Archives for posts with tag: changing the world

I woke up to this simple message, “I’m on the road”. My Traveling Partner is heading home. I smile over my coffee; I’ve missed him a great deal.

…If I were paying less attention to my state of being that I am, I might perceive this experience to be an anxious one. The homecoming of past partners wasn’t reliably a joyful thing, and I may still have some baggage from that journey. It’s also, likely, a simple enough matter of practice; being attentive, present, aware of my experience – physically, as well as emotionally – and letting go of any assumptions about “what it all means” that could rest on old pain. It matters to allow new experiences to be new. 😀

This morning I contentedly sip my coffee and consider what remains on my to do list. Sunday is generally my day to care for hearth and home, and to prepare for the upcoming week. Working such items off a list seems a good fit for the day, and not any kind of anxious or overly-eager-to-impress kind of flurry of activity. I’ll do as much of the usual Sunday work as I’d ordinarily expect, and throw in a couple tasks specific to preparing for my partner’s homecoming (still just housekeeping details, honestly, nothing out of the ordinary), and be content with that. 🙂 I sip my coffee, pleased to have a plan.

The weekend has been a restful one. Yesterday’s forecasted heat wasn’t all that bad, and things didn’t warm up until quite late in the day. Most of the morning a soft misty rain fell, and I read, napped, and listened to the rain fall through the open patio door for hours. It was lovely, and I must have needed the deeper quality and additional quantity of rest; I went to bed on time last night, and slept through the night.

I eye my coffee suspiciously for a moment, until I recall that just yesterday afternoon, I’d refilled the grinder with new beans. Different beans. My mouth wasn’t fooled, although it took my brain a moment to get caught up. I’m still waking up. I pause to be present in this moment, more deeply, more aware. I feel the cool air that pours in from the open patio door swirling around my ankles as the room cools off. I feel the heat of the mug in my hands, when I pick up my coffee cup. I feel the slick, subtly concave surface of the keys on my keyboard slide under my nimble fingers as I type, and the ache in my back that eases when I correct my posture, again. I hear a dog barking in the distance, and my tinnitus. A car passes on the road just beyond the driveway. I yawn, and stretch, and smile, thinking “hear I am!” and the day begins.

Another sip of coffee, looking over my list of things to do today. It is already in the “ideal order”, more or less, although I spot a couple improvements, and because I find it satisfying to do so, I move things around a bit. Still sipping coffee and writing, the tasks themselves will go so much more smoothly if I approach them efficiently – and they’ll take less time. 😀 Time is precious, and I would honestly prefer to spend it contentedly reading on the couch, listening to the wind chime ringing in the background, than on housework…so… efficiency, then? 😉

It is not particularly early in the morning. In practical terms I “slept in” a bit. It’s also not particularly late; it is rare for me to be able to sleep at all late. It’s simply “now” – a lovely Sunday morning. I smile at my half finished coffee, and at the clock. A new day, a new beginning – it’s unlikely that this humble list of house work and chores will change the world at all, but it is, nonetheless, a new beginning, and these simple acts of service to hearth and home, and self-care, change my world, quite a lot. A worthy start on beginning again. 🙂

I woke earlier than I wanted to, again this morning. I found myself, moments later, musing over a tasty latte my traveling partner made for me how strange it is that not so long ago I was reliably the first person awake every morning, even on weekend days. There were hours of quiet solo time on weekend mornings, rarely seeing anyone else awake before 8:00 am; time during which I could not easily get started on chores, and music would be ‘headphones only’, while the household slept, quiet time for reading, for meditation, for creative thought. Things changed at some point, though I am unsure quite when, or why. Now, I’m not only not the first person up on weekend mornings, I am seemingly utterly unable to ‘sleep in’. It just isn’t there for me, right now; the common sounds of movement, conversation, cupboards, doors, drawers, and conversation just don’t permit it. (I’d have to be heavily drugged to sleep through all of it, and I don’t take those sorts of drugs these days; the side effects and consequences are not worth it, long-term.)

I woke feeling reasonably rested, though, and not excessively discontent at the lack of languorous sensuous waking up time – it’s been so long since I enjoyed that experience I have begun to doubt it exists in reality. I dragged myself out of bed, and managed to refrain from bitching about being awakened, again. Meditation, and a few still calm minutes matter, and make a difference; I managed to keep from bitching aloud about the unsatisfying experience. The morning’s irritating wake up was behind me pretty quickly, and I sat sipping my latte after meditating, and enjoying the charm and delight of the holiday decor, the tree and the lights, and the quiet beauty of a pearly sunrise.

I’m enjoying my second coffee of the morning, an ordinary Americano, an ordinary morning. The laundry is started. The dishes are put away, and the dishwasher set up for the day’s coffee cups, plates, and flatware. I took my time with my morning yoga sequence, and because although I woke with a nasty headache, and a measure of arthritis pain, I didn’t feel quite as stiff as I often do, I tried a fairly simple arm-balance, my first such attempt. I happily toppled over a couple of times, trying again, until I was certain of two things: this will be easier when I’ve lost a few more pounds, and this is also something that requires patience with myself, and more practice. I feel satisfied with the attempt, and proud of myself to have come so far at all.

A holiday scene, for lack of a better segue.

A holiday scene, for lack of a better segue.

This morning I am thinking about contentment and consideration. It is mere coincidence that they both begin with ‘C’, but having noticed that, I’m finding it hard to let go of it, wondering what other related things I can add to the list that also begin with ‘C’. (My thinking brain is jumping into the morning with real enthusiasm – and full of distractions. lol) The point of today’s exercise is not lists of words that begin with the letter ‘C’, however. Today I am taking time to carefully consider which of my actions and choices are genuinely considerate of the needs and experience of others, and which are being rationalized as ‘considerate’, when in fact they are actions and choices that are specifically intended to meet needs of my own, any consideration involved being a byproduct, not an intention, or matter of will. It’s an important distinction, I think, because I am making choices; it seems necessary that my intention be entirely clear, at least to me.

Most inconsiderate behavior I observe – whether my own, or someone else’s – seems pretty consistently, and fairly literally, ‘thoughtless’. That makes sense considering the very definition of ‘considerate’. Do I have the will – and ability – to make each choice a thoughtful one? To make each action intentional? To truly consider the potential outcomes of each choice, each action, in advance? How much potential for joy, delight, and nurturing do I lose each time I take an action, or say words, thoughtlessly? Mindlessly?

Mindfully treating the world well, really being a considerate human being, is a very big deal; much of what is amiss in the world, regardless of the cause, could potentially be mitigated, if not entirely resolved, if each of us were truly, sincerely, wholeheartedly mindful and considerate. I don’t think I’m wrong about this one…but I don’t know that I have words enough, or the intellect, to deliver to you inarguable logical proofs. I look out into the world, though, and I can’t help but wonder… Would kidnapping and raping as a tool of warfare be a choice a considerate human being could make? Could a mindful, considerate law enforcement officer choke an unarmed man to death by willful intent, and aware of the deliberate nature of that choice? Could protesters become looters, or nihilists, in the passion of the moment – if they were considering the outcomes of their actions with willful intent, and consideration of their fellow human beings who would be affected? Could business leaders still justify forcing employees to involuntary labor on Thanksgiving Day, if they were making those choices with full consideration of the needs of others, and the impact on the hearts, souls, and experiences of their colleagues were in the forefront of their intent? Could a healthy young woman getting on a train shove an older lady using a walker out of her way and take the last available seat, if she acted mindfully, with consideration, and intent? Somehow…I keep finding my way back to the thought that simple consideration could solve a lot of the petty ills of the world with great ease – and potentially also ease some very major nastiness besides.

Help me prove it? Today is a good day to be mindfully considerate of the consequences of choices and actions, of will and intent, and of the needs of both self and others. Today is a good day to change the world.

...some metaphor about time...

…some metaphor about time…

There’s no time to waste…and no time like the present… It is, perhaps, time to consider the consequences of my actions, my choices, my words…because time marches on. Time weighs on my heart, sometimes, and at other moments time flies. Time is ‘flowing like a river’ and entirely arbitrary. Time passes, as do we all, as does ‘this too’…but when shall it pass? Do we have time to wait and see? Killing time sounds much worse than it often proves to be, once considered ‘in the fullness of time’…

I’m taking some time to have a bit of fun with you, at the expense of time itself…I don’t think any feelings will be hurt. 🙂

Speaking of hurt feelings…I think I’ll make some observations about hearts and emotions and love and… mean people.  If I could, I’d be tempted to take time out of my life to tell each person I could ‘don’t be mean’.  It’s something I wish were ‘obvious’ in some meaningful way;  I’m stunned by the number of people in the world that take refuge from their fears and insecurities, and who defend themselves from real or imagined personal attacks by being mean, by being derisive, or by using mockery or name calling.  It’s bad enough when it is an ‘us versus them’ scenario among relative strangers who feel entitled to make assumptions about one another…but I see it between people who ostensibly care for one another, even between friends, lovers, and family members.  It’s ugly. It’s hurtful. It’s quite extraordinarily poor communication being both underhanded, and passive-aggressive.  It ensures that the person making the attack will not be truly ‘heard’ – because whoever they are attacking is likely to be put on the defensive rather than being free to listen compassionately to something that matters.  It ensures the person being attacked, over time and without regard to how close or deep the relationship is at the start, will develop resentment and hostility toward the person making the attack – because people who find mockery, derision, name calling, and ‘general meanness’ acceptable once, are often prone to using it regularly.  It sucks, too. Mean is ugly. lol  The hottest, sexiest, funniest, most interesting, and sexually skilled, man or woman out there and as soon as I see or hear mean coming through, I lose interest in having anything more to do with them.  Mean always seems like a cheap shot to me – the tool of weakness and fear.  Maybe that’s just me? I don’t like mean, and I’m working on simply not doing it, at all.   I just don’t have time. 😀

To be clear… I think something like mockery, or derision, have a place in humor – in comedy – but I also think it is a ‘weapon best left in the hands of experts’, because mean is ugly.  It is the worst of who we are as people being given voice.   I’m not sure I was always in this place as a person… but I worked on giving up most sarcasm a while ago.  It is also an extension of mean, and certainly – it isn’t clear, frank communication.  I like genuine. Direct. Honest. OPEN. I like real. I like the woman I am, and I prefer to know the people I love in a real way.  Mean doesn’t feel good, and avoiding it seems like a nice idea.

It’s a Wednesday, a lovely one. It’s time to change.