This human experience isn’t always an easy one. Privileged or poor, pain is a thing, too, and we are mortal, wrapped in a mortal experience. I remind myself to be kind to myself this morning. The drop in temperature after a couple mild days is uncomfortable, my arthritis pain flares up. I wake with a headache. I feel stiff, and old, and clumsy, and slow. Youth is a memory. I smile anyway. I sip my coffee. Things could be worse.

I’ll catch myself chasing comfort today, distracted by pain; anything I do this morning to help myself out later in the day is worth doing. I take time with my yoga this morning. I dance – awkwardly, and lacking in freedom of movement and fluidity in my motions, but – movement. It helps. It is a rare day that begins with Rx pain medication; I generally manage without, these days. This morning? Yeah, well – I’m human, very human, and I’m in pain; today I’m grateful to have an Rx pain reliever available to me. I finish my first coffee feeling almost merry. It’s enough.

I took time to just chill after work last night, to think things over gently, to allow myself a moment for me, undistracted by media, chores, work, or – anything. Meditation. My meditation practice props me up when I’m tired, when I hurt, when I’m losing my shit… I keep practicing, because the practicing, over time, has changed my experience in a positive way. Funny… I can remember being one of the “meditation doesn’t work for me” people. Now I understand that I “didn’t get it” sufficiently well to build a useful meditation practice. In my case, it was a matter of trying to hard, and thinking too much. I really didn’t get it. Stripped down to the simplest elements of awareness and breath, meditation changed things for me, pretty quickly, and in a lasting way. Pretty reliably, if I find myself feeling volatile, on edge, and struggling to maintain perspective and balance, I am also likely to find that I have been letting my commitment to meditation slip. Still human.

It's a good day for practicing effective practices.

It’s a good day for practicing effective practices.

Meditation is a practice because practice is what it takes to get the maximum benefit from meditation. Ongoing. Regular. Practiced. So… what do I do if I find I’ve let a day or two, or a few, slip by without meditating? Without practicing the very best self-care each day? I begin again. Simply that. Nothing more is truly required, and there is no benefit in treating myself poorly over such a small thing. Begin again. Return to what works, calmly and with self-compassion, recognizing how human I am. It’s enough to do what works.

My playlist moves on. So does the morning. I still have time to meditate. 🙂