Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From reaction to action

I wrote this a while ago, but it has recurring relevance. Periodically, life seems out of sync and things don’t go the way I want or expect. Getting back on track is not rocket science, but it seems that I need reminders from time to time. I enjoy finding notes from what seems like both a past self and a future self. I have memories and at the same time I am not there yet…


If you focus your energy on what you want, you will get it. That is not to say that there are no things beyond our control: things certainly happen in our lives and to other people that can affect us deeply. Focus on what you want that is directly within our realm of influence. As you do this, you will realize how big your realm of influence is.

Make a list of what you want - even little things. The list will change and evolve over time because it is an organic process. For each item, make a list of the things you need to do and perhaps the things you need to do to do those things - overcoming obstacles, learning new things, etc.

Then live your day focused on what you want.  It's like business. All efforts need to be focused toward business goals or the energy is wasted.

If you feel like you are spinning, you will stop. Your sense of direction will pull you to where you need to be; just focus… and when you catch yourself unfocused, just re-focus. It's skill development. Don't kick yourself for fucking it up, just go back to it. You can't do it wrong, just re-focus and in so doing you move from a reactive state to an active state.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seasonal Engagement

I am slowly realizing what happens to me in the summer. I have spoken, for a couple of years now, about how my brain comes back to life in the spring and have joked that sometimes I can feel my neurons firing. It’s an intense feeling.

When I drift into the spiritual realm, which I need to do and sometimes have little control over, the result is that I cannot function on a concrete mundane level. I can’t concentrate, I can barely hold a conversation on something I know something about, I can’t socialize, and the need to do any of those things makes me anxious. Recently, I have been aware that sometimes I cannot function in French. It has been a challenge and I thought that establishing a routine would sort that out but it has not. When I get that anxiety, I cannot produce or understand French very well. I have been calling it a fog because that is what it feels like. Apart from the anxiety I am emotionally... raw, for lack of a better word. In that state I can only be in that state. I am aware of too many things about other people’s stress levels and emotional states, I see the world differently than I normally do, and I interact on an energetic level. I get that every moment is a moment of pure potential and it bothers me to waste time doing things that seem not to matter. I have been feeling for a while that I need more meaningful connections with people and I think this is why. I need a level of intensity that matters.

More and more I find that my previous spiritual experiences are not things that are likely to occur anymore. I started drinking, not a lot but regularly, to keep them under control. That seems to work, but as I cut back I now find a deepening of my day-to-day experience; it is as though I no longer need the extremes - that it is more of a steady gravitational pull. I function on another level almost every day now. I used to have peak experiences that I did not know how to integrate into my life. The aftermath disturbed me greatly as I could not deal with how stark and meaningless my life felt afterward. There was certainly no deluding myself. Now, instead, I find my experience becoming richer in general. I came to terms with the peak experiences but I didn’t exactly welcome them. Now that my life is changing, I need to find a way to welcome them. The only way I know how to do that is to integrate those experiences into my life. The only way I know how to do that is to talk about the world as I experience it....which is hard because most people don’t know that side of me. Actually, nobody knows that side of me. A few people know it exists, but they don’t know that me because I don‘t talk about it. A number of months ago I realized that I have virtually stopped talking to people on a meaningful level. I am not totally sure what happened, but I remember finding it frustrating to share my experience with people; it was extremely rare to find someone receptive, never mind someone who understood. As a result, I think I fragmented. I have learned how to relate on a concrete level, which I could not do before, and I have integrated my emotions into my life, which is good. However the spiritual side of my experience rarely leaves my head, the realm of my personal experience. That side of me is so much a secret that I cannot articulate what I feel or how I experience things. I stopped talking and then forgot to talk, or maybe forgot how. Sometimes there is so much going on that I don’t know where to begin. Maybe I just need to grab threads and see where they go. If I am going to move forward, I need to figure out how to integrate my full experience into my life. Not everyone has to know or understand, but I need to start with a few.

I find this is very stressful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Energy Part 2

This spring I was quite drained. The main cells were charged, but the day-to-day cells were consistently empty. I can do this for a while, but I will run into trouble if I keep it up. Fortunately the sun came out a couple of weeks ago and we had some glimpses of summer. Now I have more energy than I know what to do with, and I have to find an outlet. I have started cycling more. I set an objective of 2500km for the season and, even with all the rain and sometimes wind, I am on track to meet my target. I also hope to do some hiking, but I also need a project. My contract ended almost three weeks ago and I have not found something to replace it. I oscillate between wanting the time off and wanting to work. I certainly have the energy to work, so I guess I should get out there and find something. If , when I find something I decide I need more time, I can negotiate my start date. They need to staff the job I had, and I am being considered for it, but time will tell. I would really like for that to happen, but there are not guarantees. I would like a guarantee for a change….

Energy is a funny thing. When I have a lot of it and no obligations, it eats away at me to varying degrees. I work at physical expression, creative expression, career development and trust, but it’s pretty rare that I have all the plates spinning at the same time. I put a lot of energy into keeping the plates spinning. Maybe everybody does. I have realized (again?) in the last week or so, that I really don’t know what life is like for other people. I only ever see the surface…events, activities, disruptions, challenges…. But what goes on under the surface actions, reactions and emotions. Sometimes I feel like the only person who wants to know about that. I am sure I am not, and I can take an educated guess as to why I think that, but for now it is my reality. My questions are sometimes about how I feel and why, but more often my questions are about who I am, why my life seems to be a completely different life when something I perceive as negative happens to me. I wonder why sometimes it affects me deeply enough that, although I remember my ‘other life’, I have not deep connection with it, while other times those events are little more than a ripple on the pond.

I know how to get my other life back; I know how I developed it in the first place, and I know how I maintain it, so I am not worried. However painful this is now - walking the line between functional and not quite depressed - I find myself trying to stay in it, rather than transform it. I keep sensing that I have unfinished business. This is an older self. I wonder if there is something here for me to find. I am also wondering if I need some help. Keep wondering and I keep not looking. I am not willing to make random enquiries, but perhaps if I ask around I can find someone suitable…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Virtually unruffled

A few weeks ago I lost my job. Not that it is really lost; I know exactly where it is. It’s just not mine anymore.

I was told on the Thursday, rather unceremoniously, that the Friday would be my last day. It sounds worse than it is in reality. It was the end of my contract. I was promised and short extension which would bridge the gap between the end of my contract employment and the beginning of my probable permanent employment. It seemed virtually flawless, but things never are, so here I wait for news one way or the other. The results of the interview have not been published yet and the variables are considerable, thus the quest begins anew. I am a little concerned that economic situation is not the best, but other people find work, so I will just have to be one of them.

A friend told me, when I shared the news, that she admires me. We are in a similar situation in terms of our skills and employment and she finds it quite something that I always manage to have something on the go, I have work when I need it and that my plan A is backed up with plan B and C. She also commented on my ability to overcome obstacles, to not be overcome with discouragement and that I always seem to know what to do. I would like to know more about what she perceives, but it seems simple to me. Putting all my eggs in one basket is NOT a good idea, so I don’t. I have to take care of myself because nobody else is going to do it. I keep suggesting to people that they take care of themselves first because when you don’t things get pretty fucked up. For me there are some things that are not negotiable. If there is something I need to do, I will do it. ‘How’ is somewhat negotiable, and I try to work out the space, particularly with the people in my life, but whether or not I do what I need to do is not negotiable at all…. And the perception of ‘need’ is not open for discussion either. It is my perception. I listen to what others say, particularly because they provide insight into what I have to give up in order to get what I need, but in the end the decision is mine, I don’t make them lightly, I live with my decisions and I apologize for my mistakes.

So, here I am, unemployed again, though I prefer to refer to it as ‘between contracts’ because unemployed always sounds to me like a mix of desperate and destitute. I have done this enough to know that I am neither. Anyway, that Thursday was a bit of a shock to the system. I felt fired. Fired is not a good feeling. But that was the end of the day and by lunch on Friday I had realized that it was not personal, that they still wanted me to fill the position and that this was a glitch. Communication obviously sucks there since both my manager and director looked duly whipped when apologizing to me, but I want the job anyway. I was not mistreated by anyone on my team; they were just the bearers of bad new and were as much surprised by it as I was.

Back to the aforementioned friend (SB) and how I always seem to land on my feet. She has not known me that long, but it has been true for the last 4 years or so. I went from feeling fired on Thursday to kind of sad on Friday to out of sorts on the weekend and then basically okay. I have had the feeling since Friday that this is no big deal. Part of me is upset and worried about the material things like paycheques and bill payments, but most of me is not really affected by this at all. I feel calm and after a short rest and some time to get my priorities in line, I will be back out there to make something happen for myself. The only doubt I have is governmental and budgetary. Perhaps it is going to be harder than I think. I don’t know if this is me understanding what is to come on a deeper level, or if it is a worry that just distracts me from what I need to do. I can’t really do anything about it, so will not focus on what I can do and move forward as if the economy is not an issue. If it turns out to be an issue, at least I will have done everything I could do.  Is this admirable? I just do what I need to do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of my biggest energy drains occurs when I am in conflict with myself. It seems to me that we build our lives and realize that many of the things we have engaged in do not have value that we thought they would. They lack that ‘something’ that brings meaning and fulfilment. 
I look at my life and want it to be an expression of myself - the things, the things I do and my accomplishments. When life wasn't - when it was something that happened to me (or so I thought) - I was deeply unhappy. Until I understood more about who I was, I couldn't find a way of being that felt congruent. It makes sense; congruency is relative. If I don’t have a starting point (me) there is nothing for something else to be congruent with. The simplest things can be the hardest to realize. It always starts with me; this life is mine to fashion in my own vision and the more I discover about myself, the better it gets.

To figure this out to the degree I have (I certainly don’t have it all figured out), the questions were simple (as in ‘uncomplicated’ not as in ‘easy’). Who am I, and how do I define myself? As I stripped away the layers of body, activities, behaviours, emotions, baggage, relationships, etc., I found my self in the time before thought. I found that my self is actually a state of peace and certainty. That took a while, but what helped me find me was focusing on the things that made me feel good - part of a job, specific types of interactions and certain activities. I analyzed, reorganized and looked for new ways to do things so that I would feel happier, more fulfilled by how I spend my time. In doing so, I had more energy. This is on my mind today because I have a friend whom I think might be on the brink of burn-out. She is very resilient, resourceful, determined and hard-working, but sometimes to her own detriment. She is starting to talk about seeing a cycle, but there is more to than that... but there are many things you should not say to someone until they provide some indicator that they are ready hear, and maybe see things from another perspective. Even then, it is sometimes better to let people do their own thing….as a result, I have a lot on my mind.