Letter 4/28/2020

A beautiful sunny day here. I ran really well in Parkville.

I wore a buff for the first time in order to have a flexible face covering option for passing people on a trail. I admit that it doesn\’t seem necessary, except for the occasional group of people who don\’t practice social distancing. I did make a good example and discovered that it is not that annoying to pull it up when you pass people. I think that if I ever go in another real race, having a mask option and a hand cleaning option will be necessary.

Speaking of races. I\’ve entered another virtual race. Great Virtual race across Tennessee. Virtual races would seem stupid in any other year than this one. But, the races I\’ve entered so far offer benefits I won\’t be able to get in a normal year. Like the Aravaipa race offered a cool belt buckle. The race across Tennessee makes sense if you follow ultra running and have heard about the Vol State race or Laz Lake. Vol State race won\’t be happening this year, but I couldn\’t do it anyway. It is too hard for me to actually run across Tennessee in the given time frame. But I\’m happy to focus my running on getting the miles in over 4 months. And getting a t-shirt that won\’t ever be available again. Only 4684 participants so far.

I have been taking good advantage of my corona-cation. I totally appreciate the gifts given.

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March 30 Letter

I haven\’t been to work since March 18, with essentially no social activities and limited trips to the store. What is going on? Miles. Since March 18, I have jogged or walked 155 miles. I don\’t think that is a record or anything, but it is a lot more than when I go to work. I am reading other people\’s books and editing my own and writing morning pages. I lift weights too.

The grass is green. Leaves are starting to show. The apple blossoms popped yesterday. The birds are chirping and fooling around with one another.

Yesterday was a day filled with inspiration and awe. Not only did I have a big revelation detailed in my last blog, but a little later, while I was out running, it suddenly struck me that I understood vibrationally the words of Abraham: get out ahead of it. I mean, my head came up and I uttered a \”holy crap,\” as I ran along. But I didn\’t have words to put to the knowing. I just knew. The run itself was a spectacular 16 miles.

Today, I ran 10 miles in a quiet, off the beaten path, park. I ran 2 mile loops in the sunshine. It was a good run, but no great revelations. I need to eat more if I am going to keep up the running.

This evening, a thought from A Course in Miracles went through my mind: I am not a victim of the world I see. I\’m not going to explain what this means. But if you do know anything about creating your own reality, then that sentence will help you.

I have been alone for 12 days. Today, I tried to engage with an online meeting. But found it jarring. I didn\’t realize how silent I have become and how focused on forward looking.

March 27 Letter

Today is the 8th day off work (of 32). Today I went by my Starbucks (which is closed) to see my manager and pick up papers. My manager is very compassionate and a giver. My manager has such a good heart. She had some resentment towards Hobby Lobby for how they are treating their employees at the moment. In contrast, Starbucks is awesome.

Note that despite the insanity of the human race, spring is coming. Yesterday I noticed that tulip trees, another flowering tree, and daffodils, are in bloom. I also saw two baby calves. The redbuds are not quite popped. Today I saw this tulip tree.

When I was a little girl, my father used to like to take my picture every year in front of a tulip tree. It was one of the few times that I felt like I was his special little girl.

I have been getting in lots of miles. Usually I have been running 6 to 8 miles in the morning and then going for a 5-6 mile walk in the evening. This has been going on pretty much for the last 8 days. Plus some weight lifting in the evening. Today, I did a 15 mile jog all at once. It went really well. I was feeling very energetic at the end, and no problems with joints or tendons. So….

The marathon I was signed up for in April has gone virtual. The real event is cancelled. Also, I have learned of a virtual event which I probably will enter. A 100 mile challenge which takes place in the time frame just before I am scheduled to go back to work. So it would be my grand finale. If you are a runner, check it out: https://www.aravaiparunning.com/aravaipa-strong/

I can get a belt buckle for 100 miles done within the time period. And I\’ll probably buy a hoody. In Missouri, it is hoody weather most of the year.

I am amazed at how much time I am spending on spiritual studies and well being. This break from work has given me a chance to take a breath and figure out where I am with my life. Yesterday afternoon, I could feel non-physical energy down loading a vibration. I knew that infinite intelligence had communicated. Today, my meditation was calm. At the end of it, I realized that the virus is a consciousness, just like all the cells of my body. Therefore, the virus can be dealt with vibrationally. Any vibration can be integrated (yeah, engineer speak to the max). Drink some water and think about vibration.

The Stream of Well Being

There is a stream of well being in the universe. It is easy to pause a moment, think the words \”stream of well being,\” and feel well being begin to flow through you.

It feels good to tap into the stream of well being. I can tap in first thing in the morning and have a good feeling day, regardless of circumstances. It is easy for me to imagine this stream of well being as a consciousness and to have a relationship with it. It is easy for me to let the stream of well being be my higher power. It is easy for me to imagine riding the stream, even laughing with joy as we go together along my life\’s path. The Stream of Well-Being is a spiritual resource. Let it flow.

In my life, I have had several phases. These phases were marked by periods of time where I lived in a certain place or worked for a certain company. Last night I had a dream about one of these past phases. In the dream, I coincidentally bumped into some people of that phase. I hoped they would mention me to their cohort and that I\’d be asked to come back. This line of thinking caused me to wonder how much I want my life of two weeks ago back. And then, was I grateful enough for it when I had it?

Rather than go down a black hole of feeling bad because I wasn\’t grateful enough in the past, I changed the channel and began to truly feel appreciation for the now. If I want to feel better, I change the channel to the running channel and what is coming up on the horizon. Then expand to appreciation for spiritual inner resources, or non-physical powers active in my life right now. I appreciate a teaching on how to feel joy regardless of circumstances. Spontaneous appreciation feels good. It felt so good to have appreciation after appreciation flow out of me, for all that the universe or my inner spiritual resource has done for me.

Remember the stream of well being.

I am going to sign up for a virtual 100 mile challenge. The time period is the last few days before I will return to work, a grand finale to this paid corona-cation. I can get a belt buckle. I love those running belt buckles.

The Next Phase of my Development

So. ten days ago, I ran 50 miles in a race. It was a high time. I was in the zone for many of those miles. No injuries. Yesterday I had an 11 mile run in the forest. Today I ran 7 very fast miles, 10.3 min/mile. Yesterday\’s video:

In the middle of this week, I decided to carry out some thoughts which had been in my head for awhile. Yes, a couple of events brought emotion into the picture and I snapped. I tried to quit my barista job. Mainly because it was interfering with writing. My identity is really not:barista. So I don\’t want barista work occupying my brain and using the morning hours which are best for reflecting.  As time went on, I was becoming more and more tired and less writing was happening. I tried to quit all together, but the store manager talked me into reducing to 2 short shifts per week, only one early morning and only one weekend day. That helps a lot to lighten the physical and mental burden. I can also plan on keeping the healthcare benefit for another year.

But now, I have my mornings for writing and editing. I won\’t be as exhausted. I\’m excited to have the free time and mental space to create new situations. I also have more freedom to follow intuition. I feel momentum increasing on my book project. This morning was my first time in months to do Morning Pages. Less work returns me to the plan I had a year ago when I retired to do writing. But I must not have been ready so I got a part time job. Now I\’m ready to try again. I know a lot more about what I need to do.

Still Summer

It is October, but summer weather was still with us as of yesterday. Amazing! But summer weather in Missouri is still far better than summer weather is on the Gulf Coast.

I an a year into phase 3 of my life, my post career life. I built in several situations for phase 3, and these are evolving.

I\’ve been a Starbucks employee for 11 months, but in my current store for only 6 months. I find that my partners are now loosening up. They see that I am upholding my end of the work, and that they don\’t need to be scared of an older person. I am enjoying being on the team more each day. My body has become used to the work and I find the really busy days to be energizing. I know many customer\’s names and so relate to them also. So I count this part time job as a successful experiment.

Now that my situation with work is more routine, I can divert attention to writing projects. I find myself mulling over and over the neuro science of addiction, modern addiction treatment and spirituality. The decision to have a spiritual life is really a complete separation from the addicted life. The spiritual life is a complete shift in focus, and combating addiction is left behind. The missing piece is that spirituality works but can\’t be grasped in a material sense. Yet I think my approach to writing about it sufficiently provides the needed glimpses. The content is written. I continue too plow through editing and filling in gaps. This week, I got a chapter introduction done to share with my writer\’s critique group.

In general, and several times a day, I feel satisfaction in where I am at in life. I can still go out and run 10 miles for fun. I feel joy in physical fitness. I live in a place that is perfect for me. My bills are paid. I have time to read and write, or do the \”deep work\” as Cal Newport calls it. I live in a different world than the older ladies of my socio economic group, and I\’m happy about that. I am extremely glad to be me, and that is a huge change from a year ago when I was still stuck in a corporate box.

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.\”

34th Anniversary

Today is my sobriety birthday. I have been sober for 34 years. I\’ve had a sober adult life, since I was 26 when things got \”bad enough\” to quit drinking. I loved AA thirty four years ago and I still like it. I went to a noon meeting today. I got to talk with a young man who has a little over 60 days. I\’ve sat in lot of meetings with him. He is trying to stay off drugs. I love him.

I also ran 15 miles today, in 10:30 per mile. Now that is awesome. It was 70F and cloudy when I got started at 8:30 am. I hadn\’t really planned on running that far, but I was going fast so I decided to keep it up until I ran out of time. I never ran that fast in Houston because it was always too hot. Missouri offers the climate for summertime running. Missouri also offers terrain. Houston is pancake flat but Missouri has hills. Today\’s run included hills. I love hills. I love digging in on the way up and cruising on the way down. I\’ll lift weights this evening.

Life is good. I feel good. Sober life is awesome.

Renaissance Appreciation

This morning, I ran 14 miles on a groomed trail in a nature sanctuary. I spent 3 hours, and it was a bit hot. I so appreciated the time, the activity and the environment.

I feel amazing about myself and about life. I am running really good, much improved over the past 8 years in Houston. I attribute this to a cooler environment, more hills and because I work at a manual job and on my feet for 24 hours a week. 60 year olds can improve their fitness.

It was a weekend of watching cross fit athletes sort out who is the fittest man/woman on earth. It has been 52 days of watching the 3,100 mile race. And here I am, running in a forest and just feeling so super pumped about it. Yesterday, I ran on my treadmill in the afternoon and I felt super pumped about that too. I was able to crank up the speed and add some incline and run run run.

My brain is better since leaving my career 11 months ago. Thanks to Starbucks, I have had to learn a whole new language. All those new synapses are a good mental workout for an entrenched brain. All the lifting and bending and walking back and forth help me too.

It is the eve of my 34th sobriety birthday. How grateful I am for my sober adult life. So much good stuff. Mostly, spiritual stuff. I have had an adult life of conscious contact with my inner being. I so appreciate that.

I am financially stable after 11 months away from my big paying career. Everything is is growing.

An Off Day

I woke up this morning not in alignment with my inner being, out of sorts as it were. And I knew it. I couldn\’t get my mind to quiet down when I wanted to meditate.

So I went running. Wow! I ran super fast: 10:30 min/mile on a hilly course. It was so beautiful because it was cloudy this morning and that kept the temperatures around 78F.

Then more contrasting experiences occurred with other people, so I decided to get into nature this afternoon:

And now I am eating vegetables and seeds and legumes…. and I feel better.