Archives for posts with tag: use a verb

I am content. Today has been peculiarly productive with all manner of adulthood-related commitments and tasks. In spite of pain I’ve managed it all quite efficiently and will reasonable skill. I am seriously hurting today. The weather is quite wintry, and I spent an amount of it outdoors. The cold seeped into my arthritic bones, and I am stiff almost to rigidity from my waist to my shoulders – and I hurt. Still…I am mostly fairly merry, and lack any shred of irritability or ire today. I have taken care of me in so many ways today, big and small. It’s definitely a bit beyond ‘enough’.

When conditions are right, growth.

When conditions are right, growth.

I have an opportunity to move into a somewhat larger apartment in the community, one that is directly adjacent to the park, and has all the nice features of this unit. That’s exciting for a number of reasons. It is an unexpected and delightful recent development; the associated practices will be mostly to do with feeling the excitement and anticipation of a move I want to make, without becoming invested in the outcome before the lease is signed. I’ll make the observation that life tends to be much easier, and less about drama, having turned my attention toward cultivating an experience of sustainable contentment, rather than chronically chasing happiness and feeling mired in sorrow. Not only has life tended to be ‘easier’ – I’m also actually happy more often. (Your results may vary.) (Oh – and there are verbs involved.) (Ooh – Dude – don’t forget about the choices! You have choices.)

It’s a time of year I spend a lot of leisure time reflecting on what has been working, what hasn’t worked out so well, what I am yearning for and not finding, what I may be stuck chasing that I don’t even want, where I am headed – every journey begins somewhere, so I am also reflecting on where I am right now. My traveling partner was so right; he observed years ago, when we were first becoming friends, that I would benefit greatly from living alone awhile – his thinking was based on my fairly chronic complaint that I did not ‘feel heard’. He suggested, and he wasn’t the last to do so, that the person not listening just might be me. I dismissed that notion out of hand, and went on to fill out the narrative with some understandable, more or less, feminist grievances that seemed to hold up to scrutiny. They may or may not have real substance. He was correct, though; I wasn’t listening. Whether anyone else was is almost irrelevant where I stand in life now. I am hearing me, and it was my own attention I needed most – or at least first. It has been an important experience living alone. I discovered something quite nice; I like living alone. It works for me.

I also discovered some things that are less comfortable. Feeling lonely sucks. Coming home to a cold darkened apartment feels empty. Those are uncomfortable. I greatly miss living with my traveling partner… generally. That’s not uncomfortable. It’s not even uncomfortable that sometimes I don’t miss living with him. Nope. What’s uncomfortable is how incredibly unskilled I am at simply having the experience of feeling the feelings. It takes practice to allow myself some compassion for complex or intense emotions, and to treat myself kindly; I keep practicing. What is uncomfortable is the sensation of missing him alongside the awareness that I also very much enjoy living alone. What’s uncomfortable is that these things really do co-exist – and as it turns out, I have no reason at all to consider the experience one that comes with a comfort guarantee. There is likely to be more to be learned from my discomfort than from my joy. Life’s curriculum being delivered right on time.

Today is a good day for reflection, for choices, and for contentment. Enough really is enough – that’s why it gets called that. 🙂

The last of twilight is gone. The house is quiet. The aquarium lights are off. There is stillness within, and stillness surrounding me. For many minutes I sat, also still, soaking in the awareness of the quiet, the serenity, the gentleness of the moment itself – neither extraordinary, nor memorable – before turning to words. Those sorts of still moments are so easily missed; it seems wise to savor them when I can, so I sat wrapped in the stillness, breathing, calm, content…really, just enjoying it. Awake. Aware. Compassionate and not judging; observing attentively, present and engaged. Words. Frustratingly, the words don’t do the feeling justice, at all. I am tempted to hit ‘save draft’ and crash for the night… I am not ready for sleep.

Evening light

Evening light

There are more things to consider than things that truly need to be said…or… said by me. Perhaps, tonight, fewer words, and a few more minutes to consider the words already said? More stillness. Some handful of moments smiling in the darkness, this gentle pleasant now a small gift from me, to me – the tiniest down payment on a substantial debt I owe to myself.

Spring flowers and ice.

Spring flowers and ice, a mixed message.

Not even 300 words…but I’ve been writing for more than an hour, pretty continuously. I get so far, then…delete back to the last thing that said…something. Words are failing me this evening. I’m okay with that…and that’s mostly what I am saying; I’m okay. For now. Generally speaking. I feel a feeling of safety built on my own strength, lately. I practice a lot of practices to be here for myself. (I’m not bitching – I’m just saying it’s not a magical transformation born of some ‘aha!’ moment; I’ve been working at this.) It’s been worth it. Start somewhere. Start small. Don’t quit. Enjoy the small changes; eventually the changes don’t seem so small, after all.

It's hard to photograph birdsong...

It’s hard to photograph birdsong…

Oh, hey…Seriously? There’s no magic to any of this. I still have bad days. I still make mistakes. I still struggle with challenges that may not improve much more and require good-natured self-acceptance, a sense of humor, and the will to just keep at it (because change is). I still cry when I’m frustrated. I still feel angry when I am mistreated. It’s all very human; that part just doesn’t change. I think, right now, in this quiet still and very peaceful moment, it’s easy to look past all the hard stuff. It does take practice. There are verbs involved. (Your results may vary.)


The heavy clouds last night as I walked home were a pretty sure indicator there would be a little rain in the night, or this morning; that didn’t take a degree in meteorology, for sure.

"Dress appropriately"

“Dress appropriately”

This morning I woke filled with anxiety; I put it to rest with meditation before I went any further with my day. I don’t have a lot of words in my head, this morning, and the sensations of anxiety continue to come and go, connected to nothing obvious, and without identifiable direct cause. I no longer ‘worry’ about that when it comes up; the worrying itself feeds the anxiety, not the resolution of it.

I am eager to head into the rainy morning. There are so many sorts of rain to enjoy. The aquarium trickling quietly in the background masks the sound of rain beyond my window, and stepping out into the morning will be like opening a present; the anticipation, the excitement, and then – what it is. My generally at home partner gives me a good-bye hug before heading to work, herself. My traveling partner and I enjoyed a brief moment, before he opted to return to sleep; it’s very early, still.  I hear doors open, doors close… I have learned, too, not to build stories about my life or the world on the sounds of doors, drawers, cupboards, and footsteps. That, too, helps me manage my anxiety. I used to find myself utterly caught up in the stories I built around all the sounds I could hear in the background, beyond a closed door, in another room, around a corner out of view. To those sounds I would add whatever I could hear of voices, generally just mood, or tone, without words; the narrative I created for myself could drive days of tension, anxiety, fearfulness, insecurity, despondency, agitation… it rarely found its way to building a narrative of love, joy, connectedness, intimacy, or delight. I’m learning to create more positive implicit memory, and in so doing, I am learning to undermine anxiety. It’s powerful.

Simple pleasures, savored, matter so much.

Simple pleasures, savored, matter so much.

Little things, like taking a real break from the work day, stepping outside into the trees for a moment with a friend, to share the discovery of a honey bee hive high up in a tree, and enjoying the late autumn breezes and sunshine, can change the mood of an entire day, or experience, for me. (Your results may vary. Caution: results require more effort than they appear to. Apply verbs liberally.) Little things, like celebrating a fairly silly holiday, in a wholesome and whole-hearted way, and connecting to a larger shared experience in my community has value too. Happy Halloween! What’s it really about for you? For me, Halloween is a strange sort of holiday. In modern times, mostly about costumes, and parties and… what? Is there something more sacred to it? There doesn’t generally seem to be. Hell, mostly it isn’t even scary, however much horror films seem to feature in the festivities. I consider Halloween a sort of cultural ‘whistling in the dark’… perhaps more folks should dress as cops and congressmen? lol

What it is.

What it is. 

So…another day, more to learn, more opportunities to demonstrate good intentions, and make good choices, more chances to communicate clearly, and show someone kindness. Today is a good day for all that and more. Today is a good day to encourage someone in a genuine way, and to give more praise than criticism. Today is a good day to look our limitations in the face and say “you’re not my supervisor!”

Today is a good day to walk in the rain.