I slept in until past 8:00 am, rare for me. I woke shortly before 5:00 am, actually, and chose to lay down to meditate and let morning medication kick in before I got up to have coffee. At some point, I slept. When I did wake and rise to greet the day, it was pleasant to note that my pain and stiffness were not as significant as other recent mornings.

I’ve spent a bit less than an hour sipping my coffee, and watching the autumn sunshine move slowly over the collected drifts of colorful leaves piled against the garden pots on my patio. I’ve got some great grooves playing in the background, and a beautiful day ahead, as yet unplanned. Once or twice I have rather firmly, even sternly, snatched my consciousness back from the edge of work-related matters; I am quite committed to preserving my leisure for my own purposes these days, and that is inclusive of my cognitive resources in my off hours – not one extra thought or care of mine is going to be directed toward the agenda or needs of my job or industry. My employer must pay for my time, and since I am paid to think… well…you see where that goes quite quickly. At this point, even my brain is on board with a day of leisure, and any loitering demons invested in coloring my day with insecurity seem, themselves, to be taking the day off today.

There's a beautiful day ahead, to live, to thrive, to choose - to begin again.

There’s a beautiful day ahead, to live, to thrive, to choose – to begin again.

Anxiety is hard. Insecurity is hard, too. Doubt is also difficult. You know what, though? Letting it go, as difficult as it can seem, is surely no more difficult than the anxiety, the insecurity, and the doubt – and so often it is nothing more than letting the thoughts play on a loop in the background that creates those crappy anxious, insecure, doubt-filled experiences. Since having those experiences requires no practice (for me), putting the actual effort on the challenge of letting those things go makes a lot of sense. The outcome is worth the work; when I began practices of letting things go, and redirecting the flow of my thinking, and simply being mindfully aware, in this moment, just breathing, they were incredibly difficult practices! I had to begin again so many times. The progress seemed so slow. I was often so unsure that I was really getting anywhere, or that it was really helping stabilize me. I look back on more than two years of simple practices, improved self-care, and really taking care of the woman in the mirror… it’s not as difficult as it once was to give myself compassion, consideration, respect – to treat myself well day-to-day – and to be able, with relative ease, to redirect my thinking instead of allowing negative thinking and internal abuse to overtake me. Incremental change over time. We become what we practice. 🙂 (Yes, even you, over there – yes, you, the one struggling right now, and feeling maybe I don’t get it, can’t understand, and it won’t work for you. Even you – it’s just that practice is required, and there are verbs involved. You can begin again. Yes, and again tomorrow. And even after that. Change happens when we choose change. If this moment, right here, is that bad – you can walk on to the next moment, even if you must do so in a literal way to get the feel of it.)

Walk your own path, choose your own verbs, and build your own practices.

Walk your own path, choose your own verbs, and build your own practices.

A lovely autumn Saturday stretches out in front of me. My coffee is almost gone and what’s left is cold. Falling autumn leaves twisting in the sunshine as they drop are as the second-hand of some strange earth-clock, reminding me that the day progresses…and I’m still in comfy clothes and fuzzy spa socks. Where will today take me?

Today is a good day to enjoy exploring the world. I’ll get my coat…