Friday, January 18, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

60th Birthday - Snow

I got up at 4 for some spiritual reading and writing.

Then I shoveled the driveway.

Then I went to work at 8:30. The shift manager had made me home made cup cakes (carrot); and everyone said happy birthday. I divulged the fact that I am 60. No one had any idea.

After work, I came home and rested and read a bit. Then 3 miles on the treadmill looking out the window at the scene above. It really is very pretty.

A friend sent me a link to a reddit discussion on FIRE Barista; why would anyone leave a 6 figure job and go to work as a barista. Ha! I'm happy. Also, I want to be a writer but am not ready to sit alone in my house all day every day and write. I mean, who would give me cup cakes for my birthday?

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Difference

There is a difference between real life and romanticized life. I am only now realizing that all books I've read romanticize life. YouTube romanticizes life. I am living real life.

It is the eve of my 60th birthday. Who ever thought a person could be 60? I remember when I was 39 and wondered if it was okay for 39 year old ladies to climb rocks in Death Valley. Well, now I am 60 and still doing what I think 60 years olds shouldn't be able to do.

I got up at 4 and did my writing and meditation. This was followed by 30 minutes of rowing. Then I got cleaned up and went to work. Starbucks got slammed today. So, I not only did alot of lifting but tons of running around: 3.5 miles inside the store. Lifting? Yeah, buckets of ice, gallons of milk (4 at a time), buckets of cold brew (14 liters), coffee urns, trash bags that weight 20 pounds, getting boxes down off the top shelf, etc. To be honest, I am proud that a 60 year old can do this job.

Then, to the grocery store (like everyone else in KC) because a snow store is coming. Get gasoline. Come home to rest a bit and read. Do some of my own writing. Get on the elliptical for 35 minutes and then 25 minutes of weight lifting and core. Then a bowl of vegetables, rice and beans; topped off with a Vega shake.

Yep, pretty proud of my physical self. What is more important is how I feel on the inside. I am happy on the inside; mainly because Abraham Hicks taught me how to feel happy regardless of what is going on in the material world. See most people think only a loser would work at Starbucks. And why quit a 6 figure engineering job and go work at Starbucks?  Well, it is only a part time job, so I get to see sunshine and walk/run in the park in the sun very regularly. I run alot, and better now than when I lived in Texas; mostly because I am not suffering from heat related illness half the time. And they have hills here. I love hills.

Starbucks is a spiritual tool. With the challenges of the job, I practice happiness. Don't think that washing dishes and shoveling ice is a glamour job. Its not. Taking out the garbage can be very nasty yucky. Strangely, some part of my energy system relishes this job. I get energy in some way, even though I get exhausted in another way. I wonder if sitting in an office doing engineering is somehow bad for the soul; and that is why having a physical job is energizing. It is a luxury to be able to afford to work at a menial job.

What am I like at 60? Pretty proud. Also, appreciative of not only my life, but life itself. Life.period is a 60 year old woman lifting weights even though she did all that lifting at Starbucks. Life.period is spending time in contemplation and writing; a relationship with the inner depths. Life.period is spending the afternoon watching it snow.

At 60, I must still be pretty smart and well respected. The district manager for H&R Block picked me as one of only 5 first year associates to be eligible for a plus status. That is, I had to test up to become eligible for a bonus. I passed the test yesterday.

I have 33 years of sobriety and I am still active, as well as loving, AA. I love being in a fellowship with new people, as well as people I've known for 33 years. Being sober is the thing I am most grateful for in this life. Having a sober adult life is such a blessing. I came back to KC to be with these long time friends; heck, I even have a god mother here. I have sisters; monastic sisters that is. They say they are my family and they invite me home for the holidays.

Here is a picture of me and my sister at Christmas:

I am creative and learning to be a writer. Yes, I have 2 writing projects which I continually plug away at. I find that reading my writing is pretty fascinating.

I have downsized. The Honda van is gone; replaced with a Civic. The townhouse is smaller than what I had in Texas; but it does have a brand new heat pump system.

I have always planned to work in retirement. Retirement only meant I ditched my career so I could do what I want. I am more active, far busier and more social. My engineering job was somehow exhausting. 

So, eat healthy, exercise alot, get outside. Continuously seek Spirit: she is with you always. Amen!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Still-life with Flowered Cup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Who am I?

Strangely enough, I am not at a half marathon race today. I signed up a week ago when the temperatures didn't look too bad; but that changed. As of last night, the low was to be 20F plus a wind chill. I reconsidered the 3 hour drive and the 2.5 hours in the cold.... I didn't make it out of bed.

So that left me with time to relax this morning and regroup on my dreams. Yes, it is easy for hopefulness and creativity to get lost in the ordinary world.

It is new years weekend and this year, Across the Years 6 day race is being live streamed. I know several people in the race and saw them on youtube. I so wish I was an ultra runner. But, when my feet start to hurt, I always quit. I can't seem to get past the pain like others; and maybe that is smart. But I never got to the miles I wanted. Somewhere around 38 miles, I wonder why I am doing this. I do however enjoy my 7 to 10 mile runs I've been doing in parks here in Kansas City. So many nice bike paths and parks. I've really enjoyed myself. Is running who I am?

The jury is definitely out on my job at Starbucks. The store is always packed with people and even if we have enough baristas, we can't keep up and rush like crazy. My job is usually to supply baristas with what they need. It is an endless stream of: make more coffee, make cold brew, make iced coffee, make mocha sauce, get more vanilla, get more cups, get more ice, take out the trash, take out the trash, take out the trash, get milk, get lids, make more coffee, make black tea, get espresso beans, make green tea, make whipped cream, make sweet cream, get more frapp mix, wash the dishes, make cold water..... make cold water? There are two ways to make cold water, just to you know. Being busy makes the hours go by fast, but it is tiring and many mistakes are made. Sometimes I feel good after a shift, sometimes not. So, the jury is out. Is working who I am?

Part of the problem is me. I am so critical of myself. Yeah, main problem of my life. I could be outstanding and amazing on the outside; but terribly critical on the inside.

I get tired at work and then don't write. My novel languishes a bit. The app has languished. I need to gather momentum for these dreams. So, that is on my mind. How do I organize my life to have energy for carrying out dreams? Will I get used to Starbucks and then have more energy for other stuff? I don't know. The jury is out. Is writing who I am?

My other job, as a tax preparer, is tugging at my time. It will get into swing more the second week of January. This job has been on my retirement bucket list for over a decade, so I will definitely keep it. The question is do I keep Starbucks.

Part of why I left my career was to have time in this lifetime to do more than work. Discover my self. So you may find me trying a variety of things. I juggle my Artist Mind with my Critical Mind. I like these terms better than inner child and inner parent. Discovering is in the moment, but also over a period of time. We'll see how this goes. The Universe keeps sending me clues.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Dinner

Fancy table setting at Clyde monastery:

And the chapel:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Morning Pages

Yesterday, I discovered a new book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. For those of you in recovery, it does not mention AA, but it does mention that she got sober in 1978. And the book is filled with "higher power" and "spiritual experience."

I'm sharing this tool, Morning Pages, with you because I think is helps me to feel better. If you are an Abraham Hicks fan, I think this tool will help you to get on a high flying disk, write rampages of appreciation, get in alignment, stop doing that thing you are doing, get all the way to San Diego instead of stopping in Yuma and going back to San Antonio.

Lets review where I am coming from. I quit my job because I wanted to become a writer, yes. But also because I want to be the real me sometime before I die. The corporate engineer me is a logical brain construction and mainly exists to earn money and protect me from the world. Very little joy, or happy consciousness is allowed by the logical me. I'll be 60 in January. It is time to let go and find some joy in life. To find some happy reason for my existence. Yes, I can die as a millionaire, but did I experience The Universe's love for me?

Truly, I've sought Love for most of my life; and only caught glimpses. The logical brain always calls me down.

"morning pages are 3 pages of long hand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness..."

Right there, I become unstuck. I was trying to write a rampage of appreciation when I had none. Or I was taking my inventory and only feeling worse. Or trying to write a novel instead of getting in touch with me.

"These morning pages are not meant to be an art. Or even writing. I stress at this point to reassure the non-writers working with this book. Writing is simply a tool. Pages are meant to be simply the act of moving the hand across the page and writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.
     The morning pages are not supposed to sound smart...."

But I will share further promises.

  • All that petty stuff you write down in morning pages is what stands between you and your creativity.
  • The morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.
  • We are victims of our own internalized Censor who constantly criticizes us. The morning pages are a way to evade the Censor and find your Artists Brain.
  • The morning pages are meditation because the stream of consciousness writing gives us insight and helps effect change in our lives. Moving from the logical Censor to the Artist Brain is meditation.
  • We meditate to discover our own identity, acquire a connection to our inner self. Morning pages build a link to the inner creative identity. (What wouldn't I give to have that. I've spent my life wanting that.)
If you made it to here, google "morning pages" or go to the library and get the book The Artist's Way. I'm not going to type entire directions for morning pages here. But I GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE INSPIRED. A being inspired feels good. Inspiration is good energy and I love it.

Today was my first attempt to get 3 pages written and I was successful. I couldn't do this when Abraham said to write 3 pages of a rampage of appreciation every day. Because, I don't appreciate that much or I am too afraid of the Law of Attraction looking in on my crummy thoughts and sending me more. Judgments and restrictions on my writing allow the Censor to shut everything down. And then I have nothing. But if I just free flow write with no restrictions or judgments, I find that the positivity does come out. Free flow writing is a way for me to dig myself out of my negativity. My negativity is mainly fear. My life has sort of mainly been about fear. What if I could dig out of feat and actually love being alive?

In any case, it felt good to let go and just write whatever. I feel better and that is important. This morning, I realized an important point: the life I created here in KC, post career, has room for the Artist and the point is that I need to learn who I am and be who I am. So working at part time jobs  with a hap hazard schedule does that. 

Also, I have created in my life some people I need. Like last night I met my tax office boss. But who I really met is a young guy who is extremely creative. By young, I mean really young. But he shared alot of his creative activities and explained why he like working for the tax office: to have time during the off season to be creative. So, I had the same life I have now 15 years ago, but went back into engineering because of the money. Also, 15 years ago, I had no creative projects so no reason to have a life with room for creativity. Now however, financial insecurity is not an issue and I do have creative projects. So, while this kid is my boss, I can surreptitiously watch a guy have a creative life. A real person, not a book author.

I feel inspired now. I feel good about my life. What could be more important than that?