Archives for posts with tag: mindfulness

I’d meant to be writing much sooner, finally getting a good night’s sleep and waking feeling fully rested and wholly clear-headed it seemed likely to be a good day for it.

…I’m still sitting here, more than an hour later, just sipping coffee, and continuing to plan out my upcoming move. πŸ™‚ Coffee’s good, though.

I listen to the red-wing blackbirds, assorted songbirds, the breezes and even the traffic beyond the park. This audible viewpoint won’t be the background music of my at-home experience for very much longer. The water birds on the marsh, and the eagles and owls in combination with the specific songbirds in this eco-system have very much their own sound. I soak it in. I’d like to remember all the very best things about this experience of life, here. I didn’t think twice about letting the writing fall to the side, overlooked, while I took time to savor this moment, right here. πŸ™‚

The dawn came later than I expected. The sky is overcast, a smooth formless gray. The temperature is comfortably cool. I enjoy the view here, although I often find myself carefully positioning myself so that my field of vision does not include the playground to the left, or the basketball court to the right. I enjoy the illusion of uninterrupted nature beyond the edge of the patio, but it has always been an illusion.

The flowers just outside my window are visible from my desk, against a backdrop of green lawn, and meadow beyond, very different than if I look at them from the lawn, looking back at the apartment. Same flowers, though.

Who will my wild neighbors be at the new house? Will the squirrels right here “miss me” – or even notice that I’ve gone? How long will it take for the squirrels at the new house to notice someone different has moved in? I smile and finish my coffee; these are questions for another day, some other moment. I pull myself back into this moment, now. I breathe the meadow breeze deeply, and enjoy the scent of summer flowers. I listen to the coming and going of the commuter train; it is a work day.

I notice there is still time to get some tidying up done, and to meditate. Good self-care works best practiced regularly, for me. I guess I’ll get going on that… or make another coffee, and sit on the patio enjoying the morning for a little while longer… πŸ™‚

 

Well… Isn’t it? Is it? Are we back to this; what is “enough”? Maybe for at least a moment. lol

I’m still sifting through my experiences of the weekend, thoughtfully. I’m still considering the moments, the thoughts, the notions, the hints of changes within reach…and wondering. Just that. It’s that sort of morning. A slow dawn is chasing twilight-blue clouds left behind from night, which seem to softly slide away as the sun rises. It’s a good moment for thinking. It’s a good moment for wonder.

…I’ll eventually find my way; I just take my time with it.

I’m thinking about “enough” – sufficiency. I’m thinking about “now”, and the way “now” becomes the foundation of the future. I’m thinking about life through a colorful kaleidoscope of recent camping memories, and hints of Rick & Morty; there are so many choices on the way to the future!

My Traveling Partner reached out from the highway last night. It was an unexpected delight to hear his voice. I find my thoughts shifting toward wondering where/how he is this morning, and whether he is still driving, and whether he is watching the sun rise, as I am. I love those odd moments of shared-experience-from-differing-vantage-points – we have a lot of those. He’ll certainly be home today, at some point, if he isn’t already… a quick check of the clock suggests that the earliest he could have completed his journey would have been about 3 am – no message from him, so he’s likely still “out there”, somewhere. My heart soars just having taken a moment to consider him.

Today will be an ordinary work day, and I’m okay with that; that too is “enough”. Will I see my Traveling Partner? Maybe. He’ll probably be worn out and needing some rest, though, and it’s far more likely I will see him tomorrow… then… our calendar suggests he’s back on the road Thursday. Busy summer. My birthday is next week-end. What will that be about? lol Conveniently, I’ll have a couple days off to find out, and my Traveling Partner has invited me to join him out there in the world for a couple days of adventure. πŸ˜€ There’s really no way of knowing, at this point, what next weekend will hold. I find that a challenge, personally, preferring to plan things in a fairly detailed way (without becoming emotionally invested in the actual outcome). It’s a good opportunity to let go a little; no planning required. (No, no – I mean, for me to let go a little, it is a requirement that there be no planning. LOL) (Seriously, though? I prefer to plan.)

The sun continues to rise. I’m enjoying this moment, right here, right now, and it is enough. πŸ™‚

3 days, two nights, one purpose, and I return to my apartment by the park with sore feet, aching muscles, stiff joints, and a smile that Β won’t quit.

3 mosquito bites, two unexplained bruises, 1 blister over 17 miles of trails, and I shot more than 100 pictures, and spotted a rainbow’s worth of different wildflowers in bloom.

I reached my campsite and set up camp well before dusk settled in, on Wednesday evening. I managed more than 4 miles of hiking that evening, just getting my gear to the hike-in camping area, and exploring the nearest trails after making camp.

A coffee well-earned, an evening of quiet.

It rained most of the night, and I laid wakefully, contentedly listening to the rain fall, more than necessarily pleased that my tent doesn’t leak.

The rain-drenched morning didn’t quench my enthusiasm for the day ahead.

I spent Thursday meditating, after morning coffee and a short hike to stretch my legs, and didn’t do much else. I brought a journal to write in, and a notebook, a sketch pad and colored pencils for drawing, my camera, my kindle… and other than my camera, I didn’t touch any of the distractions I brought along to pass the time; I didn’t need them. Time passed just fine without any help from me. πŸ™‚

Given the necessary conditions, I bloom in my own time. It is often enough to sit quietly and allow the moment to unfold.

I spent Friday hiking, departing fairly early in the morning to walk a new path. The trail I chose was sufficiently challenging to push me, lovely enough to be utterly worth it without any other “reason” to go the whole distance, and totally within my ability. I returned to camp in the afternoon, got my boots off, put my feet up, and made coffee. Out among the trees, coffee doesn’t seem to keep me from sleeping, ever, however late I may be drinking it. I bet there’s something to be learned from that…

Where does my path lead? It’s helpful to have a map, but the map is not the world.

…Instead of learning anything about coffee, though, I learned something different. As campers arrived to fill nearby sites for the weekend, I learned that my needs were met, and that I was “done”. I learned that I didn’t really want to sit through a chilly evening overhearing loud conversations about corporate headaches, challenges with the kids’ teachers, or sports. I learned that I didn’t find value in enduring another camper’s choice to bring a generator into the forest for the weekend.

Ultimately, we each choose our own path…

I learned, this weekend, that it really is quite okay to make my choices my way, without any pressure from my own expectations, or anyone else’s; I broke camp late that afternoon, taking my time, packing up skillfully and efficiently without feeling at all rushed. I packed my gear out of the park (taking the same three trips it took to bring it down to the campsite in the first place), still smiling when the effort was completed. I let the park rangers know I was checking out, so they could release that camp site to another camper – it’s a great spot.

The beauty in the world exists whether or not I choose to observe it. My choice to observe the beauty in the world is necessary only to my own appreciation of it.

I got home before the sun set, unpacked enough gear to begin properly unpacking a bit at a time. First, a leisurely shower. A fresh salad. A hot cup of coffee. A moment to begin the upload of all the photographs. No music. No social media. No TV. Patio door open to the breezes and the sound of birdsong. A quiet evening, alone in the stillness, aside from a few minutes checking in with a friend from next door.

Roses blooming on the patio welcome me home, rain-drenched, fragrant, and lovely.

Yesterday I woke, still feeling fairly wrapped in my own purpose, and disinclined to be particularly social. I wrote a dear friend. I unpacked some things. I meditated. I gardened. It was a chilly gray day, and I enjoyed the morning with a crackling fire in the fireplace – which I might also have done if I had remained out in the trees another day. There seemed no urgency to connect to the digital world with any haste – no one was expecting me to, in any case. (Good expectation-setting for the win!) I watched the birds come and go from the feeder.

It was a lovely day of bird-watching.

Here it is, today. (Isn’t it always? πŸ˜‰ ) I figured I’d sleep in… I didn’t. I woke with the dawn. I figured I’d move purposefully down a long list of things I’d like to get done… also not happening, at least not so far. I sip my coffee, smiling softly, watching the birds at the feeder with my laptop balanced on my knees, writing from a slightly different perspective – though whether that is a matter of my laptop, a chilly morning, and cold coffee on the patio, or simply that my perspective remains altered by my time out in the trees is neither known, nor relevant to the experience.

What now? Just this. Isn’t it enough? πŸ™‚

A patio with a view.

One more work shift, and then…

Soon…

I’m overdue for a few days out in the trees. Waking to birdsong Taking long leisurely walks that turn into vague concerns about being sufficiently up to the challenge and finish with a feeling of accomplishment – and laughter. Getting by on my own preparedness and self-sufficiency. Watching small forest creatures live their lives. I’m overdue, too, for being too hot, too cold, and having too many bug bites… yep. All of it. The aches, the pains, the moments of doubt, too. I’m down for all of that. The wakeful bits during the night, hearing something in the darkness, feeling uncertain – I’ll manage. I’ll enjoy the hiking, the reading, the sketching, the writing, the taking of pictures, and cooking by a fire. I’ll enjoy the stillness of unmeasured time. I’ll frustrate myself with the one thing I managed to forget – whatever that turns out to be, I’ll think I really really needed that.

Nights may be “too” cold.

Mornings I may feel stiff.

Yoga in the dirt? Eww… or… Meh. Okay. It’s really not a big deal. πŸ˜€

Ants… bees… spiders… mosquitoes…

Miles of trails.

Hours of quiet.

Measured distance from everything else that brings me closer to the woman in the mirror – no mirror required.

I’ll be back soon – Sunday, sometime, most likely. Then? I begin again. πŸ˜€

The destination is the journey.

I woke easily this morning. Well, actually, I woke easily several times between midnight and 4 am, when I actually got up. I stood in the shower far longer than actually necessary, just enjoying the sensation of warm water on bare skin. I meditated, on my cushion in the open doorway of the patio, wrapped in pre-dawn breezes, just a little bewildered by the darkness (in spite of how commonly it is indeed fully dark before the sun comes up).

I sipped my first coffee, almost gone now, the remnants quite cold, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. I notice that one particular friend keeps getting my attention with shares that hit my nerves in a very unpleasant way. I do react – and my reaction is this; I unfollowed that friend, and looked up the page that seems to be the source of most of the problematic content, now blocked at the source. Just that. I’ll bring it up directly with them later and discuss honestly.

…I pause with some wonder to observe that neither “unfriend” nor “unfollow” are yet in my dictionary. Those both seem to me to be proper 21st century verbs, so I make a point of adding them to my dictionary.

Today is a common enough work day, a Tuesday. I expect it to be busy; it is both the Tuesday following a holiday Monday, and it is also the Tuesday in a very short week during which I will go camping. I’ve no idea what the day holds, beyond work. Maybe I see my Traveling Partner, maybe I don’t. In either case, I’ll likely end up with the car tonight, and the hope is to leave straight from work for my camping trip, later this week. You’ll have to find new reading material for a few days… πŸ˜‰ I’ll be back at it, probably sometime Sunday.

I feel myself “shifting gears” into a much more “now” state of mind, which brings my attention to the potential that I’d drifted farther from day-to-day mindfulness, generally, than I may have understood. Hmm… The camping trip seems needful and well-timed. My monkey mind begins to fret a bit about being out in the trees, no connection, no social media, no news of the world, just a woman, a consciousness, some gear, and a series of moments to experience wrapped in forest. I need this chance to reset – to begin again, on another level. I am hungry to satisfy appetites that have gone without attention for too long. I am ready to walk new trails, and to pause for thought. I am ready to take my leisure – because there’s nothing else on my agenda.

I feel, very briefly, a hint of the momentary anxiety that will come and go while I am away from home; it’s one of the reasons I do go. If I can avoid dealing with some sorts of things entirely, I totally will – to my detriment. Being out among the trees, alone in the forest, more or less completely self-reliant (let’s be real; I’ll be in state park, it’s not that remote, and I’ll even have the car if an emergency arises) sort of forces me to deal with all of the things. Nonnegotiably, I am without distractions. It’s why I go. It’s even why I hike; I’m out there to be alone with myself, undistracted by the many choice distractions modern life offers. It’s one part of me “finding my way” – literally translating a journey of heart, soul, and healing into miles of walking, a journey on foot.

An associate of mine uses origami instead, and his journeys are depicted in paper sculptures, tiny, bright, and entirely beautiful. Even his monsters are adorably cute, rendered in paper. There are a lot of ways. He has found his. I have found mine. Have you found yours?

The sky lightens, finally, and I see the reason for the intense early morning darkness. The day is cloudy. The sky is padded and puffy with dark gray clouds, no break between them. The sound of traffic is muffled. I remind myself to pull my rain poncho out of my camping gear. It looks like it may rain. It would be rather silly to be unprepared for it, because I was preparing for something else, later. lol

Well… it looks like time to begin again. Shall we?