Archives for posts with tag: choose your adventure

It’s been a satisfying weekend, so far, and it’s Sunday. Back to work tomorrow. A new list today. It’s time to begin again, you see, to return to reliable self-care routines, to catch up on the housekeeping, to wrap up loose ends, to tidy up the studio.

I sip my coffee contentedly. No new work has been completed, but the studio feels “right”, and a great deal of background work has been done (which is to say, backgrounds have been painted, in-fact). I also managed to do a great deal of additional moving in work, because realistically, although I can quickly paint quite a few backgrounds for later use, doing so still results in wet canvases everywhere needing to dry, which results in time on my hands not being spent painting. πŸ™‚ It’s been a lovely relaxed joyful productive weekend that also managed to be wholly restful. I needed that, too.

Today, I look around over the edge of my coffee cup as I move through the rooms of my current residence, feeling settled in, and “at home”, and mildly frustrated each time I recall that I’ve got at least one more move before I can even consider not having to move anymore. I shrug off that bit of discontent (it can wait for some other moment to be fully considered), and take a look around with an eye for starting a new work week. There’s laundry to be done. Vacuuming. Meal prep for work week lunches. I smile with approval at how little things “fell behind” over the weekend. Even today can be relaxed, and simply a day of mindful service to hearth and home, and itself quite emotionally nourishing. I enjoy being the human being responsible for my day-to-day quality of life.

I make my “to do list” with care, and an eye on meeting the needs of the moment, and also my needs over time. My idea of “carpe diem” and “YOLO” include consideration of the future moments of living that are implied by “to live” being a verb that expresses an ongoing condition. Sure, sure, being mortal is a thing, but since I’ve no guaranteed “end date” on this journey, it seems the wiser course to mindfully consider my needs beyond this moment right here; I may need some things from myself (and life) tomorrow, too, or next year… or in 2025, the year I expect to leave the workforce permanently. πŸ™‚ Ideally, embracing life includes that future I am planning for, not just this one singular mortal moment right now. This morning, that future consideration leans heavily on the upcoming week, and some bigger events a bit beyond (holiday season planning, I am looking your way!!). It’s enough. More distant future planning is still fuzzy and daydream-y, enough to consider gently, not quite enough to count on.

My sleep last night was as restless and weird as my sleep Thursday night was uninterrupted and deeply restful. I don’t take that personally. I got up once or twice, child-style, for a drink of water and a quick check around for “monsters”. (Somehow tap water always tastes best in the wee hours, barefooted in the darkness, and “monsters” seem an entirely reasonable thing to check for.) My half-awake mind doesn’t question the need for either, though I am certain that thirstily gulping down two big glasses of water at 2:43 am likely contributed to the urgency of getting up promptly at 6:45 am, this morning. The day began earlier than I’d have planned, but late enough to feel like “sleeping in” in spite of that. πŸ™‚ Win and good.

I’ve got a list. I’ve checked it twice. It’s time to begin again. πŸ˜€

I’m not telling you what to do, just suggesting that if you happen to notice you are being programmed, whether by “the media”, or an advertiser, or an authority figure, or a cultish workplace, or a religion, or a school, or really whatever is pinging on your consciousness with a specific agenda-driven outcome in mind that profits some entity that is not you… Change the channel. Seriously. Walk on. Move out of view, out of reach, out of range. Choose a different activity, a different focal point, another perspective.

I’m not really sure what else to say about this one. My consciousness is my own, right up until that point at which I hand it over to someone else. My will is involved here – so is my awareness. There are verbs involved in de-bunking the bunk, and revealing the many frauds perpetrated on our consciousness each day (often by precisely those agencies purporting to tell us the “truth”).

I try to choose what content I consume with the same care that I choose the food I eat, the water I drink, and the moments I share with others. It’s harder than it looks, sometimes. πŸ™‚

One commonplace example of what I am talking about is Facebook. How many times have you scrolled through the newsfeed multiple times without noticing most of the content is repeated, and also “sponsored”, rather than actual posts from chosen friends? Programming. Just saying. Maybe don’t choose that – or don’t choose it so often. Do you even have any clear idea who Facebook is programming you to be? We become what we practice. Repetition is learning. Who are we becoming? Why are we allowing it?

Something to think about. There’s only one you, until you become one of many cookie cutter people all stamped out from the limited content broadly shared (and filtered) by an agency you have no control over, and which does not reveal its method or goals to you. Then, you become copies of one another, all nodding along politely as you grouse about the same things, using the same language, sharing the same appropriately polarized dichotomies approved for use that year. Yuck. We have more to offer each other, ourselves, and the world.

Facebook isn’t “the bad guy”, they are merely providing a requested service to which we happily succumb. There are others. Lots of others. We choose those, too, and in choosing who we allow to program our consciousness, we have at least some small choice over what fills our consciousness… but we can be free even of that. It’s also a choice. I’m not even saying “give it all up”, though surely that’s one choice that holds great promise. I’m just saying, be aware, be awake, and choose. Make that choice your own.

I guess I’m sort of grumpy this morning. It’s early. The work day is ahead of me. I’m very human. πŸ™‚ My coffee is super yummy, and in general I am content. I smile at my crossness, recognizing that this morning words are from me, to… me. I need to stop looking at Facebook (or the news) first thing in the morning. Fuck those bitches. lol There are better things to do with mornings, and my cognitive liberty has great value to me, personally.

I take my coffee out to the deck, into the pre-dawn darkness. It’s a lovely morning to begin again. πŸ™‚ It’s a lovely morning to change my world. I have choices.

There’s this place in life’s wilderness that we sometimes wander into, a deep mire of negativity, doubt, and conviction. The mire of our heart. Few of us would choose to live there, once we understand we don’t have to.

The weather in the mire is a permanent, sullen, bitter gray.

At the edge of the mire is a sunny meadow. The woman who lives in the meadow wears a smile. She has worked hard. She works still. It isn’t about wanting to work so hard, or enjoying the effort, or being without pain and fatigue, but she knows that this is her life, and the enjoyment to be had living in the sunshine, among the meadow flowers, is so much nicer than stagnating in the mire. She knows too well; she used to live deep in the mire, well beyond any place that sunshine could reach. The way out was tedious, the path stony and uncomfortable, the distance was great, and the decision to trudge on down that path one uncomfortable step at a time was its own torment. Her constant companions were doubt and despair, but life in the mire had already made those her companions…so… what was there to lose along the way? She was at least moving.

She slowly exchanged “can’t” for “can”. She began noticing sunrises. She began to consider whether she could feel better, more often, and began choosing to do so, unsure (at least initially) whether it really was a choice. (It is.)

Sunrises came and went and as she reached the edge of the mire, more often “can” than “can’t”, more often saying something uplifting to a passer-by than offering criticism, sarcasm, or a pessimistic observation, and even learning to treat herself more gently. It took years to get to the edge of the mire. It took years to see that indeed there is a meadow beyond the mire, and sunrises for days, and flowers in the garden of her heart. She smelled the flowers, gathered seeds, and began to tend her garden.

She looked back into the mire and saw a friend standing there, mired. Deeply committed to the muck, and the pain, and the disappointment, and the sorrow… only… none of those things were really there. From her vantage point, having stepped into the meadow and looking back into the darkness, it was so clear – there was nothing holding him back from leaving the mire at all. There never had been. Sure, there was a short distance of path to trudge across (how had that felt so infernally long?), and the way never had seemed so clear as looking back across it, but… it was the simplest of journey’s, once the journey had begun.

She called to her friend from the meadow, throwing armloads of flowers into the sunshine, casting their petals and fragrance into the breeze, but the breeze doesn’t reach the mire. “Come this way!” she called to her friend. He stood there, ever so motionless. “Look,” he replied “I can’t.” She sighed. Puzzled. “Oh hey!”, she called back “I thought I couldn’t, too – but I did, so I could, which means you can… if you do.” He looked frustrated, bitter and annoyed. “I said I can’t!” he confirmed rather angrily. “Nothing works for me. I have nothing and no one will help me. No one cares. No one will talk to me. Nothing works out.” She wept to discover she was “no one” and paced awhile back and forth along the edge of the mire, feeling sad in the sunshine.

Another sunrise came. Other sunrises will come. The woman in the meadow lives in the flowers she planted, smiling among the breezes and the birdsong. There is work involved in tending the garden of her heart. There are weeds to pull. There is always work maintaining all the sunshine. It’s not artificial light, and even the work puts a smile on her face. The mire grows more distant, and she plants more flowers hoping to make the path from the mire to the meadow easier to follow. Maybe someday the man in the mire will walk a different path.

She can see him there in the mire, any day she chooses to look back. He swears she has always lived in a meadow, and that her life has always been this flower-filled lovely garden. She shakes her head, frustrated and sad that he doesn’t see her pulling weeds, planting seeds, and laboring to create this beautiful meadow from the edges of the mire where she once lived. He refuses even to come to the edge, to see what she has done. He accuses her of luck, and she does not argue that she hasn’t been lucky, because she has; she got out of the mire, didn’t she?

Every mire can become a meadow. It requires only all of the verbs, most of the time, and incremental change. It requires effort and will, and a willingness to care. It requires walking on, and beginning again. It requires practice. It requires that we plant our own flowers along our own way, and also pause to appreciate them when they bloom.

A man who says “I’ll never amount to anything”, doesn’t. Most particularly if he truly believes that, and practices the practices it takes to hold himself back. We become what we practice. Mire or meadow, we make our choice, and harvest from the garden we plant.

… Lately (although I’m not really sure if the perception is grounded in anything real, or even if it really has gone on for any measured amount of time, it merely seems so, perhaps…) I feel a bit adrift, as though I am awake and aware of change, in the midst of change, without the certainty of having chosen change specifically, or planned to its effect on my experience.

I am processing recent experiences, and I’m not all done with that complex internal process quite yet. A weekend of stillness in the forest, definitely a prolonged meditation on life – and change – and it was definitely needed. A weekend of the entire and complete opposite of stillness (and also the opposite of solitude), also in the forest, also a weekend of it – and also a prolonged meditation of sorts, on life’s interconnectedness which fulfilled a certain need for community (and then some). Β Next up, weekend-wise, a weekend of details, of tasks, of self-care, of considering the future, of making new choices from new perspective, of revisions, and sorting things out – also needed, and also a meditation of sorts, I suppose, particularly considering the contentment I find in order, and the somewhat excessive bit of disorder I’m finding myself dealing with, due to the chaotic nature of upheaval, and choosing change. So here I am, planning my weekend…

…Planning the future.

Beginning again. Again. πŸ˜€ There’s always room for one more beginning!

The time spent with my Traveling Partner was lovely connected time, wholesome “family” time, intimate shared emotional time; it was needed, and it is cherished. I smile each time I consider the weekend we shared. πŸ™‚ It was time so precious it changed my thinking. A singularly magical birthday shared with so many travelers on life’s journey… I hope I never forget the way it sparkles in my memory now.

“Fireworks”, a rose in my garden, a metaphor for change.

Today my Traveling Partner, this being I love so much and so deeply, will head out again for a place, elsewhere, to have his own experience. I’ll be here, having mine. I learned a lot this past couple of weekends about what I really want, and what really meets the needs of my deepest heart, and where I could choose to take life – the menu seems more vast than it did three weeks ago. πŸ™‚ It’s a lot to consider.

What next? Sleeping in. Sleeping in is definitely “next” on my to-do list, I think, and I’m so earnest about that one I’ve put it on my calendar. lol Where will the weekend take me? Where will I choose to take myself? I guess I’ll know more… later, further down my path.

It’s a good time to walk on. πŸ™‚

A steady rain falls this morning. I woke a number of times during the night, and it was raining then, too. My dreams were lively, rich in surreal detail, and graphic, but lacking in emotional content. However grim the imagery was, I felt nothing; my brain was just “taking out the trash”, clearing buffers, wiping away bits and pieces left behind that serve no useful long-term purpose. No nightmares, just data processing in moving pictures. It’s important that our consciousness be ready for a new day, it only makes sense that while I sleep, my brain is busy in cycles, resting, getting caught up on things, resting more.

(Note: I am not a sleep scientist, this blog post is not science, my subjective experience has not been rigorously scrutinized and peer-reviewed, following years of replicable research. There are people doing those things and they are very much worth reading! I’m using words, to share my subjective experience, my own thinking, lacking in any hardcore vetting against known science. My writing may serve someone a useful purpose, be helpful, or an entertaining read, but please don’t settle on me as settled science; do your homework. Use your critical thinking skills. Walk your own mile.)

I woke feeling more than usually rested. I woke feeling more rested yesterday, too. Both mornings follow days with much less involvement with my handheld device, my computer, or the internet, generally. I feel less distracted moment-to-moment. I feel less emotionally volatile. I am less easily frustrated. I feel more content. I find myself wondering how many generations of saturating all-day computer use human beings will commit to before becoming actually able to fully multi-task their consciousness, for real? (No, you can’t. There is science on that.) No doubt over time our consciousness will change with the tools we use regularly, we are adaptable. We become what we practice. Epigenetics is real. Our children’s children will have different characteristics than our Great-grandparents did. Some of those differences may indeed be cognitive. More to the point in this moment, though, is that setting aside the complicated dense multi-channel continuous streaming information into my consciousness for a couple of days has had real value on my overall state of being. I feel more relaxed. My rest is more restful. I feel calmer, less anxious, more easily able to “hear myself think”. I think I may have gotten more done, too, using my time more efficiently, and spending no minutes staring into a repeating feed full of copies, memes, and reshares for unmeasured hours of the day.

A favorite trail was flooded. It was necessary to choose another way.

A favorite trail was flooded. It was necessary to choose another way.

The rain continues to fall quite steadily. It rained yesterday, and I enjoyed the short hike I took through the park in spite of it. Time well-spent, in the wind and weather, breathing the fresh air, seeing the trees tossing in the wind, and hearing the water birds on the marsh calling to each other. This morning the rain is falling harder, enough harder that some of the fun of hiking would be washed away in it. So… perhaps not this morning…

Favorite places for a moment of meditation are flooded, too.

Favorite places for a moment of meditation are flooded, too.

I’ll spend the day taking time for being here, now, and enjoying (or enduring) what is real, and live, and in front of me. Tidying up a bit more. Taking out the trash, the recycling, and maintaining order. Those are useful practices, too. I have found that the state of order – or disorder – in my environment reflects the state of order – or disorder – in my internal world, as well. My consciousness seems only ever as ordered as my environment. Keeping my head, minding my emotional wellness, tends to result in more will to keep my home tidied up and very neat. Keeping a tidy orderly household seems to promote and support my cognitive wellness. I don’t know what the science says about all that; my experience confirms it for me, and as “ways” go, it works for me. πŸ™‚

Today is a good day for practicing practices. Today is a good day to enjoy the woman in the mirror. Today is a good day to be open, to be kind, to be aware – and mindful that change is. It may change the world – we have that power. πŸ™‚