Archives for posts with tag: you choose

Me, too. Well, actually, I found one – a bunch of them, and a great perspective shot down a busy, picturesque street, on a sunny afternoon, between spring rain showers. I snapped a quick shot from my position on the corner, waiting to cross the street. I grinned, satisfied, and hurried on across while the light was still on “walk”.

Later, when I sat down for a moment with my thoughts, and this metaphor about signs just waiting to become words on a page with an apropos perspective shot supporting it… no picture. It didn’t save. The moment… has passed. Unrecorded. Soon to be forgotten.

Well… shit. Moving on, then?

…Or… are you still “looking for a sign”? What’s holding you back from that next step, right now? Fear? Money? Discouragement? Frustration? Disappointment? Ennui? (Have you ever noticed that what holds people back from pursuing something of interest is rarely joy, contentment, or satisfaction in life?) Okay, so, it’s not easy to “live the dream” – if what we want requires more than we have. Doesn’t matter if that’s money, or training, or experience, or skill… there’s an effort implied to any of it, and the suggestion that if we truly want to achieve that achievement, we’ll do the work. Luck only takes us so far. (I say this as someone who has been astonishingly lucky in life, all things considered.)

Wanna be a rock star? Are you making time, and putting in the hours, learning to play an instrument, read music, write songs…?

Wanna be a renowned author? Are you practicing your writing skills, you know, by writing? Are you honing your craft, and seeking feedback that will result in becoming the writer you most want to be, telling a story only you can tell?

Wanna kick butt at roller derby? So… yeah… are you on skates, looking for a team to practice with?

Wanna build custom furniture with amazing space-saving secret compartments and interesting built-in features that are entirely unique to your brand? Okay… are you already learning cabinetry and wood-working?

My point is this; it’s not luck alone that walks us down our path in life. We have to take actual steps. 🙂

…Don’t just stand there! Start walking. 😉

I woke this morning wrapped in the stifling stillness of a too-hot-for-real-comfort apartment, and committed to asking one of my friends next door to give me a hand putting the a/c in the studio window this week – if it fits. I started opening windows, and didn’t notice until I’d finished, that I was also singing “Cooling Down the House” (to the tune of “Burning Down the House“, by the Talking Heads lol). lol Freedom to be feels pretty good… and it’s super hard for anyone to take that from us; much more common is that we give it away. Usually we give ourselves away quite early in life, before we are aware of our choices, and often quite permanently, as though we have no choices to make. It is one of the most singularly sad things to see occurring in the human experience, I think.

Come out, come out, whoever you are! (Oh, hey, shit – I could have written about this for Pride! Damn it. lol)

Seriously – who can do “you”, as well as you can? 🙂 I’m smiling, and listening to a cover of Cypress Hill that makes me smile, because it’s somehow both totally this very familiar track, and also quite uniquely the band covering it. Art is transformative, and each artist rather unavoidably borrows from their own experiences of life, and other art – not copies, not reproductions, no; totally new art, created with new vision, is still built on bits and pieces of other art, other lives. There’s no worry that something will be lost for lack of duplication (except, maybe, knowledge itself?). I’m babbling. Here. You can listen, too. 🙂

One track and I’m down a rabbit hole listening to a band I’d never listened to before… fun. 🙂

The point, though, is simply this – and I’ve no doubt repeated myself to say so – investing time, effort, energy, and intent in being/doing what everyone else is also being/doing in the same way they are being/doing it, whether for acceptance, or out of fear, or by way of some explicit directive in our early years, is a waste of precious individual resources. Life is not generally improved by squashing myself down into a little box marked “acceptable” or limiting myself wholly to those activities and ideas noted as well-received by others – and I have so much more to offer! (You do, too.)

Besides… how very freeing to simply be? 🙂 …And how exciting; if you don’t like who you are, there is a universe of choices you can make to truly change all of that. 😀

You can choose you, anytime. You can be the person you most want to be – it’s a choice away, nothing more. Your results will vary (I know mine do). There will be verbs involved, and plenty of opportunity to practice. There’s only one thing you must do, unavoidably, to get started on your way – your way… You’ve got to begin again. There are verbs involved. 🙂

Ready? The sun rises on the choices you make each day. 🙂

Are you familiar with CGP Gray? He’s got some basics laid out that chart the course to misery pretty well… so… go the other way? Do something different? At any rate, he’s right; you may already be doing the things necessary to be miserable, and if you are – the journey to less misery may be pretty well-mapped right here. I’ve spent hours, days, and years basically saying what he’s said so well and so precisely in one video. 😀

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the journey. 🙂

…Don’t forget to pause to appreciate beauty along the way. 🙂

…isn’t what I thought I said. I woke up with those words in my head, and the soundtrack to my dreams still playing in my head. My impression was that I was the source of the music, myself. Funny how the bits and pieces of my days fills my dreams – or at least fills in the details, and provides a bit of familiarity to the strangeness.

I spent Sunday practicing on my bass guitar, taking breaks each time my forearms began to ache again. I’d watch an episode of Cowboy Bebop, which has theme music in a genre I really enjoy, musically. Sometimes I’d fill a break with live performance videos of bands with great bass players. Saffron Monkey. The Brothers Johnson. Stanley Clarke. There are a lot of amazing bassists. It’s sometimes hard to get a good look at them; most of the focus is on the lead singer, lead guitar player, or other ‘showy’ elements of a planned performance. I enjoyed the day filled with music. I kept coming back to the Seatbelts, the source of the day’s inspiration.

I found myself generally disinclined to be part of the everyday fuss and bother of the media outrage machinery, and although I quickly skimmed the headlines for the day, early on, I quickly lost interest and set it aside. It was enough to sass the headlines to myself, for amusement. I mean, seriously? It’s not likely there is going to be ‘real’ actually new information in most articles headlining today’s news, either… shall we take a look together?

I choose a mainstream retailer of information and head to the home page. “Baton Rouge Bloodbath!” – nope, yesterday’s news right there. Moving along… “7 Things You Need to Know”… about the Republican convention? I think not. That’s not news, it’s click bait. lol If I’m Republican, I already have whatever information is presented, probably days ago. If I’m a Democrat, Independent, or other sort of voter, well, I don’t actually care about the Republican convention at all. It’s a performance piece. “Obama Pleads for Unity” – with a very sorrowful, somber picture. Well, that’s part of his job. Done. Next? “Turkey Detains 6000 People” Yeah… messy when a coup attempt fails. Things are hard over there. Will I get the best perspective from a news retailer seeking ad revenue, clicks, and viewers with their highest priority on gross margin? Probably not. Might have to wait for the history books before a broad global perspective is really available… or wait for Noam Chomsky to write about it. Civil war is ugly stuff. I know that, and for now that’s enough. “Donald Trump Floats Grotesque New Conspiracy Theory About Barack Obama” Huh. They almost got me with this one – maybe because they used more words, giving the impression this really matters, but truthfully? Does it? I mean… do I even care what some rich nut bag makes up on the fly to smear peers or competitors? Don’t I just play the game by even taking time to read the story? I move on, with a hint of a smug smile; I beat the game on this one. I go down the list of headlines, finding nothing of real substance worth my attention [at least not in the presented format, by the providing news source]. Why should I get all churned up over bullshit first thing in the morning? Seems silly.

I watch the neighborhood cats prowl the edge of the meadow. After weeks of laughing at their efforts, I saw one catch some small mammal down in the grass the other day. I stopped laughing at them. Pampered predators, surely, but quite lethal. Cats, I mean, not people. (Well… yeah. People, too. We’ve a way to go before we’re really any more civilized than our less talkative cousins.) Now I watch the cats prowling their wilderness for exotic treats with greater appreciation; they just keep at it. Most days, no cats [visible to me] catch anything at all [that I see]. That doesn’t ever seem to stop them. I smile. I have time for some bass guitar practice before I head out for the day. I think I’ll do that.

Is it ever really “too late” to begin again? If we become what we practice (and experience suggests we do), isn’t the choice to practice something that makes us somehow ‘more who we are’ a good step on the journey, regardless what other direction we may head in life?

Choose. Begin again.

Choose. Begin again.

 

I am sipping my coffee and thinking about sweaters. Well, actually, I am thinking about a particular sweater I like very much that just doesn’t go with the rest of what I am wearing at all, and immediately after finding myself wishfully thinking it would be nice to have this particular sweater in a number of other colors, I realized all I’d have to do to have that is learn to knit or crochet and get to work on it. That’s not my most likely choice in this instance, but it got me thinking about life’s vast menu of possible choices, and how little of that vast unlimited potential I actually consider day-to-day, myself.

When I dine out, I expect generally I will be choosing my meal from a menu – the restaurant prepares the menu, and it is the nature of menus to limit the choices presented. It is a system that works out pretty well. They tell me what they offer, and I choose from that list. If I don’t like the choices, I can go eat elsewhere and choose from their menu.

When I go grocery shopping, I may not have a menu, but I will nonetheless choose from the limited selection the grocery store offers me, and if I need or want things they do not supply, I can take my shopping elsewhere, and choose from the products offered by some other merchant.

When I attend classes, I choose from a list of available courses. It is clearly not a complete list of all possible knowledge I could choose to study.

Simple or fancy, the menu is a limited list.

Simple or fancy, the menu is a limited list.

Choices seem to generally work in the observed fashion; we are presented with some limited selection and we choose from that, or go elsewhere in search of something we want that is not offered there. I don’t often stop to think about the implied limiting factor: whatever is on the menu, or on the shop shelves, it is but a small sample of ‘all the possible foods’ or ‘all the things to buy’. Life is like that, too, only… I’m the person I generally find to be responsible for limiting my own choices; I am writing the menu, myself.

That sweater isn’t going to knit itself – and, by the way, I’m not likely to be the one knitting it either. I don’t know how to knit. I could choose to learn…if I chose to… Learning to knit doesn’t seem to appear on ‘my menu’ of things to do in life. I could make excuses about being thumb-fingered, or having tried before, or any number of lame reasons why I don’t choose to learn to knit, although I really love sweaters and could learn to make my own. On the other hand, when I first began playing around with watercolors on paper, painting wasn’t just ‘on my menu’ – it was akin to ‘the special of the day’ in that moment in my life; I chose it before I could consider choosing it, and it is a natural part of me. Who wrote the menu? This internal list of what my options are in life – where did it come from? Who maintains it? When I feel as though I ‘have no other choice’ that isn’t likely to be the literal truth of it – and even recognizing this is often not enough to immediately open my eyes to the impossibly unimaginably vast potential array of choices truly in front of me.

Be love.

Be love.

The year is ending, and it is a season of contemplation and of questions for me. Where now? This has been a remarkable year for change, for growth, for love to blossom as though new – and I have so many choices possible in the year to come…but…what are they? Am I open to all of them, and equipped to choose what will tend to support my needs most over time? Will I choose to be a better human being than I was yesterday? Have I limited my menu too much by rejecting very promising opportunities, projects, or adventures because I don’t see myself as that person – or because I think I ‘can’t’ or ‘shouldn’t’?

It’s funny – when I was a kid there was a lot of push to send the message to children that they could do or be ‘anything’ they might wish to do or be. It’s even sort of true. Then there was a swing in the other direction, to refrain from encouraging children in an unrealistic way, and more in favor of being ‘practical’ and ‘real’ with children about their potential and abilities and and to avoid ‘setting them up for failure’ with overly high expectations. That’s even sort of sensible. Both approaches touch on real things; it is rare that we really understand the vastness of our potential, and we are able to overcome so much to achieve what we desire! On the other hand – there are obstacles in life, verbs involved, and some things may not be so simply done. I hesitate to say ‘impossible’ about any particular human achievement, myself: moon landing, space shuttle, space station, solar power, tunnel bridges, The Beatles, eggs fertilized outside of wombs, women on the Supreme Court, the internet, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, and all within my lifetime! How many of these things seemed impossible at some earlier point? So, when a little girl wants to be president – why not? On the other hand, it sure isn’t going to be easy to get there – and success won’t be a given.

Even Santa has a list...

Even Santa has a list…

I am sipping my coffee in the glow of holiday lights, and listening to the heater click and pop as it begins to take the morning chill off the room. I am wondering if I might like to learn to knit, although I had once attempted it without much success perhaps I have changed? I smile, and let other choices and options I might not generally consider drift past my awareness: encaustic? through-hiking? remote travel? exotic cuisine? a martial art? disc-golf? a musical instrument? another language? a silent retreat? a cruise? As I list options something strange happens just at the edge of my awareness and I pause to consider it; the longer I go on, the more similar to things I already do, or have done, or are very like my existing interests each thing becomes – I have to almost fight myself to allow experiences or events significantly outside my norm to reach my awareness and hold my attention for a moment. That’s something to consider further.

I choose even my perspective; I am my own cartographer on this journey.

I am able to choose even my perspective when I am aware that choice exists.

If I am writing the menu for myself, then even the choices regarding how I filter or limit my choices is mine to choose. What will I choose today? What will I choose tomorrow? What matters most – what I choose, or that I choose? Today is a good day to consider ‘all the options’ – and what that means, and how I am limiting myself in life by limiting my choices. Today is a good day to update the menu.