on starting

 1922 Swimsuit Photo, Miss America Contestants at Hotel Pool in Washington D.C. by eebeevintage on etsy  

 1922 Swimsuit Photo, Miss America Contestants at Hotel Pool in Washington D.C. by eebeevintage on etsy  

from January 1, 2014. . . and I still feel it as strongly, a year later.

I was at the pool one day last month when a former colleague, who also swims, commented on my being there.

See, at one time, I swam competitively. And then I used it as a means of hating my body. And, there have been times that became more obsessive than healthy. And I had seen her there in those times.

She asked, “Are you going to start coming back?”

Well, see, what about being at the pool means that I haven’t “started” anything? Or what’s to say that it’s the start of anything, and not simply a morning at the pool?

I’ve been going to the pool, this time, on my own terms. Two or three times per week. With compassion, toward myself and my body. Going when I feel like going, not keeping track of distance, and not following any kind of workout schedule. It’s like meditation for me.

No “starting,” simply being.

So, on New Year’s day, I’m all for celebrating the moment. Of being. Maybe also reflecting on the year gone by, and thinking toward the year ahead.

But no “starting.” Simply being.

(originally published on January 1, 2014, at my now defunct former space borealtrim.com)

I wish you painlessness

original nude figure painting by lanasfineart on etsy

original nude figure painting by lanasfineart on etsy

Are you feeling a little grumpy? Or duller than your normal, sparkling self?

. . . is it possible that you are also carrying pain?

I believe that pain comes in many flavours. There’s the outright stabbing pain—like the kind felt when you shift something in your back. There’s dull pain, like a throbbing headache. There’s the indescribable emotional pain of significant loss. There’s the pain-in-the-neck pain of not finding a parking spot or having your second head cold this season. There’s pain-over-time of real and felt injustices, the kind that can accumulate over years and bend us over with their weight. And, surely; sadly; many more.

Never underestimate the power of pain.

When we feel pain, we tend to respond less kindly, to ourselves and others, than normal. We can move into judging. Pain zaps energy, leaving less for kind conversation, or giving toward others.

I felt pain this week. The kind of low back, difficult-to-stand-up-straight pain. The kind that makes it an effort to get into the car and then also to reach out and close the door. I got quiet. I felt like I didn’t have the energy to make a meal, let alone chit-chat while making it. And I didn’t really notice until it went away.

Thought for me: I can be kinder when I encounter people who are less-than-their-stellar-selves. I can wonder, “What kind of pain are they feeling?” And, if a friend is up for it, I can offer an ear to listen or a shoulder for them to lean on.

Thought for you: what kind of pain are you feeling? Is there a way, after acknowledging it, that you can find help to release it?

I wish painlessness for you.

(originally published on December 4, 2013, at my now defunct former space borealtrim.com)