Long Run

Here is what my day looked like:

That is an 18.2 mile run, plus the rest of my day. Well, jog walk. For Texas, it was cool. There was a massive pile of clouds off the coast. So while 100% humid, the temps were only in the 80s. So, I was able to keep going up until I ran out of drink after 4.5 hours.

I saw Clara today in the park, plus a number of other regulars. The pink birds were there. The water level in the bayou was about a foot higher than normal.

I hate Accelerade. But I do feel better after I drink it.

Then, this evening, I was sitting here thinking I should go lift weights. Another voice wanted to know why. But soon, I completed another 30 minutes of weight lifting. I tried to remember why I had a couple of years ago regularly put in more than an hour of cross training on Saturday evenings. This evening, I wondered why not go for a walk instead of lift weights. The weights got lifted. It is life itself that I allowed to drive me.

Moorings shift.

For a Labor Day weekend, mine is pretty tame this year. 11 years ago, I had recently been kicked out of a convent and was about to start my new job as a cashier and barista. Ten years ago, I was about to start a new job in my old field of environmental engineer at an ethanol plant. Five years ago, I was starting my new job with an old employer, having been laid off from the ethanol plant. Three years ago, I was in Silverton Colorado running my first multi-day race on a mountain at 10,000 feet. Two years ago and last year, I was running a 12 hour race in St Louis.

This year, I\’m running in Texas. Texas has enveloped me. It is quiet here in my house even though it is in the middle of other houses. While I am not doing anything spectacular this year, Labor day is yet an anniversary. I have been with my current employer five years. Yesterday, I finished another complete reading of A Course in Miracles Text. I\’ll start again soon.

Tomorrow is another day for running. For sweating. For watching the tiny crabs with the one big claw. For looking at birds. For dreaming about my expedition. I already have vision and it pleases me.


Scraping Bed Rock

Without getting cancer, a serious brain injury, going to war, fasting 40 days, or er um any number of traumatic life experiences, how can I get to the root and ground of my being?

Well, as of today, I know it is totally possible if you work at it every day. I feel that bed rock becoming visible under my shovel. I scrape and scrape and I see rock beginning to appear.

Today\’s experience involves the re-appearing and disappearing pain in my foot; plus the decision about the tatoo. Well, it started with A Course in Miracles and \”The Special Hate Relationship.\” Eye opening to remember this, my 9th reading.

Then I went to the Kemah bridge. I really enjoyed running back and forth for an hour. Then I cased the tatoo joint, washed the car and bought groceries. The bridge run went well, but after the groceries, I went over to Brummerhop park. This was more depressing and painful. I should have stuck with cross training.

Eventually, after 6 miles, I came home, got cleaned up, ate, rested, jumped on the elliptical for a little, then went back to the tatoo joint. I had a nice discussion with one of the artists; but finally decided to think about it some more.

See, the tatoo won\’t fix anything. I want it to show off I guess. I got in the car to go to an AA meeting, but turned around after a couple of blocks. I didn\’t want to talk to anyone. I realized that every moment of silence is pure gold. That\’s the bed rock moment. I jumped on the Nordic Track and started skiing. My foot wasn\’t hurting. Just silently listening to the quiet, listening to my thoughts, this is terrific. That is the true meaning of spirituality.

It is the eve of my 6th ACIM anniversary. Also, 8/8 is my 28th sobriety anniversary and my 10th year after leaving the convent. These things will be celebrated quietly. No tatoos. Going to work. Just doing my daily pattern.

Bedrock is when you realize that nothing makes anything better except thought decisions. I decided that the peak of my life is quiet meditation. That pure un-adulterated relationship with quiet. Nothing is needed. Bread and water is fine. No distractions. Self induced dregs, poverty: bedrock, the ground of my being.

It is not important to many people to achieve their bed rock. It is to me. I have realized that I didn\’t come to this world to raise kids or be famous or productive in any way. I came here to know my own nature. It is in solitude that I find myself.

So time on the Versa Climber has been added to the exercise log. Triceps are on the strength rotation today.

Chapter 16.I

My ACIM anniversary is only 2 days away. I am on my 9th reading of the Text.

Chapter 16.I: \”…sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through me.  …I have invited Him [Guest] and He is here. I need do nothing except not interfere.\”

My ego is ferociously competitive, continuously lashing out against \”them\” who are higher on the corporate food chain. I feel a victim of \”them\” who are stupid yet have made it up the ladder. Stories about the middle class on the radio feed fuel into this inner fire.

Yet as I studied A Course in Miracles this morning, I realized there is nothing more important than living the ACIM life. I need do nothing. I am fine. Just let the Holy Spirit do His work without interfering. Continuously give my resentments to Him. Hang on to nothing. This is how I gain inner peace. This is the reality I choose to live in: Love is everywhere.

I have wanted to give a presentation on \”Creative and Breakthrough Thinking\” for awhile. Today is my day.

Pending Anniversary Days

Tomorrow is my sobriety anniversary: 27 years since I last drank. I don\’t go to AA anymore; and my desire not to drink is more related to maintaining a spiritual connection than it is to a disease.

August 9 is the 9th anniversary of getting kicked out of the monastery. I became a monk in the world.

So, I have some new running goodies scheduled to arrive as presents. And I am having a mid-year performance check-up with my new boss on the 9th. That is sort of cool since being a fabulous engineer is important to my life in the world.

Well, I wrote that sentence early this morning. About the noon hour: Surprise! I was given a monetary Special Recognition Award. Wow! I have not ever received something like that before.

This morning, I made it out of bed in time for a 70 minute workout, of which 30 min was speed walking outside. I can\’t get my mind off the long distance races I have coming up. Mostly, I hope for a good time at Ultracentric.com in Texas. I have signed up for the 48 hour, knowing full well I won\’t be able to get to Dallas until at best 8 hours after the start of the race. It will be my first experience of camping on the course instead of going to a hotel. I am excited about it because it seems like my foot is healing up and I\’ll be able to do this event.

Of course, Ultracentric is after my company sponsored German work vacation and a half marathon run in Germany.

Crimony! A Course in Miracles is good. Go study it.

Happy ACIM Anniversary

Today, 7/29, is my Course in Miracles anniversary. When I started 5 years ago, I thought it might take 5 years just to get a grasp on it. I think I do have a grasp. I study the text everyday, practicing \”lectio divina\” which is one of my monastic practices. I\’ve read the Text 8 times. I\’m currently on chapter 13 and I made my prayer out of 13.III today.

Dear Holy Spirit,
I bring my thoughts to You.
I seek the reference point.
I am a loving mind.
Grandeur is the right of God\’s Son.

Chapter 13.III
\”For His answer is the reference point beyond illusions, from which you can look back on them and see them as insane. But seek this place and you will find it, for Love is in you and will lead you there.\”

Love, peace.

This time of year is very reflective for me. August 8 is the anniversary of my sobriety in 1985 and getting kicked out of the monastery in 2003.

Despite getting up at 8 am, and starting my walk at 9:45, a cloud cover came at 10:45 so I could continue walking for another 4 hours. I suppose that walking 5h19 minutes or 18.5 miles is pointless. I find I am proud to have a life where I have nothing better to do than walk for 5 hours on a Sunday afternoon. I didn\’t really plan on walking that long. I just loaded up my hydro-pak and said I\’d walk for a short while.

I spent the time repeating my prayer (above). I realized just before I started that today was the beginning of my last 8 day retreat before being abruptly kicked out of the monastery (9 years ago). I briefly looked at my journal for this day. Oh my, I was a tortured soul.

Upon leaving the monastery, Sister Mary Margaret Funk advised me to just be a monk in the world. I\’ve continued my monastic practices to live up to the monk part. And at work, I am part of at least 3 projects which span the globe and bring me into contact with people all over the world.

Now I am a Course in Miracles student. My mind is far more peaceful that it was when I started 5 years ago.

When I first started walking today, I had the park to myself. I could imagine not knowing what my body meant; just imagined myself as a primordial consciousness in a primordial forest. Then, as various families showed up for their kids to play on the slides, I practiced \”Grandeur is the right of God\’s Son.\”

While walking, I thought of the 3,100 Mile Race and how a couple of the guys will finish tomorrow and Tuesday.

I thought about my own plans to walk a 12 hour race in September. I realized that in that race, after 5 hours, my feet and mind will feel about the same as today, only I\’ll be trying to walk another 7 hours. No doubt, St Louis will be hot and humid too. I wonder if my mind will give up at 26.2 miles; or if my heel will just feel horrid and I\’ll stop.


The eighth of August was the date I quit drinking alcohol 26 years ago. I don\’t drink now because the thought of poisoning my brain is totally repulsive. I do believe that this drug cuts you off from your spiritual connection (if there is one, haha).

The ninth of August was the date I left the monastery 8 years ago. Driving away was the first time I realized my ego had been in total control of my monastic ambition while I was in formation. It was a defensive necessity of formation to use the ego to please 58 other nuns so they\’ll vote you in; but a travesty of spiritual growth.

These are probably the two biggest events of my life. And that\’s how I got here: sober, engineer, semi-hermit, athlete, spiritualist without a purpose.

I was hoping to hear today if I am moving, but I found out that no news is good news.

Short and sweet, I went for a 1h44 min run on the hills this morning. Went to work at my job herding cats around a chemical plant (ie – process safety engineering), went to the grocery store, came home and ate. this evening, I\’ll do my core exercises and a little Nordic track.

Pondering Anniversaries

I got to thinking about anniversaries because 7/29/07 is the day I first picked up A Course in Miracles and started reading it. I thought at the time that I would need to study the material for at least five years in order to have a small grasp on its meaning. I have read it 5 times and am still plowing my way through it, although I\’ve slowed down. Now it takes me about 10 months to finish it as I ponder each passage and listen to the Voice for God as I read.

August 8 is another important day in my life. I quit drinking on that day in \’85. I got kicked out of the monastery on that day in \’03.

All three of these events have dramatically impacted my life. Other things about me have been the same forever. I\’ve been a runner since age 13. I\’ve been an engineer since I graduated with my MS at the age of 23 (well except for 4 years as a nun). I\’ve been a vegetarian for decades. I\’ve practiced contemplative prayer for decades.

Some things come and go. Harley-Davidson came and went. Men came and went. Roman Catholicism came and went. Employers come and go. The roof over my head comes and goes. Cars come and go.

My early morning spiritual practice has been unshakable since I was 23. I spend the first hour of my day pondering a spiritual text. I read it slowly and then let God speak to me about it. I never take a vacation from this as it is the most enjoyable activity I do. It is also the time that I design my life. Whatever happens to me on any given day is always framed in the spiritual text. I never look at anything without the lense of the spiritual text.

My big race was last Saturday. My next big race is August 14 (Fallsburg Marathon). In between, I return to daily workouts. After my spiritual study, I do about 90 minutes of exercise (both ex-machines and running). In the evening, I usually do either a free weight or core workout and another 20 min on the ex-machines. What seems odd is that I exercise now more than ever; even more than when I lived in the country and had a two minute commute! On the weekend, I usually fit in ten or twelve hours of workout.

Did you ever grow up? I think of my parents and they seem like such \”adults\” to me. I think of the nuns and they seem like such \”adults\” too. I think of my self as a girl with a job who works out. I have a responsible job, but I don\’t feel like that is a weight on me. I just come in and do the job and then go run.

I might need a cyber-cake for my 3rd ACIM anniversary.