…And another new beginning. Maybe I’ll switch to tea? (Maybe I’m watching a lot of BBC programming…? lol) I chuckle to myself over some amusing recollection from some recently watched quiz show, then break out in a fit of sneezing (after moving a largish stack of paintings in order to make a file cabinet accessible, for later). It’s an entirely ordinary, very routine work Monday… but I still feel wrapped up in the weekend.

I said good morning to my Traveling Partner, he said good night to me, and went back to bed. A noise of some kind had woken me rather abruptly, and a bit early (about half an hour ahead of the alarm) – or I dreamed the noise. I don’t really know if there was an audible noise. Everything is very quiet now, aside from the sound of my fingers on the keyboard, and the traffic beyond the studio window, the world seems to sleep.

I see my therapist in a couple days. I feel a certain measure of comfort in that, as though having a greater-than-usual need to see my therapist for some reason (well… a notable meltdown during the holiday season, a bit of frustration here and there, some “clarity” worth reality-checking… yeah, I probably do need a bit of a follow up… lol). Certainly, knowing I have a reliably trustworthy (and exceptionally skilled) therapist, with whom to work, is a comfort all its own.

Life “feels busy”, almost to the point of being overwhelming – but I’m not yet overwhelmed, and I’m questioning that sensation. Is it simply a form of self-sabotage? Something that sometimes slows me down, or even halts my forward momentum, without really being anything of substance? Just a feeling? I think about workplace-gained project management skills, and tools I have used, and wonder, again, if those translate to use in “real life” – at home? I sip my coffee and consider the beautiful road map of the work my team did last year, which appears almost as an afterthought in our work tools… would I personally benefit from having that “world view” at home, of the projects most dear to me, the future goals I aspire to but struggle to achieve, the day-to-day miscellany that is larger than a task, more complex than an item on a to-do list, and grander than a chore; would I be getting more done if I “managed” those projects more professionally… less haphazardly? (The obvious answer seems to be “probably”…)

I sip my coffee and notice that my anxiety, absent when I woke this morning, is beginning to stir along with the thoughts of “getting things done”, and my concern that I could (fairly obviously) to more with my precious limited time. Before panic sets in on a Monday, I take some deep breaths, exhale slowly, and let all of that go. Another time will do. Now I put it all aside, and give thought to the lovely weekend that has just ended, and make time for gratitude, fond appreciation, and contented recollection. Why do that in such a deliberate way? Well, the answer with the least depth is “because it pleases me to do so, and feels very satisfying”, but it’s not the whole truth…

I make a point of reflecting on recent joyful memories, and gratitude, and appreciating the good in my life very specifically as a practice that tends to “correct for” my overly well-developed implicit negativity bias, resulting in a more positive experience of my own life, more compassionate perspective on the lives of others, and more ability to “bounce back” from stress or new trauma. Yep. Willfully savoring my best experiences, being grateful for those, and deliberately enjoying my life tends to both make my life generally more enjoyable, and also tends to allow me to more comfortably and easily actually enjoy it, in real-time, with less anxiety, and with less risk of my chaos and damage tripping me up, or triggering me for some unpleasant experience. Pretty convenient for me; I like sitting (or walking, or driving), and considering nice things of various sorts, this practice fits right in. ๐Ÿ™‚ As practices go, an excellent example of a very effective practice that also feels very good to make the effort to actually practice. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rick Hanson, PhD, calls this favorite practice of mine “taking in the good” (it wasn’t my original idea, I learned it from him, with reinforcement and encouragement by my therapist). It was one of the easier practices to learn, and one of the most comforting and pleasant to do each day (I rarely forget to, it feels that good). Feel like taking 6 minutes to hear the author of Buddha’s Brain talk about it, himself?

I yawn, smile, and finish my coffee. It’s already time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚