I think I first noticed it when I worked retail in my twenties. I managed a Radio Shack Computer Center in Boulder, CO. People, customers, always came in waves. It would be totally quiet and still then BOOM... 10 people all at once. Living in the software world for 30 years it didn't present so much, even working with POS systems, the customers (K-12 kids) were on a preset schedule so the natural wave effect was subdued. Fast forward to hosting estate sales the last few years I could almost time the people wave effect. It was actually very predictable and fun to observe. So... I'm experiencing a writing idea wave, I'll call it Surf's Up! =) I have so many things to write about I'm bursting. Enough on the introduction now on to the heart of the matter.
There's no real order of importance I guess. I'll start with the hardest, the fuzziest first, a pesky God's will vs. my will conversation. During my AA journey the third step has been an off and on love story. The 3rd step goes like this: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him." For a while I was saying my Creator prayer at least once a day and devoted to the sentiment of the 3rd step. (You can find my creator prayer on the PPP page).
At some point (deja vu, by the way, just now. sitting here at the Starbucks bar looking out at rainy day Broadway. There's a whole additional writing topic!) while I was reading / studying / listening to Conversations with God, Book 1 I began to doubt this devoted to discovering God's will strategy. Lines like "There is no purpose but the one you create." "God doesn't really care one way or the other what happens with you... He/She/It has better things to do... you are a God in your own right with free will and the ability to choose and create your own reality and that's why you're here so go for it..." I'm obviously paraphrasing and probably very badly but that's what my feeble mind recalls as the reason I stopped saying the Creator prayer daily and began to stretch my awareness into what the FUCK makes me happy and interested in actually partaking in life on a daily basis.
I think that's a big step, quite frankly, it's spine chilling to consider that God doesn't really care, but feels right somehow. It forces me to get out of my la la land wishfully maybe someday world of figuring out what God wants from me and slams my face into the moment and what the hell do I WANT? What the fuck am I UP TO? What is my bliss? It's one thing to follow it, it's another thing to figure out what it is exactly. Not like it's going to happen all at once, forever, (I have figured out that much at least, it's an ongoing, never ending process).
GOD IS GOOD, contrary to what I was taught as a Catholic, he's non-judgmental (no HELL folks), loving, caring, concerned, listening AND HANDS OFF! I can totally live with that, in fact it makes perfect sense, it's perceptive, rational, valid, wise, logical, commonsensical, (ND) intuitive, plausible, sound and most likely true! In fact the whole concept of free will falls apart if God is "hands on." Just think about it, it's impossible to "help" without interfering! I find it so interesting that religions can hold such polar opposite, contradictory views about obvious things and totally get away with it over and over and over in every language, Yale to jail, smart, stupid, brilliant, doesn't seem to matter! Proof of the power of humanity to create, they believe it, they create it no matter how completely dysfunctional and obtuse it actually is. That's right, flawed and dopey or broken and dense or defective and dull. WTF are people thinking, oh, yeah, sorry, they're not, they're letting other people do that for them. They are sleep walking.
Wow, that felt good... I suppose it's totally inappropriate, oh well! I know I don't have it figured out, believe me, but the stupidity of my fellow humans really pisses me off. I know.. you spot it you got it... =) Anyway, I'm not talking to YOU... reading this! I'm talking about THEM! Hee Hee! I still have at least two more topics for today. Maybe I'll ration them until later. The surf is definitely UP!
Priests and Nuns of all denominations take all kinds of vows as they move along their paths. The most notable, of course, Vows of Chastity/Celibacy and Poverty... there are also vows of Silence and many others I'm sure. I've decided to engage and commit to a Vow of Happiness or Bliss...
I've been listening to an audio book called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I had plenty of time yesterday as I drove up to the Priory in Chestertown, NY for a day long retreat "The Gift of Change" hosted by a friend, John Daubney. (He also wrote an amazing book you may want to check out Those Who Walk With Fire.) Anyway, the Singer book points out that there is not much else to do or that we have control over in life so why not focus on being happy each day. That's hugely simplified and there's a lot of great talk about Death and it's relationship to life and our concept of happiness... Fun stuff, truly!
It did really get me thinking about what is stopping me from being happy. How I feel after exercise and healthy eating is GREAT... so what's my problem!? Singer talks about a need to relax and release. The energies that appear when we are "unhappy" are leftover shit from the past that we need to just relax into and let go of. Yet another level of awareness. Notice the feelings or thoughts then relax, release, be present and breathe!
I know I'm on the right path when I find or remember things from my past that dovetail with the current epiphany. (John D. said yesterday things/experiences good and bad tend to circle and repeat until we absorb them fully). I had a bumper sticker on my 1995 Ford Contour, my first post-divorce vehicle, "Follow Your Bliss"... so I looked that up this morning and found this on Joseph Campbell.
"Follow your bliss" one of Campbell's most identifiable, most quoted and arguably most misunderstood sayings was his admonition to "follow your bliss". He derived this idea from the Upanishads: Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: Sat-Chit-Ananda. The word "Sat" means being. "Chit" means consciousness. "Ananda" means bliss or rapture. I thought, "I don't know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don't know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being." I think it worked.
He saw this not merely as a mantra, but as a helpful guide to the individual along the hero journey that each of us walks through life: If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
Campbell began sharing this idea with students during his lectures in the 1970s. By the time that The Power of Myth was aired in 1988, six months following Campbell's death, "Follow your bliss" was a philosophy that resonated deeply with the American public—both religious and secular.
Damn I have to run! Weight Watcher's meeting 8am Saturday. I'll try and finish this post later! I want to talk about what happened at the Priory Retreat in Chestertown yesterday two more God Knods!! Crazy amazing ones!
This is one of those rambling as I write times. I'm hurting, tearful, close to actually crying. Wow! Why? The fact, and it is a FACT, that I am alone on this journey. No one else can console me, understand, get me cause I'm special. We all are (alone AND special). I just have no friends, none. And that does hurt, it just does. I guess I never really have but I didn't notice or care. I don't even know what my definition of a friend really is. Tough to create something you haven't defined. I've been stumbling around, unintentionally half-heartedly kinda sorta looking and wishing hopefully in the back of my mind. Hey, I probably would have to show up for a friend... it's a two way thing.... SHIT!
I guess it's good to know. Thanks Carol! Growing up is interesting! So now that I'm aware that I think I'd like to have and be a good friend I can go about the fun of creating one. Starting with Chris might be a good idea. Whatcha think!?
I'm getting a bit more serious about writing a book. I've listened to some Hay House videos and checked out Balboa Press a bit. Anyhow, the subject of the book is in question... by me the author/writer (cool distinction there in the videos... authors are not always good writers and vice versa...). Anyhow one of my possible topics is Alinement (yes that's how I choose to spell it). By way of research I bought the book Divine Alignment (written and recorded by Squire Rushnell, great, expressive and fun voice!) via Audibles and I've been listening to it. A tad religious for my taste but interesting anyway (of course). He introduces, so far, two terms I find thought provoking... God as the Navigator, an internal GPS system so to speak that's always present and available for guidance... witty analogy. He also coined the term "Godwink" defined as An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it could only have come from divine origin. I encounter these all the time and so far just called them "non-coincidence" or answers to prayers, not prayed.
A recent example was running into Lauren O. at Starbucks Sunday 2/14. I needed to take some action regarding a CPA and I'd been procrastinating. I needed to let JR / RAND Accounting go (they're spendy and in CA) and I'd changed my mind about another local firm I'd thought I wanted... it's complicated, I needed a new CPA, bottom line. There she was just as I was about to walk out to go to a meeting. Godwink, I notice that *Squire Rushnell has that term trademarked so I'll call it a godnod...my definition is also a bit different. It's a nod from myself, my inner knowing, my flow, my own personal higher power, my internal creator. So, perhaps, my-nod although I still like god-nod, HP HF - Higher Power High Five... would work. Don't get me started... (OH, Yes, do, do get me started!) How about an AI - Angel Intervention, I guess that's a little different?
How fun, I've often considered tracking the number of these events along with a brief description. It would be easier if I had a name for it. Ideas:
HPHF - Higher Power High Five Godwave
AI - Angle Intervention FlowSign
Hey, here's a peachy thought... I don't have to choose! I can use AI to track my angle specific requests being answered i.e. parking spaces when I request... Mynod for things I've been thinking of but did or didn't specifically ask for i.e. Lauren, CPA. HPHF for over the top, crazy, superior events that I had turned over to Creator, not really ever expected would happen in a million years or events unimagined, didn't even see coming at all, i.e. Chris getting sober.
I'll probably figure out they're really all the same, but in the meantime, it will be fun to track.
The epiphanies that I've had of late are definitely creating a level of awareness that is making a huge impact on my behaviors. I was going to name this entry "Get Over It Already" but "Talking Out Loud" is a tangible example of me "getting over it..." that works.
I guess the true breakthrough was realizing that I didn't have to comply with all the internal promises, expectations, habits, regulations, rules, guidelines, etcetera ad nauseum. The freedom to be the observer of the thoughts that run a muck constantly spiraling and bouncing around in my head is the true difference. Giving myself permission to "take a moment" and question every thought rather than blindly buy in, accept and run with it.
So I am paying more attention to what I say out loud. I've come to recognize and admit that I don't speak well extemporaneously and that's OK. I had some information to deliver to my Soroptimist group regarding Project Hope & Power. I asked for time, was given 10 minutes and plenty of notice for preparation. I realize speaking is powerful so I don't know why it should surprise me that speaking INTENTIONALLY is wicked powerful.
I was interrupted when I started this post.. so this is now 3 days later, Feb 14 Valentine's day. I went to an AA meeting now I'm sitting at Starbucks in the window in the sun (-8 degrees F outside). I have nothing to do today but just be. I wonder if this is really what growing up is about? Being intentional in every moment. It's kind of the next step after awareness, you're awake... now act like it! Along with the freedom to be the observer, all pressure relieved, it's not an intimidating thing it feels more like a game. I was always afraid to grow up and be responsible, but if this is what it's about then I think I can get used to it.
Intention: (once again, I HATE it when they use the word in the definition!)
1. of or relating to intention or purpose.
1. to have in mind as something to be done or brought about; plan:
2. to design or mean for a particular purpose, use, recipient, etc.:
3. to design to express or indicate, as by one's words; refer to.
4. (of words, terms, statements, etc.) to mean or signify.
5. Archaic. to direct (the eyes, mind, etc.). verb (used without object)
6. to have a purpose or design.
7. Obsolete. to set out on one's course.
I like number 5 because it speaks to a direction without attachment. There's the fine line to be aware, to be intentional without control or attachment. Very cool! I wonder why the dictionary has that marked as Archaic... antiquated, out of date? Who knows, one of those questions really not worth the time to figure out.
It's come to my attention that it will be necessary to be intentional about my eating ongoing. As much as I'd love to not care or not pay attention, I don't think that's realistic. I've decided that a group accountability / support system is necessary so I'm joining Weight Watchers, Meetings start on Wednesday. There's four different meetings so I'll figure out which one resonates. It's a relief to decide this and "have a plan."
I think I'll go to the 10am meeting today also. Can't hurt. Ta ta for now.
The "Navigator" had other plans for me. I ran into Lauren from Soroptimists as I was leaving for the meeting and we ended up chatting for awhile. She's a CPA, I need one due to an odd turn of recent events. Prayers answered without asking... Godwink!
Not quite sure where I'm going with this subject. I was inspired and the title kept coming up... I do have a special shovel in the backseat of my Jeep. Specially dedicated to scooping road kill off the street. It just bothers me to see a wild animal disgraced by being flattened. It's bad enough it was killed by our collective civilization. It's insult on injury to repeatedly run it into the ground. I'm not sure what I think about myself for doing this. I realize it's a bit odd. Until recently I only stopped if there was a field on the side of the road and a safe place to pull off. I've decided that even if I see one in a neighborhood I'll put it in a bag and deposit it in a wildish place for honorable decomposition.
I don't apologize as I exhume or "say a few words"... I feel the observer that was once in the squirrel has moved on. It's all about me and something I find disturbing about humanity's blatant disregard for the natural world all around. Of course you know "if you spot it - you got it" so once again I'm not clear on why I feel inspired to unceremoniously bail departed cadaverous creatures off the thoroughfare. (How's that for a wordy way to say road kill! =)
One more observation... I do feel uncomfortable and shy about doing it. I wait for cars to go long passed. Hesitant, humble, reluctant, self conscious... all of those. Perhaps because I'm NOT completely clear on my motivations? The gore doesn't really put me off though it can be a bit shocking. There's no smell but a wildish muskiness. I usually happen upon the scene long before putrefaction.
I feel because I'm just moved to do it, without a particular motivation or clear reason why it's just OK. Just because.
Wow, so far so good. I admit that I knew it would be a big undertaking and an enlightening one, but Jumpin' Jahosafat*! The exercise has definitely increased my mindfulness and decreased my stress! Every time I think of something I "should" or "shouldn't" do either now, in the past or in the future, I get to stop and let it go and BREATHE! I really should keep a list... see there I go again. Let me rephrase that: Keeping a list may be interesting, funny and revealing. See what I mean with the "shoulds?"
My language to myself is shifting. I've noticed that various types of should/shit thoughts or bad/abusive thoughts are all over the map. When I'm cleaning a frying pan, for example, I flash back to my girlfriend "from the neighborhood." Shelly, was a perfectionist about cleaning pans and she called me out for a bad job one time... and NOW in this moment, Is my cleaning detail good enough? Did I miss anything? Chris is a stickler too, will he notice? Holy Cow*!!
I threw out that plastic lid, is it recyclable? What would 'so and so' say if they saw that? What kind of new age hippy do you think you are? You lazy shit, you can't even take the time to look it up or check it out. And don't get me started on all the coffee grounds that are just being utterly and shamefully wasted ending up in a landfill instead of some part of the yard or a house plant for Frickin', Flipin' Shoot*!
I'm not just hard on myself, I'm BRUTAL and it's practically nonstop!
Yesterday I re-organized my Laurie cave for the fourth time in the last month. It wasn't a case of being vulgar to myself this time, just completely and altogether non-sensical, daffy and full of shit. After looking around, I decided I needed a dose of my own medicine. I used the logic and radical honesty I use with my clients on myself. I have had those Spanish books and vocabulary flash cards FOREVER! OUT! I kept this stack of books because the author was a client's client, REALLY? He was a difficult client and the author's not that great. OUT! Yes, AC MOORE had an amazing sale on canvases, great, but they've been sitting there for MONTHS! Long story short, I ended up donating stuff and/or moving it to the basement and making my space MUCH MORE PLEASURABLE! Once again, thanks to the mindfulness exercise I could check in and chuck it!
I took a bath yesterday because I felt like it. I slept pretty well and woke up early so I went to a meeting because I wanted to. Wild! It's a WHOLE NEW WORLD and it just keeps getting better and better! Geez Louise*! I suppose, at some point I may choose to do things I don't want to do, eventually, for now, I'm just paying attention to my self-talk. (That's a passive aggressive come back to my own unspoken thoughts about how silly it is and how stupid I am to think that I could possibly only do what I want to! Heavens to Betsy*!)
(*All swear words in this post courtesy of vintage swear words, Huff/Post50.)
Laurie Anne McCauley
Did that make you feel better?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!