Stop Fighting

Do you ever wake up an realize that your head is screwed on backwards and you have no idea why?

Sometimes, at 6:30 am, you can find me in this place. I\’m not sure why but sometimes, I just feel called. I don\’t go because I believe the Church\’s teaching about it. This morning, it was a place to get out of myself.
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This morning, as I was out running, I had some fighting going on in my mind. I was planning on getting after some places of business and getting my complaints taken care of. Actually, my complaints were just in my mind, just lots of ego yammering. I\’m not even sure what got me so stirred up (see below). But, the fighting is a sign of lack of love in my psyche. While I sat in the church, I prayed for the love I needed. Lack of love is a mental idea, not the truth. Noticing it, I realized that I needed a different perspective; a better way. I realize that whats in my mind is not real, but it does color my outlook and emotions. He responded. I just forgot about my complaints which were non-existent anyway.
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What have I got to complain about? I just bought one of these (really, I did):

I have never bought anything delux until now. I have to laugh at my ego. This car is annoying because the cup holders are the wrong size. Do you know how upsetting that can be? And how silly? The silliness of what goes on in my brain sometimes is why I seek greater mindfulness. Once I realize what I am thinking about, I have the opportunity to change it.

Suffering and hardship: my private laptop is at the shop getting Windows 7 professionally installed. So I have my work lap top at home. But, there is no free cell on this computer. Dang! Life is so tough. I might have to go to a 12 step meeting and discuss my resentments (not).

I guess I\’ll go make some fresh juice. The salad I had for supper and the peanut butter for dessert was wonderful.

What a funny blog for me. I am making such fun of myself. I deserve it!

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Love

I love being an athlete. I love how my body feels right now. I didn\’t lift weights in Germany; but I did on Thursday and today. Now, several of my muscles are sore. Always, my shoulders quiver during the weight workouts. I love that. The people in my life are sedentary, except for Art, a guy at work who uses the weight room when I do. He loves working out.

Yesterday, I did a 24.3 mile run in about 10.3 minutes per mile. Not fast but not shabby either. I love how my legs feel after about 3 hours of running. Long runs are not free. This one lingers as there is an ice pack on my ankle. Yet, I had a wonderful short run on the levy this morning. It is so freeing to just jog along with no particular goal in mind.

I love being a spiritual athlete. I love my daily spiritual study. I love special workouts in solitude. Solitude relates to running long slow distance. After a few hours of being alone in my apartment, my intuition opens and I have \”communication.\”

Love for athleticism and spirituality is not understood by most. Yet, my love is so great, I have given up my life to it.

Germany Post-lude: The World vs Happy Dreams (Long)

I arrived home from Germany, flying on three flights including US customs and changing planes in Chicago O’Hare, exactly on time; and in time to go to an AA meeting. The entire trip was what I would call a happy dream. This morning, doing laundry, studying spiritual material and looking forward to a run, I felt so totally grateful for the spiritual path and in particular A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I have been set free from the world (ego hell) and live a life of happy dreams on the way to Heaven. This is a result of a spiritual path and a life which places God first.

Below I will provide some examples of what it used to be like and what it is like now. First, some quotes from the Epilog to the work book for ACIM. I mention this because I have now finished the Course twice and really feel that it has changed my life: from the hateful ego life to the happy dream on the way to heaven.

+ \”Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God (Jesus or the Holy Spirit) and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word.\”

+ \”You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach.\”

+ \”We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen”; In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do.\”

+ \”You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.\”

This morning, I am utterly certain that my life has become a “happy dream on the way to Heaven” as a result of the spiritual life. My life is a happy dream because I have learned to listen to the Voice for God, as well as turned my life over to God. AND when I am doing God’s will for me, all the world is better for it (i.e., it’s not about me and getting things to go my way).

As I read this, my memory flashed back to 22 or so years ago. I was about 28 years old and about 2 years sober. I was remembering some workshops I attended by a channel named Lazarus. I listened to the meditations about love and a higher self and I desperately wanted this feeling of bliss. At that time, I couldn’t seem to feel this euphoric love. I think my spiritual journey became a journey coming out of a total black place where I was a spiritual failure and no one loved me.

Today, as I sat at my table in the quiet early morning, I realized that I have a tremendous inner peace and freedom from thought bondage (ego hell). I never experienced that euphoric experience so often read of in books and so desperately sought by many unhappy people. Yet, I have peace. It must mean I have the safety of God and I trust it totally and am able to live in His embrace, His love and His guidance.

What it used to be like: I remember way way back, when I was a young engineer, I attended a plant dinner (a multinational corporation). I got drunk on the free wine. I was seated next to the head of the facility, a VP, and made a total fool of myself. The morning after shame was tremendous.

What its like now: On this trip to Germany, I found myself sitting next to a Director of a multinational corporation. I was sober and peaceful in myself. No verbal embarrassment occurred and, hence, no shame.

What it used to be like: When I was in my middle thirties, I went on several company week long functions at places like Hilton Head and I went on a trip to The Netherlands. I remember having such low self esteem while trying to socialize with other managers. I felt guilty and afraid for being \”different\” than the other managers.

What it’s like now: On this trip to Germany, I again found myself socializing with other managers. At this time in my life, I have been on the spiritual path for 3 decades,.I am still different from the group being: a female, a dedicated athlete, a person who eats only what fits in the God design for a body, a person who actually does spend time everyday in prayer (no matter what) and who reflects quietly on how to listen to the Voice for God as well as implement the direction.
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The last night of the trip, another VP took us to dinner. They had planned ahead, as several of us were vegetarians, to have vegetarian items on the menu, and they even identified to the restaurant who was vegetarian without asking us (me and 4 Indians). The salad was wonderful The entrée was mushrooms in cream sauce with fried potato cakes. This entrée is not something I would choose to eat (because it is outside the God design eating program), but could possibly eat when in a group; and the Indians wolfed their\’s down. Yet that night, my inner self absolutely put the brakes on eating all of it. I just nibbled a bit to be polite and to pass the time while everyone else ate their meat dishes; and allowed the waitress to take my plate. Then while waiting for coffee and dessert, I slipped over to the waitress and asked for fresh fruit for dessert because I knew I wasn’t going to eat the sugar and cream laden dessert which was on the menu. I quietly got something to eat (I was hungry) without creating a scene.
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I saw that the VP noticed I didn’t eat my entrée. Even earlier in the day, the VP had mentioned that he knew I didn’t drink saying (in a German accent), “You are not so much in favor of drink.” But the point is, despite two weeks of comments from my colleagues about my running and how I eat, I do not feel ashamed of myself and in the past I would have. I would have been tormented by my life choices and how they made me different from the corporate powers. Today, I feel good about myself. I am not afraid that being me will somehow make me a corporate failure.

What it’s like now: Early on Wednesday morning, doing my spiritual study, before beginning my long trip home. I was conscious of my ego thinking how terrible things could go: it’s the day before Thanksgiving, O’Hare airport is probably jammed with people and all the flights are late and how crabby I’ll be about getting home extremely late.
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BUT, I consciously brought this thinking to Jesus and made another choice. I decided that the day was about peace and Christ vision (per ACIM teaching) and carrying out God’s purpose for me; letting the Holy Spirit smooth my ways. This was all conscious decision making. Now, as I said above, all my flights were absolutely on time. I got along with my colleague who was travelling with me. I spent 10 minutes at the passport checkpoint in Chicago because the officer wanted to tell me his life story; and my companions wondered what was going wrong (hehe). (This incident may well have been what God needed me to do.) I arrived home at 7:45, made a cup of tea, and went to the AA meeting, in total gratitude for the Holy Spirit. I even went to the grocery store after that. The store was not crowded with pre-Thanksgiving shoppers; but most amazingly, the shelves were not empty. So I obtained fresh vegetables and peanut butter and happily came home and ate a Spirit Flower special salad.

My life is a happy dream because I decided to take ACIM, I decided to listen to the Voice for God, I decided to follow God’s will for me; not because I am lucky or good.

I could go on and on about how happy I am with myself. This includes my running outlook. I no longer need to prove anything, say by running a 50 mile race, in order to bolster my low self esteem. My spiritual self esteem is also healed: I no longer feel less than religious sisters. I no longer feel like a spiritual failure because I haven’t experienced “enlightenment.”

I am free. I am free. I am happy. I am happy.

I think I will now go for a run!

Sunday Run on the Rhine

Today I had a very peaceful and contemplative run of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It was a cloudy, slightly drippy, 50F degree jog. Everybody, joggers and dog walkers, was quietly thinking their own thoughts or quietly off in space while the body did its thing. I had no injuries from yesterday, but my legs were fatigued. This afternoon, I\’m going to hang out with my boss and his wife.

Eternal Gentleness

From A Course in Miracles text 23.I: \”The memory of God comes to the quiet mind…for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness.”

The facet of God, Eternal Gentleness, is my focus today. I read two paragraphs of the ACIM text before needing to stop and meditate on Eternal Gentleness. These words, spoken in my mind bring healing to any little interferers, little judgments, little attractions to guilt and sin (meaning looking for sin and finding it in others). Eternal Gentleness leaves me speechless and in peace. I can stay here if I want.

I think of the many faces of the Son of God in my life. They are all beautiful and all in pain. We pine and agonize because we look for sin instead of, in quiet, being in Eternal Gentleness. Today, I have traded Eternal Gentleness for the little attraction to guilt.

I am going running in a gentle rain today. I do not know how long but am preparing to stay out as long as I feel like it.

Yesterday I splurged on some hi-tech running clothes which I had not seen in the States. I shut my eyes to the prices tag and realized this was my one chance no matter the cost. If I go to the “Run for the Ranch” marathon on 12/27, it might actually be warm enough for me to be stylin’.

I had supper last night with two colleagues. I sensed Eternal Gentleness. I met a new colleague and at first felt jealous; then I applied Eternal Gentleness and gave the gift of peace. The Christmas Markets open in Cologne later today. These are booths set up with music and costumes, food and wine, and please buy our trinkets. I will stay out of the fray as it is a good place for a tourist to get in trouble.

On Friday, one of the German colleagues was troubled that I was here without access to cash. I would not accept his help. He said the situation was unacceptable to him, and quietly, behind my back, asked my American colleagues to watch out for me. I was touched despite my American training in feminist principles.

I am free when I live in Eternal Gentleness and accept the gift of innocence offered in silence. I have spent long hours in introspection listing out all my jealousies, hatreds, resentments, fears, shames, pissing matches and better thans. I give these to Jesus. Then, I accept Eternal Gentleness as my Source and as what I truly am.

Koln Personal Long Distance Event

I got up at 5:30 and did a tiny amount of spiritual study with a small coffee. I didn\’t drink the normal amount because I was about to take a long run in a city where I have yet to discern a public restroom or even a adequate bush!I loaded the Nathan hydropak left the hotel at 6:30, still dark, cloudy and about 54F (warm). I head north along the Rhine planning to cross at the Mulheim bridge and come back.

An hour and 15 minutes later, I can see the Bayer Chempark in Leuverkeusen across the river…gulp…I must have missed the bridge. Not the first time I\’ve been lost on a bike path, but lost a bridge? I am slipping.I turn around at the Ford plant because the bike path goes away from the river to get around the plant.
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Heading back south I finally get the bridge situation straightened out. The bridge I\’ve been running to every night was actually the Mulheim and not the Zoobrueke. Now I cross the Monheim bridge and continue south along the river to a point where there is a fence across the path. What? The beach resort? Shoot! I go inland to a road which runs along the backs of some warehouses. I\’m glad I didn\’t try to do this in the dark! After a mile or so, I find a place near the Zoobrueke bridge to get back to the river. There is a nice park here which I may come back to tomorrow. I\’ve been running about 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is not time to go home; home is just across the river. I am having a magic day where I haven\’t had to pee or poop during this run. So I run around the park once and experience some peace and quiet, realizing I\’m out of patience with being lost. Then I run south to the Severinsbrucke and turn around.
Koln Seagulls

Haha, look at the \”flock\” of seagulls lined up at this one place. I come back north to the park and the Zoobrueke. It is time to go home if I want to get some food and coffee before the hotel breakfast bar shuts down.

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Home I go, The run was 3 hours and 48 minutes. I dawdled some taking pictures; but I judge it to be between 20 and 21 miles.
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This afternoon, I plan to walk to a huge sporting goods store and a health food store.

Germany Diary – Fritag

The Koln cathedral dominates the landscape. It cannot be avoided very much. The first three days of running, I ran up its front steps around the north side past a museum and down the north steps to get to the river. The river and its miles of sidewalk are the venue for my running.


I get up at 5:30 and make instant coffee; then settle down for spiritual study and meditation. Daily, I go to the hotel’s breakfast buffet, load up my American sized travel mug with coffee, fill a bag with bread, cheese and fruit and bring it back to the room. This covers two meals; breakfast and supper. Every day at 7:45, I go to the lobby and chat with my work colleagues until 8, when we get on the bus and go to our class at the Chempark in Leverkeusen.


We have class until 12:30, go to the cafeteria to eat. Come back to class until 5:30 and get back on the bus to the hotel. Then, in the dark, I go running. It takes 30 minutes to run from the train station/cathedral to Zoobrueke, where I turn around and come back.

So far, that is what I have done on my trip to Germany. In 5 days, it is all I have had time for. I think I would like to get out of class before the sun went down, but that is not up to me. This weekend, I will go for long runs along the river (weather to be a little drippy), peruse the sporting goods store and the natural food store, study my spiritual material and read a book. No, I won’t run around like a crazy person trying to see as much as possible. What is the point of that really? Cologne is about the cathedral. I will spend some more time pondering it.

I have been doing my daily spiritual study and meditation. I need this reflection time and connection time to survive. Like the Cologne Cathedral, God dominates the landscape of my mind. I keep going back to look. Whenever I wonder where I am, I pinpoint God\’s dominance on the horizon. I come close and look at God\’s intricacies, both inside and out. I stop to pray.

Different Drummer

Here is a view from the 6th floor classroom window where I have been spending my days.

Last night, we had a dinner with a really really top executive. Surprisingly, about halfway through the meal, he came and sat next to me so he could visit with the people at our end of the table. There was only our group of 18 at the dinner. I was glad I do not drink. As a drunk, I never knew what my mouth would have to say to such a person.

Tonight, I was a bad girl and skipped the group dinner. They brought us back to the hotel at 6:30 and a group was going to a Brazilian steak house at 7. At 6:38, I was out running along the Rhine. I had a pleasant 52 minute run. I am a person who needs to get away; althought I did go against group norms and expected behavior. I suffer a little when I go against the group.

Even thought there were plenty of other walkers and runners along the river, I experienced a type of solitude and contemplation in the semi-darkness. Now, alone, I stop to reflect that I am alone. I suddenly need to shut off my dialog. This time needs to be cherished.

Montag en Germania

I had a wonderful plate of vegetables for dinner last night. I slept most of the night except for the comforter is too hot. I found a natural food store on google. It is only 1.1 km from the hotel, so this weekend, I can go load up on goodies for snacking after my long run.

Upon arising this morning, I had a wonderful hot shower. Free of grunge and vague dreams of forgetting to get the right settings loaded for some software, I settled down for spirituality. I re-started chapter 22 in the Course in Miracles text yesterday. This morning, as I continued, I felt like I understood something. I felt willing. I did not felt separation. As I write this, I believe that my ego, the tiny mad idea, was hoping that if it sent out a barrage of separation type thoughts, for several days, every time I tried to understand a holy relationship, that maybe I would give up my quest to love others and God.

Of course, I have been on the quest for decades. I don’t know why my ego still thinks I will quit trying to uphold the truth of the real relationship that I (we all) have with God, and the holy relationship that I (we) have with each other in Self: “For no two brothers can unite (in any way) except through Christ, Whose vision sees them one” (22.I.7).

The final five lessons of the Course in Miracles workbook use this:
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\”This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You.
Certain that Your dicrection gives me peace.\”
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I said this a lot on the airplane when I couldn\’t sleep. I realized that the trick is to know that I am speaking to Someone. I have to consciously make the divine connection; not just repeat this over and over to myself. I reach out! It is swell.

How much courage to take time for spirituality.

Fear is my worst blockage.

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I have felt well around my co-workers at the class.

I will survive here is Germany.

Today I was in class all day, not returning to the hotel until 6. Our class is 2 South Americans, 4 Indians, 2 English, 2 German, 2 Chinese and 4 Americans. The class is at a huge chemical park. They had a nice cafeteria which even had a machine that made fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh orange juice is heaven. They also had a lady who was making smoothies.

After class, I got out running about 6:15. I ran 40 minutes, turning around at Henry Blum Platz. There were other runners, walkers and bikers. I got the nod from a couple of the ladies, “I see you running maniac.”

This morning at breakfast, I foraged for fruit and bread so I think I’ll skip eating out tonight.

Tomorrow night, we have dinner with an important person; so no running.

Koln Temporary Monastic Cell

On Saturday, I got up at 3:45 to do my spiritual work. At 5:30, I was at the park and did a 22 mile LSD run. Then, I went home to shower and eat. At noon, my friend Lore took me to the airport. All flights on time and very nice. Arrived in Dusseldorf at 7:30 am Sunday (what happened to Saturday night?).

I said I would set up my mini-monastery in my hotel room. Here is a picture:


I noticed there is a nice bike path along the Rhine River, only a few blocks from my hotel. I\’ll be in class for most daylight hours but I should be able to figure out when jogging would be good.