Making the Ordinary Sacred

'I light a candle when I go to fold my laundry.' When I heard a yoga teacher say that, it both repelled and appealed to me. But her words stuck with me, and helped me tonight when I noticed how dirty the kitchen floor had gotten in 2 days. The kitchen floor is one of my house chores here, and my first reaction was 'I don't want to have to sweep right now.'

But I got out the broom and meditated on my teacher's words and gratefulness. I am lucky to have a nice place to live and lucky that I am healthy and able to sweep a floor. I am grateful for roommates that make me smile, even if they track dirt in the house. I am grateful for the cats whose litter is caught in the rug, but who bring joy and companionship to my life.

A floor is easier to sweep when seen as a chance to be grateful, rather than a mundane waste of time & energy.

Too Much Information

I wonder what I would do and believe if I had been told nothing about the world from anyone. If my observations alone would lead me to the same place I am today. If my parents, my culture had not influenced me, would I view the world the same?

Would I still have studied the subject with the highest starting salary?

Would I have a closer connection with the spiritual?

Take away capitalism & Christianity, and would I have gravitated to them on my own?


Lost? Yes, if you want to go somewhere no one has ever been, you must get lost. If there was a known way to go, everyone would be there.

Or something like that, curtesy of Pirates.

Some religions have an aversion to pork as it is the closest to cannabalism that humans can get. I love pork.

The moment you declare victory is when you lose.

The question isn't could you live forever, but could you live with yourself forever.

Multimedia message

Awesome news report today about scientists discovering that sharks can reproduce asexually if there are no mates around. Certain bees reproduce asexually as well, but large vertebrates were generally thought to be bound by the laws of sexual reproduction. I loved the British news reporter's comment: 'No fun for the poor sharks.'

Sex is a gift.

New Goals

Grafitti - Ocean Beach

I took about an hour, sat out in the sunshine and thought about what I wanted to accomplish in the next few years. Here’s what I came up with (they say you should always write your goals down):

Fitness Goals:

  • Target Weight: 170 lbs
  • Resting Pulse: ~40 beats per minute
  • Endurance: Run 5 miles without stopping
  • Strength: Do 3 pullups
  • Flexibility: Maintain & slightly increase
  • Balance: Maintain & slightly increase
  • Self-Defense: Master a self-defense technique (fighting, learn to use a gun, etc.)
  • Competition: Engage in at least 1 competitive activity (triathlon, basketball, volleyball, softball, etc.)

Educational Goals:

  • Government/Politics: Judicial Law (American Law) B.S.
  • Humanities: Psychology B.S.
  • Bodywork: Reflexology, Thai Massage, Reiki 2, Yoga instructor certifications
  • Business: Continue real-world training, operation of own business
  • Religion: Become more fluent in Asian religions, Native American religions
  • Practical: Cosmetology certification (learn to cut hair)

Family Goals:

  • Visit at least 2 times/year
  • Start my own family in next 3 years

Travel Goals:

  • Visit all 50 states
  • Visit all 7 continents

Social Goals:

  • Hang out with a non-roommate friend 2 times/month, working toward 1 time/week

Artisitic Goals:

  • Continue writing, take one class in an art form (singing, painting, dancing, etc.)

Financial Goals:

  • Pay down debt not being used according to budget design
  • Give back 10% to charity when debt pay-down goals are being met
  • Develop charity strategy

Ocean Beach Sunset

I don’t know what the picture of this Ocean beach sunset has to do with my new goals, but let’s just go with it…

Dangerous Professions

April 2007 059

The Rose Knows Its Job

A week before I left Chevron, I had been transferred to a new unit. At lunchtime, the young engineers went out to eat together one hot day in McKittrick. We were sitting around the table talking about our jobs, which are a combination of engineering and project management. There is a kind of continuum between engineering and project management–some people love the engineering aspect, some love the management aspect, some fall inbetween. I mentioned that I almost can’t stand engineering, that I will do it, but I don’t fully enjoy the process, just the satisfaction of the result. One of the engineers sitting across from me was taken aback and turned-off by my admission, and said “That’s dangerous!”

I tried explaining to him that I would never do anything dangerous out of my disdain for the engineering process, that I would do the necessary engineering, albeit grudgingly.

But his comment really bothered me, and it make me think: Is it right to do something if your whole heart is not involved, because you won’t do it to the best of your abilities? For example, one of my jobs was to build and repair pumps and tanks. However, I just could not get into the details…it was not the kind of topic I wanted to go home at night and research until I was too tired. It was barely interesting enough, and there was no way I wanted to know more than the bare minimum in order to complete the job. However, I’m sure there are plenty of people that get really excited by tanks and pumps and would soak in such information like sponges. I met some of them at Chevron.

One could theorize that I would not do as good (or as safe) of a job building a tank as someone who was really excited about building tanks could do.

Applied to massage therapy: I got minimally certified in Swedish massage and Reiki. Many massage practioners will continue going to school, earning additional certification in deep tissue, accupressure, reflexology, prenatal, Thai, hot stone massage, sports massage, etc. etc. etc…

Theoretically, a massage therapist with all that knowledge could better treat a client because their massage toolbox would be many times larger.

However, I was a very successful project manager/engineer at Chevron, by company standards, and I’m also a successful massage therapist…but is it good enough to do a job without being immersed in it?

I watched the movie Hot Fuzz last night. In it, there was a standout cop who had known he wanted to be a policeman since age 6, but had a failed relationship with his girlfriend and had no balance of other activities in his life. His job was his life. The movie tried to show how his lack of balance had hurt him, but in the end, he was a great hero for being really, really good at his job (and he never got his girl back).

I’ve always felt some guilt that I never had that epiphany in childhood where it was clear what I should do with my life. Some people say they just played with Lincoln logs every day and knew they would build houses when they grew up. I was interested in so many things, and changed my mind so many times. I wanted to be a flight attendant, teacher, missionary, and never settled on just one year after year.

I wouldn’t wish this on myself, but you hear stories all the time of something traumatic happening to a person, and from that moment on, they HAVE to spend the rest of their lives righting that wrong. For example, a loved one dies of cancer, and they become an advocat for cancer patient rights, or their son/daughter is killed by a drunk driver and they start a M.A.D.D. movement. These callings are important, but feel more like coping mechanisms than true career choices. The pain inside these people compells them to devote all their energy into one field.

So I guess I’m still in this transitional period of my life where I’m trying to decide where best to spend my time. Should I delve deeper into massage therapy? Should I abandon massage and go full-force into government work? Should I go back to school and study other things that have always interested me (law and psychology, for example)? Should I hold steady with what I’m doing and bet on the fact that I will be pregnant in a year or two and let those priorities direct my life? Should I be spending more time at the gym? Less time on the internet? More time reading books? More time traveling? Learn a new language? Make more money? Eat less? Listen to more music? Make more art?

I always tell people when they feel like they are stuck spinning their wheels, that they should simply refocus on their goals, and the priorities will fall into place. So maybe I’ll resolve to set some goals today and see where that gets me, but I have a feeling it won’t be that easy.

Ah, the blessing and challenge of freedom.

From the Stars

I bought an astrology profile online several weeks back. It’s based off my birthdate/time & where I was born. I thought it was amazingly accurate, and I’m wondering if it is just my own narcissism or if it is just general enough to make anyone feel it could be them!

Here is the link…what do you think?

Also, my brother told me about the following MSN article on the latest theory of death. At what point are you really dead?:

Thoughts on Addiction

My definition of Addiction: If you are doing something all day long that should only be done once a day, you have a problem. This includes: Drinking alcohol, coffee, eating junk food, smoking anything, watching television, playing computer fantasy games, watching porn, talking to your significant other on the phone, playing with your hair, and the list goes on and on. Unless you have made one of these activities your life's calling, quit wasting your time & energy on doing them excessively!

Every one of us fights addictions, some do it more privately, some don't appear to fight them at all. But addictions own you, and they ALWAYS take you further from the person you long to be. There is comfort in the familiar routines of your addiction, but as Kahlil Gibran says, 'comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.'