Archives for posts with tag: it’s a journey

Some of my “favorite” practices feel the most difficult… or… it’s at least accurate to say that some simple-seeming practices present me with my greatest challenges. It doesn’t much matter whether it is the brain injury, or the PTSD, or the circumstances, or the particular relationship affected by either my ineptitude or the lack of proficiency on some thing or another… difficult is difficult. “Hard” is subjective, in this case.

This evening I’m watching the light fade, filtered through the window shade, and thinking about an important simple-but-difficult practice, “listening deeply“. Practices need practice. Maybe this is more accessible?

…Maybe this is relevant, too? (I know, I know, none of us want to think so, but, …_) I’m just saying.

Paying attention, really listening (instead of “waiting to talk”) isn’t “automatic” – and some of us really really have to work at it. I’m even saying that there is legitimate intimate and social value in doing so. It’s worth it to get to be a “good listener”. So… I focus on the practice.

I seriously need more practice, too… I cut people off while they are still talking, way too often. It really doesn’t matter whether I’m correct or incorrect about where the conversation is going – cutting people off that way, interrupting, is rude. I am aware this is something I need work on. I work on it. Practices need practicing. I can tell I still need more practice. So… yeah. Working on it.

…I get interrupted too. A lot. At work, at home, out in the world… I’m not the only human being who would benefit from working on my listening skills. I suspect maybe a whole bunch of us, maybe even “most”, would find life and relationships improved by tackling this important life skill.

So. Here I am. Sitting in the afternoon light of a winter day, and wondering “fucking hell, how do I still suck so much at this particular skill?” I mean… it’s meaningful to me, it matters to me, it is a lot of what I want when I converse with someone – that they listen to me. Just seems reasonable that they’d want the same…and yet… I still need so much practice.

…I sigh out loud, rubbing my aching neck…

…It’s time to begin again.

Yeah, our individual lives and experiences continue alongside the culture-storm of change going on around us. Well… mine does. Doesn’t yours?

I sip my coffee. Breathe, relax. I don’t avoid the awareness that cried myself to sleep last night. I keep my heart open to the awareness that I don’t fully “know why”. Sadness crept in. Tears spilled out. I’m no saint; I’m pretty sure my tears were “all about me“.

My Traveling Partner got into town sometime yesterday, busy with plans and no time for me. It’s an honest truth. My heart aches with it. This morning as I wake he is already far away. His route took him the closest he has been to my new place, since I moved; approximately just 1 mile away, passing by in the night, sometime after I had gone to bed. No drama. No storm of “if you loved me, you would…”. No conditional affection. This event has been planned on his calendar a long while. This makes only twice he’s been in town since he started his new job. Both times he was in town briefly. Both times for other purposes than seeing me. Neither time did we see each other. I’ve lived here now for one month; he has yet to see the place, though he has keys. I get through those thoughts, this time, without tears.

I sip my coffee, and move on with my own experience.

I keep an eye on the clock. There is an early morning meeting at the office, and I will make a point of being there, without resentment for the disruption in my schedule; it is a welcome distraction.

I let my thoughts coast through memories of other lovers, feeling grateful for this partnership I’ve got. It allows me to live (and thrive) on my own terms – even when those terms became “I need a place of my own”. Our choices reliably have consequences. Some of the consequences of our choices are not easily predictable for us, as individuals in the moment, sometimes because they can’t be predicted with ease, sometimes because we refrain from looking ahead with cool-headed clarity.

I find myself “listening for the rain”, thinking perhaps I heard drops on the windows or rooftop, but no rain is falling. No tears, either. I’m okay right now. I sip my coffee, and let contentment wash over me. Running from my feelings doesn’t get me here so quickly. Neither does wallowing in them, allowing myself to spiral downward into the darkness. It’s a peculiar thing to sit with my emotions. Make room for them as if for a fellow traveling on public transportation; sometimes quite reluctantly, but not wanting to be rude. Giving myself a comfortable moment to feel my feelings without taking action, to listen to my moment gently, and to allow myself to feel heard from within can make such a difference in emotional moments. Yeah… as always… verbs. Practice. Varying results. (See that subject line? Results vary!) I’m grateful for mornings; each one utterly new. A restart. A do over. A beginning.

Where does this path lead?

I miss my Traveling Partner. I feel the feeling of it. I allow myself to be wrapped in the love that makes missing him matter so much, and soak in that for some minutes, recalling things we have enjoyed together this year. I allow the mixed emotions to be what they are. There has been little of this so-precious time shared this year. Tears and a smile. I’m okay with that. I think ahead to the week to come. It feels a little empty knowing there won’t be a last-minute urgent message from him late on a Thursday suggesting I drive down to see him, followed by a message noting that he’d checked my calendar and sees I have plans… or a reply from me that I’m on my way, or… soon. We’ll see each other in September. We saw each other once in August. And in June we spent a weekend together for my birthday. Soon, autumn, the holiday season… more weekends together than not, perhaps. Perhaps not. I smile and let go of my expectations like airborne fluff from a cottonwood tree. It’s a journey, and what’s up ahead isn’t very clear. I’ll take it a day at a time. Each rung on the ladder individually climbed. Each step in the staircase individually tread. Each moment individually lived. Well… as much as possible. I’m quite human. lol

It’s time to begin again.




Begin again. Seriously, whatever it is that’s just not working out well, take the morning as a starting point, and begin again. Do over! Be the person you most want to be – today. Now. The very next conversation. It may go very well, it may go very poorly – it may take practice to be who you most want to be, as a human being. The distance between one human being and her goals varies by human being. We are each having our own experience.

Begin again.

It may go well, it may go poorly – you can even begin again tomorrow. Again. Don’t like who you are, when you think about the person in the mirror? Make different choices. Use different words. Begin yet again. Do you. No one else can be the person that you are, yourself. There is so much more to being and becoming than school-job-car-career-marriage-house-children-retirement-death, isn’t there?

What about that story you want to tell?

What about that place you yearn to go?

What about that idea you have?

What about that skill you want to develop?

A novel doesn’t write itself when I am not looking at the keyboard. The beautiful poem in my  head doesn’t make it to the page without assistance. The walk toward the distance on which I might see many things isn’t going to unfold ahead of me without my also taking the steps. The painting I can see in my thoughts won’t hang on my wall – on any wall – unless I paint it.

This is my life. There are verbs involved. Every day, every moment, every choice, becomes an opportunity to be and to become more the woman I most want to be. I may never be a well-known author; I write nonetheless, and it is part of who I am. I am unlikely to be a famous artist; I paint, a lot, and the joy in it is the painting, itself. Over time I have come to accept as a given that it is the journey itself in which the value lies; destinations being so finite and limiting, are of far less importance. When I become focused on an outcome, committed to a result more than an experience, I lose my way, mired in bullshit, drama, and tedious details – and forgetting this is my life, worth living.

Is love a journey or a destination? Or... is love a verb?

Is love a journey or a destination? Or… is love a verb?

I spent last evening wrapped in love. I’m still so soaked, so saturated, so imbued with sacred sentiment it’s harder than usual to use practical language, clear simple words, sentences with proper grammar and form; my heart soars, and my thoughts are poetry. I love. I am loved. It’s so much more than enough…

…I am not so easily able to love like this, fully, reciprocally, tenderly, openly, and with great consideration, without loving the woman in the mirror, first – and with a very similar enthusiasm and passion as what I might show a lover. Of course, there’s always more to learn. I reach for “How to Love” for today’s studious reading, and “More Than Two“, also. Today seems a good day to study love, to give it the serious support and earnest dedication to learning that one might give to a college course needed to graduate. What could be more important to study than love, and loving? It’s certain that I could be better at it, however good at it I may be in some one relationship, or some one moment.

Today is a good day for love, for loving, for being the woman I most want to be. There are verbs involved. My results may vary. That’s all okay, too; love is enough. 🙂

Today might be too much, I feel it already. Rare these days, so the feelings really stand out –  helpful, more than aggravating, and I could use more of it. I can’t put my finger on something specific right now, or be certain things will go sideways at some point, but the potential for it exists as a distinct recognizable set of physical sensations that add up to an experience I recognize. It’s been a difficult day or two, and although I’ve adulted through it with considerable skill, generally, I’m quite human and there’s simply the possibility – leaning toward likelihood – that today it may all catch up with me. Can I make use of this awareness to treat myself well and gently, still get the day done, and perhaps dodge a meltdown, too? I guess I’ll find out as the day unfolds.

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

“Too much” is sometimes a thing to deal with. It’s not any more real than a lot of what I find myself mired in. “Too much” often reflects an unhealthy attachment to an outcome, or expectations that are unreasonable, or assumptions that are incorrect, piling up with circumstances that don’t bear that sort of emotional weight well. It’s that way today. A date with an acquaintance became a disappointment. The new job felt like a certainty, but fell through. A routine visit to a doctor becomes a referral to a specialist to rule out cancer – first. Disappointment adds to insecurity, which adds to worry, which adds to fear, which slowly becomes a soup of darker emotions, and a high risk of an emotional moment…or two…or some sort of meltdown. All very real. All very human. I could cash in my ticket for “a good cry” – haven’t done that, yet. As is so often said, it would probably do me good to just let go…once I can. Making a clear distinction between ‘balance’ (and treating myself well) and ‘repression’ (just sort of squashing everything down into a manageable presentation that seems appropriate to others) has huge value; hiding from my hurts doesn’t really work for me. “The way out is through” is real and meaningful today.

I have my ‘to do list’ for the day. I have events on my calendar. Purpose. A plan. I’ve also got this fragile vessel of flesh and bone to tend, and that’s rather non-negotiable for general wellness. I reconsider my list, move some things around, ensure that I keep a compassionate eye on myself today. I decide to trust my judgement – who knows me better than I do? – a meltdown today, you say? I think I have an opening on my calendar for that… if I must. lol Maybe later? Sometime after lunch? (Maybe not – that would be quite nice.) Either way, it won’t be necessary or useful to take it personally; I’m here for me.

Storms pass.

Storms pass.

Looking my concerns in the face eases them somewhat, at least for now. I sip my coffee, and start going down the list of things to do today. Today is a good day to be, and to do. 🙂

It’s been a lovely week – truly, the entire week, lovely end-to-end. Remarkable. See, here? I am remarking on it. Clearly, remarkable. Well… maybe not so remarkable at all that; it’s been quite a while since I had a terrible week, aside from the irritants of work-related stressors (and at least for now, those have faded into memory). In any case, remarkable or not, it’s been a very pleasant week, filled with love and friendship, beginning with just about the best birthday I recall having, and ending with today – a quiet, calm, gray Saturday preceded by a good night’s sleep. I spent a lot of the week with my traveling partner – time well-spent. Life time. 🙂

No idea what I’ll do with today. Returning to the workforce looms ever closer, each morning of each day one day nearer to the one on which my alarm clock will do its dirty work, waking me before I care to be awake… for now, no alarm clock. I continue to enjoy it greatly, waking with a smile most days. A literal, actual, smile, in the moment that I wake… now that’s remarkable. I feel a sense that each day is precious – even more so than I often do. What will I do with today to make the time most worthwhile?

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

The wise course seems to be to continue to practice the practices most useful for me to maintain emotional balance, to withstand life’s highs and lows, to remain mindful moment-to-moment – or to at least practice, and begin again when I miss the mark – and simply to savor the time, as it is, as it happens. This is my experience. I suppose it makes sense to experience it. 🙂 No rush. No pressure. No demands or urgency from within. Just a day – unscripted, and ready to become what it will. I’m ready to enjoy it, without forcing it into a mold. There are, as usual, verbs involved. What will my choices be? How will I approach the world – or will I? Will I go? Do? Will I devote myself to gentle luxury self-care? Relax and read the day away? Garden? Walk mile upon mile of forested trail, with a pack, snacks, a camera, and plenty of water? Will I cross town to the farmer’s market? Will I seek? Will I find? Will I travel and return with tales of adventure? Will life happen to me – or will I embrace it?

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

I sip my coffee, thinking of love. It’s been an absolutely wonderful week for love. My smile deepens and I consider loving moments built on choices. I already miss my traveling partner (still… again…), although we’ve managed to spend most of the week together in a loose relaxed on again/off again way that has both delighted me (to see him so much/often) and given me the space and time I need for other things. I take a moment to consider this human being who is such an exception to my contentment with solitude… I yearn for him. I adore him. I think about him when he is apart from me. My muse. My sanity. Another sip from my now cool-enough-to-drink-down-quickly coffee becomes finishing it off, and I notice this blog post has become, somehow, a love note. Well. Not the direction I thought the day was headed – I’m okay with that. I’m okay with a lot more of who I am these days than I once was. 🙂 I’m okay with love.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day for unplanned, unscripted, unlimited ease. Today is a good day to take care of me, and to treat the world with great kindness. Change is. The world, too, is changing…each choice we make, each of us, is some small part of that strange human difference engine. Today I will ‘be the change’, rather than just standing around while change happens. It’s enough that the changes are small, and limited to the only sorts of things I can change… myself, my actions, my expectations, my assumptions, my words.  Today is a good day to change the world.