2015 in Review

IMG_3638I am thinking lately where I was same time last year and remember feeling fair–that at least I was still intact, moving forward and finishing strong.  I would say the same is true for this year but so much more.  As 2015 progressed, I was growing more into my authentic self.  It is indeed a liberating experience. Once there is acceptance, the pace picks up, and life is a rolling stone going downhill.  I feel the power of the present with the notion that my life is also just ahead of me.  I think of my young nephews and how fearless, rambunctious and magical they are–so much hope living inside of them.  I see the goodness of this existence, and I don’t want to miss it anymore because quite frankly it’s much too short to be feeling otherwise.  Here’s hoping 2016 is another adventure, whether it’s crossing a long desert or wide ocean, let it be one more journey to the center of my soul.

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Child’s Play: Our last day in Hawai’i

Moments of Clarity

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Yosemite National Park

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Yosemite National Park

I typically post an entry every month, but due to technical difficulties courtesy of my good ole domain name keeper Startlogic and July being rather jam-packed with summer activity, it couldn’t be helped that I had to skip a month.

I know no one wants summer to end, but I sense in no time, that of course it will. This transitional period between summer and autumn is my ultimate favorite, I told a friend on Facebook today.  It’s as though the direction of the wind has changed. Like clockwork, I’m getting my second wind once again. It’s only appropriate that it should come after a very close friend had come to visit me in San Francisco. The last time she was here was apparently 14 years ago, so she was due and so was I. Quite frankly, I really hadn’t been myself the first half of the year. I felt rushed and hurried most of the time, perhaps even lost, simply winging it.

As happy as two peas in a pod.

Blowing in the Wind: A friendship that’s stronger than ever.

Carmen has a way of centering me that no one else can. In that breath, that moment, the past just falls away, and I begin to understand how it’s about passing to the other side and seeing things as they are. This sounds oddly Buddhist, and we even had a long debate about whether Buddhism should be considered a religion (par for the course during our college days and thereafter). Whatever the case may be, her visit was not only heartfelt, but also soul-replenishing.

Our day trip to Yosemite National Park, in my opinion one of the most spiritual places on the planet, was a perfect tableau of our seven-day journey together. We weren’t always so cordial to one another 24-7, but it was all part of the odyssey. Happiness is discovered in our travels not the destination.

When I wrote this entry, I was at lunch before returning to work for a performance review. My mind was clear, in spite of the cacophony of sounds and car horns and the murmur of the lunchtime crowd in the city. The bamboo plant next to me was telling me so.

Lunchtime Rumination: Bamboo speaking

Lunchtime Rumination: Bamboo speaking and I’m listening.

 

 

A Sea Change

Harnessing the constant movement of life is a tricky feat.

Harnessing the constant movement of life is a tricky feat.

Change regardless how simple does shake one’s equilibrium.  It’s like having a new body.  I have to re-orient myself to a better way of living, more in the affirmative rather than having to hide my talents, needs and authentic self for fear of rejection.  I know this sounds so Oprah-ish. I guess I am volunteering to fill some of the void since she is no longer part of the collective consciousness on a regular basis.

Perhaps the trick is to simply sit on a rock and be.

Perhaps the solution is to simply perch on a rock and be.

As this new phase in my life is taking shape, it has also opened up more “space,” which I’m tempted to fill.  However, I’m mindful of that at times it’s just best to leave it alone and accept it for all its simplicity and what it could teach me–to be.

It’s something I haven’t intentionally paid attention to when I had to put my focus on, say, work, and I had to create opportunities, as minuscule as they were at the time, that cumulatively led to pivotal breakthroughs until a major one presented itself.  I know this is getting way too philosophical.  But the fact I have a choice between the two or a panoply of options puts me in an unusual, dare I say, power position, that I’m slowly yet surely figuring out how to handle.

Grace of My Heart

Hanna?

Could this pup be my beloved Hanna?

I chronicled being rehired by a past employer a year ago and since then, some interesting episodes have occurred that really do not need any in the way of explanation just acceptance.  As a friend said,  spiritual awakenings can only mean good things.

In Catholic school, I was taught grace as “God’s life in us,” but I was never consciously aware how it was playing a role in my life until now.  There is an invisible hand that is somehow encouraging and moving me through each day.  For instance, I wondered whether the dog outside Hillstone’s restaurant was the same canine playing on the lawn seven years ago.  It had the same color fur but looked leaner.   It was too much to ask for it to be the golden retriever that often lifted my workdays.   However, it is a comfort, knowing there is indeed grace to give proper perspective and a ray of hope in an often cold and heartless world.

The Road Less Traveled I returned to a book I had previously read called “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck,  M.D., and it speaks to me even more profoundly today, as I absorbed whole passages while waiting for an oil change one weekend.   I followed it up with Phil Stutz and Barry Michel’s “The Tools,” which teaches how to get unstuck and be more of a creator rather than a reactor in life.  Their ideas actually support Dr. Peck’s more than 30 years ago, although they center more on practical methods over on-the-couch self-analysis.

Life is difficult, this much is true.  The whole point is to get through it with the proper tools and coping skills and grow from challenges and failures.  Oftentimes, we want a magic pill to make everything better when in fact there really is none.  We just have to get on with it and carry on because the joy on the other side is commensurate to or may even exceed how much we had to struggle.