Monthly Archives: March 2014

Coming Out

I used to tell myself my spirituality was a private thing and no one’s business. But here’s the problem with that thinking. It’s impossible to practice my spirituality while hiding. Not allowing others to see what truly interests me isn’t me being spiritual at all. In other words, not allowing my friends, family or anyone to really know me is just holding myself back from living a genuine life.
So I’m still not completely walking my talk. I’m beginning to deliver talks on spirituality, to empower ourselves to effect change in our own lives. Yet every time someone asks for an update on my life, I chicken out. I leave out a big part of what I’m doing, how I’m living, and especially what my intentions are.  It’s because my new direction is not mainstream.  Explaining to anyone, let alone my financial advisor, that I no longer wanted to go to the office anymore was not so easy.  “Oh, hmmm no, I want to leave my career.  My work will be in spirituality”.  When I tell people, usually after counting to nearly three-Mississippi, I get two reactions, one expression looks a bit frightened and the other looks somewhat supportive.  The thing is…spirituality means different things to different people.  And I have no idea what connotation any one person has.  Whatever. It is what it is.  I’m doing this and I’m trying not to feel like I have to defend myself.  Working in the mainstream bored me to tears.  It really did.  Titles, offices, politics, business trips, quarterly All-Hands meetings, quarterly layoffs, tshirts for morale…
How am I beginning?  Starting this blog is one step even if I did configure the settings so that not too many people will actually find it.  What if someone reads the blog I’m writing?  How ridiculous is that thought?  Hard to believe I worked in advertising/marketing for just about half of my life.  At this point, I’m only practicing sharing my thoughts and ideas.  I’m practicing writing and speaking without trying to self-edit myself to mainstream-ish-ness.  I’m practicing not trying to fit in by watering myself down.  As I become more clear what the next step is I can turn up the volume, so to speak.  It’s so refreshing that my next step, after the next step, is unknown.  I’m learning so much and I’m meeting people whose lives are in a similar place and we’re supporting each other.  I have no real plan, no strategy, no tactics, no business model…just me figuring it out as I go, and that’s the best part.  My choices are to hold back, live smaller and predictably, or live in a way that interests me.  So I’m not going to worry too much about what anyone thinks.  Good, bad, or indifferent.

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Thoughts and Words

Before, I never would have thought twice about my words and even less about my thoughts.  I was amusing and clever or so I thought. These days I’m practicing being very aware of what I’m thinking and speaking. People are everywhere and there are opportunities all day long for a running commentary on all of them. There’s the woman driving too slowly because she’s on her cell, the man taking FOREVER at the bank teller window, a new neighbor, a manager at work, the guy who cut me off on the highway. And personal gossip?  It’s a waste of time.  But it’s a hard habit for me to break.  Sometimes I’m the instigator because I’m asking for a status on someone or sometimes I’m just in a group and it starts.  The intention may have been to keep it kind but if the person being discussed heard us he or she wouldn’t like it.  We’re all connected with each other.  I’d heard this and it made sense but now I know it because I feel it.  When I express myself, in thoughts or words, I’m directing all those feelings not only to the person it’s directed to but back at myself as well.  Easy to do when we’re talking about traffic or someone standing in line at the bank.  This is especially challenging when a small group of homeowners choose to be viciously rude because they don’t agree with our Board decisions within our Homeowner’s Association.  It’s really challenging to look at someone compassionately and unemotionally when they’re yelling at me.  It’s another level of the same lesson on how to let things go.  A whole ‘nother level, one that at this time, I’m throwing my hands up and burying my head under my pillow and just hoping will go away.  Maybe they’ll move to another place.  Merely removing myself from the entire conflict and resigning is an option.  But what if sometime there’s something I can’t walk away from and have to learn how to not let it bother me?  It’s my responsibility to uphold the very rules that contribute to their angst.  But if they choose to instigate conflict as a way to change our minds, I can let the negativity pass me by, right?  I can practice not getting upset by their words.  Sure, but honestly that’s really difficult.  I’m trying to Eckhart Tolle myself into this challenging situation and feel that I’m failing miserably.  I’m not Eckhart Tolle.  In the meantime I’m sinking lower and lower as they increase their antics and anger.  Do I just walk away and leave the problem to the other Board members because I see that it’s as simple as walking away from conflict?  I can resign and spend my time doing something I love like painting.  Or, I can learn to let their antics and anger pass right by me if that’s how they continue to choose to communicate?  Traffic is now a piece of cake.  My intention is that one day the angry people will be a piece of cake.  For now, I’m still working on this one…