Archives for posts with tag: living in the moment

Some days I just have to pause for the good stuff.

One lovely moment in summer.

One lovely moment in summer.


I woke with a nasty headache this morning, a sort of combination headache, part dehydration, perhaps, and part sinus headache. It seems largely irrelevant now, that was more than an hour ago. I’m already well beyond the challenge of that moment, and quietly enjoying the moments after meditating; still considering the theme of the insistent thoughts that intruded. I am feeling appreciative that life isn’t worse, that’s all. 

I’ve been doing ‘the gratitude thing’ on Facebook. I enjoy it and have long since lost count of any number of days; it is enough to be grateful, to appreciate what is good, what is going well, what satisfies my needs. This morning is a little unusual. I am most sensitive to the gratitude of ‘not being worse than it is’ – without any negative emotional experience, and actually also better than neutral. Small things matter. It matters, for example, that although I’m in considerable pain from osteo-arthritis in my spine, pretty much all the time these days, I’m also still walking around on my legs with good ease of movement, in general, and managing 5 miles a day or more. That’s the sort of thing, this morning; gratitude doesn’t have to be dishonest, doesn’t need me to overlook what is real, or that I have moments of suffering. It’s a comfortable and nurturing realization, and I feel whole while considering it. 

One beautiful summer day.

One beautiful summer day.

Yesterday was hot and sunny. My lunch walk was a test of endurance by the time I returned to the office. I didn’t regret taking the time, or making the effort, the value in the moment is considerable in spite of the heat; exercise, sunshine, the beauty of life and the world around me…totally worth it. 

Color and perspective

Summer up close; I have to be out in it to see it.

Isn’t that how a lot of things ‘really’ are? The yearned for, paired with the tolerated. The needed, sought understanding there may also be a burden. The anticipated, alongside the dreaded. The pain and the reward. What is enough? Perspective, balance, acceptance, gratitude…all working together in a framework of mindful will. This is a very interesting journey. 

Small stuff matters.

Small stuff matters.

Today has all the ingredients of a very good day. What will I choose? What will I learn from moments of suffering? How will I face my challenges, meet my needs over time, and graciously handle the worst of what life throws at me, without being flattened by it? Today feels full of opportunities. 

I woke early this morning, filled with a sense of purpose, and slightly concerned I might have ‘overslept’. It was 6:00 am. I didn’t feel rushed, but I also didn’t want to, so I remained committed to the purposeful moment, and moved through my morning routine contentedly. It was the start of an excellent Monday… only… today is Sunday.

I’m still contented; early mornings don’t distress me. I slept well after a couple difficult nights, and a day of illness, and feeling both well-rested and ‘well’, it is a lovely morning thus far.

I took time to meditate, and my yoga practice felt relaxed and deep, and I was patient with myself. I enjoyed the satisfaction of doing a couple new asanas with fluidity and grace, having practiced them enough now to be able to do them without refreshing my memory immediately before doing them.  One of my partners had been pointing out how much bad posture was also causing elevated stress (through physical discomfort) and I added a couple of asanas to my yoga sequence specifically to help improve my posture, overall. It’s been helping. I also got my eyes checked – because by far the most common scenario for my bad posture is ‘hunched over the computer/my laptop’.  I did indeed need new glasses.  Just knowing my eyesight is a factor in my posture, and thus my pain and stress levels, I adjusted my settings on my laptop so that everything is a tad bigger and easier to read. 5 years ago, having to take such an action would have peeved me for days, and caused me to feel very blue over ‘aging’. This year, it was really a pretty matter-of-fact thing, without stress. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of the user preference settings in my own computer to suit my current needs? Anything else would be…ridiculous. I’m eager to have my new glasses, too.

Somewhen during this morning’s meditation, thoughts of road signs [on life’s journey] and highlight reels [of life’s important moments] drifted through my consciousness. I observed them, as words and ideas, and let them drift on by. They lingered in the background, wanting to be considered later, and here I am considering them.

It would be pretty convenient if life did have ‘road signs’, wouldn’t it? “Abrupt Change Ahead” for life’s unexpected challenges, perhaps, or “Caution: Slow Self ” for those groggy mornings? We try so hard to benefit from the wisdom of others, and with such limited success, sometimes. Is that a lack of trust? Is it a lack of understanding that the experiences of others may be truly relevant to our own? Is it a misplaced sense of our uniqueness to the detriment of our similarities? Is it a lack of will competing with the possibility that even those acts or qualities that do not serve us well, may serve us somehow? I find myself wondering if I can somehow imagine those ‘missing road signs’ as I experience my now – by inserting a gentle “Yield” sign in those moments of stress before escalation, or a bold “Stop” sign in that breath before saying just the wrong thing? If I could, would I mind them or disregard them? That got me wondering… am I a ‘good citizen’ in my own experience? I suspect that last one could easily amount to an entire day’s thinking…

Highlight Reels are something totally different, but still somehow potentially instructive and cautionary. I often explore a montage of relevant memories when I tackle life’s curriculum. New lessons often prove to be significantly less ‘new’ than I experience them to be initially, and there is value in considering prior opportunities to have applied the lesson facing me, as well as considering what future opportunities there may be.  There is also value in contemplating past successes – with precisely what I am learning, and things that are quite different in some way.

When do those ‘road signs’ become paralyzing anxiety? When do ‘highlight reels’ become self-deprecatory or punishing rumination full of futility and despair?  If the most useful question is not ‘when?’… what is it?

Not even a thousand words, and no pictures, and I notice the morning wearing on gently. It’s 8:00 am, and although it is a Sunday, I hear a partner making coffee in the kitchen. This morning’s words are more words in a recreational way than words with any urgently serious intention. Casual words. Reflective words. Neither road signs nor highlights – just words.  I will set them aside, and return to the immediate and beautiful ‘now’. 🙂

Today I am compassionate. Today I am content. Today I am changing the world. Sundays are good days for change.