good long time…I’d like to see 2083.

I take much better care of my  health these days. Doing so doesn’t take away the pain of earlier misadventure, or later aging, but it sure helps me maintain vitality and fitness well beyond what I’d manage otherwise. The meditation helps soothe me, builds emotional resilience, and teaches me balance and perspective; great for my blood pressure. The yoga helps me maintain a healthier weight, good flexibility, bone and joint health, and keeps my arthritic joints moving; great for reducing my pain, and building my fitness level for more, other, activities. I take a good multi-vitamin, and the supplements my doctor says I need, individually, based on testing, to maintain good health on a another level, and I manage my calories. I try to get enough sleep to really rest each night and wake refreshed each morning. I walk 5 miles a day, pretty nearly every day, sometimes more. Every small choice I make to take care of me adds up to a better experience of being who I am. I’ve gotten here one practice, one choice, at a time; it would have utterly overwhelmed me to try to tackle it all in one list of resolutions or commitments to myself. Being patient with myself, showing myself compassion, has been huge for reaching some of these goals; there’ve been many missteps along the way. I often learn best through my mistakes (like finding out some months ago what a weekend of eating sweets will do to my mood and temper after months of eschewing sugars!).

I’m just writing. Making observations. It’s a moment. I have a headache. I’ll call this one ‘doing my best’ this morning and find myself content with it.

Today is a good day to treat myself with compassion and take care of me. Today is a good day to be practical and real about pain – and pain management. Today is a good day to recognize we’ve all got our hurts, our own situation to face, our own individual personalized baggage, and we’re all in this together. Today is a good day to smile and understand that physical pain doesn’t have to be an impediment to happiness. Today is a good day to change the world.

Change is okay; it's not as if I can do anything to stop it. :-)

Change is okay; it’s not as if I can do anything to stop it. 🙂

There’s very little we human primates do that is truly isolated from the rest, so unique and strange as to be impossible to relate to or identify with, so much so that when we behave in a fashion that is ‘out of the ordinary’ within the context of our experience not only do our friends, loved ones, and every day associates notice, so do strangers. We are interdependent, inter-associated, and interacting with each other – even when we are alone, generally, unless we sit utterly silent, motionless, and disconnected from all technology as well…which doesn’t happen for many of us, or doesn’t happen often, certainly not by choice. (I suggest it might be healthier for our own being if we did step away more than once in a while to be truly alone, and free of distraction…)  What my point is, though, is that we see each other, even when we are not really watching, and when an individual in the herd, pack, band, tribe, or community deviates from recognized norms it is noticed.

Just sayin’. You are not invisible. People notice. They probably care – what they don’t have is a window into your experience. Opening up and being who you are, because it is who you are, can be a scary process – particularly if you’ve made your way in life by wearing a mask, telling a story, or hiding your truth.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them. [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

I spent the weekend painting. In that respect my weekend was entirely and completely about me. It was quite lovely, filled with wonder, and I’m pleased with the new work. I’d leave it there, but I am a human primate, loving other human primates, and living in a family, a small band of friends, a community of people; there’s more to it than me. There’s always more to it than ‘me’. Saturday was lovely, easy, and felt natural and right pretty nearly end to end, and seemed so for all of us. Sunday less so. Other people, other choices, and there’s always room for more than one experience. I had a remarkable day painting, nonetheless, and enjoyed sharing time with my traveling partner, reading, hanging out, talking… it was lovely. My other partner was doing her own thing.

Yesterday had been planned differently; I planned to go hiking in the morning. The lovely Saturday evening, though, resulted in a request for a morning at home together, shared as a family. I happily changed my plans. Things went sideways early, and I’m pleased at how easy it has become for me to roll with changes; I like planning things, and function most comfortably when I have some loose idea of what’s to be expected. It is a powerful piece of growth, and marvelously powerful, to be so able to smile in the face of unwanted drama, change, and the randomness of life itself. There is so much less turmoil within, now.  I’m still not skilled at getting at the root of OPD and making the changes I need to, to ensure I can easily and with great contentment avoid being sucked into someone else’s drama. I can’t – and don’t want to – control someone else’s experience, choices, values or behavior; I have all the control in the world over my own. Choices.

For me The Big 5 really matter. Respect, and Consideration are huge. Openness is non-negotiable. Compassion and Reciprocity are essential to treating others, and myself, truly well. Nothing short of treating myself well, making choices that meet my needs over time, and treating others in accordance with my own Big 5 – as a minimum standard of decency for me – is acceptable at all these days. I am building my own experience on principles of mindfulness, perspective, and sufficiency, sure – but it’s my Big 5 on which I build my relationships with others, and what I require from others to build one with me.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.  [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

It’s a quiet chill Monday morning. My coffee is hot, and the tone of the morning is gentle. My traveling partner is up early, and I’ll enjoy the time I share with him, before heading to the office for a very different experience – one that I still base on my Big 5, because it’s a good way to treat others, and to be treated myself.

Today is a good day for choices that meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to stand on my strengths as a being, and as a woman. Today is a good day to smile and enjoy the small delights that are always there in the moment. Today is a good day to appreciate any connection I enjoy with another; our connections are what it is all about. Today is a good day to change the world.

"Namaste" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas. 2014 It's about the intention as much as the words.

“Namaste” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas. 2014 It’s about the intention as much as the words.

This weekend I’m taking time with me, doing something I love, and enjoying the sensation of time slowing down as I linger over what feels good in life. I’m in the studio this weekend, between other bits of this-n-that, laundry, time with family and friends, yoga… All of it quite pleasant and wonderfully positive and enjoyable; the outcome is in the art work. I had planned to hike this morning, and even looking forward to it at the very moment that first one, then the other, of my partners spoke up that they would each, and both, enjoy a morning with family, hanging out and being in shared space. I still smile thinking about that moment; I felt very wanted, included, and valued.

It didn’t hurt that of the paintings I did yesterday, 3 of 5 of them are already spoken for by enthused and delighted partners. I can’t describe how wonderful that feels, every time it comes up. It takes being appreciated to another level. 🙂

"Where There's Smoke" 8" x 10"  acrylic on canvas with India ink; it's hers. :-)

“Where There’s Smoke” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with India ink; it’s hers. 🙂

"You Always Have My Heart" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with glow; it's his. :-)

“You Always Have My Heart” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with glow; it’s his. 🙂

I’m not disappointed about not hiking; I’ll likely still go for a walk with my camera, or stroll over to the Farmer’s Market. It’s a lovely day for all those things.

"Summer Breeze" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with India Ink; it's his. :-)

“Summer Breeze” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with India Ink; it’s his. 🙂

The weekend has offered some moments of amazement, wonder, and great depth. In meditation, deeply involved, aware, and present in some moment I “walked the streets of The Nightmare City” by daylight, feeling safe and walking in wonder and observing all I could before twilight could over take me.  Imagination? Fantasy? Scripting? I don’t know those things. I recognize it is not the same order of ‘real’ as being awake, here-and-now, and able to touch what I see…only…it still matters, because thoughts matter, and what we fill our implicit memory with matters, and emotional content matters, too. Later today I’ll spend time writing a bit about my visit, as though it were something others could book a trip for, and get there, stay and visit for themselves.  I am hopeful that my own next visit to The Nightmare City is very different that my last, and even perhaps willing to allow the thought that it may truly have been my last visit to drift through my consciousness without clinging to it in despair and anxious yearning.

"Daytime in the Nightmare City" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with glow, glitter, and micaceous iron oxide. 2014

“Daytime in the Nightmare City” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with glow, glitter, and micaceous iron oxide. 2014

Today is a good day for love, for lovers, for sharing the morning and for enjoying a lazy Sunday. Today is a good day to move beyond words. Today is a good day to smile. Today is a good day to face my fears fearlessly; in most cases I invented them both, myself, and can as easily let them go. Today is a good day to contribute only love to the world’s conversations. Today is a good day to change the world.

This morning I woke, rather oddly, to the sound of my father’s voice, and his silhouette in my doorway.  “Are you going to work today, Baby?” The question was gently put and I felt nothing but love; it was the sort of moment that would have been true of in an authentic such experience of childhood…I think…but…I knew I didn’t have a job. Only I do. And it wasn’t my Dad. It was my traveling partner, and I sat bolt upright in bed and as I felt the forces of panic and overdrive gather, I heard his voice say “Slow down, it’s not that late.”  I grinned in the dimness and looked at the clock; I’d only overslept by 15 minutes, not a big deal.

It's not too late for coffee.

It’s not too late for coffee.

I rarely oversleep, and less than an hour later, I am still quite groggy, sipping my espresso, and waiting for my brain to really come on-line. Yes, and writing. lol.

Yesterday was a very busy day at work, and a lovely quiet evening at home afterward was a pleasant finish; I was exhausted. Still, as I headed to bed I remembered the questions for a beta read of a book a friend wrote (it’s quite an exciting book), and had intended to wrap that whole thing up, and send my answers on over. I started with the first question, and thought, you know – I’ll just take another look at… next thing I knew I had reread his book entirely, and it was later. It’s probably best that books have a last page; I might be reading even now. I’m grateful for well-timed goodnight kisses that remind me to sleep, too. lol

Still…sleeping in is rare for me, oversleeping is both rare and peculiar. Most any day that I do happen to oversleep I can count on feeling foggy many hours into my day. Weird, right? Probably not…just stuff I don’t know more about. There’s a lot of that in the world. 🙂

Today is a good day to roll with changes and a good day to do my best. Today is a good day to be kind; I never know who may have overslept and be wandering about in a fog. Today is a good day to laugh at the small stuff; most of it is small stuff. Today is a good day to change the world.

Funny how much difference one moment can make in the way my experience feels. I’m still working on making the most of some pretty vast raw materials; the artistic masterwork of a lifetime is the journey I take to become the woman I most want to be, exploring my experience, and taking this amazing journey of discovery as a being. I am still taken by surprise, sometimes, at how little it takes to change the tone of that experience, to color it, to shift it on the emotional spectrum one direction or another.

So much potential.

A new day holds so much potential.

Yesterday the tone of a reply to a practical question held the potential to be a powerful destructive force in my day. I dislike being dismissed, or disregarded – I suppose most people likely do. I found great satisfaction that the day didn’t go awry, and took time to be grateful for new practices making a difference. I took that approach every step of the way yesterday, refraining from taking things personally – even when they appeared to be very personal indeed – because I was able to understand that the behaviors of others reflect their will (not mine), their values (not mine), and their choices (I make my own); I’m a bystander in their experience. Their pain is their own, as are their great joys. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

This morning, I woke early, feeling a bit off, my mind inclined to wander into anger or irritation although the day was so very new there was no cause for it. New practices for the win, this morning, too; I gently nudged my mood back toward joy and contentment with meditation, and just as I felt relaxed and content again, I was treated to cuddles and love. Cuddles and love are simply one utterly wonderful way to start a morning. Any morning.

A lovely autumn morning.

Mornings hold so much potential.

Now I’m just chilling, sipping my first espresso, and listening to the world wake up around me. The sound track of human experience. I’m also listening to a terribly cheesy love song in my head; sometimes love does that to me. Sometimes I just sing holiday carols. LOL (No foolin’, I do.)

This human thing isn’t always easy, or orderly, or pleasant, and the weirdest shit seems to go wrong at the strangest times. People matter. I’m including myself in that set these days, which is a very nourishing experience emotionally. I’m setting my own priorities, based on what I need, and what matters to me. It makes some of the everyday drama pretty inconsequential. That’s really the reason I don’t drill down into the details of everyday drama that comes up in my relationships. It’s less about privacy than priorities. Some of it would be fun reading, exciting fiction, pretty gripping – stuff we can all easily identify with, perhaps even a bit titillating sometimes…but it’s not a high priority for me. Those every day stresses between human primates in close quarters are not the focus of this journey, and honestly, we all have our daily grind, and my advice wouldn’t likely be particularly useful – it’s always a sort of ‘you had to be there’ moment, isn’t it? Love each other. That’s the important thing. Listen attentively, with your whole awareness. Be engaged and present. Be willing to be vulnerable and speak your mind – and your heart. Do no harm. Be kind while you are being honest. Let the small stuff go. Did I mention Love? Sometimes I find re-envisioning some challenging moment with someone dear to me animated as The Simpsons, or Archer, or South Park. It’s not so much the colorful figures; I also rewrite the script, and the plot, and try to be true to the tone of the show and characters. It relieves a lot of that sense of loss and chaos that sometimes goes hand in hand with small drama.

Like mushrooms; under the right conditions, all sorts of things come up.

Like mushrooms; under the right conditions, all sorts of things come up.

So, here it is another day in this human experience. I wonder what will come of it? Today is a good day to make good choices and express the best of who I am in every interaction. Today is a good day to love and be loved in return. Today is a good day to respond instead of react. Today is a good day to feel autumn breezes, and see smiles on the faces of children. Today is a good day to be open to new ideas and to take chances on trying new practices. Today is a good day to change; that’s how I change the world.