It’s a quiet morning. I’ve had very little sleep. I went to bed in pain, which is not uncommon in the cooler, wetter, autumn months. I didn’t fall asleep until much later, although I wasn’t restless – just sleepless. Sometime after 11 pm, I finally slept. I woke at 2 am, in pain. More pain? Different pain. Chest pain. I spent some time fussing and dithering over it, tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position, and finally giving up on all that, taking a chewable aspirin, and spending what remained of the night meditating.

Hours later, it’s morning, and time to begin a new day. The dull ache I still feel might be my “chest” – or might be my arthritic back being felt differently, because of the peculiar position I’d finally fallen asleep in, sort of curled in on myself. Awkward. The uncertainty causes some stress, but I’ve been here before; the last time I “took it seriously” and made haste to the ER it was nothing. Clearly it’s not “nothing”; I am in pain, and uncomfortable. I feel quite normal, “besides the pain”… only… even that has a certain normalcy in my day-to-day experience. Generally, I can count on most of life’s discomfort to be less than urgent, and so this morning I treat myself gently, watchfully, aware that I am hurting, and mindful that this could warrant further attention. I’m about due for a physical, anyway. I set a reminder to make an appointment.

I sip my coffee contentedly. The yoga this morning helped with the pain. Now I feel that I was probably just “twisted up in knots” more than anything else. I’ll regret the lack of sleep as the day wears on, possibly, but even that is commonplace. I think about a friend going through some changes. She is struggling, and it sometimes feels that I can’t really communicate across the gap in years… How do I share what I’ve learned? How do I say “this too shall pass” in words she will be willing to hear? How do I communicate that so much of the struggling is a choice? We are each having our own experience…and living from such differing perspectives. I make a commitment to hang out, to listen, to be “be here”; we all want to be heard.

My traveling partner sleeps in the other room. I smile, thinking fondly of his presence, his love, our shared journey. Pleasant thoughts to start the day on. Even that is a choice that changes my experience over time. In a life filled with turmoil and chaos, it can be a profound act of rebellion to choose calm, to craft stillness, to cultivate compassion, and even simply to enjoy one quiet moment without guilt, reservations, or rushing it through. It does take practice. 🙂

We become what we practice.

Today is a good day to be the person I most want to be. It takes practice. 🙂

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