career

howl

Posted on Updated on

“It is the rub that polishes the jewel,” Enso Roshi says. “Nobody ever gets to nirvana without going through samsara. Nobody ever gets to heaven, without going through hell. The center of all things, the truth, is surrounded by demons.”  ― T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken
“It is the rub that polishes the jewel,” Enso Roshi says. “Nobody ever gets to nirvana without going through samsara. Nobody ever gets to heaven, without going through hell. The center of all things, the truth, is surrounded by demons.”
― T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken

a silver lining in the sky has recently been revealed in my world. it is completely unexpected and its warmth has emanated to my core. i don’t know where it will lead or how long it will be in my world, however i intend to do my very best to bask in the light of the spirit. i am nonplussed. all i can do is scream through the fear and run towards the light. thank you universe for the opportunity to be surprised. and thank you friends for believing in me when i am not sure i was able to believe in myself.

I’m coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show

There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I wanna give
I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never knew it
Ooh, I’ll make it through

The time has come for me
To break out of this shell
I have to shout
That I am coming out

….. lyrics bernard evans and nile rogers..

stretch

Posted on

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Walsh
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Walsh

wow

wow

double wow

and wow to the 3rd power

what is that saying? “more shall be revealed”

such is the slogan for the snapshot of my life right now. i understand now some of the reasons i stepped away from management those years ago. it holds challenges for me that had slipped into the mists. i was raised an only child and i struggle to this day in a “family’ environment. it isn’t second nature as it may be for others. i have been reminded almost daily that i have growing up to do- and my life invites me to grow patience and understanding.

of course i am really hoping (banking too) on my ability to stretch from my comfort zone here. certainly part of me is full of fear. it hurts to stretch and i can almost hear a cracking sound as my ego encounters its safety net.. there is an aspect of me though that fills with hope like a crushed plastic bottle regains it shape after being squeezed flat. my soul might very well be giving a metaphorical “ahhh”!

i hope so. i really hope so. i like the new direction.

an unexpected pairing

Posted on Updated on

There's monsters in all of us, but there's also vulnerability. Finn Wittrock
There’s monsters in all of us, but there’s also vulnerability.
Finn Wittrock

well my friends- wonders never cease. a decision was made to get back into the management side of work. after the last few years and positions left me wading through frustration because decisions that were made regarding direction and implementation without much input from me.

i had left management because i became so frustrated with managing people. it felt much more like childsitting. what was more frustrating though was that leadership felt hollow and foreign and completely disconnected from me.

i managed a bucketshop for international ticketing in colorado for 12 years for a relative and his best friend from college. the business grew from a meagre $1M in sales to $17M after 10 years. we grew a wholesale niche of our business as we had become so adept at growing the retail aspect of our business. it felt quite a feat to sell directly to our competition and have them feel fairly confident about buying from us because we were closer and felt more reliable that the bucket shops on either of the coasts.

1988- 1998 was a giddy and madcap time in my life. i joined the lgbt mixed chorus and sang with them for several years, making new friends who had the chorus in common with me. i drank way too much then to douse my feelings as i was still waiting to die at any moment from aids. i had tested positve in 1985 and had moved to colorado in 1988 with the intention of dying. i worked on the travel company as a distraction the darker fears. it worked well. but i managed to over-imbibe myself into a year’s probation and an emotional break which caused me to leave being in charge behind. i haven’t looked back until late last year. upon taking yet another glass ceiling position, i was swirling in the stench of professional and creative stagnation and opted to take a big leap of faith.

mind you- after having survived the death knoll and surviving the grimm reaper shadowing my door as well as losing everything material and spiritual to addiction, the fear of losing everything has lost much of its impact. i know i have survived so much and have faith that i will somehow be able to do it again if required. but really i needed a challenge. i needed something to yank my chain and fill my heart and mind with wonder and hope.

and amidst the pages of this queer and colorful storybook in which i have taken a position, i have perhaps tapped the tree of life and am catching its sap in to quench a thirst.

i have been promoted and am at liberty to implement some changes and ideas and programs into several small SA/MH clinics in our state. I am at liberty to train recovery coaches. i am encouraged to create a small community of peer coaches and peer supporters to help my community feel better about itself. i hope to leave my world and my workplace much better than i found it.

“And as the years flowed by, some villagers told travelers of a beast and a beauty who lived in the castle and could be seen walking on the battlements, and others told of two beauties, and others, of two beasts.”
Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins

new things i love

Posted on

needed a new ride
needed a new ride- at least it’s a hybrid

 

couple of updates for December 1, 2014…

 

mulligatawny

Posted on Updated on

Fools wait for a lucky day but every day is a lucky day for an industrious man
Fools wait for a lucky day
but every day is a lucky day
for an industrious man

 

have had a sinus infection for over 2 weeks now.

individual nature continues to go in the direction it always has. the position i find myself standing in often reflects the position one which i have been facing before.

the onset of worry is sometimes like the blanket i use to keep my body warm while i sleep.

the business of selling myself has developed a ritualistic and spiral flavor.

i lost touch with my sense of kindness recently as i felt hurt by indifference.

i feel vindicated as i take refuge in a shelter from the elements, but this break from my path has cost time.

what good is a win if it takes a toll in serenity?

as the earth moves on, so must we.

forgiveness rarely keeps us stuck.

 

 

is that all there is???

Posted on Updated on

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire. I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement. I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"... peggy lee
I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself,
“Is that all there is to a fire?”… peggy lee

am trying to reconcile the events of the last 2 months. had been working on a program for a couple of years and giving a big slice of my time and energy. shifts in philosophy at the workplace brought disenchantment on my part and lifted the veil on a sense of futility i’m a survivor but not a fighter. after about 6 months of realizing that the program in question was merely a photo-shopped image in a frame meant to allude to a scope of success that wasn’t real. it is like the cory gardner tv political ads showing him with his grandmother, in a local diner, and hiking in some “dick’s sporting goods” couture silently infers that he is simple folk. he is a social climber first, mountain climber last. so it was with my last project. it was treatment compliance first, recovery much much later ( if ever it might seem)

this revelation shattered my orbit. and i responded as i repeatedly do. i walked away. ready to start over. as is my experience. as is my modus operandi. this character defect may very well need to be examined or no doubt it will rear its howling head.

the next move taken seemed effortless. it required no thought or real energy and provided a six-week vacation which was both fulfilling and draining at the same time. turns out that living without a connection to inspiration is harder than working an 80 hour week. and it turns out that the easy button remains a ghost ideal in my story. very little of any real value will fall gently upon my desk. the value in living accompanies the game, the strategy, the problem solving, and most importantly the motivation. swimming in a sea of malcontent clogs the pores of inspiration. and creativity doesn’t respond well to regulary fired dismissives. it’s like a dog that continually urinates on a patch of the lawn until its dead.

without buy-in, my life is just a read-through and frankly, there’s not that much life yet to waste.

odd turn of events just now though. had submitted resumes to 3 organizations and just today received a call for an interview.  drawing conclusions, making assumptions about future events is not my strong suit. starting over is well within my skill set. probably one of my sharpest tools. but the same old same old does not feel as comfortable as it has before. is it ennui? i it melancholy? is that all there is?

mebbe this post can be viewed as an affirmation. with regard to personal growth, it would be an adventure to not repeat my routine.

on another melancholy note… i remember seeing peggy lee live at the drury lane theater in chicago in the late 70’s during my short stint as a cosmetology student at ippilito’s school in the suburbs. the stage had oxygen blowing directly on her because her COPD was so advanced. the show was sublime and that is another show whose memory i will covet until the end.

 

sunsets, nostalgia, and the promise of a new day

Posted on

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”  ― Ray Bradbury
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
― Ray Bradbury

as a result of my recent resignation from the workplace, an ask of direction as well as intention seems a good next step. one could wonder if perhaps i might have benefitted from taking the time to do this seriously prior to stepping through the next appearing doorway. but that particular hindsight may have no influence here.

this blog falls under the purview of this next step. started blogging during my 3rd year of recovery about 2006. it was fun then taking on a new hobby. it felt clunky and i didn’t have a road map. there were online communities and instructions, but that is not how i have ever learned a skill (this trait still holds true). i remember when i got my first comment on my blog from a fellow blogger from idaho who was struggling with some similar issues as well as  struggling with his life choices. it is an instant recall to muster the excitement and validation i felt when some unknown soul from outside my own personal universe connected with my journey. i was hooked and soon i had fashioned a support network of seekers from around the globe which was less demanding and intimate than my friends in real life. it extended my outreach and influence, while at the same time i stunted my emotional growth experience.

but as my recovery journey emanated beyond the blog-o-sphere  and co-mingled with my career path my inspiration and artistic freedom shrank. although blogging remains a vital spiritual practice for me, the profile of this practice has diminished these 8 years. the output is restricted to internal struggles, the organically embedded love of music woven through me, and reposted images and graphics. many times, i find myself sitting in front of the keyboard engaging in a sort of improvisational blogging, drawing inspiration from a found jpg or png, or a swirling few tidbits of a newly discovered or recently remembered melody or lyric. it is mostly rote and completely routine providing more reassurance to me than release. i am more connected with the process than i am with the content. it has become more objectively introspective than externally exploration and  provides the sustenance of a snack now than the meal it served up at the start of it all. i now possess a sense of ownership rather than the inspiration i once knew.

i long for a rekindling of my spiritual connectedness to this process. i continue to resonate with a life built upon shame based trauma. it is a reflection of my own story, but i don’t seem to have gained insight by a continued stream of internal review.

just as it became appropriate to transition from journalling about addiction, treatment, hiv, meth, and rogue sexual ideology to the more reflective topic of long-term recovery, it  now seems time to channel a new muse.

i am unsure if i am too weathered to begin all over. i long to use personally generated graphics and images at least as a philosophy and a cornerstone of my product. it seems imperative to extend my view outward and process my experience from an evolved vantage point.

 

slam dancing redux

Posted on Updated on

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run – Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!!!!.... Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!!!!…. Rudyard Kipling

“i don’t feel as if im set up to succeed here. i have a brief manual to go by, but i don’t feel comfortable asking you questions because when i do,  i feel shamed  with your responses.”

shame is your word. i understand that there are many components to your job. it’s 12 pages after all. but everything is written down. the people you have interacted with are very happy and feel very good with the style you work with. but we are not a counseling agency. the other employee has made herself available to answer your questions. but i just don’t see an effort from you. 

“i feel good about the job and the many different aspects of it. but this (hand motioning towards one then the other) doesn’t feel good to me. i am considering what to do. you need to let me know how much time you need if i decide to move on.  it would be better to leave this in as positive a light as possible.” 

this parceled jumble tosses round and round in my head. the string of it that remains tethered to my soul is best described by the concept that i talk with someone in an authority role about my feelings and i receive a hybrid of criticism, discount, and blame for expressing them. let me be clear here- lives do not depend upon my decisions. the actions which affect the direct quality of life would be those that i am interacting with outside the confines of the office. no- the actions i speak of are documenting and reporting issues. and i’m certain you can deduce from my description that these aspects of the workload do not come before people in my mind.

i honestly cannot decipher whether this is real or a reduction of my own personal drama or simply my truth which i must shoulder.  in any case, i recognize these dance moves through cellular memory. i have promised myself that i don’t need to live within the confines of this brand of oppression and dismissal. i can do the waltz or a slow dance. i can dance by myself or be still.  i deserve more. and so i seek more.

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us; it’s no use!

Society’s arms of control
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
Think they’re smart; can’t think for themselves
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
Laugh at us behind our backs
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
I find satisfaction in what they lack
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us; it’s no use!

We are tired of your abuse

Try to stop us; it’s no use!

We are born with a chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
I am gonna have my chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
We are born with a chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
And I am gonna have my chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!!!.. black flag

come in from the rain

Posted on Updated on

"We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it." - Shunryu Suzuki
“We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it.” – Shunryu Suzuki

our nature is simply our nature. it is often said “don’t play in a lightning storm” yet so many of us do exactly that. i have been doing something very near anyway. my supervisions these last 2 months have been charged with condescension, passive aggresive projection, posturing, and hyper i’m-right-edness. needless to say it has been equally toxic and exhaustive.today i decided to take cover.it hur no more dancing in a lightning storm. it hurts too much. it just hurts too damn much.

taking chances has a way of becoming just that- chance. probablility and outcome influence my every move. i took a chance. and i am tumbling. i got burnt. gave me a boo boo. now what to do.

come in from the rain.

and then what?

Well, hello there
Good old friend of mine
You’ve been reaching for yourself
For such a long time
There’s so much to say
No need to explain
Just an open door for you
To come in from the rain

It’s a long road
When you’re all alone
And someone like you
Will always take the long way home
There’s no right or wrong
I’m not here to blame
I just want to be the one
Who keep you from the rain
From the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
And wiser
I know I am

‘Cause I think of us
Like an old cliche
But it doesn’t matter
‘Cause I love you anyway
Come in from the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
But Wiser
I know I am

 

a brush stroke

Posted on

“We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society.  It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others....Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.”  ― Pema Chödrön
“We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don’t like about our associates or our society.
It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others….Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.”
― Pema Chödrön

 

once in a while i become aware that the flow of life is really happening without my input. the sun rises, the sun travels across the sky, and the sun recedes from the sky and not once have i been consulted or my opinion sought out.

the thought of this used to frighten me immensely, but now it’s a reality that gives me comfort. it connects me to the knowledge that i am only a part of the painting that is life not the painting itself.

 

it’s such a big relief to not be in charge.