Archives for posts with tag: choosing change

This morning feels a bit like emotionally squinting into the full measure of mid-day sunshine, as I sip my coffee quietly, letting myself wake up to face the new day. The coffee is good. I’ve got butterflies in my tummy, like an excited kid. This morning, I choose to interpret these physical feelings as excitement. In other moments, perhaps I’d see it as anxiety; they feel too similar to me, and sometimes I just confuse them.

How many such firsts will I experience in life? First days. First dates. New jobs. New destinations. This very specific experience of excitement and quiet tension is one of firsts. Change. Not just that roller coaster of experiences of change that is, itself, the living of life; this is the experience of choosing change, choosing to “really go for it”, and staring directly into that process, and participating with my entire will, unified in a single purpose. Exciting barely describes it. I feel a tad breathless and wild-eyed around the edges.

Meditation helped.

I’ve checked my laptop backpack too many times, already. It has in it what it needs for the day; the laptop, a book, my kindle, an ink pen, a notepad. It matches the purse I’d purchased for the start of my last job, and the weekend bag I had purchased when I began traveling regularly to see my Traveling Partner. I feel so grown up. lol Delight fills my moment. I add it to the excitement. I try to also maintain some small amount of focus on a couple of errands I need to run after work. I sip my coffee and wonder when that will be?

New day. New beginning. New verbs. Old sweater. lol That’s fine; it’s a favorite, and it’s enough. Mustn’t lose sight of the exquisite value of sufficiency and perspective as I start down a new path; what has mattered so much, matters still. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s just time to begin again. ๐Ÿ˜€

I don’t honestly feel at all like sleeping on the ground, or dealing with overnight chill, or having to use vault toilets or a hole in the ground… or… any of the things that go along with camping, really. Not this weekend. I do, however, very much feel like hiking a few miles alone with my thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s nice having the car. It’s nicer that it is my own, and of the sort far more appropriate to trail heads and rougher roads than the luxury sedan I’d been driving. (None of that diminishes my gratitude for having the use of my partner’s car for a year; I needed it, he was right.) The weekend is my own, and I’ll go where I please, travel the roads I like, and find the miles that suit me most to wander.

I sip my coffee and consider my rather lengthy list of hikes I’d like to take. I decide I’d rather not drive more than an hour this morning, having slept a bit later than I expected to, and also wanting to go to the Farmer’s Market this morning. My smile becomes a grin contemplating the luxury of being able, if I chose, to also just get in the car and drive down to my Traveling Partner’s location, and visit him there. Any time. There is nothing to stop me doing so, and no one to whom I must answer. That feels amazing. I sit with the feeling and the awareness awhile longer; I haven’t always truly had the freedom to be accountable primarily to myself, only, and it’s an intoxicating level of adult freedom.

This is a weekend of choices. One of those is that I chose to invest in my longer-term emotional and physical wellness by making this particular weekend mostly about self-care, also. Yesterday was spent advocating for important social issues as a citizen, and getting ample rest as a human being. Today? Today I want to get out into the trees, put some miles behind me, take some pictures, find some solitude and relief from the din and background noise of the world. Tomorrow, too. Even Monday (after my first Qigong class, fairly early in the morning). Something about the car I’d been driving was keeping me from hiking in some subtle way. (I think perhaps my reluctance to leave a largish luxury car parked at a trailhead and at risk of break-ins, when it wasn’t even my own car, was a bit of baggage I didn’t manage well.) The Mazda fairly begs to be left-along-the-side-of-the-road-back-soon-I-promise at every trail head I spot on every drive I take. lol I literally want to just park it, however abruptly, hop out and walk down each unexpected mystery trail just to see where they lead. ๐Ÿ˜€ This bodes well for future fitness, and I’m not inclined to fight it – I just want to get out there, and explore the world on foot, with a significant lack of human companionship.

New beginnings aren’t just an assortment of lovely sunrises, or yet another work shift, or one more morning waking from one more night of sleep; there are opportunities here for growth, change, and transcendence. These are chances to work through past pain, to set down more baggage and walk on – both metaphorically, and for real. What was yesterday about? Can I do better today? What choices does that take? How does this particular morning hold the potential to see me become more the person I most want to be at the end of this particular day? It’s a process filled with verbs, and my results vary. Still, I get as many chances to begin again as there are sunrises – or moments. There are choices involved.

I’m ready. It’s time to grab a map. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh hey, good morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s true, by the way. I can’t “fix” you. (Maybe you aren’t even actually “broken” in the first place, however “broken” you may sometimes feel…) Similarly, you can’t fix that person who is dear to you, or even that yearning stranger seeking support. We are not machinery. What is entirely possible and totally within reach is to change our experience. We can change our choices, change our reactivity, change our potential for resilience, change our actions, change our words, and even change our thinking – which, as it turns out, is a very big deal. We each (all) have choices.

“Be Like Water” 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow and India ink. 2018

Pro-tip: If you regularly feel like you are spinning out of control and “have no choices” or “lack options”, taking some time to explore potential choices and options you have previously set aside as “impossible” or in some fashion unworthy, may be really worthwhile. If you’ve narrowed down the vast list of potential choices and options to just some small handful that from your present vantage point “all suck”, you’ve made at least one choice already; the choice to disregard some possible choices. I’m sure you have your reasons. Maybe handle that differently? Be open to more than what you, yourself, think is “obvious”.

Sometimes we need to step back to see things in context, or to gain perspective.

I spent the weekend delightfully, mostly painting and hanging out with friends. I provided comfort and support where it seemed needed. I felt valued and appreciated for “being there”. Realistically, I also know that I didn’t “fix” anything at all; I simply took time to allow friends to be fully heard, and supported their good hearts. Where helpful, I shared the practices that support me most, myself, hoping that these would be similarly helpful for my friends. I am aware, because this is how I roll these days, that very few of my friends will adopt practices that require real accountability, self-awareness, reflection, and… verbs. A lot of verbs, and slow incremental change over time, don’t sound nearly as enticing as a fad diet, or a horoscope, or a quick fix, or someone willing to tell us it’s “not our fault”. In a moment of emotional crisis, anything at all that helps calm the storm is welcomed. When the storm passes? Well… few people really want to do a lot work, though, right?

“So Deep” 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, glitter, and India ink. 2018

I’m not mad. I already knew I couldn’t fix you. I just want you to be well, and to be whole, and to care for yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

I maintain a certain healthy distance from OPD (Other People’s Drama) as much as possible. This works for me. It doesn’t make me less sad, when I see a friend in tears, to maintain such boundaries – it does tend to make me less frustrated that I was not able to “fix them”, by allowing me to remain mindful that honestly I never could, and also, there are verbs involved – not all of those are mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ We each have to walk our own hard mile. We each have to face our own dark night. We each “hit bottom” our own way, in our own time, over the things that hold most meaning for us individually – our dearest loves can not save us from ourselves… But we can. No kidding. It’s just those damned verbs, and the slow passage of time, and the lies in our heads that tell us any differently. It’s just one more bit of resistance (within ourselves) to overcome when we undertake healing and change.

“Down by the River” 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, glow glitter, and India ink. 2018

Over the weekend, I also received the rest of my art work back. My Traveling Partner picked it up for me. I felt very relieved to have them returned to me. I find myself wondering about my attachment to them. It’s something for me to think over; it may be less than ideally healthy to treat them as literal pieces of myself.

“Because…Love” 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow and gold leaf. 2018

Here it is, time to begin again. Working from home, still sick, but I am at least sufficiently improved to work. That’s progress. ๐Ÿ™‚ What about you? What will you choose to do differently to improve your experience? What will you change to become the person you most want to be? What practices will you commence to become, over time, someone other than you are? Are you ready to become the person you most want to be? There are verbs involved… I can’t do them for you.

Here’s a great place to begin again. You’ll still need to practice. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I woke ahead of the alarm by minutes, feeling rested, and not particularly groggy. The morning has proceeded with logical elegance from task to task, and my coffee is hot, tasty, and welcome. I have nothing much to say. In a life so rich with words much of the time, I guess that’s okay, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

The week begins well, and that’s enough. I could use more time in my day, but the new work environment is one in which I thrive, and feel appreciated. I can’t complain about that – and the commute is not the longest one I’ve endured since moving to the area. My longest was the original commute I traveled daily for some 13 years without questioning it. Moving closerย to work didn’t feel possible; my (ex) partner was unwilling to travel to and from school, and the result was having to choose between what I needed, and what she demanded. When she’d finished earning her degree, the expected shift in priorities “didn’t happen”. I did not yet understand that I would have to take care of me. I allowed life to go on, without choosing change, and did so for a very long time. Resentful, exhausted, neglected and unhappy, I trudged along in life surviving on wishful thinking and daydreams of a future that wasn’t likely – since I wasn’t building that. We become what we practice – and I was practicing some very different things then, than I do now.

My choices, even then, were vast and assorted, and had many potential outcomes. I didn’t see the whole of the menu, as though refusing to turn it over and see the rest of it, limiting myself to just “today’s specials” – which, as it happened, weren’t that damned special. I’m not bitching, I’m just making a point of pointing out that I carefully crafted the experience I was mired in, by refusing to choose a different one. My choices mattered greatly – and yes, I’ll go ahead and say so sooner than later, when I did start making different choices, someย of my relationships were changed, and some ended (including a partnership of 15 years, and a job with a company I’d worked for, for 13 of those).ย Choices have consequences. Remember reality? Yeah – reality doesn’t care what we think we’re choosing. We are each having our own experience, each filtering that through our own perspective – reality doesn’t care about that, either. ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is not actually a picture of a rainbow filling a building with gold, however much it may appear so.

What it appears to be does not change what it is.

Choice and change and verbs and perspective… it’s busy in here. I find myself pondering the “meaning of life”. It’s that sort of morning. A good morning for meditation as the sun rises, and a leisurely 2nd and 3rd coffee…and it’s also a work morning. I’ll watch the sun rise on foot, as I walk through downtown to the office. I’ll see it reflected, perhaps, on the city from the other side of the river, where I stop each morning to reflect on life, and take a picture. It is a moment of perspective with lasting value.

Misty

Giving myself time to reflect…

 

...allows my perspective to deepen...

…allows my perspective to deepen…

 

Giving myself time to reflect allows my perspective to deepen and change with experience.

…and change with experience.

We are each having our own experience. We choose a lot of it. We carefully craft a lot more of it within our thoughts, even sometimes avoiding confronting what differs from our so carefully crafted narrative. Expectations and assumptions can be built on accumulated experience of reality – but they don’t have to be, and often aren’t. I set myself up for failure when I build my expectations and assumptions on my internal narrative, without checking in with reality. Funny thing (maybe) that reality seems so much more variable than expectations and assumptions…

My mind wanders. I’m enjoying the morning over my coffee, listening to a freight train roar past on the other side of the park. I think of my traveling partner, and life and love and time; perhaps I shall see him this evening? Perhaps not until tomorrow. We have evening plans for Thursday, and I “know” I will see him then – is that an expectation? An assumption? Is it reality? Certainly it is planned…

A wordless moment of clarity... a picture as a metaphor.

A wordless moment of clarity… a picture as a metaphor.

Today is a good day to be present in this moment, here. I think I’ll go do that. (Your results may vary…)

I woke to the sound of rain falling, splattering the window, tapping on the roof, even ringing something distant and metallic, a soft chiming sound somewhere beyond my window. I woke ahead of the alarm, rising only long enough to open the window, and the patio door, to let the rain fresh breeze drift through. I returned to bed, ย to lay quietly listening to the sound of the rain falling until the alarm went off.

I feel surprisingly organized for so little sleep. I had shared a few sips of my traveling partner’s Turkish coffee over dessert last night, the lateness of the hour may have resulted in the caffeine disturbing my sleep… or not. Today is my last day with my current job. Maybe that kept me awake? Sipping my morning coffee now, it no longer matters; I am comfortable and content.

I am excited about… almost everything, actually, at least for the moment. I am wrapped in awareness of just how many choices and options are spread out ahead of me. Like a gem in an elaborate setting, my traveling partner and I celebrate our anniversary next weekend, and I am excited about that, too. We’ve come a long way together, and have shared a great many things worth celebrating. Even dinner together is a lovely opportunity to pause, and really take notice of how goodย love feels. It’s nice. It’s some of the best of this human experience.

Where does this path lead?

Where does this path lead?

He’s got his plans for the weekend. I’ve got mine. We’ll reconnect on the other side and share tales of adventure, and gardening. This seems an ordinary enough arrangement… and this morning is an ordinary enough morning. Coffee, a few words, some meditation, a little rainfall…

Today is a good day for change, for progress, for forward momentum. Today is a good day to change some choices, some details, and to reach for the horizon. Today is a good day to change the world… tomorrow I’ll sleep in. ๐Ÿ˜‰