The long weekend is over. I sit with my coffee cup warming my hands for some minutes, considering the weekend behind me, the short work week ahead of me, and the weekend yet to be experienced on the other side. Each moment worthy of my attention, even those yet to come…and I am not  yet 100% awake, so my mind wanders easily between past and future without making clear distinctions between the two. It’s good creative space; I take notes.

I enjoyed a lovely visit with my traveling partner yesterday, in the morning, and the warmth and depth of our connection fueled my creativity further, as well as putting a smile on my face that lingered throughout the day. I woke still smiling this morning. Love is pretty amazing stuff. “So is coffee…” I think to myself irreverently, sipping my coffee warming my hands with the mug. It’s in some of these small moments of pleasure and comfort that I find myself wondering how things ever get to be difficult, complicated, and stressful… The simple pleasure in the warmth of a porcelain coffee mug in my hands on a chilly not-yet-autumn morning seems so solid, so real, so potentially lasting…so sustainable. How is it that it sometimes does not last, or isn’t so easily sustained?

Simple pleasures are as worthy of attention as grand moments of excitement or delight - and far more commonplace.

Simple pleasures are as worthy of attention as grand moments of excitement or delight – and far more commonplace.

I think about perspective, this morning, and I think about the choices I make – to hold the warmth of a coffee mug deliberately in my awareness, lingering over the simple pleasure, savoring the moment, or to let it slip out of my consciousness, swept away by some other experience, perhaps more intense, or less pleasant… I could choose to hold on to this moment, this mug, this warmth, and keep my focus there a little longer, letting stress wait its turn, couldn’t I? (It’s a rhetorical question. Yes, obviously I could…I’m suggesting that doing so has value.) I can hold this mug, feel this warmth, sit with this smile of contentment tugging at my lips… or… I could also let the awareness of my back pain take me over completely, feeling the nausea that sometimes goes along with my morning medication, more than I feel the warmth of the mug. It’s not that being aware of the warmth of the coffee cup in my hand acts as an effective pain-killer; it doesn’t, and there’s no point pretending. The thing is, though, and it seems worthy to observe it, the general quality of my experience moment to moment is much improved if I allow room for the experience of this warm mug, fully committed to the experience of the moment, present, here, right now. The pain I am often in is not the most important thing about my experience. It’s just one element of many.

Unfinished work?

Unfinished work? “Uplifted Hearts” I think a lot about love.

I smile, continue to sip my coffee, continue to linger pleasantly over memories of the weekend. I consider how best to take care of my needs this week, and over time, and whether to invest more of my time in living beautifully, or taking advantage of inspiration to continue painting during limited weekday leisure. It’s an interesting choice to have. I look around my home in the light of morning, and admit frankly that ‘the artist within’ doesn’t do her share of tidying up; tonight, at least, will be tending home and hearth and ensuring I am living the life I most enjoy, with the greatest ease I can provide for myself. It’s no difficult decision, and once made my thoughts move on.

Alternate lighting, another perspective on

Alternate lighting, another perspective on “Uplifted Hearts”, and on love.

I sit quietly this morning, considering how much of my joy I choose for myself, and how much of my misery is similarly chosen. I make so many choices that direct where I invest my will, and my emotions. Changing my choices has changed a lot about my day-to-day experience. I live quietly, and generally quite calmly, in this simple small place that meets my needs without a lot of fuss or fanfare. This morning, I find myself content, rational, and yes… happy. It’s a nice beginning to the work week, and the day.

Today is a good day for simple pleasures, and small successes. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to treat myself as well as I know how – and to similarly treat others well; good will, merriment, and an uplifted heart nourish something deep within me. Today is a good day to invest in joy – this, too, is a choice I make; it is a choice than can change the world.