Archives for posts with tag: MBSR

This morning, I’m having tea. I could have had coffee; I didn’t really feel like listening to the grinder first thing in the morning, and lacked the foresight to grind my coffee before bed last night. 🙂 So. Tea this morning. This is not a hardship. This is a lovely, fragrant, carefully brewed cup of Earl Grey tea, and the scent of Bergamot mingles with the scent of my perfume. Very pleasant. No noise. 😀

Yesterday was the first work day in a new location (same job, same role, same company). The new building is filled with light (on one side, where I happen to sit), and is clean, and tidy, and lovely. It’s in a gentrifying neighborhood, filled with apartment buildings converted from warehouses, and office space that was once brewery space (or other industries). The buildings seem to crowd in next to one another, almost blotting out the view of the sky. From where I take my breaks, the world seems too purposeful to make room for beauty, and almost as a counter-argument to that experience, the neighborhood is dotted with small parks and green spaces tucked away in strange corners. It all seems very new to me, for now, and filled with adventure.

The walking I’ve added to my commute is pleasant, and not so far as to be uncomfortable, or particularly challenging. The train ride I’ve added (parking in the new location is fairly limited, and very expensive) is less pleasant, wholly tedious, and I already miss the drive (which reliably gave me about an hour of mostly quiet time to spend on my own thoughts). I definitely spend too much of my time hemmed in on all sides by more other people. LOL

Change is a thing. Now that it has happened, it’s time to sort out what works about it, what isn’t ideal, what can be changed, what requires a change in thinking, what can be embraced with joy, what can be “worked around”, and what the lessons are that new circumstances can teach me. 🙂 I start with a commitment to spending some of my train-riding time reading, and drop my kindle in my backpack, ready to start a new day.

My dreams last night were filled with thoughts about time, and timing…and here it is, already time to begin again. 🙂

This morning I woke ahead of the alarm clock, feeling rested. I did some yoga. I showered. Made coffee. Dressed for work. I hadn’t yet checked the weather, but so far “snow-pocalypse” has been fairly disappointing, and I wasn’t worried about the weather, because I arrived home last night prepared to work from home this morning. Instead of fussing about the weather, I took time for meditation, no timer. It was a lovely start to the morning.

(I still don’t know what the weather may be like, and still haven’t checked.)

Now, I am sipping my coffee and considering things. Mostly things I am grateful for. It’s not exactly “prayer” – but it isn’t entirely unlike prayer, I suppose. I’m not conscientiously cataloging gratitude-worthy moments, or events, or people, either. More like I’m allowing my thoughts to go where they wish, and as they do, I’m making a point to definitely feel gratitude for things that I happen to be grateful for. It’s an exercise in appreciate, in awareness, and in observation, and I feel lifted up every day that I do this particular practice.

(There’s so much in life to be grateful for.)

My coffee is precisely as I like it. I sip it with contentment, and wonder briefly why no other coffee really tastes quite like this first carefully crafted pour-over in the morning? I let that thought go, and welcome the next. One by one, they turn up, and then depart. Moments considered. It’s been a good week so far, and even my pain has been generally fairly well-managed, which tends to result in being in a “better mood” just as generally. It’s nice. I think about valued co-workers and some exceptionally satisfying positive interactions in this young new year. Promising. I mull over the past year of living with my Traveling Partner, and smile; it’s been delightful to enjoy so much of his company. I appreciate his presence. I think about practical details that are worthy candidates for gratitude, right down to the small details like doors that lock, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, and electric lights; life would be different – very different – without those. I take a moment to appreciate connectivity, and then to appreciate the vast improvement in my day-to-day experience that resulted from giving up social media; those experiences exist side-by-side in a meaningful way, and there’s something to be learned from that, beyond this moment. I sit quietly, absorbed in my thoughts, suffused with a feeling of contentment.

(I allow myself to be distracted by the clock on my monitor for an instant.)

My seamless fabric of grateful musing begins to unravel with distractions. I haven’t put on earrings. My coffee is almost cold – and almost finished. Will I drive or take the train today? Will it actually snow? I wonder what we’ll have for dinner tonight? I wonder if there are “any cool shows on” tonight? I haven’t put on perfume. Did I actually brush my hair? Is my backpack ready for the day? I didn’t forget my laptop or hub, did I? Did I manage not to wake my partner while I dressed? I wonder if today will be sunny? How is my author friend doing? Or that one DJ friend of mine? Or the friend with a new baby? Should I get back in the habit of writing paper letters, and hand-drawing and water-coloring note cards? Oh, I already finished my coffee… I wonder who will be elected president this next time? Shit, the world’s going to hell so fast, it seems like. Where shall we go out for “date night” next time? Oh, hey, what time is it, now?

(I notice the endless possible distractions have lead me far from mindfulness and contentment. I take a deep breath, and another. I exhale. I relax. I bring myself back to now, and begin again.)

The heat comes on, reminding me of the cold morning temperatures beyond these windows and walls. I breathe deeply. I sit quietly. I’m not asking anything extraordinary of myself in this moment, just to be here, now, awake, aware, and listening, observing the world around me. I feel relaxed and contented. Calm. I experience this as a state of readiness, without agitation, or hyper-vigilance, simply present in this moment. I give myself over to a few minutes of simply being present and aware, without any agenda or concerns. It’s a good foundation for the busy work day ahead. I look at the clock. It’s definitely time to begin again. 🙂

I woke to the usual sounds of a rainy morning. No snow. Not here. I’m okay with that, and I get up and begin preparing for a routine sort of day. There’s been so much talk of snow, I sit down with my coffee and check the weather again, for any sign that I should definitely be working from home. No snow. No. Snow. (Not here.) My backpack is set up for inclement weather, the car is AWD. I’m ready for it, if and when it decides to snow. 🙂

Yesterday was similar, with regard to snow. We watched for it. Waited for it. Talked about it. Muttered about inaccurate weather forecasts, and in the next breath gushed over our favorite local meteorologist or some other climatologist of note, and talked about how much more accurate weather forecasts are “these days” – then went back to waiting, and watching, for snow that did not show up. We want it – and we dread it. We don’t want it – but we’re eager to snap snow pictures. lol Silly human primates.

I take a breath, and a sip of coffee, and relax. It may snow. It will or it won’t, or it’ll find something very different to do instead – maybe an ice storm in the middle of the night? It’s happened before, and is within the realm of things that are possible. I let it go. It isn’t significant until it happens, and either way I am prepared. I wonder for a moment if I should stop by the grocery store after work, then remember that my Traveling Partner is handling that. The amount of relief in the moment that I have help with life’s details, and that this journey is shared, is pretty obvious. I sigh, and relax, and smile. I am comforted knowing he’s in the other room, sleeping. Snow storm? Let it come; I’ll be in good company if I end up snowed in. 🙂

Letting myself become attached to an outcome isn’t generally very useful, even with the weather. Being generally prepared requires some awareness of legitimate ordinary possibilities, for sure, but doesn’t benefit from clinging to one or another in advance of the relevant moment. I smile to myself, feeling confident that this is a life lesson I’ve managed to learn well. I’m a big fan of non-attachment, of being “generally well-prepared in life”, and of sufficiency as a means of reducing the amount of stress in my life associated with disappointments. All of those require some practice (at least, they did for me, and still do). Pretty worth it to have so much less turmoil and drama in my life. 😀

Another smile, another sip of my coffee, another opportunity to begin again – whether it snows or not. 😀

This morning’s blog post is sponsored by… a good night’s sleep. Which, sadly, has wiped from my memory all recollections of even the hint of the excellent idea I had for this morning’s writing, as I drifted off to sleep last night. LOL It is what it is. I didn’t even attempt to take notes, as I sailed off to dreamland. I just fell soundly asleep and forgot all about it. Oh, but what a lovely night’s sleep, though. 3 consecutive nights of good sleep! A recent-past milestone, for sure. I sip my coffee, trying to pull myself out of this sleepy fog, grateful to have slept decently well.

I think about the weekend. It was generally quite pleasant. I think about my Traveling Partner, asleep in another room. I did my best to avoid waking him as I made coffee and dressed for the day. I doubt I was successful, but the house is still quiet, so maybe I was. I smile, either way I am filled with delight that he is here with me. I persist in enjoying his companionship greatly. 🙂

I consider the morning commute; drive or take the train? The weather forecast suggests the train will be the more reliable choice, with the forecast hinting at maybe snow, but I do enjoy the drive time in the morning… and I’ve got a good parking location that is low risk of collisions and other misadventure. Light rail lets me read on the commute into the office, though, and this year I’ve been steadfast with my commitment to read more (and I’ve been greatly enjoying it). I flip-flop on the matter of the commute a few times before deciding to actually check today’s weather report. 37 degrees (F) and rainy, with some chance of snow. Hmmm. It does sound like light rail is the way to go this morning… but… I also have AWD on my compact SUV, and good all weather tires that were brand new last winter. I doubt I really have anything to worry about, but taking a minute to think it through over coffee, I decide to right the light rail, and avoid any commute-related concerns, at all.

No snow yet. We did get a shower of fine hail yesterday.

One by one the concerns of a new day rise to be dealt with, and fall away having been considered. I sip my coffee, relaxed and ready for a new Monday. I’m not immersing myself in work, yet, just contemplating the day in the loosest possible, wholly suited to any day at all, sort of way. I remember to consider my everyday carry, too; inclement weather is unkind to beautiful leather bags, and I remind myself that I have an outstandingly weather-ready smallish backpack, that will easily fit my laptop, and my clutch, and decide to leave my handbag behind for the day. Another small challenge, another practical solution. 🙂

I smile into my empty coffee cup; it’s already time to begin again. 🙂

 

I slept well last night, and got enough rest. I woke gently, and quietly made coffee, hoping not to wake my still-sleeping partner. I headed to the studio, sat down with my coffee, and started trying to put my thoughts together, words on a page, on a quiet Sunday. I’m grateful to have had an entire night’s sleep. Today, it looks like I’m going to need it.

This morning, my writing is interrupted, several times, for what I can only describe in this moment as “difficult interactions”. I’m not yet fully awake, and lack adequate emotional resilience for the irritated (I hear it as angry) tone of voice, so early in the morning. My thoughts are fractured, scattered, and now focused on feeling hurt, instead of nurturing something within me. My studio door gets slammed, probably without intent. My tears spill over. A quiet morning is apparently not on today’s agenda, and I am the hapless villain in this story – but who is the author? I feel frustrated, sad, and isolated (as much because I don’t really know what to do with these feelings, in this moment). It irks me that I woke up feeling so soft and amiably inclined toward my partner… and at the moment, I feel only the sting of his irritation, his disappointment with me (“What do I have to do to help you remember??”), and the visceral sensation along my nerves of a slammed door.

Sometimes “doing our best” isn’t enough to overcome opportunities to fail at something, or to miss a detail, and “trying hard” is not enough to ensure success. This is true with or without a brain injury. We have to choose again and again to “do the verbs” and to try again. We have to choose again and again to walk our path, or select a new one. It is also true that we don’t generally grow from the things we are reliably good at, or which we find comfortable and easy. So, okay – routine human shit between human primates. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it isn’t comfortable. Sometimes it is necessary to be reminded what the point of it is, and refocus our efforts, because it matters enough to do that. It reliably takes practice.

…What a shitty morning so far…and less than an hour into the day. Disappointment with myself, with the morning, with the circumstances, it all fills me up and spills over as tears, while I watch a little brown bird on the stoop, picking enough sustenance from the ground and from the sidewalk, just to get by another day. I watch the little bird, and try to nudge myself in the direction of recognizing that I am just experiencing some emotional weather; the climate in my heart (and, I assume, my partner’s) is fine. This? It’s just a moment. It’s useful to begin again, if I can start on that, somehow, then it’s not “a shitty morning” as much as a shitty moment. Moments are brief, and they pass.

This time, when my Traveling Partner opens the door to the studio, his face is softened, and he looks at me with love. The irritation is gone. He steps close, and strokes my hair. I apologize for the difficult start to his morning, through my slow, steady, tears. He tells me “it is what it is” and “I’m not angry”. He’s human, too. If I allow it to, the morning will shift gears to a happier place; we’ve made that possible, now it is just a matter of accepting that change and going with it. A matter of beginning again. I give myself a moment to appreciate having a partnership with so much resilience and potential to bounce back from a difficult interaction. I savor the feeling of gratitude that seeps in, as I contemplate the difference between this partnership, and others I’ve had.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Allow my heart to slow, and my posture to lift me more erect. I sip my coffee, and begin again.