Becoming a Poem

By allowing yourself to get old.

I stole the title of my post from this blog:  http://firstknownwhenlost.blogspot.com/2015/06/becoming-poem.html

It inspired me, \”Becoming a Poem\” I mean. Not in the sense of dying and coming back, like the blog discusses. But in the sense of becoming beautiful. As someone would write a poem about a rose, so I am a rose and my life is a rose. I am a poem. My life is a poem.

In fact, if there is celestial music, then my life sings it all day every day.

So what is the deal about becoming old? It only means I have journeyed far. I have a long ways to go too. I\’ve been over hill and dale, to the farther shore. Not yet have I made it to the end of the earth; except I have glimpsed that other world.

Multi-days of Time – 1

After work today, I have 5 days off. Nothing planned.

Usually, I go to races if I have time off. But, hotels near the race in New Orleans are going to $200 a night; so I became unmotivated. I could go to San Antonio, but I\’d have to start by myself at 4 in the morning in order to survive a sun filled course. And for what? Just to say I finished another marathon? 

I had originally thought I might try to do a Private Hundred Mile Run. But it is hot this week on the Gulf Coast; not the usual cloudiness, which helps alot with the heat. And I\’m not in the mood to prove any thing to any one. Or say I did this or that. I know I will work out a bunch, but there is no measurements associated. And if I feel like sitting on a cushion with my eyes closed instead of exercising, I will.

What I know is I do love going. If I go outside, it won\’t be very fast. But strapping water on my back and just walking around is fine with me. I just don\’t want to measure it.

Tolle\’s \”The Power of Now\” will journey with me. A Course in Miracles will journey with me. Some fiction will journey with me.

Blessings of peace. Spiritual insight. These are wonderful gifts. I will have additional space for silence this week.

Sunday in the Now

On Saturdays there is some restraint in my activities as I want to meet some people at 10 am. That means I might get out running for about 2h45min and then come home to change and go to the meeting.

Sundays lately? All bets are off.

Today was particularly interesting.

I slept a bit late, getting up at 6:30. It was cloudy outside so I was taking my time with morning meditation. I am reading Ekhart Tolle\’s \”The Power of Now\” at the moment. So my head was full of surrender and the silent watching.

Then, I watched the radar. I saw a storm was coming. You\’d think that would mean I decided to stay inside. But no. It meant I decided to get over to Brummerhop park (across the street) and get my cooler under the shelter, and start running before the rain started. That way, I\’d already be in rhythm when the rain came down. In Texas, it is far more important to keep cool than to keep dry. In fact, keeping dry is impossible here on the Gulf coast as sweat drenches every run.

So I got started running before the rain. And then it was rainy for the first 3 hours of the run. Not serious rain, gentle rain. It was lovely. Later in the run, it got partly cloudy and much warmer, but not really hot.

I jog walked around Brummerhop park 61 laps. Thats 22 miles.

Am I training for something? Why do I do this? Feet and legs do get a little painful after about 14 miles.

It is what I do. I practice consciousness and being aware of the present. After a few laps, it becomes not that hard to imagine yourself at one with Life Itself. There were moments of silence when no cars were going past and no tree frogs were chirping. I remembered Presence. Today for once, I really did not get lost in the past, and explanations with imaginary people. I wasn\’t upset with any resentments. I made myself be aware of pushing the button on the counter every lap.

I mainly had the park to myself. My jog took 5h34min.

Here\’s what fitbit thinks my day looked like:

Safety Day 2015

Last year, in September, I heard an astronaut talking on NPR about the NASA initiative \”Hundred Year Starship\”. And I thought, \”Well heck, we could have Starship Baytown.\” This happened just as the announcement that our company was going to IPO the division I worked for.

Truly, it is just like we were being launched into space, cut off from our mother company. I thought that if we devised Starship Baytown, it would give employees something to be proud of during the time when we need to identify with our new company.

I sold the idea to the site manager. FYI, the site is a huge chem park with about 1,000 employees not counting contractors. The site manager asked me to sell the idea to the site leadership team the next day. I did it. Sold.

Then, people volunteered. Actions were taken. One of the teams is building a starship for the front of our plant. Behind me in the picture is the nose of it.

The values of our new company are: curious, colorful, courageous.

Private Hundred

I always seem to go to races whenever I have a few days off. And I usually take a few days the week of July 4th. This year, the nearest race I could find is in New Orleans, a reasonable 5 hour drive to a marathon that starts at midnight. My issue is that hotel rooms within an hour of the race site are going for $200 a night. This caused me to balk.

So instead, I will do my miles privately. I have set up a challenge on matchup.io to do the Pacific Crest Trail (100 miles).

Starting Wednesday, 7/1, I\’ll start this virtual trail run.

Today, Sunday, I slept in really late. I went outside at 9:30 and temps already in the mid 80s. I jogged 50 laps of Brummerhop park. Here\’s what that looked like on my fitbit:

After 45 laps, I started to walk. The heat index was 100. I had drank 5 bottle of drink. I had to quit when I was out of drink.

This week I got in 21 hours of workout and 75 miles.

A New Attitude and Outlook on Life

I have been watching an unusual string of interesting events in my life. Don\’t know what to say about this. I\’d like to fill this blog with spiritual hot air and assure everyone how special I must be to God. All I\’ll say is I do feel somehow in sync with my spiritual self at the moment. And surprisingly, this all seems to add up in my head as: Houston loves me and I should stay here.

A month ago, I applied for a transfer and promotion which would be in Pittsburgh. After a week, I discussed the opportunity with the VP over my current area and got support for helping me. Another week and I was able to discuss the opportunity with my current boss; and he was supportive. I talked to another colleague who is in that area now and got some support. I\’ve sent 3 e-mails to the hiring manager but not been able to get a hold of her. And I\’ve heard nothing. (Except I did get the HR guy to say that the hiring manager had not called anyone for interviews yet).

Meanwhile, I had a wonderful trip to my old convent last weekend along with doing a marathon. Tuesday, I had an extra day off thanks to tropical storm Bill, who left Houston alone.

Wednesday and Thursday I had 2 new positive thinking episodes. I mean, true corrections in the way I think occurred. Sudden reversals from negative hateful thoughts to positive helpful thoughts. This has to be spiritual. On Friday, I had a new way of thinking about AA\’s 12 Promises which just blew me away. Another true thought correction.

Yesterday, I drove over a concrete chunk but nothing bad happened to the car. Today, I sped past a cop sitting in a trap but he didn\’t come after me.

There is a new 24 hour race in Houston in October. An e-mail from the RD was discussing discounts for his various races. I wrote to him and explained my DNS at his race in May and asked for a big discount for the 24 hour race. He wrote back and gave me 30% off.

Yesterday, I was reading one of the many many newsletters my company sends out. They were talking about a new culture team for our new company. Asking for volunteers. The opportunity would require at least 2 trips to Germany. I asked my boss; he approved but had to pass the approval up to the VP because of the travel costs. She approved it within a few minutes; even though she was on vacation. These people didn\’t tell me I couldn\’t go because of my Pittsburgh application. They just approved $20,000 in travel costs without blinking an eye. That is unheard of.

My corrected thinking is producing a new way of looking at the world which seems more than fleeting. I am able to perceive The Universe working with me instead of against me. This new outlook seems truly new to me.

I went for a 3 hour jog walk in the Seabrook trails this morning. The whole time I was thinking about the new 24 hour race, wondering if I would get the discount, wondering if I should stay in Houston. The only problem is: I don\’t know how to \”be\” happy, to \”be\” at perfect peace and ease. I am competitive to the core, ego driven to the max. I don\’t know how to sit back and enjoy. But Houston seems to be saying, \”Stay here. I love you.\”

I guess I have another ultra to train for.

Workout Diary

Wednesday am- Great great workout. First, the old standbys bike and elliptical. Then 2 durability circuits of 10 min each with ankle weights. First, was step platform/trx sprinters/ burpees. Second was carrying Olympic plates up and down stairs with a shoulder press at the top and one arm rows at the bottom. Then top off with 10 min of nordic track. Total 63 minutes.

pm- 5.37 mile slow jog outside.

I felt so much like a total athlete after this morning\’s workout. I love it.

Not About Transgender

You probably heard the news about Rachel Dolezal, the undercover trans-black lady.

To look like a black person is not the same as being one. Far from it.

But the issue is deep for any trans-fill-in-the-blank. They say, \”I identify with _______ . \”

Utter nonsense. You identify with a fantasy, a delusion.

I am a real person. I am really what I am. I don\’t even wear makeup. My hair is short so I don\’t have to fix it. I wear earrings to increase the probability someone will call me Ma\’am instead of Sir. I look somewhat male; but I would never want to be a man. No freaking way.

But contemplate the deeper issue. Why do people do this on the physical level? Just ponder. Look at the world as humanity evolves and ponder all of our newer human issues. Seriously.

Marathon #47 – Maryville MO

A tale of two races. Actual and Spiritual.

The short form, for those who can only stand tweets, I finished my 47th marathon in 5h15 min (chip) and got 2nd place Master Female.

And I spent 2 nights visiting the convent where I lived for 4 years.

First picture is at the finish line with the very nice plaque for second place.

Earlier this year, I thought I would finish 50 marathons by September of this year; so I could celebrate at a marathon where some friends were. But due to one DNF and one cancelled race, that won\’t happen. I picked the Maryville marathon to be one of the 50 because I had run the race 3 previous times when I lived in Missouri, and it is too hot in Texas now to do a marathon race. Maryville is also near the convent so I could swing by for a visit.

Maryville is one of my BQ courses so I remembered it as being fast. That was in 2009. Now, 2015, I am slow, the hills seemed much higher than I remember; and worst of all, there were only 40 people in the marathon. So the second lap was very lonely.

It is a 2 lap race. The steepest of the hills are around miles 2-3. This part of the course also had very crummy pavement and extremely crummy shoulder, with no cones or traffic control. Nada. On the second lap, I hated this part. It also goes north, but the breeze was south, so sweat drips down your face.

The back side of the course goes south with a nice breeze in the face, and the shoulder was newly paved and there were cones along it. The hills are not steep but there is one long 2 mile uphill grade which falls at mile 20-22 on lap 2. It was killer at that point.

During the 25th mile, I could see one runner in front of me but too far ahead to catch. It turns out, that was the first place Master Female who was ahead by less than 2 minutes. Behind me I couldn\’t see anyone, but it turns out 3rd place Master Female was less than 2 minutes behind me.

Then I jumped in the car and drove back to the convent.

The convent, the convent. That thing in my life which is like a worrisome tooth which your tongue cannot leave alone.

I have had at least 3 BIG, life changing spiritual events in my life. The first was when I went to Israel when I was 22. This was my \”Call to God\” moment. Prior to that, I wasn\’t interested in religion and knew nothing about it. But post Israel, I was intensely interested and have been ever since.

The second big event was entry in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was spiritual because the 12 Step spirituality/ Conscious Contact spirituality was and is tremendously helpful in giving me spiritual tools and ongoing inspiration. It is safe to say I\’d have no spirituality without being sober, but AA is so much more than that. I\’ve been steeped in AA for almost 30 years.

The third event was my decision to join a contemplative religious order. I could write a book on this experience. Right at this moment, however, I want to focus on one aspect: Why Spirit?

It is easy to identify the purpose of answering a spiritual call and the purpose of getting sober. But what actually was the purpose of being a monk for 4 years? It wrought changes in my life, but I can\’t say I got ahead spiritually. It was life changing, but exactly what does it mean? This all may seem obvious if I could detail out all of my spiritual life. But mostly, my heart pines for the fact that I don\’t live there. I can\’t let it go.

This weekend was about the 3rd visit in the past 11 years. It is the first time I stayed overnight and had time to just be around. I had time for a couple of in depth conversations and ask questions I\’ve not dared to ask. I hope I planted seeds for future relational growth.

I don\’t think I want to live at the convent now; but I do think a viable connection needs to exist. In terms of existential energy and financial investment, my time served with the Clyde sisters is huge (more than $500,000 in lost wages). I purchased something. Invested in something. It is just that \”Something\” is not quite identified yet. Or perhaps, the real truth of the experience is non-physical.

I will continue to ponder this weekend, another spiritual jewel to hold in my hand.

I got home late last night. Nothing was injured by the marathon, but I am taking it a bit easy today. The bread machine is in operation. I got groceries. I mowed and trimmed the lawn. Now I might need a nap.

More About Ms Jenner

When I am 65, I hope I look like Caitlyn Jenner.
Or that someone photo shops me as well.

But at least I\’ll still be a bonfide woman.

I hope I can still do marathons.

At first, I though I\’d link numerous articles. But, so many interesting articles and blogs! So click on any one of the links below and find more links in the articles.

Why do I care? I became a persona non grata because I said, \”When I was your age, Bruce Jenner was a boy.\” And a campaign was started against me. But I believe deeply in \”To Thine Own Self Be True.\” I find Ms Jenner far more offensive that a little joke about her change.

What about the Ts in LGBT?  Any T has a tough road. But be true to your self; not a photo shopped media whore. Wear sweat pants and ball caps on Saturday morning if you want to act like the real women. Don\’t put lotion on your hands every 5 minutes. Remember, you may be sexually abused, but not raped like real women are. Not property like real women are. Various other things. Be what you are and fight for your civil rights. But you are not a woman. You are a T.

I am woman.

From other places:

From \”Unequally Yoked\” blog (Roman Catholic):
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/piadesolenni/will-the-real-caitlyn-jenner-please-stand-up/?ref_widget=popular&ref_blog=unequallyyoked&ref_post=running-the-terrible-for-catholics-numbers-on-conversion

Patheos blog (Roman Catholic):
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat/2015/06/bruce-jenner-on-a-ledge-world-tells-him-to-jump.html

Living Whole blog:
http://www.livingwhole.org/how-the-cover-of-vanity-fair-and-caitlyn-jenner-objectified-women-everywhere/