How Do You Know?

How do you know that taking a risk was the right thing? You will. Knowing is a feeling. Pay attention. There will be moments of clarity even though the results of your decision are years away.

Two months ago, I quit my 6 figure engineering job to get a part time job as a barista and pursue a writing project. What idiot does that?

Here is a story about the past few days for me and how I received messages from my spiritual self.

There is a situation I was anticipating; an author sending me some books. But it wasn\’t happening very fast, so I forgot about it and decided he had forgotten me. Then they came, on a Friday, in the mail. I had quit being annoyed (annoyance is resistance if you are using the law of attraction) that so and so hadn\’t sent the books and let go; then they appeared. Metaphysics in motion. The art of allowing.

That evening I stood in my kitchen and looked at the package. Somehow it was a profound moment of the universe sending me a message. I felt it. I was holding the package unopened in my hands knowing that some weighty moment would occur related to these books. Not only do the books contain inspiring words for me on my journey, the Universe\’s message is along the lines of both let go (stop resisting) and don\’t give up (allow). Let go so the Universe can do it\’s job. Don\’t give up on believing the miracle will happen.

Inside the package are two books signed by the author. He had sent them for free. One of them is small and leather bound. Opening the package and looking at the books, I am again reminded of how much work I have to do on achieving my desired writing lifestyle. To be an author, you have to write. And it takes a few years to develop your skill. I can do it, but I have to do it. It is up to me. And I plan to do it with The Law of Attraction, plus many keystrokes as words come into being.

It was a long journey from high paid engineer to creative-writer-in-progress. About 2 years of discernment: what is my spiritual self calling me to? Do I stay in this engineering job, collecting a huge salary, but being bored and frustrated? Or do I follow my creative idea, give my life to it, let my spirit soar? How much financial insecurity can I stand? How can I get health insurance after I leave mother corporation?

I landed with a crash in my new life as a writer. Mother corporation used to take care of everything and now I was on my own. I didn\’t realize until I got here how much brain time can be devoted to finances until that was all I had. My house in Texas hadn\’t sold. The stock market had crashed. My house in Missouri needs new coils for the heat pump. I didn\’t want to live with those worries as my only consciousness. Why was I creating such a downward slope? The question still plagued me: What have I done? What idiot quits such a high paying job to pursue an idea? Was the Universe really speaking to me? I was waking up in the night with cortisol pouring out of my brain into my body over the financial issue. Return to the law of attraction. Rely on Source energy, not the money in this world

The two books went onto the table, unopened, to wait. I had library books on writing which needed to be read first, before their due dates. Saturday night I went to a group celebration. I ended up at a table where I met a lady that also wants to be a writer, only she is about 3 years ahead of me. She immediately started discussing writers groups in this area and some of the other things that writers need to go through. She wanted to get together so I had her put her information into my phone. It was a moment of gift. I had sat at the one table where I would meet someone who could help me on my journey. Intuition? I choose to believe that yes, it was intuition, and intuition is how my spiritual self speaks to me.

Sunday evening, I took one of the books, \”Look Ma, Life\’s Easy; how ordinary people attain extraordinary success and remarkable prosperity\” (Ernie Zelinski) into the bathroom and started a little reading. You know, in order to cram one more book into my day, I read on the stool; luckily I am a girl so there is more time sitting there. The story starts out with a person of color who is down and out about how he doesn\’t have any white privilege and how unfair life is. He meets a rich man who is trying to encourage him but the poor guy will have none of it. Then the poor guy finds a small leather bound book in a bathroom. \”Life\’s Secret Handbook; reminders for adventurous souls who want to make a big difference in this world.\” It appears to be a very valuable book, left by accident. He looks inside. Inside the front cover is a hand written note:

\”To whoever winds up with this handbook: You are privileged to own a copy of only 500 printed; billions on this planet do not own one. It is no accident that this handbook has found its way to you. Your duty is to put it to good use. Open this handbook at random and reflect on the content. Perhaps the words on the page you arrive at will be of life-changing significance to you. Please share what you learn with others. — Traveling Monk from the Himalayas\” 

The book is a collection of proverbs. The first proverb, still reading from Look Ma Life\’s Easy while sitting in the bathroom, says: \”Every great accomplishment in the history of humanity started with one small thought. We all have these thoughts. Few people do anything with theirs, however. What do you intend to do with yours?”

Bammo! WTF! I own one of the 500! That is what the other book I haven\’t looked at is! WTF! Holy crap! Big Magic just hit me in the face!

Me and my idiotic idea that I would quit my job and follow my idea and see that it came to life. A message! I just got a message. Yes, I should do what I am doing. Chills went through my body and I got a euphoric feeling. The law of attraction: I am attracting other like minded ideas.

Sunday night was another sleepless night. The message had not fixed my uncertainty yet, I guess. In the night, I was at least productive by reading Anne Lamott\’s book \”Bird by Bird\” which is about how to write. Early in the morning, I had a successful spiritual workshop with the law of attraction before tackling tasks. I had to fill out many online forms for Starbucks (my new employer). I had to do some homework for my tax preparation class. Then I tackled an application for affordable health care. For some reason, I was extremely anxious during the application process with my body shivering uncontrollably. I noticed the emotion and wondered what energy in my system I was touching; metaphysics in motion again. But finally I got through all the questions and got to the Success! screen.

I can\’t explain why, but in that moment of accomplishing the health care, I suddenly felt like everything was not only true but all right. Somehow, clicking the final button was an act which suddenly opened my mind to knowing: yes, I am on the right path. All that discernment and decision making was not a mistake. Just walk the path. Whatever I need will be provided. My house in Texas is an asset. There are no worries regarding it. It will sell at the exact right time. I feel this huge drive to work on my writing. Ideas abound and I begin to think all the time about new concepts: plot, characters, narrators…

Feeling these positive energies and affirmative intuitive thoughts is huge. It is Big Magic. It is my soul speaking to me, encouraging me. I wanted to make more of my life than sit in a chemical plant and earn money. Something more. Something creative. I was willing to risk everything. Put all my skin in the game. I so appreciate those moments of clarity, gifts from the spirit world. Appreciate these and you\’ll get more of them.

On another note:

I voted today. I vote at a community college. They must have had a huge geographic area going to that location.Standing in a long line, some of the line out in cold temperatures, you get to see the largely silent population which upholds this country It is the population which has jobs and pays taxes. It is mostly white suburban native born. They mostly live frantic lives of working and family, without much time for making noise. But they will today. They do care about integrity and honor. They wish to see good character in Washington. They want to see government for the people not totally for the corporations. Unfortunately, we are all voting based on incomplete information. Aside from a total anarchist implosion, I don\’t think we can dislodge politicians who are in it for the money.

12 Step Endurance Practice

Yesterday I went in an ultra marathon. I know my limitations. I try to prevent the big toe blisters which chronically occur. I tape my knee so the ACL does not get tweaked. I know that if the blisters get too bad, I\’ll quit.

But it is the mental game which is not only the point of a timed endurance event, but the most difficult part. I don\’t mind quitting when my big toes are destroyed. I do need to keep going if my only problem is fatigue. Leg fatigue always happens, but it is not the end of the game.

So, I wanted to avoid premature quitting. I needed a way to keep my mind healthy.

I tried something totally new. I made myself a little book. I wrote down sayings from a 12 Step book, one page for each step. I would study and ponder one step for 4 laps (approximately an hour). This way, my goal is to ponder the steps and not pay too much attention too how I feel. Remember, these steps are taken in the context of an ultra marathon, and my life\’s day to day struggles; not an alcoholic obsession.

Somehow, the endurance run became my spiritual adviser. It spoke to me of character defects I didn\’t really see. So the result is a new understanding of myself and an end to some of the habitual hatefulness.

6:15, I arrive at the park. It is dark still. I unload my chair, little table, cooler, bag of food, bag of extra gear. I pick up my number and chip.

6:45, we have a little meeting where the race director explains every thing. This race has about 50 people. I see a woman who I met at another race. I talk to her. At the Habanero run in August, I had suffered from severe dehydration and had to sit by the side of the trail for a long time until I could stand without getting dizzy. She had stopped her race to watch me. That was very nice. I asked her if she finished. Yes she did; but it took 11 hours to finish that 50k. Oh my. I don\’t think I could have done that regardless of dehydration.

7 am, off we go onto a one mile out and back course. It is a nice park and it turns out that I like seeing all the racers, so I don\’t mind out and back. But clearly, this type of race offers no challenge but the inner challenge.

I step up to the plate with Step 1: \”who cares to admit complete defeat?\”  Wow, how do I start a race with that? But really, such a thought smacks my ego right at the start. I get rid of any expectations of what \”I\” think \”I\” will do. Right from the start, I accept that my ego will be defeated. No grandiosity. No glory. No bragging rights.

\”…unless he has accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences…\” The toes are my devastating weakness. The eventual pain of toes and legs which will force me to quit are my devastating weakness. I am powerless. It is only a matter of when. My ego hates quitting.

\”… no amount of human will power…\” Well, this caused me to think about the normal approach to ultra marathons which is successful for most people. They decide that they will finish the race no matter what. And they do, come injury or whatever, they finish. I\’ve never done this. And now, my Step 1 has told me that no amount of human will power will do it. Other people can do it, but it doesn\’t work for me. In other words, I can\’t. I agree.

4 laps done in just under an hour. On to Step 2: \”Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a higher power ….\” Really? Only a higher power will get me through this race. New thinking for me in the context of a ultra marathon.

\” …all you need is a truly open mind…\”  I looked at my mind. How closed is it? I could see some places where it was closed.

\”…I had only to cease fighting…\” I fight alot in many areas of my life, but regarding this race here and now, what am I fighting? Shoes, food, heat, race management, other people, the rough patches of pavement, porta-potties… This concept turned out useful a bit later when it was very hot and I decided to walk instead of fighting the heat. At the end of step 2, two hours into the race, I thought I might like to eat one of my sandwiches and some fruit, only to realize that those things had been forgotten at home. I\’d have to eat course food. Rats! I\’m not in control.

\”…road blocks of indifference, fancied self-sufficiency, prejudice and defiance…\” All  of these ideas have application in life and in a race. But my theme for the day seemed to be realizing that self reliance would not work for me.

\”…provided we place humility first…we received the gift of faith…\” Now I had to think about my pride and gain humility. My pride causes me to go too fast in the early part of a race because I want to be done at a certain time. Or I look at the other lady who is my age and I want to beat her. Or the fat person. Or the guy talking too much. Or…  God, my head is full of crap.

\”…we had substituted negative for positive thinking…this trait had been an ego feeding proposition…\” Now this really hit me. I suddenly saw my whole pattern of thinking, for the past 11 years since leaving the monastery, as negative and how that fed my ego. Amazing. I\’ve never seen this before. The race is my spiritual adviser.

\”…at no time had we asked what God\’s will was for us.\” Here, I had to realize my race goals and plans were mine, not God\’s. And then throw up the silent prayer of wonderment, \”What are Your goals for me?\” Remember I forgot my food? Well, now, the Race Director and his plans for the aid station became the higher power and God\’s will for me.

Completing 8 laps, I moved on to Step 3: \”…cut away the self will that has blocked the entry of God\” My self will…. hummmm. I had an inner niggle related to self will blocking God, or Higher Self if you please. That enlightenment which many others get always comes at a moment of defeating self will.

\” … instinct and logic always seek to bolster egotism, and so frustrate spiritual development\” Oh yes, another sudden revelation of how \”I\”, logic and instinct, was bolstering egotism. And it is egotism which is causing all my unhappiness and hatefulness in life.

\”…dependence on a higher power is really a way of gaining true independence of spirit.\” I really would like independence of spirit.

\”…some problems refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster\” Well, here I am, My own courage is not going to finish this race.

\”It is when we try to conform our will with God\’s that we begin to use it rightly\” True, but do I do this? Not really.

Now, about 3 hours into the race. A guy from work shows up. I am truly surprised. He had called me one day last week and in the course of the conversation, I had mentioned I was going in this race. I only vaguely mentioned where it was. And I was joking about him coming. But he did come! And he was there for quite awhile. He walked some with me and he went off to practice his Frisbee.

I went on to Step 4, now with this guy from work as part of the mix: \”…total inability to form a true partnership with another human being…we have no once sought to be a worker among workers…of true brotherhood we had small comprehension…\” Here is this guy from work who has driven 40 miles to this race. I would never have done that. But he did. Why has he done it? I really don\’t know. I do know that being \”just one of the engineers\” is very hard for me. He takes my picture.

\”…discover a chink in the walls my ego has built…\”  I imagine myself as behind an ego wall and I can\’t really see any chinks. But as I mentally decide to inspect the wall closely, maybe a small chink can be found. The main thing is that I realize it is a wall. All the metaphysical teaching of A Course in Miracles and Paul Brunton and Eckhart Tolle and Plotinus speak of the separation caused by the ego. Step 5 of the 12 Steps is meant to take down the wall and put you on The Broad Highway.

\”…pride, leading to self-justification, always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears…\” Now, I suddenly realize how much of my thinking is self justification. I am continually silently telling stories to various people about why I have failed them. Now I see it is self-justification. Now I see it was pride and that behind pride is fear. If I can only become conscious of the fear.

\”…all the faulty foundation of my life will have to be torn out and built anew on bedrock…\” The race is doing this, step by step, mile by mile.

\”…why do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change?\” I need to let go of my plans and go along with the conditions of this race. I wish I could accept conditions at work.

Now it is 4 hours into the race and I\’m at Step 5: \”humility…a clear recognition of who and what we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.\” Back to humility as a concept for an ultra marathoner.

\”we began to suspect how much trouble self delusion had been causing us.\” Self delusion is another metaphysical proposition: that the world we see is an ego world and not the Real World. I accept self delusion and feel a slight inner nudge; but can\’t attache any conscious realization.

\”…that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand…\” Yes, I again inspect the ego wall. I see that it is there. I see I have no plans to change it.

\”…the steps all deflate our egos…\”  I knew this. I also know for it now. I am beginning to suffer as the miles pile up. It is getting warmer.

\”…things which really bother and burn us…\”  Again I look inside. I haven\’t lately really tried to define the categories of situations which really bother and burn me. Certain things are my hot buttons. But I haven\’t tried to define the ego aspects and say consciously that this ego button bothers and burns me. And, now in the race, the idea is too slippery.

Now it is five hours and 20 miles into the race. My toes hurt and I am upset because they shouldn\’t. Something is very wrong. I run marathons without toe tape and don\’t have so much problems. Now, I have taped the toes and am in serious difficulty after only 20 miles. The tape is taking up space in the toe box. The tape job is not good. And, it is hot.

Step 6: \”…who doesn\’t like to feel superior…\”  I can again identify a habitual trait within me. I can feel superior to certain other people on the course; or worse, the fat people having bar-b-q and not exercising at all. But then I also know those people I scorn will also stay out there longer than me and go farther because they are willing to slow down and shuffle forward regardless. Or the bar-b-q people are being kind to one another and enjoying family.  I\’ll decide that the pain is enough and quit.

\”Self righteous anger can be enjoyable…\”  I again identify a habitual trait within me. I think about this more in terms of my work relationships. Its bad.

\”we take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority.\” My thoughts go to conversations I typically have with others, especially related to those slow drivers.

\”abandon our limited objectives and move towards God\’s will for us…\” Now, I arrive at the race itself. I have limited objectives. Is it possible that God has a further limit? This part comes true when I get to 26 miles. I can pick up a medal for 26 miles. The next medal is 50 miles. If I go past 26 miles but not to 50, then I have nothing to show for it.

I had planned to walk and jog for 30 miles, then switch shoes and walk only. But my toes are bad. It is hot. ok, I need to change myself and accept where I am at. The steps are making this possible. At 24 miles, I change the shoes and decide to walk. I say to myself, \”I am used to going for 10 miles walks in these shoes. I will forget the previous 24 miles and now start a new 10 mile walk.\”

And on to Step 7: \”the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of AAs 12 Steps\” No kidding. This was the 7th hour of the race. If, I made it through 4 laps, I\’d be at 28 miles, an ultra marathon. My legs were in pain but not the injury kind of pain. My toes were bad. It was hot. I\’m out long past a normal training run. I\’m approaching a marathon, when normally the race would be over. Yes, the race is kicking my butt; and my ego is insisting that this should not be. But it is. Accept it. I am under performing according to my ego.

\”without humility, they cannot live to much useful purpose or in adversity summon the faith that can meet any emergency\” Well, I see that self will cannot help me in THIS emergency; or any other I realize. Never has.

\”character building and spiritual values had to come first\” The race is causing me to build character; mainly as I face the weakness of my pride and ego. Mainly as I face my personal physical shortcomings. Short  fat toes get blisters no matter what. Shoes just don\’t fit them.

\”we never thought of making honesty, tolerance and true love of man and God the daily basis of living\” Yes, but how do you do that? I don\’t have the ability to not be egotistical. I mainly live by instincts: selfishly protect my self. But yet, there are many instances where I help someone else even though my ego has just told me not to. How do I become the person which is always helpful and not have to fight with self all the time?

\”For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively by our own strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a higher power impossible\” I am beginning to realize my ability to focus on spirituality is failing. I\’m hot and tired and in pain and higher thinking isn\’t happening.

\”the process of gaining a new perspective was unbelievable painful\” This only told me that I am in pain at that moment. If I was gaining a new perspective, it was certainly through the pain.

During the 7th step, 26 miles came and went. I passed the point of getting another medal since I didn\’t think I\’d make it to 50 miles. Now, for the first time ever, I am doing miles for no gain. that is new. There won\’t be a material reward for what I am doing. I don\’t know the answer to why I do ultra marathons. The answer is somewhere out there in the miles and in the time.

I just passed my 50th lifetime marathon. One of the guys decides he will walk this lap with me. He says that the course is long. That his garmin just went past 27 miles even though we just past 26 miles. This is when I remember this is my 50th. I tell him and lift my hands in the air. We talk for this lap and it goes pretty fast. Then he quits.

7th Step Prayer: \”My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding\”

Step 8, 8th hour: \”…. develop the best possible relations with every human being we know…\” I don\’t try to do this. Now, at this moment of the race, I can\’t even figure this out. I\’m ok with these people here. I\’m not really able to want to fix my work life right at the moment. I am hot. My toes hurt.

\”… Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness…\”  Slippery again. I know I came from a bad family. I know the emotional problems are there. I can\’t do more right at the moment.

\”…what happens when we wallow in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore…\” I do this. My only hope is that when I return to work next week, I will become conscious of when this is happening. Right now in the race, I can\’t realize that I feel sorry for myself. Everyone else here hurts too. I know I am going to quit but they will keep going, no matter how slow, someone will be doing it. If I was unconscious of self-pity, I might quit and hate myself but not know why. Today, I will quit eventually, but not out of unconscious self-pity.

9th hour, 32 miles complete, Step 9: \”…we should try to be absolutely sure that we are not delaying because we are afraid. For the readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of step nine.\” This isn\’t helping me at all. I can\’t focus on it.

I changed my shoes after 32 miles. Now I am wearing shoes that have the toe box cut out. I decide to see how bad my toes hurt. I consider that if I quit, I won\’t finish the 12 Steps. My toes hurt even without anything touching them.

But here\’s what happened. Near the end of lap 33, I pull into the shade. Suddenly I think, \”If there is a traffic jam on I45, you might as well stay here at the race.\” Suddenly, my race is to be decided by Houston traffic. I can\’t help myself. The iphone comes out and Houston Transtar app is opened. No traffic. 100 feet later, I am asking for the 26 mile medal and handing in my chip. Game over.

Last night, I could barely hobble around the house. I stayed in bed about 10 hours. This morning I feel quite good. Definitely, 33 miles is not as bad as 50 miles. I\’m glad.

The major difference between this race and other similar events? While I did go a few more miles before quitting, and I didn\’t quit in hatefulness. I think that at other times, I have quit in seething hatefulness and self-justification. This time I quit with a peaceful mind and good attitude. So I quit at the proper time, but my ego was not involved. this is called serenity and I am grateful for it. Thank you 12 Steps.

Another part of the 12 Step program is the Serenity Prayer. This prayer did not occur to me yesterday but it does now as I reflect on the race. I got serenity yesterday. Serenity was the outcome.

\”God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.\”

Onward to life\’s next lesson.

The Chicken or the Egg

On Friday I got an e-mail. I saw the first few words on my Iphone. I was afraid to open it if it was bad news. This morning, I finally got around to praying about it. I got into my surrendered state of mind. With a connection and belief in my Higher Self and no trace of ego fears, I opened the e-mail. It was good news in the sense of no surprises.

Did the e-mail always say what it said? Or did I have to create the reality and then the e-mail said favorable things. If metaphysics is anything at all, if a Higher Consciousness exists at all, then \”I create my own reality\” is true. I project what ever I see. So of course, I had to correct my projection before looking at the e-mail.

Good Karma

Or was it, your thoughts create your reality. Or was it ACIM looking beyond.

Anyway, this morning I had an elaborate e-mail prepared to send to my soon-to-be ex-boss. I wondered if I should send it. Am I off base in what I think? I asked a colleague; who agreed with my point of view. In the end, I clicked SAVE AS DRAFT.

Suddenly, the customer service rep from Hilton called and apologized for the problem Hilton has created me, and offered me a free night. Then, I found out I received a recognition award. Then, a guy offered to drive me to my car from inside the plant, since it was pouring rain.

Score!

This morning, in my morning spiritual study, I read a bit of Emmett Fox\’s Sermon on the Mount, and a bit of Maggie Ross\’s Silence A User\’s Guide. Both talked a bit about thoughts and reality. I work on my thoughts every day. My brain is clear so I was able to let go of my instinct to let go of an injustice my ex-boss has done.

So, was my score due to metaphysics? Or did my one kindness give good karma so I received other kindnesses? Or is karma really the same as metaphysics?

You get to decide how your universe works. As for me, I will believe in Spirit. I will believe in connectedness. I will continue my spiritual studies. My real point is that I have been having a happy day. This despite the pouring rain, the scratchy throat, the FedEx issue…. etc.

My ex-boss is a real person even if he is German. He deserves the gift of Christ Within, which I can give him if I want.

Anything else doesn\’t matter.

For the Record

Whenever I have days off from work, I also have the idea that somewhere in the silence and miles, a spiritual break through will occur.

Something at least note worthy did happen this morning. A few weeks ago, I read Sam Harris\’ book \”Waking Up.\” It annoyed me when he has long explanations about \”…this self is nowhere to be found…\” or \”…the self does not survive scrutiny…the feeling of being a thinker of thoughts inside one\’s head…\” or \”…look closely for what you are calling \”I\”, and the feeling of being a separate self will disappear…\”

I finally realized my confusion this morning. What Mr Harris calls \”I\” is what A Course in Miracles calls ego. What Mr Harris finds beyond the \”I\” is what A Course in Miracle calls Self.

I need to stop beating myself up with other people\’s techniques and experiences. Because, yes in fact, I am able to look between the thoughts. The fact that there is no emotion or objective sense of enlightenment is what makes it real. The problem is that the stream of thoughts called ego doesn\’t approve and can\’t use the silence. My ego most emphatically wants an objective and be able to lay a claim, \”I did this,\” or \”I am that.\” A Course in Miracles explains all this. I now understand that Mr Harris is saying the same but in words from his experience.

I realize that my frustration is an ego function. The Self between the thoughts never cared about this. It was my ego who read other\’s experiences of enlightenment and judged itself less than for not having had such a wonderful experience. My ego says that God doesn\’t love me because I can\’t point to some fabulously engaging emotional experience called enlightenment. I have endless difficulties with this ego; but any moment of silence produces calm. Living from the calm is what ACIM teaches.

Is my intuition my Self speaking? Is there a Spirit which is not Self? Personally, I believe that if there is a Self, then there is a Creator. ACIM gives the Spirit as a communication medium. Obviously, many books are written on this subject. What matters to me is intuitive thoughts.

For any who thought I missed Thanksgiving Day 7, I\’ll just mention that I had a nice jog outside in the park. I went to an AA meeting. I had another nice workout indoors which included strength training. Today, I will do an indoor workout. My feet and legs feel good, but I also feel like keeping them that way. Cross training, development of durability, will be most important for the next 7 months; or indeed for the next 30 years.

For any who wondered about what I said regarding philosophy studies and writing essays. The \”teacher\” replied that he got tired of grading student essays and has stopped doing it. So it won\’t be learning to write essays that sharpens my thinking. Maybe that was never necessary since it was really the unproductive Silence that I need more.

The Answer

Last night as I lay in bed, my ego mind was attacking me. It was going on and on and on in complaint about some situation. I could feel myself projecting anger and mistrust. At one point, I felt and realized how the thoughts making up my physical body are anger.

I asked the Holy Spirit for help. A minute later, the harangue begins again. At one point, I realized that the harangue had switched topics; just like that. I kept working on other thoughts.

When I woke up this morning, I felt at peace with going to do a task today (a visit to a new sports clinic). But as I did my morning spiritual study, I first remembered that somewhere in a Course in Miracles, we are advised that when a brother asks an unreasonable thing, we should do it (what was unreasonable is no young whipper snapper chiro is going to be able to help me by counciling me about chi running or how I am unbalanced). I remembered to laugh at my ego thoughts. I remembered to bow down before my brother and say, \”Give me your blessing holy son of God.\”

But most of all, I realized that the answer to my question was a metaphysical answer. This reality is an illusion and I\’m responsible for my projections. So I did the opposite of my ego\’s council and went through with the task. Trusting the Holy Spirit was part of my ascendance to the metaphysical reasoning.

The task turned out to be pure joy. I\’m happy about it (Dr Bloom was a bent up old man who has been working with athlete for 60 years, and should have been wearing a grey sweatshirt). After I was done, I went running in the Houston heat and humidity. I think I am growing to like the swelter. Anyway, as I was running, I realized that the answer is always the same answer: let go. Stop trying to control the illusion. Let the Holy Spirit have the illusion.

And so I had a spiritual experience of joy instead of a pissed-off-ed-ness with lifelong resentment.

Which now teaches me: every experience I have as joy gives me joy in my memory instead of hate. Think about it. How many past memories pop into your mind on a daily basis? How many are of joy? Usually they are of fear. But imagine a life where the pop up memories are joyful and that is how you spend each day: in joy.

It is the Spirit that does all this. By myself, I\’d be stuck with the anger.

I\’m committed to God. No.matter.what.you.think.

Next stop on my 2012 race calender is this place: 

After today\’s experience, I\’m sure I\’ll be there is good health. I\’m about to visit Southwest Airlines and click buy….bye bye Luv Voucher!

A Crack in the Universe

No, it wasn\’t bright lights or euphoria. But a moment of extreme clarity and complete understanding. Of what? For a moment, I had a complete understanding of how I am joy and if I live consciously from that truth, the illusion changes to total happiness and joy.

I\’m not sure I still have a grasp on that knowing which was so clear a couple hours ago when I was exercising.

It came to me in terms of picking races. What if…..personal bests and Boston Qualifications are created way before the day of the race and everything that happens is created metaphysically of thoughts?

 So, let me start with the idea I want to have a happy race. I give this idea to Spirit and let Him plan. I just go along. Then, I go to the race calendar and see whats on there. Lets say that some race leaps out at me as one I really want to do. Coupled with the idea the Spirit is in charge, I enter that race because I know thats the one selected for me by Spirit.

So, now, I just go about my training, picking my race day outfit, planning travel, etc, secure in the knowledge I will have a happy day. I know the \”moons will line up\” (or that I\’ll be lucky) because Spirit is in charge of giving me a happy day.

But what if I don\’t trust Spirit? What if I am afraid I won\’t get what I want? What if I think God answers prayers by sending difficulties? Then, I didn\’t really want a happy day. I really want fear and pain. If thats what I want, then that is what I get because I wanted it.

So, I just bring these openly to Spirit and they go away.

As I pondered the idea that my best races were actually planned for me by Spirit and that I just trusted and went along, giving all credit to Spirit, suddenly the universe disappears. Truly it is an illusion. I did nothing. All was Spirit. I am spirit.

It is a metaphysical truth: the universe does not exist, so I can change it.

The Frisco 50, next Saturday, seems to be such a race. On the day I thought of it, I had clicked submit and purchase airplane tickets without qualms of any sort. Same with the Copper Mountain Half on June 30. But no matter how much I pondered a race in Tulsa, I just didn\’t feel comfortable with entering. At work, there was an assignment I delayed on because I couldn\’t decide what to do with it. Then, I got some additional information and suddenly, I knew what had to be done. What if I was waiting for a spiritual moment to move easily forward instead of forcing this myself? Things go badly when I force them myself.

I can\’t explan how clear this was during a moment of clarity. I totally knew the truth. Now, hours later, I can\’t explain it but I still know it. I also know that another glimmer will arrive and that one will stay longer and be clearer.

My psalm for today, devised last night is:
Today I wake to joy expecting but
the happy things of God to come to me.

I awaken every moment.

William James Post-lude

I finished the book \”Varieties of Religious Experience\” by William James.

I finished my Sunday workout: 97 minutes of exercise equipment in my one bedroom apartment, and then an 11 mile run in the park. I ran in 36F temps with a strong east wind. As I type now, there is a light snow falling but it won\’t really amount to anything.

You may have noticed that while I was reading James, I quietly put down \”A Course in Miracles.\” Next to look at is several articles by Paul Brunton and \”Metaphysics\” by Aristotle.

At work, I may be in transition or maybe not. I interviewed for a promotion on Friday. The interview went well, but there are forces in the company beyond my control. And so here is the rub, the spiritual connection.

I am dependent on a higher consciousness (to which I don\’t have direct access) to work out the so-called \”luck\” or favoritism for me to get the promotion. I believe in the presence of the higher consciousness. My life seems to go better when I think my life is not my own but belongs to it. This moment in my history could be the end of a trail of delusions which I call spirituality. However, I don\’t believe I will turn off my faith. I can\’t control the volume of the higher consciousness\’s voice speaking quietly (if at all). The best I can do is maintain interior silence, listen to the silence, and then suit up and show up for my exterior life.

Life is either a blessing or a curse. I get the blessing if I put faith in my spiritual delusion and not the world.

Living in Nothingness

I am an endurance athlete. I am a great engineer. But my life is pointless.

Did the God project fail?

In silence and solitude, I find solace. This is because I can hear the Holy Spirit\’s non-judgment of me. This unconditionality and lack of performance standards sets me free. It is here in focused inner listening that I know I am loved and my self evaluations flee. So I am left in peace. Comparing myself to others is unimaginably depressing.

But did the God project fail?

At a young age, I decided I wanted to know God. I went first to religion. Religion led to a practice of contemplation and to the monastery. Along the way, I affirmed that I want to shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer. In a very real sense, I have that wish. On a moment to moment day by day basis, the God project is wildly successful; as long as I don\’t measure it against what anyone in the world has or does or is. This comparison is my downfall. The practice of thinking what I got isn\’t enough is a carefully orchestrated self sabotage; so subtle, so insideous I must be vigilant for its evil corroding poison.

In a real sense, I\’ve received a ton, but it doesn\’t exist on the physical plane. The self sabotage is totally on the physical plane. My success is metaphysical. My truth is spiritual. Hence, the bridge to spirit from the depressive world is metaphysical. This metaphysical in-between consciousness is where I exist in solitude. There, I can think tremendous thoughts and expand my potentialities into the limitless eternal infinity of Pure Existence; God Himself.

Today, I did this while shuffling along a flat gravel levey for 5 hours. It is only in looking back at the experience and wondering what the hell good it was that I was inspired to stop comparing it to others. Suddenly, I became free.

This week at work: my first workshop with the other \”High Performance Facilitators.\” All thru my career, I\’ve been seen as having leadership potential. So I am going along with the gig one more time.

Marathon Metaphor and Metaphysics

I went in a marathon race yesterday. I ran very consistently at 10 minute miles with a couple of pit stops so my overall time was 4:24.

This morning the marathon experience wandered into my spiritual study. I wanted to invite God into the picture as this race was really not an ego inflating experience. So I ask the Holy Spirit, “What for?”

The marathon experience is symbolic of my life ethos and journey away from metaphysically unconscious masses and into an enduring solitude of spirit. Instead of chattering away life in a mirage of weddings, soccer games, TV shows and overeating, I choose the silent reflection, listening to the spiritual song, quietly doing my spiritual work. You might say, “In the world but not of it.” As time goes on, I find that the substance of my life is truly on a different experiential page. I am dedicated to being a spirit. In so far as any other person notices me, I have taught them about spirit.

So to have God instead of ego, I need to look for God. On one level, the marathon experience was totally annoying because of the tons of people and the way they hindered my running. This annoyance is the ego’s material world. But if I remain with that outlook then I have chosen to accept the ego’s story and deny the presence of God. I actively chose now to deny ego and look for God.

To find God, I look for love. Love was in the volunteers; so easily missed. Love was in the families cheering on the sidelines; including the three year old kid who high fived me. He didn’t care if I was actually his sister. Love was in a friend I met up with who is also an ultra-marathoner. It was a brief oasis. Yes, the ultra-marathoners are sometimes mixed up in the maddening crowds of half-marathoners and marathoners. Love was in the runners attempting to run farther than they had before; even if that was only a half marathon. Love was in the many people who were sweating; although I thought it was somewhat cool and hardly sweated a drop. Love was in the marathoners who hit the wall and were reduced to slow shuffles for the last 5 miles; but they persevered.

I spent the first 9 miles or so attempting to position myself away from crowds of people running together. That behavior is symbolic of my life where I have passed into and out of various groups but then left them as their speed or destination was not mine. At 11 miles, the course splits. Half marathoners are directed off the course. In these races, less than one in ten runners is a full marathoner. I am running next to another woman at this point, but I don’t know what race she is in. A volunteer points and her and says, “Half marathoners to the right.” He points at me and says, “Full marathoners to the left.” The woman looks at me and says, “Good luck full marathoner.” Ummm, this comment struck my heart like an arrow.

Thus I am sent off on the road less travelled. Surprisingly, it is this part of the course which is on a bike path away from roads and is the most beautiful. As time goes on, I pass more and more people who have hit the wall and become strugglers in sweat, heat and pain. I breeze past them and eventually, by the finish, I am totally alone. I can’t see anyone in front of me or behind me. I wonder if I am off course even though I ran this course last year. A photographer is my touch stone that this must be the right way. I have accomplished the journey away from crowds and into solitude. I am in the experience of myself, alone with my own inner energy and life force unrelentingly pushing me forward. This experience of the unrelenting life force is my experience of spirituality, which moves forward everyday and never lays about in bed. The journey from crowds to solitude is a metaphor. I started my spiritual journey in the religion of the masses but my dedication to spiritual truth led me beyond them. The choice to see this experience as spiritual instead of annoyance is the choice for metaphysics instead of the material as the predominant mode of my being.

Today, no serious injuries happened so I will go off now for a short run.