A book?

Time to catch up with my readers, with some exciting news.  My fellow bloggers will for sure appreciate this, I’m publishing my blog story.  I’ve hired an editor/publisher and my book will be hitting the stands in the spring of next year.  My book will consist of the story many of you have followed, plus new content.  Which sadly, is why I will be taking a break from posting until I have my manuscript completed.
This journey has been nothing short of amazing, and has changed my life in no small way.  I love blogging, and look forward to returning.  Sending my thoughts out to the universe and hearing back from all of you who respond, reminds me every day that we souls far and near are so connected, all drifting down the stream together, regardless of how different we may seem.
I will be back as soon as my manuscript is complete and I am free to continue my dialogue, plus of course, you will have to hear me ad nauseum plugging my upcoming book … come on, you gotta give me that.  Oh my, there will so much to chat about.
In the meantime, I will still be reading my fellow blogger’s posts, and sending positive thoughts to my readers who are not bloggers.
Continue pushing … remember life is short … pursue anything and everything until you hear your heartsong.
Namaste
Postscript:   (sounds pretty official right?)  I waited so long to finally upload this post that I wrote about a month ago that I’m now done with my manuscript and will be posting again on my blog next week.  Can’t wait to catch up with all of you.
 
 
 

Crossroads

I began this blog at the end of January, three short months ago.   My tag line …  “A blog about crossroads, change, aging, loss, health, stress, fitness, yoga, renewal … in other words, life” could not have been better worded.

It’s actually hard for me to believe that all  of this … the THIS that has filled my 38 posts to date … happened in a three-month period.  I find myself taking deep breaths the last fews days, needed deep breaths to help center myself, trying to balance in my new surroundings.
I will never again believe that I can’t accomplish a great deal in a short period of time.  Earlier in my blog I commented on a quote I heard in the yoga class … something to the effect that you can change your life pretty dramatically in only months.  As I round this corner, I see the truth in that statement.  And not that I want to change my life drastically every few months, but when it’s necessary or life presents circumstances which require change, it’s good to know I can do this.  Anyone can.
This last week was filled with so many closures.  I received word from the cemetery that my mom’s marker was finally done.  (Seems they have a shortage of companies that manufacture these particular markers.)  I opened the mail to see a picture of her plaque, ready to mark her final resting spot.   Emotional … the feelings rose once again to the surface.  I didn’t even remember what I chose to write on her marker.  Goes to show what a state of mind you are in going through the death of a loved one.  Seeing the picture reminded me that all I wanted was for her to rest in peace, given the unrest her soul suffered during her lifetime.  No need for fancy words.  Rest in peace, Mom.  It was perfect. “Julia” played on the Beatles channel on my way through the canyon the following two days after I received the letter.  I hadn’t heard it since the yoga class.  Coincidence?  I think not.
After two years anticipating the end of my job at Virgin America, my job did just that, it ended.  After what seemed such an eternity waiting for the merger to complete, the closure came in a flash.  I will share what I wrote to my coworkers …

“Today at 1:45 I closed out of the windows on my computer for the last time with Virgin America.  As happy as that makes me in one sense, immediately the tears began to stream down my face.  I walked around my house for the next hour in a daze.  The end came unexpectedly, one day early … I wasn’t quite prepared.  Not that another day would have made any big difference, but somehow I just wasn’t quite ready.

I had a massage planned today for the day before my last day, since my last day I would be going down to the bay area to turn in my computer and badge.  But instead, as I traveled the little highway into town, I was no longer looking ahead.  I was looking back over my shoulder at such an amazing experience.  The ride into town can make me emotional any given day as I gaze at the beauty that surrounds me in our little town of Cool, but today such an empty feeling rose from my heart, and I probably understood the term bittersweet better than ever before.

I will cherish my free time going forward devoting myself to all of the passions I’ve not had the time to pursue, but letting go of this Virgin experience and Virgin family is harder than I ever imagined it might be.

I think back to the day I interviewed.  As a business owner of a small landscaping company seven years ago, I found my insurance rising so high that I needed to problem-solve.  I didn’t want to give up my business, but I also needed a job that might offer insurance, a part-time job.  The list of employers that offer part-time positions with benefits is quite small.  I think airlines and Starbucks might be the only two on the list.  So, it was a pretty simple choice, I was going to look to the airlines to solve my problem.  It was actually my husband, Rick, who said, hey, why don’t you look into Virgin America, I’ve heard good things about them.

Good idea, honey, I’ll do just that.  I went online, pressed send, and was attending an interview a few weeks later.  I drove into the parking lot of 555 Airport Boulevard feeling quite resentful if I’m truthful.  I didn’t really want a job.  I wanted insurance.  I wanted to continue playing in the gardens.  I walked through the doors a bit begrudgingly, and some hours later (man, long interview process) I walked out the double doors praying to the heavens above that I might be lucky enough to actually get this job.  I spent the following days wishing and manifesting.

There are different families I’ve come to belong to during my life.  They are all unique, and I don’t find them all that often.  They are special, made just for me.  What I’ve come to recognize is that when I find a new group that will some day feel like family, I know it.  I feel it from the first moments.  And I am drawn in like a moth to the light.  It feels like I’ve made my way home, and that is what it becomes.

It’s been quite an adventure these past seven years.  And I won’t list all the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, but I’ll just say that I would have missed out on so much had I never been fortunate enough to work for Virgin America.

I’ve enjoyed working with such an amazing group of people, both at the airport and at headquarters.  I’ve always been so proud to say I work at Virgin America … because we stood for something great.  I will take that pride with me going forward, along with such sentiment for all of you I have come to know and love.

Life moves forward, money changes hands, deals are closed, investors line their drawers with hundred-dollar bills … but no amount of money can ever equal or match what we Virgin America employees walk away from this deal with.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this great experience and sharing yourselves with me.

Cheers to all of us … and cheers to Richard.

Sue”

I’ve remained in a bit of a daze the last two days.  Lots of tears, but also anticipation for what comes next.  I’ve arrived at the crossroads I spoke of in my tagline.  The past is the past.  The future reaches out to me.  It is a NEW DAY.  It is a clean slate … and there are a few highways I could venture down.   But I know where my heart is pulling me … and I am beyond excited to put one foot behind the other making my first few steps down the road that beckons me.
Taking a celebration vacation first … so I will be quiet for a week or two.  I look forward to the next chapter, and sharing it with you all.  As always, I thank you for tuning in.  The journey is so much richer shared.
Namaste
A PS few things I want to mention.
The blog picture was taken unknowingly by my dear teammate, Faye, as I left the building.  I’m so grateful to her for preserving this moment in time.  I sent it to a few friends and posted it on our work FB page.  One of my oldest dearest friends, Colleen, responded saying, “Wow a picture is worth 1000 words.”  Couldn’t have said it better, Coll.  And I also couldn’t have been luckier to have a life-long friend like you.
And Margie, your text the other morning meant more than I can say.  From one kindred spirit to another, we have so much to learn and catch up on.
 
 

Changes

Happy Monday!  My last week at work has arrived at such speed.  It seems only yesterday I was starting this blog telling you of my upcoming changes, and now I turn around to find my yoga class a memory and my last day at Virgin five days away.  As almost always at big turns in my life, I have conflicted feelings, both excitement and sorrow.  I’m going to do my best to stay present this week, enjoy my colleagues/now friends for the last time in our role as the guest relations team.

This position has taught me a great deal about human nature, and if I never write a book about this experience, then I will have passed up a great and hilarious topic, for sure.  I will be writing more as the week progresses about the ending, but today I have different things on my mind.  I spent about two hours last night “writing” in my head when I should have been sleeping, so today I want to put it to the page while it’s fresh.

Will be back with that, and then toward the end of the week my thoughts on Virgin’s farewell.

Happiness

Yesterday I got a call from a sweet man who does some work at our place every year.  He’s about 70, nice guy.  The first thing he said to me is “boy, you sure do sound good.”  I’ve only met this man about three times in three years.  His response surprised me.  I answered him honestly, saying, that yes, I was feeling good.  It made me step back and become the observer, of me, and he was right, I sound different.  And it’s not that I wasn’t happy one year ago or two, I was.  But there is another aspect of me that has pulled into my parking space and she is having quite a time of it, in a good way.
So that comment tied into something I read this morning after my meditation, in one of our books, The Yamas & Niyamas, by Deborah Adele.  In her chapter Reviewing the Niyamas, she writes something that resonated with me. I will quote, “Several years ago I made a major change in my life.  Events came together in such a way that I asked myself the question, ‘Just how good can I feel?’  I began to wonder if every year I could feel better and have more vitality and clarity.  At the time, this question felt radical to me as I looked around at the American expectations of aging.  But I decided it was worth the experiment and that I would make choices in diet, activity, and thinking that would support this exploration.”
I think this is, as my British peeps would say, brilliant.  Challenging yourself to see just how happy you can be?  When do we hear that?  We hear people talking about being as successful and rich as they can be, but how many times do we hear them talk about working to become as happy as they can be?  I don’t know about you, but I really love that concept.
And then a page later in her chapter Moving On, she makes an analogy about what I would define as manifesting, making a choice to be different, to go where you might be a little uncomfortable to go, in the pursuit of what will truly fulfill you.  Again, I will quote, her words are so perfect.
“As a child, I loved pretending I was a horse.  Not just any horse, but a beautiful, black, fast horse, freely galloping over open countryside and taking giant leaps over anything in my way.
“Although my relationship with horses has remained in my imagination, I still love them.  They are beautiful animals and I brim with the thrill of watching them race with strength and grace on an open field or take those beautiful leaps in equestrian competition.  The theologian Peter Marty, in speaking about equestrian competition, had some interesting observations.  He stated, ‘Those of us whose only contact with the world of equestrian competition is via the television set find the elegance and ease of those leaping beasts to be almost surreal.  We marvel at the calmness of the riders.  We admire the cool focus as they vault their way over the hurdles (and wonder if those riders have) some extra instinct that the rest of us lack.’
“Marty further went on to talk about equestrian training.  He noted that one of the most common obstacles all riders face is their own perception.  Much time in training is devoted to the skill of the rider’s own perception.  It is known in the equestrian world, that unless a rider can approach these upcoming barriers with a kind of ‘anticipatory confidence,’ they will never be able to make these great leaps with their horses.  Peter noted that one trainer put it this way:  You have to ‘take your heart and throw it over the fence.  Then jump after it.’”
I absolutely love this, and isn’t this what we all should be doing every day?  Throw our hearts over the fence, just a different way to say follow your heart, but these words give me such a visual for the act.
My dear friends at work and I have been sharing with each other the stress of our upcoming changes, one in particular that is fearful of what lies ahead, and knows where she wants to be, but also not at a place where she can quite yet make that happen.  Another friend who knows exactly where his heart would take him if he threw it over the fence, but the risk feels enormous.  We are lucky, we have become like family, so we share our fears and sorrows with each other.
For my coworker who needs to wait a few years, she just needs to keep her eye on her dream, know that it’s waiting for her. Know that keeping that dream alive is an important step toward making it happen.  When we went sailing a few weeks back, Scott, our skipper, gave us important safety instructions as we were leaving dock.  He told us, among other things, that if anyone went overboard, that it was each and every person’s job to keep our eye on the person in the water.  His words exactly were, “DO NOT, under any circumstances, take your eyes off the person in the water.”  At one point during the day, someone’s hat flew off, and we used it as a drill, so to speak.  Scott tried to maneuver the boat all the while shouting, “Keep your eye on the hat.  Under no circumstances lose sight of that hat.” It was done in fun, but it was a sobering and educational exercise, because in the currents and movement of the boat, it is so easy to lose sight.  I think only one person was able to keep the hat in view.
This morning as I’m writing this, I keep thinking of that hat bobbing in the water and what a great analogy it is with respect to keeping your dreams in sight.  Life is like that boat with the currents and wind and sails and waves, and it’s no wonder we can lose sight of our dreams.  It takes a vigilant effort.  Keeping sight of a person in the water can save their life.  The same might be said of keeping your dreams in sight.
Stay vigilant.  Make happiness your priority.  Take a deep yogi breath, and throw your heart over the fence.  Life is short.  Make it count.
Back one more time tomorrow.  So much to share this week.
Namaste
 

Believing

Good morning!  It seems like I feel the same way every Monday morning during this experience … that I just can’t believe how much has transpired over one weekend.  And every week that feeling seems to exponentially grow.  On Fridays when I think back to Monday, it lately feels like weeks have passed in that four days.
This weekend, just like the last four, was packed with emotion and an enormously wide range of feelings.  You know those toys we grew up with, they are still around, the little paddle with the rubber band connecting the little red rubber ball, and you try to hit the ball over and over and it usually wildly flies around?  We actually have one in our little toy box that always awaits our sweet little nieces, Zoe and Ashlyn, when they visit, a simple little bounceback.   Well, that’s what I felt like this weekend, my emotions being yanked in every which direction.  All good in the end, but it’s a little like being wrung out.
When I wake up these mornings, my mind is like my sweet Little Cat (that’s actually her name, we got creative) who just sits there staring at me waiting for me to wake up, licking me occasionally hoping I will rouse.  From my first wakeful moments, my mind is active and seems to have been impatiently waiting for me so that we can replay all the moments that made up another amazing week, thinking plotting planning scheming dreaming about whether I might really be able to make this idea of becoming a yoga teacher work, chronicling and thinking through the changes taking place in me, both physically and mentally, and of course, already starting to hear in my head what I want to write about to you this week.  Six weeks ago I was pushing snooze and then 20 minutes later dragging myself a bit grumpily down the hall to start my job on the phones at 6:00 every morning.  Don’t really need that snooze button these days.  By 6:00 I’ve been awake for some time and my mind has been contentedly sorting, and when I finally make it to the phone at 6:00 there is no longer any room for grumpy.  That’s a pretty amazing transformation in five weeks.
Talk about taking a left turn and venturing down a new path.  A couple of thoughts are resonating with me this morning (they are working hard to make their way through all the other thoughts ping ponging off the walls of my brain).  The first one is just a passing comment the teacher made at the beginning of the class.  “You can all be at a very different place in your life in six weeks.”  It doesn’t sound like much, and I actually overlooked it myself.  But one of my classmates brought it back up to me later and made me think about the enormity of the statement, but more importantly the reality of that statement.  And what I just wrote in my prior paragraph seems to validate my teacher’s claim.
I know I’ve been saying this throughout my blog, but the realization keeps surprising me over and over again, each time as if it’s a completely new concept.  I have the power to change myself any time I choose.  And timelines will always be different depending on what’s on my plate, but that is really an incredible power I possess and underuse.  It’s very easy to get inundated with life, right?  And there are going to be times when making a change can just seem impossible, and maybe that means I have to be patient and wait for the time when I can take that turn.  But even the planning and the dreaming are still very important steps down the path.
The second thought I am just shaking my head about, in a good way, is what I was talking about last week, the universe supporting us, even when we can’t see it at the time.  This weekend, and yesterday in particular, I began to truly believe that I will be a yoga teacher, and that may sound strange since I’m in a yoga teacher training class and telling all my readers about it.  But all that was required to get into that class was taking that leap of faith and writing a check.  It did not require a belief in myself, nor did writing this blog.  It required only a dream and some courage.
These stages of belief as I’m starting to think of them unfold slowly.  Every week I venture further and further toward that belief.  At the close of this weekend, I saw a vision of an amazing yoga teacher through the mist, and she looks an awful lot like me.  Six weeks ago I would have been a little embarrassed to even say that to Rick, and now I’m blogging about it.  THAT is a lot to be thankful for, and it just makes me shake my head and cry  (one of these days we will talk in depth about crying, that’s a topic for a whole blog or twenty in my case).
So back to the universe supporting us, seeing it in hindsight … this morning feeling a high from the weekend and enjoying the confidence I’m feeling in my plan, I thought back to last year when my mom was so ill, and my future at work was hanging in the balance.  Just a quick explanation, our company was bought by another, our team was offered positions, but it would have required I move to another state, so I declined that offer, and decided I would have to try to find some other position within the new company.  Not really what I wanted to do, but what I thought I should do.
What I WANTED to do was write (a book, possibly a blog) and somewhere along the line I started telling Rick I wanted to be a yoga teacher.  Did I believe I could do either?  That’s an interesting question to answer, but in hindsight, maybe not.  But I certainly spent time dreaming about it and talking to Rick about it.
And the universe (of course) sent my angels.  I remember one day meeting one of my co-workers, Keana, over in Benicia for a glass of wine.  It was a beautiful day overlooking the bay, and we sat at one of the tables outside of the little restaurant drowning our sorrows, so to speak, about the end of Virgin America.  Coincidentally???? right next to us were two people who we ended up having a great time with.  They heard us talking about Virgin America, and they chimed in saying how much they loved flying Virgin, and next thing you know we are all talking about our jobs, and life.  Well, coincidentally what do you think the fellows’ job was?  He was a motivator at the company he worked for, and by the time we left, he was high-fiving me telling me I had better not settle and that I needed to pursue my dreams, that it was my time, and the universe had given me a personal invitation by eliminating my job.  Seriously, a jovial genuinely nice guy, anyone around us heard our banter.  It was great fun, and I left flying high, ready to make it happen.
That was about 2 years ago.  In the ensuing two years, I did hire someone to help me move toward my writing dream and have put many hours towards a book that I plan to one day publish.  But there were many roadblocks along the way, so I speak from experience when I say, sometimes it’s just not the right time, but I never lost sight of my dream.
And then, completely not listening to my inner voice, and forgetting the sage advice of the guy in Benicia, I applied for a job within the company that I knew in my heart of hearts I probably wouldn’t like.  And trust me, had I gotten that job, I would NOT have started this blog.  I would NOT have taken this teacher training class.  I would have been floating around in the waters of discontent, getting by, and I’m sure, still dreaming.
I really should have gotten that job, it was a no brainer.  I walked out of the interview thinking “I’ve got this,” ignoring the fact that I wasn’t really all that happy about it.  A few days later, I sat by my mother’s bedside.  She had a long hard road at the end, and this particular day I felt she might be leaving (in fact, she rallied after that a few times) but this day I was actually afraid to leave her room.  My phone rang and I realized from the number that it was a call about my interview.  I was in a state anyway that day, feeling so overwhelmed with my mom’s condition, really in a fog.  I stood by the little window at the end of the hall expecting to hear, congratulations, when can you start.  Instead the woman was babbling on thanking me for applying and interviewing …  I think because I was in such a fog it all seemed to go in slow motion … but as I began to clear my mind I realized she was apologizing that I had not gotten the job, but she would encourage me to apply again.  I thanked her (not really sure why, but at least I didn’t apologize, ugh) and as I hung up, I knew instantly that even though my pride was a little hurt, what I was actually feeling at that moment was relief and joy, because the universe had just said, “wait a minute, little buckaroo, not so fast, what about your true desires?”  She (I like to call the universe She, even though I think of God as a He, interesting) had given me a get out of jail card this once, turned me around, and patted me on the butt telling me to “get along little doggie.”  I was free, I had done my responsible duty to get that job, and they did not want me.  All I had to do was face those few embarrassing moments when I had to tell coworkers and friends and family that I didn’t get it, and then I got to move toward toward what I really wanted to do.
Even with my belief system fully in tact when it comes to manifesting, I still did not manage to do this on my own.  I needed that assistance from up above.
I will share what I ended with a few blogs ago.  “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere.”
This morning I feel beyond blessed not to be elsewhere.
It’s like I said two posts ago, manifesting, you get to leave it up to the universe to figure it out, because in many cases, what you plan or do might even be counter-productive to getting what you want.   I’m believing these days, and trusting, and oh, what an amazing feeling it is.
I am full.  I am content.  I am thankful for all of you who follow and dream with me.  Whether I ever hear about your quest, know that I don’t even need to, I will always be sending my positive thoughts your way.  It takes a village, right?  Be back soon.
Namaste