Hearing words and wondering what they mean. So many different interpretations. Seeking the honesty within them. The honesty between the lines. All as I fade in and out of a midday nap. The sun blankets my eyes and my heart is warm. Opening up to this meditation now.
I saw what love looked like today. It was as simple as two people walking in a parking lot side by side. They weren’t actually in the parking lot, because they moved about in a world of their own. One hand went searching as the other instinctively opened. Their body language moved like melodies in music. Each beat anticipating the next.
Sitting with myself to observe my past behavior. The person I was yesterday varies from the one I am today and the one I will be in all of my tomorrows. I notice how reaction and response differ from one another. I ask that this awareness will imprint itself into the palm of my hand, transpiring into a visible reminder for all of my days. I fear without it, this observation will be easy to forget.
Getting deeper by sitting still. Relationships come full circle and then there is clarity. Time will slow down as one learns to no longer be reckless to oneself. One can choose opportunities that fulfill the soul.
We are left with choice and discernment. Choosing the holy act of honoring a higher standard. We deserve it.
You held the door open for me. I smiled with a thank you and made my way to the counter. I ordered milk and espresso. We stood side by side with the sounds of milk steaming and espresso shots pulling from behind the counter. I moved my eyes around the café looking for an open seat.
My order was called just as your order echoed behind. Realizing we both ordered the same thing as we reached for our cups, you beamed. You moved towards a seat next to the fireplace in the squishy chairs.
I sat in the only open table next to the East facing window. A drafty last attempt at winter passed through me as I sat in my chair. The cold from the window clinging beneath my layers, I felt reluctant to stay seated there. There was one open chair next to you by the fireplace.
I asked if you wouldn’t mind if I joined you. Espresso we drank, in complete silence.
I feel that the perfect fleeting moment to explore right now is an exchange I had the other night. It may sound silly but I feel like my front door became a portal to kindness and introspection; and I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end as the door opened. The exchange I had was completely unexpected, but I am well aware that love and compassion comes in many various forms.
Two nights ago I had ordered take-out. It was one of those days where every bit of creativity had been strained from me and I didn’t have any food in the house to make dinner anyway. I heard a gentle knock on the door. The man standing in the open doorway was much older than I. He had white hair and parted it in a way that reminded me of my late grandpa. He had a warm smile, playful twinkle in his eyes and was dressed dapper for such a rainy night. “He must be in his late seventies,” I thought to myself as he stood on my front porch, naming off the food I had ordered.
His voice was soft and kind. He handed me the bill and as I signed it, I could feel his eyes move toward my studio space. He studied my work. My paintings were illuminated brightly in the background indicating that I was in the middle of my process. I wondered to myself what the reasons could be for him to deliver food at this age. Different possibilities sifted through my thought process. Could he be lonely and enjoy interacting with people even if only for a moment? Could he be helping out a family owned business? Could he have and ill partner and be working to help with expenses? Then I felt sadness and disappointment in myself for so quickly making assumptions about the sweet man before me. But here we both were, studying each other, and most likely coming to our own interesting conclusions.
He smiled with a shrug. And then he surprised me. He said, “Ahhh, the life of an artist” while never taking his eyes off of my work. He was polite enough to ask me a couple questions about my paintings. I immediately apologized for the disorder in my studio space, explaining that my work area becomes chaos every time without a hitch. He let out a large belly laugh that I assumed meant he completely understood.
After our exchange, I told him to enjoy the rest of his shift. I wished him safe driving conditions as he navigated out in the rain. My memory of him holds onto the image of his sincere demeanor. He had a pure spirit and accepted my art just the way it came with honest curiosity. I felt lucky to stand there in the unexpected connection that we had. I still don’t know this man’s story or why he is still working but I believe it has something to do with the beautiful connections he so eloquently inspired. I can still feel his joyful shimmer with a touch of curiosity for others.
In the early morning hours, I let my limbs fold, tenderly keeping all of me wrapped around my heart center. I dropped into seated position the way I imagine the atmosphere resting calmly above terrain. Even if earth below and air above moves and fuses, these elements will consistently settle back into their rightful home in the most cyclical of ways. My mind began to repose in a way that I have grown to love throughout my practice. I visualized roots connecting from my bottom to the center of the earth. A brilliant golden light moved up into my body from the landscape that cradled me. The backs of my hands rested as my palms opened upwards, welcoming the morning light. Palms up, ready to receive. I know that even if I hadn’t done this before, my body would sense this very orientation.
Moving forward, my mind becomes hypersensitive to my surroundings. I begin to feel the struggle. A resistance begins to dual it out between my mind and the subconscious. I know that this is an opportunity to simply let these thoughts pass through without me consciously providing a shelter for them. My mind wandered to how one builds the life that they want for themself. A message of how reality can shift once a spirit is elevated began to course through me. My mind was bathed with the knowledge that one can have the home, the career, the loving partnership and the calling if one chases their own joy.
Today I set out with intentional flurries of gratitude. I planned to make the most of the day by participating in the things that I love most. I spent some time outside within nature. I rested in my body, as new marks became the result of a co-creative energy. I went out seeking new treasures to welcome into my space, because beauty and transformation are two of my favorite things. I can imagine that the right people and the right circumstances will naturally attract themselves to those that are standing in the light of their own daily indulgences. My core wishes to carry today into tomorrow.
I felt the sun kiss my eyelids this morning before they opened. I love this time of year when the sun will rise before I naturally do. The lone bird had been singing his song for hours now, reminding me of street blues you would find in the French Quarter. I made my way down my tiny latter and slid my feet into my slippers.
I surprise myself at how awake and alert I feel, so I decide to make only enough coffee for one cup. I sit on my floor, with cup in hand, and begin my morning devotion. Painting, thinking, breathing in, and processing events from the day before.
I’m thinking about the date I just went on with the attractive guy with the cute grin that I met under bar lighting when I was out past my bedtime. On our date I noticed he was taller than I remembered, but had the same smile that pulled me in the first time. I was a lot less nervous in his company than I thought I would be. For now, I’m going to take it one day at a time without overthinking it. We made plans for a second date, so I think it went well.
I got asked out on a date. I wanted to put myself out there but I had forgotten the tiny nuances that go along with it. I first felt excitement while sending colorful text messages to my closest friends. They beamed excitement back at me while inquiring about the logistics of the date. Five minutes later, I felt immediate dread because I scanned my closet and determined that nothing in it was suitable to wear out.
This is where the really interesting part began to take place. I drove to four local boutiques looking for something amazing to wear. I thought, whatever I pick out needs to be flirty and casual while remaining classy and true to my usual aesthetic. I asked each shop assistant for help picking out an outfit, but felt dissatisfied with every stores inventory.
In the last store, I stopped, and realized this is what I do. I have always hunted for some idea of who I am or who I want to be on the first date. I show up with an essence of myself, but arrive shiny and new and hidden behind a veil of clothing that I have no connection to. I should show up in my little paint-stained jeans and the top that I love with the broken seam. I know these articles of clothing and they know me. They have memorized my movements and give evidence in the way the fabric drapes on my body. I am now looking at myself in the mirror in pure amazement that I was conscious enough through my anxiety to realize that a date should be fun, carefree, and fully represent the person I am at this given moment. I’m not making a commitment to anyone; we are simply getting to know each other for the first time. I doubt he will remember my outfit, just how I won’t remember his.
I stepped away from my studio and off of social media for a few days. It was a very needed break from routine. I am the type of person who does not like to take back my word, but I realized that I have the beautiful privilege to write the rules to my own project. This 100-Day project is meant to capture parts of me that aren’t translated through my artwork. It’s a process that has started long before the first day and it will continue long after it is through. Every experience I have, every interesting texture I see, every conversation I find myself in, will seep into the messages of my work. Some of these experiences are romantic, some are comical, and some are simply curiosities that have delighted my mind throughout the day.
I’ve found myself standing within this sort of ‘stuck-ness’. One that is all too familiar to my process as it whispers tiny promises to pull me in deeper to where my art is headed. I resist it, although I am well seasoned in this area.
I believe this ‘stuck-ness’ transpired from not listening to my body or showing myself enough self-love. I heard on a podcast recently that the only way to understand your discomfort is to sit with it. So I breathe in renewed air and feel the stagnant energy tether in my belly. This is how I begin to understand it. I watch the unfurling of my own darkness. It coils up and holds tight against my core, but as I voluntarily unfold it, I bring it to the light. It’s not so scary when I look at it.
I hear the untruths I’ve told myself over the years. They all reduce down to the notion that I am unlovable. I run wild with those that have expiration dates and away from those I connect with. I am not upset with myself, but I am simply observing all of my humanness. I am sending love to the areas of my body that hold onto pain as well as the habits that my soul wishes to release.
I tried something new today. I sat still on a bench and watched as strangers passed by. As they did, I told myself something I loved about each one of them. As I was watching, a man stopped near a tree in bloom. I witnessed his moment of taking in the beauty along with three lungful’s of air before continuing down the path. He delicately shifted around the tree as if he was moving to a dance. I could see myself, my nieces and every wildflower reflected within him. We are all so very connected. This entire scenario made me fall deeply in love with him, if only for a moment.
I watch as magic unfolds just before me. The ethereal quality of the sky right now is enough to make a notable shift in the temperature of my skin. There is a knowingness that souls sing as kindred spirits reunite. Anticipation. Hearing my sweet nieces giggle and dance and twirl and feeling so blessed as they climb my limbs. Their breath, warm and syrupy, greets my face in bursts of laughter. We watch as the colors of the sky swiftly shift. I notice that each cloud looks designed by one of the greats. Music plays in the background. The kind that gives the most delightful release of tingly energy coursing up and down my spine. I felt lighter as a big Buddha smile spreads across my face. Pure joy ruminates in this reunion. My little sister, tangled in an oversized sweatshirt, looks more beautiful than I’ve ever remembered. I’m so proud of her in this moment. Skin delights, as it is drenched in this new and ancient golden light. Prisms of color reach out and across the sky as the misty showers celebrate. This doesn’t happen everyday.
Each day, my writing process is different. Time of day varies, level of excitement for the process fluctuates, and mostly my curiosity on my experiment waivers.
I’m having a completely different experience than my first day of writing. I am up in the night, barely noticing that the computer screen is the only light illuminating my apartment. My eyes are bleary and beginning to sting but I cannot find rest tonight. I feel like my body has betrayed me but my mind keeps focused. I’m realizing how much more difficult it is to write everyday and to share it with others than I thought it would be. For the last two days my breath has fallen shallow and I’ve felt weighted down as if my shins are sifting through a dense sludge before I finally convince myself to take a seat and write.
I’ve found myself craving something.
In all honesty, I’m not even sure what I am looking for. How does one seek the unknown? As I ponder this, I realize that I’m not breathing deeply enough for air to properly satisfy my lungs. I imagine myself on a beautiful seesaw where I am on one end and my sense of wonder is on the other. I look up and see my natural curiosities dangling about with no way to get down because I have not began to cultivate the trapped sensations of my own mind.
I need to go where it’s quiet. I need to breath. I need to unplug. I want to hear the birds and see the sea and feel the sand and smell the grass and watch the waves fall. I want to be alone. I want to become my breath and connect my roots into the earth and to be absorbed by sky. I want stillness to spill out of my chest. I’ve never really known stillness. I miss it, but it is not something that I have ever experienced in this lifetime. I feel like maybe once I bask in my own healing that my natural curiosities will slowly begin to teeter again. I’d love to look wonder in the eye.
Next Google search: Quiet beach house for rent.
I still have a day job. It may seem like quite the disconnect from living artfully, serving pizza and beer in a sports bar, but I love it. This is my welcomed disconnect.
By waiting tables I make connections with people of many differing perspectives. I am granted endless opportunities to make someone’s day better. I love the humble act of bussing tables. But the supportive friendships that are made in the kitchen are truly why this work is worthwhile.
These friends tend to be reassuring of your new writing projects. They care about all your missed connections and first dates. They become your cheerleaders as your art moves through the different seasons, talking about your work when you are too weary to. They want to support you as you “put yourself out there”. Sometimes they drag you out of the house, against your better judgment, with red lipstick, straightened hair and high heels. They let you know that it is all a part of an “experiment”.
We went dancing. We drank drinks. We flirted. I approached a tall man under bar lighting with an adorably contagious grin. Me, feeling star struck by his smile, gave him my number. He texted.
That is a long story short. It may not seem like moments that were truly fleeting, but a lot of the details have escaped me. I am proud of myself for dancing within the discomfort. We all forgot our cameras that night, so we are left with pieces of our story. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers!
Today was spent within the confines of a Seattle area hospital. Just how life can change so fluidly, my day’s events were anything but planned. I am grateful, however, to be the friend that was called upon during a time of need. We let ourselves forget where we were, and I am a firm believer that that is where the healing truly begins.
In the middle of the day I went down to the main floor to get coffee and noticed that a male nurse stood behind me in line. I knew that this might be my only opportunity to “put myself out there” for the day. I’m going to be real honest with you here; this nurse was a total dreamboat. In my mind I rehearsed a couple ways I could spark a conversation. I hunted for something witty to say as we both waited for our drinks. I even imagined that we could possibly reach for a napkin or beverage sleeve simultaneously. If that happened, we would surely linger over small talk and espresso.
Then my little fantasy came to a screeching halt when the barista called his drink up first. All I think of in that moment is that the hospital staff must be in cahoots. Because I had stalled, I never got the chance to show him my charming side. ;)
When I got home, I decided that the next time I see a total dreamboat, I will just say hi. There is nothing to worry about with being friendly. It can’t hurt anyone. As I began to paint and write about my day, my hands gave me the best advice. I wrote, “Get out of your own way”, and I think it is just what I needed to hear.
Wash this day from me.
I lean back and keep my eyes fixed. The steam rises and changes and twirls about.
I’m familiar with the swirls. Radiating and mimicking the lines etched into my skin. It is actually a part of me, not just the surface.
Turning my head, I watch the condensation gather. The walls of this container grow with movement.
As time moves, if that is possible, mist collects into a form. Dancing. Eyes blur as I fixate on the newly joined mass.
These forms develop, collect the light and soon become their own creator. Along the delicate veil, a mirror is made and offers an oval reflection.
My eye is exposed. I watch, fully understanding that this moment will soon be lost.
Sometimes the most romantic moment isn't romantic at all.
This morning I slept in. The rains came in late last night and the cool, humid air spilt in through the window that I had left open. I periodically woke to hear the quiet drumming on my skylights throughout the night. Lingering as I woke this morning was the mellow and restorative energy that the rains had granted us. With my cotton afghan wrapped around me, I could feel the heat from my own body softly protecting and providing comfort. Such a delicious feeling, it was, to be enveloped in warmth.
Once I made my way down my sleeping loft, I began my morning routine as usual. Minutes into meditation, the flow of my breath had escaped. I was fully conscious and yet I was in a dreamlike state. Several images of the ocean transpired in my mind. I don’t know if the water had been from a memory or had been offered by a divine source. But it also did not matter. I heard a seagull just outside my apartment and by this time, the soft rain had returned. The sounds of light precipitation carried by wind resonated as crashing waves. Coming out of meditation, I knew that I needed to head down to the water.
It was not my intention to recreate my meditative experience nor was I chasing a moment that never belonged to me. I simply found myself standing where the earth meets the sea. I caught my breath and felt it move; it was that same breath that I had lost before. I observed the movement of waves and their uniform nature. Each wave is passing, and yet the tides don’t tire.
After leaving the beach, I made my way to my favorite coffee shop. I sat and drank my black coffee and scribbled a few thoughts down on the side of my cup. A woman I have never seen before walked right past me and as she trailed by, she said two words while keeping her gaze fixed on me. “Have fun” was all she said with a playful grin. I’m not sure why, but I feel like it was divine intervention speaking through her.
Per her request, I smiled at a strange boy… baby steps. ;)
I find myself in an all too familiar place. I become ultra aware that my heart is echoing in my ears, my face is flushed and I have the sudden inability to form complete sentences. There he is, just walking casually towards me in the front of the hardware store. So what do I do in this instant? I act distracted while dodging eye contact and slip down a different isle to avoid any connection with someone I may be attracted to, of coarse.
The truth is, this man is no stranger to me. Nearly three years ago, I would serve him and his colleagues lunch at a sushi bar in town as I put myself through college. I’ll admit that I had an unreasonable crush on him. The only thing I really knew about him was that he liked California rolls, sesame noodles and Srircha. I would become giddy as soon as I saw him walk into the restaurant. Moments later, an impending dread would soon take residence where my excitement once soared. My energy would deplete as I realized that I would need to walk into the discomfort of making an honest connection with someone I saw, without any confirmation that they would see me back.
So upon “running into” him the other day, I was shocked to find that no amount of time away from this individual alleviated my strong urges to run away. This left me full of new curiosities and wonder. What if I created an experiment to record my experiences while finding meaning in my connection with others? What if I began to take life less seriously, and specifically, dating less seriously? What if I took baby steps to face my fears and finally put myself “out there”?
I have no plans. No reservations. No strings attached. My only intention is to find meaning and connection through all of my fleeting moments, even with shaky hands. This is what I am sinking into. This is where I am today.