Archives for posts with tag: self-study

This morning is Saturday. I woke to the alarm. I’ve got a seminar all weekend. This is a treat for me on several levels: it is taught by a neuroscientist whose work has been important for me over the past almost 3 years, it is on the topic of positive neuroplasticity, I enrolled because I wanted to myself, it has been planned for many weeks, and learning feels amazing. 3 entire days of education – for me! Well… my original plan had been to attend all three days of live stream, and when I returned to the workforce I had planned (and requested) the day off… but… turns out I actually really enjoy my job, so day 3 (which is a Monday) I’ll catch up with on the replay. I don’t want to miss Monday in the office.

Raindrops on roses; I make time for thoughts of love.

Raindrops on roses; I make time for thoughts of love.

…When did I become this person? When did words like “committed”, “thoughtful”, “compassionate”, “positive”, and “dedicated” become part of who I am? When did I become comfortable seeing myself this way? Using these words? I mean, over time, sure, change happens…and choosing to practice new practices, embrace new ideas, and walk on from what doesn’t work is sure to lead to change (and growth too) … but… when did I become the woman facing me in the mirror today? I feel differently about her than I felt about her in years past. I smile when I think so, because aside from understanding her a bit more, and practicing very different practices from a practical perspective… I still feel her presence solidly as “me”, without any particular sense of some sort of “growth and development timeline”. 🙂

I think about the “on-boarding process” in the context of professional life; our personal lives are much messier, less organized, but I suspect it is more a matter of not writing it all down with hyperlinks, in bite-sized pieces, that can be copied over and over again and shared with each new human being, more than it is that no process exists. It strikes me now what a wonderful thing it is that life doesn’t really work that way; no handy rule book, no map, no Sherpa – not really, though over a lifetime haven’t I had many guides? Strangers, friends, lovers, family, teachers, casual passers-by, great books… hell, even the moments themselves and the metaphors I so delight in, end up being part of this whole being and becoming process.

Practices matter. Choices matter. Words, too, our words matter. How we present ourselves, and the assumptions we make, matter. How we treat ourselves matters. How life feels and how we treat others, builds on all of that. 🙂

Letting the rain fall without fretting about it.

Letting the rain fall without fretting about it.

It’s a rainy day. A good day to enjoy the weather from the other side of window glass. A good day for a third coffee. A good day to study, to learn, to write. A good day for casual grammar, and a positive outlook. A good day for art, for science, for love. A good day to let the rain fall. Well… it’s a good day for all those things for me; we are each having our own experience.


This weekend I will study. I will be a student. I will see the world through a beginner’s eyes. I hope to learn more about what matters most. Then… I will practice. 🙂


I’m sipping my coffee and staring at a blank page, waiting for my brain to kick in with actual thoughts. So far… nothing. It’s not a lack of thoughts lurking in the background waiting their turn to be given a moment, or a lack of living metaphors, or whimsy. There is surely no shortage of photographs of this and that, out and about, useful for illustrating some point…or just being a lovely image or image of a lovely moment. Quite the opposite; my head is full of things to do, thoughts, notions, observations, yearnings, fleeting illustrative imaginings, and some of the best poetry I’ve never written, too… It’s a noisy mess in here, and frankly some tidying up is in order!

I slept well last night and rested deeply. I even ‘slept in’ some, having not set the alarm and waking at the time my eyes were most inclined to open and face the day (still quite early in the morning, sun not yet up). But what is there to say about sleep, besides noting the obvious value in being well-rested? Certainly it is worth taking the time to go to bed early enough to get a needed night’s sleep; no late night programming is truly worth passing up sleep. I’ve already used more words than needed on the topic of sleeping. Waking well-rested is an excellent start to any day that may have verbs in it. 🙂

There’s the thing, right? There are so many verbs from which to choose! I could meditate – and tidy up the mess within. I could do some housekeeping and tidy up the mess that surrounds me (it is limited to my studio, and is both inconvenient, and an impediment to working creatively). I could finish getting moved in – which tends to have a tidying up effect both internally and externally (it’s just that sort of process). I could ‘mix it up’ and spend some measure of time on a variety of tasks, ‘getting ahead on things’ in a more generalized way. I could choose to do something less obviously useful, like going for a long hike, or having an at-home “spa day” and really taking care of me on a whole other level, or spending the day bird-watching from my patio, or catching up on my studies by reading (and finishing) one or two exceptional reading selections I’ve been finding highly useful and haven’t yet finished… The point I am making (for me as much as anyone else) is that there is a fairly large variety of verbs I can choose from – in most any moment, on nearly any day – and the day is only begun. I am unlikely to make ‘relaxing’ and ‘sipping coffee’ last for the whole of the day, and not only are there more hours ahead of me (as far as I know) there is ever so much more to be done…

It’s down to choices. Choices and verbs.

I sit awhile, sipping my coffee and looking at those words, “choices and verbs”, and giving myself time to consider my choices and the verbs required more fully. I open my “to do list” and my “list of things” (which is a willy-nilly ‘as it came to me’ unsorted vast sort of list of all the many things I might like to have or ‘need to get’ to improve my day-to-day quality of life, or to resolve some small household issue or another), and make an addition here or there. I continue to sip my coffee. I consolidate the two lists into one, for convenience. I continue to consider the options – and the opportunities. As I review the list, add to it, and remove items that have been completed, I find myself feeling more organized, more aware, and less at loose ends. I feel more purposeful, and more mindful of my long-term needs. I remove some things from the list that are no longer relevant; needs and plans change. Change is. This individual day facing me in this moment is mostly unaffected by the changes I make to my lists, but I feel more organized, more clear-headed, and more present in this moment, being less burdened by the lack of ‘sense of direction’ that had occurred as planning broke down in the face of change. Change is – that much is entirely unavoidable, and fighting it is an unworthy use of precious limited life force, particularly when harnessing the power of change can be such a powerful ally on a much longer journey.

It’s still about choices and verbs, and my coffee is down to one last, cold, sip. It is a rainy day beyond the window, and the sun is apparently giving all the light and warmth it can. The gray rainy day nudges me in the direction of indoor choices, limiting the list just a bit. It’s still plenty to choose from. I pause, and notice a serious omission from my list, and make a point to add it… “Enjoy the day and take care of me.” I smile. I’m eager to check that one off every day, and recognize the value in making it a priority, and taking the time to fulfill my obligations to myself.

...Making a list... checking it twice...

…Making a list… checking it twice…

Choices. Verbs. The day won’t wait for me to keep up… Today is a good day to embrace change, and to take care of me… I’ve got a list, and I know how to use it. 😉