Archives for posts with tag: be love

I’m sipping my coffee and smiling this morning. The day begins well, and doesn’t seem to be complicated by any of the crap and minutiae that had been weighing me down last week. I feel… lighter. It’s a pleasant feeling.

I scroll through my feeds a bit; I spent the weekend mostly disregarding social media and enjoying the good company of my Traveling Partner, instead. It was a worthwhile change to make. We relaxed, laughed together, watched some great super hero movies, and enjoyed a weekend of intimacy, connection, and merriment. No drama. No bullshit. It was quite lovely.

The headache I had on Thursday robbed me of any particular inclination to write. Friday wasn’t much better, although by day’s end, it had finally gone. I could have resumed Saturday, but decided on a weekend wholly dedicated to love and loving. (I knew you’d understand.) This morning feels more than little like the weekend was a firm “reset”, returning me gently to what works best, more aware of what matters most. I hope that’s more than a feeling. I sip my coffee, while a certain merry smile plays at the corner of my lips; there are verbs involved. No dodging that.

I struggled with my mental health for years, before I understood how much my partnerships also mattered. I tried this treatment, that treatment over there, and assorted bits of pieces of woo cobbled together from the assurances of others and things I read. I’m glad I kept trying – it eventually led me through failure after failure to a distillation of desperation, fear, and futility that happenstance eventually dropped on my current therapist’s desk. That was a life-changing appointment. It began a domino-effect of changes in my life, job changes, changes in self-care, changes in day-to-day practices, and even including ending relationships that tended to invest in the damaged bits more than in my wellness.

Keep trying. Begin again. Start over. Keep practicing the things that do work. Let go of the things (and relationships) that don’t. Over time, things get better. Life gets better. The chaos can begin to be sorted out. The damage can be healed. We become what we practice; inevitably, as we learn practices that support our wellness, and lead us to becoming the person we most want to be, we “find our way”.

Keep trying. Begin again. Start over. Find your way. It’s slow going. I won’t lie. It can feel pretty pointless sometimes, when it seems like all the successes are so small in scale, and the chaos and damage so… vast. Don’t lose heart – most of that is an illusion. The scale of the chaos. The magnitude of the damage. Our relative value in the world. The worthiness of the journey. We make up a lot of our narrative, in our own heads, so our own mental un-wellness sabotages the very clarity we need to assess our mental wellness in the first place. Harsh.

I start coffee number two as a Monday begins. Every day a new beginning. Every new beginning a chance to be the woman I most want to be. No doubt a good opportunity to begin again. πŸ™‚

I slept well. I woke rested. My coffee is adequate, and I’m content with that. It’s a generally pleasant morning. Sunday’s bit of afternoon aggravation in traffic seems far behind me, and it would be easy to just let that go so completely that I leave myself at risk of repeating that experience for lack of fully considering the circumstances, and how best to care for myself and build lasting emotional resilience such that it doesn’t ever happen again (a lofty, potentially unreasonable goal, also worth keeping a watchful eye on).

The flowers in my garden may bloom on their own, but they do so more beautifully, more generously, more reliably, if I care for them with skill.

This morning I take time to consider what opportunities for self-care got overlooked, or set aside, and which among the later consequences turned out to be unacceptable compromises after-the-fact; it’s a helpful way to re-calibrate what matters most. It’s helpful for ensuring I continue to practice those practices that support my long-term wellness, even where that may occasionally also mean a long-term lifestyle change. (Trust me, making the changes in my lifestyle needed to skillfully support my emotional wellness, over the past three years, has been a journey all its own!)

Are there things I wasn’t doing, that reliably work for me?

Are there things I was doing, that reliably don’t work for me?

Are there things I hadn’t considered previously that, as practices, would support a healthy life, both physically and emotionally, and support activities like late night art shows, all night parties, social weekends, limited sleep, and being generally exceedingly busy? (“Is this an unreasonable expectation?” seems a good follow up on this one.)

Am I doingΒ enough to care for this fragile vessel? (If I answer “no” to this question, are my expectations too high? If I answer “yes”, am I kidding myself?)

This morning I water my garden, turning these thoughts over in my head. Where is the path to success, to balance, to perspective, to wellness…? What path will I take, myself, on this journey through life? What matters most… to me?

What matters to the wellness of the world? Where do I fit in, there?

Every flower has its place in life’s garden.

I reflect on my choices. Am I the woman I most want to be? Am I living up to my promise, as a human being? What does it take to get there? Can I have/do/be that, too?

I reflect on my experience. I’m not hard on myself, although I am as honest as I am able to be from this wholly subjective perspective on my own experience. I could do better.

It’s time to begin again.

 

 

I’m sipping my coffee and feeling a bit as if I must be “running late”. The sky is already so light. I am pre-occupied, this morning, and this contributes to my sense of “running behind” on things, generally. Realizing that, and noticing my headspace is filled with moments that are not now, I take a deep breath, then another, and pull myself gently back into this present moment.

Alternate lighting, another perspective on “Uplifted Hearts”, and on love.

There’s time yet to plan. πŸ™‚ I’ve been invited to participate in an upcoming art show… there’s work to be done, but it can wait until the end of the work day. There’s an order of operations even to life itself. Each moment and task has its time. The weekend suddenly feels “busy”. I chuckle quietly to myself; the weekend isn’t even here yet.

“Some Distant Sunrise” 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas w/glow 2014

I spent a quiet evening on housekeeping, and fiddling with my camera gear, thinking over which paintings… A art show in an environment specifically designed to showcase UV reactive and glow-art is uncommon – or has been, for me. How do I best showcase my work? I smile so hard my face hurts. It’s a nice problem to have.

“Summer Lamb’s Ear” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow.

Sometimes a change in perspective matters more than we can know before we get there. “Summer Lamb’s Ear” photographed in darkness.

…And it’s a whole new beginning. πŸ™‚ I think I’m ready. Grab a verb! It’s time to change the world.

Well…

…55, eh? Okay, let’s do that, then. Hardly avoidable without drastic, unpleasant measures, easier – far easier – to go with it.Β  πŸ™‚

My plans today are fairly loose, and more “about me” than not. Some self-indulgence, some chill time, some phone calls, a walk in the woods, lunch out, some pampering, all suffused with the additional luxury of this being a “work day” in the middle of the week, which I’ve taken off for no purpose but to enjoy this moment celebrating my survival.

Birthday Flowers

I’ve made it to Level 55, y’all!!! OMG!

I made an unfortunately shitty cup of coffee after my shower this morning. I’m drinking it anyway. The mug is warm in my hands, and I’m frankly grateful for the luxuries of potable water, an electric kettle, and very fresh, carefully roasted, whole bean coffee. I mean, seriously, bitching about a less-than-ideally-well-made cup of coffee would amount to nothing more than inconsiderate rudeness to the woman (me) who took the time (mine) and made the effort (also mine) to make it in the first place. lol I suppose I could have dumped it out and started over. It just wasn’t that big a deal this morning… and I think maybe I get extra experience points to also enjoy this moment, present and aware – even aware of the less than excellent cup of coffee. πŸ˜€

This is a day on which I’ll spend considerable time reflecting on the “XP” accumulated along life’s journey. I’ll contemplate Level 54, and wonder if I missed really cool “side missions” that could have benefited my personal growth later on. Did I overlook any fun Easter eggs? Have I failed to appreciate the profundity of one circumstance or another? I’ll look ahead in the game play, as much as I am able, and try to sort out Level 55 before I get going in earnest… What does the map look like? Where are the obvious hazards? Which “short cuts” waste time and resources, and are best avoided? Are there known strategies that work better than others? What are my resources, my limitations, my skills – what is my plan? In every life-level, there is some moment, or event, or “bad guy” to conquer (there’s a reason games are a great metaphor for living)… what form will it take? What will the important lessons turn out to be?

In the game of life, we don’t really get to repeat a level…but… it’s possible to half-ass a level so thoroughly that very little is gained (or even to “fail” it at great cost to ourselves), or find we’ve wasted our time such that we don’t really have any XP to show for it at all, and just sort of ooze over the finish line into the next level without much in the way of progress. We can’t really level up prematurely, either, but we can gain so much XP in a single level that the level becomes peculiarly, radically transformative. Sometimes we expect levels to have that kind of importance… 18… 21… 30… 40… and sometimes they don’t, in spite of our expectations (lookin’ your way, 40). 55? This isn’t a level people spend much time talking about… I wonder what surprises await me?

…55 doesn’t seem particularly noteworthy, aside from simply being here; as a much younger woman, I did not anticipate getting this far in the game. 55, from the perspective of 20, seemed “old” (in spite of being only 35 levels ahead of me)… now it just seems… well, not old, that’s for sure. I wonder where the day – and this level – will take me? So far, at approximately 2 hours of game play on this level (already)… it’s a level full of questions, and speculation, and it’s not very difficult (yet). LOL

There is this lovely day ahead of me, a blue sky overhead, birdsong, sunshine, and plans for lunch. It’s a good start. I guess I’m ready to press “Start” and begin again…

I arrived home last night in due time. The ride from the airport to my place was efficient and pleasant, the taxi was clean, and the driver gave me a discount – for being nice. (What a peculiar world this has become, that basic civility and pleasantness are provided a cash reward, due to being uncommon.) The evening was relaxed; I’d left the house in a comfortable state to welcome my return. It’s a favorite practice; leave it as you’d wish to return to it. πŸ™‚ A good practice in life, in relationships, in the wilderness, at my workstation, in the kitchen… I’ve yet to come up with an exception of any note.

A quiet evening passed gently, without fuss, suffused with the glow of relaxed contentment, and emotional riches. Clearly, I needed to reconnect with dear friends. I’m glad I made the trip.

I mostly slept well, last night, and slept in this morning. The night was interrupted by frequently needing to pee; Portland’s milder cooler spring climate does not require so much water consumption, and as is the way of things, my body naturally made that adjustment. lol I didn’t expect to sleep in so deeply, so easily – or so late, waking up well past 7:30 am. I felt great waking slowly, then attempted to stand. Every muscle protested, as though I’d done a lot of heavy lifting, or engaged in a grueling physical competition. I didn’t do any of those things – just spent a few days in the Fresno area heat, in the company of friends, going here and there, on my feet, back and forth, doing things, and stuff – mostly just hanging out. I feel like I’ve been beaten. LOL Fuck. The higher humidity of the Pacific Northwest grabbed me by the arthritis with a real commitment to making me pay for ever leaving. LOL

Yoga helps.

Mmmm. Coffee’s good, too.

More yoga helps.

I’m still stiff as hell, but I’ve got this beautiful day off ahead of me – and it’s all mine. I’ve no idea yet what I’ll do with it, but it is mine, and I’d planned it to recover from my trip away. Good call, too; I don’t need it as much as I thought I might, but having it feels like a wonderful way to care for myself. πŸ˜€

A beautiful day, a beautiful moment.

Golden morning sunshine peeks through the brash spring green leaves of the Big Leaf Maples beyond the deck, catching my attention with shifting breezes. A small brown bird hops here and there looking for seeds, and glancing at me expectantly; I wonder if there is recognition that the human primate is back, or specific understanding that I provide the seeds? The weather report suggests a pleasant high of 72, and a lovely day to be in the garden…

It’s time to begin again.