Archives for posts with tag: that’s why I’m easy

…Some journeys we don’t share so much…maybe not at all. Some journeys begin together, and end alone. Some journeys we don’t particularly want or need to share, but find ourselves in the company of others along the way. Even love works in this way; sometimes shared, sometimes less so. Sometimes love is convenient, sometimes it isn’t.

I sip my coffee this morning, thinking about love…and thinking about solitude. It’s an interesting private dialogue with the woman in the mirror. This morning there are no tears, but also no noteworthy joy. I exist in this moment, with coffee, without company. I’m okay solo. I miss the immediate presence of love. These things exist together, and dissecting them does not improve my perspective on my self, or this moment, and instead I choose to simply be, to comfortably exist with myself, without judgment – without questions (at least for now).

One of the challenges life’s curriculum offers me, personally, is the chance to accept on a deeply compassionate and understanding level that I am not always who/what can provide what my partner needs in a particular moment. “Too tired” for one activity (with me) may not be “too tired” for some other activity, with some other human being. “Too busy” to cross town to hang out with me, to make love, to share time, may not be “too busy” for adventure elsewhere, with others. This isn’t a criticism, and when partners choose something (or someone) other than each other, that’s not a criticism, either.  Giving each other room to grow, and to live our lives fully, requires that we also be open to it when our partners make the choice to do so. There are practices involved; it’s easy to become swamped by insecurity and doubt, or for emotional needs left unmet (and undiscussed) to fester. Taking my partner’s fun elsewhere personally would quickly result in feeling deeply hurt to be “left” alone – in spite of enjoying my solitude, and choosing it. It’s a puzzle best solved with open communication, compassion, loving kindness, self-awareness, and being very present and connected when we spend time together… and also being very much present with myself, when I am alone. That one’s harder. 🙂 There are verbs involved. My results vary.

I ended the day yesterday with a migraine. That sucked. Getting there wasn’t bad… I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my visiting friend and my traveling partner (who are also friends), before we each went on with our own days. I hung out awhile with friends closer to home afterward, for a short while, before spending a considerable time quietly at home tidying up. That doesn’t sound at all adventurous, I know, and it wasn’t… but it was quiet, gentle time, simply being. I hadn’t actually been fully alone in days, almost a week. I didn’t even turn on the stereo, so deeply satisfying the silence seemed to be. Some hours later, the headache arrived, and some visual and auditory weirdness, along with the nausea. Nothing much helped, besides more quiet, and some darkness. Reading made me seasick. Any sort of video screen was entirely out of the question. I laid down with my headache in the darkness and just rested. Morning arrived – no headache. I’m happy about that. I don’t have migraines often, and I’m happy about that, too.

Today? I’ve no idea what today holds, other than one scheduled appointment right at noon time. The forecast suggests a hot day. I find myself wishing my appointment time were earlier… the sort of wishing that can quickly become irritation and discontent, the kind that rests in my thoughts as a sense of dissatisfaction. I breathe, and let it go. When that actually works well, I feel a certain sense of wonder and achievement; it’s been a big deal to learn to choose with greater care which thoughts to give substance, which to let go.

I remind myself the migraine last night may have the potential to affect my mood today, and promise myself very attentive self-care. It’s a commitment to doing my best, and also a commitment made with real affection. I’ve come along way with the woman in the mirror, and with some practice(s), we’ve got this. 🙂

Today is a good day… for… something. I’ll figure that out as I go along. I’m having my own experience… there are verbs involved. 🙂

It’s not every evening that I break through something that’s been holding me back. The walk home from work began in the usual way; I left the building, and turned left. It all respects it was a similar summer evening walk home as most have been. At some point, soon after I started, I made a choice to… just walk.

It was not as hot as it has been, and the humidity doesn’t bother me much. I walked along past familiar things, thinking familiar thoughts…and then, I let even those go, too. I just walked, breathing in the heavy summer air.  No cause to rush; I had no plans on the other end, nothing to achieve beyond what I had in that moment along the way, and I felt content to stroll. I passed by a spot where the cooler air of evening-to-come was beginning to gather among the dense vegetation, lifted by whatever sorts of things cause currents of air to move along. The coolness of it brushed my arm before the subtle scent of blackberries, perhaps fallen or crushed under foot, reached my nose. I breathed it all in, almost pausing, reluctant to pass by.

Around the bend, down a hill, along a walk way open to the sun most of the way, with groves of trees here and there, well-spaced and well-mannered, sharing the moment with me as I walked past, through, beneath. Scents of parched pine needles mingle with the lusher, richer scents of the sodden earth of landscaping gone mad; sprinklers, used and over-used, nurturing dense expanses of mown lawn between trees in groups like cliques of high school girls – all of the same sort, gathered quite closely together, saying nothing as I pass. The trees are filled with birds. Some sing their song as I approach, silent while I am too near for comfort, and resuming as I walk away. Others, blue jays, and crows, call to me – setting boundaries, or perhaps sharing news of the weather, insistent, demanding.

There is a buzzing, chirping, peeping din to the left of me as I walk past the shallow lake at the end of the park. The persistent woosh of the cars on my right, somehow similar, but different – less pleasant, and only beginning to fade as I make the left through the park. I forget the sounds of traffic again and again as I walk. I don’t reach for my phone. My thoughts are… not really thoughts. I am walking. Breathing. Listening. I am aware, but not wary. I am alert, but not vigilant. I am content, without self-soothing. I am simply walking.

I turned away from home, as I got close, and walked further than needed, through the park, along other paths. Just walking. Breathing. Listening to the birds, and the frogs, and seeing the clouds shift and change as the sun crosses the sky toward twilight. No pictures. It didn’t seem to be part of the experience. When I did reach home, I felt welcome, comfortable, and…something else. I’m not sure what. Something nice. Something that feels steady, and reliable…like a promise to a friend that I know won’t be broken.

It was easy tonight to make a healthy meal without negotiating with myself, or promising more or better some other time. Easy to tidy up without fighting a child’s impulse to play at the expense of commitments to self. Easy to take care of me. Contentment feels easy. The evening feels easy. All the practicing? Right now all of that feels… easy. Worthwhile. For the moment? Natural. It’s a journey. I guess I’ve walked a bit farther than I had before. Tonight that’s enough. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee contentedly, and sifting rather passively through words and ideas. I am open to inspiration but not finding any so far. I am content with this, too. My coffee is very good, and the morning is a pleasant one. My brain is not yet ‘firing on all cylinders’, and I am not inclined to be demanding or insistent with myself; it is a Monday, and there is no reason to rush. (That’s really the big advantage of my leisurely mornings; I don’t feel rushed. Ever.)

Coffee, flowers, and a celebration of morning.

Coffee, flowers, and a celebration of morning.

The days are already becoming shorter. It is no longer already daylight when I wake, and I enjoy watching dawn bring shades of mauve and blue to the darkness as I sip my coffee, yawning, and wondering what to write ‘about’. I feel content and satisfied, and well-rested after a delightful weekend. I find myself already eager to end the work day (that has not yet even begun) to hurry home to… read. Or write. Or paint. Or… do something with and for me, even if nothing more than cooking myself a tasty meal using produce from my garden, or taking a hot shower and enjoying the sensuous pleasure of water on skin.

This morning doesn’t need to be ‘about’ anything besides morning, itself. Enjoying the quiet, the serenity, the cool morning air, and a few moments for myself before the work day is enough. Weightier matters can wait for some other day, some other moment…”now” is not for any of that, apparently; my time is taken up with this very excellent cup of coffee, and the recollection of a lovely weekend.

Today is a good day to savor the moments that delight me and nourish my heart. Today is a good day to pause the hard work, the drama, the focus, and the energy spent on effort, to take a few moments for me just to enjoy me – and the outcome of prior hard work, focus, and energy spent on effort, and the lack of drama day-to-day. Today is a good day to be, on my way to becoming.

I like the sound of the phrase ‘The Art of Being’. I find something contained within those simple words that hints at more than the practical details of practicing practices and the slow pace of incremental change over time; it suggests nuances of self and experience that exist beyond the logistics of resources and effort in practices. As lovely as it sounds, however, the Art of Being remains tangled up in practices that need practicing. As with being an amazing singer, or gifted artist, perhaps, the beauty of raw talent is a wonder that holds potential to be further improved upon with skill, craftsmanship, and experience…all things that come from practice, and possibly some coaching or education.

Sorting out ‘art’ from ‘science’, and taking those next steps from talent (or good fortune) to skill and craftsmanship, to design and engineering, is an experience of its own. It is the journey from awareness to real understanding. From “I’m doing it!” to “Of course, I’ve got this.” From asking questions to… understanding, or at least to the threshold of building real understanding. To be clear, I am still asking questions, and still approaching my circumstances and experience with a beginner’s mind in every  moment that I remain mindful to do so; there are still practices involved, still requiring verbs, will, and choice.

I am rereading the Four Agreements; a worthy starting point on any journey of self.

I am rereading The Four Agreements; a worthy starting point on any journey of self.

For me, now, the ‘art’ in The Art of Being speaks to an increased level of ‘ease’ within myself, and how I approach my experience moment-to-moment. It implies a heightened level of acceptance, of self-compassion, and self-appreciation. It implies a reduction in assumptions, expectations, and attachment resulting in an increased level of calm, contentment, and even merriment. I expect to find that someone skilled in The Art of Being will be emotionally self-sufficient, accepting of themselves and not inclined to take the emotions or experience of others personally, and to be so without doing emotional harm to others thoughtlessly or by intention.

I feel a bit as I do out on a long hike, checking my map for significant landmarks, intersections, places I’d like to stop, or turn toward another direction…I’ve got my eye on the next turn, the next goal, and the signpost I am looking for reads ‘The Art of Being’. I’m not discontent on this path so clearly marked ‘Practicing the Practices’, and it is an important part of my journey. This is, however, a journey; there is more life to live, more ground to cover.  I am my own cartographer, and I am placing an ‘x’ on this particular spot…right over…here. The Art of Being seems a good direction to head, a worthy goal, and a good place to find myself farther along the way. This is not a journey about destinations as much as it is about steps, and continuance, and walking on…

Taking time to consider the journey, to rest, to observe, to enjoy, all have value of their own; there is no need to rush life.

Taking time to consider the journey, to rest, to observe, to enjoy, all have value of their own; there is no need to rush life, now is lovely.

One of the challenges for me day-to-day is remaining committed to the practices that seem most effective, and not allowing myself to become distracted by old patterns, ineffective programming, and moments of distress caused by the clash between historical expectations and change over time. It is almost inevitable in the context of relationships that (because we are each having our own experience) I may occasionally feel a bit like some mysterious quantum particle – I’m not quite in the place I’m expected to be, as a person, but it isn’t obvious ‘where I’m at’ until a specific outcome is observed – but having made the observation, I may have already moved on to better things by way of that very observation, itself. Similarly, I may have a sense that I’ve ‘come so far’, only to observe that in some moment, the incremental change is far smaller than anticipated, at least right then. It’s hard to keep up with, myself. I continue to practice the practices that are most effective, and I am learning to set aside the expectations altogether and give myself a break from constant criticism, and demands, and enjoy the journey in my own good company.

I am using my current search for a live/work space to promote deeper understanding of where I am in life, now, as well as putting focus on ongoing challenges with attachment; investing willfully in my own needs feels powerful, and provocatively hints at growth to come, in an environment uniquely suited to me. Although it feels ‘overdue’, I don’t allow myself criticism of the relevant decision-making that put it off so long; each of those decision-making points in life have been important, and each one handled in the way that seemed best at the time, based on my understanding of events, and of self, in that moment. Regret and bullying myself over past choices drives stress, feeds attachment, and continues the sort of self-defeating beat down that impedes clear thinking in the present. Besides – I deserve better than that from me. When I treat myself badly, I also make it much more difficult to treat others well.

The weekend was pretty good. I enjoyed it a great deal. I had a couple challenging moments yesterday, both missed opportunities to more skillfully manage my emotional experience, and to more clearly express myself, both very illustrative of how much further there is to go on this journey, and how much value there is in love. Wonderfully, they were both moments, and moments pass, in fact – in the case of yesterday, both challenging moments passed by like spring showers, and didn’t linger. Progress.

There is more to do, and farther to go. There is life is to be lived, and there is pleasure to be enjoyed, and further progress to make. There is a woman I love, to smile at in the mirror. I’ve got practices to practice as I continue down this path, on my way to The Art of Being.