Posts Tagged ‘applied spirituality’

Fashionably Late

April 24, 2016

Smelling like candy.

“You always smell so good,” she said to me last night as I gave her a hug good night after a brief check in about when we were going to be meeting this weekend.

“You smell like candy.”

“Good,” I replied, “I’ve got a date.”

And like that.

I smelled like sex and candy.

Just in case you were wondering where I was last night.

Ahem.

Procrastinating the inevitable work that I need to do for school but having fun.

I finally get what people have been trying to tell me for so long.

Date a bunch of guys, don’t focus on one, have fun, and it’s interviewing for possible dates.

I had a nice time, it was a sweet experience, and at times a bit telling on our age difference, I wanted to pinch his cheeks at one point and tell him how cute he was, but that probably wouldn’t have been too sexy for him.

“You had me at ‘I can cook’,” he said kissing me and throwing me down on my bed.

And later.

“You are wild,” he said with a gleam in his eye.

Nah.

I’m just me.

I’m exuberant.

But I suppose for some people that looks like wild.

I like to have fun, safe fun, I’m not stupid, about my space, my heart, or my body, I’m clearly delineating certain things from certain places.

“That really surprises me!” She said tonight, “I mean, I thought guys asked you out all the time.”

“Not in the rooms,” I said, “in fact, I have been only asked out once in eleven years.”

And I said yes.

Just in case you were wondering.

But I don’t muck about in the rooms.

I don’t.

I would love to, but I just don’t want to sully the waters that make me well.

That being said, it is with my utmost fervent hope that I will be one day in a committed, sober, monogamous, fun, sexy, creative, hella happy, recovered romantic relationship.

Which does sort of mean being available to that energy and engaging with guys in my community.

But not getting laid there, I don’t want to be casual with any one in that way.

Unless they’re not in my regular sphere, yo over in Oakland, we might hit it, you know.

I’m being a bit flip, but I hold dear certain places and spaces.

Of course, I have monkeyed around, who hasn’t?

It can be like shooting fish in a barrel, but like I have heard often, “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

Ain’t that the truth.

“I think I’m just a big personality and I can come across as too much and I’m a strong woman,” I told the woman I was speaking with tonight.

I went to an awesome fundraiser, basically a rent party, for a place I frequent and heard a dear friend play an amazing set with some other friends.

They were outstanding.

Tom S. & The 5150’s.

Got to fucking love that.

They played “Little Red Corvette” as an encore and I started to cry.

There were more than a few wet faces in the audiences and we all shamelessly sang along to the song.

Then there was some dancing, a little MoTown dj action and I got my groove on, despite, or perhaps because I have been looking at what I need to do for school and I really didn’t do anything school related today.

I got up late, since, I er, went to bed late, heh, but I did get up in time to go to a 10:30 a.m. yoga class, I showered, did laundry, wrote, and tidied up, I had a phone call over coffee with a suitor–we have a date for next Saturday–and then I decided to go and get my nails done and take myself out for lunch.

Which led to me being in Green Apple Books and did I just spend another hour and a half not reading for school, but reading for pleasure?

Oops.

My bad.

I couldn’t help it though.

I am such a sucker for a good book store.

Then I went to do the deal and I ran into a bunch of folks and the next thing you know I’m at this rent party and singing with the band and dancing and holy mother, it’s 9:30 p.m. I haven’t been home all day, I need to do grocery shopping, I haven’t had dinner, and um, school work, um, ha.

Oh well.

I am actually really happy I let my hair down for a while and reconnected with friends I haven’t seen in a while and chatted and just had some social interaction, that wasn’t dating, and was fun and silly and chill.

I’ve got yoga in the morning, two ladies back to back, food prep to do for the week, and yes, I did do it, I have a coffee date and a walk on the beach for the afternoon.

When am I going to do school work?

Fuck if I know.

But I promise.

It will get done.

And I will keep letting myself have fun, as long as I’m taking good self-care.

If I was missing out on doing the deal or not meeting with my ladies or checking in with my people, then I would not be doing the dating thing.

And when I feel like I have to knuckle down and do the school work, I will do that.

I already know I ain’t doing shit next Sunday but writing a big paper and reading a lot.

I don’t have any dates planned for the week, just yoga and doing the deal, and of course working, I will get reading done every day before work.

And my stupid, annoying, perpetually obnoxious Applied Spirituality post will get in there too.  God I can’t stand this class, drives me bats, I’m already so spiritual yo, you can’t even realize, why I got to write a paper on it?

At least I know what I will be writing, the yoga continues to be a very mind expanding and heart opening experience.

As well as a fan-fucking-tastic work out, I broke a sweat today like no body’s business.

Life.

It is so good.

So real.

So full of fun.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Believe it.

Oh Hello

March 19, 2016

I said to my house with distinct pleasure when I walked in the door just a few minutes ago.

I had forgotten, completely, that I had got down on the house before work today.

Scrubbed the bathroom, swept the floors, dusted, took all the trash out, did the recycling, swiffered the floors, fuck, I even vacuumed.

It was sparkling when I came home and such a nice surprise.

I did a lot of things before work today.

Like.

Yes.

I sent in my amended tax statement.

I should be getting back $805 for the penalty I paid but turns out I didn’t need to.

It will take about three weeks to process.

I’m sure it will take longer than that and I don’t care, I’m not financially in straits, it just was a really good feeling, dare I say, adult, to print off the forms, sign them, affix the appropriate paper work to the form, seal them up in an envelope and drop it in the mail box.

I did not sit on it at all.

I took that bitch right out to the mailbox and mailed it.

I also went grocery shopping and sat down for a moment at the little parklet by the store and wrote out my mom a card.

Just because it’s nice to send mom a card once in a while and I was thinking about her.

I got back from the grocery store and had a half hour to “kill” before work.

I decided that since I’m working again tomorrow, four hours of active duty and then five hours when the boys will be sleeping, good excuse to work on my homework, maybe write that little two page paper I need to do for Multi-Culture class.

Oh.

Fuck.

I have to post to the fucking Applied Spirituality forum.

God damn it.

As you may have cottoned to.

I don’t like this class and I don’t often feel very spiritual about it when I think of the work that I am supposed to do.

But.

I get to do it and it’s due tomorrow?

Ack.

I better check that.

I could be due tonight.

Grrr.

Anyway, I can sort that out after I finish writing this blog.

I got my house clean because I knew it was the best thing to do.

And I am glad I did.

I am busy tomorrow.

I am meeting with my person and finishing reading her my inventory.

Then some lunch, a little lady time, mani/pedi.

Then off to the Mission.

I may have a few minutes to kick it around the hood.

I may not.

I have to be there at 5p.m.

I’m working until 2 a.m.

Then I have a ladybug coming over to do some doing the deal on Sunday at 1p.m.

And.

Heh.

I may have a date.

Not a Tinder date either.

(Oh so many “Nopes”)

I have been using the app but not so much action seems to be coming from it, but the Universe does seem to hear me say, hey I’m single and sexy and available for pursuing.

Let’s have fun.

That’s all this is about.

Having fun.

If it’s not fun, fuck it.

I’m not interested.

I don’t have enough time.

I do have time for hanging out and having a good time.

He’s going to call me on Sunday.

See that’s the nice thing.

We have already established that there is chemistry.

We did that when we exchanged phone numbers a couple of weeks ago.

He knew I was in school last weekend and working this week, but when he saw me he asked what I was doing this weekend and the possible time slot I was perhaps setting aside for a maybe Tinder date is now being held for him.

Which is nice.

Already know what he looks like and his age and his smile and I can say reality is a much nicer thing than a swipe on a phone.

That being said.

I will keep on keeping on.

As I was told.

There’s nothing wrong with the app, what needs to change is you.

Yup.

Change.

The only thing I can count on.

Change.

I have changed so much.

It really does amaze me and when I was riding up Lincoln today with a song in my heart, the trees in the park, the flowers blooming, the red tail hawk soaring, I felt uplifted and grateful and just fucking amazed at this life I have.

I have an amazing life.

I live in San Francisco.

I have great tattoos.

I have a scooter that’s completely paid in full.

I have a place to live that I can afford.

In San Francisco, let me repeat, afford.

(Although once in a while I still kick myself for turning down the Junior One Bedroom Studio on Valencia at 21st.  Oh how sweet would my commute be?  OH how cheap my rent would be.  It was $850 when I looked at it.  I turned it down because I thought the carpet was nasty and I wanted to explore living somewhere other than the Mission. D’oh!)

I am in graduate school.

I am doing well in graduate school.

I get to go to Burning Man.

For my tenth year in a row–a decade at Burning Man and no Burning Man tattoo, not that I am opposed to one but the Man symbol has never done it for me.

I get to go to New York in May and have a place to stay at a friends house in Brooklyn.

All these things.

And so much more.

Filtered through my heart, dripped down into my heart, and I breathed and laughed and could have cried, but I was scootering and didn’t want my vision impaired, so I held it down a little, but yeah, I was the girl on the scooter laughing with joy this afternoon.

Sometimes.

It just hits me and I am overwhelmed with the love and the living and all the fabulous things I get to do.

Even my Applied Spirituality class.

I get to do this.

I get to have these experiences.

Rock on life.

Let’s have a fan-fucking-tastic weekend.

Right.

 

Easing Back In

February 19, 2016

Not that I want to.

Nope.

Not at all.

I would rather just pretend that this week is pure and free and there’s nothing to do but hang out and walk the beach, drink coffee, write, color, chat with friends, go to cafes, connect with folks.

You know.

However.

I did gear back into the habit and routine of doing some reading for classes.

Of course.

I didn’t even make it through an entire article when I closed my eyes while I was reading on the chaise and I drifted off.

Fuck me.

Two days in a row with a nap.

Who is this person?

Well rested, that’s who.

And nicely set up for the weekend.

I have a yoga class, gulp, I’m taking tomorrow.

I am afraid.

I know that sounds silly.

But.

There it is.

I am afraid to do it wrong.

I am afraid to look stupid.

I am afraid I will love it and become one of those obnoxious yoga people that prance around town obnoxiously glowing and happy.

Wait.

I sort of want that.

Heh.

I remind myself that it is just showing up and that I am just exploring it and I have had two girlfriends in the last six hours offer to go to a class with me.

I am going to be just fine.

Let me just repeat that.

The yoga studio will not eat me alive.

I bet I even enjoy it.

And it’s a block from the house.

I told on myself too.

I knew I was going to back out if I didn’t make myself accountable to some people.

I called three people and told them I was going tomorrow and I still felt myself balking to even say it.

I know there’s something to explore there, when I have this much resistance it’s sort of the dark territory that I need to go into, headlamp on, yoga mat tucked under my arm.

I walked over to the studio today and checked out the facility and the schedule and it really is the best possible solution.

It is on my block.

I keep telling myself that as I spend stupid amounts of time looking for other solutions when it’s right there.

Like the elephant in the room.

I’m using my scooter a lot.

I’m going to need the exercise and the breathing is going to be great and the stretching will help and the sweating is needed and then I’ll be a hop, skip, and a jump away from my house, a shower, and then whatever I need to do.

I have been doing my Applied Spirituality work and instead of doing the yoga so far, I have implemented the physical part of the three pronged approach that I proposed by walking the beach.

I was out there an hour today.

It was glorious.

Mostly because there were so few people there.

It felt like just me, the sea, the sea gulls, ravins, the plovers, and hermit crabs.

I found two whole sand dollars.

I turned my face to the sky and the sun.

I almost got drenched by a wave without realizing it and ran laughing out loud out of the surf.

It was a good connecting.

I felt grounded and in myself.

I did some grocery shopping.

I cooked some food.

I confirmed with my friend coming into the city that we’ll be meeting in the Haight tomorrow.

It’s project rain so I’ll be on MUNI.

We’re going to meet at People’s Cafe, hang out, catch up, maybe do some window shopping, do the deal, grab a bite to eat and oh, that sounds so good.

Solid gold friend time.

And then.

Who knows what the rest of the weekend will bring.

I found out today that I don’t have either of the people I normally meet with on Saturday.

A free and clear Saturday.

No commitments.

I’m not going to make any plans.

Out loud anyway.

My brain will chatter about it all day for the next night and day if I let it.

I prefer not to.

I am just going to stay here, in this moment.

Change is coming.

Suffice to say, as I started this piece, I will be focusing on some homework.

I have to post up pretty soon to Applied Spirituality forum and since I have been doing the deeper work, really it doesn’t feel necessarily “deeper” but I have enjoyed it and noticed a different space in myself, an easiness in my being after I have done the coloring meditation.

Other than that, I will do the readings for classes and depending on how I am feeling work on one of the papers that are due for the next weekend of classes.

I have two this go around.

And lots more on the horizon.

I’m not there yet.

I do actually have wiggle room this week, I could foreseeably do no homework, but I don’t care for the anxiety that produces in me.

There is balance.

I can go about this life with some semblance of equilibrium.

I know I can.

And all these experiences, well, they are gifts, some uncomfortable to hold until I get used to the edges and pushing past those places of resistance.

Hell.

Maybe I just need to go out dancing with some girlfriends too.

I have a tentative offer for this weekend.

Again.

Not pressuring myself.

When I spend too much time focusing on what is not happening for me, what I should be doing, where I should be going, then I just jump right out of the present moment.

The present moment looks like singing along to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel, rocking a polka dot frock and a crinoline, third day this week, and loving my sweet self hard as I can.

Sometimes that love is doing the things that I least want to do.

And having compassion for that little begrudging voice to express herself.

“NO!  I don’t want to go!”

Shh.

It will be ok.

I swear.

It’s just yoga.

Seriously.

 

Give It Up

February 8, 2016

Give it up.

Come on darlin’ give me your love.

A little bit of love and some affection.

Keep me moving in the right direction.

God I love music.

Just sitting here listening to Steve Miller.

Yeah.

I know.

I am sure there are better artists and better music, but sometimes just a little old school 70s rock does it for me, and I like to belt it out and sing along and dance a little and be silly.

I also listened to a lot of Masters of Reality this weekend.

I downloaded the entire discography the other day and it really is quite splendid.

I don’t know why I haven’t done so before, I have just always listened to Sunrise on the Surfer Bus.

Which may be one of the best album titles ever.

Plus.

The album cover is a rabbit on a bicycle.

Heh.

You know I like the bunnies.

Fuck.

It’s just such a good album.

I may be putting it back on the stereo to write the rest of my blog.

I listened to the entire discography today in between doing the things that I needed to take care of for school, self-care, work prep, and yes, just enjoying living life in one of the most beautiful places in the world–San Francisco.

It was a glorious day today.

Mid 60s and though the neighborhood was busy, it wasn’t as busy as it would have been if there hadn’t been that sport ball thing happening.

I mean, it was gorgeous out there today.

I did make a point of being out in it for a little while too.

I knew I would not be a happy girl if I just stayed inside all day and did homework.

I did do a lot of homework too.

I have started doing the Applied Spirituality assignments, the professor signed off on my proposal, so I started doing that work yesterday and continued today.

It’s been interesting and I am looking at it differently and realizing that although there is no need for me to improve myself, man I can get on a self-improvement kick like no body’s business, self-acceptance is where it’s at for me, but I can deepen my practice.

So with that in mind I found a spiritual reader that I had forgotten I had and read it after I did my regular routine this morning, my writing, et al, and then I colored for a while meditating on the little card I had in front of me.

We been working so hard 

Come on baby let’s dance.

Pardon me, Steve Miller interruption.

The music’s calling.

What I chose to read is a Just For Today card that I discovered in my wallet when I was looking for something else entirely.

Serendipity.

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.  I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Fuck do I know that.

And that’s what I focused on.

Ok.

There are some things that I need to do and I would find it appalling if I thought that I had to do them every day for the rest of my life, I would vomit from the sustained effort.

However.

If I break things down, small pieces, manageable bites, I can accomplish a lot.

Like.

Laundry, grocery shopping (freaking mad house at SafeWay where it would seem the entire Outer Sunset was trying to buy snacks and beer for the football thing), cooking for the week, my Applied Spirituality homework, writing a paper for The Clinical Relationship, doing the deal, going for a walk, making program calls, checking in.

Not checking out.

I was also determined, as I mentioned earlier, that I was going to allow myself some outside time today.

I knew I had to write the Clinical Relationship paper and if i timed it correctly, or well, there’s really no right or wrong, nor a need to be perfect, but if I set myself up well, I knew I was going to be able to have some outside time for myself.

Which is huge.

I love being outside.

Perhaps because I love coming home so much.

But I am over the moon when it is nice out and I am outside.

I actually put sunscreen on today.

It’s February.

I love California.

Just sayin’.

Anyway.

I did all my early work, the errands, and shopping and household stuff and one big phone check in, then I made myself a fabulous lunch and cooked food up for the week and extra for next weekend’s classes, then I ate my lunch outside, in the sunshine.

My feet up in a chair, the sun on my face.

No phone.

No computer.

No book.

No magazine.

Just sunshine.

The blue sky.

My food.

And some Masters of Reality booming out of the stereo.

Then.

I came inside and had to do some praying.

I get fucking anxious before writing a paper and I can at least recognize that I am feeling the dread, but it’s freaky, how intense it is.

I laughed with a friend later this evening when I was talking about the feeling and how I never had it when I was getting my under grad degree and I realized.

OH.

Of course I didn’t feel anxious.

I was drinking.

Even if I felt anxious, which I probably did, I have historically had anxiety, shocker, no?

I wouldn’t have felt it as I was covering it up with the booze.

Boy howdy.

l feel it now.

Grateful beyond words that I have had a sustained and active recovery that shows me my fears are overblown and that I can’t fuck it up unless I don’t do it.

I cleared my upset tummy, prayed, drank a big cup of tea and got on it.

I read and re-read my notes, and skimmed back over the portions of the texts I wanted to use, then I launched into the writing.

An hour and a half later.

I had my paper.

Granted.

It’s not finished.

I have to go back in and properly cite using APA format.

But, the basic paper is done, five pages, 1,685 words.

My current blog, the one I am writing at this moment currently is at 1,067 words.

Add to that my morning pages and I’m way over 3,500 words for the day.

Not bad.

But if you told me that I was going to sustain that for a lifetime.

You bet your ass I would be appalled.

Yikes.

But I can sustain if for today.

And that’s just what I did.

Then.

Yes!

I had indeed timed it well, small success, and I caught the last half hour of the sunset down at the beach.

I took a big walk around the neighborhood, mailed a postcard to a friend in Wisconsin, called a girlfriend on the phone and made plans for the week of the 15th, and then hit the beach.

The light was amazing and gold orange.

It was the kind of light that you could swim in.

I am so lucky.

I have such an amazing life.

I have a beautiful little home.

A great big heart.

Music.

Friends.

Recovery.

Grad school.

God.

You know.

All the things.

 

I’m Done!

February 1, 2016

I finished all the reading for my next weekend of classes.

One weekend ahead of time.

I am absurdly pleased.

I just closed my Ethics and Family Law textbook and shelved it along with everything else that I read this weekend.

I do have a proposal that I did not get to, but whatever.

I have all week to do it and it’s a proposal, not a formal paper.

I have had some time to think about what I want to accomplish with it and I do believe I am going to do the meditative coloring.

I also thought about doing a guided meditation, I haven’t done a lot of sitting meditation, enough to know I can comfortably sit for fifteen minutes without bother.

I remember the first time I sat for three minutes.

I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin.

I thought I might leap out of my chair or rip my own hair out.

I was that uncomfortable sitting still in my body, in my own space, with my own thoughts to occupy me.

I thought my brain might actually eat me alive.

I have come a long way baby.

I can sit for up to an hour and have done so on a few occasions.

I have had years where I did a sitting meditation, in addition to my writing meditation, but I have to be upfront about that, it wasn’t more than a ten minute sit, often times just five minutes and I did it because the person I was working with insisted I do it as a requirement to work with her.

I wasn’t opposed.

I am not now.

But.

I think the coloring is a nice way to go about it.

I tried some last night to get the hang of it and it was nice.

I actually got some freedom from the rapidity of my brain and it was nice to get lost in between the lines and let go and play with color and just enjoy doing something that didn’t require me to think.

I plan on being up front with my professor and outlining what I currently do.

I thought, briefly about with holding some aspects of my spiritual practice so that I could “implement” it back in and go from there.

Some might call this efficient.

However, it felt a little like cheating for me and I couldn’t quite square the principle of honesty behind that action.

I prefer to be honest with my professor, to even go so far as to say that I have had resentments and needed to work them out, that, already, is spiritual progress for me.

I recognized that it was with myself that lay the problem, not with my professor, he’s not doing it wrong, he’s just not doing it the way I think, or better, thought, it should be done.

Anyway.

That’s all I have to do.

Write and send a one page proposal, outlining what I am going to do to deepen my spiritual practice.

Due by this Friday.

I’ll probably ruminate on it a little bit more then type something up before work tomorrow.

Just to have it out of the way.

I don’t have to start the actual practice of it until February 12th.

Which is also when my first paper is due.

I plan on working on that next weekend.  I will probably review the readings for the class, it was dense, really dense and not well written.  If the author used “implicit” one more time in a chapter to give gravitas to what he was writing I was going to look him up and suggest some creative writing workshops for him to expand his vocabulary.

It really is a pleasant feeling, though, to have all the reading done.

I also got to see my girl friend from my cohort.

She rode her bicycle out and I was grateful to get to show her my home space and we went for coffee and toast at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and then down for a walk on the beach.

It was deliriously windy out and the beach was fairly deserted.

It was like being sandblasted.

We did not stay long, but she got a taste of the glory of the beach and vowed to come back soon, although by a better bicycle route than the one Google Maps gave her.

Oof.

Any other city it probably makes sense, but in San Francisco, negotiating the hillier parts of the city, there really is a way to get from here to there and it does not involve riding the coastline.

When she told me her route I got sympathetic leg pain just thinking about it.

I have done some similar things when I was newly on my bicycle and found out the hard way how to navigate around the hillier districts.

The SFBC (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) map is probably the best one to use for navigation, as it shows grades of streets on hills.

One block over can really make a huge difference.

Going up Polk to the Marina is a lot easier than going up Van Ness.

And probably much safer too.

I digress.

We had a great time.

No homework was really accomplished, although we did go over a couple of things on the syllabus for the next weekend and talked about the school, the program, and of course, our other classmates.

But mostly.

About ourselves.

It was sweet and I feel a strong connection and bond to her.

Partially because she really does see me and also sees me in a way, that although I don’t find flattering and sometimes I get upset with myself, I do have a vast amount of acceptance about, that being that I am in desperate need to control my environment.

“It’s a safety thing for you,” she said in her sweet, lilting, French accent, “I totally get it, and I see how often you do it, with everything in your environment.”

I have had lovers mess up the pillows on my bed to make me squirm or a friend purposely mess up a section of literature I have just set out on a table.

I have seen it, consciously, more and more as I accept myself more and more and learn, not always gracefully, to let go of the reigns and have new experiences.

I really do want them and I recognize, I must recognize, how brave I am.

I didn’t fold up, I didn’t collapse, I kept trying.

Sometimes doing things that I didn’t know better, stratagems that I learned growing up, self-defense mechanisms that worked really well at the time and then stopped, even though I continued to employ them.

I see things with a lot more clarity.

The writing daily has helped, the praying, the spiritual practices I employ.

My recovery.

Oh, all the wonderful things I get to do in the act of getting back to that place where I am allowed to be vulnerable, soft, sweet, and not in control.

Tender.

I opened the door.

I let in my friend.

I experienced intimacy.

And I got my reading done for school.

Winning.

Balance

January 28, 2016

I didn’t have it this morning.

I recognized that pretty much after telling God to fuck off in my morning prayers.

God can take it.

God’s a good bitch like that.

I was mad.

I have been annoyed and I didn’t even realize it until I was kneeling next to my freshly made bed, with my freshly shaved and showered self, my wild mane of curly “bronde” hair and my attitude, which, was yes, bigger than my hair.

I was hearing my Applied Spirituality professor’s voice in my head.

And it just popped out.

“Fuck you.”

Then.

I felt the fear and it was a surprise, I mean, I didn’t honestly realize that I was this afraid of this class, that I am holding on this tightly to my routine.

I wrote some inventory after I finished my breakfast.

God.

It really works.

Amazing.

How it works.

Once again it boils down to a fear of not having enough time and also that if I monkey with something that has worked so well for me for the last 11 years that I may not have the next 11 years.

Which is just bullshit and distracting and I can’t tell what’s going to happen in the next 11 days, let alone years.

Fuck.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 11 minutes.

Things.

They could switch on a dime.

The thing is I am able to roll with it.

But mess with my morning routine and I get a bit fractious.

Suggest that you want me to implement on a daily basis something that requires a half hour more of my day and I am all up in arms.

All up in that shit.

So I wrote it down and got it off my chest and made a phone call and told on myself and then got to focus on being of service where I was off to next.

Work.

And I did.

I did a good job at work, I had fun with the boys, I got to go outside and be in the sun.

Oh, delicious sunshine, how I have missed you.

I took the boys out to the grand re-opening of Dolores Park.

It was something else.

And I’m not talking about the flood of Millenials with their sacks of burritos and sandwiches from Rhea and the hipsters with their micro-brewed six packs, the bike messengers with their Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Or the floods of pot smoke.

Jesus.

I suppose the park was officially christened with weed when it gets right down to it.

No, what I’m talking about is the park.

The glorious, full tilt boogie that is Dolores Park at its delirious best.

The grass was green, the sun shone benevolently, it’s a week day and the opening of the park, but it wasn’t obscenely packed.

It will be.

It looks so nice.

I am so grateful I got to be around to see it re-open.

The renovation has been a long one, and it reminded me of the first time I saw the park and dreams I would have of it, flying, I remember a flying dream I had about Dolores Park back in 2001 before I moved here to the city I had visited–the park made an impression.

I got to review the last 13 1/2 years that I have lived in San Francisco.

“Where are you from?” The driver asked me yesterday.

I internally sighed, not interested in having this conversation, but I’ll play along.

To a point.

“Here,” I said bluntly.

“Oh, well, you know, your name,” the driver tried.

I decided I would help a little, but I wasn’t going to go into the whole saga, the moving from here to there, the growing up in Wisconsin, the no I don’t speak Spanish conversation.

“I was born in San Jose,” I said.

I had a sudden realization of not having to be wrapped up in my own story.

It’s just a story after all.

The only reason it’s special is because it’s mine.

All stories ares special, I just know the details to mine rather well, it’s familiar you could say.

What is not familiar is this feeling of balance and serenity that has come from doing so much work and also from being able to acknowledge and recognize my feelings a lot faster.

The faster I notice that I am out of whack.

The faster I can get back on the beam.

I am a sensitive lady.

I used to think that I had a really high threshold for pain and that this was something to be proud of.

Not so much.

I don’t need to suffer.

The more I allow my feelings, the less I suffer, and that less I actually attach true meaning to them.

Feelings are valid, but feelings aren’t facts.

Plus feelings are super transient.

They come and go.

And I can hold more than one at a time.

That was a revelation when I realized it was ok to be happy when I was sad.

That it wasn’t all so black and white.

Lovely little shades of grey, nuances of emotions.

I have a palette.

I also have a memory and I realized that I was probably also a little extra sensitive when I got teary reading some inspirational quote on my Facecrack feed.

I went back and re-read it to get the full gist and a tear actually did fall.

Oh.

Fuck.

I’m getting my period.

I haven’t ovulated yet, but it’s getting ready.

Which would also explain the super sensitive nose I had yesterday.

My sense of smell goes through the roof when I am close to my period.

I think my body is busy sniffing out a male with some juice to get busy with, that’s the instinctual thing I think, pheromones and what have you.

I may be 43, but the body is still not done with that part.

Yet.

I figure I am almost close to that chapter ending too, but who knows.

Not here to think about that.

Grateful for self-awareness and self-acceptance.

And.

Spiritual solutions.

To my.

Applied Spirituality class.

I get to remind myself.

God’s plan is better than mine.

Just get out the way, Martines.

God wants better for you than you want for yourself.

Drop the rock.

And open your arms to the flowers being held out to you instead.

I like flowers.

 

Maybe I’m Not Supposed

January 26, 2016

To be on my bike tonight.

The thought went through my head as I tried to turn on the head lamp on my handle bars.

That’s funny, I thought, I just charged this up completely last night and it’s dead.

Huh.

No front light to get home with in the dark.

And it’s one of the few things I know I will get stopped for on my ride, no front light is an automatic ticket.

I thought well, if I get stopped, I’ll just say I have it, but it burnt out and I’ll be replacing it when I get home, sorry officer.

Things go through my head quickly.

I also thought.

Huh.

That’s a weird bounce to my front tire.

It feels flat.

Or, I should say, it landed flat when I pulled it off the hanger in the garage at work, there is a kind of thud to it.

But I had just gotten the tire repaired last week, and had put air into the tubes this morning.

It should be fine.

I didn’t even bother to check it.

I just assumed it was fine.

It was not.

Then.

Oh shit.

I wonder if I’m going to have the same issue riding home tonight that I did coming in this afternoon.

I had my crank slip.

Not once, but four or five times.

The first time it happened I thought my chain had broken, but, no, I looked down and my chain was still on and I back pedaled and the crank caught and there was pressure on my pedals and away we go.

Sort of.

It happened a bunch more and I thought, hmm, maybe I should pop into the bike shop and drop the bike off.

But then it didn’t happen anymore and I just sort of forgot.

Then I was working and it was busy with the being Monday and cooking–triple batch of pureed broccoli soup–and being with the boys and a field trip to Flora Grubb for a new plant for the house and dinner and baths and stories, and next thing you know.

It’s time to bust on out and I have some place I got to be and get me out of Dodge.

Except.

The light.

The crank.

The flat tire.

I put my foot down slowly and sure enough, the pedal slipped through without any traction, basically just spinning the crank, but not turning the hub and moving the wheel.

Then.

It caught and I rode off.

No light.

Flat tire, which I wasn’t yet aware of, slipping crank.

I got to the end of the block and knew I was not riding home, now my brakes feel funny.

Well.

Duh.

The front brake felt funny because it was squeezing onto a tire that was fast deflating.

I hopped off, squeezed the brake, felt the tire and realized, Houston, we have a problem.

Fuck.

I texted a friend.

Then turned around and walked back to work with the bicycle.

Messaged the mom and said I got a flat, opened the garage, hung the bike and called for a car.

I had no profanity involved.

I was pretty calm.

I wasn’t happy about the state of bicycle.

However.

I wasn’t stupid either.

It was really obvious I was not supposed to ride my bicycle home and for that I am grateful.

Maybe that sounds funny to you, but it’s just such a nicer perspective to take, it’s God’s way of saying, “you’re grounded.”

Grateful I didn’t try to force the issue by riding my bicycle further out.

Grateful I can take a car back to work tomorrow before work and deal with the bicycle.

I’ll roll it to the shop.

Which, gratefully, is only two blocks away from where I work, drop it off and not worry about losing pedal traction, or having a busted light, or a flat tire.

And so it’s a little money out of my pocket.

Better that than having had an accident tonight.

No thank you.

In other news.

My hair is hella big.

I took a shower this morning before work and that basically undid the blow out.

I have big, huge, blonde, curly hair.

It’s rather fun.

And it’s very me.

Not pin up sexy, as I was compared to yesterday by an old high school classmate.

Nope.

But sexy, nonetheless.

It’s fun to be sexy and it’s fun to have so much hair, even after a good clean up cut.

It definitely acts differently and is a bit tender, breaks pretty quick, but, it’s soft and curly and big and blonde.

Sexy.

So there’s that.

And.

I got the Applied Spirituality class down.

I received an e-mail with a video from the professor who is teaching it remotely from Mexico.

I have changed my mind about doing the sonnet a day.

Well.

I may still try my hand at writing a sonnet a day, but perhaps not for the purposes of this class, rather, just for me and perhaps one or two of you.

The professor talked about deepening my spiritual practice and the fact is, I write a lot, that’s a huge part of my practice.

This blog and then my morning pages.

I write twice a day, anywhere from 2-3,000 words.

Sometimes more.

I also write gratitude lists and I have a prayer practice morning and night (and often times noon, you may think I have a small bladder, but I may just be taking a moment to catch my breath at work and have a word with the powers that be to get me through the day).

I also read spiritual readers, practice, never perfectly, spiritual principles, and do sitting meditation two to three times a week.

One of the things that caught my attention was the professors acknowledgement of the spiritual realm often being one where there are not words that adequately describe the experience.

I have tried.

I know what he means.

I feel that there are times when I am with the spirit of the Universe, when God is writing through me, speaking through me, I am the conduit, the words are not mine, they are God’s, the ultimate artist.

And then there are times when I just can’t seem to get the “i” before the “e” in that one word and why won’t spell check autocorrect this, and what rhymes with cantaloupe and I’m not in commune with God anymore, I’m just putting words on the page.

Something not word dependent, even though I am going to have to write papers to express the experience and post them up to the class for review.

I came up with a different idea.

And I am thrilled.

It feels easier and quiet and I won’t have to worry about producing, although, I guarnatee I will do the work.

I am going to color.

In a coloring book.

Yeah.

Whatever.

Coloring is considered a form of meditation and I have some great coloring books and some awesome colored pencils and it’s a way to turn of my busy brain.

To let God in through a non-verbal, non-written medium.

Oh.

There will still be writing.

Don’t you fret.

There will just be something else as well.

More will be revealed.

It always is.

And tomorrow.

I fix the bike.

Again.

Gratefully so.

She Keeps Us Civilized

January 22, 2016

The mom said to her guests as they thanked me at the end of my shift this evening.

Well.

I try.

Sometimes though, the five year old is just going to stand on his head and fart on his friend and giggle wildly.

Fortunately the parents were outside in the back yard enjoying daiquiris.

I was inside with four boys: 5 3/4; 51/2; 4; and 3 1/2.

I add the halves and the quarters.

They are very fierce about their age and the hierarchy of who sits where in accordance to what age.

They were lined up left to right, oldest to youngest, along with two stuffed huskies, one stuffed cat, and one very, very loved teddy bear.

Four cups of milk in sippy cups and four graham crackers.

And.

Pengu.

Man.

There is nothing funnier to this age group than Pengu.

Nothing.

There is just something about the claymation little penguin that tickles the funny bone.

I find it endearing and cute and about the only video I can stand watching with the boys.

It’s a special night when the boys get videos, when I’m there we don’t watch videos.

I have been told by the boys that they do watch a lot of videos 0n the weekend.

I know they do and that’s not my business.

I am in no position to criticize or judge any one and their parental style.

I have in the past and it did not serve me well.

Glass houses and stones and what all.

The boys had a play date and I made pizzas.

I had to laugh at one point.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and here I am rolling out pizza dough–spinach and mushroom, pepperoni, plain cheese, and cheese and mushroom–and navigating around open containers of sugar and booze.

Not my normal.

Even at work.

But no matter.

I did my deal and took care of the boys and was grateful for my own lovely little abstinent meal and my extra time to get done laundry and pick up all the different sets of train tracks that had gotten pulled out to entertain the boys.

Three separate sets.

I pondered my psychology reading and was happy to use some theory on the boys.

I mean.

Come on.

I’m in the heart of family.

And I’m going to be a therapist.

Gold mine.

It’s like doing field work all the time.

I mean I got an A+ in Psychodynamics using a scene at the dentist office where one of the boys had a temper tantrum and I was able to apply Freud and Melanie Klein theory to what was happening.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am also a very lucky girl to have done some work today before work.

That’s the funny thing about work.

I work before it and I work after it.

Sometimes the work I do outside of work is more work.

But I digress.

I did some reading.

I checked over a couple of my syllabi.

Specifically I read the entire seven pages for Applied Spirituality.

,

I was resentful, wildly so, the first time I read it.

Hey, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know what I do?

I am special.

I already apply spirituality to my life.

Don’t tell me what to do.

Which.

When I took some time to reflect.

Was a rather unspiritual stance to take.

After doing some inventory on it and discussing it with another person at length I realized that I was, once again, being inflexible about my schedule.

I have a certain way of doing things and a certain time and don’t bother me while I am.

And.

Don’t even try to get me to do anything else.

It’s a matter of life and death.

Motherfucker.

Ah.

Yeah.

So, you can see, not so spiritual at that.

I recognize the fear behind the thoughts, I’ve been doing it this way for years, and I’m doing just fine, and I’m going to hold onto this way of doing things and you can pry my practice from my cold, dead, but still fucking spiritual, hands.

I laugh at myself.

I had a small epiphany–the poetry epiphany–and decided to not change up my practice so much, as deepen it.

I’ll grab some new spiritual readers, I will change out my daily readers, I’m still going to use conference approved literature, there is a really good reason I stick close to the original message of recovery.

It works.

But there’s more than one daily reader, so I will try another.

And I went for it this morning.

I wrote a full sonnet after writing my regular morning pages and doing my gratitude list.

I’m using a notebook that I bought at the museum store at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

I’m calling the series.

“Love Letters To God.”

I debated posting the first sonnet here, but I am not sure how I am going to incorporate them yet for the class, and since that is the reason, the impetus to do the writing, I’m going to wait until after my professor gets back to me regarding my proposal.

That may not be for at least a week.

I got word today that my professor was under the impression that classes started this upcoming weekend, he has not officially posted the syllabus and sent out an apologetic e-mail this afternoon giving some suggestions and saying basically, just wait for a week and I’ll be ready for you.

I find this extraordinarily unprofessional considering this is a graduate school program and I am paying graduate school tuition out the fucking ass.

But this is not the first time that something wonky has occurred–readers not ready, etc.

And frankly, I don’t bear a grudge.

It’s just humanity happening in front of my eyes.

I can get fussy about it or I can be grateful for an extra week reprieve from the start of another round of grad school work.

It will all work out.

And.

I have no complaints.

I mean.

I wrote a delicious sonnet.

It made me happy to write.

Happier to read.

The next thing to explore is to see if I can link a sound byte to my blog or if I should do some sort of podcast on Youtube.

Which I know nothing about, but I do feel quite compelled to have some voice recordings out there.

It feels like the next thing to do in this evolution of being an artist.

Yup.

Me the artist.

How lovely that is to claim.

I am a poet.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

Hell yeah.

Bring on the spirituality.

Bitches.

Your account has been deleted

January 20, 2016

And goodnight.

No.

Obviously I am not deleting my blog.

I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I did that.

Although I am beginning to think that I may supplement my blog.

I know.

In what fucking time?

But.

It’s been suggested a few times, by quite disparate people, that perhaps I want to start a podcast.

I apparently have the voice for it.

That could be fun and I do like to listen to myself talk…

Anyway.

I digress.

The account I deleted was my OkCupid account.

I realized after last nights blog and a little pity party after the fact, which quickly turned to anger, then a gentle, soft reminder, hey, kid, be nice to you, you’re doing the best you can.

The fact is that I know what I want and I can’t have it.

Yet.

And.

Further.

That being on this online dating site was not fulfilling me, it does me no justice, it does me no truth, it does me no love, it’s a flat representation of me.

I decided somewhere mid day to stop trying to date.

That was the realization.

That was it.

I know what I want.

I know where my heart lies.

So stop betraying my heart and stop trying to date on line.

It never worked.

Has never worked and yet I have had that damn account for years, I have disabled it twice and deleted once.

Now, officially deleted again.

I had a moment of realization that trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results was just as debilitating as beating myself up for wanting to have some different kind of romantic experience.

The fact is.

I know love.

And I don’t have to be searching for it.

I have love.

I can look inside.

I can feel it flush on my face, the sound of drums rolling through my blood.

The fire of carnations, the salt rose and topaz.

I almost didn’t delete it though.

As if hanging onto it would prove something, change something, make it different, make how I feel different.

I disabled it.

Then I re-read the last e-mail I got from a perspective suitor, which was probably one of the cutest requests for a date that I have actually gotten from the site, and I balked.

Come on, Martines.

This is fantasy.

Because it really is, it’s just another way to check out, to not be present, to not focus on what is going on with me, to deflect from the feelings I am having and get lost in the clicking through profiles.

Just another rat in the maze.

I will pass.

I went back and deleted the account.

A few minutes before a friend texted me to see if I was around.

Ha.

Yes.

And free to be present since I’m not trolling for some imaginary internet ego fulfillment.

Rather.

A good talk.

A connection.

Human relationships.

Right here.

Right now.

In the moment.

Just for today.

“Oh, you take it easy, you let the day unfold, I think you are going to be really happy today, you’re going to have something happens that is going to really surprise you, I guarantee it.”

Man.

She was right.

And it was good.

My heart feels in a place of resting that I don’t believe has been available for me for awhile.

I am not unhappy that it took what it has taken to get here, it’s been work unlike any I have ever known.

And the results?

Holy shit.

A deepening of understanding.

A threshold of love I don’t know that I have ever experienced.

A transparency of my self.

So good.

I feel blown open.

Like sugar crystals in a cave of dark velvet splashed with light and lit up.

Incandescent.

Alive.

I also gave myself the thumbs up to be a poet.

I mean.

Ha.

I have been a poet all my life, I was a poet before I had the words to express, but I can recall the images from my child hood, the smells, the press of my senses and that outlet that was always there for me, more true than history, poetry.

Which in its best, done well, is always about this moment.

This one.

Right here.

I have a class in school that I have to come up with a proposal that will help me expand my spiritual experience.

It’s called “Applied Spirituality” and I have had a bit of a resentment about it.

Damn it.

I am a spiritual person.

I don’t want to expand my experience.

I sound like a petulant child.

When it was pointed out I still stomped my feet a little, but I thought, ok, how can I be flexible, what could I change, can I actually add something more to my already rather busy and packed schedule?

My first response was fuck you and fuck no.

But when I react that strongly to something I know that is where the work is.

Then again, there it was, that idea presented to me, again last night, Sunday night and Sunday during the day at school, that I should be doing some vocal work.

“You should have a podcast!”

As I mentioned, I have no idea what that means.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Some exploration there would be needed to figure it out.

But how hard could it be?

The thought that came to me, the first thought, it morphed as I was talking to my friend, it bloomed, it expanded, and got bigger, but the first thoughts was.

Well.

Hmmm.

Maybe start a podcast and do spiritual readings.

Then I had another thought, a quiet thought, a soft voice that was shy at first, but then excited and lit up and exuberant.

Wait!

It should be my own work.

And.

Yes!

I will read poems on my podcast.

And.

Yes!

Here it is.

I will write a sonnet a day.

That will be my spiritual practice.

And if you don’t believe that writing is a spiritual practice, you bring yourself over to my house and I will show you my stacks and stacks and boxes and bins of notebooks that I have written through in my writing practice.

Poetry will be my practice.

Despite feeling overwhelmed at times by the amount of work I was doing in my first semester, I made the time to write the sonnet sequence for my friend I met a Burning Man.

And I can feel it.

I can feel that this is the right thing.

Write a sonnet in the morning, or free verse, or maybe find another lyrical form that resonates, like, hey on Saturdays I’ll write a sestina instead, then in the evening, edit and post it to my cohort and record it as a podcast.

I believe that poetry also needs to be read out loud.

The voice and the inflection, the words of the poet.

That is my proposal.

I am super excited.

And so grateful for this experience.

For this love, love.

This life, this joy, these threads of words and lines of poesie that sing inside my heart, this voice that is not mine.

You know, it is not.

It is God’s.

That I believe more fervently than I can express.

When the words come, even these, they are not mine.

I am a conduit.

I am a channel.

And that.

That.

Oh, that.

Is a mighty.

Mighty.

Fine thing.

Back In It

January 16, 2016

“What you doing tonight?” The kid in the car asked tonight as I bundled myself, my messenger bag, my bag of leftover utensils and coffee jars, notebooks, readers, and books into the back seat of the car.

“Going out? Got plans? What’s your Friday look like?”

Um.

Ok kiddo.

Chill.

I just want a ride home.

“Going home and sleeping so I can go back and do another eleven hours of class tomorrow.”

“Oh!”

Yeah.

“Oh,” is right.

And I’m totally ok with that.

I actually feel pretty damn good about that.

I am in a different place with my classes this semester.

That being a state of preparedness.

I did all the reading for the weekend prior to class and even had enough time yesterday to re-read some of the articles for my Multi-Cultural class.

And.

Get this.

I like all my professors.

ALL of them.

That feels really extraordinary.

I don’t know that much about the one credit online course that I have to do, I found myself talking to a fellow in my cohort and we commiserated on the idea that we already do a lot of what the class calls for–it’s applied spirituality–basically implementing some sort of daily spiritual practice into our school life.

Um.

Yeah.

Got that covered.

And immediately I copped a resentment.

Dude.

I pray, write, I read spiritual readers, I pray some more, I review and reflect on my day, I call my people and check in with spiritual principles, what fucking more do you need?

I have to do more?

Then.

I thought, well, fuck, maybe this is God saying, change it up, shake it up, get flexible, there’s other things that you can do.

Maybe it’s time for some martial arts.

I used to study kung fu.

I could pick that back up or perhaps yoga.

I have a writing practice that I am loathe to give up and my prayer and meditation aren’t going to change, nor will my checking in daily with my people or the passing on of what I have been given.

It’s just not an option for me.

I have to do it.

It’s life or death.

And when I realized how seriously I take my routine I could see, with some perspective changing from my person that maybe instead of coming from a place of hubris I could come from one of humility.

In the discussion I realized the martial arts aspect.

I could also do T’ai Chi or Qi gong.

I have options.

Moving meditation is good.

Being in my body is good.

Something to explore.

The path narrows and I wish to stay on the path.

I have to as a matter of fact, so widening the circle of my spiritual exploration can’t hurt.

Fuck.

I could dance.

Haha.

I have had spiritual experiences dancing.

That is a concept.

This is actually, now that I am writing about it, the way that I might just have to proceed.

More getting into my body and less my mind.

I am super self-reflective and thoughtful and aware, I live a moral life, I feel an ethical one too, at times, not always but I am highly aware of my values.

They are the spiritual principles that I have based my last eleven years of life on.

Moving out of a way that is logical for me and re-orienting myself in my body maybe just the next part of the spiritual path for me to explore.

Now that I have that covered.

I can focus on the rest of the weekend.

Which is basically showing up for my classes, being on time, contributing my knowledge to the conversation and engaging as much as possible with the material being presented.

I found myself so much more relaxed having covered all the material, even when it wasn’t necessarily brought up in the classes, it just gave me a sense of accomplishment and stillness in myself that I wasn’t anxious, that I could listen, that I could be attune to what was happening.

Basically, I got to practice being a psycho-therapist.

Which, you know, is the end goal here.

I actually left tonight being excited.

I felt alive.

In connection.

And grateful.

To see my friends and to re-connect with my classmates.

I had a little heart to heart with my dear friend from Paris and made plans with another friend for dinner the next weekend of classes.

I felt like I belonged and I was a part of and yes, still finding my way, oh, there’s forever that, and I discovered a new modality that I have a lot of interest in exploring–poetic therapy!

What?!

The teaching assistant for my class in the Clinical Relationship read a poem by John Fox to get us situated to being there in the first moments of class and it resonated so strongly with me I had tears coursing down my face just minutes after sitting in my chair.

The poem managed to ground me and uplift me and reminded me of a precious memory I have of my grandparents home in Lodi, Wisconsin.

They had there own well on the land and the water from the kitchen tap was always so cold and earthy and good, strong with minerals and pure, it tasted like all things right and it refreshed me in a way I don’t think any other water ever had.

My grandmother had a set of plastic green cups with pebbling on them, and for whatever reason as a child I was drawn to those cups.

I think water tastes best out of a glass, but there was something to those cups and I can remember filling them up and drinking the water, looking out the window into the back yard, seeing the stretch of lawn rolling towards the fruit trees and grape arbor, the vines and canes from the raspberries and the garden full of so much lush vegetation it is hard to enumerate all that was there.

Tomatoes and corn.

Onions and shallots, garlic, peas, peppers, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, wax beans, eggplants, okra, broccoli, and the many varietals thereof of the above vegetables and many I am sure I am forgetting–cabbage and brussels sprouts, red and green lettuce, asparagus, watercress.

The smell of the tilled earth, the warm of the grass on my feet when I walked barefoot through it.

A bowl of raspberries with sugar and cream in my grandmothers kitchen.

I was flooded listening to the poem.

And discovered another thing that I can use.

Another way, I can perhaps, integrate myself, my words, my language and vocabulary to help others.

Poetry as a way of being of service.

Divine.

I’ll take it.

Happy to be so situated at the start of this, my second semester of graduate school.

It’s a lovely surprise.

Here’s to more.

I am ready.


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