Archives for posts with tag: meditation in the morning

I started the morning with meditation. Coffee came later. 🙂 Nice morning for it. Not much to say about it. Pleasant morning.

It’s a work day, in the time of the pandemic. I am grateful to be employed. I’m grateful to be housed. I’m grateful that so much is going to so well in my life right now. I sip my coffee and sit quietly with thoughts of what is going well, what feels good, what is working out smoothly. Thoughts of sufficiency, thoughts of contentment.

…The point is not that my life is perfect, the point is to spend more time “dwelling on” what is going well, rather than investing that time in ruminations of what “sucks”, what “isn’t working out”, what is “holding me back”, or things that are painful, problematic, or inconvenient. Seriously. It’s a key practice I can’t recommend strongly enough; spend more time contemplating what is working, what is pleasant, and what you enjoy in your life, than you do fussing or bitching about what isn’t going as well. It has the potential to change your implicit experience of life, to change your actual brain, and could result in a more pleasant experience of life, generally. It also just feels better.

We don’t just find our “happy place” – we also create (or destroy) it.

…Isn’t “feeling better” one of the things we’d all like to do? “Being” a “pessimist” (or someone who is very negative about life) is not a permanent affliction (doesn’t have to be, anyway) – you can choose. 🙂 Yes, I’m even suggesting that in the face of living a “terrible” set of circumstances, it is possible to have a better experience than you may be having… with some carefully chosen practices, practiced with care and consistency, over time. No guarantee, of course; I’m not an expert, nor a doctor. My results have varied, surely yours will, also. Still… over the past decade I’ve gone from being a very cynical, rather bitter, wholly negative human being to someone who is generally fairly positive, mostly pretty optimistic, comfortably content much of the time, who feels a secure sense that, generally, most things will (or could) turn out acceptably okay. 🙂 It’s enough (for me). Life feels pretty good, mostly.

…There are a lot of implied new beginnings in that last paragraph, not gonna lie. A lot of work has been involved in getting myself from “there” to “here”. I still have occasional down days and blue moments. I still sometimes struggle with my emotional wellness and mental health. I’m a human, being human.

I finish my coffee with a smile. Go for a walk? A soak in the spa? Do some yoga? Start work early? I think things over…

…It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Sometimes finding a happy place is surprisingly close to home.

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.

 

 

 

I am sipping my coffee slowly this morning. It’s very good. The morning is in all obvious ways a very relaxed morning, steam rising from my coffee mug, holiday music on the stereo. There is a subtle undercurrent of tension that I feel lurking just out of view of the obvious. I let my awareness expand to include that feeling, without diving into it.

I am aware of small details that seem to be provoking my subtle feeling of tension: the awareness of not hearing from a friend with whom I’ve been sharing an almost daily exchange lately, some concern for my traveling partner’s well-being and how he is treated in another relationship, and some background stress lingering in my awareness due to the adjustment to my long-term schedule that I’ve sort of avoided dealing with since it would not affect me until – tomorrow. Small things can become big things if I don’t treat myself well, so I take them one by one; I find that the assumptions and implicit expectations I hold onto unaware are the most likely thing causing me stress.

I consider my correspondence, and my dear friend I haven’t heard from ‘in a few days’ – how long has it actually been? Not very. A day or two. We also have an explicit understanding that our email exchange is not a reliable everyday thing. So… yeah. Nothing to be stressed over. I move on.

My traveling partner’s well-being is something that matters to me greatly, and I actively invest in my own growth in order to be the woman I most want to be – and the best possible lover and partner that I am able to be with my love. I am very sensitive to both explicit and implicit communications of stress from my partner, although he is very careful not to load me down with drama from his other relationship. There are no secrets between us, and the challenges I left behind when I moved out still live there with him – it’s more complicated than the simplified narrative that tends to drive background stress. That’s an entirely different relationship than the one he and I have with each other, and my partner is a grown man with free will, and an emotional investment in that human being over there. I take a moment to be aware of his skill as a partner, and how much I value his investment in us. It has taken time to learn to love well, and it’s not exactly something we teach in schools.  I pause to quietly celebrate the powerful love I share with my traveling partner, and to wish him well in his difficult circumstances, with his difficult Other. I wrap my thoughts of my traveling partner in my love and find myself smiling. Just smiling – because there’s nothing at all wrong with the relationship he and I share, and love is wonderful to enjoy – and to support. There’s nothing here to cause me stress this morning.

That one last small detail, left for last because it is likely causing me the most stress, honestly – my schedule. It’s such a small change, and the price to be paid to get the best possible fit for schedules for my entire team. In order to meet the most needs (for the team and for the business) I need to go into the office earlier on Fridays than the other days of the week. That’s a potential challenge for me; variable start times are often a very poor fit for my TBI. Avoiding thinking about that is an ineffective success strategy because it undercuts planning that could result in improved outcomes. So, I take a few minutes to breathe deeply, to contemplate what I most need out of my mornings, and my days, and what works best for me. I make a decision to adjust my waking alarm 15-minutes earlier, long-term, every week day. It’s a 15-min add to my morning the other 4 days, and pretty close to my most common natural wake up time. More to the point, it is enough additional time to prevent my one ‘short morning’ each week (Friday) from feeling rushed; I’ll have enough time to wake, to shower and dress, and head to the office without hurrying through things like taking medication, and making coffee – although I’ll be drinking that coffee on the walk to work, instead of chilling over words, or music.

The stress I had noticed in the background of my experience dissipates; I addressed ‘the real issue’ – and it wasn’t the most obvious thing, or the significant portion of my thoughts. It was such a small thing. Small things matter, too, and what I am inclined to ‘face’ in moments of stress is often not the thing really bothering me. We’re just a bit more complicated than that, aren’t we? 😉

Be love.

Be love.

It’s a lovely gentle morning, free of stress at this point. I listen to Giftmas carols in the background – ancient classics from my childhood and modern re-imaginings on a mixed playlist with other very non-traditional modern holiday music of a less ‘serious’ sort. I like nearly all of it; it sets a mood. I find myself still smiling, thinking of my darling and I, we’ll be sharing Giftmas some weeks from now – I am on the edge of my seat, eager with anticipated delight; I think I nailed Giftmas this year with a balance of fun, easy, and welcoming.

Every sunrise is a chance to begin again.

Every sunrise is a chance to begin again.

Today is a good day to take a second look at small stressors, and take a step back for better perspective. Today is a good day to be mindful that common enough situations may still be more complicated that we see them initially. Today is a good day to love well and to love mindfully; we are each worthy of love. Today is a good day to change the world.

I am a fan of explicit expectation setting. I am also a person who struggles with some sorts of unexpected changes – maybe you are too? With both those things in mind, I figured I would make a point of saying that I will be shifting my writing from early mornings to late evenings; I’d like to take more time in the mornings to meditate, and start the day slowly, and with summer becoming autumn, and winter not so far off at this point, pain management will be enhanced by doing (more) yoga in the mornings, too.

Change isn’t so bad; I enjoy a change of perspective now and then, and I find evenings and mornings fill my thoughts quite differently. When I started this blog, I often wrote in the evenings. At that time it was a less-than-ideal fit for the needs of others in the household. Mornings were ‘easier’. That’s no longer a significant consideration and for some time to come I expect I will need a bit more in the way of self-care, just to manage my physical pain as the season changes.

I am hopeful the change in timing will be comfortable all around…this post will be waiting for you tomorrow morning, as if I wrote it at the usual time, and I will sit down to write after work tomorrow evening – perhaps with my head in a very different place, open to other ideas, and different ways of viewing life and the world than what mornings have tended to reveal?

A change of season, a change in routine, a change in perspective.

A change of season, a change in routine, a change in perspective.

Today is a good day for change, and a good day to take care of me. 🙂

 

This morning the alarm seemed to go off much earlier than necessary. I laid in bed a few minutes – very unusual for me – lingering and waking quite slowly. I got through my morning routine faster than usual somehow, and my coffee was in front of me earlier than I expected. I danced through some videos…caught up on Facebook…now it is somehow ‘later than I thought’. Perceptions are funny things. My experience of the passage of time is my own, and it varies with circumstances, activities, moods – the clock ticks away (metaphorically, that is; I prefer a very quiet clock, myself) and I guess time passes at the same continuous rate, more or less – I have trouble thinking of it otherwise, but don’t actually know. There is a lot of science about time, or relevant to the matter of measuring time, and certainly the consideration of time was once a preoccupation of mine to the point of obsession…but what do I really know about it that actually matters? I know time passes, can be wasted pointlessly or taken advantage of, or used skillfully with planning, or enjoyed blissfully in moments of presence…regardless, it passes; that much I do know. For any one of us there is only so much of it available. Like a bad navigator giving directions (“it’s the last left turn before you get to…”) I sense that my time is finite, but have no ability to know precisely how much I’ve got…only how much I have used.

The uncertainties of time remind me how important it is to live – really live – every moment of my life right now. ‘Now’ is definite and real and here, this very minute.

My coffee has gone cold, I had sipped it once or twice while it was hot…and lost interest while contemplating time, timing, and perceptions. Yeah, that’s me. 🙂 I want the hot and the cold of it – similarly I want to wring every moment of living out of my life, without hurting myself or others, or behaving in ways that might potentially damage this fragile world, or this fragile vessel, in unexpected ways. How do I do that on a Friday morning, when my brain is still struggling to fully wake? Well…I guess this morning I’ll have an Affogato with local artisan ice cream…espresso ice cream. Yep. I’m an adult and I can have dessert coffee for breakfast if I choose. I like choices. 🙂

I take my time, frosting the glass and softening the ice cream while I brew fresh coffee with great care. The delighted smile it gives me makes my face ache, and I laugh at myself tenderly; I enjoy things with such whole-hearted (dis-inhibited) enthusiasm that it sometimes surprises others, or discomfits people. I have been told it is ‘child like’ (or childish).  This morning, alone in my small kitchen, I am entirely free not only to have an Affogato first thing in the morning on a work day – I am free to be utterly delighted to do so, without reservation or concern for the emotional experience of others. It’s lovely. It’s also thought-provoking. How much of my day-to-day experience do I keep harnessed and squashed down to a manageable, ‘appropriate’ or ‘acceptable’ dullness specifically to avoid discomfiting others? (and with such limited success…) How old is that baggage? I grin happily, take a picture of my coffee – because the picture will later delight me again with the memory of the moment – and dance my way from the kitchen through the living room, to sip my coffee looking out the patio door, across the lawn, watching the dawn unfold, with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child, before returning to words.

Tasty tasty self-indulgence on a Friday morning.

Tasty self-indulgence on a Friday morning, and a celebration of self.

So much of my individual experience is tied to my perceptions, my assumptions, my thoughts – and so much of that is (or can be) chosen, and crafted…how much damage do I do to myself by twisting my heart and soul in knots trying to provide some ideal perception to others – who are also 100% entirely free to choose their thoughts, their understanding, their assumptions, and similarly exist in the context of their own experience? It actually looks pretty silly from this vantage point to bother, ever, tweaking my behavior to give someone else a particular sense of who I am; I have no control over their perceptions, regardless. How much simpler to rest comfortably in my own heart, living my own life, and being this woman who I want most to be? Some people will like me, love me, and find a place in their heart with my name on it… others…not so much. How much does that matter? Enough to undermine my own joy in life? It doesn’t seem like a good value to trade my own powerful positive experience of self for a shell of existence crafted to suit the needs of others that ultimately cuts me off from the connection I seek.

Does that sound terribly ‘selfish’? What definition of ‘selfish’? Yours or mine? Do your own assumptions suggest that living my experience as my whole self would be a bad thing? Mine once did – for a long time I even felt that being myself might be some kind of ‘misbehavior’ or bad act. What a crappy way to treat myself! I am fortunate that I no longer harbor a sense that making the choice to fully be who I am undermines the good treatment I provide to others, or prevents me from investing in my relationships… actually… I think it may be necessary in order to find real satisfaction in the arms of another that I be wholly myself.  (Here’s a moment finding me thinking kisses and love to my traveling partner; he knew I needed to spend more time with me, and less time with everyone else for a while – he ‘got it’ before I did, and said as much, before we ever moved in together, 5 years ago. It was, in fact, one of his first observations of how I was living my life at that time.)

The tasty creamy Affogato didn’t last long, but the entire day is still ahead of me to be savored, and enjoyed. The weekend is almost here, and I am inclined to treat this woman I love so much very well. I feel inspired and energized (Coffee and ice cream at dawn? It could be my blood sugar surging. lol). I think I will enjoy the A/C this weekend and paint, and enjoy what time I can with love, Love, and lovers – and myself. 🙂

Today is a good day to enjoy me as I am. Today is a good day to love – and be generous with my affection, there is even enough for me! Today is a good day to treat myself as well as I strive to treat the world. 🙂