Archives for posts with tag: meditation for the win

This morning I really want to listen to The Beastie Boys. I have a particular track stuck in my head that fits my mood this morning. It’s not really the sort of thing for a quiet morning, and with my partner sleeping in the other room I find myself feeling the lack of a good pair of headphones. How is it that I don’t have headphones? lol I didn’t need them before. It’s simple. I’m not complaining; I have a well-developed wish list of odds and ends and quality of life improvements. I add headphones to the list, for mornings. 🙂

I spent a quiet evening of study and meditation last night, time well-spent. I didn’t realize I had gotten so far behind on planned reading, and important [to me] study material. This morning, I meditate, things I read creep in and I find my thoughts again and again turning away from the woman in the mirror, to the reflection of her experience I so often see in the reaction and words of my partner. A different perspective on ‘who I am’, sometimes distorted in strange unexpected ways. We are both so different than we once were… Change is. There is still room for surprise, for wonder, for joy – and also for frustration, for misunderstanding, and even for anger (it is my least favorite of the emotions I know best), sometimes sadness; we continue to love and to learn – about each other, from each other, with each other. Partnership. He’s got his broken bits, and I’ve got mine. I am quite attached to the idea that we both do our best to care for each other and treat each other well, and like to believe that it is true; I don’t test it very rigorously, and simply accept that it is so. Funny how that sort of things works. 🙂

I open my everyday ‘to do list’ and add some housework tasks to it. (I may forget them far too long, otherwise.) I move on to other things.

I’ve benefited greatly from the additional time meditating the past couple of days. I find myself more invested in myself, and in this safe space that I’ve built to live within, and less focused on the stray agita and stress of humans being human that can be so easy to become mired in, otherwise. I consider what I can be doing (or doing with greater skill or consistency) to support and nurture my partner…and wonder whether he is aware of the things he could be doing to support and nurture me in turn? For the time being this is a shared journey, and in my certainty that I can take better care of myself, I am aware I can also take better care of him, without doing myself harm; it is a journey that requires steps, and covers distance. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there…

Sharing the journey? A good opportunity to be love.

Sharing the journey? A good opportunity to be love.

Today is a good day to be love.




Fatigue still seems to be catching up to me unexpectedly easily. I wake comfortably this morning after a restful night, and not overly concerned about it, but it turns my attention to a number of life’s details that were quickly shifted to ‘later’ during the move, and attending to them makes sense, certainly putting them off indefinitely is a poor choice.

After yoga, a shower, and making coffee I remember that the quantity of coffee on hand is quite low. I order coffee, and recall that the wall heater uses considerable energy (costly) and that I had planned to get a second oil heater to keep the more spacious apartment comfortable; I make a note for later. While I am involved thus, I make a point of identifying assorted other quality of life details that need to be adjusted or refreshed for the new living space, and if nothing else, I give each sufficient consideration to have an idea what I will do about them, and when. I take time to consider my ‘breakables’ – a collection of delicate glass, porcelain, and crystal objects that I enjoy displaying and using; I made a point of boxing them all up for safety when it was clear that the environment was putting them at risk (before I moved into Number 27), and they have remained packed up since. No curio. (They used to ‘live in’ my sideboard, unless they were out, here and there.) I’ve bookmarked a couple lovely pieces to finish the dining room – a lighted glass door cabinet, and a cute chest with drawers that will serve well as a smallish sideboard; they compliment the light wood of the table. I find myself regularly brushing my hair out of my eyes and recognize that the more immediate need is for a haircut; I have Monday off, and book an appointment.

The day starts in this very grown up way, taking care of the needs of the moment, planning out the future quality of life improvements, and smiling that there is any sense that my quality of life actually needs any ‘improvement’. The smile pulls my attention, somehow, back to the quality of my life, generally, and the moment of contentment and appreciation finishes, rather amusingly, with the recollection that I don’t have a good mop for the much larger kitchen/dining room floor. I order one; that’s a ‘sooner than later’ detail, since a dirty floor will render a home seemingly filthy even when that is the literal only messy detail. (I am no longer that woman who has no will or energy available to live beautifully; I have the verbs for that.)

I feel relaxed and confident in my space and in my experience – and this feeling doesn’t feel ‘alien’ or unfamiliar. It feels more as if something treasured that was missing has been found. I think over my recent nightmare, still clinging to my consciousness, and the epiphany that followed and weave it together with the recollections of times past when I felt my most whole, my most adult, my most capable, and the when/where of those experiences – unsurprisingly nearly all of them at points in my life when I was living alone, however briefly… (with one notable exception; my relationship with my traveling partner, which tends generally be to very adult-to-adult with the exception of an extraordinary period of care and support when I needed it most, struggling to wean myself off of poorly chosen psych meds, and later when we were both working through issues associated with my injury, or my PTSD).

Trying to force myself to live comfortably in a pair-bonding cohabitation model of existence hasn’t worked out well for me, in any relationship. Attempting to cohabit with multiple adult partners (and their multiple very human issues) didn’t work out very well, either (although I could see myself trying again with a more rational choice of partnerships – a choice of more rational partners?). I find myself again and again allowing myself to be lead into over-compromising my needs, my values, or my quality of life solely to avoid confrontation, when I live with other people. It’s silly – and not a very efficient way to live harmoniously. Festering resentment is super unpleasant to live around, and to be quite reasonable about it, my anger is not something to be trifled with, but that’s a truth that is often not heard between primates until shit goes really wrong. Then it’s all neighbors on the news with quotes like “well, she always seemed very pleasant, I’m very surprised…”. It’s not a place I want to find myself, frankly. So. Other choices.

I am still getting used to the spaciousness here. Gone the utterly necessary compactness of … everything. Am I rambling? If I am, is it because there is so much additional room here? More than enough – which feels a tad strange very often, still. The roominess here, for one person, is ‘ample’. Perhaps even ‘ideal’ (for me). The idealness of it is taking some getting used to, and there is some point in my consciousness I occasionally catch discontentedly searching for ‘the worm in the apple’. Freaking human primate negative bias issues – like I need that bullshit! 🙂 Meditation works well to address that… I think I’ll do that.

Begin again... And then again. Each dawn is a new beginning.

Begin again… And then again. Each dawn is a new beginning.

Today is a choice day to begin with good choices. Today is a lovely day to spend the day on loving, and being love. Today is a fine day to reflect on the woman in the mirror, and the opportunity to live well that stretches ahead. Today is a very good day to take care of me, and in doing so I am changing my world.

The time comes when practices and tools and new skills aren’t just convenient, or a nice quality of life improvement, or appreciated growth and self-improvement; they aren’t about that, and never were. The time comes, sooner or later, almost inevitably, when practices, tools, and skills are what I am counting on to maintain not just balance, or contentment, or comfort dealing with others – they save me from myself, they put boundaries on a surreal recurring waking nightmare that is the result of my PTSD flaring up. Over time, when the time comes, they become something I can (hopefully) count on to give me a moment to change a reaction to a response, when my PTSD and my disinhibiting brain injury cross paths in a moment of stress.

The time will come…does come…when I will find myself facing me, facing a challenge – that much I know, from a lifetime of experience; “this too shall pass” applies equally to the moments of calm and joy, as it applies to the moments of panic, and terror.

These practices I write so much about, talk so much about, and frankly practice so much for many minutes of this finite mortal life are not just conveniences or cool things to do – they saved my life. This morning they proved their worth, and I proved that I am not wasting my time learning to practice the practices.

There’s not much more to say about this morning, in any specific way. I have PTSD. My symptoms are sometimes triggered by very specific domestic scenarios; one of the lasting effects of domestic violence decades ago (so don’t act violently toward people you say you love, okay?). I also have a brain injury that severely limits the ‘inhibiting’ and regulatory executive functions that most people can count on to avoid saying the wrong thing, or acting on impulse – or releasing the full visceral power of their emotional experience in the moment. This morning I found myself disadvantaged by those characteristics of my experience, and leaning heavily on new practices, new understandings of mind and practical emotional neuroscience, and the love and good-heartedness of my traveling partner, who handled things – and me – so tenderly. This morning, it was enough. (Huge win there, frankly.) The hours of study, meditation, practicing good self-care, more meditation, getting more exercise, taking better care of my physical health, and still more meditation, the hiking, the talk therapy, learning cognitive practices that improve implicit memory, more meditation still…and the miles and miles of walking, and being; every bit of it is worth the effort, the life-force spent, the time taken just to have it pay off this one time, this morning.

You know, it isn’t even about ‘proof of concept’ in any especially grown up way – it’s more like the scene in Harry Potter “Prisoner of Azkaban” when Harry realizes he can cast the Patronus charm – because he already had (nothing like time travel to get a leg up on the future, I guess…). I am hopeful I can go forward more easily able to take advantage of new practices to manage my PTSD and my TBI…because this morning, I did. Oh, wait…That’s exactly what ‘proof of concept’ actually is. LOL Go, Brain. Proof of concept…but ‘in a Harry Potter way’; I may never actually be a proper grown up. 🙂

Sometimes this can feel a very lonely journey; we are not alone. <3 Detail of "Communion" 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas w/ceramic, 2011

Sometimes this can feel a very lonely journey; we are not alone. ❤
Detail of “Communion” 24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic, 2011

So…it’s another day to treat myself and others well, and a good day to stay aware of how easily a comfortable seeming recovery from a bad moment can go awry without continuing to practice the practices. Today is a good day for self-compassion, and acceptance that these are called ‘invisible injuries’ for a reason. Today is a good day to trust love. Today is a good day to enjoy a better outcome, and to say ‘thank you’ – because better outcomes are rarely a solo endeavor.