Archives for posts with tag: do the verbs

Sipping my coffee this morning, after an interrupted but generally decent night’s sleep, noticing my anxiety coming and going. Thinking about the practices that have been most effective, specifically, for my anxiety: meditation, long walks (another form of meditation, in a practical sense), consistent self-care, good nutrition, adequate rest… All effective, and taken together the result is often very nearly no anxiety at all. Except… well… this means my wellness, particularly my emotional wellness, relies on a handful of verbs.

Verbs.

Verbs, people. Verbs.

I’m sitting here sipping my coffee, feeling my anxiety surge and recede, again and again, amorphous and not specifically associated with anything obvious. But… what about my practices? My self-care? All the things?? Why am I still anxious??

β€œAnxiety” 10β€³ x 14β€³ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic 2011

It could be that I’m anxious because verbs have little power on the printed page, and only evoke their real power once put into action. Seriously. I have not yet put my ass down on my meditation cushion, this morning. Nor have I taken a walk. I haven’t actually taken even one step toward putting a verb properly into motion, quite yet. I’m sitting around in a t-shirt and yoga pants drinking coffee and scrolling through feeds. So. Anxiety? Sure. It’s a thing. I still deal with it. Verbs are only useful when they are actually in use. “Action words” sort of presume that there will be some action. lol

I have some thoughts about what to do with the day. I’m anxious about those notions. I have a “to do list” waiting for my attention. I’m anxious about that, too. Money? Anxiety. Health and fitness concerns? Anxiety. Work? Anxiety. Leisure? Anxiety. Fucking hell. I definitely needs some relevant verbs this morning, and just writing sentences that use them is not going to be particularly helpful. πŸ˜‰

Looks like I need to begin again, with some verbs. Action words – and actual actions. πŸ™‚ I know what works, but knowledge alone is not going to get the job done (and this is, generally, true in life). Is knowledge truly power? I suppose it depends on what I do with it.

Beautiful momentum.

Time for some verbs. Time to begin again.

My legs ache. I am contentedly fatigued from the effort of the weekend. Joyous effort. Heartfelt effort. Connected effort. The effort we make in life really matters; it’s how we get results. Well… I mean, sure, there’s “luck” of course. Good fortune puts a lot of folks on the path to one win or another, or general success in life, but let’s not kid ourselves about that; there’s a lot of effort that often isn’t seen, or shared. People – lots of people – go about the doing of things, often unnoticed by passers-by.

Sooner or later, however longingly I dream of hiking a particular trail, there’s no progress on making that a reality until boots hit the ground.

Start somewhere.

What’s your dream? Are you working on it?

What’s on your horizon? You are your own cartographer on this journey.

If you’re not working on your dream, realistically, how do you expect to achieve it? Pure intention? Casual assumption that gritting your teeth and firmly “manifesting” it will get you there? “The Universe” looking out for you… why? Someone’s going to hand it to you? Because you’re a great person? Seriously? So, I’m here with a short cut for you – and almost surefire not quite guaranteed path to success (your results will vary); make an effort. No kidding. Sucks, I know, right? Effort?? Like… actual work?

Are the obstacles you face truly as immediate and non-negotiable as you imagine them to be?

Our results are often closely correlated to the effort we make to attain them.

Whose advice are you taking? Sometimes the commandments we perceive as written in stone aren’t so permanent at all.

To put it in more practical terms…how many NFL players just happened to be spotted casually throwing a football around at some point in their life, having never played the game, and just happen to be so fucking fantastic that they are offered a deal on the spot? How many drivers are stopped at an intersection during their commute and offered an opportunity to compete in Formula One racing? One-time karaoke singers invited to perform at The Met? Let’s count carefully now…

…0. Probably. (I didn’t actually look all those scenarios up – if you find an example, I’d love the link to the narrative.)

The point is, if you want to be a professional football player, you’ll probably want to learn to play the game (as a starting point), and hey – maybe get really good at it. Most things work this way. You have to begin somewhere. Practice the thing. Become skilled. Go on to mastering the thing, or becoming in some fashion accomplished. Verbs. Effort. Action. Daydreaming doesn’t put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or a ball into the air.

Wherever it leads, the path we choose in life isn’t going to walk itself.

Hell, we don’t even get to rest on past glories for future successes; it is necessary to keep at it. Whatever it is. Effort. Fuck – I gotta say, that sounds like work. (It is.)

It isn’t always clear where a path leads, or how to reach a desired goal or destination in life. Sometimes talking about it helps.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner. It was intensely connected and intimate, and we had deep conversations about things that feel important – emotional conversations that were not always easy, and could have wrecked a weekend, were we not the sort of partnership that thrives in an environment of authenticity and depth. I got in the car this morning, before dawn, to head back up the highway feeling refreshed, renewed, and filled with something more nuanced than inspiration, more powerful than motivation. I feel push-pulled back into a more verb-packed groove. I hope it lasts. (There will be verbs involved, and no doubt my results may vary.)

One more moment, one more opportunity, one more new beginning.

It’s a good day for a beginning. πŸ™‚

Yesterday sorted of slipped past me. Spring. πŸ™‚ I woke from a deeply restful night’s sleep, yesterday, slowly, gently, a day fully planned for hanging out with a friend and going out later. When I stood the headache just flattened me. I intended to take things easy, what with the headache, followed by a bit of dizziness and nausea, but shortly found myself… wandering around the house… kind of randomly and without purpose.

I honestly wasn’t sure what was up with me beyond the headache. I cancelled hang out plans first thing in favor of self-care.

…I didn’t make coffee. I have no idea why, but I just… didn’t. I got in the car, barely awake, and drove down the street to an excellent cafe (the storefront of a local coffee roaster I enjoy) and got coffee. I committed firmly to heading home…and spent 90 minutes driving around the countryside drinking coffee. It was a weird morning, lacking in stress – or purpose.

I found my way home, and sat awhile on my meditation cushion in the open patio doorway, listening the rain fall, and feeling the spring breezes. Definitely spring; there are signs of greenery, like a fine mist, all over the deciduous trees, and the roses are leafing out in shades of bright green and russet (the reddest of my roses always seem to have the deepest red new leaves and shoots, where the yellow, pink, or peach ones are often very bright light green shades). I watched squirrels play. I watched birds hop about. I definitely wanted to be in the garden.

As soon as I stood to head into the garden, my headache reminded me why I was taking it so easy. Then my eye reminded me that I would not be easily able to do the things I wanted to do in the container garden on the deck without a visit to the nursery or garden supply place nearby… and I hadn’t actually visited those last autumn after moving in. I happily got back in the car and drove around checking out the nearest garden suppliers, finding one that feels most “like my sort”, and spending quite a long while exploring there. I stopped for Turkish coffee along the way. I came home with soil and a handful of seeds. Yep. I could have gone just about anywhere for the things I actually returned home with. LOL

One lovely moment from a lovely day.

It was a weird day with the woman in the mirror.

Spring is here.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, and finished up out there aware that I was still headaching on this whole other “maybe you really need to take it easy” level when I careened into the door jamb clumsily. Okay, okay, so… maybe a night out on St Patrick’s Day to see a great band play in a local bar returning home further fatigued and faced with night driving would not be an ideal choice? I canceled those plans, too. I felt content with the decision-making, and unconcerned with the weirdness.

Later, I roasted a chicken on the smoker-grill on the patio; it sits under the eaves, just out of the rain, and the smell of it was wonderful. Cold chicken salad tonight – which also sounds quite nice.

It was a lovely Saturday, headache and all. I’m content to have enjoyed it, making the most of the day without regard to that headache, which, honestly, completely sucked all day long. I just really don’t want to waste more days on pain than I have to… I’m not sure how many I get, you know? πŸ˜‰

Today, brunch with a friend, and a visit to a favorite market. The headache, for now, has eased somewhat. It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

This morning I had to admit it; I’ve hit a wall. I’m stalled. I sat for almost an hour staring into the text editor of my blog, fingers – and mind – motionless. What the hell?

I scrolled through Facebook rather mindlessly. I put that aside, aggravated with myself. I tried to read the news, but I don’t actually want to fill my thoughts with that garbage, either. lol I put on music, which satisfies me and fills that cognitive void, but doesn’t “fix” anything. I update my “to do list” – rescheduling all the crap I could have done yesterday to be things I intend to do today. Then I move them to tomorrow. Omg. Seriously?

I pause everything for meditation. No timer. No agenda. Just a few moments of alone time with the woman in the mirror, breathing. Shifting gears from thinking to practicing awareness, only, is what got my attention more clearly focused on this bit of stalled progress. More awareness of the underlying fatigue, the yearning in the background, the loneliness competing with the delights of solitude, the world in fierce competition for my attention with the things that truly matter most to me, personally. It’s a puzzle. How do I snatch my attention, energy, and effort back from the agendas of the media, my employer, and the world?

…With great commitment and a lot of practice, I suppose… there are verbs involved. So many verbs. lol

I get back to my “to do list” and my coffee. I consider the one or two tasks that keep being reliably postponed, rescheduled, pushed off for another day, and wonder if I am allowing those, and my reluctance to deal with them, to derail me generally…? Or… Am I “just being lazy”? (Whose words are those, I wonder?) When I examine the tasks on my list that I’d like to finish up, I can see there isn’t even 2 hours of real work involved… I just… yeah. I just haven’t been doing those things. This is a less than ideally productive approach. lol

Tonight won’t be the time for all that, and it feels inconvenient to want to wipe that list clean now. I smile into my coffee, aware my impatience is one more way my primate brain seeks to distract me from simply doing;Β I can lead with my frustration and annoyance, become invested in the emotional experience and … not do anything about the things that create the experience. Uh-huh. Well… okay, so I specifically don’t want to do things quite that way, so I get up from my chair, in the middle of my writing and do one thing, and cross it off the list. I sit down smiling, and continue to sip my coffee.

Did you know that checking things off the list gives me a boost? It does. Fairly similar to the feeling of reward and satisfaction I feel when I receive a like on a post, or when I get a notification that someone has messaged me. It’s a very real chemical reward, but does require the bit of effort needed to go from seeing the item on the list, to completing it, to checking it off. I’ve noticed just checking off shit I haven’t done does not produce the same effect – although adding something to the list that wasn’t listed, but got completed, in order to simply check it off is every bit as rewarding as checking off something that has lingered on the list for ages. Do you keep a list? Have you noticed that little jolt of good feeling chemistry, and a sense of accomplishment, when you check things off that list?

Here’s where the verbs pile up, though, like rush hour traffic; I know these things about my experience, and still find myself stalled sometimes, and not doing the verbs. Very human. How to get past that? Push on. I don’t have a better answer. Do one thing. Then do another. Make a point of it. Turn off the TV. Turn off YouTube. Disconnect. Do the thing. Then do another. Make a point of it. Check it off the list. Did something not listed? Add it to the list. Check it off. Repeat. See something else that needs doing? Add it to the list. Do it. Check it off. Repeat. There is a path to completion – it is paved with verbs. lol These chores are not going to do themselves!

Time to begin again. πŸ™‚ I’ve got this list, and a bit of time before work…

Let’s overlook how often I simply choose not to go out to some event, or show, or whatever I thought I’d talked myself into – because that’s a thing I totally do (and I highly recommend it, myself, since I think forcing myself to attend events I don’t feel up to for whatever reason is a rather stupid use of my time, generally). I do like “doing stuff”, going places, seeing sights, hearing music, hiking trails, exploring the world and getting to know its bizarre inhabitants; I love all that. Mostly. Sometimes.

I live alone. Which I also like. Sure, I have a committed and adoring partner. Sometimes there’s a lover in the picture. I have friends. Associates. Assorted hangers-on of one variety or another. A tribe. A social circle. A scene. I live my life in the company of other humans living their lives. Excellent stuff for keeping good company – and I recommend that, too; we are social creatures. Our lurking ever-present need for intimacy, connection, and contact doesn’t somehow dissipate over time spent in solitude. I definitely enjoy the company of others. I don’t always have it. So, okay… what to do in the context of being alone, and wanting to do stuff…?

Go do stuff.

No kidding. It’s that simple. Farmer’s markets excite you? Go to those. Have a determined passion for growing lovely flowers? Go to places where flowers grow, where plants are sold, where gardens are planned – obviously. Maybe art is your thing? Lots of museums, galleries, and art shows to attend! Antiques more your thing? Cars? Beaches? Surfing? Concerts? Travel? Exotic dining? No problem; the world is vast and entertaining, and all the options exist. Do the verbs. Go to the places you dream of.

Alone?!

…Why not alone?

After my break up with my most recent ex I sort of… stopped doing things I enjoyed for some time. I’d pulled the same bullshit maneuver within a short while of being with the ex prior to that one, too. I was just… fuck it. Ennui. I trudged through my experience, supporting my then-partner’s desires to go and do and be, and tolerating the full-time discouragement of my own interests. I didn’t know how to do differently. The relationship before that one… was worse. Over time, learned helplessness crept in, and I failed myself in a rather large way. <shrugs> So okay, fast forward to this great relationship… still carrying these bad habits, and a total lack of skilled self-care. In a practical sense, one reason I made the choice to live alone was to sort some of this shit out. Learning good self-care was a much higher priority than museums, coffee houses, poetry readings, open mic nights, picnics in parks, small venue concerts… surviving was a bit more important, it seemed then, than thriving.

I was wrong though. I was incorrect about the importance and relative value of doing the things I love. Oh, not in a monstrous or malicious or hateful way. I just didn’t understand what living well could look like, built on my own choices; there were verbs I just wasn’t using. I didn’t understand that those things I personally thrive on might help me along my way, even help me sort out some of the chaos and damage, as well as provide opportunities for new connections with other humans.

I live alone. That’s just one characteristic about my life. I enjoy a lovely brunch out with friends. I also enjoy brunch alone. I enjoy brunch. πŸ™‚ I enjoy music, and the events and artists I want to see represent my own taste – sometimes going alone makes for a very special evening, since I won’t spend any of it wondering if the person attending with me actually enjoys it, or is just being polite in their silent misery. I like the things I like whether I am alone or not.

I’m just saying – take time to do the things that excite and interest you, whether you do them with someone else, or alone. They are still the things that excite and interest you. You will still grow from those new experiences. They subtract nothing from your experience to do them alone. It is your journey. Your experience.Β  πŸ™‚

…Clearly ballroom dancing will be easier to enjoy with a partner, but… yeah. In general. Go do the stuff you love. Yes, and alone, also – why the fuck not? lol

My calendar for the autumn and upcoming winter months has filled out nicely. I’ve got tickets for a couple of concerts I’m excited to see. A couple trips down to see my Traveling Partner. Quiet weekends in the studio, or out on the trail (while the weather holds up)… brunch… farmer’s markets… I’ve got a lot to look forward to, which I enjoy rather a lot just by itself. The anticipation, I mean. Choices and verbs. And planning. And living.

Don’t wait around. This is your life. You can live it, fully, delightfully, and even beautifully – even if you’re going solo on this journey. πŸ™‚