Archives for posts with tag: price tag

The morning starts well. A soak in the spa. A hot cup of coffee. A soft gray daybreak. A great (explicit) new rap track. There’s so much potential in a new day. Later there’ll be work to do, maybe errands to run, effort to be exerted, or conflict to resolve, but right now? It’s just this quiet moment, early on a Thursday morning. I don’t know what the future holds in a post-pandemic world (or if there even will be a post-pandemic world for humanity, at all…). I don’t know who the next president will be. I don’t know what tomorrow has to offer. The future is undecided.

What do I want life to look and feel like? That’s a good question to ask, to answer, and then to reconsider. What quality would I want to characterize my general experience of life well-lived? My answer to that question has changed over the years. My understanding of “success” has changed. My understanding of “what life is about” has changed, too. What I want for myself – and of myself – has changed. I sip my coffee and think about that. Who does the woman in the mirror most want to be? What are those qualities that are most likely to ease me into the life I most want to live, long-term?

…I suspect I’m either “late to the party” on some of these questions, or simply prone to having this conversation with myself regularly, forgetting all about it, and having to do it again. 🙂 It feels a bit adolescent, but in my own adolescence I felt pretty sure of most things, in my grim angry cynical way. My level of “certainty” about life probably impeded my growth and forward progress, if only by preventing me asking some significant questions of myself. I’m okay with uncertainty these days – which is pretty useful, since there’s a lot of that around. lol

…It’s a nice morning for reflecting on life, over a good cup of coffee. Decent playlist, too. 🙂

I think about life in the context of this place, this dwelling, this address, this community – this is where I am. It’s been a complicated journey of 57 years. As my coffee begins to grow cold, I think about where this path may lead, accepting the uncertainties, embracing the practices that tend most to keep me on this path I’ve chosen. I feel fortunate, and make room for a moment of gratitude. It’s not that there haven’t been some terrible moments in life, some damage to heart and mind and body (some of which I feel even to this moment, now) – but those experiences don’t define me, now. They are not “who I am” – only what I’ve been through.

I think about a conversation with my Traveling Partner early in the week, about self-care, and my unfortunate lack of consistency in such things. He’s got a point, and I know that – and for every good practice I develop, there’s another I need to reinforce, and become more consistent with. It’s an ongoing thing (and why they are “practices”). I think about this day, ahead of me, right now. So far, so good. There’s more to it, and I can “do more/better” with my self-care practices. No criticism, no self-loathing – I’m not beating myself up over it, just reminding the woman in the mirror to make the worthy effort. It’s needful. It’s worthwhile. I benefit greatly from those moments, and am bettered for taking care of this fragile vessel with all the skill I have, and all the energy I can muster for it. 🙂

…New day, new beginning. Time to begin again.

I woke up bathed in sweat. Shaking. I woke up with wet hair, and a sensation of having “survived the night”. Oddly, I don’t recall much from my dreams. Under the circumstances, I am so okay with that. lol

I sip my coffee and over and over I work on “letting it go” and restarting my awareness of the day from a newer, later, more comfortable vantage point. It feels like effort. The effort is real, and I am slow to fully wake up, this morning. That’s okay, too. I have another sip of my coffee, grateful it is now almost cool enough to drink. I’m eager to start the work day and put more distance between my waking life and whatever was chasing me in my dreams. lol

I read a lot of articles about “mindfulness”. They’re split between articles about how “dangerous” or “potentially harmful” mindfulness can be (it is most assuredly potentially very effective), or what a waste of time it is – and often the discussion boils down to the very fact that it is effective being a cause for concern – because it may actually do something for you, and yeah, maybe you don’t get to determine specifically what that result looks like – or how over-hyped it is, and why you shouldn’t waste your money, because you could totally do it for free.

Mindfulness is effective.

Mindfulness practices can be undertaken at no financial cost.

There. Simple. Well, but… also… mindfulness is only effective at the things that mindfulness can do or bring to an experience. If we’re looking for something else/different out of it, well… We’re unlikely to get anything but what it is. If we’ve been walking in our sleep all our lives, or living on autopilot with our emotions frozen, taking those first exploratory steps down a mindfulness path? Scary. Emotional. Potentially not at all what we expected. It doesn’t equip us to ignore our truths or hide from our pain, for sure. It rests heavily on the adage that “the way out is through”. If you are approaching mindfulness hoping for blissful avoidance and a glossy cover-style zen outlook on life, you’re probably missing the point. 😉 It’s work. There are verbs involved. It isn’t always emotionally easy, at all.

Mindfulness practices – contemplative practices of any sort, really, I’d expect – do not have to cost money. The exception? What if you know nothing, and need a guide? Someone to “show you how”? Well, that’s where it could become costly. Do you read a book? That’s not too expensive, right there, but it’s hard to ask questions and get an answer. Do you take a class? See a specialist? Go on a luxury retreat? Buy color-coordinated accessories? Remodel your house to include a meditation space? Have a landscaper build you a temple and meditation garden? See what I mean? It doesn’t have to cost anything. That doesn’t mean you, personally, won’t be tempted into spending plenty, based partly on marketing by companies, and partly on what you think a mindfulness practice “looks like”. You have choices.

Speaking of choices… this coffee has gone cold. I’d love to choose to have another leisurely cup, take the morning quite slow, meditate a while, and relax. It is, however, a work day of another sort, and it’s time to begin again. 🙂