Stranded in California

The universe has conspired for me to get back to writing my thesis. I’ve been really stalled lately. And I want to move onto the next career thing (whatever that is) and yet I know I can’t until I finish my damn thesis. But it’s so hard to spend all day at a job where I use my brain and sit in front of a computer and then go home and do the same thing.

So, here I am in Montecito, CA at PGI for another one of my weekend workshops on non-duality. And we spend the whole weekend studying Krishnamurti and putting into practice his ideas of being one’s natural self (which is simply part of the universal self) and collapsing time by staying only with the present moment and not indulging interpretations of the moment through the filter of the past nor preoccupations with thoughts of a future that does not yet exist and basically accepting “What Is” without judgment. And the whole weekend, I’m thinking “Boy, I’d like to spend some time in the library here,” but I don’t have the extra time.

And this morning (Sunday), I go to print out my boarding pass on-line to catch my 3:30 plane home and it says that I have no reservation for a flight today. My flight home is scheduled for Tuesday. Wha’ tha’? I look at the email receipt for the first time and it says the same thing. I don’t know how this happened. So, I call the airlines and the first flight I can get home is tomorrow and it would cost me $200 more to take it.

The thing is I’d never have intentionally made the reservation for Tuesday. And, if you know me, you’d know that I never make mistakes like this. So, rather than make an issue out of it, I take it as a sign. What if I’m supposed to stay here in this academically rich place with no distraction and nothing to do but write? It would cost me just as much in room and board to stay here two more days as it would to fly home a day late. I call my pet sitter and she’s free. I check with the school and my current room is one only a few available in the door, and they are happy to let me stay. I call my boyfriend and he says “Isn’t it telling that something so unusual would happen on this very weekend I’m studying what I’m studying?” He offers to go pick up my car from the park-n-ride so it doesn’t look abandoned and to retrieve me from the airport on Tuesday night. I leave a message for my boss at work. Everything falls into place just like that.

So, here I am, still in Montecito, CA. One of the most beautiful and comfortable places in the country. And I’ve spent the afternoon doing more research for my thesis, and I’m feeling grateful. I have to say I feel a bit off kilter because somebody just turned my reality 90 degreese. But it’s OK because underneath it, I feel loved and cared for by the Forces That Be.

Life is just weird sometimes.


11 thoughts on “Stranded in California

  1. Christian musings from a Witch

    2 Kings, 2:23-24 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!”
    When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

    This always gave me a lot of trouble. What was the point of this story? Don’t tease a profit about being bald? Yeah, like boys are going to stop teasing bald men; hasn’t worked in over 2000 years and I’m not thinkin’ that’s going to change in the very near future.

    A priestess with whom I worked had been thinking the lights in her friend’s apartment were too bright, and they suddenly shut off. He told her that, since becoming a priestess, she had an obligation to discipline her thoughts.

    So I thought, maybe that’s what that Bible passage is about. When you’re filled with God, you need to be careful about your thoughts, because they have power.

    It’s backward that I should be using these negative examples.

    FLYlady talks about “God breezes”. That is, she writes from her Christian perspective that God will blow a breeze your way from time to time, but it’s up to you whether you have your sails up or not.

    This sounds to me like you were in a very powerful place. (The natural self as you define it is the very nexus of magick, being filled with God, being with The One – however one chooses to conceptualize it.) You created something, and then you had the “sails” to go with it. You could have gotten annoyed and judged it as an inconvenience or a “mistake” and “fixed” it.

    Winston Churchill said, “Planning is invaluable, but plans are useless.”

    And I’m told Einstein, on his deathbed, said, “Now I get to find out if the Universe is friendly.”

    So, y’know. Like that.

    Totally and jubilantly celebrating your here/nowness.

  2. How curious! I saw you around 3:00 pm from process class and wondered since you’d said you’d be gone at noon. It was lovely to meet you fce to face and I hope your extended journey is fruitful.

    • Yeah, it was. I got a lot done, especially some stuff on attachment theory that I need for the literature review section. It was great to finally meet you in person! Too bad we didn’t have more time to hang out.

  3. Hey Sexy

    Jon and I crashed our hard drive the other day and lost your email address and other contact information. Can you resend it to us? We are having crabtree withdrawals! Glad to hear the phenomenal world was so gentle and kind in the way it choose to slam your butt down in front of your thesis 😉 And good thing you listened, the phenomenal world starts communicating very softly and compassionately and then ups the ante each time we don’t listen (says the man who spent Christmas eve sobering up in the emergency room with a Vitamin B IV drip). Things are going well here. Jon just turned 45, but aside from the silver hair, looks and acts very youthful.

    I’m heading off on Friday morning for VT. I was invited to assistant teach for a 10-day retreat and am really looking forward to it!

    Good luck with your thesis.
    Love you,

  4. Nice going

    Those who are able to absorb change, to bend with it, will have an easier time than those who resist changes. Call it “The way of the butterfly.”

  5. Zen saying

    After reading about your experience, the Zen saying “The finger that points at the moon is not the moon.” I’m glad you were able to have this embodied experience of “What is” without judgement, rather than talking about it.

  6. Hello – I hope you don’t mind that my ‘net-wave dropped me off here. Are you a student at Pacifica? Do you attend many of the workshops there? Are they generally good? I’ve been meaning to get up there for a weekender, but time and finances (who am I kidding? It’s almost always finances!) generally disallow such fun.

    • Hi, Miekke.

      I’m “all but thesis” in the Masters of Counseling program. I also know some folks who have been through the Depth PhD program. The Lionel Corbett series “Beyond Traditional Religion” (formerly known as “Psyche and the Sacred”) is the first bunch of workshops I’ve been to there.

      I’d say, yeah, the education (degree and non-degree) is great. Consistency of vision, high quality instructors, fascinating topics (or fascinating ways of looking at old topics). I haven’t found any place else to get that kind of education. But you gotta be ready to leave expectations of traditional academia behind. Some people came to the program expecting a bit more academic rigor and decided that all of the experiential exercises were robbing them of their money’s worth. It’s just a different way of learning. And it’s a way of being and thinking that is sorely missing in most of the world.

      That said, Pacifica has its shadow. Money is a fair chunk of that. It’s hella expensive. (Ye gods, they overcharge for housing and food.) And they aren’t the most well-organized place. If you know Meyers-Briggs types, there are a lot of NFP’s in charge. So, while every room has fresh flowers and personal touches and the food is great and the staff is friendly and patient, the place can be irritatingly lax on stuff like accuracy within the syllabi and making cooperative money-related decisions. If there’s an up-side to that, I never found that they punished me for their own mistakes of laxity (e.g., I do the homework assignment wrong because their expectations were unclear).

      It’s too bad that they don’t make their day-long intro programs free. What draws you to the place?

      • I’ve heard great things about the program. One of my instructors in my Master of Counseling program in Albuquerque was one of the first Depth Psych PhD grads. She was a trip, but very inspiring. At the time, I didn’t know too much about Jung/Campbell/Depth, but as I read into it a bit, the ideas and foci really resonated with me. I’ve been into symbolism and mythology in particular for a long long time.
        As I worked on my Master’s I was strongly considering entering the depth PhD program there after I finished, especially since now it seems that you are no longer required to the the Master and Doctoral series. I ended up deciding against it, for the time being, chiefly because of the money (they are pretty proud of their program, aren’t they?). I’m already well in the hole from my Master’s program. Also, although a fascinating niche specialty would be mine at the end of the program, that does not necessarily parlay into stable employment or a booming private practice. Plus, I suck at the “business” portion of running a business, so I’m not sure private practice is for me anytime soon. So, I’m going another direction now, career-wise. I figure if I ever change my mind, Pacifica will be just as happy to take my money later as now! 😉
        I still intend to get out there for some of the short programs one of these days. It just *looks* like a fantastic place to pass some time, and maybe learn a little bit while there.
        How did you end up there?
        Nice chatting with you – may I add you to my friend list?

        Well met,

      • Your instructor, that wasn’t Mary Rose Bennett, was it? She is a friend of mine.

        I hear what you say about it beign a big investment for a questionable monetary payback. That’s just reality. Ug. For a slice of idealism, have you read Rick Tarnas (or, better yet, heard him speak)? He’s a cultural historian, teaches at PCI and CIIS (runs the Cosmology PhD program there, which I am considering for the future), and is absolutely brilliant. According to him, depth psychology is the key to the next leap in human evolution.

        I ended up at PGI because, after years of being a computer scientist and a serious agnostic, I had an overdeveloped left brain, an underdeveloped feminine, and a bit of a spiritual crisis. Long story short: the crisis led me to a spiritual path in which Jungian dreamwork is a big component. I started working my dreams with a Jungian therapist and got really lit up by it. I started consuming reading material on the subject and then, one day, my therapist told me that I’d make a good therapist some day, if I ever decided to go that route. I mentioned it to a counselor friend (who went to Naropa) and he told me about Pacifica. I knew as soon as I saw the website that PGI was where I wanted to be. I was never set on becoming a practicing therapist, per se, but I figured it be great to be with other kindred spirits who were interested in studying the same things and I’d get a degree out of it at the end!

        Are you practicing as a therapist in ABQ?


        P.S. I hearby friend you too!

      • Actually, it was Bennett! Small world! Neat. 🙂 She must have been almost done or recently finished when you started there?
        Do you have a thesis topic yet? Some of the ideas people come up with there are outrageously fantastic and creative.

        As for reality, feh. I try to avoid that sort of thing as frequently as I’m able. I’ll have to look up Rick Tarnas – I haven’t heard of him. Interesting you mentioned CIIS – I was interested in checking that school out as well (along with Sonoma State, which as far as I know, has the only other depth psych program).

        Speaking of idealism, I ended up decided to return to school to become a psychiatrist as opposed to doing the program at PGI. This is because I’ve noticed that the recovery-oriented psychiatrist is a rarer creature than a jackalope. So, I’ll be in school for the next, oh, forever. But hey! I get to defer the student loans from the Master program indefinitely as well, which is cerainly a bonus.

        MFT Interns do not get paid well, at least here in California (I moved back here as soon as I graduated from the Master program in ABQ). I am in the middle of accumulating the 3000 hrs I need to sit for the licensure exam. It is by no means a speedy process. I almost wish I had stayed in NM for the intermediary hours – the social services scene there is actually light years ahead of California, which is kind of embarrassing for California…

        The path you describe that led you to Pacifica sounds very similar to my own life circumstances that led me to my renewed interest in spirituality and development of personal balance. (Except for the computer scientist part; my existential crisis stemmed from conditions a little less legit!)

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