Friday, December 30, 2011

Dare to Be Extraordinary

I have come to realize that how I feel about things influences my thoughts in ways that are very important to be conscious of. I think I am becoming aware of ways I hold myself back by how I feel or what I believe, but I don‘t quite see them clearly.

I am currently looking for work and have been for a while. I have been shifting my career focus and things had been working out well, giving me the impression that I am doing what’s right for myself, but things seem to have changed. Though I still enjoy the work and continue to look in my desired area, things are not flowing as they have in the past and I am beginning to feel quite stuck. If I look closely I can feel that I have shifted. Somewhere along the way I stopped taking for granted that this was the right thing for me, and I stopped moving forward blindly and blissfully.

A few of months ago I started to ask myself bigger questions again. I started wondering what the point was. I started asking myself why I am on the planet. I started waking up to the fact that, although my work is enjoyable, it does not satisfy me to a significant degree. The words “dare to be extraordinary” entered my consciousness and would not leave. I tried to convince myself that I could be extraordinary in my work but, although that is certainly true, the dare does not nullify the quest to find the point.

During this seemingly huge transition I am looking for activities that resonate with something inside me, so that I can feel some relief from the intense dissatisfaction that permeates my being. I keep trying to move forward, to identify the things that are out of sync and to right them so that I can continue to move forward. I seek to understand myself, how I think and why I do things the way I do, and I try to understand my experience and my energy in a way that builds cohesion. I sometimes have a perspective on my life from which I am whole. When I don’t see it, I can still feel that it exists, but from my current vantage point I still see fragments.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quantum Leaps

I have had the sense for a number of months that things are out of balance. As I look for the causes I find that, essentially, I have not been true to myself. I thought I had taken the right path and I thought I was doing the right things. I made very conscious decisions; however, it seems that I did not know everything I needed to know, and now a change of tack is required. It is not my desire to turn my life upside down, nor am I convinced it needs to happen that way, but a shift is taking place that is changing my perception of what’s important. With this change in focus that seems to be taking place, I hope to rediscover balance. In the meantime, I find myself in a bit of a fog most of the time. Where I am headed and what I need to do seems nebulous.

Sometimes clarity comes in a flash. I could be doing anything, or nothing, and I will have a complete experience - of my future, or my full potential - in a fraction of a second (or sometimes a joyous few seconds), with images, a full spectrum of sensations and emotions, as if I am already there. It
s as though my consciousness is telling me about decisions I have already made but am unaware of. Perhaps previous decisions have led me down a path where, at least some of the time, there are no more decisions. Maybe its just a view of the inevitable.

Regardless, when it’s been a while since I have had one of those experiences, I end up feeling more than a little rudderless. Patience may be a virtue, but its not one of mine, so I do my best to breathe and focus on more immediate needs and responsibilities, to be as aware as possible of what I am doing so that I dont miss anything or make a huge mistake by doing or not doing something, or being so clued out that my life passes by without my engagement. I passed the first half of my life feeling as though life is something that happened to me. I don’t want that anymore.

I have presented myself with a series of career challenges to see what will happen. I set myself in motion on this path a few years ago with a little faith, and a lot of possibility. Now there is no faith, there is no belief, there is just the path. I take the step forward because there is no other direction. I progress because there is no failure; its as simple as that. Of course I don’t always feel this way. On a regular basis, I get caught up in the day-to-day drama of things not going my way, underlying even that, it’s still there.


Today’s post is a journal entry from a year ago. I seem to be in a cycle; these are not the sentiments I held this summer, but every paragraph, except the last, is one I could have written (and probably have rewritten) in the past month. The last paragraph feels like a message from my future self. Although I think I am beginning to find my way (again), I feel no certainty and, although that may be the direction I am headed, it’s the voice of a future self… from the past.

Oh yeah, time doesn’t exist.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Domino Effect

It is my experience that when one thing in life changes, other things (and people) are forced to changed in some way. From this I have come to believe that change/growth is transition that causes a lot of pain and results in loss, and although I wonder if it really has to be that way, I cannot comprehend how it could be different. The most I can do at this point is suspect that it could be different and that my experience is not what everyone experiences.

This belief is part of what makes my current process, which I know is changing me on a fundamental level, so difficult. Though there are many things I want to change and am working toward, I don’t really want my life to change drastically. Particularly with regard to the people in my life that I hold dear, I am trying take it slowly so that I can make my decisions consciously as much as possible. My attitudes are changing and it is not my desire to keep quiet about it, but I do find myself holding back when I am among people whom I believe hold differing views, or whom I am quite certain, just won’t get me. This is not good for me. Though a harsh and controversial approach to communicating is not going to bode well, and I know I can be tactful, there is still risk involved. In some respects I feel like a bit of a square peg. My environment hasn’t changed, but I am no longer round.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What is fun?

What exactly is fun?  A few months ago it crossed my mind that I really don’t know what it is. The question keeps coming up and I am still not sure. I clearly distinguish it from enjoyment because enjoyment often comes about from a release of tension, or stress, or from a chat with a good friend. Fun cannot be the absence of misery; it must something on its own. It’s not enjoyment and it is not contentment, but what is it?! I know I don’t have very much of it or I would probably be able to figure it out. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Growing Happiness

It seems to me that being true to oneself is a requirement…or perhaps the requirement to living happiness. I can see that there are aspects of my life that are not an accurate representation of myself and where creative expression does not seem possible or where the creative expression I manage is not satisfying, and in these areas I am dissatisfied. There’s a lot of good, but also a lot of dissatisfaction, which leads to tension, which leads to breathing poorly, which leads to limited thinking, which leads to feeling stuck, which breeds more dissatisfaction.  Thoughts reflect the breath and vice versa. (shallow breathing = lack of focus and stressful thoughts, while deep breathing = grounded, calm thoughts) My breathing reflects my thought, but by consciously changing by breathing I can change the way I think, so I do things that change my breathing - fitness activities mostly, but sometimes breathing exercises too. Without that I fear that I would find no space for possibility, and without possibility I, quite literally, do not want to live.

So, I can keep myself in possibility (for the most part) but it’s time to grow some happiness again. I am very focussed on the things in my life that need to change, and things are happening slowly, as they probably should, but I am impatient and in need of some measurable progress.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Resistance and Integration

I regularly experience resistance, as I am sure we all do. I regularly find myself in or put myself in  challenging situations, so I have fairly well developed skills in managing change, but managing change in day-to-day life is not (at least to me) the same as managing fundamental changes in myself. I can recognize change (at least after a while), but I naturally compartmentalize. Integrating different aspects of myself into a unified whole so that I can, for instance, be known by different people as basically the same person is a challenge. It requires a deliberate act to introduce different aspects of my character to people who may be unaware of what that particular self does in the world, how she thinks, or the types of relationships she prefers. I find myself outside of my comfort zone almost every day. It would certainly be easier to be just one me, but I find that older relationships seem to expect an older version of me…or maybe an older version of me I need to stay the same, so the people who know that me get that me. I don’t exactly know for sure. But back to the point.

I don’t think I have much resistance to changing, but integrating the changes? That certainly seems to be another story. The idea of doing so creates a lot of tension. It seems to me that the tension comes from not being true to myself, and this is a huge energy drain. It’s no wonder I have not been as energetic as I usually am. At the beginning of the summer I set out to integrate. I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time, but it is becoming clearer. I basically need to out myself.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Living V. Being Alive

Since I was a kid I have thought a lot about living versus having a life, or living versus being truly alive. I think my earliest memory of this an articulated thought was at around 12, when I realized my father was sort of living dead (no offence Dad; I found my peace). Walking around, seemingly alert, yet virtually (if not completely) disengaged from life and the things that bring life, such as joy and love. Zombies are cool now but, still, I imagine that being a zombie is not such great gig.

Anyway, in revisiting unfinished business on yet another level, I have come to realize that I am trying to learn how to be alive. In what I will now refer to as my life as a material girl (fun, yet seriously) I though I had it figured out. Set objectives, plan the work and work the plan. (I could probably write Getting Things Done for dummies… or for procrastinators, as the case may be….Or maybe Planning for Perpetual Dreamers.) I was figuring it out, I was building a career, I took some nice vacations, I was having a good time, and then it started again. The thoughts of there being more to life that stuff. Certainly there is more to life than stuff. Pride in accomplishment is important, finding work that you like is crucial, but glimpses of emptiness started making me anxious. SERIOUSLY anxious! Like the kind of anxious you get when you look at the decisions you made a decade ago, you realize the chain of events that led you to where you are and you think, “Oh Fuck! Now what?!” Not that I had made bad decisions (thankfully), but when I made them, I didn’t know I would flash back this self that wants fulfillment on an (as yet) incomprehensible level. I thought I had found what I was looking for. I had good relationships, good work, love and fun. What else is there? Almost everybody I know is, or seems to be, satisfied with that. There is no yearning beyond that…at least for them. For me, it seems that there is another level to fulfillment that I don’t yet understand. I have often thought that I over-complicate things and that life is simple if I make it so. After much effort, and a good period of time where I had myself convinced, it is clear to me that there is more. Although some appreciate where I am coming from, I think few really get me. I thought I had succeeded in becoming a normal person, but once again I find myself well outside the norm.

I wish to feel alive, as I once did as a material girl…only probably better. I am going through the motions of life, but it’s tiring in a way that living a lie can be. I sense that fulfillment will be found when I wake up to something I am currently too afraid to admit to myself; I don’t know for sure, but it’s a strong feeling. I am no stranger to change / transition. I have woken up to things before, let things go, suffered loss and moved forward knowing that the next version of myself would be a better one… but this particular realization is elusive. Perhaps I am not yet ready, or perhaps I don’t yet see how I get in my own way.