Al fresco

Garden

The evenings if dining outside are quickly slipping away. After many walks by this garden it appears they did have a dinner party or al fresco meal of some sort. I can almost hear the conversation and laughter, feel the relaxed enjoyment of those who gathered around the table. Perhaps much of the meal came from the very garden they were seated in.

I am often given to flights of fancy like that, creating a story where one seems needed. It allows me to make use of all I notice going on in the world around me. They rarely make it to paper, being just quick snippets vs. developed stories. It is just an exercise in seeing and stringing words to memorialize a scene.

When you think of it

Mixed media with caption “You will change the world by loving yourself”

Are you good at taking care of or loving yourself so you feel your best? Few of us are. Many of us have been brought up to think it is self indulgent, that it is undeserved or that or is a sign of weakness. This idea becomes ingrained and is hard to uproot. It is all well and good to be helpful, but running yourself ragged to do so is counterintuitive to the ability to help. You can’t change the world if you have nothing to run on anymore.

Which brings me to how you can refuel. That topic is one for a full book, but there are a few ways that can be mentioned here to get you thinking.

1. Exercise- an age old favorite, just get moving. Each day is best, as our bodies are designed to move and stretch. A regimented workout, bike ride, even jumping jacks on a regular basis will be of benefit. Keeping moving will help as you age too.

2. Nature time- absolutely a necessity, a walk through a park or in the woods can change your whole mood. There is forest bathing for those wanting to soak in nature in a meditative manner. Fresh air a.ways helps blow away the cobwebs and bring a sense of well being.

3. Nutrition- it is so obvious that junk food doesn’t provide the strong fuel our bodies need, but it is so easy to slip into the bad snack habit. I know I am guilty of it, and almost always feel the worse for it. You don’t have to go totally, full on “grown in my garden” diet, just make a few fuel changes you can love. Your mind and body will love you for it!

4. Brain play- the pandemic has unfortunately made binge watching and streaming too common. Let’s be honest, most shows are basically more junk food. Remember the “garbage in, garbage out” line? It is even more true now. Treat your brain to some quality input. Good music, different music, reading, puzzles, or simple DIY tasks. Get those neurons firing and develop new pathways.

5. Indulgences- if you can swing it a massage is a wonderful way to show yourself some love. So are proper fitting new footwear, fresh sheets or clean, unstained clothes. Indulgences don’t need to be huge and expensive, they just need to be meaningful to you.

Will loving yourself actually change the world? It sure can! When you feel good about yourself, you life and that you are worthy of good things. When you hold those ideas, and live them, you are going to move through the world and you will find you have more than enough energy, spirit, love, time and so on to share.

Getting somewhere?

Small pollinator on bright orange cosmos

Much like this little pollinator I have been busy the past couple days getting online course videos done, uploading them, finding typos in the form, trying to figure how to access, fix, and resave them. It has been a mainly fruitless task as deletion is the only option offered, no rewrites or write overs will take. To say it has been frustrating is to scratch the surface. It can be hard to go with delete and see all the work disappear, but staying in the “futile to save” loop is an exercise in futility. Of course delete does not always work either, and then things are left in a state of limbo requiring a tech call to handle it. Needless to say, 3 days later that is the route I have had to go in the hopes that they can remove the offending courses that I can’t override. Sigh. It is all part of the process, though this weekend it has felt like a process with no forward gains.

Playing

Old record on vintage stereo turntable

What do you have on repeat on your mental turntable? What pieces from you childhood and youth do you keep allowing to spin over and over? It can be very hard to separate this soundtrack from your daily playlist. After all you have been hearing it for years.

* rich people are crooked or they wouldn’t have wealth. *never leave a job even if it is a bad fit *good people are content with what they have. *wanting better is a sign of greed. *you will never amount to anything * you are just like so and so

The list goes on and on, is tailor made from our experiences, and can take years to breakaway from. It is always waiting in the background for the moment to drop the needle and start playing again. There are ways to break the replay, and maybe the whole record, but it can take hard work. It takes time to unlearn lessons you unconsciously took in during formative years. Some people find success through therapy, others through meditation. Self help books can be the route for others, exercise can work too. The biggest things seems to be knowing what is on repeat, breaking the flow of it and writing new lines. Much as Wierd Al Yankovic uses news lyrics set to familiar tunes.

Fruition

My studio time has been hit or miss recently. It seems household tasks have been taking longer than normal. Though I must admit to a slowness of processing that is likely the reason for that. I am feeling drawn in too many directions, many of which I know are dead ends even as I go down them. It is a waste of my time I can’t seem to help, perhaps I am in search of something and am looking everywhere, even in unlikely places just in case. Then all of a sudden I have a creative spurt and churn out some pieces, or start a new batch. As quickly as it comes, it goes though.

Patterning

I am a big one for seeing patterns, both the obvious and the anomalies that stick out in what seems a random way. Numbers, colors, and the like catch my eye. Sometimes these pattern occurrences will lead to a specific result, sometimes though I seem to miss what is being pointed out. My mind isn’t able to gather and form the information into a full image that I can process. Perhaps some of those times are just shout outs to me to pay attention, to be open and aware. Much like practicing for a marathon, recital or speech gets us ready for the big event while giving us something along the way.

I believe some dreams can do the same thing, slipping snippets of information we need in amongst all the other things happening in a dream. Recently my dreams have had very specific names, first and last, of people I have never heard of. Chloe Valdon, John Probien, Dan Heglin. The names are always on something; a book, check or sign, yet I am not able to figure out the reason for the specificity. Since last year I have felt as if I am on the cusp of “something” which I have yet to figure out. My mind swings between “is it this” or “could it be that” possibilities with no clear answer. Which can be very frustrating, as I prefer clarity and action vs cryptic and obscure.

It is a safe bet that over the last year many have felt poised for something to change, to unfold, to be revealed. Lives have been upended, routines shaken up and priorities completely reordered. We have had the ground shift under our feet as society has grappled with many longstanding ills. I like to think people want better for everyone, to be open to a new age of humanity and creativity. The other option of sinking into stagnation and cruelty is too heartbreaking to consider even as it seems many want to regress to a darker age.

As we step out from the shadow of the pandemic and learn to live in a revised world, I plan to be ready to seize opportunities as they present themselves. To trust the process, to see things in a different light and to keep myself open to seeing a new path.