Archives for posts with tag: mindful love

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to the rain fall. The dawn is gray, and it’s hard to accept that day break is past, and this… is it. Morning. No “sunrise” in any obvious way. The sky is a drizzly homogeneous featureless gray. I woke planning to paint. I still feel peculiarly energized to paint, and likely will. I’ll probably “go off script” from there, though, and “just paint” instead of working with purpose, plan, and structure on pieces that I have already sketched out in my head. I know what works for me, artistically.

I contemplate conversations with friends from yesterday. The afternoon was spent wrapped in warmth and intimate affection, connected close friendships, easy hang out time. We shared a bite of late lunch-not-quite-dinner, sufficient to fuel the afternoon hours without the distraction of hunger to throw off the genial vibe. Both very good friends of mine, neither had met the other previously, and we all had a great time – it was a well-connected, deep, experience. The conversation was lively, fun in spots, serious in others, and quickly exceeded any sort of “getting to know each other” limitations to become fully invested, authentic, and yeah – deep. Really talking over life. Love. The world. It was soul-nourishing time.

Hanging out and talking, watching cartoons, listening to music – these are very much favorite activities of mine to share with friends. Yesterday was a day well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I smile, feeling the warmth of his love as a sort of carrier wave on which the details of my experience travel across my consciousness. He would have been so welcome, yesterday. He remains so welcome today. He’s just hundreds of miles away, is all. lol I wish him well, and wrap the thought of him in my love. I would enjoy sharing coffee with him, this morning, and talking over yesterday – and tomorrow. lol Soon enough.

Openness is one of my “Big 5” relationship values. It’s a tricky one – what does that even mean, “openness”? For me, it means both acceptance and non-attachment. It means listening deeply, not just waiting to talk. It means being willing to change my thinking with new information. It means being observant in the moment, and prepared to “go with it” when circumstances or people reveal something more about themselves. It means embracing authenticity, myself, and sharing who I actually am, with others who are sharing who they actually are, too. It means creating an emotionally safe environment for that authenticity to exist. It means learning to communicate without tools like criticism, discouragement, or ad hominem attacks. It means “yes, and…”, instead of “no, but…”. There you go. Go forth and be open! LOL – I know, I know, it isn’t that easy, it does take practice, and your results will definitely vary. 🙂

This morning I got schooled on being open in the most delightful way; I woke to a message asking me where my boundaries may be, on the subject of “getting closer”. Gently handled, clear, frank, and worded such that there just wasn’t any chance of being hurt by the inquiry, or any possible mistake about the intention – quite the contrary. I live pretty openly with this being I have grown to become over time, and I’m not surprised someone besides me would like to be closer. Going beyond the platonic relationship we share now is an exciting thought. No need to rush things along; that’s sort of new, mixed in with all this extra adulting I’ve learned to do. I offer reassurance that I’ve got no preset rules against growing closer, and no objection to it. I find myself wondering if I were sufficiently gracious about it – did I communicate my appreciation? For the desire? For the question? I smile. Everything’s fine. There’s no room for pointless anxiety here. There is always time enough for love. 🙂

The rain intensifies, and perversely I now want to be in the garden. lol Instead, I set a course for the kitchen, a second coffee, and my meditation cushion. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

…Or maybe even just care.

I’m sipping my coffee. Scrolling through social media. I’m stunned by the quantity of anger, of propaganda, of knee-jerk reactions to both of those – I’m stunned by how often and how easily I am, myself, baited.

I reach a repeat of a meme that is some version of the “I don’t know how to convince you to care about people” meme. It’s one that resonates with me. Why are we even still trying to convince each other? Well, obviously; because we do care. But.

(And it’s a big but)

We’re each having our own experience. Some people really don’t care about other people at all. That’s real. It’s who they are. It’s who they choose to be. They practice that whole not caring thing, daily. Other people care so much, so hard, so publicly, that they become an abstraction of caring, a caricature of caring, an advertisement for caring – so emotionally invested in the pain of the whole world that they become immobilized with grief and outrage, and all of that without actually acting on their caring, except, possibly, through some Facebook posts, Tweets, and charitable online donations, with just enough energy left over to shame others who appear to care less. Some people care less publicly. They care quietly. They care privately. They help when and where they can. They don’t talk much about it. Maybe they don’t think their effort is enough, or that it doesn’t really matter. (Of course, it matters if you are a person needing help, right?) Maybe they worry that if undefined mobs of people know they care, they won’t have enough resources to share that caring with all of them. Some people help those they love, and only those they love. Others help only strangers. (Fuck family and friends, don’t they have jobs??* Those losers…*) Some people care, and help, and support, and nurture, and really deliver on their commitment to care… except for themselves. There is, as with so many other human behaviors, a definitely spectrum, a range, an assortment, a real variety of choices and experiences.

I sit sipping my coffee and thinking about who I am in the context of caring about others. Where do I fit in? Is it “enough” – from my own perspective? Do I “wish I could do more”? Is that something I can manage more efficiently? Considering the matter of “caring” – do I communicate well and clearly, expressing my appreciate, my gratitude, my loving concern, my support? Could I do that better? Is there someone yearning for my time, my presence, my help, my companionship, that I’ve been overlooking? Someone I could reach out to, who needs me? Am I giving myself enough of my time, enough of my effort, enough of my good-natured regard and consideration?

We can care without spending a dime. We can be considerate of others without giving more than a moment to slow down and really be aware of the needs and experience of other people in the moment. We can be present. We can make a point to understand, and experience compassion for, circumstances we’ve never endured. We can listen deeply – what a priceless treasure to really be heard by another human being.

I smile and sip my coffee. Of all the things I am learning in life, the most cherished detail may be learning to love, to care, to consider, to listen, to share a human connection with another traveler on life’s journey for some little while. To experience and understand things that aren’t “about me”. Today is a good day to care and to love. Today is a good day to change the world – even just this tiny corner.

Today is a good day to begin again. 🙂

 

 

*that was sarcasm – seemed worth pointing that out in this instance to avoid confusion.

Well… Happy Valentine’s Day, at any rate. Try to avoid getting VD (venereal disease) – it would be sure to detract from any potential holiday joy. 😀

“Lovers” 8″ x 10″ watercolor on paper 1992

I have a lot of thoughts about Valentine’s Day, few of them are G-rated. My personal take on Valentine’s Day, as a holiday, is that it is the one holiday on the calendar specifically devoted to sexual love. Romance. Not “family life”, not little kids giving paper cards, not “hearts and flowers” in any casual sense (“I sent my Mom flowers for Valentine’s Day” is definitely not in the spirit of the holiday as I understand it, myself). Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate sensual pleasure, sexual pleasure, physical connections and bonds, the delights of romance of all sorts, and not some watered-down Hallmark holiday at all.

Is love a journey or a destination? Or… is love a verb?

Having said all that… I’m alone this Valentine’s Day, and lacking co-celebrants of any sort in any near-at-hand physical sense. LOL 😀 Somehow, I manage not to be bitter about Valentine’s Day. Some years I’ve been partnered. Some years I’ve been solo. Some years being partnered hasn’t resulted in sex on Valentine’s Day… which is like the worst way to celebrate this holiday. LOL At least have some smooches and snuggles, y’all. 😀

Be love. It’s a choice. Love is a verb.

Somewhere a long the way, people seem to have gotten the idea that “inclusion” and “inclusivity” means everyone can, and must always have access to be able to, celebrate and/or enjoy everything available to be celebrated and/or enjoyed by anyone at all. I don’t think life really works quite that way. This is a really good example. I see Valentine’s Day as a specifically quite carnal sexual celebration of love… I also don’t have a partner at hand with whom to celebrate this holiday, on this day, in this year. Those are all true things. Does this, then, mean I am entitled to celebrate nonetheless and all such celebrations must now be tailored to enable and accommodate my participation? And what if the pre-requisite for such requires that I be fundamentally other than I am? What must change? Just something I turn over in my head now and then. I’m a huge fan of inclusion – sorting out what precisely that actually means is tougher. I mean, I will nonetheless “celebrate” the holiday – by noting that it exists, and quite probably enjoying a lovely meal later, and maybe a very tasty glass of sherry or port – but it is a pale comparison to my preferred ways of celebrating sexual love. LOL 😀

Love matters most.

Valentine’s Day-wise, Love gets to lead a lot of the conversation. Love has a lot to say. I don’t know what it says about love – or folks who read my blog – but this post on Valentine’s Day, from 2013, is my most popular post ever of always to date. So, this year, remember – even if you can’t “get lucky” this Valentine’s Day, how lucky you are simply to be, and to be you; you matter. Celebrate with the person in the mirror (<groan> lol, sorry, I could not resist, but sure, if you’ve got the time and inclination, do you. LMAO). Enjoy you. Lavish yourself with your own affection this year – why not? You may begin the best relationship of your life, by beginning a better one with the person in the mirror.

Right now this is my life. I’m up early on Saturdays, preparing to hit the highway for another trip down to the family home. I drive down. Chill in the company of good friends, fam, and loved ones. I stay up way too late. I sleep decently well in spite of the excitement of just being there. I take some pictures. I walk the hillsides. I pet the dogs.

More than a beautiful view.

Each such weekend, I consider, on each Saturday evening, how little need there is to rush, and how much I want to stay. I tell myself I will relax and sleep in, maybe leave in the afternoon. Each night, by the time I am ready to crash, I’ve admitted to myself that indeed, I do prefer to get back in the early afternoon, ensuring I have ample time to restore some order to my current living space, do some laundry, maybe get groceries – and again, chill, but in solitude instead of in good company.  Each Sunday morning I “sleep in” having set no alarm. Each Sunday morning I am generally also up sometime around 7 am or 8 am, rarely any later than 8:30 am. By 9 am I am generally on the road – same as on Saturday – and likely to reach my destination, (generally in either direction) sometime around 1:30 pm. It has begun to feel… routine. Planned, even when not planned. Funny.

It’s a lot of effort, and little down time. It simultaneously wears me down and nurtures me. It is an expense that has to be budgeted, considered, and kept in mind. (Less money for concert tickets, more money needed for gas. lol Pretty basic stuff.) I think I can keep this up though, maybe for years, which is a goodness – since I may be needing to. lol

Next weekend I stay “home” – at my current residence I mean, which feels peculiarly less like home in some regards – and still quite like “home” in others. Well, reasonably enough – all my stuff is here, right? lol

…And the squirrels. The squirrels are here too. 😀

I’m not sure what I want from my life right now. Hell, I’m not always confident I know what I need. (Quiet acreage in the countryside sounds like a nice start on meeting needs…) The wild level of spontaneity day to day is dizzying, and I am sometimes unsettled and afraid – frightened by a foolish inclination to cling ferociously to some sort of certainty… about something. Well… I am becoming more accustomed to the notion that there is very little cause to be at all certain of mostly anything. lol In a moment of pure joy, and a bit of humor, my brain throws back “this too shall pass”, and I choke on my coffee laughing out loud at myself.

It’s time to begin again – but first, another cup of coffee. 😀

Do you. There is so little time. I’m not saying get wrecked at every chance, running amuck wherever you go, violating boundaries, tearing shit up and bringing drama every damned where – not at all. I am saying live your life. Make this moment yours – and that next one, over there, that one, too.

There’s a trick to living well – and I’m only just aware of it on the periphery, so new it is barely something I can practice, yet, more just a thing I am noticing going on, just out of reach; a rare few among us manage to do the damned thing – this crazy thing called life – in a most rich and wonderful way, without anything unusual for resources, and without trampling over everyone else’s day-dream. Sweet, right? But… how?? How to choose actions and words in the moment to both be most true to myself and my own needs and goals, and also not tread on the boundaries, needs and goals of others?

I practice consideration – a lot. It’s one of my Big 5. (Respect, Consideration, Compassion, Reciprocity, Openness) It’s a huge improvement on the young woman I once was, and the choices she favored. I’ve still got so much to learn, so far to travel…

I sit quietly sipping a hot decaf, enjoying the stillness of evening, listening to a great Electro House Mix, and letting the evening wind down around me. I let my thoughts wander distant trails. I exchange a few words with a friend. I consider this moment, here, so quiet and gentle, and I contrast it with recent parties – the difference in intensity moment-to-moment is remarkable. (See? Here I am remarking on it, in fact.) I have definitely been needing something that these parties have been providing… but…

…All the parties notwithstanding, it is the healing peace of a solitary moment that anchors me in a gentle “now” I can count on for an easy beginning for the next moment after that. I smile, finish my coffee, and bump the thermostat a little for comfort as I head to my meditation cushion. Can’t get this high at a party. lol 🙂

Time to begin again.