Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thank You Shimano

While I was there I grew up. I traveled the world: to Asia, to western Europe, to Australia, to the Northeast and Northwest USA, to the midwest and back and forth. I learned what it was to be a 'Premier' status member. I trained in databases, load balancers, Microsoft and Linux, backup, virtualization, management and self-empowerment. I cycled with professional teams, local enthusiasts and commuters. I bought my first home. I got engaged. I got married. I got divorced. I worked for 4 different managers and was liked by all of them. I got good reviews... repeatedly. I met with and helped interesting people around the world. I made friends in Nunspeet, The Netherlands. I made friends in Osaka, Japan. I made friends in Singapore. I stayed alone in the depths of winter far from home and stayed with best mates in the height of summer's enthusiasm. I skiied at a top resort, partied at the world's best party, ate cheese and drank wine amongst friends and colleagues. I participated in multiple triathlons and trained during my lunch hour with enthusiastic co-workers greeting me at the end of nearly every workout. I witnessed an American riding to victory on the Champs d'Ellyses. I helped expand a company from a chaotic, disparate web presence to a globally unified, branded, tool-driven business-empowering e-Business system. I worked with three ISP's. I helped expand the "global" web environment from two servers to over 40. I worked with SAN's and storage, LAN's and WAN's, global IT systems, ecommerce, content management, domain management, managed service providers, hardware vendors, software developers and an infinite host of 'techno' gadgetry that I'd never have touched in many places. I joked with colleagues about the future, the management, the bonus structure, the pay. I was disgruntled little. I was happy mostly. I learned to choose that happiness is indeed a conscious choice. My colleagues once called me "Angry Gary". My family now calls me "Buddha Roo". I learned to live the latter through my actions and presence.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June Gloom Be Gone

It's one of those days in SoCal. June Gloom has set upon us and we, being the least able to survive in weather (outside of sunny and 70 degrees) of all humans, have our heads in the marine layer. Despite a ride to work and a generally simplistic day, a solid AM meditation and a friend who called to have dinner I still sit here thinking about those non-present, non-controllable, unimportant issues of life. Jobs and bills and such.

My head makes lists. Need to go to the vet for prescription cat-food, need to buy a new pack of Advantage, need to buy a new set of contact lenses, need to service the car, need to get groceries, need to get a webcam, need to keep the phone bill under wraps... you get the idea. Are any of those things life? Is life any of those things? And yet one can't have starving kitties, starving self or a broken-down car. Buddha says to focus on the present. In the present I can pay for those things. I work to do so. I live to breath and breath to live and keep my focus on the bigger picture.

We are either breathing in harmony or out of harmony. I choose harmony. I choose peace of mind. I choose what I can be, do, feel, see and understand and what I cannot. Wrapped up in the June gloom sometimes it's easy to lose one's way. Feel lost in the clouds. But this marine layer will burn off soon enough. And when the sun comes back out I'd like to be seen wearing a smile rather than a look of dumbfounded shock.

And you? What did you choose today?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

To be present and realize the present isn't one

Every moment is a gift. That's what Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and the Spaghetti Monster all say. So it's hard to look at a day when the present is anything but. More like the present opens a can of whoop-ass on you and it's all a yogi can do to keep oneself balanced physically much less mentally.

So there you are. I finally met my match. And I faltered. I talked behind backs, I got angry despite my knowledge of my life's privilege, I felt let down by a presence that is entirely mine to control. But I did NOT jeopardize my integrity. And that's a big step forward from some time in the past... some time when I would have told myself a little white lie and moved onward -- marching as solidly as if I actually wasn't lieing.

It's that knowledge, the piece that comes from the 'universe' that tells you, "Hey, you did ok, pal" that lets one get through a day like this. There wasn't any defining moment for the day so, dear reader, you needn't seek one. There was not even any catastrophe. An outsider might look at the past 12 hrs and sigh at how uniquely unappreciative I can be of my own existence. But it's my realization that makes me know I can sigh too, and move on to a fresh evening, fresh night, fresh day tomorrow.

And what's the status... I'm still single, I'm nobody's husband, father, uncle, step-whatever or even distant genetic equal. I'm still employed, and rightfully so, stable and able to enjoy life. I'm still proud of my accomplishments and equally learning from my failures. I'm still able to smile. I'm still physically capable, strong, virile, open, loving, beating, breathing, pumping and feeling. I still like soft, hard, and all the tactile sensation that falls between (unless it involves my head hitting the cement). I am still introspective. I still laugh at myself, talk to myself in public and dance with my cats in private.

I'll teach yoga tonight and enjoy it. I'll awake tomorrow and smile. I'll have a party tomorrow night and understand that ego should be low, enjoyment should be high and worries won't help either. I'll go to my second Rusty Wells yoga workshop on Sunday and sing, chant, sweat and breath knowing that today taught me something. I'll determine from this minute that I don't need a workshop anymore (though it doesn't hurt!) to know that happiness is a conscious choice. I'll continue. I'll not be afraid of 'this' not doing so.