Its About the Energy

This morning, during my morning meditation, I had a big breakthrough in understanding. I\’m sure I got a glimpse of the way my Inner Being sees things.

Here is a story:

10 months ago, I quit my high paying corporate job and started a part time job at Starbucks. And ever since, some part of my brain has been annoyed with this situation. See, I\’m a 60 year old well funded, retiree, ex-engineer. What the heck am I doing working with twenty year olds for ten dollars an hour? Sure, I can make up some pragmatic reasons like I get my health care from Starbucks, or I\’m too young to sit in the house \”retired.\”

But thats not really it.

The reasons have to go deeper or they are not satisfying. The reasons have to be related to my conscious contact with my spiritual Inner Being, or they are not satisfying.

So, a little bit of back story.

The real reason I quit my job was to design and live Phase 3 of my life. I wanted to take my little ship and go off into the metaphorical high seas, exploring and learning, before I got too old to do such things. I had some writing ideas and I wanted to become a writer.

But what the heck am I doing at Starbucks? Especially since it is more difficult to work at Starbucks than you would imagine. There is a whole new language to learn, there are hundreds of drinks and sauces to learn to make. You have to learn the location of hundreds of buttons in the cash register, and quickly find them when needed. Being on your feet and using fast thinking is totally different from being an engineer who thinks everything through slowly and sits at a computer all day. Compared to the young people, I feel so slow and stupid. I feel out of place.

So what the heck am I doing there?

Well, it has to do with energy and vibration. And that is the break through in understanding I had this morning. Finally I might perceive how my Inner Being sees this situation.

At Starbucks, I am in a fast paced environment with young people who are trying to find their way in this world, still going to school and putting together the pieces. At the corporate job, I was in a slow environment with people who all made tons of money, had all the material possessions, were near the end of their careers, and basically were not learning or growing at all.

So, since my plan is to build Phase 3 of my life as something entirely new and different from my corporate life, then it is a huge blessing that I now hang around young people who are trying to build their lives. The young people have an energy and a vibration about them which is different than the old people I used to work with. My feelings of being out of place at Starbucks, and feeling like I can\’t keep up, are just symptoms of my energy pattern out of harmony with their energy pattern. But over time, my energy pattern is achieving higher frequency and matching the young energy pattern.

So, it is much better for a person hoping to build a new life at the age of 60 to have a young energy pattern. I need to vibrate like a young person in order to do what they are doing, putting together the pieces of a new life.

So, now I embrace the difficulties at work and am at peace with it because it is just a shift in energy patterns. The difficulty is just what it feels like when your energy pattern is out of sync with someone else\’s. In this case, I want to have their energy pattern. So I am living through the discomfort.

And you know what? Today at work, they put me on bar so I can start learning how to make some of those many many drinks Starbucks has.

Spiritual exercises are so worth it. If I don\’t persist in meditating and connecting with my Inner Being, I\’d never know what is going on energetically. Perhaps I wouldn\’t be able to build a new life without understanding the energy, and hanging in there for the change. Maybe I would just vegetate and slowly die.

I really want to experience full aliveness in this life. In my old corporate job, I wasn\’t fully alive. I was going to jail every morning and collecting the money. I couldn\’t stand it. I\’d much rather be out in the waves navigating new things. Maybe this is what self transcendence really is and I\’m really doing it.

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Man I Feel Good

This morning was another early morning at Starbucks. Today I worked the whole time on the front, which means I served the face to face walk in customers, made coffee and helped with food. After a 6.5 hour shift, driving home, man I felt so happy. I worked hard and feel happy. Incredible!

But before that, I got up at 3 am in order to have time to connect with my spirit before going to work. My spiritual reading was of my own writings. Well, actually editing my own writings. But also musing the spirituality of it, and talking to my higher self about it. I remembered a key point to my whole retirement. I wanted to be alive, that is, know I am alive while I am alive and experience the aliveness of it.

For some reason, I didn\’t feel this while I had a career.

Starbucks is a great place to feel alive.

Abraham Hicks (check it out on YouTube) has helped me to choose happiness. \”I am happy because I want to be happy.\” I try to set an intention or a feeling of joy before I go to work. It is a very subtle feeling that I find before work. But after work, the happy feeling was 100 times more than my pre-paving. Obviously felt, and I still feel it now hours later.

I even got to teach it today. One of the guys likes to say he is only plastering on his happy face and doesn\’t really feel happy. I told him it was up to him and didn\’t buy into the culture of not being happy or not wanting to be at work.

I like feeling happy. I have decided to feel happy. And so I feel happy.

I also love myself now. Growing up in an alcoholic home, there was no chance of being taught how to love yourself, regardless of the other people. Abraham Hicks helped with this also.

Most humans, talking the first worlders now, aren\’t happy. I wasn\’t happy for most of my life even with an engineering career. I wasn\’t really alive either. I mainly survived each workday, could hardly wait to leave. I didn\’t know how to be alive and didn\’t know how to choose how I feel. Is there something about today\’s white collar corporate or financial jobs that makes this very difficult? While working at Starbucks makes this very easy?

It could have something to do with sitting at a desk for eight hours staring at a computer. That could be why there is a FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. These FIRE  people know they hate their white collar jobs, but these are the jobs that pay alot. So, save your money and get out as soon as you can.

In other news:
Monday I ran very fast for 13.25 miles.
Tuesday I did a slow 13 miles.
Wednesday rode the elliptical for 35 minutes. And worked.
Thursday I hill walked for 7 miles. And worked
Friday I ran medium speed 10 miles.
Saturday I rode the elliptical for 50 minutes and lifted weights. And worked.

Holding Pattern

I quit my job a week ago and on Monday a moving truck comes. These few days have been a waiting period. Done with my life here but not yet started with my life there. The rain has hindered running a little bit, but mostly it is the mosquitoes which are keeping me away from the parks. Even if I spray myself, a cloud of the little buggers hovers around me trying to find places which are not sprayed, like my face.

This little holding pattern got me thinking about how my most of my life has been a holding pattern. A holding pattern of waiting for work to be over so I could do what I want.

First look at the pattern: get up at 3:30 am, time for spiritual study, time for exercise, go to work at 6:30 am (to beat the traffic), be at work, come home from work, eat, rest, exercise, read fiction, go to sleep at 10. Five days a week, an incredible 3+ decades of work.

Astonishingly enough, my work as an engineer was mostly boring; only occasionally would an interesting project come along. Rarely was creativity needed. Most of engineering work is \”putting the lines on the page.\” That is, after the initial excitement, carrying out the project is a routine technical activity. Often, completing a project does not bring a reward. They don\’t tell you this in engineering school, but most of engineering life is putting lines on the page.

There wasn\’t much dopamine reward in my work pattern. Mostly I went to work to earn the paycheck. My work environment was like many others. It was cynical and underfunctioning. I obeyed the rules. I played nice with others. I kept my mouth shut. Mostly I was surviving. My work was a holding pattern because for most of this life\’s daylight hours, I was restricted to the work environment. Creative ideas had to be shelved for later or discarded entirely. Even work related creativity mostly got discarded.

My dopamine rewards were not coming from work. The good feeling brain chemicals came from morning and evening exercise, spiritual investigations; and running marathons or ultra-marathons on the weekend. The little medals given at the end of a race represented more rewards than I obtained at work in years. And this comment comes from a highly competent, reliable engineer; not some slacker that nobody liked.

Americas best minds are warehoused in the work related holding patterns. Every corporation is wasting these resources. I am not unique.

So is it any wonder that I left the system as soon as possible? I am filled with creative ideas. I want to carry them out. Even the act of writing this blog would not be possible if I had needed to go to work an hour ago.

Saturday of Agitation

First off, here is a great picture of me finishing the USA Fit marathon:

What about agitation? Well, I had a really great and fast 1h42 min run this morning; but had to stop to get to a 10 am commitment. After that appointment, I didn\’t make it back out for more miles as I realized that I just HAD to get some chores done. So I got the groceries, washed the car, got a haircut. Then, I needed a meal of real food. Agitation instead of miles.

Agitation because the need for those chores was bothering me. But work is bothering me. The idea came up that I should supervise people. Many people would celebrate being put in charge. Me? Terror! No! I am a subject matter expert. I am a nice person and well liked or I wouldn\’t be considered for management. Managing people is like a hot stove of emotional pain. I\’d go home every night pissed off at the people. But I also don\’t want negative repercussions since I don\’t want to take on the people.

At this point, I needed what I read in \”As Bill Sees It\” today: \”In the radiance of this prayer we see that defeat, rightly accepted, need be no disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive…\” My defeat is admitted my fear of managing people. Yes, I thought about quitting my job; and am relieved it doesn\’t have to be a disaster. I can turn it over and trust Spirit.

While I was running I was thinking about how I will train for a 50 mile race in May. When would I fit in some uber long runs?

Here is a 50 mile training plan. Whew, I don\’t really need to do a 50k training run. In fact, my current racing schedule is more aggressive because of the marathons I\’m entered in. About 5 weeks before my 50 mile run, I have Easter long weekend. I\’ll do some big training. I\’m not racing the weekend of the 28 mile run. Hope the weather is good.

Consciousness and Insanity

From A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers 4: \”They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. God’s teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. Joy is their song of thanks. And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him.\”

Expressed there is what most of us want: safety and being needed. Most of us also add ambition to the formula. Thus ensues competition and attack. Or maybe the men also compete for a woman.

I like the idea of joy being a song of gratitude, I can make that choice right now. Gratitude for the sense of Presence and willingness to turn to Spirit for mental and emotional comfort right now.

I slept late today. It is cooler in Texas now so getting up early for running is not so important. My first thoughts were on how easy it is to forget God. In my world at the moment is a tremendous amount of mental flak related to the split in my company and the uncertainty of where I\’ll be assigned. But none of that matters if I am employed by God and only here to serve Him.

But honestly, I am not that evolved. Fear producing hatred permeates my brain. My mind is aware of this. In awareness and consciousness, I can direct my thinking. Yes, it is a discipline and an effort to remain in observance. But just letting my thoughts spiral out of control is terrible. First awareness of my thoughts which separates me from them. In my choice, I also employ whatever is a higher consciousness (God, Spirit, Jesus) and ask Him to direct my thinking. And usually some peaceful thought comes along, some thought of trust and reliance on God. And then I am fine. 

This spiritual way of life is pie in the sky for many. Without it, I am hopelessly insane and probably would not be sober.

Transition Transformation

This morning I was reading in A Course in Miracles Manual for Teachers 4.II.A and came up with this:

Tranquility (Inner Peace) = honest learning + consistency of thought + full transfer

I am facing a re-framing of my work life, an upheaval seemingly from \”them\”. But you know, as I type, a new meaning to my Jerusalem experience of 35 years ago surfaces: it was the beginning of spiritual learning for me in this life. And I have been very consistent in that activity ever since.

Trust is the first trait of God\’s teachers. Then follows honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, defenselessness, generosity, patience, faithfulness and openmindedness. And ACIM offers explanations for each of these which differ somewhat from generally accepted connotations, Christianity, and even New Age pseudo-Buddhist preaching.

Wow, I am beyond pseudo-Buddhism! Totally cool!

I am still a runner. I am still an athlete; spiritual and physical and professional engineer. Even now, it is time for a short jog.

Some Undreamed Of Me

Well of course, I had to have dreamed it or it wouldn\’t be.

Today\’s lesson from A Course in Miracles: There is nothing my holiness cannot do. And then I had quiet. I thought a positive thought. I mean, a positive thought came to me. It was: What if I asked to shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer, and I have ended up in this cave of prayer. I mean, I really came to understand my dwelling as a cave of prayer. Not a suburban duplex but really a cave of prayer. No, it doesn\’t look like what a Desert Father lived in at the dawn of Christianity. No obvious holy objects or altars. But none the less, it is a cave of prayer.

Today at work, a picture was taken of me. Yup, I work in a chemical plant. The fancy head set is because it is noisy around the refrigeration compressors and I needed to talk with the technician. Don\’t I look cool? Well, actually, if I didn\’t know that was me, I don\’t think I\’d recognize me.

Oh…yeah…. it is cold in Texas today. Hence the jacket.

I even was able to finally explain to someone in a sound bite and without recrimination why I am a vegetarian. And also say it is my own conviction of my own belief, not some religious rule that came from others. I don\’t belong to any religion. You have to pray if you want a conviction. Once you have a conviction, Spirit will keep you safe forever.

I am safe forever. I don\’t think I realized that before.

I can rest in quiet too. The incessant yammering is still.

Self Actualization

It is Saturday. I\’m about to head out to the park for a few miles. But first, I was doing my spiritual studies and pondering A Course in Miracles. I am reading a book by Marianne Williamson on that topic and that is where the \”self actualization\” came from; as I need to clarify exactly what I want from the universe.

I\’ve been in conflict my entire life about my career. It has always been just a job and source of money; not something I\’m devoted to. Yet I work amongst people who give every appearance of being devoted to their work. I do hold up my end of the productive output at work but I do it just because I do, not because I love it. And the rest of my life has always been my interest: spiritual studies and endurance athlete.

So, I need time to live my life and I continually protect myself from time at work overtaking the daily training. This tension of time causes a mental conflict. This topic came up in a conversation with my boss this week who notices that I am always protecting my life from work. So now I am afraid of him. Today is the boss\’ Christmas party and I know I would only go in order to please him.

But as I pondered this tension in relation to A Course in Miracles, the thought struck me: either stand in your truth or continue to play games. How powerful. I don\’t think I\’d lose my job over this because I am a productive team member.  Accepting average-ness at work is ok because the vast majority of the engineers stay at the level I\’m at for decades and then retire.

But my line in the sand says something.

I need to choose a path: self actualize as an endurance athlete and ACIM scholar or self actualize as an engineer. I need to stand in my truth and give a clear answer to the universe about it. But I also need to ponder my truth more deeply. It certainly is not framed in form but content; and each day can deliver content regardless of form. What is it I really want?

The conundrum continues. I need to go running now.

August Workouts

I had a very big month. With 92 hours of aerobic activity, thats the highest this year.

On another note, and if you read this blog often, you know about my mental turmoils. Well, today, just before I go on vacation, my boss mentions that he has something coming up for me but can\’t mention it for 2 weeks. But I\’ll be very busy. I usually fear that I am not good enough and my habitual mind goes round and round with fear of the boss, my authority figure. Now, it is sending out one fantasy after another about what this change could be. My habitual mind is sure it will be able to preen and be proud of some reward. I\’m sure I\’m just getting more work because of other personnel changes.

Problem Solved

Does God solve problems? Probably not.

But, I can see things differently and in that is my world changed. I can ask for help in seeing things differently. The Holy Spirit is who saves me with Christ vision.

A Course in Miracles states the non-existence of guilt. And this is because God, being Love, could not have created anything other than love. Created love cannot be guilty any more than God can be guilty.

Anyway, I broke the rules of non-thinking obedience at work yesterday. I woke up in the night feverish with guilt, shame and \”I-am-not-good-enough-to-work-at-this-great-place.\” I mean really, I was attacked by negative emotion from all sides. I tried to project it out onto the company and its gate keepers. hate loomed.

Yet this morning, as I studied the ACIM text, I was reminded to let the Holy Spirit solve my problems for me. Ummm…yeah…I asked the Holy Spirit to help me with \”this problem.\” I did my morning workout engraving in my thoughts, \”I will accept forgiveness for myself.\” Forgiveness is overlooking, or looking beyond this world to the one of peace and light which is the real world of love. The function of the miracles worker is to accept salvation for themselves because in that they stop projecting their guilt onto others and all are seen as innocent, creations of love.

Today at work, nothing was said.

One of the first things that happened was I had an unexpected cup of coffee with 3 colleagues I don\’t normally see. But I got validation from them about my feelings related to stupid and inefficient work requirements. Then the first class I had was relatively interesting. Then the morning slipped quietly away. I got some work done and then the afternoon class slipped quietly away. Then I drove home on traffic-less streets in record time.

I kept saying thank you to Whomever. \”This problem\” has been solved and not by me.

My lessons tomorrow are so relaxing and freeing for me (remember, some of the following words are re-defined by ACIM): \”Salvation is my only function here.\” and \”God\’s Will for me is perfect happiness.\”

I am perfectly happy to surrender to the function of salvation as it means seeing things differently. and I am totally willing to have God\’s will of happiness for me; which I will have if I accept it.