Busting Loose FGCU Style!

I have been reading a book called Busting Loose From the Money Game, by Robert Scheinfeld.  CrisMarie picked it up from Martha Beck’s book list.  She has been trying to get me to read along with her and I, of course, was resisting.  Let’s simply say that CrisMarie is committed to learning and growing.  She reads books recommended to her, gets regularly coached and is quite disciplined about trying things that people tell her will help her in places where she is stuck.  Sometimes I think she is trying a bit to hard to fix herself because frankly, I believe her life experience and success rate is way higher than she gives herself credit.  However, I love that she doesn’t ever stop experimenting or assume she’s ‘got it’.

At this point, she would be reminding me that this blog should be more about me and less about her.  So I’ll say that I like to learn, but I am not as willing to accept the lessons from just anyone.  I can be quite judgmental and resistant to new ways of doing things, especially if they seem ‘too simple’ or ‘easy.’  I have been hard-wired to believe life needs to be hard.  Which brings me back to Busting Loose from the Money Game, basically the message I am taking away is challenging that very belief.

Apparently, life does not really need to be that hard. I am simply, in my infinite wisdom, creating that game to play.  You may think that Up hille Bikermy tone is a bit sarcastic, however, not really.  I totally believe that life is a game.  I also believe that I am quite attracted to lots of drama and strong emotional interactions in my version of the game.  I compare it to biking.  Lot’s of people enjoy hills.  However, if I ask most people, if they prefer riding up the mountain or cruising down, they tell me cruising down.  Not me, I don’t like going that fast. No, I like grinding hard and getting to the top.  I like the challenge and thrive on that moment, when I get through thinking “this is impossible” and realize – “I did it.”   In a way, my bike riding is much like my game of life.  I often take the hard road and like to face challenges that seem ‘impossible.’

This book takes the premise that life is all an illusion that we are playing. That we are each creating our world and everything in as a way to play the Human Experience Game.  The book focuses on the Money Game because it is one that most of us get caught up in.  However, the process and storyline apply to life in general, not just money. Basically, the concept is simple. There are two phases to the Human Experience Game.  Phase I is the total immersion into the illusion of limitation. This starts at birth and we really work to convince ourselves on all levels that the physical experience we are having is real and that we are separate beings. In other words, we give up completely our spiritual, non-physical oneness and connection to Source or all that is possible.

At some point, once fully in, we have a chance to shift to Phase II. Phase II is busting loosphoto copy 2e from all of the illusions and fully realizing that we are creating, through our expanded consciousness, everything about our physical experience.  Now, that is quite a storyline.  Yet, it is one that is told in so many different way, through so many different people and experiences, that I think this version Busting Loose from The Money Game  is finally the one that is cracking my resistant thinking. I think I have known for a long time that life is an illusion.  My reality has been shaken, stirred and stripped away enough times that I totally get that there is no ONE reality.  I don’t think though that I have been fully able to own my own power and connection to the Divine in creating my experience.

Maybe I could own a connection. When I am with others and there is an opening, I have a felt sense of the divine and the infinite power and possibility, I get we can create anything – it is all possible.  However, I still have lots of beliefs that stop me from fully owning that with or without the group, the others (all of which I have been creating for me to see); I AM the Source. The physical way I pull from my expanded consciousness is my reality game – it is all my own doing. I create the pain, the joy, the heart ache and every space in between.

It isn’t good or bad, right or wrong, it is simply the game I am playing.  It’s easy to think, “Oh now that I know that – I’ll create a ‘better’ game.”  However, that is still playing the judgment game – so not really in the busting loose category.   I have some slight glimpses of a totally different possibility.   The possibility of being in the joy of whatever I am creating, owning and taking responsibility for that creation and feeling everything fully as play my game. I am not quite there yet.

I get it when I watch NCAA basketball – March madness.  Every year it seems there are the predicted winning teams.  Those teams are not my teams. However, every year there is a surprise team.  This year it’s The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) team.  Watching them play is like watching pure joy.  They are having fun.  I have no idea if they will go all the way to win the NCAA.  In the past, part of my Game was the underdog needed to win to prove it was possible.  Oddly, this year, I don’t think that matters, they are totally living in the moment and that is the to the essence of the Human Experience Game.  That is the prize – over and over – whether it looks like winning or whether it looks like losing. Being fully in it!! Go FGCU!!!

Doggy Facebook

sooke“World’s most awesome stick – take a right at the tree near the skunk trail – left it there for you!” – Dusty

“Long time – no word – you doing okay? Leave a trace – miss the chase!” – Nico

“Don’t even think of taking my treasure – deer bone is MINE!!” – anon

I am fairly certain now that this is what totally slows Sooke, my wonder dog, down when we are heading into the woods for a run.  She has to check Doggy Facebook.  The first 50 feet of trail are just like 6PM on Facebook.  Every dog has left some sort of post with details of their canine experience. Usually, once past the initial trail head, she settles in for the jog.  However, like my friends, she is not able to stay off Facebook for long.  I imagine much like the sound of an incoming new Facebook post on my cell phone, Sooke gets a strong hit of a recent doggy post through her nose, and off she goes. First, she checks out the latest news and then finds any reported treasures.

Sooke, unlike me, seems to enjoy posting as much as she does following her friends.  I have no doubt her frequent stops have less to do with need to relieve herself and much more to do with passing on important information to the rest of the canine world that frequents our woods.

I have never really given it much thought until I began to compare her need for gathering information and passing on her own personal notes, to my own current interest and experiences on Facebook.  I realize that dogs have been facebook’ing much longer than their human counterparts.  It’s clear that animals, and especially dogs, thrive on incoming input from their buddies, posting seems to be their way of life.

Often CrisMarie is bugging me to get off Facebook to chat with her or fix dinner.  I am thinking it really is no different than when I am yelling for Sooke to catch up.

“I want to run – hurry up, Sooke!”

“I want to post – you’ll have to wait!” – screams Sooke!

Facebook has definitely taken over the world and it seems the woods as well!

To Cry or To Laugh: One Traveler’s Choice

Travel Log:  Heading back to The Haven and reflecting on just how unenlightened I can be at times!!  It is now a few days later, but I thought I’d share the tale! 

I have the time and there are many, many stories swirling around me here at Chicago O’Hare Airport.  In this moment, my fingers feel slow and my mind has yet to absorb enough caffeine to totally commit to any one subject.  Still, I have a relatively quiet spot in an otherwise crazy, busy, loud, pulsing airport.  I want to take advantage. Travel Hell

Most of my travel on this excursion away from the Living Alive Phase program has been wrought with struggle.  Of course, this is mostly my internal mind, overly frustrated by delays and various blocks that have been in my path.  I have yet to fully utilize my new found skills in “oneness” as Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, calls it.  It’s not like I haven’t tried.  It is odd to me how natural breathing and taking care of myself comes when I am settled in a room at The Haven, and how totally ineffective I can become making the same effort in a Hilton Hotel.  Instead of breathing or yoga, I find myself taking two breaths, a nanosecond after which, I jump up and think I should go to the gym or check my flight time again.  Now, in the airport terminal quite early, I am trying, amidst the chaos, to settle.  Maybe this will be easier.

Sure, I am hoping I make it back to my safe Haven by late afternoon.  However, that is about 8 to 10 hours away, and I do want this travel experience to be more settling than the hell I put myself through yesterday.

I thought I had it made.  The car pick up for my drive from Lake Placid to Burlington, VT was a few minutes early and effortless.  Let me just take a short excursion from this current track to say, I have no idea how 200 countries and their athletes ever managed to fly in and get to Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.  Having now made that effort from a neighboring country, Canada, I am actually thinking it may have given the USA hockey team and unfair advantage.  Let’s just say it is NOT easy!!  But that is another story. Lake Placid

Back to the first leg, the Burlington, VT airport is not really designed for the traffic that comes through.  I think they are doing some construction, however, yesterday the food options where basically coffee (drip only) or chips.  I, of course, was there very early.  As my flight got closer, announcements emerged about delays.  First, just 18 minutes, than 50 and finally an hour after the time of departure, I thought we might get to board, when suddenly our gate person started looking for someone to step off the flight.

The initial announcement was friendly enough asking for a volunteer.  Soon it was clear no one was stepping up and her request got more directive.  Someone was going to lose his or her seat, and without volunteering, the promise of assistance was limited.  Still no one.  We all were caught in the pain, as we didn’t start boarding either.  As the clock was ticking, and connections were clearly going to be missed, the gate person printed the list, and a name was called.  The woman called was not happy.  A long conversion at the desk and volunteer popped up, saving the woman her seat.

Finally, boarding we thought we would be on our way.  But no, someone else had a seat issue.  This time most of us were already on the plane.  There was call for the same woman to come off the plane.  Well, that did not happen.  She was clearly not moving.  The gentleman without a seat was now standing at the front.  After another standoff, the gentleman agreed to leave the plane but only if they would get his checked skis out of cargo.  Wow!  Could this get worse?  Well,… yes!

After all of the people delays, next came the Captain’s announcement that O’Hare had put a ground stop on all United flights.  We were going to be sitting on the tarmac for 50 minutes.  By this time most of us knew our connections were missed and working on mobile phones to find rooms or alternative flights.

Finally, after the various delays we took off.  It wasn’t until after two beers and lots of very unenlightened comments about United, I settled.  Fortunately, I had my partner on the outside making a reservation for me at the Hilton Hotel.

In Chicago, I made my way to the Hilton late at night.  As I stepped up excited to get my room and sleep, I was confronted by a check-in line of at least sixty people and two folks checking us in.  Wow!  I think I was so surprised I could only laugh.  The wait of over an hour to check in to the hotel was at least funny as we shared all the odd stories we had been given by pilots and flight folks about why so many United flights were canceled or late.  It was strange that there was so little continuity in these stories.  But at least none of us were as hot. No, we were more amused, which was probably helping the line move relatively quickly, considering the demand.

Now, after a short night of sleep, I have booked myself on a direct flight to Vancouver.  No, I won’t be there as planned to start the day, but I am holding, imaging and forming a picture of my Haven room and some friendly faces sometime later today!!

Post Travels:  I am back and settled.  Since I don’t have lots of blogging opportunities I thought I would share the travel log.