Shine On

Where your spirit is

It’s been quite sometime since I added some new thoughts here. Last night, I was finishing a Netflix series called ‘The Gift’. It’s set in Istanbul and is better with subtitles than it is with the voice over in English. (The acting connects more in the original language, even if you do not speak it.)

There’s a scene where a character is guided to focus on their pain…

People say where you hurt the most is where your spirit is.

The Gift ~ Netflix TV series.

Much of my writing on this particular blog captures my spirit when it is hurting. This is an obvious double edged sword as I personally do not want to hurt and yet savor being in touch with my spirit.

Numb and Move

Pain is not the only conduit to our spirit. Throughout much of the last year, I’ve worked to numb and move despite the pain that I felt.

I started 2019 recovering from a failed relationship, struggling to make ends meet trying to keep my nose above water in a home I was challenged to afford alone. I dove into some new opportunities, in parallel as I had no option to abandon the work that was paying something, even though not enough.

Just as the new opportunities were getting a little traction, my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I took on even more in the aftermath of his passing, working with my family to hold things together for all of us.

The seeds of very old web development opportunities started sprouting and by mid summer I was engaged in 3 different businesses, business development for my father’s former business, web development for my old business and systems integrations between ERP / CRM / Automation tools in the new business.

I’m a web developer by profession mostly these days. I haven’t written professionally since the financial crisis started in 2008.

I numbed myself in staying busy. I started to contain and get caught up on some of my financial problems. A new relationship rekindled out of the ashes of the previously failed relationship. I enjoyed summer a bit. I encountered a couple odd injuries during yoga, and my practice of the same faltered.

Life was generally going in positive directions. I was not living in balance. However, I was correcting some deficiencies from times when I was mentally/physically/spiritually more in tune.

My Aunt passed away in the fall after a rapid fight with cancer. The onset of cancer was sudden and the fight lasted a few months and she was gone.

Again my family and I were dealing with another loss. At the same time, one of my large web development projects came to an end soon after. It had been a chaotic project with biweekly changes in direction from the client, their team and a series of 3 different CEO’s. The chaos of this project had driven me nutty and at the same time, the money had helped me fix a lot of things.

I did a lot of good work, but was not allowed to do my best work. It conflicted me when it arrived, as it happened and since it ended.

The rest of the year saw a mad dash to wrap up other projects ranging in size from large to medium to small. Without the anchor of the large project that had ended, every week and month felt like a struggle to make ends meet.

Christmas felt like it would be my undoing trying to make ends meet let alone make a holiday for my children and family and make a trip to bring them all together come off.

With non stop work, and help from my mother and family, I made it happen. It was not easy to get into any kind of holiday spirit.

Just Surviving with a bit of Life re-Building

December of 2019 was a month where I just tried to survive. I kept telling myself, I don’t think I can get through another holiday like this. I don’t think I want to try anything like this again.

And yet, I also remembered my Father’s ability to pull out all the stops to bring Christmas together. He loved Christmas. The rest of the year might be great or it might be terrible. He might have behaved poorly or well, but during Christmas, he’d try to atone for everything.

In so doing, it could make christmas awesome and sometimes very stressful too.

He saved my Christmas a few years back at a time soon after my divorce when I was in a place that seemed like yet another rock bottom.

The weird thing about rock bottom, is that this is often where we find our spirit, where that pain allows us to connect. Its the place where the seeds get planted and from which the roots nestle in and we grow out of the ground again.

So in the current holiday, I told my departed Father that I loved him everyday and did my best to make due. I accepted some of the gifts offered and this helped as well.

I made it all the way to January 4th, where I sit now on my yoga mat looking out on a gray day with the sun not quite breaking through the clouds.

I came home from the holidays with a coughing chest cold that had me wiped out for a good 2 days. I survived through the beginning of the month and can pay most of my bills. This was an important accomplishment as none of this was certain 4, 3 or 2 weeks ago.

It wasn’t even certain 48 hours ago.

I have entered 2020 with many of the same conditional driven anxiety that I brought into 2019.

Things are very different Now

I came into 2019 fighting to survive. I made new opportunities and opened up to new options. I said yes to almost everything that was thrown at me.

I used wisdom to say no to a few things.

Staying busy and taking on more helped fuel me through the year. This is and had long been one of my super powers. The more I have to do, the more I am able to get done.

Too few things to do is my kryptonite and the source of procrastination and ADHD or whatever.

Things are different now, because I was able to get caught up on a lot of things in 2019. I got caught up on many debts (not all, but many). I took a big financial hit to help buy my youngest daughter braces, completing a trilogy and I’m still paying off half of this.

I invested a lot of time and money in a new aspect of business. Its a new area of work for me that allows me to wed my experience and skills and education in finance and accounting with my web development and business development skills.

I’m in the midst of taking my new systems integration and automation medicine.

A few years back I put together a vision board or two that put me on a path to automating more of my business. I can not personally scale. I needed better systems and processes to bring the magic out of my head and into an actual business. I had operated like an artist for many years. I needed to systematize the art, so that it could scale and help more people.

I needed it to scale such that I could earn enough to move beyond surviving.

I’m making that happen now. In November, I started consolidating and merging my former systems into a single integrated unit.

In a business sense, I’m aligning the mind body and soul of my essence in business in a way that I can manage it and grow it with others in the future.

A 2020 plan emerging

I do not have my resolutions or plan for 2020 ready yet. I am still finishing up some important action items from the end of 2019. These are some problem areas that need attention.

Finances – I am working on a fast track plan to clean up the rest of my finances this coming year. There have been several problem areas in my life that I simply had no way of addressing in a few of the last years. I’m getting other things sorted and can tackle these soon.

Health – For several years, I have started to envision a future where I might leave meat behind. It started just after my separation years ago. Back then I ran like crazy and then lost a lot more fluff when I took up yoga 6 days a week. A few months later, I met my girlfriend who introduced me to some amazing foods. She is not a vegetarian and yet through choice and necessity looks at foods as part of her medicine. The long and short of it is, she helped me experience that healthy food can be prepared in ways that taste amazing. In 2020, I may or may not go meatless. I’m going to approach my food differently. I’m renewing my focus to emphasize a lot more plant based foods. I may even go vegan someday. Not ready for a commitment, but definitely headed in that direction.

Business Growth – I have lots of work to do here. Again, I need to finish my 2019 work and develop this more.

Travel – This has not been easy over the recent years. Its been several years since I traveled on a regular basis for work and personal reasons. This year I am changing this. I am long overdue to make travel a central part of my life.

Writing – And finally I get to what I am doing in this current moment. I need to make space and time to connect with my writing spirit. I know how to connect with my spirit even without having to focus on the pain. I can also do this through nature, through dance, through beauty, through food, music, story, art. The thing is that I’m alone mostly. There’s a part of my (fun to observe) ego that needs to be witnessed. If I don’t open up and share my spirit, then its just a tree falling in the woods unobserved, unheard. If I don’t write it, its as if I wasn’t there at all in too many ways.

Shine On

So I will make more time… I will allow more time to write again and share the connection with my spirit with you. Whether you are just one person or many, alone or in the lonely company of others, I’m hear. I’m trying to shine and hope to witness your shine on as well. I am not the tree alone in the woods waiting to fall alone and unobserved and neither are you

We are the rays shining and radiating out.

Happy New Year!

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

Today’s Standup Desk Brought to you by Nature

Good Morning!

It is a beautiful Thursday morning on October 13. I am standing on a ledge by Crowder’s Mountain’s summit. I have found another amazing standup desk. I collect my thought…

Just above my screen I see the branch of a pine tree jutting out of the rock holding my desktop. My reflection is prominent in the screen I type on.

I am self reflecting.

A couple a few ledges up and to my right are fooling around a bit. Judging by the laughter, tickling is involved. Nothing crazy, it is a public spot. Just a happy morning.

Sting plays in my earbuds, Desert Rose is just starting.

I am emerging into something of an easier, time. I can feel it. I can witness it.

My recent past has included lots of challenges. Major challenges, not little ones, have popped up at each turn.

The turns are straightening out. I have been bushwacking a bit of a path through the woods of my life.  I seem to have hiked out onto a distant path in the midst of nowhere. The path back became obstructed and my only option was to make a new path.

There were times when this was easy and there were times that I had to hack my way to earn every step.

Lately, it has been more difficult as I struggle with my business and career. Other things have settled a bit, or at least have found amazing new comforts and life in a relationship started last December. I fell in love then. I kept falling in love every month after that, more and more.

Falling in love is a terrific feeling, it is a terrific experience.

I wasn’t completely prepared for it, not personally nor was I even stable enough financially or anything.

Love has a weird and great way of grabbing you when you least expect it sometimes. I do not take it for granted.. I do not take the woman I love for granted.

I am healing. I am growing. Together even, we are healing individually and healing together. We are growing together as well.

I’ll be able to see this wonderful lady again in about 36 hours.

This is one of the powers of love. You count the minutes, you count the hours, you savor every minute. You live.

It is all too easy to ‘feel’ that the other person is giving you this feeling. Sometimes as we grow, the feeling recedes. We can move into a new stage of a relationship even. If we mistakenly felt the other person was ‘giving’ the feeling of love, and then we move into a different stage and do not feel it in the same way, we can mistakenly feel  that the other person took the love away. We can feel that they love us less.

I do not feel this at all, right now. I have become aware of the stages of love and relationships through educating myself. (See some of the recommended books on this site, they were eye opening and very useful and practical. They should be required teaching for anyone that is married or getting married. They are as important as birthing classes for expecting parents.

I found my lesson late in life. I am living it now.

I know now that the feeling of love I have is a feeling I am giving myself. It is a feeling I am nurturing and growing. I am mindful of my love for Sharon. The love I have for her also reflects the love I have for myself.

It is very easy in this moment in time to know that I am ‘open’ to love in general and that the energy it gives me is without limit. I am literally basking in sunlight on a mountain top. In fact, I just took my shirt off and rolled up my shorts a bit. I’m taking a sun bath.

It is only about 50 degrees outside, but in the full morning rays of the sun, it feels like it is 80 degrees.

I feel like I am on a breezy Caribbean beach.

I do not take anything away from Sharon when I say I can love her because I love myself. She is amazing, beautiful and has an energy and a light shining from her that is as strong as the sun I bathe in now.

Together, we are growing something very special. It is perfect for what we need right now. I believe we will be able to grow that to be perfect for what we will need.

This is an amazing part of my work.

I get to stand on top of a mountain half naked in the sun and write about the woman I love on a Thursday morning.

Well, my work is evolving. I am writing more again. This will become a more and more important part of my future income.

I have a lot of skills and experience to draw from. As I work to heal and fix my career and business, one of my challenge is too many options.

One of my frustrations has been that in my past, when I was young. I could throw a dart and pick any option and use any skill and succeed.

Those skills have not decreased, but I am now in a different phase of life. I feel like the universe or maybe my inner consciousness or whatever … It is forcing me to be mindful and make a very specific choice. When I try ‘anything’ and choose from any of my skills, the results do not work nearly as well.

I am fighting my own destiny.

I am an optimist. I look down a hall and see and endless line of doors opening to options. Picture Neo in The Matrix, he can see through the code that makes the doors and the walls even. He has unlimited options. How does he choose?

He is past the binary choice of one pill or another. Now his choices are infinite.

This is me. I have infinite choices.

There is another difference.

The doors are locked. There are only a few that are open.

I could ‘force’ any of them. Forcing them wastes time and creates frustrations and I end up having to leave that room and move on down the hall, my path towards the right door.
I even know what door I need. I know what I am looking for.

I am not at that door yet.

I have to keep walking.

Plus, there is a toll to navigate this hall!

I have to keep feeding the hall coins or tokens, money. To earn that money, I have to force a few doors every now and then and make things happen that are not really a part of my destiny.

Some are better fits than others, but some of them do not even pan out!

I am so close and yet not there yet.

Sting is singing ‘Fill her up’ talking about traveling on the open road.”I need a full tank of gas where I am headed… Up in the front seat, a pretty red head. We’re going to Vegas and getting married.”

Sharon is a red head.


My iPad cursor is slow. It is far behind the words I have typed. I step away and stretch. I have already done yoga on this ledge.

I step forward and type these additional lines knowing that it will just increase the time it takes for my iPad to catch up with my writing.

That is ok. I can type well and sometimes in life we need the reminders to slow down and think more.

Deep breath!

Time to head down this mountain. I have some amazing things to do for my clients today. Yesterday was a very good day and I have some amazing clients doing great work and things for many many people near and far.

I am helping to make them successful and helping by extension to help thousands and maybe millions of people from coast to coast and even around the world.

I hope wherever you are today, if you have read this, maybe I have helped you in some way and you will be able to pay that forward first by making a great day for yourself and second, maybe for those that you love.

If lucky, no if you are mindful and do what you can and explore your potential and demonstrate the power of your own mojo, you are going to make a difference to many people too.

I love you for trying and thank you for reading this!

Out Of The Mud – Turning Things Around

Sometimes we run aground in life and today as I was walking across a bridge to a local park known as Goat Island, I could see a stick or log that had been there yesterday. The log that the stick was attached to had probably gotten stuck in the mud. The South Fork River flows very slowly here. It is man made mostly and doesn’t have a lot of natural flow and almost no current.

The stick had been there at least two days and without rain or some outside force could be there all summer.

Like the stick, I have been breaking free from the sediment of my old life that has held me in place. I can feel the mooring ropes slipping away left and right. I can feel the tug of the current of my life pulling me away. I have stayed true to my essence but flipped my perspective and personality. I have changed physically losing weight at first and then rebuilding my body through yoga and exercise and different foods. I have moved away from what I knew as my home. I’m creating new left and right.

I have found my writing and muse again after years of writer’s block. I am reawakening to my own career and business potential and looking to start new things there as well. (Back to that in a minute) I have found a new relationship and fallen in love with a wonderful woman who inspires me and motivates me to continue growing and healing and evolving. I have shed things from my life like diet soda and watching and reading too much news, a bad habit I picked up in the military and reinforced when I was in college. I watch less television in general, but still enjoy it in moderation. I try new things and explore new areas on a regular basis.

I am learning to let go of anxiety just as I learned to better manage light depression. My practice at not worrying about the future has prepared me well for this time in my life.

Things are turning around.

I’ve been working on rebuilding my business and improving it significantly the last few weeks. I have a long way to go, but I like the start and the opportunities I see. I am also looking for full or part time employment. I’m not picky and just looking for a bit of stability.

Over the last month, I’ve watched my bank account erode down to almost nothing.

Keeping it Real

My credit card is maxed or a $1 away.

My bank account hit $100 last night. (It’s bounced back up to about $300.)

That matters little.

I am a month behind on most of my small bills.

My rent is due in about 10 days.

Yesterday, I had to choose between paying my car payment, my student loan, my cell phone bill or my electric bill.

I chose my cell phone bill as that still is one source of business, especially when it comes to meetings and closing sales. The car payment is important but only a couple days delayed and there is a little relief in site for that to go next.

My health insurance has expired. I owe $160 on it, just to pay off a late payment. The policy is expired. I think my next stop is the VA or something if a job doesn’t solve this problem first.

It is summer time and in the 90’s every day. My air conditioner is bustimicated. I tried recharging it myself but that did not solve the problem. I think it is the clutch on the compressor and for my vehicle that probably means $800. 

I am calm. I am steady. Its not easy, but anxiety is not eating me alive.

I haven’t felt this low on cash since I was a teenager and at 14 when out and collected $20 for the St Jude Telethon with a coffee can and used the money for groceries for my family. The difference is that I was only 13 then and didn’t have a big picture view of the additional things I would need to do.

I’m working through a number of great opportunities. This is the rub. The educated side of my brain tells me that for an addicted gambler a near miss is a win.

I’m not looking at lots of near misses as much as I’m looking at a roulette wheel that is moving in slow motion and won’t quite stop and has been coming to a stop on some number for weeks if not months.

I will be ok.

Things are turning around. I have had three good days in business. Today is looking positive as well. I took this quick break to walk to the park, to do some pullups, dips, and vertical crunches.  

I don’t have health insurance. I need to keep up my health!

Ialso had to stop by the Post Office that keeps odd new reduced hours making it difficult to get in there. I have had a package to pick up there for several days.

I did not order anything. No one shipped me anything that I know of. I’m hoping I’m not going to sign for something that is less than positive. 🙂

But I’m not running or shying away from my challenges either.

I’m sitting at a picnic table in the shade. A dry short log is floating down the same stream. In my mind, I can envision it drifting another 50 meters and striking the log that I first noticed, the one that was stuck. I can picture this new log breaking the old log loose. Maybe the old log will even hook out in a log kind of way and grab on and get moving again with the help of the floating, moving log.

That’s me. I’m working to get unstuck. I’m being mindful and aware of everything going on around me. I’m looking for the opportunity to break free and move on down stream.

One of the applications I submitted this week was viewed by three different people in the same company. That’s the most job activity I’ve had in a couple months. I had a mess of interviews last spring. Several went the distance with 3 and 4 interviews with different people in the company. None of those companies have yet to hire anyone!

They might circle around to me if a budget opens up with their third quarter or someone decides to make things happen.

That would be great, but I’m not looking to wait for a lottery moment, I’m not looking for the near miss and thinking of it as a win.

I’m making other things happen with my own business. Its odd. It has never earned me a great deal of money. It has always been reliable. Its been job security. It is a consulting type of thing and I have had feast and famine experiences in the past.

This is not the first time.

This go around though I’m making some fundamental changes to make my business more scalable and rely on myself as the sole driver of things in the business less.

I am doing what I have done in every regular job I have ever worked in… I am working to automate my job, my business in my job to free me up for more things.
Maybe more things will be even more business. Maybe more things will be a full time job or a part time job or 8 part time jobs.

I mentioned my new relationship earlier. I’m working with my girlfriend to design what might become an online school or a series of courses or books or all of the above. I am very excited about this for many reasons. It points to potential opportunities both with my relationship with her but also with both of our shifting careers and lives.

I’ve worked alone running my own business for 10 years now. I have had partners in many different ways off and on through that but they were all arms length.

I’m looking to work more closely and collaboratively with people during this new stint. It’s not a new experience for me, just a change and maybe one to help me get my momentum started up again!

Where ever you are, I hope you are doing good things for yourself, and finding a way to nurse and build your own momentum along and go out and do amazing things. 

That’s what I am doing and I hope you will join me in making today a great day!

I stopped by the post office and picked up the package. It was a free razor. I have been shaving with the same blade the last two months as refills cost $25. I had other priorities and aconfortable shave was not one of them.

Still it will feel good to shave with something that doesn’t feel like sand paper. Things ARE turning around.