Archives for posts with tag: new beginnings

I heard from an old old friend this morning (he’s not that old, really, we’ve just been friends a long while). It’s been too long. It’s good to “hear his voice” again, even via email. Heart-warming.

I sit sipping my coffee thinking about threads and connections, and making a mental note to reach out to other old friends I haven’t heard from – or communicated with – in a while. We are social creatures. In a pandemic, there are perhaps additional verbs involved. Email. Actual letter writing (of the sort that requires pen, paper, an envelope, an address, and a stamp, and involves the postal system and many days waiting). Catching up on other blogs. Exchanging recipes, and anecdotes. Catching up on old times. New times. Other times. Changes…

…There are always changes…

Good coffee. Nice morning for it. Yesterday kicked off the new year very well, at least in this household. I smile feeling simultaneous gratitude and hopefulness. There’s another day ahead. One more after that in the long holiday weekend…then… back to it. All the things. It’s a season of change; I find myself wondering what to expect, although I know very well that expectations are very premature so soon in the new year. lol

This morning the rain falls from a gray wintry sky. I ache. I shrug off the awareness of physical pain, and nudge my thoughts in the direction of taking down the holiday dรฉcor. Good day for it. It’s time.

…And time to begin again.

Finishing up a great week, I realized my headspace was cluttered, over-filled, and really over-flowing with not-yet-fully-processed information of various sorts. Not enough time spent on meditation, and too much task processing, event living, information seeking, and conversational time enjoyed with my Traveling Partner. I felt quite exhausted, cognitively, and rather as if I were “way behind on things”. My brain’s “buffer” was entirely clogged with a backlog of not-yet-fully-considered bits of this and that, and it had become a full-time distraction, in the background. I had a persistent sensation of having “forgotten something”.

…so busy… I lose sight of details staring at the distant horizon.

This morning, after sleeping in most deliciously (until 7:00 am!), I put on water for coffee, and took a seat on my meditation cushion. Some time later, I rose, and completed the process of making coffee, feeling much more rested, on a much deeper level. I enjoy my coffee slowly – without words, without news, without email, or blog posts, even without music… just a woman, a Saturday morning, and a fresh cup of coffee. I take time for me. Time for reflection. Time to breathe. Time to consider, and to be considered. It is time that passes slowly, gently, and fills me up with contentment, resilience, and wonder, for future moments that are less than ideally satisfying.

I listen to cars passing, on the street beyond the driveway. I listen to early morning birdsong. I watch the dawn become a gray spring morning. I sip my coffee. For too long, I resisted these calm moments as “wasted unproductive time” pushing myself to rush through my life, “binging” on tasks that queued up and crowded my days, and “purging” on sleep when exhausted, and feeling life slipping through my grasp – unsatisfied, dizzied by distraction and fatigue, and emotionally wrecked by the utter lack of self-care that characterized my experience. Done with all that. I make a point to take time for me. Time to reflect, and to consider, and to wonder, and to appreciate, and to experience, and to savor, and to enjoy… the choice, as it turns out, is mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

A random moment I took for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Totally worth it.

There is no “perfection” – only practice. The destination is the journey. All things pass, and there are verbs (and choices) involved. Results vary. Every failure is a lesson. Every end is the potential to begin again. I keep at it – living my own experience, letting go of the temptation to try to live any other. I am my own cartographer; my journey, my choices, my map, my dictionary. The map is not the journey. The plan is not the experience. The goal does not determine the outcome.

Delightfully enough, if I don’t like where I’ve taken myself in life, I can always begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I’ll start with a second cup of coffee. This lovely moment doesn’t need a do-over. ๐Ÿ™‚

I woke unexpectedly. It may have been my partner’s restlessness, it may have been my own. I woke to find him awake, too. We quietly crossed paths in the wee hours. I got up. He already was. I made coffee, offered him a cup, too. He is quietly about his own business in another room, I am here, writing. It feels quite comfortably like the ordinary work morning it so clearly is. I smile contentedly, and sip my coffee.

Man, these particular coffee beans… suck. lol I grin quietly in the dim morning light. It doesn’t really matter. I’m drinking it anyway. lol

I’ve tried to mostly avoid specifically counting down the days to this job change. It’s an unnecessary distraction from the work that must be done to do so skillfully, and that’s what I’m focused on, and committed to. Still… I sip my coffee very much aware that today is one of just two remaining shifts before… change. Wow.

I chose this. I remind myself. I sip my coffee. I feel the excitement. This is now. Feels pretty good.

I sip my coffee aware that “now” isn’t always going to be infused with this heady potion of excitement, eagerness, delight, joy, satisfaction, and love. I make a point to appreciate and savor it; fuel to push past future heartache, perhaps.

I smile at how vain and insipid my writing feels to me this morning, and let even that go, comfortably aware that it is ever so much more difficult to share happiness in words than to entice with bits of chaos, drama, trauma, and darkness. I’d still much prefer the experiences of happiness, however fleeting, however difficult to communicate.

I think of a colleague I’ll miss greatly, and hope that he’ll “be okay” after I’m gone. Experience of being that colleague left behind, I know that he will, and I also make a point to “do something” to shore up a real friendship, instead of leaving things hanging with some cursory “let’s keep in touch” that will feel hollow. I eye a painting that suddenly speaks to me, having been silent since the moment it was completed. “I get it now,” I think to myself, and ready it for the drive to the office this morning.

“Macro & Micro” , 6″ x 6″ acrylic on canvas w/glow and glitter, 2018 (this crazy thing sparkles like madness, seen in person)

It’s not a sad good-bye; it’s a new beginning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s a Saturday morning. I am awake early. I make a delicious cup of coffee, and later a couple of eggs, prepared simply, with a bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper. I feel content and satisfied. I scroll through my feeds; too many memes and shares, not enough original content. I move on. I do some self-study on topics currently most interesting to me. I take time to meditate.

I feel good.

I think about these things before I sit down to write. I consider how routinely I “begin again” and how often I suggest it as a great practice, recognizing what I’m really saying is something as elementary as “don’t beat yourself up over that, just start over”, which is less succinct, and less likely to become clear programming. I find myself wondering if that’s really enough to be at all helpful for friends or readers who haven’t yet tried a new beginning in that sense that I mean, and don’t quite know what to do with that moment of transition between the end/consequence of the one moment, and the fresh-start newness of the next.

I drink my coffee and mull that over. Is it a complicated question? “How to Begin Again” doesn’t seem the sort of thing that would, generally, require explicit instruction… but… I already know I’m wrong about that, a lot. So…

  1. Step one, well, I guess something’s gotta end, or be completed, or fail horribly leaving us feeling wretched and lost, or at loose ends, or puzzled, or discontent, or… Yeah. I guess step one has to be the end of something or other. Let’s start there. ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Now begin again.

Okay, okay. I’m being a smart ass, and a bit flippant, and maybe that’s not appropriate for you, in your circumstances, right at the moment? Got it. I’ll… begin again.

  1. Let’s go ahead and still start with something that ends. ๐Ÿ™‚ A circumstance, a moment, an experience – and hey, maybe that’s your “now”, right now, and it hasn’t ended yet, and you’re really quite unhappy and miserable and feeling beat down by life, or overcome by ennui or sorrow, or frustration… damn. That sucks. Let’s step 2 the hell out of that, shall we?
  2. Breathe. No kidding. Take a moment and just get some wholesome cleansing deep breaths. Let that other shit go, just for a moment or two at least? Surely that’s fine? It’s a choice. Take a moment for you, and just breathe.
  3. Even while allowing yourself to consider what has passed, whether success or failure, however miserable, worried, or anxious, please also work on letting go of your attachment to the specific outcome, and let go of any expectations you were holding on to. Let yourself have a clean slate on this – it’ll be okay to do that, I assure you. ๐Ÿ™‚ The map is not the world, and clinging to an understanding of an experience or circumstance can definitely color your future experience and decision-making.
  4. Go ahead and feel your feelings. Yep. Feel ’em. Emotions are not the bad guys here, and we can develop a less reactive, more awareness-based approach to our emotional life. Finding balance between emotion and reason is a very nice bonus to all this practicing. ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. Still breathing? You’ll want to keep that going, generally. ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. If you are wanting to literally re-start whatever you just failed at, now’s the time, perhaps, to consider what success really looks like – and maybe also ask yourself some questions about why you view it that way? Is that your own legitimate authentic honest assessment, or have you borrowed someone else’s opinion’s or values there? Please consider usingย  your own. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Much easier to succeed in life when you are pursuing your own goals.)
  7. Make a plan. Oh, I know – an ever-loving fuck-ton of you, out there, are not planners at all. I’m not saying a word about whether or not you execute a specific plan. I am most definitely suggesting that you still sketch out some sort of loose notion of what you want to get done, even if it’s only in your head, and even if you follow through completely differently. When we feel prepared, our stress level in life is generally lower. Just saying. Think it through. Consider your next steps, and your goal. Consider alternate outcomes – a lot of them. Be okay with as many of those as you are able to allow yourself to be. Consider how those alternate outcomes may also be quite okay, maybe in totally different ways. (Some people might call this “daydreaming”, but it can be done very productively.)
  8. Allow yourself to acknowledge what is and has gone well. Contemplate for some moments all manner of similar experiences or circumstances or events or relationships that have turned out quite well, based on your choices in the past. Consider them. Savor these memories of success and sort of “fill up your consciousness” with the things in life that you appreciate, and have turned out quite nicely.
  9. Still breathing? Don’t forget to breathe.
  10. Now’s the time. Whatever it is, take another lovely deep relaxed breath, recognize and enjoy your humanity, and be aware that through our challenges is our path to growth; we don’t learn much from our successes, or the easy wins in life. We don’t become stronger by way of experiences that don’t test our strength. We can’t fathom the depths of our capacity for joy or love without also experiencing the weight of our pain and sorrow.
  11. Ready? Do the thing. โค (All sorts of different steps and verbs go with this one, obviously. You get to choose those; that’s on you.)

I still think it’s fine to just… start with step 1 and finish with a step 2… but… I’ve been practicing for a while, and at this point, it does feel pretty natural to sort of cram all the rest of that between them. LOL

I smile and think about this journey of mine, and how far I’ve come from that hurt creature uncertain life is worth living… that was only… 5 years ago. The world isn’t really a “better place” than it was then, in most regards, and actually, it seems a bit worse, in a number of ways. Still… I feel better, about the world, about myself, about my life, about my ability to love and to heal and to nurture, and to make wise choices. I treat myself, generally, reliably well. I treat others better than I was ever able to before – or knew how to do. Strange to consider how all this progress has been built on so many small beginnings.

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 learningย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚