Archives for posts with tag: monkey mind

I am sipping my coffee at leisure; I took today off. I know, sometimes it’s tough to sort out the days during a pandemic, working from home. Some folks may find “taking a day off” sort of pointless under those circumstances… I still find it pretty essential for my quality of life and general enjoyment and self-care. So. A day off? Yes, please.

I’m thinking about how easily loved ones can “push each others buttons”, even without meaning to. I contemplate how much more comfortable human beings often seem to be with being their most vile self in the context of their most favored or intimate relationships. (I still do not get how that makes any sense… why not, instead, be your worst self with absolute strangers, than with people you say you love? Would you not want your loved ones to enjoy the best of who you are?) It often falls to the individual to vigilantly “supervise” their vulnerable “buttons”, and to learn to be less reactive, generally. I’ve certainly found value in that, although my results do vary. “Expectation-setting” and asking any one individual to avoid pushing a given button doesn’t seem very helpful, sometimes (or within some relationships).

I sip my coffee, and my mind wanders on.

I think for a moment about the coffee, itself. A moment of comfort. A metaphor for self-care, for being centered, for self-reflection (at least for me). I so routinely take a moment of ease over a cup of coffee that having a coffee cup in my hand feels “complete” in an odd way. So… what happens when the coffee runs out? What would replace this coffee cup in my hand, if there were literally no coffee (or, at least, none for me)?

My mind wanders on. Payday tasks are handled. There is a secure comfortable feeling that comes with that, these days, especially with the holidays ahead. Another sip of coffee, and my mind moves on…

I hear the soft sound of lo-fi coffee house “radio” from the other room, over the whirr of my computer’s CPU fan. It reaches my consciousness as a sort of “wellness indicator”, telling me it’s a fine morning to enjoy life, just as it is. This prompts me to consider other “indicator dials” and gauges of wellness in my moment-to-moment experience of living life. What other signals do I send myself that “all is well”? Do I recognize conditions on a spectrum, as one might see on a gauge or dial on the dashboard of my car? Do I have an “internal dashboard” that I could quickly glance over in a moment, and correctly evaluate conditions developing in real-time? I mean… that’s sort of what all of consciousness is, more or less, I suppose… if I listen. I like the notion of an internal “wellness dashboard”. Buttons and dials. Better be careful with that. I smile at the thought of it. I have another drink of my coffee.

My mind wanders on. Not a bad start to a long holiday weekend at home with someone I love. Certainly it’s enough. 🙂

I’m counting down hours until my Traveling Partner is home again. I’m counting down days until my camping trip. Right now, this moment here? I’m counting down minutes until this coffee is cool enough to drink! lol

…Here’s the thing about all that, though; none of it is “now”. This now. Right now. This present-tense moment, right here? It isn’t about a future moment that may (or may not) happen at all. I know, that hints at a certain grimness, but the future is the future, and we don’t know with any certainty what that future will be. It’s the flip side of “this too shall pass”… So, um, “that stuff, also, hasn’t happened yet, at all”. lol

I pull myself back to the present moment. If nothing else, it is a wholesome exercise in waking up to the new day, shedding whatever baggage crossed over into my waking consciousness from my dreams, letting go of the “what ifs” and untested assumptions on which I could, if I prefer drama and disappointment, build my day upon. Starting fresh with what I observe, here, now, and how I feel in this moment, physically. My coffee is still too hot to drink. The street beyond the driveway is still quiet. The sky is dark, reminding me that the season is slowly changing, and that soon summer will become autumn. I feel relaxed, and comfortable in my skin, and the casual clothes I put on for the day. The pain I woke with seems familiar, and manageable. Although my coffee is too hot to drink, the mug feels warm in hands, a luxurious counterpoint to the morning chill in the room, artificially imposed by the air conditioning. (That reminds me to adjust the temperature to a “day time and I’m not at home” temperature, from the “night time and I sleep best in a cool room” temperature.)

….Ah! That first sip of coffee… so good. Well, I mean, realistically – as good as coffee can be, and only if you’re into coffee (I get it, I really do; it’s not everyone’s thing). lol How does this coffee really taste? Smooth… (not a flavor!), mildly astringent (also more of a feeling), something like… roasted bark… or… damp cardboard… or… I’m not sure. It tastes, to me, like “coffee”. It’s black. Hot. Feels good in my mouth. Comforts and refreshes. LOL I guess I’m a bit vague on what it actually tastes like. I let all of that go, and simply enjoy the experience.

I attempt to apply the same principles of non-attachment, awareness, and presence, to the experiences of waiting for my partner’s homecoming, and even to looking forward to my camping trip. This moment is best lived… well… live. 😀

…I complete that thought, and immediately find myself contemplating the weekend that is just behind me, already drifting out of this present moment, into some other moment that is also not “now”. lol Fucking monkey-mind, always at it. I let that go, too. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let those past moments recede into the background, again, and pull myself back to “now”. Whups – there’s that tricksy daydreaming and anticipation of future moments, back at me again. Damn it. Another breath. Another exhalation. Relaxing and letting all that go – again. I see-saw between contemplating some past moment, and looking ahead to some moment that is not yet now; all very normal and human. I keep pulling myself back to “now”. It’s just something that requires practice, and there is no stress or perturbation in it for me, not these days. Progress comes in due course; incremental change over time, well, it takes time. I know I’ll likely practice for a lifetime, regardless – this is one of those instances in which the journey itself very much is the destination.

My coffee, now, is precisely the correct temperature for comfortably drinking it, while also having the subjective experience of “hot” coffee. It’s very relative; my idea of “hot coffee”, and yours, likely vary by some degrees. I have a friend who drinks it near to scalding hot – I don’t even make coffee with boiling water. I have other friends who just don’t ever drink coffee hot – iced coffee 24/7/365. We’re each having our own experience. 🙂 (Hey – cool metaphor! lol)

I check the time. Monday already, and an entire new week ahead of me. Doesn’t matter. The entirety of the lifetime behind me doesn’t “matter” much more, in one particular regard; it isn’t “now”. The moment I’ve got to work with, at any given time, is just this “now” moment, right here. I’m not encouraging any sort of FOMO or YOLO foolishness, or painful clinging to things-that-are-not-now, either. I’m just saying, and I’m not the first to suggest it; be here, now. It’s an ideal starting point on all manner of journeys, physical, metaphysical, and beyond. Actually… it’s damned difficult to start anywhere/when else – and attempting to do so is a sure fire impediment to making any real progress.

I smile, and sigh contentedly. The sky is lighter now, a shade of pale blue-gray, with a hint of violet at the edge of darkness, and a hint of peaches and pinks yet-to-come at the edge of the sunrise. I finish off my coffee. This opportunity to begin again isn’t going to handle itself; there are verbs involved! I breathe. Exhale. Relax – and finish my coffee. It’s definitely time to begin again.  🙂