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Posts Tagged ‘daily living’

lbugs

Today went very quickly for me, yet didn’t seem to leave anything of itself in a meaningful way.

Looking for meaning in that, I have only this haiku by Issa:

A giant firefly:
that way, this way, that way, this –
and it passes by.
Issa

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It’s one thing to talk about how each moment we live is Special in its own way. Yet without being able to experience that sparkle, it’s all just talk. That’s where simple mindfulness helps us out.

Let’s say you’re starting your morning tomorrow. You’re driving to work, on a bus, walking, getting the children dressed… whatever is an essential start to your daily routine. And on the face of things, it’s just like every other day.

Perhaps you didn’t sleep well. Perhaps it’s too hot or too cold. Perhaps someone’s cutting you off or arguing with you… but we’ll deal with people in the next post. In your imaginary tomorrow morning, just focus on the events and environment.

If tomorrow morning really is just like every other morning, what if it was the first — what if you were seeing or doing that routine for the very first time? What little details or insights does it all hold that you hadn’t noticed before? If you take a deep breath and pause to take a look around you, what sight, sound or even habit has become hidden behind the inattention of monotonous routine?

Taking it all a step further, are there opportunities in this routine that you hadn’t really thought about? Is there scenery or a landmark you could consciously enjoy as you pass? Are there uplifting or enlightening things you could listen to or read as you make your journey? Could you listen and observe a little more attentively, respond a little more kindly, and practice a little more patience, especially with yourself?

Please, if you can, take a moment tomorrow morning to think about these kinds of questions as you begin your day. I think you’ll discover more Special moments in your daily life, and in doing so, add to the Specialness for those around you.

What in this moment
hides like the Moon behind clouds?
What more may I bring?

 

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I’ve been reading a lot this past year, and several people have shared that the secret to happiness and achieving your dreams is to not get too specific. Oh certainly, focus on the general parameters of your goal. What kind of success are you looking forward to? What will it feel like to enjoy it? What are some steps you can take toward reaching them?

When it comes to the specifics though, it’s best to leave those to life to sort out. Prepare for the path you think may lead you closer to your goals, but don’t get hung up on the exact steps you think you’ll have to take. Don’t even get too hung up on the explicit nature of the form you expect your success to take. Dream in vivid watercolor, allowing the details to take shape on their own.

After all, we aren’t omniscient. We don’t know what exactly will be the best path for us to walk toward where we’re headed. We can’t even be sure that we know now how beautifully wonderful our destination will be, let alone the exact time and place, or even shape it will take.

That also holds true for the backtracks and the sidesteps we’ll have to take to get there. So often, the disappointments I’ve faced have ended up being the best path toward a better place that I never even imagined existed. And too often, I’d wasted some time and energy sitting around feeling disappointed about a particular road not working out, when I could have been picking myself back up and walking down the better road that awaited me.

So for 2016, I’m trying to remember: No Explicit Expectations, No Enduring Regrets.

So that way, when it feels like things or even people try to get me down by interrupting the way I thought things should go, I can remember that mantra and say, “NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!”

🙂

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It’s tough trying something new, especially when we’re excited to succeed, yet dread failing. I don’t know what’s tougher: those initial tries where success feels doubtful, or overcoming all the barriers to even starting it at all.

We also have inertia to overcome, which can feel like the highest barrier at all. Maybe we’re comfortable where we’re at. Maybe we don’t feel strongly enough to break out of our shell and risk embarrassing ourselves, or even just wasting our time.

The problem is, the only time we waste is time spent stuck in the same old rut, not growing, not expanding, not fully exploring what it means to be our own unique selves. The bigger problem is how much it’s just basic human nature to find those ruts and cozy down into them for as long as we can. I’ve come to feel that when I least want to move forward into something new, that’s when I most need to take even small steps down a new road. That’s the only way to snap myself out of it and keep moving.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to try someday, now is the time to find out how you can make it a better part of your life. Commit to taking some of those steps forward, and schedule specific times you can fit some of them in.

If you can’t think of anything you’d like to pursue, try picking a topic you’re interested in, and start to research what different resources are saying about it. Allow others’ viewpoints to both inform and challenge you, as you work to expand your way of understanding this topic. This is another great way to explore new ground, and grow ourselves as human beings.

Whatever path you choose, please choose one that leads you to grow in new ways. This world is better only through the people who inhabit it, and therefore it benefits all of us, when each of us finds ways to better ourselves.

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I can’t quite say that anything was wrong with the day today. The weather was beautiful, I got many things done and cups of tea enjoyed, as well as games played with my child and my puppy. Good meals were had together as a family.

And yet, I’m sitting here feeling as though there’s something left undone.

Ah, well. If it remains undone tomorrow, perhaps there’ll be time then to resolve it.

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I’m working at home this morning, and I turned to my home computer and saw where I had started a post last night before falling asleep. I’m not sure anymore what I was going to say.

I’m sitting here with a young puppy whining and barking to play some more, a sun conure squawking about how he wants to play too, and a fussy toddler leaning on me because he’s glad his mommy’s home and he wants attention.  All while trying to figure out how to arrange numbers on a spreadsheet so they help me pinpoint details in a nebulously vague issue.

Within all of this, the moment strikes me as part of a truly beautiful life. Every single annoyance is just one little part of something or someone for which I am truly grateful.

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Chaotic dreamscapes 
Swirling our days with dry leaves
Eye of the Stillness

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It struck me today that if we want to be open to newer and better ways of living, we have to embrace the idea of letting go of the life we have now. That sounds a little obvious, but how often have you sat down and reviewed just how ready you are to lose some or all of the comfortable habits you’ve developed? Even the things you may not like so much, aren’t they at least somewhat comforting in their familiarity?

I realize that everything in life is impermanent and unpredictable, but I’m not talking about tragic loss of life or friends or family. What I’m thinking of are the day-to-day mini-rituals, or even mini-chaoses, that comprise the feeling of predictability and homeliness of our regular lives. It sort of feels like we hang onto those out of habit, even if we so very much wish for some things to be brighter and more exciting, or even just easier and less dull.

Over the next few days as I recapture the habit of relaxed mindfulness, I’m going to keep my eyes out for ways I might be clinging to things I’d be better off letting go.

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It occurred to me today that I’m doing it again. I’ve hit a very busy and taxing time at work and at home, which means more stress and less energy. These are exactly the times I need to make sure to pull back for a bit at key points during the day, to stretch and relax and regroup.

Do you know what I tend to forget to make time for when I’m busy trying to keep up with a very taxing and stressful time…?

I’ve resolved to get back to my schedule starting tomorrow. It’s the only way I’ll be able to maintain the flexibility I need to get through this current time-tunnel and make it out fantastic on the other side.

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It occurs to me that curiosity used to be one of my most notable features. I’ve let most of my time and energy be claimed by other things for so long, I’ve sort of forgotten to be curious. I still get there, from time to time, but curiosity hasn’t been my default state of mind lately.

So, I’m thinking: I’ve gotten good enough at letting things be such-as-they-are, it’s probably time to refocus on wondering how-things-could-be. You know, set aside expectations and pre-judgements, and remember what it’s like to always be open to unexpected possibilities.

After all, I still love surprises. It’s time to let life start surprising me again.

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