Archives for posts with tag: living my values

I had a weirdly difficult day yesterday. My mood quickly soured during the morning commute, though I couldn’t pin down quite why; it wasn’t that bad. I made good time. Drivers were the usual assortment of human beings being entirely human. I shrugged it off and restarted my experience with a cup of coffee, and the completion of some relatively easy-but-tedious tasks that had been pushed off earlier in the week. Satisfying.

My day continued as a rollercoaster ride of along a spectrum of emotions, hitting lows of vague frustration and irritability, riding brief highs of satisfaction, contentment, or eagerness. Up and down. Again and again. Hours of it. Day’s end found me eager to begin the weekend, but the commute home was an unpleasant continuation – more of the same. It was a bit like playing the game of living with all the settings on “difficult”. lol

Something was definitely nagging at me, keeping me irritated, and as much as I wanted (very much) to blame something external, I have come to terms with how often whatever is “up with me” is generally something both within me, and within my own control. So… I went looking for it in the one place I know to check, my meditation cushion. 🙂

Search within; it’s closest.

Yeah…so… I didn’t get anywhere definite with that, but I did feel better. Calm. Content. Balanced. I let go of the irritation. I regained my smile. Throughout the evening, I still caught myself punctuating unexpected moments with a discontented sigh, or a deep cleansing breath. I didn’t take it personally, and the evening was quiet and pleasant.

I woke this morning with a smile, a calm heart, and a clear awareness of what had been aggravating me so deeply in the background; I was thinking about buying a new car. I was considering it with a great deal of excitement. I was taking steps in that direction without really considering all the consequences of the decision. I’ve embraced having a car, and the convenience of getting around with greater ease than public transit allows, but it is a bigger car than I’d ideally like, if I had chosen it for my own needs. I’d love a sub-compact SUV, something with some guts, maybe a little sporty… I pre-shopped over days, and made plans to do some test drives this weekend, with some eagerness (I can just go do this!)… Although… I’d already also planned a quiet productive weekend at home, taking care of home and hearth and meeting other needs, that do indeed need to be met… The conflict implied in that bit of planning nagged at me all day yesterday without really being sufficiently obvious to resolve with any ease. This morning? I get it. I don’t need a new car. I don’t need a different car. I have a car. It’s in good condition. It’s comfortable. It is fuel-efficient. It is safe. It is enough. (More than enough.)

The garden calls to me; there are roses to deadhead, weeding and watering to do… and moments to enjoy.

Feeling like lost balance has been restored. I canceled test-drive plans. It isn’t “time” to buy another car, or a different car, or a newer car. I have what I need. There are other things I would use limited resources for, financially, and it would be an exceedingly frivolous move to buy a new car right now. I decide to put my attention on my actual needs, and take care of the woman in the mirror with greater skill – by telling her “no” on this one. 🙂

I haven’t even finished moving in yet! The studio remains unfinished, and not yet work-ready.

I finish my coffee while I finish reviewing my budget and looking for opportunities to be comfortably frugal, more focused on legitimate needs, and things I can take care of that would be significant quality of life improvements (a car would not qualify; I have a nice one already). I’ve got quite a list of such things, as it happens, and a weekend to do some of those things. 🙂 It’s a good place to begin, again.

 

This morning is quiet. The noise of the trains coming and going in the distance seems muted. The traffic on the nearby busy street is still infrequent, and hushed. The loudest sounds this morning are my fingers on the keyboard, and the occasional clatter of raindrops spattering window panes and eaves. I am in a manageable amount of pain.

Change is a thing. I find myself embracing it willfully, constructively, and using that profound power of choice to craft something of my life that suits me better. It is a process that is both incredibly exciting, and indescribably nerve-wracking. My anxiety comes and goes, and between anxious moments I feel… alive.  I noticed quickly that my anxiety most commonly surfaces in the context of taking action in my own favor in any way that doesn’t seem to ‘fit the mold’ I’ve been nudged into over a lifetime. From my perspective, that makes the anxiety itself quite suspect, and I look upon it now as ‘baggage’, more than as any legitimate warning of danger or risk. When it surfaces again, I make a point of ‘letting it go’. Yes, it comes back, and sometimes quite quickly – I repeat the process, letting it go, soothing myself with meditation or intellectual engagement in some other area of interest. It dissipates. It returns later. It is a process. Surely it will take at least as many repetitions of letting go of the anxiety to teach myself the lesson that the anxiety itself is the illusion, the baggage, the issue… didn’t it take many such repetitions to build the experience of chronic disordered anxiety in the first place? 🙂

What better time than now?

What better time than now?

I heard birds singing outside my window. The sky is light now. I hear more of the steady distant roar of commuter traffic, and the wail of the train seems louder, too, as if to make a point of getting the attention of sleepy morning professionals hurry in to the office. I remind myself to get some real down time very soon – maybe a couple of weeks off between jobs, or a weekend camping out in the trees now that the weather is sufficiently mild [for my own needs]?

Today is a good day for choices, for beginnings, for next steps and new things. Today is a good day to change my world.

Between what? Between plans and outcomes, perhaps, or between what was and what may be, at some future point – in either case, I live just the one moment, ‘now’, and what I choose to do with it seems to matter so very much more than what may be planned for the future, or may have been planned for the past. It’s a quiet morning to contemplate time, planning, and outcomes. I find change far less unnerving when I plan things out, then prepare a good Plan B, then follow that with some alternate plans, contingency plans, wild cards plans, and anticipate potential outcomes of the unplanned possibilities – rendering them much less unexpected. Doesn’t matter that much, though; life tends to be quite unscripted and spontaneous regardless of planning… Which doesn’t have any tendency at all to stop me attempting to plan my life. 🙂

flowers

Perspective. 

The emotional climate seems very nice ‘here’. The emotional weather lately has also been sunny and mild. Storms of change are on the horizon, piling up like distant clouds – will it be a spring shower, or a powerful thing crafted of nightmares, hurricane winds, and monsoon rains, that sweeps aside all other considerations for a time? For planning purposes, scale matters a lot – or seems to. Opportunity sometimes seems to transmute change from something uncontrollable and potentially devastating to something almost festive…a see-saw on life’s playground. Here I stand, between moments, between metaphors, staring at the horizon on this perplexing and wonderful journey… still smiling, still okay, and feeling fairly ‘ready for it’.

flowers

Life is busy. It’s easy to miss details that matter.

I need to get some solid contemplative time alone at some point in the very near future. I find myself considering a day trip to the coast or up to ‘the big city’ (Seattle is the nearest of those), or a hike out in the trees, somewhere more distant than nearby nature parks. In any case, I need time to sort some things out with care, whether it is at my desk, at my easel, on foot, or traveling by some other means; my mind needs time and opportunity to wander. Easily done… there are verbs involved.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Today is a good day to walk on, to consider the alternatives, to choose wisely and with great care. Today is a good day to take care of me, to love without reservations, and to listen deeply. Today is a good day to “stay on the path”… It’s definitely leading somewhere.