Archives for posts with tag: choose your adventure

Where are you right now? Where are you going?

A city “made of gold”…only… it isn’t, at all, it’s “just a city”…only… it’s more than that…

Can you answer either of those questions without also answering the other? Is that why so many people seem to feel so lost?

It is a quiet morning in the company of friends. Sufficient. Unembellished. No spin. No argument. Just these moments. It’s quite lovely.

Are you present in this moment? Are you authentically you – and also making a point to be the person you most want to be?

I sit here smiling. Right now? Right now this is easy. 🙂

I admit I love the increasing cultural encouragement to embrace our authentic selves that I see popping up everywhere, often in the form of a response to some thing or other, phrased as “do you”. I like that. Definitely. Do you. Be you. Invest in you. Grow your brand – and your self. Explore who you are. All that sounds pretty awesome, and very supportive and encouraging… but…

…It also sounds “too easy”. I know, I know. Authenticity is actually pretty fucking daring, even now, and it requires self-awareness, self-compassion, openness, honesty on this whole other level a lot of people are not prepared for, and a willingness to let go of attachment to our own assumptions about who we in fact our, when those conflict with who we in fact are. It’s not actually easy to be our authentic selves in a culture built on controlling people through their insecurities, fears, and doubts. It’s even… brave. There’s still another “but” to move beyond…

…It’s also not enough to just drift in a sea of our own filth and basic bullshit. It’s not really the ideal “do you” scenario, is it? To just… stall in life and make no attempt to become the person we most want to be? To just… rest, assume the most slack possible approach to the question “who am I?”, and just… not bother doing more or being better? I mean… aren’t we capable of more?

This morning I am thinking about what it means to “do me” and how I can become the woman I most want to be. I know there are choices to make. There are verbs involved. I know my results with vary. I know that being authentic – truly frank and real – with the human being in the mirror has to come first, and be reliably a thing I do for myself, without fail. I know I have more questions. More opportunities. More chances to begin again.

I guess I’ll get started on that now… 😉

I’m awake too early. It’s the fifth of July, and this means my sleep was of poor quality, started too late, and was regularly interrupted by American enthusiasts of wasteful use of ordnance for noisy colorful displays of thinly veiled celebratory somewhat aggressive nationalist posturing… Independence Day fireworks. For some folks, it just isn’t enough to go see a public display (from sundown until well past midnight I listened to the sounds of shit exploding). It is also necessary for them to indulge in a wasteful display of flexing at the world metaphorically, in a comic opera of artifice and pretty colors. I can’t bitch overly much about it, inasmuch as these were not attacks on my person or property, and were not ever intended to be such. Just a nuisance to deal with a couple nights a year. Still, it wrecks my sleep, and rather than deal with the resurrection of old nightmares, I spend much of that time in the studio, with headphones on, painting and listening to music.

To be clear, I’ve got nothing specific against fireworks shows. I’m just like anyone else, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the colors and forms, and the craftsmanship that surely must have gone into those beautiful bursts in the night sky. I dislike crowds, though, also, so I rarely go. Choices. 🙂 At home, in the quiet of the night, I dislike being taken by surprise by the sound of what could be gunfire, or artillery. That just seems… normal. 😉

I spent the solitary day on my own agenda. I even started with a list. It was fairly delightful to do so. No holiday meal to prepare. No complicated group planning for an outing. No timing for arrivals or departures. No guests. It was a lovely day in the studio, spent in part on “the business of art”, which is less fun for me, but managed to be quite satisfying. The afternoon and evening painting felt more than satisfying – needs were met. 🙂

Late in the day a whiff of OPD reached me from far away. I made a firm point to let that shit go before it could ever get a foothold in my consciousness. It did manage to evoke some irritation, and a nearly audible eye-roll, before I got back to work on the painting that tedious drama-monster who is an ex has inspired; “Toxic”. (She’ll finally be able to say she inspired someone artistically. lol. I chuckle out loud every time I think about that.) A good thing to remember about artists; it is often something deeply unpleasant, unsettling, objectionable, contemptible, vile, or traumatizing, that inspires our most moving work. It is certainly the case, in this instance, that I’m working on this piece, in a sense, as a sort of exorcism. So done. lol So entirely completely over it.

“Independence Day” has become pretty personal for me, over the years. I celebrate – in an overtly positive, celebratory way – the end of my violent first marriage. I celebrate my independence from the terribly damaging entanglement with ex 3 of 3, too; it took weeks from when I moved into my own place (in May, 2015) to feel settled and comfortable, and to accept the uncertainty that existed, at the time, in my relationship with my Traveling Partner, and begin to find my own way. By the 4th of July that year, I was doing pretty well living solo, and learning to really deal with my issues more skillfully, generally, and getting a good bit of practice with that. lol My relationships were improving, too. Three years ago today was a pretty good day, generally. It’s delightful to read back and see how far I’ve come. 🙂 Incremental change over time – still a really big deal, and something I can reliably count on. We become what we practice.

Are you ready to begin again? There’s a journey ahead. It’s yours. Choose your adventure. Start with one step.  🙂

This morning I opened my browser and then as I opened the window for a new blog post, I noticed it. A suggestion, an idea, something a bit more meta right there in my visual field – “Add New”. In this case, “add new” blog post, and a fairly mundane intention, but it’s grander than that, isn’t it?

Do it.

Add something new to your experience of life. Do that thing. Start that project. Write that novel (or poem, or story, or letter, or – yes – that blog post). Don’t be stopped by that whisper of doubt (“I never finish anything…”, “I don’t have time…”, “I don’t know how…”, “I’m not good enough…”) – because, trust me, that’s all in your head. Seriously. If you are defining yourself as “never finishing anything”, for example, you’ve not only chosen to make/accept that definition, you’ve committed yourself to living it – and you could choose differently. 🙂 So much promise contained in our decision-making! You can, if you choose to, generally.

So, before the howls in the back of the room about the potential damage that can result from promises that we can literally “do anything we choose”, I’m going to shut that bullshit down right now; clearly, there are verbs involved. Always. LOL You want to be President? Obviously pure will alone will not suffice to get you there. There is so much to do and prepare for in advance of even the opportunity to be on a ballot! However, if that happened to be what you did want to do or achieve in life, simply beginning on it, and committing to it as a goal, would definitely be required before you could proceed in that direction at all… and then so much more. It would certainly keep you busy in life making your way down that path.

On a smaller scale, things are somewhat less daunting, and the timelines may be quite a bit shorter. Want to speak a new language? Go get started on that! The internet is wide open in front of you and offers more than memes and kitten pictures. Perhaps you’d prefer to make music? That’s a thing people love doing, and it’s within reach. Life gets a bit more complicated with regard to new skills, activities, and projects, when we also attempt, in advance, to create an outcome that has to result from whatever we’ve chosen to undertake – and that’s kind of a shame, really. Once we become frustrated with that currently out of reach end-result we think we’d like, we often give up on the skill, activity, or project in frustration, having entirely lost sight of how much we just wanted to do that, and enjoy it, in the first place.

Do it. Do the thing. Learn something new. Build or make something. Develop a skill. Invest your time and effort in your own experience of living life, because it feels good to do that. Work on a craft you love. Pursue a hobby that puts a smile on your face. Tend to the garden of your life with loving care, and enjoy the flowers and breezes, while you pull the weeds. Harvest time comes soon enough, and when it does, that’s something altogether else to enjoy. Enjoy this moment, too. Right here. This one. Add something new to your experience to enrich your experience, without too much concern about a “pay-day”. Isn’t joy payment enough?

It’s time to begin again. I wonder where the day will take me?

It’s too early in the morning. I woke up about an hour ago, at 2:30 am. I feel rested. It makes sense, I went to bed around 7:00 pm, too tired and sleepy to stay up any longer. Is it the consequence of wholly disrupting my routine(s) with a near-continuous-party weekend – or am I still getting over the last bit of contagion that smacked me down some weeks ago? The lingering dry cough suggests it might be that… or maybe seasonal allergies.

I smirk at myself for a moment to contemplate that I spend a great deal of time, these days, in the one part of the country I fully know causes me to have Spring allergy symptoms, of all the places I have ever lived or traveled – southern Oregon. LOL Hell, I’m contemplating retiring there. The thought has me straight up laughing literally out loud… and coughing… but I’m not there right now, so… it’s probably not allergies. Sick again? Still?

Does any of that matter beyond making sure I am able to skillfully care for myself?

This is poison oak. An important part of self-care is recognizing common hazards. Just saying; know poison oak when you see it.

Symptoms of OPD (Other People’s Drama) swirl around my experience without becoming directly part of it. I dislike drama enough to create a very nearly entirely drama-free lifestyle, somewhat at odds with the approach many people take, which is to bitch about drama without doing anything much to stop it, minimize it, or to set boundaries about it. I don’t really understand that. I’ll just be over here, doing my thing, my way.

I sip my coffee and contemplate the weekend to come. I’ll be here at my place, working on feeling more at home in my own space, and being committed more willfully to the path in front of me, myself, and this journey I am on. Does that sound “selfish”? I guess it could be called that; I am living my life. This one. The one I live myself. It is, unavoidably, my own. I’ll get some housework done. Spend some time in the studio, painting. Maybe get a nice hike in – the weather looks like it will be good for it.

I think about my Traveling Partner. I wonder how he is doing. I think about the upheaval in his day-to-day experience, and wonder at his ability to roll with so much change, so regularly. I doubt that I would be able to easily accommodate that amount of chaos in my own experience (these days), and chuckle to recall that I was once the most chaotic element of his experience. Tons of people in my social network live with far more chaos and turmoil than I choose for myself. I don’t really understand the choice to do so, but I’ve only understood it as a matter of choice, myself, for a relatively short while (a handful of years, during which I have been choosing differently, most of the time). It’s a challenging change of thinking to accept that we choose our experience. It is a change that requires practice. Much of the time, a great deal of what we endure, of what we suffer, of what we experience daily is entirely self-selected; we not only chose it for ourselves, we set that shit up with great care. We worked at it.

…Or… We did not specifically work at creating something different. There’s that. Either way; there are verbs involved.

We become what we practice. We live the life we choose (and build) for ourselves. There is so much power in that awareness, so much opportunity to change, and grow, and become the person we most want to be… but. We are each walking our own mile. It’s a very individual experience we’re all having, alone, together. Can you do a better job of it? I can’t answer that for you; I only know I can. It just takes practice(s).

Who do you most want to be? What are you doing to become that person, authentically? Where will your journey take you? I don’t have answers to those questions; I’m over here walking my own mile. 😉

It’s time to begin again.