The Door Opens

The universe never ceases to amaze me in its unfolding of the principles of life. Just when you are on the prespice of change you can find yourself in the most doubt. As I alluded in the last post, change has been coming but it never seems to come at our preferred pace, whether that is slow or fast. The job in Seattle never materialized and that hit me pretty hard. I have been waiting for a door to open and it appeared to be opening only to slam closed in an instant.

My friends and family were very supportive and I heard the old chestnut about everything happening for a reason over and over. I protested that it was the reason I thought the Seattle situation presented itself, and now It had to be the reason it was gone. It seemed so trite and dismissive, but it was true.

There are nuances in the way things came about that could not be predicted under any circumstance. I had a plane ticket booked to Seattle and when that door closed I re-directed myself to San Jose to meet a group that had interviewed me on the phone. Did it make the difference and get me the job? I will never know, but it certainly made me stand out as a cadidate and I would not have bought a ticket to fly to California on the chance of a meeting. With the ticket in my hand and about to be lost, it was a no brainer. It wasnt the last interview with them but I’m sure it helped, and they hired me.

Now I have just completed my first two weeks of work. The company is called Presidio. This is a better job at a similar salary that will keep me in Colorado, working from a home office and doing things I enjoy more than what the other position would have called for. There will be lots of travel, but that is fine with me and always has been. The big thing is when I’m here I have no commute, so the mountain home is a reasonable situation. My book, “Spiritual Practicality” will be released in a couple of weeks and with this job to support my efforts and feed me, a load of pressure comes off. It will mean a longer ride to the airport but I am a step or two closer to my writer’s knook in the hills, and the next book.

The earth feels like it is turning again and the lesson in this case is “keep the faith.” Things do unfold in a perfect cosmic dance when we allow them to. I may have been forcing the situation in Seattle as I was wishing for things to change. The universe said no but just a couple of months later, I feel like I am moving forward again.

Letting Go

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and that happens to me sometimes. I’m still transitioning and my life is becoming a fairly clean slate for me to make into my next work of art. The idea of starting over is bittersweet because I liked my life the way it was. I had a nice home and what was a happy marriage. My garage was converted into a recording studio; a childhood dream come true. I was playing music with guys I had known for years and liked working with. I produced two of our CD’s right out of my garage and they were really good. Now all of that is gone and I miss it but I’m free now in a way that I guess I need to be for this next stage of my life – a stage that seems to have required that I let go of what I thought I had built.

It’s not just my marriage or my career that is changing. People seem to be falling away as well. I guess I’m not as clear a judge of people’s character and general state as I thought I was. Its not that I have been deceived or betrayed, because I have not. I just hear things coming back at me that make no sense given where I thought these relationships were. When I consider you a friend, it takes huge changes to take that away. Almost nothing rises to the level it would take for me to walk away from a friend. When this happens from the other side and someone walks away from me I tend to question whether it was a friendship in the first place.

For any of you who know me, or have read my blog for a period of time, you know that I have really had some struggles lately. I have not been at my best for some time now. I try really hard to make sure I am doing what I need to do and taking care of things to the best of my ability, but that best has not been up to what it could be. These changes will come and I will find myself in a more stable and happy place in the next few months but this has been tough; years of tough. I am strong, but I get tired sometimes. I am not complaining because I know we create and constantly re-create our own lives and as I alluded to above, I think all of this has been necessary preparation to what is coming. I just don’t understand how a friend walks away during a crisis like that because of a mis-step, or even a few of them. The answer is, he doesn’t. He was not your friend.

This is just another shattered illusion. An illusion that I am still subject to because in the particular case I am referencing, I thought we were becoming closer. He had helped me do something that was fun and I thought he did it to help. He just did it because it was fun. In his heart, our friendship had run its course, (his words) and I failed to recognize this in him. When you are dealing with someone who sees you on that level, it does just take a mis-step. It can poison other relationships and cause others to fall away as well. This is a painful but necessary reality and I don’t have time for relationships like that. What hurts the most is what he thought I thought of him. My actions, or failure to act, made him feel like he didn’t matter. It was never the case, but I’m letting go. Communication is a necessary part of any relationship and it was not there.

Krishnamurti said “all pain is due to clinging.” Letting go hurts until you have succeeded. Healing hurts until you are healed. It is a process, like all else in the universe. Sickness is a process. It is an alteration from natural process, but a process none the less. It becomes the new normal and then to alter the process again, rebalancing the physical, emotional or mental processes takes time, and it hurts like hell. When a new normal is achieved and in this case a healthy state, you don’t hurt anymore.

I’m still looking forward to that day, but every one of the illusions that break lead me closer to actuality. I would rather be alone than have false friends, a dysfunctional marriage, a Soul sucking job, or an addiction. I am letting go and I know that when I am done, when I have succeeded, I will be happy.

It’s already starting.

The Journey – The Next Steps

I am very fortunate in the people I have in my life. A dear friend told me that she hopes I do transform my life and don’t fall into complacency because I have found work in my old field. It has been over a week now since I wrote but I am not becoming complacent. I am glad I have an income and that aspect of the urgency of my situation is gone, but this has never been just about getting a job. That was just the first step. I have stopped the bleeding, to an extent, but the universe has not given me so much that I can stop striving because I still need to sell my house to make it on my new income.

There is more. I spoke to my wife yesterday and she was different. She was a bit guarded and protective of herself. I felt for the first time that I was “outside the wire” in her mind and heart. She has had that place for me for some time now and I have felt like I had to manage our relationship from a different perspective. We are breaking up and it becomes more real with every passing day. I think its good that she is thinking and feeling that way but it did hit home. We were so close and shared so much and that part of our lives is over now. It is not easy, but I had to remind myself of the freedom into which we are both moving. It is good.

My friend Liz is headed this way this afternoon from Florida. We are going to take a look at a property in the mountains that is for sale. It is a Cabin rental place that I would like to use for spiritual retreats. That is what we were working on in Crestone as well at a place called the Temple of Consciousness, but that idea was not workable. This one is self sustaining and profitable as it is. I would like to add services and offer it to groups to come into the mountains to learn all forms of Yoga and Meditation. We can add musical events and I’m thinking about the possibilities of turning one of the cabins into a meeting place. This is a dream I have had for a really long time and I looked at this particular place a few years ago. It did not sell and now it is back on the market. I have some money but not enough and Liz an I are hoping to pull together a coalition to buy the place and I will move out there to run it. My wife was against this, but she, and the obstacle she represented in so many areas of my life are no longer relevant, at least in that regard. I will miss her in so  many ways, but that is not one of them.

I don’t know how I will pull this off, but weirder things have happened. I think it was Bob Proctor who said if you can articulate the hows at the same time you are formulating a goal, the goal is too small. This goal must be the right size because I have no idea how I am going to make it happen. I am staying in possibility mode. The house will sell. I will have enough money to be a serious participant with “skin in the game” so to speak. I am looking at this as a way to serve and I will do whatever it takes to make this happen, either here and now or some time in the future. Those are the ingredients of success.  If you study the most successful people in the world you will find that they have some things in common. Among them are a clear vision of what they wanted (needed) to accomplish, the courage to take the necessary steps and risks, and they would not be deterred. I am not going to be a sales engineer for the rest of my life. I am taking the necessary steps in order to ensure that as an outcome without being attached to any specific route or result. That is being open to possibilities and the guidance of my higher self.

 

The Journey – Getting Back to Work

I am writing this post for the second time, which is kind of frustrating. Creativity flows in certain ways at certain times and that flow means this post will not be the same as it was the first time I wrote it and subsequently lost it in cyberspace, despite multiple saves of the draft. If you don’t like this, I’ll have to hide behind the idea that it was better the first time I wrote it.

Anyway, I was finally offered, and did accept a job on Thursday and I will start Monday morning. This is a relief on certain levels and a disappointment on some others. It is in the line of work I was in prior to my last job, which I really loved and hoped to continue. I will be an engineer in a security systems integration company. It is the large company which interviewed me for the first time over 2-1/2 months ago. It happened in a very interesting way.

The universe has a way of letting you know when the time is right for a change. I have been looking for months and have not had a single offer despite a career in the field spanning more than 3 decades. I was still up for two positions here in the Denver area and didn’t know what was going to happen if I didn’t get either of these jobs. The big company wanted to see me one more time, and I figured it was just a formality and I would get an offer. The small company promised me an offer letter by Friday. So, I am ready for my meeting and waiting for them in the conference room and my rock climbing buddy Jason texts me. I gave him a quick answer and the gentleman who were to interview me walked in the room.

We had our conversation and there were a couple of minor concerns. I answered their questions sufficiently and  he pulled out a packet of information including an offer letter and some disclosure forms. I had the job. Somewhere right around then my phone had beeped from a message or email coming in. We were talking casually while he handed me paperwork we were going to go through and he asked me how many of Colorado’s 14ers (14,000′ peaks) I had climbed, it was something in “other interests” that was on my resume. I explained that I had done 23 of them but hadn’t done an ascent in a year or two and that I had been doing some rock climbing. I noted that the phone beeping a moment earlier was probably my rock climbing partner. It wasn’t.

We went over the paperwork and I walked out with a job. I was to head straight for my drug test around the corner and report for work Monday morning. I checked my phone and saw that the beep was from an email, not Jason texting me. It was the offer letter from the other company. Are you getting the significance of that? After more than 3 months of looking without a single offer, I get two simultaneously. I am literally in the meeting being offered a job when the other is offered at the same moment via email. I guess it’s time to get back to work… but not just on the JOB.

I have been given a break and some breathing room, but not a dream job. Working at the last dealer I mentioned in a post a week or so ago was crushing. I stopped teaching, the newsletter from Higher-Ground.com was abandoned, and I kind of receded from the world. It took away all of my energy like a psychic vampire. Getting the dream job took away that soul crushing influence, but it did not get me back to work. I did finish the book during that time, and that is an accomplishment, but hose final edits should not have taken me that long and I literally finished it as the job ended.

I am in a position now where rather than forwarding my career as the primary concern, I have a simple job I can do while I’m sleeping and I can once again turn my efforts to my writing and teaching, as well as music. The book is done and I have a graphic artist working on a cover, but that is really the beginning of the work. Getting that book into the hands of people who it can help is the real job, and its time to get back to work. The message is clear. This has never been a simple quest for a new job to replace the old one. I am re-inventing myself on many levels and this was a necessary first step.

My Soul guides my life and it has brought me to this point. What is guiding you?

The Journey – Baby Steps and Emotional Peace

On the job front, I still haven’t had an offer. Somehow, even though every day that passes makes the situation just a little more urgent, I have come to a place of peace inside the madness. I am still in the running for the two positions I thought I would have offers for as I type this so, nothing has changed. I had a second meeting with one, and the other company which I have been in communication with for over two months wants to meet with me one more time. Like in any other situation the quantum leap is often preceded by countless baby steps toward the goal.

I saw a Facebook post the other day attributed to J. Krishnamurti. It said something like “my secret, I am not bothered by what happens.” I don’t know if he said it or not but I have read a couple of his books and seen him speak, and it sounds like him. It also sounds like a good way to live. Eckard Tolle came up in the interview I had yesterday; yes it is odd, but it happened. One of his points is similar in tone. He said “Don’t confuse your life with your life circumstances.” The circumstances of my life could be seen as troubling but my life is not. I am healthy, strong, pretty well centered, and given the circumstances, pretty happy most of the time.

There is another old saying which I’d like to refute. “If you are not upset you don’t understand whats really going on.” Its funny, but the opposite is true. If you are upset, you don;t really know what is going on. Allowing circumstances which life presents as beyond your control (note those words) to dictate your emotional state, will diminish your ability to deal with those circumstances. I cannot control the happenings in the world, because I am not the only creative intelligent sentient being in the equation. What I do have the ultimate power to control is my own response because I can control the response mechanism, my personality. This consists of my physical, emotional and mental apparatus. The me that most people believe is “self.” The fact that I can control it, and the reason I can control it is because it is not the “self” but merely a tool (or combination of tools) of the self. The me that makes me, me, is my true self expressing through another mechanism which religious teachings call the Soul.

Once you are truly on the path to self realization (again, note those words), the Soul is the driving force in your unfoldment. You have taken your conscious evolution in to your own hands, so to speak, and while you may not always understand the “why” of it all, what is going on around you has a purpose. That purpose is in fact, your conscious evolution. Sometimes it hurts, as all healing does. If your emotional nature was driving your life then that would be the only thing that mattered. In my case it is not. That does not mean I don’t feel, or that I recommend that you become an un-feeling mental robot. Quite the opposite. You can feel fear and move forward into a situation anyway. We call that courage. You can feel hurt and do what is necessary. That can bee seen as anything from grace under pressure to nobility, and requires courage as well. The fearless leader is a fool. The one who knows the perils but does what needs to be done with conscious intent is a real leader.

I am not afraid in this situation because what is “me” is not in danger. The circumstances of my life are changing and I am hurting because of the loss of things to which I still have a tendency to cling. That is in line with another of Krishnamurti’s pronouncements, “all pain is due to clinging.” The Buddha gave similar advice. Letting go is hard and it hurts but there will be peace when the process hits a certain point. I am learning every day through this painful process but I have not let the pain overtake me. I have more than 14 years sober and have not turned back to that crutch. I am still in very good control of the anger that used to drive my life. I have allowed that to surface in moments of weakness, but just those moments. This too shall pass and on the other side of this deluge I will emerge and be a better man for having endured it. “That which does not destroy me only makes me stronger.” Nietzsche

I am going to be one strong son of a bitch when this does pass….

 

The Journey – Letting Go

I talked briefly about the fact that sometimes it is necessary to take interim measures in the growth process, which in my case represents accepting a job which doesn’t feel like a step forward. Its important that you don’t lose sight of the vision when you take such a step. It is strategic and tactical simultaneously as long as the future goal is kept in mind. What I found was that I needed to let go of the attachment to what I considered to be forward movement into a “better” job. I am inherently a very loyal person and don’t like the idea of taking a job that I don;t want and leaving it quickly. The fact is that there is no loyalty on the other side of the equation and to any employer who might wonder if a new hire would be prone to leave for more money has to realize that if it is in his best interest as a business he would just as quickly let the new hire go.From my point of view I don’t know whether they think I am long term or not and that can change the moment a big account goes away, as it did on my last job.

In the bigger picture, the immediacy of the need for an income falls away when I consider the rest of what is going on in my life. There is no doubt that I already miss my wife, and putting the house up for sale has brought a tangible reality to the ending of an era in my life. We were together nearly twenty years. We lived in that house for more than nine. I built my studio in there and we went through good and bad times. Now everything is changing at once and if I don’t have the ability to let go I will drive myself insane.

Detachment is an art, because at first thought it seems cold and un-feeling. Detaching emotionally does not mean ceasing to feel. It means doing what needs to be done as perceived on a mental level in spite of the emotional attachment to what is lost in the process. It is going away anyway. Allowing the pain to drive you back over and over into a situation that is not sustainable just causes more pain. Some people feel like pain or emotion is the only thing that is real but it is not. Feeling is not the only thing that makes me alive. Thinking through to a better situation will make me feel better. my father called the emotional nature an effective servant and a dangerous master. You can feel and use that side of your self to get in touch with some very important aspects of living. It is a beautiful part of living and fostering relationships on many levels, but if it is the driving force in your life you will suffer because that attachment will continue in spite of what is good for you in an overall sense.

I still love my wife, but our relationship is no longer a healthy one. It does not foster growth and expansion. Staying there really doesn’t solve even the problem of feeling loss. We have already lost the beauty of what was. Clinging to that loss just means living in it for a longer period of time, and feeling more pain. Moving on is a tough decision and feels cold but it will lead to the opportunity to love again, for both of us. Ending a job because it is a dead end and moving to a better opportunity is a similar move but doesn’t feel as evil as leaving your wife. I have had to contend with internal conflict of making sure this is not just dumping someone who is inconveniently going through something I don’t want to deal with. That would have been the case a couple of years ago and I did stay. Now, it has become evident that being together isn’t good for either of us. Its time to let go.

I believe in a way that this is why everything else has blown up in my face. The Soul has a way of guiding us gently, until we fail to take the gentle clues. Then things become tough. If we don’t do what needs to be done they become impossible. If this all didn’t go away at the same time I might have been unable to release the parts that were unhealthy, and I will tell you now that is precisely what was happening.

The Journey – Interim Measures

I had another experience in the hot springs that I haven’t told you about yet. It was morning and I had forgotten my sunglasses in my room so as the sun was coming up, still low on the horizon, I had my back to it and I was meditating alone in the tub. When I opened my eyes the shadow of my head and shoulders on the bottom of the tub were surrounded by the apparent waves of light caused by the refraction of the sunlight by the movements of the water. When I moved the waves caused interference patterns and the little whirlpools that the movements made cast shadows on the bottom of the tub like little black holes. When I was still enough for long enough I could actually see the effects of my breathing on the patterns of light surrounding my silhouette.

We are all surrounded in and engulfed by a sort of clear jello that responds to our movements on varying planes of manifestation. The water is just a thicker medium which impedes our movements to a greater degree and slows the response enough for us to notice it. The air vibrates in response to our speech and flows around us responding to our movements. Our emotional states radiate out from us in a similar manner. We can only sense these if we are tuning in to them consciously or if they are very violent. Not violent as in physical violence, but tumultuous. When we are still we can sense the more subtle ones, but how often are you still?. Even thoughts radiate from us and can be sensed by others who are “on our wavelength.”

I have been talking about my job search because that is the most apparent aspect of this process of re-inventing myself and it is the most (apparent) immediate need. We need money to live, but I will not likely get to live the way I envision my life moving forward without taking an interim step. I don’t want to work in the security industry any more, and especially for an installing dealer. What came out of the walkabout/ break I took was that even if I do have to take a job which feels like a step backward, it is a temporary step. Many of us in similar positions will have to take those steps. If you look back a couple of posts you’ll find the story of the financial services guy shining shoes. It doesn’t have to feel like all of my progress is gone. If I believe that it does than that is what I am creating and making real within my own consciousness. I will be radiating that into my world on mental and emotional, and even physical planes because it will effect my demeanor, and even my health. What are you radiating out into your world? It will be reflected back at you so all you need to do is look at your current circumstances and you will know. I feel more positive about the future because I let go of the negative side of getting a job that is not my ideal. That will come but it may not come immediately. I just have to keep working on it, and so do you.

It is not easy to keep your chin up when it feels like you are being punched in the face, but it is worth it.

The Journey – Horizontal Drift

So, I am back in Denver and had a great trip with some revelations, good and bad. Sometimes its necessary to take a break and do a self check to see if your going nutso or if you are on the right track. In my case I think both are true. I did go a little nutso, evidenced by my telling you all of this out loud and on-line. Scary stuff, but I’m not going to stop. I met an interesting guy this morning at a hot springs place I stayed last night. I needed a bed and this place has great water apparently with lots of lithium in it as well as other trace minerals. Its called Joyful Journeys. Anyway he had worked in politics and was a type “A” high achiever and had walked away from it. He does some state level stuff now but not the high pressure stuff that was eating him alive.

At one point he brought up a concept that uses a surfing term. When surfers paddle out past the breakers to wait for the next set of waves they just kind of tread water while they wait. The are not going out further and not coming in either but as the waves pass them the current moves them down the shoreline. They call this “horizontal drift.” In a sense that is where i am right now. Its like being in limbo and waiting for your fate but without the negative connotation. Patience is called for because you don’t want the next wave, you want the right wave. One that will carry you all the way in.

I do have choices. I am good at a lot of things. The right opportunity will present itself and I will recognize it, as long as I am watching. Then comes the time to paddle like hell to stay in front of it until you are carried along on it’s down slope which is continually generated behind you as you go. Interesting parallels to my situation. I got another lead today from the same recruiter and this one is in Denver, and it’s not a dealer. This could be it. But it may still be just an interim measure.

I am working on something in Crestone and with the sale of my house I may invest in a business. It won’t be shining shoes but I have some ideas. I have been doing some consulting work, which sounds fancier than it is. I’m just kind of doing little things for lots of people instead of lots of things for one company.

As far as the job search itself is concerned I did get a hit from my re-tooled resume and had a good phone interview from a cafe in Crestone. I mentioned two guys who I know that are working for this manufacturer and neither one of them could find it in their hearts to give me a nod. One said he wouldn’t hire me and the other couldn’t even say yes or no. Neither of these guys had any reason not to recommend me. One took over part of my responsibilities at a former blood sucking employer and left in less than a year. The other I just know in a surface way but he has pretended to be my friend and knows my last employer for decades. I don’t know who said what but it really doesn’t matter.

The guy who interviewed me is brand new with the company, which is a manufacturer. With regard to these two men, I think I’d rather be me than him. He has these two working for him. I now know that I can’t trust them and will never deal with either of them again. Be careful as to who you ask for help and who’s name you drop in this process. I would have been better off on my own. Its better to struggle to climb back up on your own when your hanging from the edge than to use one of you hands to reach out for something that’s not there.

The Journey – A quick update

So, I talked yesterday about the resume review and the fact that I updated mine and sent it out to a couple of recruiters. There has been a job opening for a manufacturer as a Sales Engineer that I first heard about at the end of March. They have had my resume since then and I have heard nothing. Late yesterday morning I checked email from this great little Cafe in Crestone and I have an interview scheduled. The resume that was attached with the recruiter’s notification… The new one. I only sent that out days ago. Just scored one against the machines. Its easier to fight the battle when you know who your opponent is.

I had a good night last night camping by a creek. I grabbed my camera and took a walk around the campsite and saw a trail head. I ended up doing about a five mile hike. I do like walking alone, in silence, but I found myself talking through some things. I don;t know where all of this is leading but its OK. I could end up with a security job again and I could even end up with another dealer. You do what you need to do, but stay open to all possibility. I could end up living at an Ashram and writing and teaching, recording music and helping people as a vocation. What better job than that?