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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Refired In Spite of My Ego

Today is the first day of my official retirement from my job as a technical writer. I did that work, or work like it, for twenty years for the same company. The idea of retiring always seemed like something that would happen when I was decrepit and senile; and it was something that was going to be a big reward for all the hard work I'd done.

Now that it's here, it's anything but any of those things.

But I digress.

My day started around 7:30 a.m. -- yes, I slept in. Normally I rouse myself at 6:00 a.m. to do yoga, drink coffee, and play a tad on the computer. But when I woke up today I felt as if I'd psychically belched in technicolor during the night and that the poison had somehow gotten into my bloodstream. My reality seemed cock-eyed and my mood was flat.

I made my coffee, as usual, and then instead of doing my yoga, I opted to go online. I checked emails, played a bit on, and tooled around at Facebook. Around 11:00 I finally got around to hitting the yoga mat.

And that's when the imaginary psychic poison in me really began to get on my nerves. What the f%(*$@ is all this, I mused to myself as I contorted and stretched myself into delightfully exquisite poses. Physically, the stretches felt wonderful, but simultaneously I was sensing chaos and dread passing through me. And that's when I became elated.

Why? Because this stuff was moving through me whereas in my past it would have stayed stuck. And what is this stuff? Ego BS, that's what.

My ego has a tenacity and brilliance that surpasses pretty much everything ... except, of course, my true Inner Self. In some circles, my friends and I think of the ego as The F#&king Fox. It's a long and rather private story as to how we came up with that term; but it fits the bill completely.

And what was my ego telling me this beautiful last day of July 2010? It was telling me things ... not in a voice but as physical feelings ... that I'm a failure and that I retired too early (but we know that it was really a reflection of my lousy performance or my disinterest in things corporate, or that I'm too old, or some things far, far worse). It was telling me reasons why I should give up all hope and let myself slide into oblivion.

So, as I did my yoga, I tried to be mindful of these physical sensations in my blood -- and not have any additional feelings about them. Just observe them and feel them; and then watch what they do. And what happens when I do that? The feelings pass through me and vanish like magic.

I believe that our physical bodies are the ego's ultimate tool. In fact, it's likely that the body is simply a physical manifestation of the ego -- and nothing more. When the ego runs out of mind tricks and spiritual tricks, it knows it can always distract us by making the mortal body crumble. A headache, a spasm in the knee, gas pains, heart tremors -- all of these these things will take us away from God/dess or Spirit and bind us back into ego's grip.

And what is the ego's grip? It's that sense that we are somehow separate. Separate from love, separate from God/dess-Spirit, and separate from others. And since we are all one anyway, the ego is just stirring up the pot of serenity in an effort to make us suffer. And once we know that illusory ego-instilled pain is inevitable, we can counter that with the notion that suffering is completely optional.

Whether it's emotional, psychic, spiritual, or physical, we can merely observe the illusory pain -- and let it pass through us. The next opportunity you have, try it. When you get some pain or sense of suffering, do not engage it by bringing up all the fears you normally do. Forget what society and doctors and your parents told you about pain. This one time, just observe it and let it go. If your pains are like mine, then left to their own devices (and the ego's devices), they'll either vanish completely or -- more likely -- move to some other place. When that happens, you'll KNOW it's an ego trick.

Anyway, now I'm all psyched to move into my day! I know I'm not decrepit or senile; and this day really is a big reward for all the hard work I'd done. And you know what? That work has had more to do with healing myself than working for some employer for 20 years.

And that's why I'm now feeling really refired!
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Early Refirement

On August 1 of this year (2010), I enter the dubious world of retirement. Not because I'm so old that I need to; not because I want to; and not because my employer doesn't love me anymore.

I'm entering early retirement because after 20 years the economy evaporated my job away and because I was close enough to real live retirement to make it every one's best interest -- mine included -- to push it ahead 4.5 years and let me go my merry way.

So am I feeling merry? To be honest, I'm not one hundred percent sure ...

I've already experienced enough time off to know that I'm not really cut out for doing nothing. I was given two months notice and my work days became less and less work and more and more clean the office and/or just stay home and enjoy life. So for a while I went into work and cleaned and polished away my old life ... and then, when that was all done and my good-byes were all said, I stayed home in my little future office/living room ... and began contemplating my future.

Anybody who knows me understands that I'm not one to just sit still while life passes idly by. That fact -- along with the one that I actually need to bring in a certain amount of coinage to continue paying my mortgage -- feeds my inspiration. And I AM inspired now, even though to some I'm facing a big, gaping empty hole of which I'm supposed to feel afraid. But I'm not afraid. I'm totally psyched out and truly looking for new direction.

I get my direction from Spirit -- that small and persistent voice that continuously eggs me on. Loudest when I'm showering, more subtle when I'm doing yoga or meditating, The Voice is the part of me that knows me better than anyone else, knows what I am capable of achieving, and knows what part of my ego-self I need to turn my back upon. The ego-self that contributes nothing more than things like nagging fear, a sense of perpetual loneliness, or even the illusion of Super Self, the part of me that wants to believe he can do all things without help.

Well. I do need help. From God/dess, from friends, and from strangers. August 1st I officially enter a whole new phase of my life -- a phase that is potentially better than any other I have experienced up till now. I'm entering a period of my life that the Universe has taken 57 years to bring me to and prepare me for -- one where only success can crown me and joy will define me.

A few nights ago I was talking to a fellow shaman who provided me with an astonishing concept -- the idea of refirement. He suggested I think of the retirement as a time of transition; and an opportunity to become fired up. Fired up for all kinds of possibilities. I got so fired up by the very idea of this that I immediately Googled the word "refirement." And as you can imagine, I found many, many helpful sites dedicated to this idea. Here are a few -- and just Google "refirement" for more:

So now I am officially in the midst of my new beginning. And, as such, I find myself under not a little pressure to live the spiritual life I always try to help others discover. I don't want to find myself being a spiritual hypocrite -- the do as I say but not as I do kind. For years now I'm been trying to help my friends and associates feel good about their lives -- no matter how or what appearances might suggest otherwise. And now, gulp gulp, it's my turn.

So, humbly I turn to all of you -- friends and enemies, intimates and casual acquaintances, lovers and buds, those who know me and those who do not -- and ask for your help. Call today's blog a note or a plea or a prayer or a resume. It's all about me today; but since we're all One, it's all about you, too.

I need activities to keep me happy, healthy, spiritual, and sane. I need to do service and I need to encourage an incoming green energy flow. I need to eat and I need to sleep.

Some (but not all) of the things I am considering doing again are [and in no particular order]:

  • Website Development
  • Creative Writing
  • Topical Magazine/Newspaper Articles
  • Shamanic Healing Sessions
  • Bodywork/Energy Work
  • Guesthouse Management
  • Office Administration
  • Catering Sales
  • Modeling
  • Bartender
  • Records Management
  • Legal Research
  • Technical Writing
  • Law Librarian
  • Social Networking
  • Acting
So there, for this moment in time, you have it.

Please consider me for any or all of the above if you are looking for a hard working, good and kind soul; if your office is drab and you need a spark of spirit and good humor; or if you just want to do something kind for someone in need.

I appreciate any and all suggestions, help, offerings, and prayers.


Dreamwalker aka Michael
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