Archives for posts with tag: present and engaged

I woke during the night, at 2:35 am. Maybe something woke me. Maybe I just woke up. I got up and wandered through the apartment room by room, not for any particular reason. I think I could have rather easily gone back to sleep. I don’t have a clear idea why I actually got up upon waking. I wasn’t awake long, only long enough to wander through the darkened rooms, illuminated, enough for eyes that opened in the darkness, by the outdoor community lighting along walkways filtering through the closed blinds. I stood in the open patio doorway for some minutes, breathing the cool night air, and watching the clouds scoot past overhead. I went back to bed afterward.

With no alarm set, and no requirement to wake at some specific morning hour to hasten for a building elsewhere, to take a seat among working peers, to process tasks and complete workload for an employer, I slept until I woke, rested. I savored my waking moments with sensuous delight, aware how imminent the return of the alarm clock’s harsh no-nonsense beeping may be. It’s a lovely morning to enjoy what is. What is not, or is not yet, or is no more, is… without consequence in this moment. Well, maybe some of the “is no more” stuff has lingering consequences… our choices matter. Our choices now become our circumstances in our as-yet-unknown future. Sure, that’s pretty much how it works, generally. The future, however, remains firmly not “now”. Our past choices may have consequences we deal with presently, still… our past is also not “now”. I’m enjoying this “now” moment, and it is a lovely one. Quiet. Calm. Content. This is enough. Enough for “now”, and “now” is what I’ve got to work with. 🙂

This particular "now" is a lovely one.

This particular “now”; one moment among many.

The busy week still feels fairly well-managed, not quite “effortless”; there have been many verbs involved. Small breakthroughs, too, in areas of long-time struggle, confusion, or chaos. Something clicked for me, and my approach to food is healthier, and feels less conflicted. Something else clicked for me, and some verbs became easier, more natural parts of my experience. The specifics are less meaningful to share than that life continues to be a journey – with steps, without a map, with choices, without guarantees; we become what we practice. Incremental change over time is very real. Sometimes, change is as “easy” as flipping a switch. Sometimes change is more a matter of choosing. Choosing again. And yet again. And practicing more. Being frustrated now and then, and continuing nonetheless.

Choices, context, coincidence, circumstances, all adding up to this experience of “my life” and “who I am”… this morning over a simple coffee, black, in a plain porcelain cup, white, on a chilly morning somewhere between summer and autumn, it all seems rather simple and uncomplicated. I smile, reminded somehow of impermanence, inevitable and real. Change is. I’m okay with that, too, on this simple quiet morning of enough.

Later will be soon enough for busier moments. A night out with my traveling partner and a friend. “Breakfast” afterhours? An afternoon of doctor’s and tests and imaging, before the weekend can begin. A weekend outing to the farmer’s market with a new friend who’s never been. A lazy Sunday of rest, and study. Moments. Each an opportunity to connect more deeply, share more openly, and savor life. This life. My life. Now. Learning to enjoy and savor my experience has been one of the very best improvements I’ve made in how I live my life; most moments are quite delightful. It used to be that I didn’t notice that, or take the time for anything less than a catastrophe – or an obligation. All the things that hurt and troubled me, and the things that I “had to do”, took all the time I had. There were definitely choices and verbs involved. It required practice, and the change over time was rather slow. It started here. Or… was it here? Here? Here. Oh, maybe… here? What I’m saying is; there are verbs involved, and practice, and without the practice and the verbs, we leave change to chance. 😉

There is so much value in being present in this moment, now, as it is.

There is so much value in being present in this moment, now, as it is.

Today is a good day to be here, now. Today is a good day to practice being who we wish to become; we become what we practice. Today is a good day to choose change; being leads to becoming. 🙂

 

It’s Sunday, and today the travelers return. I love a good homecoming. It’s so easy to sabotage a wonderful moment with expectations, and assumptions… today I make my ‘to do list’ with an eye for the work week ahead, and ensuring returning travelers will have the laundry room for their own needs when they get home, and a tidy home to return to. Pain has made being productive around the house a challenge this weekend, but it’s somewhat less today, and I know that if I manage my self-care carefully, and mindful of my limitations, I will be able to meet my own needs for preparing for the coming work week, as well as meeting my own basic standard for household upkeep.

Expectations and assumptions are just about the fastest shortcuts to relationship misery ever. If I had set expectations that a certain amount of very specific housework would be done, then couldn’t do it, it could be disappointing or inconveniencing for other members of the household. Similarly, if they were to assume certain specific things would be done, and arrived to find that those things weren’t done, it could be irksome or inconveniencing, too. If I assume everyone around me knows how much pain I’m in – and how much that limits me – I set internal expectations with myself about how I will be treated, that may not be reasonable; pain isn’t visible to others as a quantity or magnitude of suffering, and the limitations it creates are not obvious at a glance.

Clear – and explicit – expectation setting has enormous value, generally, and I practice clear and specific expectation setting as much as I can. Ensuring that assumptions are quickly moved from ‘implicit’ and unconfirmed to ‘verified with clear communication and clarifying questions’ (resulting in assumptions becoming clearly set expectations), I reduce the stress and drama – and anxiety – of life and love. Seems simple enough in text…it isn’t always so simple in practice. I’ve done my best this weekend. Seems my family has as well. I’m eager to welcome them home.

It'll be evening when they get home... conversations over tea, anecdotes, laughter, the quiet warmth of family...

It’ll be evening when they get home… conversations over tea, anecdotes, laughter, the quiet warmth of family…I look ahead and fight the desire to hold expectations, or make assumptions about the evening to come.

I slept restlessly again last night. I’m not sure what’s disturbing my sleep; I wake frequently for no obvious cause, and I’m only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. This morning I just kept at it until daybreak, and managed almost 7 hours of sleep – in 90 minute to two-hour increments. Hardly ideal, but there’s no real distress in it, either.

Today I’ll spend the day in mindful service to home and hearth, and taking care of me with yoga, meditation, study, and working on my manuscript for NaNoWriMo. Today is a good day for all those things. Today is a good day to enjoy the day, this life, and this being I have worked so hard to become. The small details matter, and savoring the pleasant moments matters, too. It’s a good day to enjoy small delights. It’s a good day to enjoy the world.