Held By the Ocean

As someone prone to living from her head, I am no stranger to feeling like I’m in a trance. The rest of life, especially a heart filled one, can feel unreachable beyond the hum of thoughts that are so hard to turn away from.

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Living by the ocean these past few days, I’ve experienced the help that it provides. I often feel a deep connection to the ocean and when I stand or play in her waters, I am held. I am invited out of my head and into my body. I am encouraged to keep trying.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Trance

A Friend Within

After years of a life lived by rules and fear, this heart-lead living feels too willy-nilly some days.

What if I get something wrong?

When life is full and my head is buzzing with the noise of it all, it’s tempting to turn the volume up and keep the distracting hum going. Dialing down to a quiet scene, let alone silence, can be quite intimidating.

What if the quiet reveals regret?

What if I was always on my own side? An ally and friend to myself regardless of mistakes or mis-steps.

I’ll face these wrongs and regrets with myself, not against.  That this even needs to be a thought, an intentional choice, is sad indeed. Sadder still is that most of humanity is with me in needing to make this choice.  It comes naturally to few and even they don’t have it easy.

May we who dare chose love and grace toward ourselves.
May we be more curious than afraid of what lies within.

 

Daily Prompt Willy-nilly

A Ride with Desire

Lately life has been feeling very full. I’ve got energy moving through, enabling me to bring to action ideas long held in mind. There is simply not enough time in the day for all that I’d like to do.

Though my experience is not unique, what makes it a big deal for me is those last 5 words: “that I’d like to do.”

Not “that I should do” or “that I have to do (in order to be good)” or “that I have to do (in order to not hate myself)”, or “that so-and-so expects of me” or “that I need to do (to please so-and-so).”

What has my life feeling like a fast carousel ride is this new found friend: desire. It’s always been there, but it’s now less hindered by fear, “shoulds”, and rules than ever before. It’s had me up early and up late. It’s brought me writing here. It’s helped me return to my yoga mat, open up with friends, and eat more ice cream.

Desire also leads me places I’d rather not. Desire for helpful, mutual friendships nudges me to look at what I’m doing to get in the way of their formation. Desire for love and connection in my marriage encourages me to be honest about my difficulty with communication and vulnerability. Desire for change in my workplace requires that I choose the uncomfortable route and speak from my mind and heart.

I’ll live a more satisfying, helpful, engaged life if desire can remain present and free from the should’s. I’ve been having fun on this carousel ride and I don’t want to get off any time soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Carousel

Learning to Amble

I like to walk fast. I have a short list of friends that share my natural pace and a couple that I can barely keep up with. I enjoy going on walks with them and always feel better in mind and body afterwards. Walking quickly provides an opportunity to process stress, exercise my muscles, and view a multitude of houses/gardens in a short amount of time,

I also like to walk slow enough to notice the scent of pine trees as I walk by. I allow myself time and freedom to stop and actually smell the roses, catch the glint of sun dew drops. and watch the inhabitants of the nearby pond go about their little amphibian and fowl lives.

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Amble: (noun) A walk at a slow, relaxed pace, especially for pleasure.

There are many things in life that we can benefit from doing quickly at times and at other times more slowly. Cooking a quick meal provides sustenance on a busy day. Attending to each step of a recipe and slowly bringing together a melody of flavors will provide sustenance and then so much more.

What’s something that you typically do quickly that could be engaged at a slower pace? Give it a try. I’m curious what you’ll notice.

Daily Prompt Amble

Lions, Tigers, and Small Talk, Oh My!

When I first considered today’s prompt, causal, I quickly thought of casual conversations and the small talk it usually entails. And then I shuddered, because I find small talk to be difficult on many levels. I struggle to think of things to say. It takes a very conscious, concerted effort to answer the common “How are you?” or “What’s new with you?” on the same level of interest it is typically asked. The process of whittling down how I truly am to the “Pretty well” they are expecting takes more energy than it usually feels worth.

A few thoughts I’ve had about small talk:

Why do people ask me these things if don’t want to truly know? Can’t we come up with a different form of causal talk? And why is it so easy for some people? Don’t they care about being honest and speaking accurately about their lives? Why do we have to play these communication games? Don’t we have better things to talk about in our short time together on this earth? Don’t they see all of the important things going on in the world that we should discuss? Are they even in touch with themselves? Do they even think?

Judgement is allll over my dislike of small talk.

Now, I firmly believe that there are a group of us humans that simply aren’t wired to engage things like small talk with ease or grace without some intentional practice. We spend much of our time thinking with a depth, seriousness and often heaviness that makes small talk far more work than it’s meant to be. For others, perhaps they don’t see the point in talking about the weather/price of gas/score of last night’s game as a precursor to the topic everyone is actually there to talk about. Introversion is certainly a contributing factor for many of us that don’t “do” small talk very well. And I’m sure there are many other valid, understandable reasons to not be a fan of it.

But I would bet I’m not alone in hopping on the judgement train regarding the prevalence of casual, small talk in our culture.

If someone is trying to engage you in small talk, it does not mean they are shallow, unintentional, uncaring, unthinking, silly, insensitive, or any of the other things you or I may try an attach to them. They are, simply, saying the things our culture has identified as safe, easy topics to engage another human with. Perhaps they love a deep conversation just as much (or more!) as you do. Perhaps they’ve read more books or listened to more thought-provoking pod casts than you. Perhaps they are tired from work or caring for family or insomnia and while they would love to have a more “meaningful” conversation, they just can’t. Or, most likely, they are just doing what is normal in our culture for whatever setting you are in and it has nothing to do with their depth or characteristics as a person.

The judgement train never travels anyplace worth spending our time. Too often, our judgement of “meaningless” small talk causes us to miss out on the meaningful person sitting or standing across from us. So what if small talk isn’t your favorite! If the person engaging you is worth your attention, converse with them in a way that is accessible for you both. Come up with a handful of questions that strike a balance between “What’s up?”  and “What’s the meaning of your life?” so that you can contribute to a casual conversation in a way that reflects your personality and values without weighing things down too much.

What questions can we ask that will allow casual conversations to be more palatable for those of us uncomfortable with small talk? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

 

Daily Prompt Casual

Partner While You Wait

This is what I have learned.

Partners don’t always get along.

Partners don’t always partner.

Partners don’t always know how to partner.

Partners don’t always want to partner.

Can they become a better partner?

Yes.

Should you wait around for that?

Sometimes.

What do you do in the mean time?

(While waiting on the one worth waiting for)

Be the partner YOU want to be.

Don’t wait to live your values until someone else lives into theirs.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Partner