Archives for posts with tag: puzzles

I woke a bit early this morning, still smiling from the lovely evening spent with my Traveling Partner last night. I’ll probably be smiling for days, unless something entirely different knocks the smile off my face at some point. Hot coffee, headphones on, great playlist, smiling… this is a beautiful moment, as I start my day, still warm from a leisurely hot shower, still comfortable after my morning yoga… did I mention I’m still smiling?

What we see is often determined by what we’re looking at – and how we feel.

This moment is delightful. It’s still just a moment. Mindfulness is only part of this peculiar puzzle that is my journey from surviving to thriving; perspective matters every bit as much, I think. Take that lovely blue sky moment shot yesterday, pictured above, for example. It’s not an entirely frank image… I zoomed in on a small bit of blue sky, and some tree tops at the edge of a parking lot, downtown, near the waterfront, surrounded by concrete overpasses, framed in traffic, asphalt, and homeless people. I grabbed that sliver of beauty and blew it way out of proportion. I think I do that often, even without a camera. It’s also possible to do that in quite the reverse (and exceedingly common), zooming in on the suffering, the unpleasantness, the litter, the damage, the pain, the violence… life has a lot to offer, and it isn’t all pleasant happy fun stuff.

Still

How we view the world, how we experience our own lives, does have to do with our perspective on it. We filter our experience through our perspective. We give the details context, even going as far as making up, or filling in, missing narrative.

Still

Don’t miss out on the fun of life, or it’s whimsy!

We have choices, even about what to look at, and how to see it. Those choices matter, too. Balance matters. Perspective matters. Being “real” matters – and it matters how we define “being real”.

I don’t have anything super useful here, I’m just saying… perspective is a thing, and it’s useful to have some. Moments are moments, pleasant and unpleasant, and there will be some. 🙂 Taken together those ideas don’t stop life (and moments) from being rather like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle which has pieces that are all shades of gray, and each piece uniquely shaped. Assembling such a thing into something that is ordered seems complicated. I don’t actually know if it is complicated…

…I’m just going to dump the pieces out of the box, and get started on this puzzle. 😉

“I don’t want to change who I am!”  An interesting quote that recently got my attention.

Why, yes, I think I shall...

Why, yes, I think I shall…

Really? Don’t want to enjoy new experiences? Don’t want to meet some specific person: a celebrity, an artist, a musician, an intellectual notable in your field of interest, and have a potentially life or perspective changing conversation? Don’t want to live a more contented, happier life? You’ve achieved all you can, met all your goals, gone everywhere, seen everything? You have answered all of life’s questions – or at least those that matter to you? You grok all, and have fulfilled your life’s purpose? You are entirely finished with personal growth because you are exactly and precisely in all respects 100% the person you most want to be, fully aware, and ideally empowered in your experience, confident, and self-assured, secure and content?

This was a big step...

This was a big step…

Everything we do changes ‘who we are’. So… what does someone who says “I don’t want to change who I am!” really mean by that? What do they mean by ‘who I am’? What immutable qualities of self exist that they are so terrified change will cost them their entire identity?

I am a student of life.

I am a student of life.

I’m not being mean, snide, dismissive, flippant, smug, or superior – I am puzzled. I have said those words, although it seems now it was some lifetime ago, in another place, in a very different context, and with a very limited understanding of what ‘self’ may be. I even meant it, at the time, in a wholly sincere way, feeling very threatened that I might somehow sacrifice my existence as a being to make even one more change to ‘my self’, however small.

At this point, that seems a very odd position to take, having finished a year of nearly continuous growth and change, and finding myself – from my own perspective – to be, still, entirely me. lol.

This matters more than I understood when I started.

This matters more than I understood when I started.

What does ‘Who am I?’ mean, as a question, and when I answer that question with a statement of ‘who I am’, what does that ‘mean’ for me, or convey to others? Are the qualities we associate with “I am…” statements actually definitive of who we are as beings? I am learning that when I define myself, I am also placing limits on my choices, and potentially accepting a much more restrictive experience – filled with things and qualities I may reject because I ‘am not’ those. How do I choose which qualities I have or am, and which I lack, or am not? When I set my jaw and insist on being an unchanging self, immutable, inflexible, and unbreakable, without accountability or responsibility for the qualities I accept as defining me – don’t I also stall any chance at growth, progress, and learning in every area of my experience? How would I reconcile such a thing against the obvious existence of change, itself? Or…do we get to dictate how much we are willing to change, on what axis, to what degree of magnitude, and with regard to what characteristics? Is it that easy? We do have a lot of room to ‘customize’ who we are, through our choices. If we can ‘customize’ who we are (and oh, yes, we can)… doesn’t that take away the option of saying “I don’t want to change who I am!” – unless we are indeed exactly and precisely the person we most want to be, in every respect? And if we are that person, (fulfilled, content, satisfied with our sense of self…) and yet our relationships are confrontational, hurtful, contentious, unsatisfying, joyless, or unhappy in a long-term everyday way… are we saying that the responsibility for growth and change rests solely with our partner(s), and that we have no obligation to examine our own nature, choices, and character? That seems a tad lopsided,  and not reciprocal… it also doesn’t sound like something I’d expect to hear from a human being who had achieved all their goals, is precisely the person they most want to be, fulfilled, content, and satisfied with themselves, at all. Are we saying we prefer to exist in problematic, painful, or unsatisfying relationships, because that is preferable to change? Or that if change requires our willful constructive decision-making and action, that we’re just not interested? There is a missing piece here. Like assembling a jigsaw puzzle from which some practical joker removed a handful of unrelated pieces, I find myself frustrated, and unsure that I can ‘complete this picture’ at all easily, but I continue to fuss with it restlessly, needing the satisfaction of solving the puzzle.

There's even science about change, and self...

There’s even science about change, and self…

I write through the lens and filters of my own experience. I’m a student of life, and have my own baggage, my own biases, my own expectations of life, love and the world. Change is. I don’t realistically see a way around that. Fight it or embrace it – we have little control over the existence of change. If my choices and the changes associated with them are so powerful as to be the difference between happy/unhappy, content/discontent, positive/negative, considerate/inconsiderate, or success/failure, and growth/stagnation – why would I ever make willful choices to be unhappy, discontent, negative, stuck, inconsiderate… or any of a very long list of things that suck in life? If I were suffering something that unpleasant, painful, causes me to suffer, feels bad, or takes my experience in an unpleasant direction – and have a choice to do differently, or have a different experience – why would I not make the choices to enjoy my life, more? It’s a question.

...I've come so far...

…I’ve come so far…

I’m still more about questions than answers. This is a lot of words, on a quiet day. Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see, in my self. How else?

It can be as simple as this.

It can be as simple as this.