Archives for posts with tag: mindfulness for beginners

Sipping my coffee, rather late in the morning compared to a typical Monday. My last day of this brief “vacation”. I’m not bitching, it’s been lovely, and I’m ready to go back to the routine of routines, and the ordinariness of ordinary days. 🙂

Long nights of sleep have made clear what no number of short nights could; I am sleeping very lightly lately, and the result is that it is more difficult to get “enough” rest. I don’t know if it is simply a change, or perhaps only a temporary state of things, or part of a cycle. It is, however, what it is. I’ll need to make a point to get to bed “on time” with more care, if I’m hoping to get adequate rest. Good to know. 🙂

My coffee is tasty. Hot. Warming. I sip it and listen to the commuter traffic beyond the studio window. I take a moment to appreciate not being in it. This morning that’s enough to spark real joy. lol Tomorrow will come soon enough for new beginnings. Right now? This moment is worth savoring, worth being present for with my whole attention, worth fully living. It’s enough. 🙂

There’s no actual connection between this morning’s rather bitter cup of coffee and the much improved rest I’ve been getting. The coffee, likely bitter because the water was still hotter than ideal when I made it, is a simple, practical failure of process. I’ll still drink it. It’s still coffee. The improved rest? A by product of circumstance and self-care; I took a few days off, which I am still enjoying, and I turned off my alarm clock. I sleep when I like, as long as I like, until I wake naturally. The first night, there was no significant change in my sleep. Since then, I’ve been sleeping long enough hours to fully benefit from the (still) lighter sleep I’ve been getting.

Recognizing that the rest I’ve been needing is only partially about sleep, and definitely also about “cognitive fatigue”, I’ve spent hours relaxed, sitting quietly, meditating, watching the autumn leaves fall, watching rain storms pass by, watching squirrels come for a bite to eat at my deck garden. What I have not been doing is watching a ton of video content, or even reading books for hours. Most of my time is spent entirely quietly and at ease, listening to myself think. lol

A few quiet moments all for me. 🙂

Taking this time for myself has been so worth it. Could I have spent it “more productively”? Sure, but what would I be good for if I had not taken this time for myself? As it is, I still get things done… dishes get done… trash goes out… laundry gets folded and put away… the routine matters of caring for home and hearth are handled. The rest of the time is mine to do with as I please… or do nothing that appears to be anything at all. lol I choose the doing nothing, at least this weekend, this time; it’s what I need to restore my wellness right now. 🙂 No one to talk to? Yep, and that’s precisely okay. 😉

…I do miss my Traveling Partner. The fact that he is away for days and days does have lonely moments. On the other hand, I adore him so terrifically, that when he is here at home with me, I sometimes lose myself in the day-to-day pleasures of his company, and forget entirely about getting enough rest – or getting anything done. LOL It’s a puzzle. I am so grateful to love and be loved in return. I am more grateful still that his love is so deep and enduring that even my silences and solitudes can be included within his affection for me, and not perceived as any loss of affection for him. 😀

This is such a terrible cup of coffee, right here. LOL It is, however, a good life, and one terrible cup of coffee among so many isn’t worth being a source of torment or discontent. A lot of things work that way; terrible in some moment, but considered in context, not that big a deal. I find it helpful to let small things stay small. I take a glance around the room as I finish my coffee. Sleeping in was lovely, and I also have tomorrow off… on the other hand, Sunday is also my “regular day” for weekly chores, and general housekeeping, and I’m inclined to begin returning to routine matters (I feel that much more rested, that I keep finding myself un-anchored from what day it is, and have to keep checking – it’s feels so much longer a time than a couple of days, now. lol)

Sundays are a good day for new beginnings, and fresh starts. 🙂

I didn’t sit down to write until nearly 9:30 am, after a leisurely shower, and close to 12 hours of sleep. Rare for me. (I didn’t sleep continuously through the night; I woke up twice to pee. lol) When I woke, I was unsure of the day, and considered just going back to bed…

…but, there’s an entire day, and a long weekend, ahead of me to enjoy this brief solitary time, a few days with the house to myself, and a lot of quiet (some of it quite lonely). So, I stayed up, showered, put on clean clothes, and finally started hot water for coffee. Oh, hey, I hear the click of the electric kettle just now… be right back!

A ‘coffee flower’ – each as unique as any other flower. I enjoy their brief existence, blossoming as I make my coffee, gone in an instant.

The heat comes on just as I return with my coffee. The 72 degrees that felt so chilly at the end of the evening, last night, feels almost stifling this morning. I turn the temperature down to 60; I won’t yearn for the comfort and warmth of a warmer room until later in the day. Hell… how much of the day will I even spend right here? It’s a chilly autumn morning, fiercely windy, and it might be nice to get a decently long walk in today. The thought puts a smile on my face at the same time that a tear streaks down my cheek. I think of my Granny, and walks we took together on autumn days. South Mountain, Pennsylvania… Cambridge, Maryland… Grants Pass, Oregon… thoughts and places roll past like a slide show. The tears fall softly. Honest tears of sorrow or regret, tears of heartfelt loss, these don’t trouble me at all, they are only more love than my heart can contain – and no one to share it with (right now). I’m okay. She was a splendid strong woman of great character, flawed, human, and of tremendous heart, and I miss her in this autumn moment, considering a walk that, once upon a time, we could have taken together. 🙂

I sip my coffee, comforted by the ordinary routine. I listen to the traffic beyond the studio window. Last night I felt very motivated to paint through the weekend. Just now, though? I am filled with eagerness to tidy up, to create order from chaos, to check off tasks from my list, and to do those things while keeping half an eye on the autumn leaves falling to the deck beyond the glass door, watching for squirrels. It’s that time again; the colder weather, the autumn breezes, I’ll begin putting nuts out for the squirrels and chipmunks, and suet for the birds. 🙂

My thoughts drift to my Traveling Partner and his adventures, and I hope he is doing well. I’m eager to see him when he returns home. I miss him greatly.

I had also definitely missed this solitude, and I had failed hard at the self-care skills needed to ensure I managed to get the quiet time I routinely need, or to seek, or create, the stillness I need to maintain my most chill and contented self. I smile, and forgive myself for my obvious limitations. lol I will continue to practice. Keep working at it. Keep learning and growing. Keep speaking up when the need becomes too great. Keep communicating my needs in an open, honest, and gentle way. All the things. There’s a lot. If I try to write down all the tiny very fine details of “how to” care for oneself very skillfully, from the perspective of what I understand, myself, it would be such a long detailed list that it would almost certainly appear ludicrous to even contemplate! In practice, though, it’s just practice. Do a thing. It worked? Repeat that. It worked again? Pretty reliable. Try it a few times more. Still working? Awesome; now practice until it is quite natural, almost effortless, and it has become part of “who you are”. 🙂 Add another thing. Repeat the process. Simple enough. Stop doing what doesn’t support your emotional well-being and general good health and contentment. (That’s surprisingly a bit harder, and may take more practice.)

I sit sipping my coffee, barefooted, in my studio, with four lovely relaxed days ahead, suitable for my leisure needs. I have not decided what, specifically, to do with them (besides sleeping, showering, and sipping coffee – those I guess I can count on). I listen to the traffic, loud beyond the window. There are dishes to do. Things to put away. A container garden on the deck to “winterize”. There is this heart full of paintings with which to shout what I don’t have the words to whisper. I am hovering in that place of indecision, without urgency. There are no “wrong answers”, only an opportunity to begin again. 🙂

Isn’t life like that? Endless beginnings… which also means, endless endings. Focus on the endings and life can feel pretty bleak, frustrating, more than a bit of a let down, perhaps. Focus on the beginnings… ? Maybe focus on the journey, itself, present for each moment. 🙂

Here it is a Monday. The days are already shorter than 12 hours. The sun rise will occur some moments past 7 a.m., this morning. The sky is dark; I get up quite a bit ahead of the dawn, now. I’m okay with that, it’s just that it feels, subjectively as if I have more time than I do – now there’s a life metaphor, and a half. lol It pretty much always feels like I have more time than I do. We are mortal creatures, and our time is short.

I shrug it off, sip my coffee, and let my thoughts move on. My recollection of the weekend is a thoroughly pleasant one, although certainly life and love have both deliciously sweet and unpalatably unpleasant moments. It was a good weekend, in a good life. 🙂 Autumn has obviously come, with chill weather a bit “ahead of schedule” and serious thunderstorms that definitely sell the climate change warning; we never used to have such thunderstorms (any, really) in the area I live in. I wonder what becomes of the world, if we continue to abuse our planet? I sigh heavily in the quiet room, sip my coffee, and let that go, too.

I check the time; it’s already time to get my things together for the commute ahead of me. It is already time to begin again. 🙂

A noise woke me…or was it a light…? Either way, I woke a bit early. I crept quietly through my routine, “so as not to wake anyone else”. Then I ground coffee. There’s no silencing the burr grinder, and I’m not surprised when I hear a voice in the darkness softly say “there was already coffee ground”. “Shit,” I reply to the unseen voice of my Traveling Partner. I get on with things, he, I hope, goes back to sleep. I’m definitely starting the morning with a failure; the literal point of being so quiet and careful in the morning is to avoiding waking my sleeping partner. lol

I sip my coffee and consider the nature of “failure”. What an emotionally loaded word that can be. I’ve already “moved on” from waking my partner, but it’s the sort of thing that could weigh me down all day with a lot of rethinking and rumination, and self-inflicted emotional bullshit and baggage of one sort or another. I’m content to shrug all that off, reminding myself how human I am, and how okay that is.

I’m groggy. This coffee doesn’t seem to be helping much. Hopefully the day doesn’t find me, later, dragging myself through the routine mundanities… I think I got enough rest. I sit quietly, sipping coffee, waiting for the earliest hint of daybreak that is often my reminder that it’s time… time to go, time to start work, time to begin again…

…There’s enough time for it, I know, enough time to begin again. 🙂 I take another sip of my coffee, and another breath. Failure? Common enough in life. Let it go. Breathe. Begin again. 😀