Thursday, June 14, 2018

Notice I Stopped Saying I and Me

Writing at night cuts into my sleep.

That puts me at odds with my health goals. It's an interesting thing to notice, this dance I do with myself. And this time, at least this part of it, is about noticing. Without judgment. I'm trying to learn something about myself. We may think that we know ourselves well, but life can bring circumstances that change us. Or, at least, offer us the opportunity to change. Sometimes we take ourselves for granted. Sometimes we don't pay very much attention to ourselves. And then one day we wake up and find that we may not know ourselves at all.

As I think back over my life, much of it has been spent attending to other people. I've been moving along in the flow of that, not really thinking much about myself. These days, I have a lot more time to think about myself. This started about six years ago and it was so stressful for me that I worked hard to create circumstances where I could fall back into that pattern of attending to others and not paying myself much attention. I had another such disruption in my life about 33 years ago and I found myself doing the same thing. Creating circumstances where I could attend to others and ignore myself. 

When life-defining, painful circumstances arise, there's a real opportunity for us, if we have the courage to seize it.   

It requires willingness, and the tenacious act of seeing ourselves. 

It's a radical thing, to truly see ourselves.

The only way we can bear it is to sink into compassion and non-judgment.

Try going thirty seconds without some self-judgment. It's hard to do.

I see different things about myself in the day and in the night. This is probably a gigantic generalization, but I think that, for the most part, it holds true. This morning the sun rose on a beautiful day, a nearly-perfect early summer day with sunshine, breezes, and cooler temperatures. I spent the morning at the Princeton Farmer's Market. I didn't really need any food, but I love spending time there. It's one of the real joys in life. I brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers - golden yellows, deep pinks, and golden salmon pinks and oranges. I brought home lavender-infused chocolate. I brought home a freshly made Indian sauce to which I need only add protein and veggies to have a great meal. I brought home organic strawberries, asparagus, fennel, and garlic scapes. I sat down at a table on the square and listened to the bluegrass band that was playing. I read a magazine that I bought a week and a half ago and haven't been able to find time to look at. I wrote in my morning journal. I sipped tea and lifted my face to catch the breeze. 

Had I written shortly after coming home, and I did have time to do that, it would have been very different writing.

But here I am, deep in the night, ethereal music playing in the background. On a moonless night I am thinking deep thoughts with gravitas rather than the light, buoyant thoughts that reflected my mood in the early afternoon. 

Perhaps all of this is unfolding as it is meant to do. But the other day, I flirted with the idea of setting a writing time as a discipline. Making this writing practice the priority of my day. Prioritizing it that way would probably mean writing early in the day. I still have not made a decision around that. 

Do I want to keep my options open? Or do I not want to look at myself enough to know what I really want?

Is it too stressful to know what you want? Might that require too much change? Too much of a move out of your comfort zone?

Notice I stopped saying I and me. 

The Summer of Self-Love is a daily writing practice birthed June 1, 2018 as a container for harnessing three months of thriving. The goal at the end is to host a dinner party. Sounds like an odd Hero's Journey, doesn't it? Most of them usually are. 

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