jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
Part of my daily healthwork routine is silent meditation. I avoided meditating for decades because I thought I had to be a serene person to do it. I learned otherwise. Using audio guidance or timer, I concentrate on my breathing. I become my breathing body. My breath is a constant companion, always happening until I’m dead.

Concentrating on my breath helps me relax and it also reminds me that everyone on the planet is also a breathing body. This commonality calms the terror attendant on our current moment. My ideology, my fears, my impairments aren’t magicked away, but I am always a breathing body, just like everyone else.

It’s called meditation practice because that concentration is a skill. While I’m meditating I find myself thinking about the past or planning for the future. This is the magic moment. When I notice I’m thinking, I softly name it, and then return to my breathing.

I learned to meditate via an 8-week MBSR class, mindfulness based stress reduction, offered by my therapist. Since then, I’ve loved using Insight Timer, the meditation tool for iOS and Android. You do have to create a login, but they haven't spammed me. Insight Timer has tons of useful features, but at its most basic it’s got a great timer, with lovely bells, background white noise, and finely adjustable intervals. When you’re online, Insight offers hundreds of guided meditations, including introductory lessons for absolute beginners. (Other audio available: yoga guidance, Dharma talks, affirmations.) Excellent search functions let me bookmark (for example) just the 10–19 minutes long, secular, male voice, meditations designed for pain.

All of the audio content is also available from this web site.

jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (BELLA focused eyeball)
I've been decidedly child-free since my first period. But I do love my dog! Bella loves us back.

She brings such enthusiasm to every encounter that I can't imagine tallying her favorite. Playing that deep strategy game "stick" is high on the list. I shot this video yesterday after she'd been running around the yard for at least 15 minutes straight.

That man is MyGuy. He picks up a stick and waves it in Bella's field of view.

Bella, a medium-size black dog with floppy prick ears, drops what she's doing. She leaps for and takes control of the stick, twirling about a bit.

MyGuy picks up the other stick, holds it out until Bella realizes, OMG! a STICK. She drops what she's doing, leaps for and takes control of the stick, twirling about a bit.

Repeat until exhausted.

eta: The password is "bella"

Use the password 'bella' to watch the vid )
jesse_the_k: Alan Cummings, all glammed up in blue eyeshadow and filmy red dress vamps in lime green room under the words "drama quee (Alan the drama queen)
Highly Local Nature Movie: The red-tailed hawk who glided around 8 feet above the street in front of my house, perched on a bare maple tree, but failed to catch any squirrels.

Friends to spend time with.

Bella has finally understood that she's to sit and wait for my sign before going through a door. I've tried to be a consistent trainer, but this took eight months.

Euphoria by Lily King is an exhilarating fiction inspired by elements of Margaret Mead's life. Whee!

Libraries that offer me lots of Margaret Mead to explore.

All these things above, which I can think about while the political situation (still?) reduces me to paranoid, wailing tears.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
Yesterday I realized how helpful my public gratitude practice was. I'm glad this understanding has lead to action, not guilt.
  1. Orange beets: all the taste, none of the stain
  2. That maple tree en route to library. Displaying the magic of growth in public for me to wonder
  3. Meeting up with an out of town friend in the closest cafe to my living room
Mostly I post these gratitudes behind a filter: join here to see more
jesse_the_k: White girl with braids grinning under large Russian beaver hat (JK 10 happy hat)
A few months back I began posting gratitudes. I'm still grateful a lot of the time; in fact I believe that I'm able to see the good all around me, even in the dimmest of days.

Which means I have hundreds of gratitudinal moments, not three. I don't want to let go of the hundreds, so I'm going to focus on other topics in my posts here.

Thank you for taking the trip with me. Knowing you were there improved the journey.

I'll leave you with an art object that's a continuing home for gratitude, MyGuy's birthday gift:

Five inch tall glass egg with one-fifth vertical slice cut to reveal a clear interior with one perfect bubble. Outside has peacock tail colors and pattern with matte AB surface )
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
The deep blue sky soothing my eyes as I recline in the pines.

Providing "sidewalk supervision" as MyGuy and BB remove the new dock in less than two hours (knocking three hours off the last time). Their work ethic is so well matched, they're a joy to admire.

Napping, napping, napping.

BB's perspective on how I've changed over the years (since I was 17!)
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
Alien spore entered my body when I was young. In my teens, it blossomed, crawled out and sunk its pincers into my shoulders. I've been carrying it ever since. This "alien baby"[1] may be easier to recognize as my atypical bodymind, where the goulash of pain and limitation resides.alien psych insights )
jesse_the_k: White girl with braids grinning under large Russian beaver hat (JK 10 happy hat)
Something awesomely good is happening in relation to the "meralgia paresthetica" I mentioned recently. Now that I know the cause is an entrapped nerve, and the result is purely sensory (no danger of losing function), my pain is much less annoying. I've managed to blunt the second arrow.
Buddhist background )

I dare to think I will be finding more ways as I continue to live.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Today we euthanized* darling Lucy after 15 years together. I am so grateful for the unconditional love she gave us, her clever clowning which made us laugh, her gentle snores which signaled another day survived. She will live on in our hearts, and in my icons.

Memories in Words )

The described pictures below show Lucy the Australian Cattle Dog of my heart. She's a medium-size bitch, one ear pricked, one ear folded, black spectacles around her eyes. When young she had a black and brown muzzle, with large black, brown, merle red, and merle blue patches.

Memories in Photos )

Give your animals and humans one more hug or kind thought or treat tonight.

*(She wasn't acutely ill, but she was rapidly losing control of her bladder, bowels, and rear legs and she was often in pain.)
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
You may have seen recent posts where I savor my gratitude for things. As part of my self-compassion meditation practice, I'm planning on doing this for a while.

If you want to continue to see these posts, opt in here.
Poll #16672 Join My "Gratitude Practice" Filter
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 24

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jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
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