I slept badly last night. My sleep was interrupted, restless, and featured bad dreams on old themes with new characters. I felt over-heated much of the night, which I noticed most often immediately before taking some action that subsequently found me feeling too cold. It was an uncomfortable sort of night. I could spend many hours and words looking for ‘why’; I don’t find that doing so is helpful, nor does it result in fewer such nights. I let it go and move on, feeling generally in good spirits this morning in spite of the difficult night.

I didn’t let the lack of good sleep frustrate me. It got me thinking, this morning, about frustration in general. Frustration is my kryptonite, emotionally. Something about my messed up wiring, and broken bits, allows even small moments of frustration to become a very big, very ugly, emotional mess in a small amount of time. Lately, I’ve been finding my way to using some common moments of frustration as simple practices for dealing more appropriately and comfortably with frustration itself. The value in these small practices has been almost immediate, but the value in any practice is the practicing, itself, and I still need quite a lot of it before I even approach a place in life where I may be able to say “I handle frustration well”. That’s the goal, though, ultimately.

The journey is not all blue skies and meadows...but there are some blue skies and meadows to enjoy along the way.

The journey is not all blue skies and meadows…but there are some blue skies and meadows to enjoy along the way.

It is no easy feat for me to choose to make use of some unpleasant moment or circumstance to willfully practice some better practice than my reactive impulse in the moment might direct me towards without any practice at all. Frustration is a free will killer. Frustration dissolves emotional resilience and mindfulness almost instantly, for me. Frustration is an emotion to which I reliably still react, rather than responding with mindfulness, will, consideration and good self-care.  Practicing useful practices has resulted in so many day-to-day improvements in my experience that it has been a source of some frustration that I hadn’t yet built a practice specific to mastering how I manage frustration, itself. Finding one or two in my everyday experience – built around the most common sources of frustration in my own life (like logging into apps using complicated passwords that easily fail, or the occasional odd screen-freeze on my device) – is allowing me to practice better behaviors in response to frustrating moments. The hope is that doing so with small things, harmless things, common things will insulate me from major freak outs and emotional disasters when bigger things frustrate me; practice may not make ‘perfect’, but it sure tends to solidify habits, and change specific reactions.

Taking time to appreciate pleasant moments gives them lasting impact on my day-to-day experience.

Taking time to appreciate pleasant moments gives them lasting impact on my day-to-day experience.

Celebrating progress, even small wins, has big value. Even something as small on the victory scale as a change in thinking, or a good idea, is worth a moment of my appreciation. This morning, I’m taking time to appreciate new practices that address a very old issue, for me, and feeling positive and supported. This, too, is a practice; the practice of celebrating small victories, and incremental progress over time, is a practice that builds more positive implicit memory, as well as providing myself with emotional support from within – which builds emotional self-sufficiency, and keeps me on the path of reaching that place where my close relationships with others are reliably chosen based on desire, and built on positive emotional values, rather than investing in habitual, self-defeating, or co-dependent behaviors, that over time become damaging.

Where does my path take me? How do I look beyond patterns to find change?

Where does my path take me? How do I look beyond patterns to find change?

 

Meeting most of my emotional needs, myself, isn’t an unreasonable goal, and getting there lifts the burden from loved ones to ‘make me happy’ – or ‘make me’ anything at all. I get to ‘make me’ in my own image. Powerful. I am eager to take that project to a new level by moving into creative live/work space and investing more of my time in me. The wait involved in ideal readiness – and an available unit – is another practice in managing frustration on a larger scale; my impatience lurks in the background, waiting for a moment to jump out and undermine my good time now. Mindfulness practices are one way to keep my Observer firmly in the driver’s seat for much of the journey. Another beneficial practice is to embrace the joy I find in planning the move; making a point of being very realistic, practical, and frugal builds useful skills for good self-care, and I feel engaged in imminent change in a positive way.  I’m still very much a beginner, practicing practices. I am still at risk of attacking myself, my will, my resolve, and my intention, from within on any point of vulnerability my demons can grab onto; it makes for some uncomfortable nights, but I am content to show myself some compassion, some acceptance, and some love, and move on from the difficult moments to continue the practicing of good practices. 🙂

It's worth it to take a look at my experience from another perspective...

It’s worth it to take a look at my experience from another perspective…

Today is a good day to practice good practices. Today is a good day to enjoy now, and celebrate small successes that matter to me, most. Today is a good day to enjoy each moment with a smile. Today is a good day to enjoy building my world.