I woke feeling groggy, content, and fairly…merry. That’s a good word for it. I feel good. I feel ‘right’ – as in comfortable in my skin, content with life, and okay with ‘things generally’ just at the moment. It’s a pleasant state of being. The morning is quiet, other than birdsong, and my coffee is good. I have indoor plumbing, the rent is paid, there’s food in the pantry, and clean running water. Pretty fucking luxurious compared to some of the alternatives (a quick search of the term “refugee” proves the point). I sip my coffee and make time to really appreciate how good my life is right now. I am aware of impermanence.

Is the cup half empty? Is it half full? Does it matter that it can be filled, or emptied... if the contents are enough just as they are?

Is the cup half empty? Is it half full? Does it matter that it can be filled, or emptied… if the contents are enough just as they are?

Some people reading this blog may not have a comfortable life. Some people reading this blog may have a far more lavish lifestyle than I do. In any category of quality of life economically, some people may be struggling to survive, despairing, or merely enduring their days, and others living their lives in a state of contentment, acceptance, or serenity. It’s not about money. I find myself wondering what role our circumstances really play in our emotional lives? Could I ‘hold this position’ and live in relative contentment and ease in a state of enduring privation, poverty, violence, or illness? If circumstances changed abruptly – and they do – would I lose ground equally suddenly? I have come so far with myself. I think of the woman I once was…the woman I am now…the human being I hope to become… What of suffering and loss? What of change? Can I hold my own in the world more comfortably now, without this gentle space that is mine only by virtue of a contract and steady payment? Would I practice good practices and take good care of this fragile vessel if life’s circumstances seemed to demand different sacrifices of me? More than I have to offer? Would I be able to yield to change, to ‘be like water‘ – or would I be broken on the wheel as it turns? Is the ease I so often have now something I have built?… something I have taken from the world?… or is it mere circumstance and coincidence, enjoyable but not sustainable? Can it be taken from me? Thoughts over coffee – and lacking any substance whatever that I do not give them myself. 🙂 Sometimes it’s good to ask the questions, see the words, and accept that doubt is, and fear is, and uncertainty most definitely is – then move along and enjoy the day, because it too is… and it is now.

Where does the path I choose lead?

Where does the path I choose lead?

A couple years ago, when I was re-evaluating life, and my values, and working out my Big 5 relationship values (Respect, Consideration, Reciprocity, Compassion, and Openness), I also made the decision to build my life on sustainable, practical, basics: perspective, mindfulness, and sufficiency. It meant making some changes. It requires continuous practicing of practices, and there is no ‘achievement’ at the end of some process of mastery. I am living my life, and practicing practices – living is a verb, and there are a lot of verbs involved in making a life. Choices. There’s power in choice when we awaken to it – and it can’t easily be taken from us unless we give it away. Despair and anxiety are liars; choice is. Every day of each life there are choices, and change available for the taking. That’s… powerful.

One day I will not wake to begin again... It's how mortality works. There is much to savor in each waking moment, and less to struggle with than I sometimes choose.

I am mortal; one day I will not wake to begin again… It’s how mortality works. There is much to savor in each waking moment, and less to struggle with than I sometimes choose.

It’s a lovely quiet morning. The sunshine reaches the studio window. I close the blinds to keep the apartment cool. I sip my coffee. I make my list of things to do today, and consider it. One day, in a life that is mine, filled with opportunities to choose. Isn’t this enough? 🙂