Archives for posts with tag: a good day for gratitude

It is a quiet morning, following a quietly productive Sunday. I spent the afternoon between household chores getting ready for the work week, and tidying up the loft for improved space to paint and to create ‘guest space’, and a bit of painting, too. We have a house guest for a couple weeks, a friend visiting for work. I felt strangely aware of how loud the espresso machine really is, as I made my coffee this morning. 

This morning I had that strange vertigo again, that I had yesterday morning. It’s very unsettling, and although it cleared up quickly, I am concerned because it is new. I guess I can expect some bits and pieces to start showing signs of wear; this mortal body is a fairly fragile thing, and I’ve not treated it well over the years. 

When my partners alerted me they were on their way home last night, it was clear they’d be home a bit earlier than I had expected, and my willingness to adjust for that allowed me to greet them when they arrived home. I’m glad I did. It was lovely to welcome my traveling partner home, and feel his strong arms around me, and the warmth and love in his embrace. It was a relaxed, happy homecoming and definitely worth the later bed time. I made a point of heading to bed promptly once they had arrived home; staying on schedule and getting enough sleep really matters for me. Making the effort doesn’t always assure success, though, and I was wakeful until after midnight, aware of the presence of our house guest. I managed not to be irked with myself about it, and eventually drifted off to sleep. It was a short night. I will be mindful of that as the day progresses, and make a point of getting to sleep on time tonight. 

With just one partner at home, I’ve gotten pretty good at ensuring I meditate, do yoga, and take care of me. I’ve been easily distracted in the past, from self-care and practicing what works to maintain my emotional resilience and perspective, when they are both home. I’ve had weeks of practicing practices and perhaps over time I’ve become sufficiently practiced – comfortable with new routines – that they will be an easier fit with everyone home? I’m hopeful. 

It was wonderful to cuddle my traveling partner, now returned home, to find myself experiencing that very particular presence that is his, and to share this love we have. Quite wonderful. This morning, it feels like ‘everything’, and certainly ‘everything’ is enough. 🙂

"Compassion" Harkness 1972

“Compassion” Harkness 1972

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to enjoy what feels good without hesitation. Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see in the world. 

Yesterday was odd. Delightful. Strange. Productive. Unpredictable. It was odd. I was a bit emotional at times – hormones, maybe? I don’t know. “Post menopause” doesn’t not happen to mean “never going to struggle with hormonal fluctuations again” however much I wish that it did.  There’s something worth observing about that observation, that is more general. Wishing doesn’t change ‘reality’ however convenient that would be… on the other hand, we do create rather a lot of our ‘reality’, our subjective individual experience, with our thinking and our choices. It seems a bit cruel that both those things are true; some of my most delightful thinking is of the wishful variety. lol

Regular ‘reality checks’ yesterday proved highly worthwhile. Assumptions I was tending to make, and taking some very impersonal things more than a little personally, colored my experience at a couple points and put my day at risk of sucking. New practices are showing real results; I noticed the assumptions and the taking of things personally, and allowed myself a gentle course correction through mindfulness practices, a few moments of meditation, the occasional moment of stillness, a clarifying question or two, as well as simple ‘I statements’ expressing my experience as clearly as I was able, periodically during the day. As it happens – it all worked quite nicely. I had a very exciting and productive work day, and a lovely evening at home with my loves afterward, and seemed to have done so without drama, or bullshit, or blowing someone else’s good day. Hard to beat that kind of success when it comes time to face myself on a blue day when my internal voice is clamoring for justice, or vengeance, or crying out that life isn’t fair. (I have some very wounded moments now and then, and I do all I can to prevent them from escalating beyond what is appropriate in the moment.)

It was actually a nice day all around. I look back on it and wonder a bit helplessly what all the fuss was about at any point yesterday? It’s hard to understand. I feel very human, and very puzzled.

My morning is starting well. I’m hopeful, and feel a sense of contentment and calm joy. My traveling partner will be home a day or two more, and my usually-at-home partner seems to have benefited from her weekend adventure in wonderful ways. It’s good to have everyone at home for a couple of days.

I’m content to recognize that we are not necessarily who we think we are – or who anyone else thinks we are, either, and that our choices really matter. So does how we define what we see in the world around us – and those definitions may have more to say about our experience than the ‘reality’ of it often does. I’m finding that meditation, as a regular practice, tends to insulate me from getting to wrapped up in my own thinking errors, or internal narrative, and builds a more accepting and aware me, able to be present and aware, and enjoying so many more moments that are entirely enjoyable.

Enjoy each precious moment for what it does offer; time doesn't give second chances.

Enjoy each precious moment for what it does offer; time doesn’t give second chances.

Today is a good day to continue on a good path. Today is a good day to reach for a dream. Today is a good day to stand tall and smile and say to the world “I am, and you are, too – let’s do something with that!” Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see in the world. Today is a good day to reach past the obvious, and to choose to be the best of who I am. Today is a good day to change the world.

Life doesn’t offer any particular promises beyond opportunities, choices, and change, as far as I can tell from my current perspective.  The opportunities aren’t always obvious. The choices are sometimes difficult to accept, to make, or to figure out in advance. Change is, whether we reach for it, or run from it. What we recognize as our opportunities does affect our experience. The choices we make do alter the flow of events. Change… well, change simply is, whether we see opportunities or hurdles, whether we make careful choices, or stumble on our choices through despair, anger, or eagerness. Life is not ‘one size fits all’, even in the most legislative sense; we are each having our own experience, and no amount of law-making can change that.

This is a strange contemplative journey I am on, these days. When I started this blog I felt so lost, and on the edge of discarding this one life I have, in favor of an unknown of a most permanent nature. I can’t always express the difference between ‘here’ and ‘there’, but I am in a very different place in life, and with myself, than I was then. This is not a journey with a destination – that is one piece of learning I feel confident I can count on. The map is not the world. The journey is not about a destination. The metaphor is not the experience. The point of practicing is not mastery – it is the value in the practice, itself, and in the journey from ‘there’ to ‘here’ and beyond.

What a long way I have come in such a relatively short time. 🙂  It’s a moment worth celebrating on a quiet Sunday morning.  How about you? I hope you are also celebrating some worthy moment, great or small. It’s a good day for it.

I found myself feeling a little lost yesterday, as late afternoon gently became evening. Metaphorically, it felt a bit like stopping in the middle of a very long walk, looking forward and seeing only horizon…looking back and seeing…only horizon, and feeling suddenly without perspective, without context, without certainty of destination, or origin, or distance traveled. It was a very peculiarly sad moment, poignant, tired, and a little child-like. I put the day on pause at that moment, and sat down with myself over a nice cup of tea. I paused the music on the stereo, put down the paints, the camera, the clean-as-I-go chores, and took a few minutes to check in with myself.  (That I can do this, and take care of me so easily, is a wonderful change over how I handled challenges or feeling ‘disconnected’ before I started this portion of my journey; it, too, requires practice.) I made time for meditation; there’s no stronger Rx for the pain of chaos and damage, and I found the evening easily restored to a comfortably pleasant experience.

I don’t really think of painting as pushing myself to any sort of physical limits, it feels easy in the moment. When I was finished with the day’s creative work, yesterday, I was in a lot of pain, and feeling pretty ‘old’. My joints ached, and were incredibly stiff. My muscles were sore in unusual places. I felt fatigued. I wasn’t as aware of this physical piece of my experience until after I took a time out for me, and re-centered myself, and re-engaged my experience with greater awareness, and presence in the moment.  The afternoon painting had slowly pulled my awareness out of my ‘here and now’ experience into the strange space between colors and brush strokes, artistically engaged with the new work developing in front of me, but less engaged with the experience of me, in the moment. Clearly, more practice has value;  I am stiff and sore this morning, and extra time with my morning yoga did nothing to make me feel ‘young again’.  I can move with sufficient ease and fluidity to spend the morning painting, however, and that’s more than any Rx opiate could have done for me, and I am grateful.

"Wildflowers" 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas w/glow 2014

“Wildflowers” 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas w/glow 2014

I don’t know how many more creative years I have ahead of me. (None of us do.) I want very much to figure out a better arrangement for creative working space. I’d value the luxury of permanent studio space, and while recognizing it as a luxury generally stops me from bitching about not having it, it doesn’t stop me from yearning for it. My always-available opportunity to meditate on sufficiency tends to be my lack of space to paint, how much I want it, and gently and compassionately finding my way to a place of contentment and balance without it. I suspect having space to paint that isn’t ‘weekends only’, or needing to be packed into a couple small boxes and put away when I’m finished, will remain a pleasant daydream well beyond any legitimate opportunity to meet that need. Becoming attached to any other outcome has only ever caused me pain. I’ve come close a time or two, but…

I blink away unexpected tears. Wow. I’m always taken by surprised how much the struggle for space to paint comfortably, freely, an in a comfortable emotional context, is part of my everyday experience, and how much it moves me. This is clearly important to me, and worthy of my self-compassion, support, and attention. Is my near-chronic desire for ‘a place of my own’ that I can count on more about artistic space than personal space? Is the ‘getaway’ I crave so often entirely about creative space and freedom? If that’s the case, do my opportunities, and available choices change? What meets that need?

Well, another Sunday;  one more day to paint before it all gets put away for another time. So often I feel as if I am barely finding a comfortable pace and really exploring inspiration, and it’s already time to put it all away…

Untitled, unfinished background, 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas w/UV and glow.

Untitled, unfinished background, 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas w/UV and glow.

Today is a good day to enjoy what I love about who I am. Today is a good day to choose well. Today is a good day to be grateful for opportunities. Today is a good day to savor the moment. Today is a good day to change the world.


Good morning – or afternoon, or evening – I hope that the moment you find yourself in feels comfortable and that you are content, if not generally, then at least right now.

Yes, you.

This post is for you. Each of you, all of you, any of you. Because you are reading these words. Because you stopped by just this once to check out this blog, for some reason, today. Because you’ve bookmarked it and read it often. Because you clicked a link to my blog from a comment on some adult blog, figuring on more of the same, and instead of being disappointed, you’ve come back a few times to read more. Because you don’t even know me, and find value in sharing some piece of my experience anyway. Because you do know me, you know me well, and you quietly read each post, rarely speaking up to make a comment or observe a detail, or offer a helpful suggestion, understanding perhaps that there is a fundamental loss of privacy happening, between you and me, when I write and you read – and knowing me, you understand how vulnerable and raw that may actually feel. Because you know me, not as well as you’d like, and you remain curious and fascinated, and enjoy the vicarious ‘insider information’ that occasionally feels like you know so much more about me now.  Because you’re a troll or a spammer, out there doing your thing, and some one time, some one post, actually touched you – you’re still spamming me, but you made one pleasant, sincere, heartfelt comment that even had good spelling and grammar.  Because you are you, and you are reading these words, long after some little joke of mine has begun to wear thin, or some metaphor has finally be over-worked to death.

This post is for you. Thank you. That’s really it, just a thank you.  I kept a journal for years, you see, and although I write nearly compulsively, and often find I ‘don’t get it’ until I see something in words, I found myself drowning myself in the very words I love so much, and writing endlessly the damaging ruminations and negative thoughts I was stuck on. I wrote volumes. This is the simplest truth, I know; they are stored in a bin or two in the attic, save for some small number that have more meaning, or capture an important time of change. Those sit unread on a bookshelf by my bed, in case I need to ‘check myself’ about who I was then, or what events seemed to be about at that time.  As 2012 drew to a close, and I approached my 50th birthday, my whole experience sort of crashed in around me and I found myself mired in pain and doubt and regret, and frankly unsure that continuing to live had any value at all.  I didn’t really discuss that detail of my experience with anyone. I tried once or twice, and it was quickly apparent that I wasn’t getting anywhere, or making a connection.

Writing in my journal wasn’t helping me, anymore, and I was no longer sure my writing had value of any kind, or any purpose, or have anything of interest to any person. I was quietly planning to ‘check out’. Then… life went from bad to worse. It was all pretty subjective – the factual details of my experience of everyday life just weren’t particularly ‘bad’, not even a little. It was my emotional experience, my personal, subjective, internal experience of ‘self’ that had finally just caved in.  I started this blog then, aware at the time that these could be the last things I had to say, to share, and for me that meant that doing my best to make them ‘worthy’ and genuine and real was important to me.  This blog ended up being a big piece of ‘saving my life’.

This is no longer a salvage operation. I’m building on the best of who I am learning to be, and taking those tools, and experiences, and each day working to be just a bit better at being me, at being the best of me, that I can. You’re part of that. Thank you.

Why am I saying ‘thank you’ today? Because you thanked me first.  Yesterday was an interesting day for that.  I got a flurry of emails about a particular post, and it happens now and then, and this particular flurry of grateful and appreciate words felt so warm and nurturing – not saying thank you would be rude.  Thank you for caring how I am doing. Thank you for finding value in my observations on life, and my commentary on my challenges, my growth, my progress, and life’s curriculum.  It’s an amazing journey, and it matters to me that we’re sharing it.

I hope your today is a success – however you define it – and that your choices are wise and support your needs over time. I hope today the challenges seem less challenging and more rewarding, and that you take a chance on you. You deserve the best you have to offer. You matter.  Thank you for reading my blog.

Like a potted rose slaking its thirst on a gentle rain; I'm grateful.

Like a potted rose slaking its thirst on a gentle rain; I’m grateful.