Archives for posts with tag: mindfulness and emotions

I woke up with some effort. It’s going to feel like I’m getting up an hour early (because I am) for some time to come. With some irritation, I notice I have online paperwork to do for a new physical therapist, and sit down with my coffee to handle it before I leave for work. I start the morning already annoyed.

I sip my coffee, finish up the medical history questions, and find myself thinking back to yesterday’s fairly crushing disappointments. I breathe through the recollection, reminding myself I’ve already taken this journey, found a satisfying end to that, and moved on. Commonplace setbacks on the adult portion of life’s journey. My Traveling Partner was having his own version of that experience, yesterday as well. It was pretty cool we could be there for each other, however remotely, through the wonders of modern technology. I take time to appreciate that; I was never really “in it alone”, yesterday. He was there for me. I was there for him. Maybe it was worth the momentary setbacks and disappointments to have that experience? Utterly commonplace resolvable challenges, too – for him, the challenges of starting a business, for me, the challenges of finding a house to call home. Adulthood comes with a lot of things… challenges are among them. 🙂

Am I making things sound easy? “Easy” doesn’t accurately describe the experience of juggling the disappointment of seeing a house I foolishly (and quickly) got a bit over-invested in, emotionally, go pending before I could actually see it (totally foolish, totally too quickly, entirely over-invested emotionally). It was a hard moment. It was just a moment. It stung with frustration and internalized fear that I would never… something. Learned helplessness didn’t quite takeover, though it threatened to. I worked for some moments with tears in my eyes. I got past it.

It was harder to be supportive, encouraging, and soothing when my partner had his own moment – not because I don’t feel the feelings, but because it is frustrating to be apart when he needs me, and also… this injury. My TBI results in me being pretty vulnerable to reactivity, and I earnestly, urgently, wanted to help in some more substantial way! It was hard to stay focused on work, and remain in the moment, at my desk, doing what I am paid to do, when all I wanted was to go to my Traveling Partner, and be by his side in his moment of hurt and frustration and doubt. I am learning not to “multi-task”; it’s a lie that only results in a lack of focus, and lack of committed attention. Instead, I take a measured amount of time, and fully give it over to listening to my partner, between tasks, between meetings. When I work, I am fully attentive to the work – the single task – with which I am engaged. This works for me. My Traveling Partner experienced being supported. My work stayed on track. I didn’t feel distracted, consciousness fractured, or frustrated by mistakes. A win all around.

Yesterday, gray, rainy, still a good point to begin again.

When I look at yesterday after-the-fact, and consider how things really went, as an entire day, it was actually an excellent day – of work, of life, of living, of loving… nothing to see here. No bitching required. How odd that if I were to attempt to categorize or define the day, I’d say it was pretty crappy… because… well, it wasn’t, actually. I endured a couple of difficult moments, a measure of which was in no way directly my own experience, at all. Yesterday? Well, okay, I didn’t walk across the threshold of my future home… but how often does a person have that experience on a given day? Generally speaking, yesterday was a good day. I take a moment to redefine it in my thoughts quite deliberately, amused by the strange feeling of discomfort involved in doing so. (Some part of me really wants to hang on to that sense of misery and sorrow.) Yesterday, in nearly all other respects, was a good day; one moment of disappointment or doubt ought not be permitted to define an entire day.

So, here’s another day in front of me, filled with promise and mystery. I see a new physical therapist. I’ll review an updated list of houses seeking homeowners. I’ll continue to enjoy the love and enduring affection of my Traveling Partner. Later in the day, I’ll find the spelling errors in this blog post that I missed this morning (even using spellcheck), and maybe even remember to fix them. I’ll get a bunch more work done than even seems possible, and have maybe go to lunch with a friend. I’ll listen. I’ll talk. I’ll connect. There’s no knowing where the day will take me. Will a mysterious stranger approach me with keys to a cute turn of the century bungalow that needs some fixing up and say “please, take this house, I only want someone to love it as I have…”? (I know, I know, it’s not even at all likely, but… it’s a big crazy universe, and strange things have been known to happen – shouldn’t our daydreams allow for the possibilities that life itself is unlikely to afford us?)

I find myself smiling. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

…Some journeys we don’t share so much…maybe not at all. Some journeys begin together, and end alone. Some journeys we don’t particularly want or need to share, but find ourselves in the company of others along the way. Even love works in this way; sometimes shared, sometimes less so. Sometimes love is convenient, sometimes it isn’t.

I sip my coffee this morning, thinking about love…and thinking about solitude. It’s an interesting private dialogue with the woman in the mirror. This morning there are no tears, but also no noteworthy joy. I exist in this moment, with coffee, without company. I’m okay solo. I miss the immediate presence of love. These things exist together, and dissecting them does not improve my perspective on my self, or this moment, and instead I choose to simply be, to comfortably exist with myself, without judgment – without questions (at least for now).

One of the challenges life’s curriculum offers me, personally, is the chance to accept on a deeply compassionate and understanding level that I am not always who/what can provide what my partner needs in a particular moment. “Too tired” for one activity (with me) may not be “too tired” for some other activity, with some other human being. “Too busy” to cross town to hang out with me, to make love, to share time, may not be “too busy” for adventure elsewhere, with others. This isn’t a criticism, and when partners choose something (or someone) other than each other, that’s not a criticism, either.  Giving each other room to grow, and to live our lives fully, requires that we also be open to it when our partners make the choice to do so. There are practices involved; it’s easy to become swamped by insecurity and doubt, or for emotional needs left unmet (and undiscussed) to fester. Taking my partner’s fun elsewhere personally would quickly result in feeling deeply hurt to be “left” alone – in spite of enjoying my solitude, and choosing it. It’s a puzzle best solved with open communication, compassion, loving kindness, self-awareness, and being very present and connected when we spend time together… and also being very much present with myself, when I am alone. That one’s harder. 🙂 There are verbs involved. My results vary.

I ended the day yesterday with a migraine. That sucked. Getting there wasn’t bad… I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my visiting friend and my traveling partner (who are also friends), before we each went on with our own days. I hung out awhile with friends closer to home afterward, for a short while, before spending a considerable time quietly at home tidying up. That doesn’t sound at all adventurous, I know, and it wasn’t… but it was quiet, gentle time, simply being. I hadn’t actually been fully alone in days, almost a week. I didn’t even turn on the stereo, so deeply satisfying the silence seemed to be. Some hours later, the headache arrived, and some visual and auditory weirdness, along with the nausea. Nothing much helped, besides more quiet, and some darkness. Reading made me seasick. Any sort of video screen was entirely out of the question. I laid down with my headache in the darkness and just rested. Morning arrived – no headache. I’m happy about that. I don’t have migraines often, and I’m happy about that, too.

Today? I’ve no idea what today holds, other than one scheduled appointment right at noon time. The forecast suggests a hot day. I find myself wishing my appointment time were earlier… the sort of wishing that can quickly become irritation and discontent, the kind that rests in my thoughts as a sense of dissatisfaction. I breathe, and let it go. When that actually works well, I feel a certain sense of wonder and achievement; it’s been a big deal to learn to choose with greater care which thoughts to give substance, which to let go.

I remind myself the migraine last night may have the potential to affect my mood today, and promise myself very attentive self-care. It’s a commitment to doing my best, and also a commitment made with real affection. I’ve come along way with the woman in the mirror, and with some practice(s), we’ve got this. 🙂

Today is a good day… for… something. I’ll figure that out as I go along. I’m having my own experience… there are verbs involved. 🙂

It gets difficult to juggling all of the tasks, obligations, responsibilities, desires, goals, and ‘things in general’ with 40 hours (more) each week just lopped right off my productive lifetime. I’m feeling that fairly acutely right now, from the perspective of keeping that 40 hours and using it for myself; it’s a rare luxury, and I am doing what I can to take advantage of it from day-to-day.

Yesterday felt comfortable and natural, balanced between self-care, job search activities, and domesticity. Today is planned similarly. I am neither bored, nor hurried, which feels quite comfortable. “Comfortable” is a word that I find coming up a lot in the past couple of weeks, and I don’t mind over-using the word while I enjoy the experience.

The slower pace to life gives me an opportunity to more deeply consider the woman in the mirror, who she is today, where she is headed, what her choices and opportunities may be – and where they may take her. It’s a time for self-work, and for continued education. (I’m not passive about the time between jobs – this is my time, for me, and I hope to use it wisely.) Life – and the internet – provide plenty of opportunities to learn and to grow, like this exploration of emotion that I stumbled upon this morning. Taking care of me still requires attention to detail, commitment to action, and self-awareness – and I still need plenty of practice. At least for now, I really can put myself at the top of my list of priorities, and I do. Totally worth it. (There are still verbs involved.)

A quiet evening hanging out with my traveling partner became a good opportunity to improve on communication practices shared between us. I wake with my heart so filled with love for this one particular other human being that there is plenty to spill over as smiles available for every passing stranger – it feels like a very good day to be alive. That’s a pretty subjective experience, and as I recognize how tied to this gentle emotional climate it is, I also find myself aware that there are subtle choices involved, too; I could have responded (or reacted) differently to the evening, to my partner, to my circumstances… I could be living a very different life than I am choosing. Choosing when the choices feel easy and the outcomes feel pleasant isn’t difficult, or complicated, or messy, or at all challenging… Will I feel this good, or find life so simple, when the choices are more difficult, or the outcome – however desirable or needful – is less pleasant? Will I be able to reliably choose to take care of me, to enjoy my experience, and to live well (and beautifully) when things are hard, too? That’s a piece of the journey as yet unmapped, and quite likely just beyond some bend in the road up ahead at some point along the way. I smile when I hear myself (in my thoughts) hoping not to disappoint myself when the time comes; it has gotten much harder to disappoint myself these days. I am learning compassion, consideration, self-awareness, and love. (I still have so much to learn!)

Begin again.

Begin again.

Today is a good day for forward momentum, and for getting things done. Today is a good day to enjoy living, and to share a smile with a stranger. Today is a good day for compassion, for patience, and for perspective. Today is a good day for change. 🙂

It’s a cool spring morning, and I’ve opened the windows facing the park to let the morning air refresh this space, which had become a bit stuffy during the night. I am feeling more or less content, and fairly well-prepared for changes to come. My back is aching more than usual, and I find myself stalled by that experience for a moment, when movement becomes unpleasant and I fully notice the pain; I breathe deeply, and make a point of letting that go, and redirecting my attention back to the cool morning air that has begun to swirl around my feet as the room cools off.

My traveling partner will soon be actually traveling, other plans, near-future events, work… does it matter why? Not in the slightest, and I already ache with missing his presence. It’s been lovely sharing this lovely space with him. That’s okay too; it’s a powerful love we share, and I definitely feel the tug of my heart’s yearnings when he is away, it’s only reasonable. Wait… is it only ’emotionable’, more accurately? Why isn’t that a word? Reason has little to do with the ache I feel when love is not near at hand. lol Still, with that ache comes ample opportunity to explore the wilderness of my own soul, to study, to meditate, and to paint, and I am eager to embrace that opportunity, as it serves me so well to do so. Mixed emotions. Good coffee, though, and I find considerable comfort in ordinary pleasures.

…Coming home tonight will be… weird. Solitary. Certainly, I’ve missed that for a few weeks, but… I already miss him, and he hasn’t left yet. LOL

I think ahead through the plans for the remainder of the week, and for the beginning of next week. Changes. I contemplate my daily routine, and what to keep, what to change, after my last day of work, and how to structure my time to meet more needs, better… Change doesn’t require me to keep my eyes closed, quite the contrary; life feels well-lived when I am awake and aware.

Just enjoying the journey.

Just enjoying the journey.

Today is a good day to live, eyes wide with wonder. Today is a good day to enjoy the world.

 

It’s been awhile since I was awake in the wee hours. I woke in tears with no recollection why I might be crying. I got a drink of water and ‘checked for monsters’ (walked through the small apartment quietly drinking my glass of water and assuring myself all is well). I went back to bed. That was more than an hour ago. I wasn’t going back to sleep, and the tears just kept sliding across my face. So.

It’s been a long while since I was awake in the wee hours. It wasn’t so long ago that it was a frequent thing, destroying my rest, throwing me off-balance, and fatiguing me well beyond any healthy sustainable point. I’m glad it isn’t every night any more. I’m appreciative that it isn’t even every week; it’s become quite rare… But I’m awake now. Tonight I am not sleeping through the night.

The wakefulness itself causes me no great stress. The feelings of insecurity and doubt, on the other hand, drive anxiety. On top of existing work stress, and common enough life stress,  I add stress in a valued, critically important (to me) relationship that suddenly feels far less secure than I generally take it to be. I am unsurprised that I am awake, or that I am overcome by waves of emotion attached to the thoughts about my experience: sad, insecure, doubtful, angry, hurt, frustrated, disappointed… did I mention sad? I did not get out of bed at 3 am to ‘enjoy’ the experience more intensely; I got up to reduce the intensity. I was not finding much success with distracting myself and getting back to dream land lying there in bed. My thoughts kept carrying me back to sad.

There is no miracle pill for sad wakefulness, or the tears that won’t quit at 3 am. There are a great many practices that ease my suffering, though. I get up and do some yoga; the focus on my physical body, and easing physical stress feels good. I drink a glass of water; crying makes me thirsty. I meditate, nothing fancy, no soundtrack, no light – just sitting in the stillness, in the darkness, focused on my breath, no timer – just time. I write. With just a few words in the night, I pause the flood of emotion to look at things from a more abstract observational perspective, giving myself a little distance from the hurting, and a chance to ‘edit the language’ as I see it in text on page instead of lit up boldly in the chemistry of my brain. It actually does make a difference [for me] to take the time to remove or change the adjectives and adverbs, correct the syntax, re-evaluate the thinking. So much easier to do that seeing it in written words [for me]. I read my experience from the edited perspective. I read it again. I am no longer crying.

Tomorrow is a work day. I haven’t set myself up for success there by being awake during the night – but being awake during the night and crying generally has an even less desirable outcome, emotionally. I feel valued to take the time with myself to ease the suffering I am experiencing, however much I can. I am definitely having my own experience. There is no lover here to hold me in the darkness and tell me everything will be okay – and maybe it won’t be. It generally will be, though, for at least some values of ‘okay’.

Small stressors keep piling up. The loss of aesthetic beauty of my wee home. The loss of day-to-day quiet here. The increasing tension and discontent in the workplace. The increasing insecurity and doubt in an important relationship. The lack of personal skill at coping with it when solitude becomes loneliness. The loss of intimacy and physical contact in my every day life. The chaos brought to my life through the exterior work being done in the community – it’s actually stressing me out to see paintings stacked differently for the convenience of contractors, or to see the A/C just sort of …sitting, no good place to store it, and such a small apartment. Lingering bitterness – not over old hurts themselves, but over the lack of being understood, the lack of consideration – or even awareness. I guess this is when I get to put new emotional resilience to the test, and find out whether all of the time and practice invested in emotional self-sufficiency will be enough to survive on. I’d like to thrive. It’s on my list of nice things to do for me. Maybe another time.

I feel very alone right now. Oddly, I notice the ticking clock – and realize there is no additional stress to being aware of the sound of it. I find some comfort in that. It’s a small thing, but it is meaningful that the ticking of the clock does not cause me stress, or anxiety. You know… sitting here in the darkness, at 3:34 am, that’s enough. It’s at least something – it’s incremental change over time. I think I’ll go back to bed.

It will be dawn soon enough. I will begin again.

It will be dawn soon enough. I will begin again.