Archives for posts with tag: getting from there to here

This morning I am reflecting on a moment I experienced while I was meditating, before my coffee. My perspective shifted abruptly while I was meditating, I’m not sure why, and I was suddenly very “self-focused”, while also seeming to be a distant, objective, potentially remote, observer of this self that I feel that I am. I’ve had this perspective shift before, and it wasn’t so unexpected or alien as to be frightening, I’m just thinking about it, after-the-fact, while I sip my coffee. It is the sort of experience that seems to want additional reflection, for some time afterward.

The perspective shift is the sort of thing that gives me a moment to really “consider myself” – not how I am experiencing my life, more how I am delivering the experience of myself experiencing life to others. A bit like looking at myself from an outsider’s perspective – if that “outsider” was also truly me. It’s an interesting moment to participate in. Am I the woman I most want to be? Am I living up to my human potential? How am I seen in the world, if the world looking back is also me, shares my values, shares my perspective on life, love, and humanity? I find myself really letting my guard down with myself; being human it is very easy to cast myself as the good guy in every tale of adventure. I’m not. I’m human. Just that. One human being, being human. This moment, on this morning, challenges those easy comfortable assumptions, and takes another, deeper, look.

…Nah. I’m not sharing more details. lol. Go find your own moment to reflect upon. 😉 It’s your journey, and you’ve got to walk your own mile. 😀 I say this with kindness, and with a bit a frustration; it would be very hard to put my experience this morning into useful words. “Worthy moment of perspective” is accurate, but not useful in any practical “how to do this” way… and I’m not sure how it’s done. It seems to be a cheat to say “meditate, and eventually all will be revealed”, and I don’t know that that is actually true… it’s just sort of how it went for me. I “get there” sometimes unexpectedly. Like this morning. Perhaps with enough practice it will become something I could just do by specific choice?

I sip my coffee and continue to reflect… on reflections. Perspective shifts offer new perspective, and that’s generally helpful, I’ve found. 🙂

The morning is, generally, a pleasant one. The sky lightens slowly, revealing a gray rainy morning. My arthritis reminds me how human I am; I am in pain. My coffee is warming and pleasant. There is a small amount of traffic going by. The rainy street alerts me of each passing car with a shhhhhh-shhhhhh as the car rolls by. The computer’s cpu fan spins up, then slows down, as I write, pause, and resume writing. I listen to the day begin. A robin nesting in the hedge out front begins to call and sing as soon as there is daylight. I think about moving to another place, and wonder briefly what mornings elsewhere would sound like, and I recall the sound of mornings in other places I have lived. My favorites? Probably the humid summer mornings of childhood visits to the Eastern Shore, or on my grandparents’ pier jutting out into Weems Creek… or maybe those early mornings on guard duty, deployed at Ft AP Hill for military exercises. Funny that I don’t actually think of myself as a “morning person”. I’m generally up very early, often before dawn, and it’s a choice I’ve made for a long while, so… how not a morning person? Well… I’m not generally cheerful, merry, or inclined to “deal with” people until much later, after I’ve been awake for quite a while. Just… leave me alone until after my coffee, okay? lol I’m more than “kind of a bitch” in the morning, and yeah, it’s generally best to give me some distance until my brain is completely back on line. I’m not proud of that limitation, just aware of it.

…I’ve come a long way as a human. I used to be so vile in the mornings I didn’t even like myself, let alone liking any other people, or being willing to tolerate a word being spoken. You can, actually, have a conversation with me in the morning, now. I often enjoy coffee with my Traveling Partner in the morning. It’s pleasant. We enjoy each other’s company. Here’s the thing, though; I’m quite content to be alone in the mornings, and generally prefer that. The progress I’ve made is that I no longer “punish the world for existing in my presence” first thing in the morning. I’m not hostile. I’m not angry. I’m not ferociously, aggressively, distant. I give myself some space when I need it, but I’m fairly approachable. 🙂 Progress.

I’m not “a morning person” though. Given time, and no schedule, I slowly return to my “natural” sleep/wake cycle, which generally finds me staying up until some time after 2 am, and waking after 9 am or 10 am, depending on the quality of my sleep, and also napping almost every day. I end up on these early schedules largely as a byproduct of the work I do (or have done, in other jobs). Easier to simply maintain that than to bounce back and forth. Discipline becomes habit. We become what we practice. So, I tend to be an early bird – who is not actually a morning person. lol Being human is weird.

Well, damn. Here I’ve been just talking about me all this time… how are you? Are you happy where you are? Are you happy who you are? Maybe it’s time we begin again? 🙂

Embarking on this strange little Life In Weeks project with myself has been interesting. My traveling partner inquired, one afternoon while I was coloring tiny squares – weeks of my life on the chart – how would I be staying caught up as time passed, and had I already developed a plan for doing so? Actually, I hadn’t, though I had some vague thoughts on the matter. It seemed fairly clear the perspective would be different than a day-over-day view –  like a journal or diary, which is often very focused on minutiae (and drama). I didn’t expect it would be much like a high level annual overview, either, and different still from a ‘timeline’. I contentedly went on coloring, and considering.

At some point, I found myself figuring out how many pages a single blank book would need to have in order to represent one-week-per-page of the remainder of my likely lifespan based on current averages…and wondering if one week of living could be described in so few lines of text. I dislike the idea of attempting to ‘color in’ the week-by-week squares of my life’s events; I think it would lack perspective. I want to be able to look back on these as-yet-unlived weeks from the vantage point of further in the future, with the wisdom the additional living might imply, and greater judgment about what matters most, and do so without forgetting all the details completely. So. This morning I took a few minutes to consider last week. I selected a favorite writing utensil, a Bic medium point, black. I opened a new blank book for the first time in a great while; this seems the sort of thing that might warrant pen and ink, and the sensuous reality of smooth dry paper against the side of my hand. I wrote for only a couple of minutes. Frankly, there wasn’t that much going on in my life last week.

Wait…what? I sat quietly for some time thinking that over. I’ve been thinking it over for some time since. When I look back on my experience in whole weeks of living, much of what I struggle with, and the small day-to-day challenges within relationships, aren’t actually noteworthy in the larger perspective of ‘what was my life about’. My address didn’t change, nor did my job. I didn’t gain or lose friends, lovers, or family members. I did not paint a masterpiece, or publish a great work of literature. I did not radically change my life, or change it in any way obvious to me now that would result in long-term differences in my experience. I don’t know how to explain why this thought would be meaningful to me, but I find that it is a source of some odd bit of calm regarding the day-to-day difficulties, challenges, and drama…because, really, none of that is very relevant in a bigger picture, and more of an irritant, than an issue. I feel more clear-headed, and less overwhelmed by details as a result of this subtle change in perspective.

A slice of life…a different perspective on what matters most.

It’s a lovely day to consider what matters most, and practice practices. I smile when I catch myself thinking what a lovely quiet day it is, realizing that the stillness is within.

Today is a good day for perspective. Today is a good day to follow through on commitments to myself. Today is a good day to enjoy this precious mortal time, and a mild rainy day in the middle of winter. Today is a good day to enjoy what is, without being to wound up about what isn’t. Today is a good day to change my perspective on the world.

 

I rather expected writing daily would become almost effortless simply by gaining 40 hours of my time back to my own calendar, my own agenda, my own experience. I apparently had an oversimplified understanding of time, effort, and my ability to set cognitive and practical boundaries with loved ones. It’s the holidays! Admittedly, my attention is easily diverted toward The  Holiday Express railway I was surprised with this weekend, circling the heavily laden tree (would it be possible to hang even one additional light or ornament?). I have entertaining daydreams of scale homes and businesses, a future holiday village, some kind of year-round display. Yep. I do actually dig the train that much. I find myself wondering if my partners are surprised by how much joy it brings me.

The holiday train my partner surprised me with this year. :-D

The holiday train my partner surprised me with this year. 😀

My musings bring me back to history, and the contemplation of ‘who I am’ relative to my current relationships, relative to former relationships, other times in my life, other careers, jobs, homes, other trains…We each have such a rich history, such an amazing personal narrative to share. I feel a momentary pang of sadness knowing that my loves were not – and can’t ever be – ‘with me there, then’ in other times, other places. Funny thing that ‘past’ bit – it’s over. It hasn’t all been good stuff, but it has been part of who I have become as I waded through the best and worst of my experiences.

I live very much in my ‘now’ these days. It has even grown to be a very comfortable fit, over the past year. The excitement and adventure of 2014 is beginning to develop as a sort of ‘horizon’ in the not-so-very-distant future.  I consider it each morning as I wake and unfold with a new dawn, briefly, before settling again into ‘now’. There are some opportunities to grow that have my attention, like “The Year of Enough“.  My own annual One Hour Facebook event is already on the calendar.  Articles about New Year’s resolutions are beginning to become common.  It’s the time of year that ‘the world’ gives us free rein to reconsider who we are, what we want, where we are headed. For a few weeks people seem more positive, more encouraging, more hopeful, more compassionate…like a soap-bubble, however exciting, colorful, and perfectly wonderful it appears, it bursts so easily, and is gone – generally in a fairly predictable way, and usually before the end of January. That is a sad thing. Let’s do it differently this year, shall we? Instead of resolving this or that, perhaps we can each simply choose to be the best of who we know we can, each day, each decision, each relationship…and see what comes of that? We’ll talk about it at the end of the year, share notes, and continue on. 😀

I’m hurting a lot this year, but it’s just pain. I made a good decision to take a few weeks for me, turns out I’m needing it just to be comfortable and well. I even find myself able to see ahead to a future in which I am not in therapy…not because I gave up on it since it wasn’t working, but because I will have learned what I can, and don’t need the ongoing significant support from outside my relationships, and my own self-care. That is quite possibly the very best gift I am getting this year.

I would like to write something more significant today, but I likely won’t.  (As I put a period on that sentence, I find myself smiling along to the beat of the song in my head, and thinking ‘what could be more significant that becoming awake, and aware, with my will and my values in harmony’?)  I don’t have words for the smile I feel on my face, and in my heart.

I have so many words to choose from, and I do love them so. This morning, though, I am thinking, too, about silence. I would also like to give that a try. Maybe next year…

Today I am content. Today I love with compassion and joy. Today I am humbled and awed by the simple beauty of being alive and aware. Today I will change the world. 😀