Archives for posts with tag: inspiration

It’s all well and good to talk about beginning again, starting things over, letting go, moving on… incremental change over time is so slow… and… there are so many choices. So many voices with opinions. So much room for doubt, for confusion, for uncertainty… for fear. Where, I might ask, does one start on some new beginning? What does it mean, really, to “begin again”?

…Have you asked that question, felt stalled, and just… wondered, in helpless frustration? I don’t have all the answers. I’m mostly about questions, actually, but… sure. I’ll try to provide an answer – one, mine (it’s the one I’ve got handy) – and if it is helpful perspective for you, it’s enough, right? 🙂 There are, for sure, other, different answers. As many as there are other voices. This is mine (right now, at least, one of them, based on what I know now).

What does it mean to me to “begin again”? In simple terms, it means pausing in this present moment long enough to truly be fully present, in this moment, and really just this moment. It means being aware, and present, and seeking to be those things nonjudgmentally, and without lingering attachment to some specific future outcome, or past pain (or joy). Just… here. Now. To begin again, from that place of being fully present, observant, and aware, all that separates me from moving forward afresh, and with new perspective, is really nothing more than a breath. I take that breath, and make a choice, take an action, head to a destination – verbs. That’s it. Pause. Be present. Breathe. Move on. A new beginning becomes what it is to be. That’s my idea of beginning again.

Simple, right? Seems easy enough. The subtleties are the challenge; sometimes it is harder to be present. Sometimes very difficult to let go of past pain. Sometimes I am overly invested in a future outcome. Sometimes I just feel stalled. It is effective, though, and with sufficient practice, becomes such a natural moment along my path that it doesn’t feel like any sort of interruption, at all. It’s just a moment of clarity, of commitment to purpose – but without attachment to outcome – and a chance to pause to become, again, truly present in my experience. The benefits are obvious, although more so over time, with repetition. I feel, generally, more centered in my experience. More sure of myself. More aligned with my values. More capable of being goal-focused, and purposeful. It also seems to tend to leave me more open to inspiration, and more accepting of change, and adaptable in the face of turmoil. A worthy practice in a busy life.

Yes… it does amount to slowing down, taking a moment, and merely taking the time to “figure things out”. Call it what you like. I call it “beginning again”. 😉

My coffee, well, the remaining swallow in the bottom of my cup, has been cold for a while now. I was up at 5:30 am (on a Sunday), after a long, deliciously restful night of sleep, that began much earlier than usual. Reasons. I was tired. lol

I’ve “wasted” the entire morning writing. It’s not actually wasted time, though, any more than it is “wasted time” when I am inspired creatively, head to the studio, and work relentlessly for hours without producing any completed work. That’s not “wasted” time – it’s used time. Spent time. Passed time. It’s time no longer available to me in the future, sure – but it is not “wasted”.  I reset my expectations and understanding of myself, contentedly, and notice the time with more real awareness. It’s still early (ish). Plenty of day ahead of me, even now.

I finish off my cold coffee, and consider a second cup. Then I consider going to the grocery store. Then I also consider tidying up, and having a shower. I consider the lack of peanuts for squirrels, sodas for guests, and clean socks for me. I consider the housekeeping that keeps me smiling when I return home from work. I consider the vacuuming that needs to be done. I consider the dishes. I consider having breakfast. I make a point of noticing that the kink in my neck I woke with yesterday is gone this morning.

The day is ahead of me. No list. Yet. I consider making one. I also consider simply setting a timer and doing a “drunkard’s walk” through the tidying and chores – one of my favorite ways to get ahead on a ton of minutiae is to set a timer for one hour, and just do things in the order that they catch my attention. I find it exceedingly efficient if I’m “not sure where to start”, and when I’m dithering. 🙂 It’s a tad too random for noteworthy chaos; still works, but the end result might not be as orderly and obvious as you’d hope, for such a scenario. Best to have (and execute) a plan for serious disorder and untidiness. lol

I could do both… I could make a list, and then disregard it. LOL It wouldn’t be the first time. 😉

I take stock of the day’s potential, and decide to begin again, where I began in the first place; with a cup of coffee. 😀

Busy morning getting ready for a busy weekend. If I look ahead too far, I’m already tired. lol I guess I’m ready, though. Art selected for the show. Bag packed for the weekend, in case I decide to head south directly from the gallery… at 2:00 am… (It doesn’t sound like me, so… maybe not, but I’d be mad as hell with myself to be unprepared if I wanted to.)

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…There’s still time to water the garden…

My coffee is tasty. My chat windows are rather busy. The day has already begun; I see sunshine beginning to highlight the highest leaves of the trees beyond my window. Summer mornings start early.

I take a deep breath, and relax as I exhale. It’s already time to begin again.

It doesn’t come up, here, very often; I am an artist. Inspiration struck me, hard, rather unexpectedly yesterday, to my great delight. Without thinking much about it, I pushed everything else to the side, headed into the studio, and spent the day painting. I’ll spend today painting too, and maybe tomorrow.

This is another side of who I am. Taking care of the woman in the mirror also means nurturing my creative side, and much of what drove me to move into this place was about my artistic needs, more than emotional needs from any other area of life. This weekend, this place pays for itself in freedom to paint; my studio was right here, ready for me when I needed it. 🙂 It is hard to express the level of satisfaction and joy that has resulted from having my studio this weekend.

Over the course of the day, a number of small canvases took shape, and one was completed. I’ll finish (probably) the others today, start a couple others (to be finished tomorrow, probably), and spend the weekend painting, content and in my element. It’s very satisfying. If I didn’t paint, this quantity of inspiration might erupt as photography, poetry, sculpture (of tiny Fimo figures), short-stories, or oddly, tidying up. When inspiration takes hold of my consciousness, I yield to its demands.

I enjoyed a quiet evening with my Traveling Partner, returning from far away places. He has a fond appreciation for my artistic endeavors, and it is likely that aside from a few precious hours visiting and enjoying each other, I’ll have the entire weekend to paint – conveniently, a long weekend. 🙂 I may not find more time to write… I smile and sip my coffee contentedly.

It is another day to paint, to play, to live.

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Yesterday started off in a difficult way, but the day was lovely. Even the fireworks were not so very distressing, being mostly at quite a distance, and frankly not really unexpected. I meditated through the worst of it, just at dusk, and slept soundly through the night. I woke early – earlier than my alarm would generally wake me, and it wasn’t quite 7 hours of sound sleep, nonetheless I feel rested and alert, and thus the day begins.

One new day among many.

One new day among many.

I have plans with my traveling partner for today, but there’s the chance that we may postpone; the weather continues to be very hot, and I frankly prefer he make the best choices to take care of himself than force himself to come around out of a sense of obligation. Obligation is a poor companion for Love. I am content to take the day alone, too; I am feeling fairly inspired and creative, and it could easily be a day spent painting, sketching, or writing, and I would not feel overlooked or disappointed.

Today, after yesterday, seems effortless. I am sure there is something to learn from that on the ‘this too shall pass’ theme. Last night and this morning, dear friends commented on yesterday’s post in ways that were healing, affirming, and supportive; I feel very loved, and held in high regard. I suspect a great many of us, whoever we are, whatever our challenges, are also held in very high regard by those that love us. Life without love is probably rather uncommon – however common life unable to recognize, connect with, or return love may seem to be. There’s no doubt something to learn from that as well.

This morning I raise my glass (cup of coffee, really) to my friends – people who cherish me enough to read my writing (and damn…so many words!), and who also understand what ‘the observer effect‘ implies about writers. It’s a lovely gift they give me, and it makes their comments so precious when offered. Thank you, each of you, all of you (you know who you are). I feel loved, and deeply moved that some of the greatest of the thinkers I personally know choose to read my words. ❤

On an unrelated topic, yesterday being “Independence Day” I decided to take my independence in hand this year and celebrate in a new way. I am taking my independence from the old thinking that still tends to trap me in a self-image of ‘too fat to…’. Sure, I was once really quite uncomfortably large, out of shape to the point that a walk up hill for a block was a hardship, and I was easily injured if I turned suddenly with too much momentum. That was actually quite a long while ago… 2009? Since then I have continued to make progress on health and fitness goals, and I’m quite an ordinary size (14) and weight (last official weigh in ~180 lbs fully clothed with hiking boots on). I’m decently fit, walking 5 miles a day – more on weekends – and doing yoga daily, and some light strength training with my dumb bells. I take my health seriously – being ‘overweight’ is not a method of dying that I care to select, honestly, and I’d like to be around a lot longer… 2083 sounds like a good  year to see. 120 sounds like a good age to reach; I will have seen so much!  With all this in mind, my 4th of July this year was a celebration of breaking free from old thinking, outdated self-image, and self-imposed limits that no longer reflect challenges I actually have, now.

Yesterday, I enjoyed all manner of activities that excite and encourage me to enjoy myself as I am. Yoga, dancing, a dip in the pool (without the shy towel-wrapped approach to the gate as if people would be offended to see me there)…healthy meals that nourish me, and encourage me further toward my goals; I’d like to see some of this loose skin from losing weight tighten up, and I’d like to take off a few more inches, and be stronger – more easily able to do some of the things I currently ask for help with. This weekend I moved the big bin with all my journals in it myself, lifting with my legs, and actually carrying it, versus scooting it across the floor. I did not know I could, and I am not hurt today for having done it. 😀 Incremental change over time. Celebrating small successes. It can be slow going, but it’s my journey – and there is no pace car, or speed limit. I’m on my own – which means that while the challenges are my  own, so are the victories. 😀 [Your results may vary – but if you are practicing practices, and using verbs, you will have results, of some kind.]

Today is a good day for beginnings, and for independence. Today is a good day to take the very best care of this fragile vessel. Today is a good day to change my view of myself in the mirror – and with it, my view of the world.