Archives for posts with tag: going my own way

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 takes time to recover from an injury. I over-eagerly pushed myself to complete a longer than usual last Monday, and arrived home with a sore knee. Tuesday I stayed mostly off of it and it felt much better by day’s end. Wednesday, it felt better still, though not fully recovered, and I undertook some nearby errands on foot – and worsened the injury. I knew better. I chose poorly. Yesterday, with some discipline, I stayed mostly off of it again, and this morning find myself ‘better’ although I still feel it aching, and occasional twinges if there’s any hint of lateral movement…and my brain happily chimes in first thing with hiking suggestions! No. I’m staying off it today, too. 😦 It’s a more difficult choice than I’d like it to be.

A good day to relax in the garden.

A good day to relax in the garden.

Doing what I know is the correct thing, the most effective or appropriate choice to take care of my long-term needs well, is not always the easiest choice. It is, in fact, most often not at all the easiest choice.

After a night of rain showers, and a morning of sunshine, the garden needs little help from me besides enjoying it.

After a night of rain showers, and a morning of sunshine, the garden needs little help from me besides enjoying it.

I think about choices. I think about growth, and progress. I think about the world. I wonder about all the people who seem never to have taken time to reflect on that person in their mirror, to reflect on their choices, their actions, the outcomes. I can’t actually imagine that the vast numbers of ignorant hateful people shoring up our badly broken culture actually ever pause to reflect on what they do, on what they’ve done, or on why it matters so much that they learn another way – that we all learn other, better, ways. (We are each having our own experience. Most people, even really vile hateful people, imagine themselves to be the good guys in their own narrative.) I think about how far I’ve come myself, growing up in ignorance, and learning so much to come so far – to discover how very ignorant I remain. Different things. The more I’ve learned of life, of love, of things universal or specific, of science, of violence, of art, of madmen and monsters in the darkness, of the fictions I craft for myself, of journeys to be taken, and of all the many practices within reach to become a better person than I was yesterday… the more there seems to be to learn. About all of it.

"Where did I get that idea?" "Why do I think so?" These are important questions to ask myself.

“Where did I get that idea?” “Why do I think so?” These are important questions to ask myself.

I’m no longer so frustrated by my own ignorance; this is a journey, and I continue to grow. I may have observed that I am unsure what other purpose life has, than growth, development, learning. We become. We become, in fact, what we practice. (But what we think we know weighs heavily on what we may choose to practice.) I began life knowing nothing. I know so much more now – and so little compared to the vastness of all there is to know. “I am only an egg” says Valentine Michael Smith. I can’t argue with that.

It's a good day to begin again. A good day to learn, and to love. A good day to change the world.

It’s a good day to begin again. A good day to learn, and to love. A good day to change the world.

Today I will spend my time being – and becoming. Painting. Practicing. Breathing. Loving. Treating myself and others as I well as I know how to, and learning to do it just a bit better while I’m at it. Today that’s enough.

I enjoyed an entire day of gentle stillness yesterday, no agenda beyond enjoying some chill time, no stress, no bother, no real ‘workload’. Much of the day was spent in meditation, seated on my cushion, or relaxing on the patio, watching the birds come and go, and listening to the sounds of the park in spring. No stress. Literally no stress. It is a remarkable feeling, and I’m glad I had the weekend away with my traveling partner to remind me what that feels like, so I would be prepared for it solo! There were some moments yesterday when my primate nature restlessly fussed in the background seeking some kind of escape from the peace of it; the chill time I had inflicted on myself requires as much discipline as any other effort. I resisted the call of social media, of favorite brain candy, of distractions by the dozens, and took the time I needed to really relax. There were still verbs involved. lol

I learned something over the minutes and hours of a wholly meditative day, yesterday; I need more time spent this way. I took a moment in the evening to reserve a favorite camp site in a favorite nearby(ish) state park with plenty of forest and good hiking trails – many that I’ve not yet hiked – for an upcoming weekend. Time out in the trees is very much the thing I need, without the constant temptations of distractions intruding in precious moments of stillness – mostly. All that remains is to coordinate the transportation details, get my gear together, and do a thorough gear check; it’s been more than a year since I last camped. Wow – so long? No wonder I am needing this time to refresh and recharge!

Number 23 is waiting for me...

Number 23 is waiting for me…

Life sometimes seems to get going so fast…the rushed hurried pace of planned events tangled up with the unexpected can become overwhelming without warning if I am not mindful of the potential. I’ve learned to limit how much I plan into any given day, even when I travel on vacation. I’m not the sort who makes detailed plans with a lengthy list of scenic landmarks to check off (Yep, seen it! Next!!), or noteworthy high-points identified by friends and associates that I feel compelled to similarly enjoy – that’s not my way. I do plenty of research on a destination (even this trip to the trees, in a park I am familiar with), and fill my thoughts with information about the opportunities, history, and scenic wonders – then I ‘wing it’. Once I’ve got a hotel reservation (or camping spot) the rest is surprisingly spontaneous, considering my fondness for planning. I don’t prefer ‘tour group style’ travel; I like to go and live.  Do I miss out on seeing that one fantastic whatever? Sometimes. Sometimes not. I rarely come home exhausted, irritated, or feeling vaguely let down, either, which is generally the outcome [for me] of traveling via landmark checklist. Your results may vary. 🙂

Another lovely spring-summer day ahead, a loose agenda (not quite a plan), and a smile on my face – it’s a good beginning, and a lovely morning to begin again.

Why yes, thank you, I shall.

Why yes, thank you, I shall.

This menu of choices is pretty vast… Even when life has backed me into a corner, when I’m willing to be honest with myself and willing to open my eyes to opportunities and possibilities previously unconsidered (or even previously discarded), the menu of choices life offers up is indescribably vast, varied, and there for the taking (more often than not). My results have varied – and not just the results of the outcomes of the choices; my own willingness to choose, the nature of what drives the choices, and the inclination to go one direction versus another has varied as well. I walk on, metaphorically, from one moment to the next – change is (very few other things so clearly are).

I woke to sunshine and birdsong this morning, and a lovely sparkling Friday without any specific plan and nothing urgent on my agenda. My ‘to do list’ has things on it like ‘be mindful’, ‘live beautifully’, and ‘enjoy the day’. It’s Friday, and while I am between things and focused on taking care of me, creative endeavors, and figuring out just what exactly the next thing could be, I keep Friday in reserve as ‘a weekend day’ – and why not? My path. I’m the one walking it. I say Friday is a weekend day. 🙂 My ‘new routine’ begins to sort itself out.

It’s nearly 7 am as I write this, and another detail of life these days is the consistency of my morning walk. I’ve loved the commute through the park almost enough to hold on to a job that was slowing tearing me down… keeping the walk makes every bit as much sense as letting the job go. Time to lace up my hiking boots and hit the trail! It’s a lovely bit of paved trail through a very well-kept little park (part recreational and part nature preserve, the meadow is dotted with playgrounds, and the forested trail winds back and forth across the creek), and I can get an easy hike between .5 miles (on days I can barely move) up to 6 miles. It’s a comfortable delight, and very nearby. I take my camera and my monocular.

A detour? An obstacle? An opportunity? A choice.

A detour? An obstacle? An opportunity? A choice.

There are a lot of choices in living well, in taking care of this fragile vessel, and in nurturing the being of light within. I get to make most of them myself. I take a moment to pause and appreciate what that really means for me as an individual, and what it can mean for my tribe, my community, my culture, and my world… choice is a big deal; we guide change with our choices. That seems fairly obvious a thought. I finish lacing up my boots and head out in search of wiser words, and more insightful thinking… today is a good day to be aware of how many choices I have, and to give thought to how I change the world through my choices. 🙂

I have appointments today, and timing matters. I reserved a car for the day to simplify things, and knowing I have some baggage around ‘time’ (and timing), I made sure to consider possible twists and complications, and allowed myself what seemed sufficient time.

I woke on time this morning, and quickly departed to pick up the car… The bus I planned to take to the transit center didn’t come. I stood patiently waiting for the next one; I knew I had enough time.

I got to the transit center just prior to the start of my car reservation feeling pretty splendid that I didn’t get stressed out about the bus… No car. I mean, no cars at all, anywhere in the car-share lot. Not good. Timing… I take a deep breath, remind myself I planned for all manner of contingencies, and even allowed myself time to write for a moment, later… (spoiler alert – I’m writing!) I call the car-share service, and they admit that indeed it looks like the car I reserved has not yet been returned (um… I know this…). They phone the person who has the car, and let me know that although that person is not answering their phone, the car ‘is now in motion’. They adjust my reservation and give me a bit of a discount for the inconvenience. I breathe. I wait. The person arrives with the car and drops it off without a word of courtesy or regret. I am reminded of the ‘state the world is in’ and I am not puzzled why. I head on home to shower, dress – and omg, have coffee!

I find myself comfortably back on track, and wondering how many such circumstances over the course of an adult lifetime were needlessly complicated (and matters of time and timing significantly worsened) by having some crazy freak out over being a few minutes later than planned, or some sequence of events being not entirely in the sequence intended, or just having some plan fall completely to pieces resulting in a thoroughly unscripted, spontaneous, wildly different experience? So far, this morning is just fine, complications and all.

I look myself over in the mirror, dressed for the day, feeling myself on the edge of finding fault with all sorts of details that seemed not only satisfactory at some other point, but in some cases actually fulfilling and a bit… awesome. Funny how the bit of stress over time feeds so much discontent, later, and about things so unrelated to time, or each other. It’s something to consider another time.

Oh, right… time. It’s time. Today is a good day to give myself plenty of time – and patience. Today is a good day to be enough. 🙂