the Alchemist

 

23032557_1385630058212512_7094052114310992446_nI’ve immersed myself lately in a variety of “positive” (reinforcement) videos, podcasts, books, blogs, etc. I don’t feel [it’s always strange to write “feel” versus “think” or “believe”  ] that I have much to say here on WP that would be interesting for anyone to read…I actually don’t have well formed thoughts about my life lately, it seems to being rolling along with things I need to do but I’ve not been in my head very much. Despite all this, I still like to write, it’s an urge, so I’l throw some sentences together with hopefully a cohesive theme.

How many of you ~ out there ~ have read the very popular book The Alchemist? I started that book a couple of times and I just can’t get that far. I think I will try to get an audio version so I can maybe (tolerate) listening to it.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because – well, its come up lately, as things tend to do when you are focused on something – in this case, finding passion or purpose in life. Supposedly the book is about ‘purpose’ (“legend”), that everyone has a purpose for being here and it is a matter of discovering what that purpose is. Now it seems to me that if we all do/did have a purpose for being here, it should be somewhat obvious, otherwise we, as I know some of us do, spend our lives trying to figure out what that purpose is instead of doing the thing – which seems to me a waste of time and energy.

Personally I do not believe we all have a ‘purpose’ except to live our lives, be productive (not in a ‘procreative’ sense) and creative and happy. But, some people clearly have a higher calling and they are aware of it, usually at a young age but not always. Those people seem to move through life as on a conveyer belt…their lives seem to effortlessly transition from one point to the next to fulfill their earthy obligation. That’s not me.

My life is not complicated, which I like, but it’s also not very fulfilling or purposeful, that’s a bummer. Thus, my endeavor to fill my head with positive and interesting information such as how other people are living with purpose, what they believe and seeing if there is any correlation to my own. It is interesting to have this as a thread in my life right now – one book or podcast leads to yet another piece of information. It’s like a spider web…all the connections leading to one nexus or hub, the pursuit of happiness or purpose.

Okay, I have to make yet another trip to my future workplace for yet another pre-employment formality before the day gets away from me.

The Alchemist…anyone?

~ 11:20 Fri 2/23/18

 

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redundant authors

You can just see some snow falling if you look at the pine trees. After a day in the seventies yesterday, today we have some snowfall 🙂 My favorite.

Tonight Cheryl Richardson is promoting her latest ‘inspirational’ book and I am not sure if I want to travel out to witness the event or not. I am on my own ‘journey’ of self-discovery and I love reading about others who are doing or have done the same but (authors) who turn out repeated books with the same or similar messages gets old. There is nothing in any of the ‘reviews’ about this book that is dissimilar to her others; there is nothing as in an “event” that prompted this book – just another woman re-examining her mid-life except this one already has an established platform and can turn out books the way the rest of us turn out our socks. I’ll probably go because, I tend to rationalize, there is always something to learn or be gained from ‘listening’ to someone else relate their journey. I will definitely NOT buy the book.

I don’t have much to ‘talk’ about that isn’t just the same ‘ole, same ‘ole so I’ll end it here. If I do go out tonight and if I’m pleasantly surprised, I’ll have something to write about tomorrow.

~ 3:49p.m. Thurs. 3/22/18

just another day

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This photo is from last weekend – I finally figured out how to get it from my friend’s FB post so that I could use it. It was a nice “warm” day although the photo doesn’t reflect that.

Anyway….I haven’t really been ‘here’ much on WP…been busy with whatnot and life. Today was my “pre-employment” physical, piss-test, etc. which from the time I left the house and got back home was almost four hours then I drove north to my PCP to sign for my med. recs. so I can have copies of those (new insurance may = new PCP but I don’t know for sure yet). On my way back home ~ 2:30 I texted a friend to see if she wanted to meet for a drink and a bite to eat – we did. When I got home it was still so nice out although getting dark at 4:30 so I took a short walk with the pups.

I am now ready for bed after trying to read…too tired.

That’s it. Very filling day but mostly traveling – I’m so thankful for audio books! BTW: An American Marriage is ‘interesting’ but not worth sharing – sorry Oprah.

~ 7:14 p.m. Wed. 2/21/18

growing in the right direction

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I set up this blog one year ago for my AT journey; my intensions were to blog while I was on the trial trail. I’ve written about all this before from different angles; the trail, the personal journey, failing completing the trail, trying to find work and improve myself. 2017 is (so far) the most memorable year in my life bar none. One significant part of reinventing myself that I have only mentioned, not really talked about, is spirituality or religion.

One’s spirituality is as personal and individual as a fingerprint; a one-to-one relationship with the Divine is no one else’s business *Matt. 6:6. Religion is different, religion is communal; whether or not you go to church says one thing about you and which church you go to says another. Religion is as divisive, if not more so, than politics, therefore, many (meek, intelligent, peace-loving) people completely avoid placing themselves in a position to be judged by not speaking of their own spirituality or religion. A good friend of mine admits that she is a closet Christian (my words) because there is so much animosity toward religious/Christian people. I cannot claim I know of what she speaks because I never discuss my spiritual preferences/beliefs except on WP. One not going to church, not belonging to organized religion is not synonymous with lacking a belief in the Divine or being a spiritual person.

A glimpse of my background: I did not grow up in a family that spoke of God or religion or the Bible…ever. But, somehow, I had an idea of a God at a young age ~ 7 years or so ~ and I fervently prayed to Him for (deliverance) because I was such a depressed child I wanted help. I have no idea now how I went about that other than pleading for relief. Years later I met a Jehovah’s Witness, studied the Bible, attended meetings, became baptized and continued to pray for help, deliverance, a ‘real’ relationship with Him along with ‘studying’ my ass off. I love learning so it is no surprise that I put some significant energy and time into reading the Bible. However, the whole process from beginning to ‘end’ did nothing for me. I became more and more depressed and eventually just stopped going to meetings and became agnostic. I was pretty sure there was a God or some massive intelligent energy source that has a ‘hand’ in the world and humans but I decided that having a relationship wasn’t part of the grand design — at least not for me. I felt I’d been a reject from the beginning and God and I agreed to disagree and that was that.

I believe in energy…energy in all things. I’m not a science brainiac and I cannot quote theories or laws of nature or science but there’s no doubt about how amazing everything is: the earth, life on earth for all living things, space and planets, the solar system, galaxies, and on and on. I just find it hard to believe that it’s all just happenstance and I know it seems even harder to believe in a ‘spirit person,’ the Alpha and Omega, an “invisible” Supreme Intelligent Being that created all we know about and more.

Atheists claim that way-back-when the ‘stories’ of God, Adam & Eve, and creationism was ‘made up’ because there was so much people did not know and humans need answers — we can’t abide not knowing. And I will be the first to admit, I am not a big fan of some of the contents in the Bible ~ actually quite a bit of it seems repugnant and I certainly cannot visualize God as a “father” figure or even a man. I find that repulsive.

Toward the end of 2017 with my own situation and the national/global ‘current events’, I started thinking more about “why are we here?, how likely is the world going to survive mankind?, is there a Divine? what’s my purpose?”…, etc., etc. While I was taking on reinventing myself as a full-time job I couldn’t overlook the fact that I needed help. If I was going to become less depressed and hopeless then I needed to find a reason not to be and it wasn’t sufficient to claim I have hope because I have a family or I am healthy or I have ‘so much’ in comparison to others – it’s all relative and it doesn’t help me feel any better. I had to look outside myself to find myself. I started reading and listening to more encouraging things * and you know when you click on one thing online you start seeing more of the same popup everywhere*. I’ve read self-help books before so I refocused on what I’d already learned and encompassed that into all the new stuff I was seeing and hearing. I honed my focus to only “good stuff” and eliminated negative stuff. I also started to pray – not to “God” but just imagining the universe, the energy, nature and I tried to tap into that consciously while I ‘talked’ to the universe. Sometimes I thought in terms of “God” or the “Divine” or “Yahweh” but mostly I just visualized a universal or global positive energy and I also did this while in the nature because that just feels closer to ‘real’ for me but I also prayed while driving, in the morning and before bed. Basically whenever I ‘thought’ of it or had something to express or ask.

The more I focused on rewiring my brain to be grateful, live in the present (or be conscious), to think positive, to allow what is and not judge or question, to write and write and write my thoughts, to reread over and over particular quotes I’d written down and taped where I looked at it everyday, to visualize things I wanted and to not dwell on what I did not want or what I feared, to make myself through sheer will not worry about what I cannot do anything about but just deal with what happens when it happens (again, being in the moment and not thinking of the past or the future), watching what I call inspirational videos and praying: declaring that I need help, guidance and that I – obviously – do not know what is best for me in the sense that I can decide and focus on a particular job but not really knowing whether or not it is in my best interests but that maybe another job would be a better fit for me, my genuine gratitude for what I do have – a year off from work to spend doing what I want .. even if I was unsure when I would be employed again. The combination of all this, all the time eventually was paying off. I became relaxed even though I had no idea what I was going to do for work but I decided to appreciate the time not working but hiking, spending time with family and most importantly focusing on me and making myself better. I justified that the longer I was unemployed must mean that I needed to work on me more so that’s what I have been doing.

Eventually I did get that job offer and I am relieved but that doesn’t change my drive to be more and do more. I still want to be relevant, find happiness, live life to my fullest and a sense of accomplishment in what I do and in my life so seeking the ‘Divine’ or guidance is a constant part of my daily consciousness. An important part of life I’ve come to realize is the difference between making or forcing something and allowing something. If I want something I do what I can to work toward that goal but the key difference is that once I’ve done all I can do…leave the rest up to the universe – so to speak; don’t obsess over it and don’t try to make it happen, if it’s meant to be, it will be. And that includes being in the moment, being aware and noticing ‘signs’ or that gut feeling or “coincidence”/opportunities. When something is ‘meant to be’, things just fall into place but paying attention in life opens those doors – when we become too focused on what we think we want or deserve or need we miss the indications that we are on the wrong path, we are not allowing the energy of the universe flow naturally to get us to where we should be.

All this does not mean that it all becomes easy – no, challenges are a part of life and they are what make us grow so we can never expect that even if we are doing ‘the right thing’, being ‘a good person’ that there won’t be challenges or upsets – there will be, no one escapes bad things, hurt, pain, heartache. The challenge is how we handle it, what we do with it, how we USE it to improve ourselves or serve others – somehow, and that’s what we have to find out, that’s how we ‘grow’.

So, there’s some background about me and what I’ve been doing for the last year (plus all those painful years prior). I will say right now that I am feeling the best I’ve EVER felt; about myself and about the world – even though it seems hopeless sometimes (which is why I don’t watch/read ‘news’) and the only thing that has changed is how I perceive it. What matters isn’t if I believe in God or not, if I pray or not – what matters is that what I believe makes me feel hopeful and then, in turn, I can be more optimistic and happier and I can do more with my time/life for myself and for others.

Daily Prompt: constant

 

back to Vermont

I called a friend that I hadn’t talked with for about a month…can’t let good relationships shrivel up. They had been on vacation, a cruise and visiting friends/family and when they returned they both came down with the flu. Anyway, they had a pre-existing arrangement with all the family and extended to meet up at a lake and snowmobile, etc. Unknowingly, I had asked my friend if she had any plans for the weekend, thinking we could get together and catchup, and she invited me up for the day. I felt like an intruder on their winter activities ‘family’ day so I compromised and said I’d be there in the afternoon (it’s a two hour drive) to which she responded that I should stay overnight and we’d go for a snowshoe on Sunday; it was agreed upon.

I knew there was a “snow-storm” forecasted for Saturday night and my mother, during a phone call, had said that I should not go because ‘you never know up north’ but I don’t worry about snow…and, I had no where to be on Monday if I did end up not going home.

It was a nice afternoon; there was plenty of food and hot beverages and discussions about current events and such as the sun slowly set and it got much colder without the sun-rays. At my friend’s house we talked and then watched movies until the very wee-hour of the next day. Sunday I drove a snowmobile (not part of the weekend plan) for a little while. I hadn’t done that since I was in high school and it felt familiar and a little intimidating; it was fun too. Then my friend and I went on a ‘little three-mile hike’ around another lake that seemed a lot longer than three miles but it was beautiful with the new-fallen snow! By the time we finished it was after 2:30 and I needed to head back home. I don’t mind the drive because I usually listen to pod-casts or audio books (this time American Marriage, I posted a few days ago) and I talked a little with my sister in NC.

It was a great time away and it always makes me reminiscent of living in Vermont. Taking some time away from my routine, as long as I don’t make plans with time constraints or boisterous activities that make me tired, is rejuvenating.

Daily Prompt: compromise

history’s teachers

History is a great teacher; personal history, global history, national history. I got to thinking about a prompt; if your life story was a book, would you choose to read it and if yes, you have to read the whole thing. I was driving and thinking, as hard as it is sometimes to NOT know the outcome of a decision that HAS to be made, it is ultimately (for me) the mystery of life that is so compelling. Since I have been in a position where I had to let go of my expectations of what or where my life is headed, it’s been easier to allow each day to unfold naturally, while I still have daily goals to work toward, it keeps me focused on the now, not yesterday or tomorrow. My history has taught me (finally) that trying to force or make something happen because that’s what I expected for me causes me much aguish. By liberating my future from my own will, the unadulterated tomorrow of my life causes me to feel a spark of exhilaration, expectation of the mystery *not that my life is exciting, it’s not* because I don’t know where I might be in the future or what I might be doing. There’s nothing wrong with having dreams or goals in life but we also might want to recognize that there are things, perhaps a bigger plan that we are unaware of and sometimes we have to yield when it seems to go against our plan. In life, its possible that we are not the only choreographers.

socs-badge-2017-18-e1503097084778 #SoCS: his/hers

sometimes intention is just tension

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I need this! 

Last night was an uncomfortable night: since my almost 8 mile ‘hike’ in the woods on Tuesday, my – hummm… “groin” area is very uncomfortable to the point of having to wake to move in bed and my right knee is no friend of mine either. Anyhoo…I rise to each new day with the best of intentions. Today it was getting my son’s taxes done and while doing so I wondered, and why am I doing this? Because he started doing his own a few days ago and got so pissed off about not being able to login to TurboTax after being denied several times that he asked me to do them. Ensued was the texting of all the necessary information (five, 5, W-2 information—texted! as well as some student stuff) and when I started H&R Block {because when I almost finished my own taxes on TurboTax, that I’ve used for a lifetime, they were going to charge me almost $70.00; cost of prep. fees, efiling, processing!! So I started all over with H&RBlock and finished with a slightly bigger refund and FREE!!!} I still had to call him for more information. Ultimately, because he couldn’t get into last year’s returns and didn’t know his AGI, we went the circuitous route to ensure there was no fraud via the IRS website and then, yes, more issues because the address was not his address and then….THEN…after they emailed a code to get some transcripts (or whatever its called) and I proceeded we couldn’t finish anyway because he has no credit card, auto loan or other property loans for verification of his ID. By now my day is almost done and I give him the 800# for the IRS and he calls and they are going to send him his AGI in the snail-mail….to my home because that’s the address the IRS has for him despite the fact that he’s been in Maine (filed his taxes last year in Maine). He gets all frustrated and yelling (not at me) into he phone about the f’ing sh*t yada yada and after we are all done – until 5 or so days from now – He thanks me for doing this because he knows I HATE doing my own never mind his taxes. THEN I GET THE BEER.

The other big disappointment is I attempted to book a flight to the Philippines to see my brother; I’d texted and emailed my brother a couple of days ago to make sure he was going to be around – not island hopping or otherwise working so I could not surprise him with a visit – in other words; I could not make the arrangements without talking to him first, he was glad I was going to visit and said to just let him know when my flight arrived and what gate. When I tried to make bookings with my limited time window due to work, I couldn’t (and…because I couldn’t use my ‘miles’ toward a flight so they expected me to pay $ – NOPE! I don’t save miles so I can pay them $ – fuck that)…so that was a fiasco. I just sent him and email and a message saying I won’t be coming. I know he will be disappointed because it’s his birthday in early March. I said that I’d plan to go next year.

Thankfully I’ve already walked the kids on the ice-ponds for trails and done some babysitting off-n-on and I have no idea what else I’ve done today but NOT any sewing which I’d planned to do…at least a little. Honestly, I do NOT know where the time goes in a day. I got nothing done. NOTHING!

We are supposed to get a snowstorm. Well, I am heading to northern Vermont tomorrow morning to stay with a friend and snowshoe and snowmobile and I am not bringing my laptop & the phone will be off (no service…It’s VERMONT) so that’s the break from my reality.

Note: even if I fail at attaining my daily goal, the intentions still help in moving in a forward direction, I am still working my way toward a goal and I would not have got as far as I did if I did not set a goal, have an intention with my day. So, overall, it was still a good day.  ~ beer is almost gone, it was good.

~ 5:32 Fri 2/16/18