back on center.

Myths about China debunked. Not politically correct, but I can't speak to the accuracy from my experience.

I'm not sure how work is going. Strange disturbances in the Force today, with a lot of stress being passed around, and in particular thrown at my boss (he didn't want it, but he still had to fend it off). And he asked if I'd be showing up a little earlier tomorrow morning, which was maybe a little odd, since I showed up at 9:45am, not hugely unreasonable (in my opinion, of course) given the commute. I need to show up early anyway, to leave early to get to the dojo in time to see/participate in people's rank tests.

My challenge here is not only to deal with stress (which by itself is pretty easy), but to manage the stress while simultaneously meeting my deadlines--particularly important since these are my first deadlines and my performance in this case will likely color the rest of my time at Kensington. No pressure, though.

I'm trying to reconnect with the outside world gradually, one person at a time, as I think I can handle it properly. Seems to be going well; each person that I bring back into the mix generates different feelings in me, pushes different buttons, touches on different part of the Shadow as well as different parts of Self. As expected I do have lots of cruft and feelings and things bubbling up, which is great, actually. They come, I let them be, I get some idea of what it's about, and it goes away, clouds passing over the sun. I'm not fighting myself any more: as Cassidy-sensei says, "giving up on the idea of the clash", but on the inside with the inner conflict, rather than in a physical or social confrontation with other people. In the process of doing this, I can get to know who these people actually are, which is only possible when I'm acting from my heart, and not whatever mask of the Shadow I put on to service my ego. It's not automatic, and I have to pay attention, but I can take people for what they are instead of what I think they are or what I want them to be.

I've had little shadows of loneliness pass by today. I've had a lot of experience with loneliness over time, and it's something I carry with me, not imposed by circumstance, and that's how it's always been. It's that emptiness of the hungry ghosts, that thinks there's actually something or someone out there that can make the longing stop. But I've had a full measure and more (enough to pass around to other people, unfortunately) of the pain and disaster that comes from that desire; I pay attention that loneliness is not the heart of my actions, and the hungry ghosts have no power over me.

I've been trying to sing more around the office, since it makes people smile and I like to sing. I'm not entirely sure why, but I've been gleefully picking my songs to make people look at me funny: today was "It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and "Rainbow Connection" (the latter brought a priceless simple, surprised smile to the face of some guy who walked out of Product Development), with some snippets of "London Bridge is Falling Down" and "It's A Small World After All" in the kitchen. I love the effect this can have on people, especially if they're cranky and tight and really need to find their sense of fun again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but the privilege of being the singer is that I get to enjoy it either way.