You still here? Me, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I needed to take a couple days to shore up my emotional reserves, to take care of my very human heart, to reach out to friends and connect, share, and build.

What an ugly bridge-burning election year it has been. Some of my relationships won’t recover; I don’t maintain relationships with people who mistreat me, these days, and where the heated rhetoric finally crossed my boundaries and became abusive, cruel, mocking, or emotional mistreatment, I have chosen to take care of myself, stay true to my values, and ended those relationships. Yes, even with family members. No one gets a pass on abusive behavior. Tolerating abuse is how so many of us get so fucking wounded in the first place.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. I could have written something… I could have re-posted something I’d written before. I didn’t feel moved to do either. I didn’t much want to think about war. I didn’t go out at all. I honestly didn’t want to risk having to be thanked by some well-meaning clueless citizen this year, thanking me for my service with absolutely no understanding whatsoever of what exactly they are thanking me for, and no understanding what their “thanks” has cost me (and so many others). Most people just don’t know, don’t care to know, wouldn’t get it if I tried to tell them – and their thanks is a hollow platitude at best, even when entirely well-intended and heartfelt; many of them won’t follow-up in the polls, with their representatives, with their dollars ย – or even with their basic decency, day-to-day. (If you’re bitching about the homeless panhandling in your neighborhood, and taking no productive steps to assist and support those human beings, you may as well stop thanking veterans at all, just saying.) Yesterday, I did what I could so that the only thanks I was exposed to was from my brothers and sisters at arms, and those few others who have looked into the face of war, and actually understand. ย The rest? Deserves to be heard by someone who will value the sentiment.

Each morning I begin again. Each morning it is easier, and I feel more settled, more resolved to continue to steadily pursue change, more committed to being the woman I most want to be. Incremental change over time; we become what we practice. I don’t practice hate. I practice treating myself and others well. I practice speaking up about my boundaries clearly, simply, and without compromising my values. I practice intervening when I see others being mistreated.

My meditation practice has continued to serve me well. Just the simplest practice of sitting quietly, breathing comfortably, and letting my thoughts come and go without criticism, evaluation, or attachment, provides welcome relief from becoming emotionally spun up on some new bit of social upheaval. Yesterday, I spent hours apprenticed to a master…

I invited a squirrel to visit. She hung around all day, and shared her wisdom.

I invited a squirrel to visit. She hung around all day, and shared her wisdom.

Funny how little stress there is, even in the most terrifying world events, when I remain engaged and present in this moment, now. I spent the day practicing. Meditating. (Taking pictures of my visitor.) I chose my entertainment with care. I began making holiday cards for the upcoming Yule holiday. Life goes on – it has to, or what’s the point? Living my life still has to be part of living my life, right? These moments, here, spent engaged and present, rather than fractured and distracted by the media, by advertising, by life’s busy agenda elsewhere, these moments here are the ones that matter most. Remember to take time to enjoy yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

She doesn't spend much time on Facebook, and doesn't read the news.

She doesn’t spend much time on Facebook, and doesn’t read the news.

Today is a good day to be awake, aware, and present in the only moment that really matters; now. I think I’ll go do that… Today is a good day for brunch. ๐Ÿ˜‰