Purpose

Today is lesson 125 in A Course in Miracles. I read this: \”…you have a special purpose for today; in quiet to receive the Word of God.\”

I felt it settle in and I believed. It also explains the solitude in which I live.

Then I started my exercise. First, 10 min on the Versa Climber. Then a fantastic 31 min run outside. I was going faster than I have for several months with no twinges in any part of my legs. 

Lesson 124

\”Today…We can fail in nothing. Everything we touch takes on a shining light.\”

I prepare to sally forth into the melay of work. I read that quote and my mind was inspired. I felt it. Let the rain come down.

Stop and listen. I just realized that I need humility today; be a servant. Sudden gratitude. On my inner knees I ask, \”How may I best serve You. Thy will not mine be done.\”

Gratitude

The Course in Miracles lesson today talked about giving God a day of gratitude. And, the lesson helpfully listed a number of non-material things I should be grateful for. This lesson got mixed in with some other reading from Brunton on Grace.

I thought about gratitude during the next 4.5 hours of my 20 mile run.

Most people are grateful for material world things. Like, dear God, I\’m so happy I\’m a first world person so I have plenty of food, a house and relative safety. Or, thank you God for my healthy children. I also am happy I live in the first world; but I don\’t think that is God. I refuse to think God makes some people live in terrible circumstances.

I don\’t know if I should thank God for my spiritual life. I\’m not able to point to any evidence that God did anything. I can only assume that certain intuitive thoughts are truly Spirit. That is how I choose to believe, but I can\’t prove that to anyone.

God or no God, the one thing I am totally and from the bottom of my heart and in every cell of my being grateful for is Sobriety. I love love love that I have had a sober adult life, 30 years.

Anyway, my ego is ignorant of Grace. My spirit  is silent. I believe Love is the predominant mode of existence.

This week, only 14.9 hours of workout and 56+ miles due to 2 days off for a cold.

My Soul

This morning at the end of my spiritual study, sitting on the can, I thought, \”My soul, you are a lovely soul.\”

This might be the first time I\’ve had that thought. It was a genuine return of love to the higher from the lower. Then I went for a run. During the run, I thought, \”Maybe that was my higher consciousness speaking to me.\” Maybe it works both ways. For once, I realize I might not be pissed off at my soul for making me a human. Maybe for once, I am ready to accept the love of the higher consciousness.

My run this morning was good. My cold has subsided and the coughing is less. I haven\’t mentioned what else. On Tuesday at work, I was walking down a hallway when I felt a sudden pain in my right groin. Serious stabbing pain. Then, it was intermittent the rest of the day and the next day. Thursday, I wore an elastic around my upper thigh and that prevented the pain. Yesterday and today, I ran with the thigh wrapped and haven\’t felt the pain. So, I somehow pulled my groin while walking. Weird.

Just when I want to ramp up the training for a 24 hour race, I get a cold and a groin pull. I want to go outside for a walk even now, but it is still hot here on the Gulf Coast. Maybe I will anyway.

I had another revelation yesterday. I have worked with a certain boss now for 4 years. I now act like myself around him. That is a miracle. I have spent my life acting the way I thought other people want me to act because I don\’t want to step on their toes. I now am natural with this person. That is a great gift.

Yes! I just walked 10 miles.

Spiritual Dream

This morning, I am taking my time. It is work from home Friday; but also, I am recovering from a cold. I don\’t expect much today except coughing. Well, an easy jog to loosen things up also.

Brunton was discussing dream states. It occurred to me that my life is about two dreams: ego\’s dream and spiritual dream.

My ego wants greatness, enough money do live independent, respect of others.

My spirit wants conscious contact with God. At times, the ego has tried to steal my spiritual dream. But the ego has utterly failed at that. But daily, I feed myself with spiritual reading and meditation and reflection. The spiritual dream does go on. It may not have so much tangible results in this world. I again know that I intend to pursue it.

It\’s Okay

Reading Brunton again today. Sitting here with a cold and trying to decide if I should go to work. I find that I almost know why I came to this body, this life.

I\’ve been interested in higher consciousness the whole time. This life gives me time for pondering but also forces me to engage in the world. In the monastery I would have had to stick with Catholicism. Here in society, I have access to many ideas. As an engineer, I can build the ideas into anything.

Today\’s ACIM lesson is: I rest in God. I could feel the silent reality when I thought this thought.

Why do I entitle this blog, \”It\’s Okay?\” Because I am for once OK with being a civilian. Not a monk or a famous enlightened guru. Contemplative engineer is okay. Wow! Breakthrough!

Brunson – V13.Part 1.2.27

This morning, I was reading from a notebook of Paul Brunton.

\”The way out of the to and fro wanderings of his moods, to spirit and away from it, is to accept the double nature of his being …. Then struggles cease and harmony prevail. There is no warlike confrontation within himself but peaceful reconciliation.\”

This helps me understand my shifts between violent ego emotions and calm spiritual outlook.

Yesterday was an emotional day at work as I felt overwhelmed with too much to do and also got a sore throat. How spiritual is that? We all assume then that we have failed at spirituality. Not so. Accept the ego\’s travails and peace appears. I just did it and it happened.

The double nature of my being is both spiritual and ego.

I had an excellent work out day yesterday. 48 minutes of machines in the morning and 45 minutes of treadmill in the afternoon.

Courage

No races this week. Just miles of training and another Gulf Coast sweat fest and another case of heat rash. Another 62 mile week and 16+ hours of training.

Yesterday, I saw a tiny baby turtle in the bike path. I moved it to the side so a dog wouldn\’t get it. I saw some birds flying in a V formation. They looked just like geese; but I don\’t think geese come this far south. I saw Frank. I saw Annabelle.

I\’ve been thinking about my next race; a 24 hour, one mile loop. I haven\’t been training enough to expect much more than a marathon. Mention of which leads in to what I know about myself. I\’ll frame the discussion by mentioning two ultra ladies I follow.

Both ladies are in the upper sixties as far as age goes. One has done over 200 marathons and does go in timed ultras such as I plan to do. In a 48 hour or more event, she will walk over 100 miles. The other lady has been a runner all her life but only a couple of years ago finished a 100 mile race; and just finished a 300+ mile race across Tennessee.

This second lady is a doctor and, during the race across Tennessee, she knew at day five that something was seriously wrong with her foot given the level of pain. But she was determined to finish the race. The pain became more and more excruciating. She had a good crew who kept her going. At mile 298, 14 miles from the finish, she almost quit; but people helped her and supported her and she finished. Looking back on the experience, it was an enlightening time for her. She felt the love of the universe.

For many years, I have chased such a moment. But I tend to quit ultras when the pain gets too bad. It turns out that this lady had 5 stress fractures in her feet; hence the pain. And a long recovery, if not permanent damage. I know I would have quit; and perhaps missed the cracking of the ego and the enlightenment.

I look at the two ladies. Would I rather finish numerous marathons a year or finish one big kahuna of a challenge with immense pain? I can answer for myself: I\’ll take the numerous marathons.

And so I mourn the end of my attempt to achieve enlightenment by running ultras. Unless you count a good case of heat stress as a moment of enlightenment; that is about as serious as it gets for me now.

I return to my spiritual studies and my silent sitting. I love this part of my day.

This morning, I got in another high intensity workout on my machines. I could do this since I didn\’t kill myself doing an ultra. That is part of why I quit races if the pain gets too much; I want there to be a tomorrow.

It took courage to write this blog. Why? Because it is so ordinary and every day. No big achievements to tell you about. Just about the ordinary life of an mature female athlete.

Pocatello Idaho Running the Gap – marathon #48

A good long race report is needed. In case you are impatient (like me) I finished marathon #48 in 5:20 by the chip, 5:13 minus the pit stops.
Several months ago, I was planning my summer vacation with a friend from Alberta Canada. We had met before in Wyoming, so I was searching around that area for a marathon. Preferably over Labor Day weekend. At first we looked at Jackson Hole, but hotels there are expensive. So we settled on Pocatello “Running the Gap” marathon.  At that point, looking on United Airlines, I noticed I could get first class tickets for only slightly more than “economy plus+bag check fee” so I went for it. In first class, they call me Miss Bellman. United Airlines did a great job. 
Packet pickup was quick. The back pack and shirt were nice. Expo was small. 
Driving the course. Habs and I drove the course. We were astounded at how steep some of the hills looked. I knew I wasn’t going to be sprinting down them. We also got a look at the long straight boring final 8 miles.
Bus ride. The race did have numerous large luxury buses to take us to the start. Everything was easy and on time. Habs and I had to tell the driver where to go though; this added to the fact the driver seemed unfamiliar with the controls on the bus made us pray we got there safely.
Scenery. It was dark at first. I was going about 12 min miles. After about 25 min, I caught up to my friend Larry. Larry has run over 1,500 marathons. He doesn’t go fast but he is somewhere at a marathon every weekend (sometimes 2). His picture is in Marathon Maniacs magazine a lot.  Then after it warmed up, I decided to take off my head band. When I took off my hat, my sun glasses fell. The girl running next to me immediately picked them up and asked if I would like her to fix it. I said sure. Then she said, “I do this for a living.” Seriously good luck for me.
As the sun came over the mountains, I was in a very pretty area so I lolly gagged a bit and took some pics. I had no reason to be in a hurry. That patch on my knee is my number.
As the down hill part is about 15 miles, I did start doing some walking after about 13 miles. I continued the race doing 7x1s. Except for 4 pit stops, my speed averaged just over 12 min miles.
The wind. We ran into a 20 mph cold head wind for at least 8 miles. I got cold and had to put my sleeves back on. Every Marathon has its moment of truth where you want to quit. Some call this the wall. For me, it is beyond my training envelope and when I have to reach down inside for some non-physical power. About mile 17, going into that wind, I realized I was dying. I needed to get my brain to activate those stores of energy it wants to keep for itself. I need to be conscious of when wanting to die happens. If I stay asleep, I slowly slow down and feel bad for the rest of the race. If I wake up and get the power flipped on, I find determination and a lessening of the pain. On this day, I put my head down and concentrated on the strides. It worked.
At the end of the race, just after I turned out of the wind, I was able to really pick up speed and run like a runner into the finish. It felt fantastic. Then Mr Habs gave me my medal and a hug. Chip time was 5:20. Garmn time was 5:13.
Habs had already eaten a steak and potato dinner at the finish line. I had no interest in food, but ate some watermelon. Then decided I was very cold so we went back to our hotels. I took a scalding hot shower and stood in it for a very very long time.

On Sunday, Habs and I went to “Craters of the Moon” national park. Here is a video from the top of one of the cinder hills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXT-R56FRU4&feature=em-upload_owner
And I relaxed in the Hampton Inn laundry room with Habs; and ate a cookie.
I am incredibly happy to have finished another marathon. No issues at all with knees or heels. I do have a case of DOMS in my quads, but nothing serious. Tomorrow I fly home and still have the rest of the week for running in Seabrook. Next stop is the Fort Worth marathon.