growth · vision · worthiness

I turn the radio on, I turn the radio up…

halloween bear.jpgAs I complete the 21-day meditation, “Desire and Destiny,” we’re called today to “share our vision.”  To try to move from dreading the word networking to see that the more we talk about and share with others what it is we want in the world, the more able it is to manifest.  Deepak said, maybe it’s following the thought to go to the park where an idea is sparked or to go to a party (we don’t really want to go to) where perhaps we meet someone who can help our dreams come to fruition.

The scary thing about owning our dreams is that it puts them out there for the dreaded derision.  This fear of derision from others seems to be the motivation for hiding them that most plays out within me.  Next on the list of negative voices is the derisive voice from within myself that says, You’ll never follow through anyway, so why bother telling anyone or trying in the first place.

Both of these voices are tools … well, were originally tools for safety, actually, but they’re long outdated, and I don’t need to hide anymore who or what it is I want or am in the world.  But those voices haven’t yet received their invitation to leave in strong enough terms… and perhaps those voices don’t actually vacate the vicinity, maybe they just get turned down like a dial on a radio, becoming less distracting and thereby less convincing.

It’s easy, simple, and habitual to listen to the voices that say, You’re not good enough, your dreams are dumb, you won’t attain them anyway, you’re a queen of self-abandonment so why try.

But, it is also soul-crushing and life-limiting to listen to them.

So by the opposite tack, it is harder, more “effort-ful,” and not at all ingrained to upvote the voices that say, I am good enough, my dreams are worthy, I will attain them in whatever time, order, and manner I’m supposed to, and I can become a queen of self-support so I’m excited to go out and try!

Yeah… that feels silly and saccharine to tell myself.

But frankly, I, Molly, am nothing if not silly and optimism-sweet, so I better pump up the volume.

 

Happy Halloween, Everybody!:)

 

Advertisements
abundance · scarcity · vision

Idyll

10-11-18.jpegAs I continue with my spiritual, self-progress work, I’ve been returning to the idea of “ideals.”  In some groups doing this work, we’re encouraged to write a sexual ideal (where the rub becomes, “Okay, now go become that yourself, little one.”), and in other groups, we’re encouraged to write job ideal.

Unbidden, lately I seem to be creating these lists in my head like a master paint mixer, taking a little from ex-boyfriend A, a dash of B, a dollop of C.  And then stirring in a few qualities none of them may have expressed but placed them in the “ex” category to begin with.

I’ve been coming across some of these old lists as I’ve been clearing out my shelves of files and writings and I’ve set them to the side, information for later.  Soon enough though, later will be now and I’ll have to/want to read them and see what is the same and what needs adjusting.  What qualities were important to me then that I’ve now learned are necessities?  What qualities can I release as they don’t align with my values of today?

Similarly, I’ve been inking over again and again in my head the ideal of a better commute.  Because my previous job had a 13-15 minute drive time and is now an unpredictable 45-90 minutes…each way…I am feeling a bit grim.  So, I’m looking at the numbers: what does it cost to move, do I want to move, is my home location or my workplace more important?

And then I take a breath and realize that I’m trying to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic.  The ultimate truth (for me!) is that I am running myself ragged for little benefit.  My return on investment here is not gleaning me very much, so whether I live in A or B or work at A or B really makes no difference.  I’m attempting to get some feeling from a circumstance it is impossible to get it from.

What I really need to do is to write a new set of ideals, with no holds barred, no scarcity Sirens singing me onto their rocks, telling me that’s not possible, eat your crumbs you ungrateful wretch, things are better than they were can’t you just stop here suck it up and eke it out til death?  Why look to the horizon beyond, that’s not for you, you were birthed in a harbor of hardship and must exist in a harbor of hardship like every other miserable wretch on this planet? What makes you any better or different or deserving?  Head down, row your oar, eat your soggy peas.

(I do wonder if this voice is familiar to you, Reader, too?)

What I really need to do is to unfetter my eyes and unbury my heart so that I may feel into what it is I’m being called to do next.

This may be a several year process (in fact, I imagine it will be… but then again, I must remind myself humbly of the unlimited power of Grace and that I always think things will be harder than they end up being!), but it doesn’t matter initially what the “timeline” is or what the destination is.  What matters now is that I simply(!) allow myself to look up from these teensy movements of pennies here to pennies there, and open to the wider vista that is calling to me.  To notice the kind friend ushering me laughingly to join her on this warm, nuanced, burgeoning adventure.

 

progress · self-doubt · vision · work

Living Out Cliches

Last Friday morning, I received a phone call from the temp agency I’d been working with, telling me, in excited “what a great gig is this” tones, about a possible receptionist job.

On Saturday morning, as is not unusual for Bay Area Rapid Transit, I got onto a train car with a homeless man sprawled out in a blanket by the doorway, and turned right to walk through to the next car.  There, I was pleasantly surprised to see a former co-worker (the only one I really befriended) from my retail job this past winter and I sat down next to her.

I got to tell the temp agency and my former coworker the same thing: “I just accepted a teaching job for the upcoming school year.”

It felt as though The Spirit of Jobs Past had come to call on me, showing me how my life could have been.  I get a call for a crummy temp job–that only days before I would have actually had to consider–just 24 hours after accepting a position teaching 3rd grade at a local Jewish private school.  And only a day after that, I run into someone who holds up a vision into what my winter was and what my present still could be:  long, hard, meaningless, monetarily and spiritually rewardless hours.

This morning I pulled out my “morning pages” notebook thinking to write about what’s happening now, and I flipped it open.  It fell open to a page from February, when I was still at that retail job, and I had just decided I was going to be a school teacher.  I have all these “law of attraction”-style invocations written down over that month:

  • I’ve made a decision.  I am going to teach physics.  And math.  In high schools. & later college(?)
  • I’ve decided: I’ll get a private school job & they’ll sponsor my credential program.
  • The future. My legacy.  Middle schoolers, I love them! Real holidays.  Real breaks. Stable. Stability First.
  • I want a job like Jess’s or Chris’s – a cush public or a great private.
  • I need a regular job. I need a regular, benefitted, well-paying job.
  • I wanna fly a plane for tourists.
There were all the questions, too:

  • This will take a lot of work & more schooling.  How is this gonna work?
  • Will I be able to do a normal job AND the acting thing? Dreams change, right?
  • How the heck to I teach this stuff?
  • How is this gonna work at all??
  • Where do you (inner core) need me? What needs to happen to get there?

I also wrote about the other things that I was struggling with:

  • I broke down yesterday – I shared & cried & said how it really is for me right now. I feel ancient, I feel tired, and – not lost actually – just temporarily very, very stuck.
  • I am a mess, and I need help to clean and slow things down.  I can’t do it all at once and I’m trying to.
And finally:

  • 2015, the year I taught at a private school, was in a musical & play, learned calculus and physics.  Right? Oh, and got counseling for cancer. Oh right, that.  I need help on that.  This isn’t okay.  I wanna hear from cancer survivors.

It was the entry after the day I “broke down” to my friends and let them know how much that winter was weighing on me…  How broken and tired and hopeless and directionless I felt…  The day after I admitted that what it looks like on the outside can kill you if you don’t admit what it feels like on the inside…

It was after that entry, the very next one, that I received the call that I’d gotten the temp job as an executive assistant and would be leaving my retail floor behind me.

It was at that temp job that I made a friend who ended up gifting me funds so that I could afford to accept the part-time summer school job at the cushy private school (and take a physics class at night).

It was the experience and resume-fodder of that private school job that enabled me to speak with recent enthusiasm to the cushy private school interviewers where I got hired last week.

And, true to the last bullet point above, I have, in 2015, taught at a private school, been in a musical, learned physics, and gotten counseling for cancer & discovered a community of young adult cancer survivors whom I cherish.

Oh, and I flew in a plane with a friend and was able to take the wheel for a while.

So, what?  What is the take-away from all of this “what it was like & what’s it’s like now” reflection?

Firstly, and I believe most importantly, I admitted the truth to my friends about how broken I was feeling – and I will not be exaggerating here when I say things were as black as they can get for a person like me, a person who will actively hide behind her shiny exterior while gently suggesting suicide to myself like a lover whispering nothings in my ear.

This was not okay. And I didn’t know how to change or fix it.  I put on the armor of the Look-Good every day.  Until finally, one very lucky day for me indeed, I told the truth to people who could hear it, and, importantly, help me change it.

It was because of this admission of my truth that I got help: I began to work in earnest on my recovery.  I “happened to” read the back panel of the Cancer Support Community newsletter, where they offered free one-on-one counseling for cancer patients and survivors. I was accepted into a climbing trip with survivors like me where I was able to tell them the truth about how much I missed them in my life without knowing what it was that I’d been missing — like breathing fresh oxygen when you’ve lived in LA your whole life with a 100lb pack on your back.

So, I suppose the take away is mainly for me to say that.  To say that this was a hard fucking year.  It was a hard fucking winter and it nearly killed me “for realz.” And so, all these cash and prizes now, all the fulfillment of these “manifestations,” all the rewards that seem to be piling in on me now and making me spin with their accuracy of help… they have not been granted by a fairy godmother, magically and suddenly.  They have been fought for with the truth, with action, and yes, with the childish hope that what dreams I put out into the world might actually come true.

My coworker asked me on the train car last Saturday, “When did you quit?”  “February.”  She thought for a moment, and replied, “So six months.  You’ve done what you said you were going to do in six months.”

Indeed.

And wow.

And thanks.
adulthood · authenticity · inspiration · letting go · poetry · transformation · uncertainty · vision

Who’s Next?

Normal
0
0
1
654
3732
31
7
4583
11.1287

0

0
0

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of
certainties.” ― Erich Fromm
This is the quote of the day relating to the daily
meditation I’m doing through the Oprah/Deepak 21-day challenge.
Strangely or not, it’s what I was writing about in my
morning pages before I logged into the meditation. The idea of uncertainty, of
letting go of what’s known. And how very close to that I feel right now.
I found out yesterday I didn’t get the job I was in several
rounds of interviews and mock sessions for during the last two weeks. And all
for the better, I think. In fact, I’d reached out to an old schoolmate I’d seen
on LinkedIn had worked there to ask her thoughts. And when I wrote back that
they didn’t hire me, she wrote: You are better off. That place is a shit hole.
So there’s that!
But, this morning as I reflected on where I am, with the one
avenue I was pursuing more actively than others cut short, I find myself
without an exact destination. Which is where in fact I’ve been, but I’ve been
distracted with the possibility of this employment.
What brought me to considering the question of Who’s Next
was my bringing out an old reader packet of poems from an undergrad course I
took. I’d brought it down a few days ago; I was 22 when I took the class,
finishing up from the lost semester when I’d been otherwise engaged in a padded
room.
The day after I brought the packet down, a friend of mine
mentioned teaching again, putting together a C.V. (a teacher’s resume) and
syllabus. I went online to higheredjobs.com yesterday to poke around and see.
And again, I sort of went all blank about it. I see titles like Professor of
18th and 19th Century Romanticism or of Rhetoric, and I call myself
uninterested and unqualified.
And then after a while of poking around online anyway, my
computer overheated and shut down on me, which was probably for the best!
But, today I opened that packet labeled Twentieth Century
Poetry II, and I read the names and poems of Robert Bly, Gwendolyn Brooks, yes, even the
ubiquitous Plath. I read my margin notes, and was amused to see that my
handwriting looked as it does now.
I was interested in the poems, but I wasn’t sparked. These were the
dreams and longings of a different person. The person who ate these poems up,
who devoured and analyzed and waxed prosaic marginalia.
I remember the classroom I was in when we read Spenser’s
Faerie Queene. I remember being the one student who was really intrigued by his
epic traitorous, political poem hidden in monarch-approved meter. I remember the classroom where the professor
told us stories of the poets’ lives, who’d met who and exchanged letters, the
relationships behind their lyrics.
I remember the room for my make-up semester, on a different
campus, since my cohort had graduated. The computer lab where I wrote short
stories and saved them onto the new smaller, square floppy disks that were
actually hard.
This morning I reread the same works that meant so much to
me then, a woman who felt she had no voice, and poetry was a quiet art that
could conjure hurricanes, that could release those that were teeming in my
body.
But, I don’t feel it in the same way now. I of course want
new generations of students to hear tales of those smoky rooms where creativity
was incubated and smile in camaraderie at Spenser’s thinly veiled subversion.
But, I don’t know. Is it me? Is it me now?
There’s a quote from a Yogi tea bag I have taped over my
kitchen sink, along with all the others I felt necessary to collect. It reads:
Empty yourself and let the Universe fill you.
I haven’t ever really known what that meant, or how to do
it. I haven’t known how to let go of all I know, of all my plans, of labeling
what I know and feel and have done as relevant or useless. I haven’t been able
to answer the call of that tea quote until today.
I do feel emptied. I
feel emptied of direction, of specific ambition, of perspective on myself. But it’s not a negative
feeling.
I feel like a student in a new class, but one I don’t know
the course title to. I don’t know which of my skills will be useful in this new
class, what of my knowledge will be relevant.
I don’t know if I’ll need a paintbrush or a calculator, what I’ll grow to learn, or who will be my teachers. I don’t know who else I’ll meet in class, and who I’ll
never see again. I don’t know the iteration of myself who will be called upon to
show up here, or who will be created from being here.
I only know that this nameless class is the only one on my course schedule
for the foreseeable future, and that perhaps at the end of it, I may be able to
answer what iteration of Molly is next.

abundance · desire · finances · fulfillment · growth · vision · work

a short note, just to let you know I’m not dead.

Normal
0
0
1
243
1387
11
2
1703
11.1287

0

0
0

the end.
just kidding.
I have to leave to go meet up with some folks at 9am I
haven’t seen in a very long time. I had my dailey method shift yesterday at 530am, so I
didn’t write, and sunday mornings are my check-in with my mentor, and usually
lead to more emotion than can settle enough to show up here – which is good.
so, tuesday, it is!
i just wanted to reflect on something that occurred to me as
I sat in meditation this morning, back into another one of those deepak/oprah
21-day meditation challenges: I am living the schedule I wanted.
sure, it’s not perfect! but I’d wanted my days divided into
thirds: mornings in private work, working on art, or music, or writing;
afternoons working in the community somehow – how I didn’t know; and the
evenings spent in performance.
and here I sit today, my morning spent in meditation, a
little writing. this afternoon, I’ll head over to the synagogue to teach 4th
grade. and this evening, I’ll have rehearsal (well, we’re off tonight, but you
get the point!).
without intending to, I’ve come to the structure of the day
I’ve always wanted or thought i wanted. the one I didn’t think I could achieve until I was 50, and
had more going for me.
but, today, even though it doesn’t look perfect, even though
I am only earning about a third of my needed income through teaching two days a
week… this is what it will feel like. this is what it does feel like:
awesome. fulfilling. purposeful. open. creative. engaged.
important. 
thanks, universe, for this taste of what it will and what it
is like. i was right when i discovered that’s the day i want for myself. now,
help me achieve it sustainably. thanks. 

action · clarity · faith · purpose · recovery · vision

“Just What I Needed.”

Normal
0
0
1
519
2963
24
5
3638
11.1287

0

0
0

I was just telling my co-worker that nearly every item in my
apartment came off the street or handed down. What typically happens for me is
I notice a need in the apartment, say, I want a new waste-paper basket for my
bathroom. And, more often than not, within a week or so, I’ll pass the perfect
one on the street.
Most of the items in my house happened this way. Including
the new kitchen table I just acquired and am typing on today. Because as point
of fact, I’d just been saying and thinking how I want a new, less rickety
kitchen table. And lo, yesterday, I ran into an upstairs neighbor who is moving
and getting rid of things, and I asked to see what she had left, and there’s
that Ikea table I’d admired but didn’t want to buy. And now, it’s here, in my
home.
The reason I bring it up today is that I have recognized
that when I have clarity of vision, I tend to get what it is I want. The
perfect semi-matching bedside table, the pull-out couch that nestles perfectly
in the alcove, a set of new colorful bowls and plates to replace the staid gray
ones I’d bought at Goodwill.
Each of these I envisioned before they appeared. And so, I
feel, will the job.
I do know how I want to structure and spend my day. I do
know the kind of routine I want and the kind of impact I want to have.
And yet. It’s the waiting, the focusing, the action, the
getting there, the pause.
With each newly acquired piece in my home, I am reinforcing
the belief and faith and trust that if I dream it, it will come. If I am
particular and specific, it will come.
It’s time once again to write a job ideal, and perhaps a
relationship ideal while I’m at it, as I continue to release relationships that
don’t serve me.
In fact, I’ve noticed as I look at my list of relationships
to amend (people I’ve fallen out of touch with for self-preservation [but feel guilty about it], men I
intrigue with even though there’s no possibility or desire for more, and the
third category, my job that I haven’t wanted that’s been the same one dressed
in different clothes for decades), each of these categories can be boiled down
to: Molly staying in relationships she doesn’t want to be in.
Molly staying for the crumbs, the guilt, the fear of
emptiness. Molly staying because it’s the “right” and “good” thing to do. Molly
staying because she believes she can’t have what she really wants.
Each of these amends boils down to believing I’m worth
attaining what I really want.
It’s so easy to believe and reinforce this when it comes to
kitchen furniture! it’s harder to believe I can have what I want when it comes
to people.
It is a sad and lonely habit to continue to hang on to
relationships that don’t work, that aren’t fulfilling, that aren’t meeting my
needs because of a belief that something is better than nothing.
It’s funny. My voice teacher had me practice “As long as he
needs me” from Oliver the other week.
Did I know the song, he asked? Yes. Yes, I know the song. I live the song.
I will stay on as long as he, she, they, it needs me. No
matter how it’s hurting because “if you’ve been lonely, then you will know,
when someone needs you, you love them so.”
So, I guess I should correct it to say I have lived the song. But I don’t really anymore, or I don’t
want to anymore. I don’t want to settle, I don’t want to stay small, I don’t
want to be scared of what may or may not come to me.
I want to believe, that just as I knew my kitchen table
would arrive when it was supposed to, that my job and my healthy relationship
will as well.
With a little visioning, of course. And perhaps a new theme song.

action · despair · dreams · fear · friendship · god · miracle · perseverance · persistence · spirituality · surrender · theology · trying · vision

Men at Work.

  2/17/09: G-d Jar Projects:
  – My band
  – my mural
  – the play or musical I will be in
  – the songs I write
  – the essays and poems
  – the bass I play
  – the vacation I take to Hawaii
  – the sketches I make
  – the painting I do
  – the creative job I am making
At the time I wrote this list, none of these were true or in my life. Today, of this task list I wanted “God” to complete, all except two have come to fruition.
It would be a year from putting this list in my “g-d box”
when I would apply to graduate school for creative writing in poetry. It would
be two years from then when I would take my first oil painting class at that
college and start writing my daily blog.
It would be 4 years from putting this list in the jar when
my friend would become a flight attendant, and ask me if I wanted to escape winter and my chemo treatments and go to Hawaii for cheap.
A few months from there, a year ago, I would finally accept
the invitation to be a part of the band my friend had been asking me to join
for years, and actually use the bass I’d bought for $5 when I was 19. And not
long from then, I would begin auditioning and taking acting classes, and eventually be cast in a play.
The only items on this list that haven’t come to fruition
yet are the mural and the creative job.
The mural seems less important than it did 5 years ago, though
it would still be very cool to do.
The creative job “I am making” (whatever that means!) is still in
flux, in process.
Astonishing, isn’t it, that things I had no idea how they
would come to pass have all come to
pass? I could never have imagined when I wrote that list that I would actually
be in a band, or be able to go to Hawaii. Those were
the gifts and “rewards” of successful, other people. But, some part of me has
always believed that I can be one, or they wouldn’t have been in the box.
I love looking at this list. It is so concrete. I can check each off with a stroke of joy and elation: I
painted! I wrote! I acted! I vacationed! WHOOP! Look at me, enjoying a life (in spite of my self).
We all know what I’m going to say: If everything else on the
list has come to pass except the last one, then there must be hope that even
that can come to pass as well.
I am not sure I’m exactly an optimist, but I am a believer
in the efficacy of asking for help, not doing it alone, but doing it. Eventually.
Because, I should mention that going to school has saddled me
with nearly $90,000 in student loan debt and sent me into a recovery program
around my relationship to money and scarcity. I should mention that my airline
friend offered me the trip to Hawaii because I needed a break from cancer. And that I only finally reached back out to my
friend with the band as I was sitting alone and bald in my apartment, listening to a CD,
and busted out crying because I wanted to be a part of something like that –
because I didn’t want to be taken from the chance to have that in my life.
It’s not as if this list got checked off according to the
“easy way,” is my point. It took a lot of work, help, reaching out, despair,
action, pleading, and god damned willing it to be.
I would not have
chosen this route to getting these items checked off, and yet, here I sit
elated that so many of them have been. They say that it’s the journey not the
destination, but these journeys sucked. The routes to getting here, to crossing
off these accomplishments that have brought me joy, were really horrible, scary, and
painful.
It’s a strange dichotomy to sit with: The immense gratitude for being where I am, and the questioning
of the benevolence and efficacy of the path that brought me here.
So I guess what I sit with now is whether I want the road
to crossing off the last item on this list – “my creative job” – to be as
arduous as the roads before it. It is true that sometimes we don’t have a
choice, and choices are made for us, but I feel today that I do have a choice
on whether I want to struggle toward this final goal, whatever the
circumstances, or if I want to acquiesce toward it. Maybe not even “acquiesce,”
but move with joy. I mean I have a whole list of accomplishments to buoy this
part of my journey, right? 

Maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t have to be so hard.