Archives for posts with tag: mindful loving

Well, the drive down was coffee all the way, and started in the wee hours before dawn. Easy drive. Fun. Effortless. After-the-fact it seems featureless and unremarkable, such that I don’t specifically remember any specific detail besides stopping for coffee. lol I left “on time” and arrived safely. I was greeted warmly with love, and friendship.

The drive back, this morning, definitely coffee-themed. I pro-actively picked up a can of cold brew so I’d have that effortless coffee moment first thing, and waited until I was in the car to pop the top on it, to avoid waking my Traveling Partner. I stopped twice for more coffee, and to stand in the dawn of a new day, feeling the chill breeze that hinted at autumn.

I got on the road this morning with a heart filled to overflowing with pure love and delight, feeling wrapped in My partner’s high regard, and nurtured by his enduring affection. He’s a good partner; loving, kind, considerate, helpful, experienced, competent, forward-thinking, and exciting to be with. I chose well… this time. lol This is my only actually good long-term relationship, honestly (although, to be fair, I only have 4, maybe 5, to reflect on). I don’t kick myself about it; choosing partners, lovers, and friends is a complicated matter, and most of us don’t develop real skills in that area until later in life. If we’re fortunate, we nonetheless happen upon friends, lovers, and partners in the context of our circumstances, and things work out. We are social creatures. I’m sure we could do better, and I wonder why we don’t teach emotional intimacy, relationship-building, and healthy communication practices, in elementary school, as I sip my coffee.

I know some things that don’t work. One of those is money. It just doesn’t work to attempt to buy someone’s affection, even if they accept payment. 🙂 That’s not how love works. It’s not how loyalty works. It’s not how any sort of affection or friendship works. I don’t actually understand how anyone might think it would. I’ve seen it attempted any number of times by people with more money than qualities on which to build love or friendship. Painful. Awkward. Unsatisfying. I can’t help wonder why it doesn’t seem, just on a practical basis, more cost-effective to be a better human being… you know… just likable, considerate, kind, funny, nurturing… some assortment of the sorts of things that draw people in, right? lol It’s not effortless, does take work and practice… and so many of us seem utterly disposed to avoiding any sort of self-work whatsoever. Yeah… there are verbs involved. Results will vary. It’s necessary to practice, to fail, to reflect on our missteps, to begin again… oh… ever so many times. Some people make other choices, and experience other outcomes. It is what it is.

My affection is not for sale. Neither is my respect. My consideration and basic kindness is free, and generously given – as much as I can spread it around, I try to, and there is no minimum qualification for it. The world needs more basic kindness, and a lot more consideration, and no amount of money eases the lack of it.

Tending the flowers in the garden of my heart.

I sip my coffee, and think about love. Being loved feels amazing! Being able to love well feels pretty fantastic, too. These things literally can not be purchased. If you know for certain that these are things you want to feel, and you also know that it will require a lot of work and self-awareness, self-reflection, and willingness to grow, change, and do some verbs – put in the work – would you do it? 

Are you ready to begin?

…What could possibly matter more than love and loving? 🙂

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain falling in the darkness. It was already 5:30 am – still dark? The season is already turning toward autumn. I’m grateful for the rain and stand in the soft cool air flowing in through the open patio door. I love the scent and sound of rain. 5:30 am? I don’t really need to be up so early… it was late when I called it a night. I smile and shrug in the darkness. The rain won’t mind my absence; I go back to bed for a couple more hours.

I woke later, smiling because it is still raining, content because I feel wrapped in love; it’s been a lovely weekend so far, most of it spent in the company of my Traveling Partner. We suit each other so entirely well. lol Even our most human failings tend to dovetail nicely with the quirks or baggage of the other. I smile through my morning, and even the returning recollection that there is no cold brew or iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge can’t budge the smile that I’m wearing this morning. I make a french press of coffee from fairly average (wholly adequate, but nothing special) coffee beans laying about on hand from… months ago (when I more or less completely switched to prepared cold brew in cans for the summer). It’s not awesome, but it is coffee, and it is enough. I was too eager, and added the water to the coffee while it was a bit too hot, and there is some additional bitterness to it that is less than ideal, but… whatever. It’s coffee. It’s adequate. The cup is delightfully warm in my hand in the chill of the raining morning. My contentment deepens to note that the timing feels quite right to return to hot coffee. 🙂

Rain drenched roses are a welcome sight.

This morning is about more than simple contentment over routine things; my experience is saturated with the awareness that I am loved. My awareness of everything else is colored by the love I feel, myself. I feel more complete and more present. It’s not an exaggeration when people comment that love is magical or transformative – that is also my own experience of love, and loving. 🙂 I contemplate my Big 5 relationship values and consider them in the context of the past couple days spent living with my Traveling Partner. Respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness, really do cover the basics of enjoying a good relationship with another human being. Most of the other desirable behaviors, qualities, and characteristics spring forth fairly naturally given a relationship build on these things, in my experience.

I got handed an excellent reminder of the value of my Big 5 this weekend when I returned home from work Friday to a home that was tidier than I’d left it, and a partner comfortable, merry, and eager to see me, at the end of a day of “giving back” and helping out. Our time was unscripted, the visit was spontaneous, and I’d made no requests and set no expectations when I left for work that morning, aside from “enjoy the day”. Same thing on Saturday morning; I had plans that took me out of the house for a couple hours, and returned home to tidiness, order, and the presence of love. Quite wonderful. Understanding that a great deal of my own housekeeping and self-care time can get lost to traveling to spend time to see him, he invested some of his time in my comfort at home, himself. I didn’t have to ask. (I never do have to ask, actually; he is skilled at partnership.)

We spent our time together talking, planning, playing and just enjoying each other. We caught up on movies we wanted to see together. We worked out logistics for the upcoming autumn and winter. We talked about our eagerness to see each other more becoming so much easier with both of us having cars; it’s already true, and sort of goes without saying. We enjoyed saying it. We talked about love, partnership, and our enduring satisfaction with each other. We connected and caught up, and savored our shared time. I am still smiling. I’ll probably be smiling for days. It was, admittedly, both poignant and painful to see him pull out of the driveway, headed for other places once more. Still, I was soon smiling again; he’ll be back often. 😀

A big challenge with regard to hanging out with other friends, and doing other things socially, is that because I’ve undermined the time I have available to handle basic care and upkeep of this human being I see in the mirror each day, and the time I need for housekeeping and shopping, anything else I plan to do makes all that even tougher to catch up on, and I slowly fall way behind either on the housekeeping, or on maintaining adequate social contact with friends. Because keeping order at home is (for me) essential self-care, it’s often the social contact that gets left out. Having some help while my partner was here totally erased that challenge. Human beings are social creatures, and even though I enjoy living alone, I don’t thrive in the total absence of real in-life human interactions – I need that, too. It is a lovely experience to look around, see the house looking great, observing that I’m caught up on all the things, that I am well-rested, and also see that I have still more time and opportunity to enjoy more of the company of friends – the weekend is only half over. 😀

How is it that I can miss this one specific human being so intensely? lol I sigh out loud in the quiet room, and go refill my coffee.

I sip my coffee contentedly. It’s not really that bad. It’s a lovely morning, and I’m fortunate to have what I need in life to be comfortable, to be content, to be at peace, and even inspired. I’m fortunate – very fortunate – and the good fortune I enjoy in life seems tied to the love thing; the more love I invite into my life, the more skillfully I am able to share the love I feel myself, and enjoy the love expressed for me by others, the more I enjoy life itself. Love is not an inconvenience, or an add-on, it’s worth being studious and learning to love skillfully, it is worth investing my time and attention in love and loving. It is so worth sorting out where sex ends and love begins; they overlap so much, it’s sometimes easy to forget how different they really are. I glance at my calendar – I’m hanging out with an artist friend today – and I check the time.

A single exceptionally lovely weekend (rain and all) may not be enough to change the world – but it doesn’t have to; it’s enough that it change a moment, an experience, or some small piece of this long long journey. I’m content with that. It’s a place to start down the path of a grander vision, or simply a moment to enjoy in merry recollection for years to come. 🙂 It’s enough.

It’s time to begin again. ❤

Some days it is enough to wake up smiling. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee, and listening to my Traveling Partner’s quiet breathing as he sleeps in the other room. This, too, is enough. 🙂

It’s even Friday – how much better will this one moment get? 🙂

This? This is what “happy” feels like. There’s no point chasing it; it doesn’t come to us by way of chasing it down. I sip my coffee, enjoy the moment. I am content that this, too, yes, will pass. Change is. New beginnings are. Fighting change is as pointless a waste of time as chasing happiness. It’s just not the most effective approach.

I sip my coffee, while I embrace change – all the many small twists and turns on life’s journey, the opportunities, the challenges, they add up over time. Skillfully managed, incremental change over time is simply part of being, and part of becoming. It helps to have a result in mind – and to refrain from clinging to that outcome as though it were a given (it isn’t). It helps to make choices – not just endure the changes inflicted upon you by circumstance.

Small things are slightly different this morning. The door to the studio is closed to minimize the noise of the keyboard that might reach the bedroom. The car is in the garage to make room for another car in the driveway. There is a warm, breathing, much-loved human being sleeping in my bed. The wheel keeps turning. I may wake up alone tomorrow. I’m even okay with that.

This moment? It’s enough, just as it is.

It’s already time to begin again, nonetheless.

I started to type a phrase into the text box, and got only as far as the word “next”, and sad numbly for a moment, struck by the observation that it definitely appeared to be spelled quite incorrectly… although… it isn’t. Huh. I sip my coffee, and stare at it awhile, no longer certain where I was going with the thought, at all.

Why am I writing today? I mean… routine, sure. It’s a practice, but… this morning I struggle to connect it with my thoughts or experience, and that, too, strikes me as strange.

I hear the trickle of the aquarium in the background. I’ve been ready to “decommission” it for several weeks now. The livestock are gone (some due to age, some through misadventure – a power outage while I was away – and some re-homed, prepared to drain the tank). I am away to often to care for my aquarium easily, and I am living a life that no longer requires serious masking sounds to ease my anxiety; there is no yelling in the background here, no day-to-day tension between others, or infiltrating my own experience. Those conditions, taken together, result in the aquarium becoming a higher maintenance element of my surroundings than I want to make time for. I chose change instead… then sort of got stalled half way through, because I am also quite human. I haven’t been particularly self-conscious about it – I’ll get to it, perhaps this weekend?

I look around this room, and through the open doorway, into the next. There always seems to be a “next” – a next task, a next project, a next moment, a next weekend… but we are mortal creatures. One day, “next” is also… “last”. I sigh out loud and sip my coffee, committing silently to tidying up and finishing things and putting stuff right and following up on loose ends… all the things. I regularly do. I often still end the day with some “next” thing that I really need to wrap up… the next day.

I smile at myself. This morning, a great many of my “nexts” are about the upcoming weekend, and about my Traveling Partner. We shared a great phone call yesterday, and I came away from it delightedly expecting that he could realistically show up more or less any time at all… maybe even… the next day. Wow. That lifted me up in the most remarkable way!  It also filled my head with shit I now rather urgently want to get done, because I like to be a good hostess, and with the busy weekend ahead, and a possibly imminent visit from my Traveling Partner, things like that one waste basket I overlooked emptying are really standing out to me now. lol I find myself thinking about detailing the bathrooms, and changing the linens, and wondering if the patio door glass is clean, and how long has it been since I dusted? Already I am impatient about the work day ahead. Already I am eager to return home and get to work on the housekeeping. lol

I sip my coffee, think about life and love and wonder “what’s next?” I guess I’ll have to begin again to find out. 🙂

It’s almost routine, these days, to face stress with this internal reminder: breathe, relax, let it go, begin again. Individually, or as a sequence, it has given me the “moment I need” to bounce back from a stressful experience far more quickly than I once could. It’s enough. More than enough. With practice, over time, it has become something I can pretty much count on, rather reliably. Enough to make it especially difficult when it fails me – being human, that’s still a thing, too. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee, relaxing over a few minutes writing, starting my day a little later than typical. I smile thinking about my abrupt wake up call this morning. A literal phone call jerked me from my sleep in the pre-dawn darkness. It rang persistently from the other room. I was in motion before I was awake; a ringing telephone in the darkness is alarming. Distant family, friends, old buddies from military years… emergencies and bad news generally arrive via phone call in the darkness. I realized I was (sort of) awake when I heard my voice out loud answering the phone.

“…Hello…?”

My relief was immediate, and followed the audible relief in my Traveling Partner’s voice. He phoned because I am a creature of such regular habits that variance is noteworthy; he hadn’t yet heard from me, and it was nearly an hour past when I am usually up, and greeting him with a sticker or emoji. My face still hurts from smiling because I matter that much. I had forgotten to alert him that my hours would be different today. The one downside to regular habits (inclusive of habitually explicit clear communication) is that deviation from those routines can be stressful for others when it touches on their experience, too. We put each other at ease. I begin my day 7 minutes earlier than I’d intended – and with a wonderful moment of warmth and caring from my partner. Delightful. 🙂

…Sure, sure, I suppose I could have been irked to be wakened early, when sleep can be so difficult for me, but… no. No need to let something so small swamp the beautiful moment of awareness of how much I matter to this particular human being who also matters so much to me. 🙂 It mattered so much more just hearing his voice first thing.

Suitable for challenges of all sizes: breathe, relax, let it go, begin again. 😉

It’s a lovely morning, suitable for change, and for choices. It is a good day to start down a new path, or to continue to walk a path that is taking you in a direction you are seeking to go. It’s a good day for new beginnings, and for saving the world one moment at a time. It’s a good day to be civil, to be merry, and to celebrate small successes. It’s a good day to lift each other up, to express appreciation, and to share what matters most. It’s a good day to be our best selves. In all cases, of course, there are verbs involved; we have work to do, and choices to make.

Are you ready? It’s a new day. Let’s do better. 🙂