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I woke ahead of the alarm this morning. I was already smiling. What a lovely weekend this was. I smile through my yoga. I smile through my shower. I smile while I am making coffee, and while I am sipping it in the darkness, pre-dawn, on the deck, in the cool morning air. There is the smallest hint of autumn in the air. I smile at that, too.

…A quiet content thought is voiced silently in the background even as I stand smiling in the darkness. “This too shall pass.” It’s true, too; there is no state of being that is “forever”. Moments pass. Experiences fade from recollection. Intensity of emotion diminishes over time. Flowers wither and their color fades. Friends move on. Relationships end. Jobs, situations, circumstances… things change with the passage of time. Like a great DJ set, sometimes we fail to notice change in the moment, realizing after-the-fact that change has come over us.

I’m still smiling.

This moment right here? Choice. It’s a good one, no doubt. I could, of course, reach out into the world for something to unsettle or distress me. There’s plenty out there. There’s also more than ample opportunity later for the world to knock the smile off my face. This smile, too, shall pass – at some point. I don’t need to rush that process. I sip my coffee, still smiling, listening to music from a party I did not attend in person, and appreciating the technology that lets me enjoy it now. It’s a good start to a Monday, a smile and great music… an excellent start, in fact, to an entire week. Still smiling, I glance at the clock.

…It’s already time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sipping my coffee and thinking about all the many things I’ve tried out over the years, qualities I have explored, places I have seen, styles enjoyed, projects undertaken, seems like a lot of variety – whole lifetimes of change. A lot of what I have been, I am not now. A lot of what I have done, I no longer do today. I’ve picked up skills, and built practice, that have since fallen into disuse… I give a moment of thought to the things that have mattered most (not all of which I pursued beyond the past moment in which they existed). I think of how all of this contributes to who I am, now.

…Hell of an interesting and varied journey… certainly worth giving a moment of thought to. I put on some music. I get a second coffee. I look around the studio, half-finished canvases… just everywhere. lol This back and forth stuff between here and there every weekend takes a creative toll. For the moment I satisfy myself thinking about the not-too-distant future that is (hopefully) retirement. My life is, I am hopeful, barely half over. ๐Ÿ™‚

Try things. It’s okay if you don’t “stick with it” endlessly forever. Learn new things, try new stuff, make things, do things, learn things – there isn’t anything “wrong” with taking something up, learning a bit about it, moving on to the next interesting thing. Oh, I know, there’s a ferocious culture of “don’t quit” and “you never finish anything” lingering about to discourage shallow interest, and changes of heart – and that literally does not have to matter at all. Interested in the sound of Mandarin Chinese as a language? Start learning it. Lose interest in things that are hard? It’s okay; languages can be quite difficult, and maybe you give up on that – you are still changed by what you have learned. Expose yourself to the world of options and opportunities that exists. Become more than you are.

Become more than you are. Be the person you most want to be – whoever that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s not too late.

Begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚


I woke much earlier than my alarm. Early enough to do yoga, shower, dress, and make an Americano before my alarm would have gone off. I’m quite alert and wide awake, and feel rather as if weeks and weeks of fatigue and illness are finally behind me. Still have the weird headache. Still have more future appointments to deal with it. Still have the arthritis pain. Still bitching about that. It is morning. I am human. ๐Ÿ™‚

I sip my coffee contentedly, noting how good it is this morning and just really enjoying that. It is a Friday, tomorrow is the weekend. I feel relaxed and at ease – because, partly, I’ve chosen to practice having this experience of relaxed contentment, learned to build and sustain that over time, and it’s become (if not my default “state of being”) quite common to feel this way. It is a huge improvement over being mired in despair, chronically frustrated, and wondering endlessly what the point even is to living. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll straight up say it; I got here with my choices. I got here with practice. There were – and are – verbs involved. Practicing practices is an ongoing thing; this is not a task, these are processes. This is me, living my life, and my results vary – right now, this moment here? It’s very pleasant. ๐Ÿ™‚

There is stuff yet to do. Housekeeping. Tidying up. Maintenance. Repairing, cleaning and maintaining. lol There’s also brunch with a friend, hang out time with another, and perhaps a lovely hike with a new camera on a pleasant Sunday morning. ๐Ÿ˜€ I get to choose. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m ready to begin again. Let’s start this day!

I woke feeling groggy, content, and fairly…merry. That’s a good word for it. I feel good. I feel ‘right’ย – as in comfortable in my skin, content with life, and okay with ‘things generally’ just at the moment. It’s a pleasant state of being. The morning is quiet, other than birdsong, and my coffee is good. I have indoor plumbing, the rent is paid, there’s food in the pantry, and clean running water. Pretty fucking luxurious compared to some of the alternatives (a quick search of the termย “refugee” proves the point). I sip my coffee and make time to really appreciate how good my life is right now. I am aware of impermanence.

Is the cup half empty? Is it half full? Does it matter that it can be filled, or emptied... if the contents are enough just as they are?

Is the cup half empty? Is it half full? Does it matter that it can be filled, or emptied… if the contents are enough just as they are?

Some people reading this blog may not have a comfortable life. Some people reading this blog may have a far more lavish lifestyle than I do. In anyย category of quality of life economically, some people may be struggling to survive, despairing, or merely enduring their days, and others living their lives in a state of contentment, acceptance, or serenity. It’s not about money. I find myself wondering what role our circumstances really play in our emotional lives? Could I ‘hold this position’ and live in relative contentment and ease in a state of enduring privation, poverty, violence,ย orย illness? If circumstances changed abruptly – and they do – would I lose ground equally suddenly? I have come so far with myself. I think of the woman I once was…the woman I am now…the human being I hope to become… What of suffering and loss? What of change? Can I hold my own in the world more comfortably now, without this gentle space that is mine only by virtue of a contract and steady payment? Would I practice good practices and take good care of this fragile vessel if life’s circumstances seemed to demand different sacrifices of me? More than I have to offer? Would I be able to yield to change, to ‘be like water‘ – or would I be broken on the wheel as it turns? Is the ease I so often have now something I have built?… something I have taken from the world?… or is it mere circumstance and coincidence, enjoyable but not sustainable? Can it be taken from me? Thoughts over coffee – and lacking any substance whatever that I do not give them myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it’s good to ask the questions, see the words, and accept that doubt is, and fear is, and uncertainty most definitely is – then move along and enjoy the day, because it too is… and it is now.

Where does the path I choose lead?

Where does the path I choose lead?

A couple years ago, when I was re-evaluating life, and my values, and working out my Big 5 relationship values (Respect, Consideration, Reciprocity, Compassion, and Openness), I also made the decision to build my life on sustainable, practical, basics: perspective, mindfulness, and sufficiency. It meant making some changes. It requires continuous practicing of practices, and there is no ‘achievement’ at the end of some process of mastery. I am living my life, and practicing practices – living is a verb, and there are a lot of verbs involved in making a life. Choices. There’s power in choice when we awaken to it – and it can’t easily be taken from us unless we give it away. Despair and anxiety are liars; choice is. Every day of each life there are choices, and change available for the taking. That’s… powerful.

One day I will not wake to begin again... It's how mortality works. There is much to savor in each waking moment, and less to struggle with than I sometimes choose.

I am mortal; one day I will not wake to begin again… It’s how mortality works. There is much to savor in each waking moment, and less to struggle with than I sometimes choose.

It’s a lovely quiet morning. The sunshine reaches the studio window. I close the blinds to keep the apartment cool. I sip my coffee. I make my list of things to do today, and consider it. One day, in a life that is mine, filled with opportunities to choose. Isn’t this enough? ๐Ÿ™‚