Appreciation

Today, 9/17, was a day off. It is hot around here, but I didn\’t make it out of bed in time for running in cool temperature. Instead, I headed off to a state park about 25 miles away. That park is mostly forest, so runnable even if it is very hot. It has a 2.75 mile paved bike path. It is a hilly park so climbing muscles get used. I had a lovely time for 2.5 hours.

I spent some of today\’s run thinking about the road less traveled. I am unbelievably happy to be outside the system of 5 day work weeks. I am also outside the television system and the religion system and the meat eater system and the sedentary system and the over eating getting fat system and the big house system and the dote on your children system, and the corporate manager system.

I am also incredibly pleased to be part of the gig economy. I\’m happy to be working even though technically retired. And I look around at the gray hairs standing behind cash registers and I know that we share a secret. Many of us are not there primarily for the money. We are there because we want to be and are receiving non-physical riches.

After I came home from running, and showered, I took a nap and read a book. I suddenly had to put the book down for a moment and cry over how grateful and appreciative I am to have my life. I just feel wonderful, even about the difficult job at Starbucks. I feel hopeful of my future and the slow molding of thoughts which is my writing project. I feel hopeful about running long term. I love being free of the systems. (Aside: I should mention that Starbucks is difficult because it is on your feet, involves lifting and being on the go for 6 or so hours. The physical is the challenging part. So different from the difficulties from my corporate desk job.)

In my life, there were many roads not taken. And, many times where I\’ve failed to complete someone else\’s road and had to quit. But now I feel as if all the roads I\’ve taken brought me to the exact right spot. The exact right spot is not for the rich and famous. It is for the thoughtful. It is for the runner. It is for enjoyment and fascination.

I have spent my life involved with mental improvement and spiritual studies. Somehow, this has resulted in a great deal of healing. I now think of my parents fondly. Fondly! Incredible since ours was a classic alcoholic and dysfunctional home. I think of various experiences I\’ve had and am grateful for the journey. I\’m excited that the journey is not over. I can envision where it is going and how it will feel. I know so.

The end of The Road not Taken by Robert Frost:
\”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.\”

Still-life with Flowered Cup

I\’ve been trying to live beyond the material world. That is, I want to more deeply experience the feelings of life; not so focused on material things. Let me try to say that again: Before any experience, there was the thoughts and feelings which created a point of attraction. Then, something happens in the material world. Stop looking at what is, is what Abraham would say. Specifically, I am trying to remember unconditional gratitude. That is feeling grateful just for my being, not for any material world things. I want to feel unconditional gratitude and then see what the law of attraction brings.

You see that this is a backward approach, right? Most people list things they are grateful for. I want to list feelings of gratitude, joy appreciation, satisfaction; and then see what the things are. For this exercise, my job at Starbucks is perfect. You never know what will be going on in any day or how you will feel about it. It would be normal for me to spend all day pissed off because I am the lowest of the crew and get stuck with the most menial of positions. But truly, I don\’t want to live my life like that. I chose that job. My working is purposeful. At the moment, I\’m using the job as a tool to access my inner being, or higher consciousness if you will. I really really want to know my higher self and have been engaged in the process of knowing for right on 30 years or more.

So yesterday, I was focused on unconditional gratitude as the shift manager ragged on me all day about do this and do that. I could have felt sorry for myself and hated her. A victory is that I didn\’t feel bad about myself for all that negative attention. I just kept completing each task and doing the job her way. I kept remembering UNCONDITIONAL. I want to feel gratitude unconditionally. I want to feel gratitude even though this shift manager is ragging on me. Unconditional.

Towards the end of the shift, I noticed a box of merchandise which wouldn\’t go out to the public until Tuesday. In the box was a very pretty travel cup (see above). I HAD to have that cup. So pretty! I found out that it would ring up for me, I got my 30% discount, used a gift card to pay, got enough stars for a free reward drink.

I came home and made coffee for my new travel mug. I felt unbounded joy; like somehow, all that gratitude had made a point of attraction for this pretty cup to enter my life. No really. It was a joy to realize that the cup reflected a gift from my inner being; and feel like my inner being loves me. And I felt that much \”bigger\” situations could be handled in exactly the same way. Feeling unbounded joy was the point, because it brought awareness of conscious creation, alignment with Source, the true feeling of my higher self for me.

After my shift, I got off at 11 am, I rested a bit and went to the park to run. It was a warm sunny day, in January no less. Before going to the park, I had a thought, \”Maybe I\’ll see X at the park.\” Then as I pulled into the park, I saw X right in front of where I was parking. Good timing! Another example of conscious creation: the thoughts and feelings came before the reality. I did that!

I am learning that life is more about playing than serious survival needs. I want to be alive in this life; not just hope it ends soon. Really, my life has not really been consciously fun. Mostly, I\’ve been trying to survive; not happy on the inside at all. Now that I know that happiness is my choice, I\’ve been making that choice. I\’d rather feel unconditionally happy; and I can if I deliberately do it. that is the key: deliberately.

Riding the Rocket

A story of positive momentum.
The Law of Attraction: that which is like unto itself is drawn

It was a Saturday morning. I was sitting on the stool in a nice hotel room in Dallas. I think about what is about to occur: an Abraham workshop, and my heart suddenly goes crazy; thumping madly as if for a job interview. Maybe it is. I have expectations for the day: will I get called on? Will I experience tremendous emotions? Or not?

I calm down, take my bag out to the car and go reserve my seat in the workshop. The seminar is at 9. The room opened at 7. I got in line at 6:50. There were a few early birds who got there before me. I did get a front row seat. It should tell you something that people strive to get front row seats. It is not like church or school or seminars where no one wants the front row. I want to be as close as possible to see Abraham; and if I get called on, it will be easy for me to walk up.

Having now 2 hours before the show would begin, I walk into the Galleria mall to Starbucks. I use my new partner card for the first time. It worked! I am in the computer. I bought a latte and a protein box for 30% off.

What brings me to this room is a decades long desire to know my higher self. I was introduced to Abraham a little over a year ago and those teachings really improved my love for myself, trust and confidence in my self, ability to dream a creative and fun future. After many many YouTube videos, I am now going to see in person.

The room began to fill. We are in a huge hotel ball room and I guess at least 500 chairs. The room is filled with high energy. We all watch the countdown clock on the screen. The room explodes as Esther (Abraham) comes out. The workshop consists of a brief opening by Abraham and then conversations between Abraham and participants. We have all watched many videos, some for more than a decade. Some of these people have been to many Abraham workshops, but also, many of us are first timers.

What Abraham says is a help to deliberate creation of a life experience. The whole teaching is on how to use the Law of Attraction. Most people think that the Law of Attraction is for those greedy people who want to be wealthy (so?). However, today\’s workshop focuses more on the thoughts which are the manifestation, not the things. That is because things only interest us for a little, while the journey of creation is very fascinating.

My experience is shaded by the me I brought to the workshop. Habitual feelings of being less attractive than others, as well as my habitual trashing of experiences not being good enough, color my ability to have joyful experiences and fully receive what is given by the Universe. And so, I just start from where I am and work up the positive scale.

The day is only 4 hours of conversations with Abraham. I pick up on several phrases: ease and flow; satisfaction; make satisfaction my practiced vibration; be under the influence of my higher self; joyful expansion; joyful journey; joyful purpose; don\’t be so serious; savor the birthing; its about thoughts turning, not so much the things.

Of course, this blog can\’t reproduce this experience. I can share my feelings. During the workshop, my thoughts kept going over the idea that I am riding a rocket into the Universe, a creative world which is now my life. My higher self just kept saying this over and over: you are riding the rocket, just stay aboard. I struggle to stay on the rocket. Listening to Abraham, I felt a moment of knowing what ecstasy is, and that some part of me lives in ecstasy. I can allow this. This feeling was a knowing of something I carry inside; not an emotional dopamine hit, which the human me always wants. See what a dichotomy that is: human me wants euphoria before it will believe; while deliberate creating me generates the knowing of a world greater than the human world and true ecstasy is there.

Driving home, I realize the both / and of my personality. There is the habitual negative self punishment: I didn\’t get called on so I must have done it wrong. There is the continual positive thoughts: I am on my journey, supported by Spirit, moving forward creatively. Just keep riding the rocket. Enjoy. I am a joyful manifestation.

Now, the morning after, I realize that I have received a subtle energy shift. There wasn\’t a huge dopamine reward. The human part of me wants to trash me because of that. More quiet is the knowing of an improved vibration. Soon after getting up, I know that I\’m not quitting my quest for growth and expansion; to make something of my life, to actually live it. I realize that how I feel right at this instant is a choice: I can choose to trash my experience; or mine the gems, remember the gems, receive what my higher self had to give me. As I choose the positive aspects, I feel better. Feeling better is what we want. Positive momentum. I did and am now generating positive momentum.

I am grateful to Abraham. The whole room was grateful to Abraham. We are all living at higher energy than before meeting Abraham. We all feel better about ourselves because of Abraham.

Handicapped Life

It has only been 10 days. I have at least 30 more to go. It is my first experience of having one leg out of commission. Most of the time during the day, I am able to use a scooter under that leg and so get around pretty easy. At night, on the second floor of my house, I use crutches (aaaakkkkk! hated).

At this time, almost every activity is a chore. I didn\’t realize how easy everything is when you have 2 legs. But with one leg, my body is most of the time like a sack of potatoes heaved around by my arms. And my hands are sore from the crutches.

As I sit in bed in the morning, I dread getting up. I miss the endorphins I made as a runner. Am I getting depressed?

Well, this morning, getting up was a chore. Getting a shower was a chore. But very soon, after I got downstairs and began my spiritual study, I had good thoughts.

My answer for everything is to find your essence, the ground of your being. Here, at my source is the meeting place of human consciousness and higher consciousness. And here, I can turn over my human consciousness and accept intuitive thoughts. And then, I feel fine.

Overall, getting my foot fixed is the best idea ever! And even my current disability is still \”having it good\” in general terms. For instance, I just scooted out to get the mail and felt the sunshine. I have my work computer at home and am being a productive employee. I will even get one of my \”Invalid 550\” workouts done today. Other people have been helping me.

So, for depression, desire to drink, sloth, any mental barrier; find the ground of my being and let it take over my life. I am here to serve the pattern of life, nothing more. Gratitude is another word for it.

Surrender

Well, as an invalid, I am having a good time. Work from home for several hours, then go have vitamin  D therapy:

I realized that I almost never just sit by the water and enjoy the sunshine. Well, for most of the summer, Texas is too hot. But now, it was nice.

I also have what I am calling the \”Invalid 550\” workout. It is easy on my arms since they are very tired from heaving my body around. And it loosens up the butt which is sitting too much. It took me 45 min yesterday so I swear I got some endorphins too.

50 each of: crunches (lower legs on ball), butt scrunch bridges (lower legs on ball), bicycles, leg lifts front, Russian twists, side curls, clams, side leg lifts, core activation, inner leg lifts, roll ups. Equals 550.

Yesterday I thought: to know God, you should be grateful. Not for what you have, but to your soul for who you are. Stop and think. What is the essence of a human being. Majesty. Power. Love.

Today I thought: Peace extends from deep inside yourself to embrace all. Surrender to your inner holiness. Surrender to the love existent within and all around. Stop and think. Feel that quiet truth inside. How still. How peaceful. Jut let go.

AAs Big Book says, \”Deep down in every man woman and child is the fundamental idea of God.\” Surrender to the idea. Be sober.

Reflections on Germany

I am in the Charlotte airport on my way home from a 10 day business trip to Germany; home base of the company I work for.

I can\’t frame this experience at all really. I used to have definitive points to assess about sizable events in my life or seeming milestones. But I don\’t find any big rocks for this trip.

In terms of A Course in Miracles, this lack of emphasis could be the right thing. It means that my life is not hanging on ego or dopamine reward experiences.

I\’ll list my musings:
My talk before the large group went very well and many guys said I did good; even the next day. What I remember is that Mr VP who introduced me also took credit for me as formerly of his group; and I got an ovation on my way to the podium (most only got the final ovation).

I had written \”Be Awesome\” on my hand. Later, I e-mailed my picture to my boss in Houston. She said I was awesome.

I felt gratified that I got up early and went in a race on Sunday. Not that I did well, but that I got out of my  easy rut and challenged myself to drive to a strange place and go through all the normal things done at races, only in German.

The fact of meeting important people and flying around first class hasn\’t gone to my head. In fact, I did remind myself of something from the Rule of Benedict: I am a worm and no woman. Staying small headed is how I go through a day with a good deal more joy than if I got too big.

I went to a group banquet. It lasted 5 hours and the wine was flowing freely. I didn\’t drink. I don\’t often mention that I am a sober person. In fact, I haven\’t been to AA or even spent any time thinking about sobriety in years. But, during the banquet, during a quiet moment in the ladies room, I thanked God that I was sober. See as a drunk, I\’m sure I would have somehow embarrassed myself and felt terrible shame. As it is, nothing happened. What didn\’t happen was I didn\’t become a drunk with a big head and mouth.

I ran almost every day in Germany. I completed 100 Yurek Crunches all the days but one. I did my spiritual study every day.

So all these musings lead me to wish I had some thread of learning. But I just live my life each day. None of these events throw it out of balance. I have no huge mental fantasy regarding my glorious future in my company. Actually, I just hope for a good trip to Ultracentric in 2 weeks.

How Do You Know You Know?

Yesterday, I was pondering a bit about the results of my 30 years of seeking God and my commitment to continue.

This morning, during my spiritual workout, I realized that if I have even a glimmer of understanding that I live in an atmosphere of total love, then I know that I know God.

Then I went out for a run in fresh snow, 1h52min in 13F/10mph wind. It was glorious to be out there doing that. It can\’t be beat. So incredible.

After that, as I was getting ready for my shower, I flashed once again on the consciousness of love in which I live and have my being. My being is one with this love. I said thank you.

Humility and Gratitude

By humility, I mean anti-pride. By gratitude, I also mean anti-pride.

I was sitting in a 12 step meeting this morning and really feeling my pride deeply. I always think I am too advanced to go to a meeting and listen to the others, no matter what they have to say. I\’m not there to lecture others about how superior I am or how spiritual I am. So many people do praise me, but I forget, it is really God who used my mouth. How arrogant to not value the others at the meeting and all they have given me. I even pretend that they never did give me anything. To be arrogant is to be drunk on self-pride. May I somehow achive sobriety of self. It means turning my will over to God and seeking only to serve; seeking only His will for me.

I also am arrogant towards the out of shape, over weight, or smoking type of people. See? I am so arrogant. Every now and then, I realize this at a deep enough level to be ashamed and then talk to God about it. Then, I mend my thinking.

That is when gratitude hits me. It is others, known and unknown, who have helped me with my life. My life is not my own beyond the sense that things happen, but that anything good comes from others acting on behalf of God. If anyone buys my former house, that is their gift to me. I remembered to be grateful for my new job and remember that it was given me. If I accomplish anything at work, it is due to someone helping me. If I don\’t goof off at work, that is due to a power greater than myself. If I do some work on my own time, that is not my will but my higher power. I forget to thank God.

I spend an hour a day in spiritual study and another 30 minutes in meditation. I forget that it is not my will power which accomplishes these things. It is my higher power.

I run marathons, work out and struggle to eat only as many calories as I need. It is not my will which accomplishes these things. It is my higher power.

I asked for help and He came. May I remember, it wasn\’t me. May I be willing to \”just be sober,\” as the purpose and value of my life. May I thank my higher power.

God\’s Song

I finally figured out why I make such a rough go of life. It is a communication issue. The use of words doesn’t work on a personal level because we are each from a different culture. The language of the heart, which is wordless, is the only thing that works.

I’ve been studying A Course in Miracles for almost two years. It has given me a language and a concept of Jesus which is generally uncommon. I cannot discuss it too much because Christians have a concept of Jesus, Atonement, forgiveness, miracles, communion, God, Heaven, reality, death, sin, salvation, etc. different from ACIM. And I live among Christians. I speak a language which they don’t speak. I feel frustrated.

I go to alcoholics anonymous. Due to the AA literature, I am able to communicate with the people in AA. We have a common language.

Non-runners come up to me and start to discuss running. They are looking at running from the outside and think they know something about it. They use the words, but have no idea of the reality or the depth of distance running which another runner knows. I feel frustrated and cut off when a non-runner tries to talk about this subject. I can talk about running with another runner.

The same communication problem is true of Harley riders (I’ve been one of those), cloistered nuns (I’ve been one of those), solitaries and hermits (I’ve dabbled in that).

I don’t have a husband, children or family (and never lived in a non-abusive one), so I have the communication issue when I listen to others talk about their families. I don’t watch TV or go to movies so I can’t discuss my favorite show. I don’t eat meat so I don’t appreciate bar-b-q. I’ve never been in the military or had cancer. So I can’t speak the language of war or chemo.

The tower of babble extends beyond physical languages to every single person.

But the language of the heart is universal, requires no words, or even a physical presence. Non-physical communication, using the non-physical modes of reality is continuous. I have come to acknowledge and utilize this communication on a conscious level because I took ACIM; but also because I spend time in silent reflection, meditation and thought inventories. To live life without this consciousness of the non-physical realm would, at this point, doom me. It is the only way I stay out of the deepest darkest depression.

The distance runner taps into this realm. The AA meeting taps into this realm. The solitary in meditation taps into this realm. The liturgy of the monastery (or doing the dishes) taps into this realm. The bikers riding in formation or sitting by the camp fire tap into this realm. I would dare say the computer programmers and hackers are very much tapped into this realm. This realm connects us in non-physical ways and teaches us that we are not alone.

The energy of connectedness which I tap into in the non-physical realm is what I call Christ. Others call It Self, Dharma, Tao, Buddha, Krishna, Atman, Osiris etc.

Realizing this common bond, allowing it to be real in your life is truly healing and provides salvation for all of us. Each instant of communication through the language of the heart is a holy instant. Undeniably it is an expression of the love of God and a manifestation of the Divine Presence.

I am able to stop being frustrated with human life and its endless conversations about the weather if I keep in mind that the real conversation is taking place in the heart. This conversation is eternal and continuous. It includes God. If I listen to this and not the worldly level words, I am outside my ego. This type of listening is listening to the Voice for God. God speaks the language of the heart. The language of the heart is God\’s song of love. Indeed, God’s song of love fills creation. Creation is made of God’s song, God’s singing. Hence, I am God’s song. I can listen to God’s song. One day, I will listen to nothing else.

Please, sing with me. It is a song of gratitude to our Creator for His Love.

Gratitude and Love

I didn’t follow my rules for spirituality today. I didn’t do a schedule. I didn’t meditate for hours. I’ve been thinking again to trust God that I will find the next place He wants me to go. It even occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with this moment. I don’t need to be afraid about employment.

Gratitude is the word that just came to mind. I am filled with love and I am grateful. Grateful for the love, but also just to be. The love I am filled with does not have conditions or results. This love is just moments of comfort and companionship.

Maybe the early morning run in the rain was a cleansing thing. Maybe I received love while I was at the fellowship meeting. In this moment love is a feeling I have. If I feel safe in love, it could also mean that I have accepted love from Someone; that Someone who is everywhere and in everybody.

All the food I have is a gift from above. The cashier at the store almost hugged my apricots as she described how delicious they were. It was an experience of God sharing His love with me.

As I ran by the river this afternoon, I realized that my life is not a failure, but a series of experiences. Divine love was always there. Somehow, I sense I\’ve never been alone, never failed and always accomplished the mission of love that was given me.

I almost understand the depths of despair my mother lived in and have compassion for her. I must be thinking with a mind not my own. For as long as I can remember, I\’ve hated my mother for what seemed like pretty good reasons. Today, she is safely off my hook and free to be the spirit she really is. I came to this conclusion completely apart from any psychological processing. It was just a thought that entered my mind. A thought of compassion that surfaced from within.

I must be safe in God or I’d be terrified. The sense of gratitude and love simply cannot come from the ego. So, I must be in the hands of God.

I am grateful for the running I did today; who would not be? It seems such a simple thing, running. But at times, running is the most elusive thing or the most painful thing we have experienced. Then, it shows us its playful bashful side and we are filled with joy for that one moment of sheer existence.