Bringing in 2018

(something glitched and this didn’t post. Good thing I checked before closing it. Originaly from Jan 4)

2018! And it’s already day 4? lol Life goes so fast, it’s mindblowing. But, I’ve approached it totally differently.
I worked through Christmas Eve, and then just chilled. The mother-in-law went into the hospital for pneumonia Christmas Eve, so rather than try to push through everything by working and watching the kiddo, I decided to just read books and hang out with family. I drove Uber a bit on Thursday and Friday, but my wife needed my help as well due to health issues. So I tried not to stress or worry. Lots of people were taking this time off anyway. My intuition didn’t freak out about it either, so it was a good choice. :-) And that choice lead to very interesting results.

I normally read a lot of non-fiction, self development books. But I’ve been feeling a pull to read fiction more to help my wife with her writing. I saw a post that were the 100 lesbian books to read and the very first book in the list grabbed my attention. So I looked it up, read the free preview, and liked it. Then I realized it was on Kindle Unlimited, which has a free 30 day trial. I signed up for that, then realized there was a free audiobook pairing if I signed up for the romance package on audible – again a free trial. And since then I have gone through at least 8 of Bridget Essex’s books which are all lesbian fantasy romances, with knights from other lands, werewolves, vampires and witches. Feel good stories that are amusing and interesting. I also read a cute book called Villians Don’t Date Heroes, which wasn’t nearly as good, but started me on this journey of lesser known books. In one of the last books I read, the main character is a normal witch living in an abnormal place. But what I realized as she would talk about rituals and the connections is that I actually wanted that. Not the details of it, but a spiritual practice that connected me to the larger energies of the moon and earth. So that lead me to my most recent endeavor.

It’s been years since I read anything witchy, so my memory was too hazy to know where to start. So I went online and started asking questions of my various pagan friends. I know I don’t want to do normal ritual. Calling a circle and all that just isn’t my thing. But I know there’s a lot of energy available to amplify my intention. So I received some good information, mostly about trusting my intuition, since I was being pulled in this direction. Tonight I did my first ‘ritual’, even though it’s a few days past the full moon. Here’s what I did.

First, I cleaned my office. I just couldn’t do ritual work in the mess. It’s not super organized, but the floor is cleaned up and well vacuumed, the general clutter is out of sight, and I had room to set up. Then I pulled down my salt lamp, which I turned on. I was told the colors of the full moon are white, blue and orange, so I chose 3 stones that matched from my collection: orange calcite, white quartz, lapis lazuli (egg shaped), and a selenite egg that I held in my hands throughout. I also added a nice big chunk of labradorite. Then I sat before them. First I took a few breaths, clearing my mind. Then I did an MBO for ease in releasing self judgment, which is what I’m focusing on releasing in the waning moon. I believe then that I called upon Luna, the Moon, and Gaia, the Earth, along with my spirit guides, to aid me with their energies with what I was trying to accomplish. I didn’t call upon any gods or goddesses, as that isn’t really my thing either. I had a nice little chat, felt the energy humming, and when I felt complete I did a bow. It felt very good to do something more purposeful than just saying a quick MBO. Then I put my primary stones in the basket of the salt lamp (it’s a basket of chunks of salt) and put it all away. Based on these results I plan to do this daily when possible to reinforce the intention and give me some connection time. I also have the moon phases in my calendar so I can now when to shift focus and pick a new one. I may try to do a longer ritual on those days, but I’m not worrying about it.

Another nudge my intuition gave was to make another lightsaber bracelet, after watching The Last Jedi twice. I felt like I needed the reminder again, given how challenging life has been. These bracelets take me about 4 hours to make. I could do it faster but the quality would suffer. And since I’ll wear this constantly for months I don’t want to sacrifice quality. Now if I can just take the time to make a how-to video I can check that off my list. I have been enjoying having it on.

The energies have been really odd the last few days. I find myself humming a lot. I don’t know what is all happening, but I’m assuming it’s changes that need to happen. It’s causing my appetite to be all weird. And sleep has been a challenge. But I’m trusting that it’s for the best. I mean, just getting nudges to do things for my spiritual life is a welcome change so it seems to be a good thing.

Business is starting to pick up. It’s looking like two projects are moving forward now, with potentially some others soon. I also met a guy who seems very nice and very interested in being an installer. He will be learning from my current installers and then should be a great way to simplify my project schedules. And we’re going to do our best to get into the home and garden show this year. Hopefully that makes for a great year of projects for us! And then with enough projects we have the money to invest in our own personalized lead generation system which keeps us growing quickly.

So right now, life is a challenge, but it’s looking up. Parenthood is quite the challenge with an almost 3 year old. It caused some major conflict between my wife and I last week. I reached out to friends again, and we have a plan of action. First, potty training. That is likely starting this weekend since we started getting Melody excited for it. This solves the biggest battle of the day – poopy diaper changes which are often painful for her. And I’m reading Happiest Toddler on the Block so I can be a better parent. I keep expecting too much from her cognitively. She’s so intelligent that it’s easy to do. There are so many awesome things about almost 3. Her understanding of holidays like Christmas and her upcoming birthday has been a blast. Her increased language, which was already impressive. Her new ways of playing with toys. It’s a lot of fun. What’s not fun is the other normal things about 3 – pushing limits, whining, etc. That’s where the book comes in. And soon we’re going to transition her to her own bed again and start weaning. It’s really time for me to have my body back completely. And it’s time for my wife and I to have our bed back, even though I love our cuddle times. It’s going to be hard for me to get used to not curling up with her. But it’s necessary. I know it’s not a one and done thing, but it’s time to give it a try again. I have two massive bags of m&ms for bribes. And toys. I think we can do it. lol

So that’s where I’m at right now to start the year. My physical is taking a break, though I’m looking forward to Tuesday night medicinal qigong with a little yoga mixed in. That will complement my Thursday morning qigong as well, so hopefully I start to feel better physically. I started doing the inversion table again, which I set to be more steep. And I am trying Moringa which is supposed to work even better than circumin for inflammation. I only just started, so I will see how I feel after working all weekend. We’re also researching kratom (I think that’s it) for my wife and maybe myself. I’d like to not be in pain so I can start exercising again. I know I could exercise at home, it’s just difficult to fit it in. So it’s going to be in there when I really feel the pull for it, like anything else in my life. :-)

Always a work in progress.

New qigong practice

This month I have gone to two qigong classes. They have been wonderful (side note, wonderful is a favorite word of Melody’s which is adorable). Back on track… Qigong is something I’ve learned mostly from books, some videos, and one very short class. I always enjoy it but never had an awesome teacher. Until now. It’s a new lineage. Details on that can be found at the master’s website: http://www.mogadaoinstitute.com/ I really want to go to Santa Fe, only 5 hours from me, and take a class sometime. But my teacher, Candace, is excellent. She gives us these little nuggets throughout the class. The psycho social and emotional aspects as well as the energetic. And there’s this strong connection to, well, connection. To the lineage, and to whoever we connect to.

Throughout the class I randomly feel tears well up, which shows the energy moving in a different way. The end of the class is the most powerful for me. We do a martial bow to the outside of the circle, to those who came before us. It hits me intensely, to the point where my eyes tear up and I could just cry if I allowed it. I’m not making it wrong, just find it interesting. I have felt that before, when meeting my guide in meditation for the first times. So tonight I asked the guides who else was there besides my guide, and they said lots of people. Apparently I am pulling in a lot of people with that qigong class. Past life connections, including soldiers I served with, current life connections…hence the intensity. I honestly can’t tell you why I do it, as it’s not a cognitive process. Perhaps I need that reminder that there are so many beings ready and willing to contribute to me if I just let them. A reminder that people have my back. Life is so challenging right now financially that I need that more than ever.

Even tonight as I sat at the computer I can tap into this feeling of timeless connection. It’s so hard to describe, but it’s very tangible. I’m so grateful for this experience. I gladly drive 40 minutes and pay my $10 donation for this. It’s beneficial on so many levels. I’ve never been one for tai chi, and haven’t found the right yoga for me either. But qigong really works for me.

I found this class on meetup.com. I highly recommend everyone check out meetup and consider trying out some qigong. Maybe you’ll luckout and find a great teacher who lives the deeper practices like mine, who radiates wisdom and understanding. A monk in civilian clothing. I really hope to have her teach our Jedi at the Praxeum someday. Or even before then. I envision having her create month long practices that we practice daily. Then each month she changes it up based on the seasons. It gives us time to really learn it and practice while getting the power of qigong, which is how it flows with nature. Or maybe I just want that for me. 😉

Documenting change for knighthood

So I’m officially going for knighthood at this years Jedi Federation gathering. Not because I wasn’t ready before, but because the conditions weren’t right for me to mess with it and travel to it. Though, the timing this year is fun because my two students are also doing their knighthood trials. Assuming we all pass this will be an event we share together. Pretty neat.

Since my memory sucks many times, I need to start documenting recent changes. One is that I almost never drink soda anymore. Not because I set a rule or anything, which is a rather ineffective way to do something. It’s because I listened to my body and it said it didn’t want it anymore. At home I was drinking water or san pelligrino juice, but eating out was more challenging. And then it slowly dawned on me that I actually drank unsweetened tea just fine! In fact I preferred it much of the time. Silly me. So that’s becoming my go to. I like it with some other flavors, but not sweeteners.

Another thing I’m trying to do more often is drink a full glass of almond milk before bed. There’s an old post about it, but it’s a trick learned from a Chinese medicine practitioner to calm indigestion/heartburn. (Honestly I don’t remember which is which. I know, it’s weird. I also don’t know if I’m using these parentheses appropriately or if I’m totally abusing them. hahaha)

I’ve been really focusing on using my tools lately. Yes, I still get really intense sometimes. I want to cuss people out (or do if in the car and no one can hear me). I want to just blow people off. And sometimes do. But I also ask questions. I create more space. I look for more allowance. It’s always been important, but now knowing that people will be interviewing me and likely trying to get me to react I need to get a lot better at not reacting. These tools need to be second nature. Especially the urge to get defensive about them to people who don’t understand them.

In the coming months my shift is to meditation and physical health. If we weren’t in the moving process I would have taken Melody out for a walk today. It was so beautiful! Fifty degrees and sunny means no coats in Colorado! But there will be more days like that and we’ll be at the new house so I can take her for a walk around the neighborhood. Beyond the aerobic side of things I need to keep strengthening my body. Carrying a very wiggly and strong almost toddler is causing back pain and strain again. I could go to physical therapy but I really don’t have time. Instead I need to find time for yoga and body weight exercises. Hopefully having David here (my old student and soon to be knight) will help because there will be another person to watch Melody and help out around the house. Then it won’t all sit on me when people are not feeling well. Plus he can help me practice my tools as well since we have the same tools. It’s always easier to remember the tools when it applies to someone else after all.

 

And finally, sleep. Sleep has to be prioritized which is why I’m going to post this and finish getting ready for bed. I won’t get nearly enough sleep tonight since my alarm is going off in 8 hours from now and Melody will still nurse in the night, but it’s a start. I’m praying the probiotics and little bit of apple juice allows her to sleep tonight instead of screaming from gas pain. Poor baby. Poor mommies. So, time to get to that bed and sleep as much as I can. Back to work after a wonderful 6 days off. It may be more challenging than I think. Here’s to everyone else returning to work as well!

Clearing the past without making it wrong

The book study is actually not just David and I, but Connor. Both of these young men have been my student and friend for quite some time now, so it’s fun. David and I are coming from the motivation of money, Connor for other reasons, but the underlying issues (such as receiving) are the same. So, this book is handy for more than just money.

Tonight we were chatting about how we may have come up with a coping mechanism in the past to protect us, but that those mechanisms are no longer beneficial. We have a similar issue in keeping people at a distance. I built a massive shield very early in life. And I learned not to open up to people. That massive brick wall of a shield keeps me from opening my awareness more, and that doesn’t work for me anymore. But, attempts to drop the shield have not gotten far. So today when I was talking to Connor, I gave him some advice that turned out to work well for me.

In our various training, one of key concepts is to not make something wrong, as wrong is a judgment, and judgment keeps you from getting free. I asked him not to make his past coping mechanisms wrong, and then told him to thank his body for protecting him as best as it knew how. Then I went off and did the same thing. Specifically I thanked my body and my brain for what they did to protect me. I then asked for us all to work together to create something greater. Doing this created instant change! I’ve been fuzzy headed, which is simply due to not being used to being that open. Not that I’m wide open, but certainly more open than usual, which is progress. Upon checking with the guides I was reminded to let things pass through me, which is the last bit I need to pass along to Connor as well. For anyone curious enough to try this exercise, here is what it means to let things pass through you.

The background, from a course I recently wrote.

Exercise 1: Feeling the Edges
If you were to look at yourself in the mirror, where would you say ‘you’ exist? Is it where you see your body? That’s what our eyes typically tell us. But we can use more than our eyes to answer this question.
Sit somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body.
Once comfortable, try to feel the edge of you. Reach out with your awareness and see if you
find a place where ‘you’ end. Keep reaching… and reaching… and when you’re done, come back
to this text.

How did that feel? Did you find your edge? Are you just a bit larger than what you saw in the mirror? Recognizing that you, the being, exist beyond your body is a critical step in becoming a Jedi.
Exercise 2: Become Space
Now that you have experienced existing everywhere (or at least much farther than you thought), let’s take this deeper. The Force, while existing everywhere, is particularly noticeable in the space between matter. What does this mean?
Matter is made up of atoms. Within an atom you have the nucleus and electrons. When you look at an atom very closely, you can see that it is mostly space, with very little ‘stuff’. When you put atoms
together to form molecules, this remains true. The picture below shows metal atoms. The nuclei never touch. The forces between the atoms are what holds the molecules together – all of which is in essence ‘empty’ space. So while we experience matter as solid, it is not.

In our daily lives, we don’t see anything at the atomic scale, so we believe things to be solid, including ourselves. The revamped show Cosmos actually addresses this in an episode where they mention that we never actually touch anything. What we define and experience as touch is the interaction of the electromagnetic fields in the various molecules involved. Yet if you try to imagine that you never actually physically touch anything else, it’s pretty hard to wrap the mind around! It doesn’t match our experience.
This exercise is to help you experience that space in some way, to become one with it, and thus the
Force. Remember, this is already your natural state, to be space. It doesn’t take effort to return to a
natural state, only the release of your preconceived ideas.
To begin, take a few deep breaths to relax. Close your eyes and focus on the space between the
molecules of your body. Expand that space, out in every direction. Expand all of the cells in your
body, even the space within the individual atoms of your body. Expand that space, and your
entire body with it, and fill the room you are in. Then continue expanding, to fill the building.
Then, your town. Then your state/region. Continue expanding to your country, and then the
whole earth. Keep expanding, until you are present throughout the solar system, and onward to
the galaxy until you fill the entire universe! Stay here as long as you’d like, just sensing what is
there.
If this is hard to do at first, focus on setting the intention to expand and go as far as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re going far enough, just intend your energy to continue expanding and it will go there, even if it’s beyond your ability to sense at this point.

Enough background. This all relates back to the opening of shielding. See, the idea of shielding is to block things out. Most of us learn shielding so we can block everything out, because we don’t have much awareness. It’s a ‘better safe than sorry’ for most. And that works for people, to the extent that they are aware of. But I’ve learned more in the last year. When we cut out everything, our awareness is seriously limited. That doesn’t work for me anymore. Hence the exercise today. Now, the key to add to that is to now not hold onto the new information that comes in. We are space, all it takes is remembering that, and now the energy can pass through instead of sticking. That includes emotions from others, which often throws people for a loop. They get the awareness of an emotion, but they mistakenly think it is theirs. This is why empaths struggle so much. Being able to let the energy go when it comes in allows the awareness without getting thrown off.

So, that’s the key. Don’t make old coping skills wrong. Thank the body and mind for all they’ve done, and ask them to help you create something greater. And then remember to let the new energies coming in to pass right through. This makes it easier to stay more open. And that’s what’s happened in just this evening. 🙂

Applying tools

This morning I had an immense amount of discomfort in my hips again, just like on Saturday. I put the seat heater on, but that had limited affect again. Maybe if the seats magically wrapped around me, but that doesn’t happen. Instead I started applying the lessons from yoga. First, by refusing to give into the discomfort mentally. That’s hard! I started focusing on any little improvement. I started to move, even if it looked ridiculous while driving. And while it wasn’t instant relief, there was change, and more and more relief. I did stretches as well, as best I could while driving as well. In the end, the discomfort eased off! I wouldn’t have tried half of what I did without that prenatal yoga class.

This reminds me also of last night, as my feet were hurting quite a bit from all the activity this weekend. I also noticed my heartburn was kicking up. A little chat with Lars reminded me of the energy contribution of heartburn, which occurs when the energy is pulling up and focused in the upper half of the body. Remembering that, and realizing that I was pulling my energy up and out of my feet to reduce the pain, I decided to embrace the discomfort. I consciously shifted my focus to draw the energy back down and out of my feet. It wasn’t instant relief, but I could feel a difference.

This shift is really important for me. It will help me be as ready as possible for birth, but it’s also quite beneficial to healing my body in general. It makes me stronger, mentally especially. Pain is such a distraction, so to shift the focus to handling the discomfort in different ways I can refocus on life.

As I enter the third trimester, I’ll get a lot of practice I’m sure!

Babymoon at Shambhala Mountain Center

It’s Sunday morning and I just returned from an hour long walk on the property of Shambhala Mountain Center. The air is crisp and the wind is really moving, making it feel much colder than the ambient temperature. The clouds I see makes me feel like snow is moving in, at least south of here. I don’t know if there is, that’s just what it felt like.

We arrived Friday around 5:30pm. We got checked into our lodge room which was unexpected. The room is sparse but with normal beds (double or full, not sure, but definitely smaller than our normal queen size.) Overall I found the rooms quite comfortable, and thankfully with wifi as there is zero cell signal on the property. We didn’t use much of the wifi, as the point was to relax and rejuvenate, but it was nice to know we had minimal communication if needed.

We were here as guests of a Jedi friend named Lars who works here. Once the truck was unloaded I walked to the kitchen to see if menus were posted on the outside of the building. As I finished my circle of the building Lars came out of the kitchen. This was the first time meeting in person. Since my wife was dealing with some anxiety, I ate with him and tried bringing some food back for her, but they were serving lamb or vegetable curry, neither of which was something she could eat. I found the veggie curry delicious and filling though, so it was a good start of food for me. After dinner my wife was hungry and in need of meat so we headed into the middle of nowhere for a restaurant nearby that Lars mentioned called Potbelly. It’s a curvy, packed dirt road over a ridge and through the national forest, ending at Red Feather Lakes, and right at the restaurant. She got pollack and I ordered zucchini chips, even though I was pretty full. All of the food was very good, very fresh, and worth the drive for her to get some quality food that met her protein needs.

The temperature drops quickly at 8000 feet in this dry environment. Overnight my wife kept going out for smokes and trying to get her body to relax, but I stayed in to stay warm and try to maintain a sleepy state. We both got our flu shot earlier in the day, and she got her Tdap shot, so her body was tense from the immune response. By 6am she had found a place with really good energy and meditated, allowing her to clear out the anxiety and relax her body better.

I was up at 7 to shower and head to breakfast. I had oatmeal and two hard boiled eggs. Then after a bit of prep, grabbing water and a backpack, Lars and I walked to his place to get walking sticks and such. Then we headed out on an easier hiking trail which goes above a lower ridge and stops at Buddha Point, a beautiful rock outcropping. We stopped a few times to catch our breath or drink water, and we stayed at Buddha Point for quite some time talking and enjoying the view. It was quite amazing. If it wasn’t such a long walk I’d go back today for some quiet time, but I pushed my body plenty yesterday. Our total route was about 2 ½ hours, and approximately 7000 steps. Definitely worth it, but my hips were screaming at me by the afternoon after a nap.

We arrived back about an hour before lunch. I tried to elevate my feet which were pretty tired, but really wanted a nap. After lunch we took a good 2 hour nap or so which refreshed me. I woke up hungry, even though I ate a lot at lunch, so ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I think by being so calm, and Peanut mostly being settled except for when solar flares or waves hit allowed me to eat more. We went for a late afternoon meal for my wife again at the Potbelly, this time with her getting a burger, but more zucchini chips for me. Once we got there, about a 20 minute drive from SMC, my hips were really starting to ache painfully. I kept trying to stretch them and rub them, but it wasn’t working. On the way back I tried using the seat heater to help as well, but that didn’t work well either. When we got back I took some Tylenol and stretched as best I could. That did seem to start helping, along with moving more. And then I met with Lars while my wife tried to sleep some more.

One thing Lars really wanted to do was host an informal talk on Jedi Realism for the people who work here. We didn’t practice, but we discussed a lot of the topics, and each wrote up our thoughts on the areas he wanted to cover. That was due for 8pm, after dinner. While we prepared I ran Lars’ implant band, to see if that would help him be less nervous for the talk.

At dinner I only ate a little, since I had food every few hours before then and we chatted with some other people as well. Before long it was time to head to the location of the talk and I drove him and two other guys over to the small house.

Overall the talk itself went well I think. There were a few good questions, and hopefully it planted some seeds of just how much is possible in the world to create a satisfying life path. I even came away with a new way to view the Jedi code, which was pretty cool. I recorded it, but haven’t checked it to see if it worked. The whole thing took about an hour and a half and I returned to the room a bit after 10. That was reaching my limit of not using the bathroom, and my wife sleeps better when I’m around.

That brings us to today. I slept in a little bit and skipped the shower until a few minutes from now since I got to sleep a little later than I preferred. The drive home isn’t the easiest due to traffic so I want to be more alert. After breakfast and a little more conversation I decided I wanted to take a nice quiet walk. I wandered around a building at first where I finally saw one of the elusive black squirrels which was neat! I also saw a different type of squirrel and what we call chipmunks that may be tiny squirrels. Being closer to winter than summer there aren’t a lot of birds around today, though I saw a beautiful very blue bird flying at Buddha Point yesterday as well. In any case, I then wandered more and ended up on a trail that loops around bird habitat, a small patch of wetlands (I can’t remember the proper word). The wind was invigorating and I was grateful for my tardis knit hat. It was an easy walk, but very calming.

I haven’t done any sitting meditations here, but I’ve been very calm, especially after the hike. Hiking is a very effective meditation for me. It slows down my brain, brings me fully back into my body, and leaves me with a sense of peace. So I’ve had two quite nice meditations from that perspective. Before we leave we’ll drive to the great Stupa to see it and maybe spend a few minutes in silence there as well.

We’ve both enjoyed our time here. The energy is great, very peaceful. This has definitely been a nice babymoon, bringing us the calm we needed. I look forward to returning again and spending more time at Buddha Point.

I took pictures which I’ll post when I have more time and internet.

Pregnancy, Emotions, and Being a Jedi

As emotions go, I find that everything is amplified. When something frustrates me, I am more frustrated than normal. Anger can easily get to the level of detectable blood pressure increase and buzziness in my head. This is not normal for me. This weekend at the symphony I was frustrated with someone who insisted on talking during the beginning of EVERY SINGLE PIECE. lol Seriously, I was waiting for intermission (that never came) to either talk to them or report them. But in the wait I was trying to let go of it, so I could still enjoy the show. It was so challenging. So on the way home I wondered if more meditation would help, or if I needed a different practice. I asked the guides and while they didn’t say yes or no, they reiterated that I’m PREGNANT! A lot of this is truly outside of my control. No amount of meditation will change that hormones completely change emotional responses to life. Though they will get back to me soon about a training plan for some other aspects, and they reminded me to try to slow down and take a breath to reduce how these emotions ramp up.
I’m generally ok with this answer/explanation, but what concerns me is, in a community dominated by men or people who have no clue what happens during pregnancy (including myself before I became pregnant), my lack of control is going to be seen as a problem with training, rather than an understanding of things being outside my control. That’s one reason I’m writing this up, because if there was something I could do about it, guides are the first people to say something.

I’m sure there are times when even men have some health changes, sometimes hormonal, that simply make emotional management out of their control. At least to some extent. Not that we shouldn’t try. I continue to apply my tools, and did throughout the symphony. On the outside, no one knew except when I tried to silence the person with a look. ;-) But on the inside I knew I was struggling and didn’t want to be.

On the plus side, my coworker said I’m doing really well. I am very aware that I’m pissy, for instance, whereas she didn’t see it and would get angry if someone mentioned it to her. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of how non-Jedi handle (or don’t handle) this process as well. :-)

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