Making Connections

A student of A Course in Miracles reads about how he is not really separate from others. There is only one mind, one Son of God; not separate bodies who don\’t know God and can\’t stand each other either.

Some of these teachings seem completely impossible. How could I ever see my brother as myself? How could I ever see that it was my own projection which made the delusion/illusion in front of my eyes?

I sort of have an inkling of the oneness. It might be too complicated to write; and the excitement of the moment is hard to capture in words.

Two fronts: a book I am reading by Scott Jurek, \”Eat and Run\”, vs my struggles to let go of those I\’ve been secretly jealous of.

See, I\’m secretly jealous of real ultra runners who seem to accomplish what I\’ve failed at. But also, the sisters in the monastery who claim to be more holy due to their monastic profession. Also those people who our society deems successful: the rich, the doctors, the warriors, athletes in general, successful managers, mothers, etc.

So, I\’m reading Scott\’s book. Over and over I find myself in tears as I read his moments of triumph. I think of myself with my sore heel. I think of Scott floating through beautiful forests, running forever without physical debilitation. I\’m a 53 year old professional woman ultra-runner-want-to-be living in the devastatingly hot and flat, totally urban Houston. Scott is a strong young man with access to hills.

I stop my reading and listen to that inner Voice: Scott and I are one. See, the inner force which pulls him also pulls me. Scott\’s story is part of my projection. I suddenly realize that not all my projections are fat diabetics or sexual predators. Some of them are Scotts and some are Sisters. These are not separate people. We are one. I don\’t need to be jealous.

I am able to be touched by Scott\’s story because the same force which is in him is in me. We are not separate. The physical body is the illusion. The inner force is the reality; and that we share. We are not separate. The illusion does not exist. The inner force does.

The 3,100 miles Self Transcendence race begins this weekend. I love to read daily reports about runners going around a 0.5 mile block in NYC for 52 days. I love thinking about my own little loops that I run. I love thinking about my Colorado running vacation in 2 weeks.

This morning, I went running at 4:30 am. It was 81F and very humid. That is as good as Texas will get for 3 months. I was grateful for that run. I keep hoping I can get out of bed this weekend and do a long run. But even so, as I worked out yesterday in my home gym, I could feel the force of endless endurance. In the limitlessness is Eternal Silence and I appreciate its presence.

The Point

From A Course in Miracles ch7.VIII.7

\”The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. You who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgement alone. By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity.\”

The ego is just a belief, or a belief system. You can leave this belief system and this world if you want.

On tap today: hard core cross training. Burn the calories and then eat more. See how meaningless?

Secret Running Thoughts

I ran/walked 16 miles this morning knowing full well my left heel is trash. Was I so slow because of this? Or just the heat in general? When I walked the last miles, I was gasping for air even while walking. Is it hard to breath 65% humid air when it is 85F?

Dr Alice did not say stop running. She has a plan. The pain brings a mental challenge. What\’s it all about Alfie? Why do these miles? Do they matter for anything?

For some reason, they matter to me.

Somehow, they go together with ACIM teachings (I\’m in ch 7 at the moment).
\”That is all the world of the ego is. Nothing. It has no meaning. It does not exist. Do not try to understand it because, if you do, you are believing that it can be understood and is therefore capable of being appreciated and loved. That would justify its existence, which cannot be justified. You cannot make the meaningless meaningful. This can only be an insane attempt….The ego’s picture of you is deprived, unloving and vulnerable. You cannot love this. Yet you can very easily escape from this image by leaving it behind. You are not there and that is not you. ….Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it. This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect and wholly desirable. Wanting this only you will have this only, and giving this only you will be only this. \”.

I can not explain the 669 pages of the ACIM text (let alone the workbook). It has taken me almost 5 years of continuous reading to get even a grasp of the principles. But, I\’m accepting that this world is the ego\’s and means nothing. So why do I run? To burn calories?

The glitz and glamour of age group awards and personal bests and the praise of others have worn off. Or, has it? Does the thought of a shiny medal still hypnotize me? Why do I still want to run 24 hours when it will only tear up my feet? Am I powerless over brain synapses?

I (my ego) has been attacking me with the running question for decades. It became worst in the monastery. You\’d think praying and Benedictine community would have over ruled running. But, the fear of being unhealthy and fat drove me.

The running question is no different than the God question. Really they are the same ego thought: fear of God and the ego\’s quest to rule over Him.

My 2011 3,100 miles race took more than 11 months. In 2012, I\’ll only get about 2,400 miles.

Stop staring at the ego\’s picture of hate. Answer it.

I want to go here (Merrill\’s Mile):

Just sitting and listening. That is all life is anyway.

Another LSD

Seabrook, Texas

I can\’t believe I love it here!

Crimony, another Saturday Sweatfest in Meador park.

A miracle run in that I did it at all.

But my mind was on A Course in Miracles and the thoughts I got this morning from my study:
Escape from this image by leaving it behind.
Withdraw investment and the gift of life is mine.
Give only honor to the Sons of the living God.

God is love. Thoughts that Love would not have thought are my ego. Ego thoughts are also attack thoughts. Answer any ego thought with something like what is in italics above. This denies the ego any reality. Any loving thought is being vigilant for God. This changes everything.

The image I see is basically hate. The illusion looks like a bunch of people I am more or less annoyed with; but its reality is hate. Hate is what I really want to stop. If I fear other\’s judgement of me, then I know I have projected my own self judgment. This can be left behind. Judgment can be denied by answering the ego with an opposite thought. If you can\’t think of an opposite thought, then ask for one and it will show up. If you want it, you will notice it.

21 days to Ultra Monk\’s Colorado training camp. It is a free training camp; after you buy the plane ticket, the rental car and the hotel room.

The Power of MY Thought

I have ignored this concept usually. One of the teachings of A Course in Miracles is to accept the power as supported by the Holy Spirit\’s thought system, put in the effort to direct my thinking and believe in its power, stop believing in the ego\’s dissonance.

25 years ago, I heard that thoughts create reality. I didn\’t grasp or live in that belief. In other words, I denied the power.

I wake up every morning with a head full of crappy thoughts about myself and the world. But I quickly sit down and do a little studying of a Course in Miracles. This always enable me to direct my thinking towards love, joy, peace, Help; essential okay-ness.

Essential okay-ness is necessary for me. Without it I\’d need to kill myself, take drugs, eat myself to death or something.

Chapter 7.VI excerpts:

\”Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power. If you do not believe you can do this you have denied the power of your thought, and thus rendered it powerless in your belief….Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny. It must also deny everything this power gives you because it gives you everything….The ego therefore opposes all appreciation, all recognition, all sane perception and all knowledge.\”
Part of my doldrums are related to my left heel pain. Actually this pain is getting better and piece by piece the issues are being solved. But since I am not pain free, I get down about it. Actually, I get down because I am not Scott Jurek or any number of other amazing ultra-runners. I get down as I\’ve only been working out 16 hours a week instead of 20. I get down for only running 50 miles a week instead of 80. I get down because I weight 134 instead of 130, or 129. I worry about my Colorado running vacation because I might not be able to do 8 hours of walk jog every day.
So, you see a pattern here?  Where have I set my bars? Insane? So, it is A Course in Miracles that turns the doldrums around every morning. THE Answer is a spiritual remedy. My ego allies with the doldrums and supports going down. Spirit supports the essential okay-ness. I feel much better in okay-ness. I need to feel better. 
Self transcendence is choosing Spirit instead of ego; and then getting out of bed.
And then go running. Yeah!

Hermitage Weekend

This weekend in Seabrook, a replica of the NASA shuttle is being transported to NASA for display. Big deal. When I left work on Friday, my colleague mentioned it. I said my plan was to stay out of the way.

To find quiet and soul, you have to be quiet and with your soul. Make space for God as it were. To know it, you have to do it; be alone as it were.

This idea struck me as I made my afternoon tea. I have a sore throat. My left heel is not in the best of shape. The idea of being alone came to me as I wondered what I would do this weekend. Can I walk on the treadmill all night? No not really because sleep is important to me.

I have a Colorado running vacation in 30 days; but I don\’t have any race I am training for exactly. I want to endure, but I fail mentally, make excuses and quit. Sometimes it is blisters. But more often, I just can\’t come up with a reason to do the unreasonable on my own. Except some/most non-marathoners I know would say I am unreasonable to work out 18 hours a week. I like it; but more important, it is who I am.

This evening, I did 20 min of funny walking and free weights, 10 min of step/tramp and a 120 min walk jog. At 90 min, I did have to struggle with keeping going. I was rationalizing.

I\’m at 967795 steps in B-Well. I could get to 1,000,000.

A nights sleep. Up at 6:30 and fussing around with insoles.


Now it is Saturday afternoon. this morning, I did a 3 hour sweat fest of 13 miles. I ran past the place shown below, only this time, the park was a parking lot for the nearby swim meet. No matter. I parked at the library. I wore my Nathan hydro-pak. It holds 70 oz. I didn\’t use it all, but I drank every 10 to 15 min.

In a tidal pool, I saw a large flock of white sea birds of two races. You usually only see one or two birds at one time. To see more than 20 in one small pool at one time was unusual. Also, the fishing must have been good today. A boy I saw near the pier told me he had caught a fish. I was glad to share his joy.

This evening, at 5 pm, I\’ll tune the radio to A Prairie Home Companion and work out for 2 hours.

Next Stop Colorado

Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Dillon Reservoir and the Continental Divide. You name it, I could be running there. My next trip is the end of June, 4th of July week.

For starters, I\’m entered in a half marathon on Copper Mountain. What was I thinking? The turn around at 10 miles is above 10,300 feet! This Texas girl won\’t be finishing very fast. I hope they still have the finish line open by the time I get done.

The best I can do to prepare is to run uphill on my treadmill, 15% incline. Hill-arious! Still, I can\’t wait to have 5 days of running and hiking in the mountains. That yellow trail of the Continental Divide doesn\’t look like it has any trees. Never-the-less, I picture myself hiking up it for a few hours with my hydro-pak and desert hat.

It is hard to describe how wonderful I feel about myself. There was a 4 week period at the end of April and through May where I ran 2 ultras and one pretty good half marathon. The day after the half marathon, I was hobbling as my heel was stressed. By today though, I was able to run 5 mph uphill on the treadmill. I keep forgetting that I have pushed myself pretty hard in the past month. So it is amazing that I did all those races and can still run and workout.