Archives for posts with tag: breathe

I’m enjoying a moment. This one. It is a morning moment, served up with a side of pre-dawn quiet, and a cup of hot coffee. I woke just ahead of the alarm, uncertain, in the darkness, if it was worth trying to go back to sleep… wanting to… as I thought it over, though, the alarm caught up with me, and announced the beginning of a new day.

I sip my coffee and appreciate things. I mean, just generally. There’s no doubt life has some challenges to offer, and having experienced a fair few, I maintain awareness that there are likely more ahead; it’s not personal, it’s just living a life. My coffee is hot, well-made, tasty – and in this particular moment, right here, it is enough to enjoy it quietly. Sufficiency. Mindfulness. Gratitude. It is a pleasant start to the day.

I stay with the moment awhile longer. This coffee. This moment. Present. Here. Now. Nothing fancy or expensive to it, and “presence” is not an especially complicated or difficult practice. I let go of ruminations over past challenges. I refrain from launching my consciousness into explorations of potential future challenges. I exist in this present, right now moment, content with my hot coffee. (Maybe you prefer tea? The practice of being present and mindful does not have to change, whatever your preferred beverage! 😉 )

My thoughts drift to recent photographs; representations of recent moments. Lovely urban shots of spring. Pretty pictures of raindrops on rose leaves extended into the afternoon sunshine, sparkling as if edged with glitter. Traffic. Sunrises. Sunsets. My camera has failed me several times recently – great shots that didn’t save – but my memory does not.  It’s a fair exchange, I suppose. I smile, and continue to sip my coffee.

…Another day, another photograph, another moment… another memory. It’s already time to begin again.

Things have been so peculiarly perfect in some regards, it’s been easy to become complacent about how good life is day-to-day, and how content I feel, generally. Tactical error, I agree.

I woke groggy this morning, head pounding from the headache I spent the night with (not a metaphor – I wish it were). I woke with Pink Floyd in my head. I don’t know what that says about anything. I also woke feeling vaguely embarrassed and slightly ashamed of myself. No point to any of that, it’s just my demons enjoying their moment to shine. I’m over it already. Drinking coffee, beginning again.

Frustration is my kryptonite. Last night, yet again, the closed captions on YouTube videos were on (I don’t use them, haven’t turned them on). This has come up before. It frustrates me, and creates some internal resistance to conversation, some irritability, and causes me to question my sanity – and to feel as if my partner questions my competence, every time he seeks to help with this. Hell, depending on which device I access, the closed captions are not even turned on, at all. Glitch? Bug? Well, maybe, maybe not, but it irritates the hell out of me, and leaves me feeling as if the fucking internet is gas lighting me.

…Do you see where this is headed?

So… yeah. My partner offers to help. I perceive “a tone” (doesn’t matter whether there was a tone, it’s the perception that triggers the reaction, and I explicitly understand this). I react, rather childishly, and although it wasn’t any sort of “thing” really, it created an uncomfortable moment rich with hurt feelings on both sides. I could almost hear my fucking demons laughing their asses off. We got past that; we’ve been together too long, and worked too hard on our own issues, to let something so ridiculous ruin a lovely evening. My headache wasn’t helping. Still, the evening ended on a good note, affectionate, connected, and real. It wasn’t left to chance. I made a firm point of very specifically letting all that bullshit go, even announcing that it was my intention to do so – which is probably a weird thing to say out loud, however effective it may be. It was still some minutes before my chemistry began to return to some sort of normal. (I find it helpful to remind myself that as with ingested substances, our chemistry can provoke “a high” specific to the chemical involved, and the “come down” – both in intensity, and in duration – varies with the circumstances and with the chemistry.) I still felt a bit distant when I finally called it a night and went to bed. I wasn’t sure I’d sleep with this headache…

…I guess my headache got some sleep too; it’s ready for a new day, today. lol (groan)

I drink my coffee. Reflect on my good fortune. Take time for a moment of gratitude, and to appreciate my Traveling Partner; he “gets me”, and understands my issues nearly as well as I do myself. We do okay. Last night fell short of supremely awesome, but it was still spent in the good company of this human being I love. That definitely matters more than a moment of stress. Life is filled with moments. A few of them are going to be more challenging than delightful. That’s just real. I’m okay. There’s no lingering ill effect, which is lovely. This moment, right here, is just fine – aside from the headache, which will hopefully pass. My coffee is warm, and delicious. The workday ahead should be a more or less routine one. I decide to ride the light rail again this morning, for ease, and laugh at myself because I said as much yesterday, ended up driving in and parking on the waterfront. (Yep. In the minutes between deciding to take the train, and getting the car onto the street to go to the park-n-ride, I entirely forgot that was my intention. lol) This morning, I think I’m firm on the decision-making… I’m probably not; I’ll know when I get in the car and “feel the day”. Maybe a lovely drive before dawn on a Spring morning is exactly what this headache needs?

I smile, thinking about my garden. There are flowers sprouting in big colorful pots, already. A couple of the roses have buds on them. I came home yesterday to an excellent new hose, and a new spray nozzle, which delighted me greatly. I sip my coffee reflecting on that moment, and enjoying how well-loved I am, and feeling an intoxicating mix of gratitude and love for this human being who loves me so. I notice the time, and instead of rushing off promptly, I remember that my day needs to end a bit later than usual, and so I have time to linger. Feels good. I hear my partner stirring in the other room. Coffee together, too? Maybe so… Great start to the day.

I begin again. 🙂

I woke drenched in sweat. Unexpected. It was early. I got up and made coffee with shaking hands, disturbed by… what? Nothing much, I guess. Brain working over time. Short day in the office, today. It’s not really “time off”; I’ve got a medical appointment. Is that stressing me out? I sip my coffee and wonder. I take time for me.

It’s such a human experience being this creature of emotion and reason wrapped in this strangely fragile meat sack. lol My coffee tastes good. My body feels uncomfortable, otherwise. It is what it is. Fuck. At least I got some sleep.

I enjoy the companionship and presence of my Traveling Partner on a most peculiar level. Always have. He’s my friend. My love. My buddy. My partner. The one person I reliably enjoy being around, at my best, at my worst, when I’m ill, when I’m feeling restless; this is a human being with whom I fully enjoy living life. Perfection isn’t a thing – it’s more about how complementary our individual challenges are. We understand and respect each other. We have shared values. We lift each other up. We demand our best from each other – so gently and with such kindness that it doesn’t feel like a demand, at all. It’s nice. I sit and sip my coffee thinking about how fortunate I am to enjoy this relationship, with this person. No particular reason to mention any of it; I’m just sipping coffee and feeling loved. 🙂 It’s a pleasant start to the morning, after a rather emotionally rude awakening. 🙂

Working, living.

The work experience is interesting. I am an engine, firing on all cylinders, accelerating from a definite starting point, with a destination in mind. How long will that last? Sleep and self-care are important. So important. Sometimes love and life feel like a distraction from the energy needed to fuel the work. It’s odd that this is so; don’t I also need the sleep and the self-care? Rhetorical. I know I do.

We make strange mistakes in our thinking, as human creatures. We try to run from our emotions by taking drugs or practicing all many of escape tactics, even though our emotions indisputably go everywhere with us. We conflate satisfaction with our professional lives with enjoying our actual lives. We confuse marriage with love. We adopt convictions and beliefs without examining their basis in fact, then cling to them as if they are going to save us, even when we are shown clear evidence that they are bunk. What strange creatures we are!

I sip my coffee. I think about work. I think about love. I think about life. Then I notice I am thinking, and set my thinking aside to simply drink coffee for a moment, just being. The cup, mostly empty now, is still quite warm in my hands. I feel the subtle warmth rise from the contents within, though it has cooled too much for steam to rise. I taste the dark warm liquid; earthy, with hints of chocolate, of forest, of morning. I breathe. Relax.

My waking moment was difficult, and disorienting. In spite of that, the morning goes well. It feels like a gift to be so easily able to bounce back. It is, more accurately, the win that follows commitment to self-care, a reliable meditation practice, and the result of rather a lot of work specifically done to get this (or similar) result… and a lot of restarts, do-overs, and new beginnings. 🙂 Worth it.

My coffee is gone. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Groggy and fussy, this morning, sipping my obviously too hot coffee with considerable care, and still burning my tongue, and letting my mind scroll through the recollection of the week, so far, and yesterday, specifically. I’m feeling irritable in those places where life or work shove me outside my “comfort zone”, forcing me to reconsider my expectations, assumptions, and knowledge. What works? What doesn’t work? Is this thing that once worked well no longer going to work at all? Is this new way of being or doing or thinking going to last? Does it fit? Does it work?

…I find non-attachment most difficult when it requires me to let go of a long-standing practice that once was the clear choice on my path to success.

…No, that isn’t some hint that I’m thinking about not writing. lol Stay with me. Here. In this moment. This is a safe space, here with the words, and the coffee. 😉 (Well, I mean… safe for me; I may occasionally be less than ideally comfortable for someone else.) I’m just saying – it’s hard to let go of things I think I know well.

Sometimes we have to let go of something we think we really know, something we accept as “fact”.  It’s to do with so much of our “knowledge” being built on internal narrative, bits of memories, things we think we heard, and our runaway need to be certain about things that are not easily defined with certainty, at all, perhaps. I do know that I occasionally notice I’m “knowing” something with a firmness of conviction that is, all by itself, a warning klaxon of belief. Gotta let that go. Sometimes it’s hard.

I’m chuckling because I have not made it clear that in this particular instance, I’ve gone all meta on a practical fucking bit from work, of all things, because it became very clear yesterday that I need to let some assumptions go, and either re-test their validity in my (forecasting) model, or allow myself to explore new ways of thinking about it, entirely. It managed to become a life lesson, over a night’s sleep, and my morning coffee, and here I sit, thinking about queuing theory and forecasting. Some other part of my less-than-ideally-awake consciousness mews pitifully about not having finished my coffee… lol

I take some time to continue the data entry of updated details from friends, from Facebook, into my Contacts. This process is tedious, and also heart-warming. I absolutely admit I expected maybe 5 or 6 people would actually act on my advisement that I’d be leaving the realm of Facebook… instead, I’m facing a couple hours of actual work. LOL S’ok. They are, and I am, quite worth the time. 🙂

So is this. So are you.

I smile into my coffee, and take a deep, cleansing breath. I hear the soft breathing of my Traveling Partner in the other room. I feel content. Wrapped in love. I sit with this lovely moment as I finish my coffee… as moments go, it is quite perfect precisely as it is. I’ll sit with it awhile longer, before I begin again. 🙂

I woke to the sound of a phone ringing. At 4:00 a.m., that’s alarming. In the case of waking me on a Monday morning, literally so, since I then turned off the alarm and got up to start the day, after a few moments of considering the sound, silently, in the darkness. I couldn’t go back to sleep; who phones at 4:00 a.m.?

As it turned out, there was no phone call. No ringing phone. Just a sound in my dreams. lol

It was a lovely weekend. It ends with some dangling loose ends, like laundry “finished” – but not actually folded and put away. I woke aware of it, but without any particular sensation of anxiety, disappointment, or frustration.

I spent some of the day, yesterday, out in the sunshine, in my container garden. I took stock of roses that died during summer heat, and succulents that died during winter cold. I moved containers away from the warmer locations against the wall of the house, into the sunshine. I planted early seeds. I weeded. I swept. It felt productive, and celebratory. I felt productive, and celebratory.

…I just now remembered, again, annoyingly enough, it was also “St Patrick’s Day”. Omg. So over it. Americans who love to drink, drinking to excess on the excuse of… of what, exactly? Exactly what is “St Patrick’s Day” celebrating if you are neither Catholic, nor Irish? I’m asking, because I still don’t find an obvious connection between the narrative of the saint, himself, and the celebration of enthusiastic over-consumption of alcohol to which green coloring has been added. So, to be clear? My own celebratory moment in the sunshine was nothing to do with “St Patrick’s Day”, and everything to do with Spring, itself. lol

A good day. A good weekend. Another work week begins – and, potentially, with it, a whole cascade of new beginnings. I don’t know how the week will unfold. There are no promises that every day will be a garden in the sunshine, or a shared moment with a loved one. I’ve got this moment, here, with which to craft a lifetime of experiences. I choose a lot of what that feels like, and in some cases, quite willfully. Those choices are huge. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a dream, clinging to an outcome that is not yet, and may never be, and lose sight of all the precious opportunities in this “now” moment, just as it is. I sip my coffee and contemplate the day ahead. I make a point of letting go of attachment to a variety of imagined outcomes to imagined scenarios (“what if…”), and breathe in the now. It’s enough, just as it is.

It’s time to begin again.