I started a new class called Practical Mysticism (through a Science of Mind aka New Thought Church). What is Mysticism? The dictionary has a couple definitions. One is that it is the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, obtained through contemplation and self-surrender. I like that definition. The second one is a belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies. That one is the one other people think of when you tell them you’re interested in mysticism. I supposed the word itself is a bit foggy and unclear, like a mist. The idea of mysticism is similar to that of enlightenment, the more you focus on it the more it evades you. You can aim in that direction but like a rainbow, it is always moving away as you move toward it. Can one achieve mysticism? It’s a journey, not a destination (like life, thank you Aerosmith!). Once you understand the concept of obtaining knowledge that is inaccessible to the intellect you become a mystic. It is knowledge that just becomes a part of you. The teacher of my class defined a mystic as a person who seeks union with God; who believes in the internal interconnection with sacred wholeness. This is my highest purpose in this life and the catalyst for all my seeking of truth throughout my lifetime. I desire to feel that spiritual connection more and more until it is just who I am.

In lockstep with my Mysticism class, I ordered a book on Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck. It is a great supplement as part of the class is choosing a “path” to report on. Over the last several years I have been reluctant to identify with a particular religion or practice as it is my philosophy that truth can be found in all religions or practices and therefore to identify with one may blind me to receiving new truths. However, I’ve been consistently drawn toward Buddhism since I first started challenging my Christian faith 7+ years ago. My first encounter with Buddhism was through the book Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield. I was shocked to see the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity at the core of who we need to be. My criticism of Christianity has always been the elitism of the followers, not the core teachings. Of course, the notion that one cannot be saved unless one believes in Christ as their Savior automatically excludes everyone who doesn’t adhere. However, if you choose to disregard that little nugget then you are left with concepts like loving your neighbor as yourself, being forgiving, showing compassion, don’t be selfish, etc. My argument has continued to be, and will remain, that people who profess to believe in Christ and yet do not exhibit the character qualities of Christ are not true believers. It is dangerous to espouse something and not become it. Yet, the church and the people in it act like they’ve purchased a ticket to heaven rather than agreeing to live their lives in compliance to becoming more Christlike over time. That is why Buddhism is so appealing to me. As a practice, it isn’t looking at what happens when we die or shaming people with the threat of hell. Buddhism is about how to live each day working toward oneness with the whole, non-attachment (prevent suffering), and embodying love, forgiveness, and the intention to do no harm on a consistent practical level. At its very core to practice Buddhism is to practice becoming Christlike.

Venturing into argumentative territory I have to ask the question, what is it really to be saved? We spin the concepts of heaven and hell like we know what will really happen in the afterlife. We have lots of literature and people’s philosophy about it. Churches do their best to spread fear and terror. The truth is if you exclude the book of Revelation from the Bible there is very, very little about either heaven or hell in the rest of the books. Everything we have on the subject has been created by man, in my opinion, to control people. If we just look at the teachings of Jesus we are left with how to live in a way that embodies love on a daily basis. Non-judgemental, non-hateful, non-ritualistic living that is peaceful and joyful. There are Christians who embody that, but the interesting thing is how many non-Christians embody that. If it were only obtainable through repeating the sinner’s prayer then no one who has not said those magic words would be able to achieve it. Why don’t we, regardless of our faith, put aside the fear tactics and worrying about who is getting into the exclusive banquet at the end of life and just embody the qualities that Jesus embodied? Won’t the rest work itself out if we do? Shouldn’t we focus on not condemning others, but focus on becoming our highest self in a spiritual way? If we continue to strive toward something, it will continue to elude us (like that rainbow). It is when we just learn to be that we find peace. That is the way of the mystic and the path to enlightenment.


Why to we keep secrets? Of course there are far too many reasons because every situation in which we feel secrets are necessary are so vastly different. Parents keep the truth about Santa a secret because they want to bring joy to their children. Young lovers may hide their relationship from others to avoid parents trying to split them up. Teenagers hide all manners of questionable behavior to feel they are grown ups without being reminded that they aren’t quite ready for that kind of responsibility. Usually secrets are because we don’t want to face the truth or deal with the consequences of it.

However, secrets are like a splinter. At first it is just a small pain. We can choose to end it quickly and move on, or we can ignore it. It doesn’t feel too painful to start but over time it becomes infected and can cause a great deal of harm. Secrets seem to start with a small white lie of omission and snowball until the lies and deceit are so overwhelming we are buried by it. I remember my kids not wanting me to remove a splinter because they thought it would hurt, not realizing what I was saving them from. In my experience, to fess up and reveal whatever you are hiding always causes less pain overall. It also saves you from the psychological trauma of keeping the secret and the fear that you continue to carry that the truth will come to light. We always seem to underestimate how harmful to ourselves things can be.

“Contradictions lead to destruction. The amount of destruction is equal to the amount of contradiction.” Ayn Rand

Some secrets are like contradictions. You are purporting a truth but the reality is quite different. However, there are times to keep secrets. Cases can be made for children enjoying the mystical fantasies of the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy. It is part of their development to live in that world of make believe. Hiding a birthday party or planning a proposal is obviously something that is beneficial in the end. We buy Christmas presents for people and don’t tell them what is behind the wrapper because we want them to have the joy of anticipation. I think the damage of secrets is when we are attempting to avoid conflict. If it stems from cowardice or gaining advantage in a selfish manner it is wrong. Even when we keep a secret to protect someone else, rather than ourselves, we cheat people from the growth opportunity of learning that life isn’t always fair or easy. When secrets become lies we cross the line (see my post on Liar, Liar).

I’m currently caught in a family dilemma where the secret is not my own. One family member is hiding something from another that is painful. They aren’t keeping the secret to protect the other person, they are keeping the secret because they don’t want to deal with the conflict of having the secret come to light. I know this post is vague and philosophical rather than informative. It pains me greatly not to divulge the secret I’m referring to but it isn’t mine to share. The reason for my post is to ponder the harm that secrets can cause. Especially once other people know the secret and have to keep it on behalf of others. It creates division and distrust on all parties behalf and the rot of the unpulled splinter starts to infect whole families.

“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.” Buddha

Live the truth, stand in the light, face the music. Be free.

The Wait Is Over


Over the summer when I was focused on weight loss and looking my best I discovered a gym that was opening in my neighborhood. It seemed right up my alley. However, they were struggling with the city and permits to get the gym opened. They had all kinds of gimmicks to keep people interested in them while they waited. Each month that has gone by they have teased and tempted us with the opening that was “coming soon”. This past Friday they sent an email that indicated they were now open and classes were beginning the next day. Just like that. The prize was just over the ridge for five whole months and then, SLAM…in your face!

I feel so many things in my life have been like that. It is almost like we are in love with the waiting more than the receiving. We love to fantasize and dangle the idea of something in front of us to give us motivation, to tease us into action. However, the receiving is sometimes surprising and sometimes not as welcome as we’d like. For example, I had made it a goal many times over the years to reach a certain weight. It was the weight I was at when I got married when I was 21. It has been my ideal weight for as long as I can remember and I only got below it on one season after I started having kids, and I happened to be very sick when I did. It was a lofty goal for me because I struggle to lose weight when it was really only 25 pounds, I reached that goal in August. I look great. I got into a swimsuit I’ve had since I reached it many years ago when I was sick. Go me!

Another example is wanting to leave my husband. I started making plans to disconnect from him in 2014. Before that, I was resigned to staying married but secretly hoped he would suddenly pass away allowing me to be free. I think divorce is a more healthy thought, don’t you? Over the course of the six years between wanting to leave him and actually leaving him I came close a couple times, but it was freer to think about leaving him. Once the gauntlet was almost down I got scared about what my life would look like on the other side, so I stayed. Until I didn’t. One day (after a lot of circumstances) I woke up and just knew it was time. I told him, and I moved out shortly after. No more doubts, no more fears, the time had just come. The wait was over.

I think the important thing to ponder is what is it that we really want and will the goal we’ve set get us there, or is it just that we think it will? I think losing weight and looking good was about being “enough”. I had it in my mind that I would not be attractive enough until I weighed a certain weight. What I found when I got there was that I didn’t look much different. Sure, my love handles were smaller, but my losing 25 pounds wasn’t all that noticeable until I got into that swimsuit. That meant I didn’t look that bad before, it was all in my head. My issue is that I’m 5’9″ and have big hips and broad shoulders. I’m proportionate, but compared to other women I’m larger (super-sized!). My trainer at that lovely gym I was waiting for said I could lose another 15 pounds to be at the “ideal” weight for my height. However, I now realize that achieving that just means I start to focus on my sagging arms (I am 48) and the loose skin on my belly from having three kids. If that isn’t enough I’d have to lipo this that and the other thing and then I’d start looking like a freak from all the surgery. When does it end? When do I just accept myself as I am?

The goal with my ex-husband was a different goal. It wasn’t about me being enough, it was about being in alignment. I could feel that we did not belong together, but my stubbornness and my commitment to my family were more important to me. That isn’t a bad thing. Most people would commend someone for staying to provide a good environment for their kids. My ex and I didn’t fight, we were kind to each other until the end, so there was nothing really wrong with staying together for the concept of marriage. Except. . . (there is always an exception) I taught my kids that they should give up their happiness for security. As if we can’t actually have both and need to choose. I made that choice. I gave up being my true self to fit the role that I chose. Until I didn’t. Now I have the alignment I desired and the security I need. I can’t say I regret not leaving sooner, but it will be interesting to see how my kids perpetuate that decision in their lives. What will they give up in their lives because they think they can’t have two seemingly opposite desires?

The theme of my life now is authenticity. Not that I have been a glowing example of that. In fact, I could point out several examples in the last month or two where I have fallen flat on my face in manure, but I won’t because that isn’t the lesson. The lesson is that every time I have fallen short I have realized that it doesn’t pay to not be authentic. It hurts myself and others around me to pretend to be someone I’m not, to not tell the complete truth, or not just accept both the good and the seemingly bad together. I feel almost dirty and definitely depressed, and very, very unhappy when I chose not to be authentic and fully present. I read a book a long time ago called The Me I Want To Be (which was inspirational). However, I want to live the title The Me I Accept Myself To Be. I have, time and time again, over the last couple of months been reminded that I have a design. I chose this life. I am stuck in this body, for good or for bad. I have to be me to the fullest and most unapologetic way in order to actually live my purpose and have the people that belong in my life around me. To not be truly authentic is just hurting me and forcing me out of alignment.

So, I am not joining that gym. It is almost poetic that when I came to the conclusion that I am meant to be happy to just be me, wrinkles and love handles and all, the gym opens. The wait is over, but the prize is self-acceptance. I am finally free to be me.


When I was younger, and I’m not sure exactly when, I did a Myers-Briggs test to see what my type was. I came in as an ISTJ. It made sense to me at the time because I was analytical and not in touch with my feelings or intuition. However, as I got older and discovered the Enneagram and other personality typing I would look at my ISTJ and think that it represented me at work but not really in my personal life. I went to a career coach and told her I didn’t feel ISTJ fit me, and asked if I could grow and change over the years. She said the core type is the same all your life. Since it didn’t really fit me, I just discounted Myers-Briggs as a career determination rather than having accuracy in personality as a whole. As I was deep diving into Human Design I came across a YouTube video where the guy was adamant that most people are mistyped in Myers-Briggs and that there are strong correlations between Human Design and your Myers-Briggs type. He highly recommended retaking the test. So, I did. The results were INFJ.

Of course, we answer the questions based on where we are at in our lives so the best determinate is to really dig into the typing and see if it fits. I had never heard of the function stacks of the profiles until I started deep diving. However, as I have been researching the depth of INFJ I feel it resonates with me perfectly. Like Human Design, seeing myself in the results so clearly is like cleaning mud-stained windows and seeing the world clearly again. Oddly, learning I am INFJ explained why I struggle to understand myself and why it has been my mission in the last 20 years to figure myself out.

Does it seem odd that I typed as an ISTJ first? Not if you dig into INFJ. Growing up, my home life was chaotic. I was a very sensitive child and being a Human Design Manifestor I was very independent and not in need of other people like my mother. My mother is an extrovert, possibly an ENFP. However, she was very emotionally volatile and explosive. My brother is also an extrovert, possibly ESTP, and very insensitive and blunt in his words. My father is an introvert, but lacking in empathy and is likely an ISTP. So, I was surrounded by people who were in my space, criticizing me and not being careful with my sensitive nature. I had to shut off my feeling and intuitive sides in order to cope with life. Combine that with being shut out by most of my peers in school due to my closed and repelling Manifestor aura, and I learned not to trust people and fell deeply into my imagination. I used my Introverted Thinking and Extraverted Sensing to get through my early life. Facts and logic became trusted because people couldn’t tell me I’m wrong. Feelings are subjective and personal and other people don’t trust them so I didn’t either.

I have had the privilege of going through a class with Lauren Sapala to embrace my INFJ qualities. One of the most important discoveries is the strong feminine qualities of an NF person. So, all my worries about having to embrace a more masculine energy from being a Manifestor are gone. I can camp right in the 50/50 position of being balanced in my masculine/feminine qualities. I can be logical, practical and emotional, intuitive. I love that I don’t have to give up any of my strengths. INFJ is by definition very deep and analytical and tends to be the most extroverted introvert in the Myers-Briggs world. INFJs love understanding people and love anything taboo, like mysticism and the human psyche. They tend to be very comfortable with death and the dark side of things. They also tend to be extremely accepting of people because they delight in understanding all that makes people unique.

I have found my people!!

July 14, 2022

Masculine or Feminine? That is the question.

I was out on my balcony this morning drinking my coffee and enjoying the cool air before the temperatures get into the 90s today. I have trees surrounding my third floor balcony that overlooks a courtyard at my complex. There are always squirrels or birds that like to play on the branches and I really enjoy watching them. This morning there were two squirrels on one of the trees. One was actively chasing the other one around. It became clear that one was male and was wanting to procreate with the female. She would stop for a bit and he would get close to her. She would run off and stop, wait for him to get close again and then run off. He seemed playful at first but after some time he got impatient and made it clear her running away was no longer an option. They looked like they were wrestling the way they were rolling around with her trying to get away, but it wasn’t angry or violent. It was foreplay.

Not to say that I have a deep interest in the mating habits of squirrels, but I do have a deep interest in what it means to be masculine vs. feminine. I spent my younger years warding off the feminine because I saw my mother display it so poorly. She loves to play the victim and “help me” feminine side but then becomes manipulative and controlling with it rather than truly appreciating the help she receives. I was so angry and resentful of her “feminine” behavior that I swore I would never be like that. I didn’t realize at my young age that she was exhibiting a very unhealthy behavior and that true femininity is nothing like that.

I recently was messaged through an online dating sight by a man who was interested in my comments on my being in touch with my feminine. He, apparently, is currently reading a book on healthy masculinity and was intrigued. We had a lovely conversation and it has me thinking a lot more about what I actually am and want to be. It is a feminine woman’s desire to be pursued. I think the unhealthy side has produced all the extreme push to look good to a man so a woman can be desired sexually. It absolutely makes a woman feel good to know that a man desires her, but healthy relationships are about being desired for all aspects not just physical ones.

It seems that most of the world today has blurred lines as to what is the correct roles people are to play. Of course, a man is more than welcome to take the feminine role and allow a woman to pursue him. The problem is when a man wants to lead or doesn’t provide the sensuality in a relationship if he is the feminine. Men who want to be chased and then still want to call the shots in the relationship will be met with resistance. You have to pick one role or the other, you really cannot have both. Just like a woman who is masculine cannot be aggressive and lead with her man and then expect him to step up and take responsibility. That was my mistake. Because I was feminine-averse in my younger years I made decisions and took the lead, but when my passive husband refused to engage it frustrated me. I chose the role, but didn’t realize the consequences.

As I have spent the last five years learning about healthy femininity I realize the power they have. I always thought the feminine was the weak one. That is only unhealthy femininity. As I watched the squirrels I saw that she had personal power. She went where she wanted, she wandered off in any direction she chose. He made the choice to follow her or not, but it was an active action not a passive one. She stopped and he made his move, then she ran off only to have him chase her some more. He was focused on his determination to have his way with her and kept pursuing but in finally “getting caught” it was clearly her decision to allow it. In dating, the feminine is the prize. The masculine wants something and sees the one he/she wants to acquire. This can be for lots of reasons other than physical pleasure, but it is a desire to acquire either way. In any case, the masculine does not want something that is easy to acquire. The fun is in the chase. They want a feminine to play with them and make it interesting even if they both know where it is going in the end.

I had dinner with my oldest son. He is a masculine guy, although in touch with his feminine side. He recently broke up with his girlfriend and someone at work was interested. She played the masculine role and pursued him vigorously. He has been spending time with her but admitted that he had no real interest in her because she has been the lead in the relationship. He is playing along because he wants the distraction from his recent breakup but the reality is that regardless of the condition of his readiness for a new relationship he would not be attracted to this new girl because she has been so relentless in pursing him. He has the self-awareness to know that if it is too easy for him to obtain (aka it falls in his lap and won’t leave) he doesn’t appreciate it and will get rid of it when it is no longer convenient.

As I am looking to date, I am going to do my best to cultivate my feminine side. I mentioned that it is a struggle because being a Manifestor (HD) I am innately masculine energy through my need and ability to initiate things. However, I want to try to take the feminine role – and be true to it, to see how it feels to me. I will need someone who is very in touch with their feminine side and self-aware. I will still not like to be controlled, because of my Manifestor nature, but I do not like to control and I don’t want to lead in my romantic relationships. Perhaps I will find that I cannot energetically feel attracted to a strongly masculine man. However, I have acquired the desire to be chased. Like the squirrel, there is power in being chased and choosing to get caught and I would like to know what that feels like to feel desired on that level.

July 8, 2022

Are goals necessary?

I’ve lived my life thinking that I have to have goals. I have always been driven by the “next thing” to do or aspect of myself to work on to be a more perfect well-rounded person. In the course of my life every time I strive for more perfection I am faced with the reality that I can never obtain it. There are far too many areas in life that I cannot focus on and once I stop focusing on an area a lot of the skills and mastery I’ve obtained slip away.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit of anxiety in that I have nothing on my goal list. I mentioned before that I encountered a mid-life crisis at 45 because of this realization that I didn’t have dreams past my kids growing up. Before, I would get a nagging sensation that I needed to do something, sometimes anything, to alleviate this need for movement and change. As I look at Human Design I have the Channel of Transitoriness (35-36 gates) that is a force for change. The quote from the book I have is “This is an emotional Manifesting channel that defies logic’s caution and restrictive patterns. It will try anything and everything, whether of intrinsic value or not, to get things moving in the direction of a new experience.” This means I am good with change but it also means I can create a crisis where there doesn’t need to be just to feel the experiences it entails.

I am a member of MindValley. It is an awesome resource for a multitude of subjects and I have been a member off and on since 2014. I attribute a lot of my growth, especially spiritually, to MindValley’s quests. I am working through several right now, and the recurring theme of them all is to clear my mind and lean into my intuition to guide me rather than to allow my mind to control things. The mind is not looking out for our best interests most of the time. What if I could just allow life to unfold like watching a movie? What if I could stop creating crises and call in the experiences that will bring me to my fullest potential and life purpose? This is a foreign thought to me. Being a Manifestor I have always pushed the stream and now that I know about being a Manifestor it seems like I have permission to push the stream. Yet, I have to trust that everything that has happened to bring me to this point in my life is not for nothing. Everything happens for a reason, right? I have learned from my astrology chart that I am to surrender to life, not be in the limelight. This life is about my subconscious development, not my conscious fulfillment.

It is my intention to try an experiment. For the next six months, through the end of 2022, I am not going to push anything other than my learning. I will meditate daily and journal about my desire to allow the universe to bring to my attention the things that I am to involve myself in and take part in initiating. I allow myself to completely surrender to what my guides direct me toward and develop my intuition to look for the synchronicities that bring opportunities my way. I will do my best not to push or pull unless I feel the Manifestor urge (a very specific feeling) rather than just nervousness or impatience. What will I be able to look back on at New Year’s and see as the result?

As I contemplate this, I feel at peace. Before, the thought of not having anything to strive for felt like death. I would look at disdain people who just lived purposeless lives going to work, watching TV, going to bed, and starting all over again. Today, the thought of just being rather than having the pressure of accomplishing brings me hope. My whole life I have felt like I had to be useful and do something to find worth. Never, have I ever, felt that I am worthy just for being. I am filled with gratitude for this moment that I am feeling that I am enough. The feeling may pass. I may forget and go back to my old routines, but it gives me hope that this feeling can exist within me and I look forward to being able to come back to it as I practice allowing it.

July 5, 2022


Something that has been on my mind for a while is that at this stage of my life other than meeting a life partner that fits who I am now I have accomplished most of what I wanted in my life.

  1. I was driven to get a degree and a career so I could support myself financially
  2. I knew I had to have children; which allowed me to deal with my family issues and learn boundaries (HD Gate 37)
  3. I was able to deep-dive into religion to sort out my beliefs (HD Gate 9 & 11)
  4. I homeschooled my children to make learning and growth the focal point of my home (Sag in 4th house stellium)
  5. I was a part of, and included in, community through church and homeschool (Gate 37)
  6. I resolved my shadow issues through deep dives into psychology and human behavior (Gate 36)
  7. I was able to break free of the bonds to my ex-husband (Akashic/karmic bonds from a previous life)
  8. I now live in a home that is like a sanctuary, working a job that is financially stable and living a stress-free life able to pursue whatever topic I want to learn about. (Gate 58)

When I turned 45 I went through a mid-life crisis, which prompted my leaving my ex-husband. I blogged about that separately, but the main takeaway was that all my dreams and goals really ended with my kids getting older. I didn’t have any goals that went past getting a divorce and finding a better life partner. It scared me. Fast forward two years and I have done my best to live a peaceful life and situate myself so that I would be who I needed to be to welcome a new life partner. I was feeling like I was ready. However, with the discovery of my Human Design nature and that I am forced to be a Yang/masculine energy woman whether I like it or now, it is causing me to again have a crisis of being. I was fooling myself as to what my life partner would be like and how I would show up.

After my mediation this morning I felt drawn to my Thoth Tarot cards. I am not an expert on Tarot, but I have found Alister Crowley’s Thoth cards to be beautiful and inspiring. Here is the spread:


Defeat – “We do not suffer because of a desire to do so, but rather need suffering and defeat as a necessary experience in order to grow by overcoming it. The desire for knowledge is the wish for redemption. Crowley sees this card as the consequences of an attitude that has been too peaceful, whereby the defeat is the price of an exaggerated avoidance of conflicts.”

It isn’t hard to look back and see that I have had an exaggerated avoidance of conflict in my life. I have a strong desire for peace, which is written all over every profile I have ever taken for personality typing. I hope this doesn’t mean that I have to embrace conflict, but I also hope it means that I can be more open to disagreeing with people and stating what I need and want and accept it if the other person is not in alignment not feeling any stress over it. I do feel this card symbolizes that I need to lay to rest my old patterns and what I thought wanted for my life and look for something that may feel uncomfortable but be better for me.

The Devil – “On the level of consciousness, this card shows that we come into contact with our dark side. These are the experiences in which we become aware of our unfreedom and dependency.”

I have been through dark nights of the soul in the past and it resonates with me that I need to go through another one. I need to die to my image of how I show up in the world. I have spent so much time conforming to a Generator world and as a Manifestor, I cannot be effective doing it that way. I have lost sight of my true self and have not relied on my Inner Authority. It will be a difficult and painful process of holding to my kindness and compassion but letting go of my need to please and not ruffle the feathers of those around me. As one Facebook post indicated, I am the conductor of a train. I move forward, I have a destination, I have a purpose that is on rails. Those around me can choose to purchase a ticket and join me or they can stay out of my way, but the train barrels on regardless. I need to find those willing to join me, not seek those I can join. I am not a passenger. That is a really difficult change of thinking for me and it will force me to get back in touch with the strong opinions that I have buried to get along with everyone.

The Universe – “From a psychological perspective, the Universe personifies the waking consciousness and the self-regulating power of the creative self. This allows us to act socially within the surroundings of our community, and process emotionally the creative contractions of eternal transformation.”

This is a relief after the Devil card. At least the darkness I will go through to find my true self will wake my consciousness and allow my creativity to surface. I do desire to find a community that will benefit from my experience and as a Line 6 in my HD Profile, I am destined to be a Role Model. This confirms that the work will result in benefits to others. Here is a quote from Carl Jung under The Universe:

“To experience the Self means that we are always conscious of our own identity. We then know that we can never be anything other than our Self, that we will never lose our Self, and that we can never be estranged from our Self. This is so because we realize that the Self is indestructible, that it is always one and the same, that it cannot be dissolved or exchanged for something else. The Self enables us to remain the same under all circumstances of our life.” AMEN!

August 12, 2021

It’s official, I’m divorced. I’ve actually been divorced for two months now. I happily feel that it was the best decision for me, without a doubt. Even though I was separated for a year before the divorce, it was important to me not to start the dating process until I was officially single. I have spent a couple months getting some important life matters taken care of and now I’m ready to see if I can find love again. I have been working towards putting up my profile on a couple of dating websites. Being the dutiful over-achiever that I am I have been “studying” to make sure I’m successful. Is there any way to be truly prepared?

A couple of hurdles come to mind as I, again, peer over the hedge into a new world. The last time I “dated” was in the 90s. I think a few things have changed since then – not the least of which is the age of the men I am compatible with. It is odd that I continue to think of myself as youthful and see the pictures of my potential dates as “old”. My mirror confirms I am not 18 anymore but my heart does no such thing. Another hurdle is that I never actually learned how to just have fun. I was a very serious person as a teenager. Oddly, I was more serious then than I am now. I had no patience for guys who didn’t fit my perfect ideals so, needless to say, I had a lot of first dates and very few 2nd dates. I think I’m much more prepared to be light-hearted about my time spent with the opposite sex. However, I still feel the rule that if I don’t really like them I’m not going to waste my time has to remain high on my list.

Whether for good or for bad, I have fallen down the rabbit hole of YouTube research. I have found a few favorite male dating coaches that I have been adamantly following. They have some differences in opinion about things, but what they all seem to agree on is that women who want a “real” man have to be feminine and not chase the guy. They all agree that sex is not required after the 3rd date. They also highly recommend not having dinner as the 1st date, too awkward and unspontaneous. It would seem that the only way to find someone I will really like is to find topics to discuss that are non-interview style. Tell me about your job, is not a question that needs to be asked, unless I want to bore the guy to death. Another agreement they seem to have is that I’ll have to touch base with dozens if not hundreds of men to sort through to get one that will stick. Wow, is it really like sending out a hundred resumes so you can go on a dozen job interviews to finally land the one job? What is the payoff? At least with the job you get a steady paycheck and health benefits. With a relationship it is tenuous and uncertain, and you can still get fired!

What do I want from all this? I recently meet with a counselor who recommended throwing out the rulebook from my YouTube gurus and just focus on being playful, having fun and keeping my antennae up on what makes me feel authentic and engaged. Whereever I am at in the process keep asking myself “Am I having fun?” If not, redirect or move on. It is great to be at the stage of life where I don’t have any clocks ticking to move me closer to something. I don’t want any more kids, I don’t really care if I remarry, and I am financially in a good place. I’m looking for a life partner that I truly enjoy. What does that look like? Great conversation, which may include playful sparring and disagreements but all for the sake of digging into the issues to have fun conversing, not to argue a side. It looks like being able to just sit together without feeling the need to entertain or force conversation too. I want to feel like best friends and great lovers without feeling trapped or obligated. I want to wake up every day and choose the make the commitment to continue in a relationship that has flowing energy, not stagnant, festering energy that is soul-draining. Passion is important too, but I’ll leave those details to the imagination. I want to have fun!

My nature is to embrace both stability and change. It may be an odd combination but I have to have movement, hence the change to keep things interesting, but I also have to have grounding and security. I want my relationship with my life partner to be that way. Like the swing set at a park. It is cemented to the earth to keep it from flying off or toppling over but yet there is free flow of movement. Sometimes it can go slowly. Sometimes it is moving backwards instead of forwards. However, sometimes it is exhilarating. You can choose the speed and it takes work but it is experiencing both flow and stability.

In my work, I spend my whole day solving problems and creating order. I am looking forward to dating to not solve a problem but to just experience the chaos of life and meet new and interesting people. If dating is like any other situation involving people, there will be plenty of people I don’t like, find annoying and just simply don’t want to spend time with. However, there will be people I find fascinating and even if it isn’t a long-term relationship will find value in having known them for whatever time they have graced my life. The important thing, I believe, is not to try to “manage” it but to just experience it. I need to trust my intuition, keep important safety protocols in place, and enjoy the experience.

July 16, 2021

I recently had surgery, which I’ve never gone through before. It was a positive experience with the medical staff doing what they do best and taking care of me. I recall over the years with grandparents in the hospital and other situations that medical people are trained to look for life-threatening situations and get people to a stable position. They may not be 100%, and they may have permanent issues but they are alive and able to sustain self-care and that seems to be the goal for those caring for others.

That isn’t a bad goal for people who are having heart attacks or those in car accidents. Even those with cancer are happy that their medical crew are doing their best to get them to go home and keep living. However, when someone has an issue that is not life or (even sustainable day-to-day living) threatening medical staff seem less than sympathetic. For example, I have a friend whose child is suffering from severe anxiety. She has attempted suicide on a couple occasions and the medical staff are on the ready to assist on those occasions. However, when the family attempted to get a battery of tests on hormones and other blood readings to see what the root cause of the depression and anxiety was they were met with a great deal of resistance. Once a person is “out of the red” it appears that the motivation to keep looking for the reason they aren’t at their best abates. Why is it that the bare minimum for living is all that is necessary?

That leads me to think about mental health in our society. I don’t agree with locking people up for mental health issues but our society seems to turn a blind eye to those with mental health issues and make the assumption that it is normal to be a little bit crazy. Yes, we can pay a lot of money to therapists who are happy to listen to our woes day after day if we so choose to keep paying. However, it seems that as long as a person is getting by and not on the brink of harming themselves or others it is not considered something to be concerned about. When my son was around 14 he was having a lot of issues just understanding his place in the world. He had plenty of stressful situations between moving a couple times and a bad relationship with his dad. I hired a teen specialist, who was a nice guy, to come to our home and talk to him to be that guidance counselor that my son was not getting from any other man in his life. He came and he did help, but he had a personal issue come up that prevented him from continuing to meet with my son. When I asked him who he would refer to replace him and he brushed me off saying that my son would be fine. He eluded to the very troubled teens he worked with in his day job who had substance abuse and legal issues. He very vocally indicated I didn’t need to pursue additional counseling. Why does it not make more sense to assist my son before he turns to drugs or stealing (or suicide)?

I don’t know much about the mental health scales that are used to determine if a person needs treatment. However, it seems to me that it is inadequate. Our brains are very complex and self-sustaining. I have known people who had serious personality issues that could not be classified on the scale of disorders because they were highly functional. So, if a person cannot sustain personal relationships but can go out and buy food and hold down a job we call them normal. As I had a glimpse into Ken Wilber’s levels of development it is easy to see how a child should behave and when they get to a certain age they start to question things and expand their mind. He does a good job explaining how each stage looks. However, so many full-grown adults are stuck at lower-level stages that they should have grown out of in their late teens. I won’t get into the details of his stages, but suffice it to say that we have all the tools necessary to help people through their negative patterns of living and we don’t take the necessary resources to develop people’s minds to mature and think critically.

Perhaps if we started really understanding people and how their minds work and started classifying them into categories of health it would cause more harm than good with us vs. them and other people knowing their issues preventing them from getting jobs or relationships due to a label. I realize that parents don’t want their kids getting labeled in schools because of bullying and hindering them from being treated normally.

I don’t have an answer. I know I could use just as much help as the next guy in figuring out why I have the tendencies I have that are not benefiting me. I also know we don’t want to have any ONE way of thinking or operating to be pushed any more than we want one religion or one type of government. There are so many people with so many beautiful expressions of life that we don’t want to damper them in any way. My concern is for the millions of people that are stuck in negative thought patterns to the extent that they don’t even want to do anything differently. Is there an answer? Can we help them without hurting them more?

May 14, 2021

Great Expectations

No, I’m not reading Charles Dickens, I’m thinking along the lines of relationships and how we start out with certain ideals and expectations and then allow them to dwindle down until we are just getting by in a relationship but for whatever reason we don’t seek to move on from them. Every time in years past that I brought up with friends how unhappy I was in my marriage I was met with a barrage of reasons why their relationship was just as bad or worse. As if their being unhappy was all the reason I needed to remain unhappy with them. Oddly, this social norm of staying in relationships that are entirely unsatisfying is very, very standard. Yes, there are people who get a divorce but more often then not those people seem to have extenuating circumstances that make it more socially acceptable like infidelity or abuse. Considering how far we have come with being tolerant of various lifestyles that used to be taboo, we have not yet come to a point in society were we expect to actually enjoy our chosen life partner past the wedding vows.

In a few recent conversations, one friend remains with her husband even though they never connect and never have meaningful conversations. They spend time together physically, but emotionally they haven’t spent time together in years. Yes, they have younger children who take up a lot of their time. They both work full-time and have the ordinary albeit overwhelming responsibilities of life that get in their way. I imagine this makes up most of married couples. The kids come along and their relationship suffers but it is their duty to march on in their apathy toward each other until the kids are grown and hope they can salvage how they once felt toward each other. In ways this is noble; the kids are important. However, what this is teaching the kids is that mom and dad’s relationship is not valuable and they will carry on the tradition in their marriages. Wouldn’t the children be better off if the parents carved out time to remain friends and lovers instead of just roommates? That would be a much better example to duplicate.

For the other friends I have, it varies between utter distain of their spouse to desperately trying to get the spouse to be, do or feel the way that they “used to” in a way that is codependent and unhealthy. With audiobooks and the internet there is no shortage of ways to learn how to communicate, interrelate and find healthy boundaries and yet most couples just march on in their drudgery and eventually may snap and divorce. However, the fault doesn’t lie in the resistant partner entirely and as we see with those that divorce and remarry, the likelihood of happiness goes down because each person is still behaving in the new relationship in the same manner they did before.

Because so many of my friends have parents or loved ones who divorced and were no happier, when I talked to them about dating again they were all adamant that there is “nothing better out there” and “no man can communicate”. I disagree. I do know of relationships that are great and men who communicate. What is the key factor in those people and relationships is that they are committed to working on things and being mindful to keep making an effort rather than becoming complacent and apathetic. If one partner is eager to work on things and the other one is not, eventually it will become a serious problem. If both are content to be below average in their relationship is is certainly better than one person nagging and getting angry with their partner that is not willing to make the effort.

Another issue that I have observed in relationships is that one person in the relationship is carrying the lion-share of the responsibility while the other one doesn’t feel responsible for anything. The non-responsible party is happy to blame the other person when things are not going well, however. This is not specific to men and women as far as who is the responsible one. I do think this is part of the masculine/feminine dilemma. The more I understand masculine and feminine energies the more I see how the feminine is the one that can take more and become apathetic and lazy while the masculine can be more neurotic running around trying to find their worth in all the tasks they do for everyone else. I fully admit that I was trained to be a masculine energy woman. I took on more and more responsibility for my spouse and my children because that is what had to be done, not because I desired it. I have natural abilities to problem solve and I’m good and organizing and taking care of things. It makes me a great employee, but at least there I get paid. Over the course of 25 years in marriage it burned me out and practically gave me a nervous breakdown.

As I look back, I could blame my ex for allowing our relationship to become so lop-sided but the truth is that it is the natural order of things. Yin-yang is necessary in life to keep things balanced. We attract the opposite to us or we will feel very uncomfortable with the relationship and will not stay in it. I was a strong, opinionated, highly motivated person in my early life and because of various experiences I had with my family and was determined never to be at the mercy of a man to take care of me. Therefore, I picked a man who I had to take care of. It put me in a position of power because growing up I felt so powerless. In the beginning our relationship was exactly what I wanted and felt comfortable with. However, over the course of time and more than one serious bouts of depression I realized that I could not sustain the neurotic, over-achieving lifestyle and begged my husband to move out of the fully feminine (taker) mode and have a more balanced relationship. Unfortunately, he was not able to do so. That was his right to continue to be what is best for him. Besides, I changed the dynamics, I couldn’t expect him to change. I have healed the wounds that made me the neurotic and masculine energy. I look forward to exploring a healthy, unselfish feminine energy role, as well as attracting my new opposite energy.

Again, as I peer over the divorce hedge and consider what I want for the remaining years of my life I do know that I need a life partner. My reasons are no longer so I can take care of someone and feel validated by my self-sacrifice. My reasons are that I am a better me when I have someone I care about in my life. For those still in the thick of parenting, their children may be enough. I am on the downward slide to empty-nesting and I desire a companionship with someone that feels like it is fair and balanced like a proper yin-yang relationship. That is my expectation moving forward, and a great expectation I wish more couples had for themselves.