Sunday, July 13, 2008

In The Park, A Book, And More Peace

So, I went to the park. I ran in 90 degree heat. It was a good run. I like to run at just about any time of the day, even in the middle of the day. After the run, I sat in the shade. I bring my backpack - which is full of books.

Books. My obsession. I am searching for answers. I am not even sure what the question is - but I find the answers. They are there, staring at me.

I bought this book, at a remainder discount bookstore years ago. A remainder book is a book with a black magic marker mark across the bottom of the book. Usually means the publisher printed too many and has sold them to a discount book store.

Back to this book.

This book has been sitting around my house for - let's see - hmmmm, 5 years? Perhaps, 8?

I picked it up a few times. Set it back down. I have anywhere from 2,500 books to 3,500 books in my office area (in my old home). I obviously did not take these books with me. But I brought the essentials. This book came with me. Not sure how it made the cut. It must have been a "God-thing" (it's what we say in Al-Anon when we cannot explain certain things that turn out right for us and others).

You know I have been trying to gain perspective - if you have been reading my blog. Perspective is one of those all encompassing words - that means everything and can be twisted to cover things along the fringes . . .

Perspective to me is getting some detachment from parts of my life that maybe my illness of being involved with alcoholism caused me. Detachment meaning to me - letting go; not getting my ego involved where I am part of the solution and "married" to that solution, and if the solution does not work, I feel "less-than", incomplete, hurt, wounded, etc. Detachment also meaning to me, being happy and fulfilled right now, from where I sit, with what I have, have done, etc. Not waiting to be fulfilled, if I do this or that, win this business, do well in this meeting, can be with this person. This "waiting" to be fulfilled and accepting what I have right now, is the second phase of learning detachment.

BAck to the book, dear Joseph . . . you drift . . .

The Book: Written originally in 1973. Yep. 1973. What did they know back then? Well it was rewritten in 1997 (my version). It's called "A Strategy for Daily Living." It is about doing the things you need to do, daily to achieve you goals and vision. It is really the best detachment, Zen-like success books I have ever - and I mean ever - ever, read. The author is Ari Kiev, a psuchologloist, an MD (not Ph.D.), a doctor in NYC who apparently has been advising some of the most successful business people on Wall Street and neigboring areas.

So, I am reading about success and detachment from this book. It is - how should I describe it? A "keeper."

A "keeper" is one of those books I have to refer to - over and over again. I do not get tired of "keepers." The keepers tell me something different each time I read them - depending on what is going on in my life and my head.

I also bought his book - based upon an Amazon write up - also written in the 1970's - "A Strategy for Success."

Both books are about success and yet, being true to your philosophy and not getting caught up in success defining who you are.

So, I sat in the park yesterday, highlighting - I love to highlight - enjoying the shade. Watching, out of the corner of my eye, for people of interest. I love to watch people. They are facinating. Everyone, with their own lives, worries, love-interests, dogs, joggers, walkers, children, bikers, clothes they wear, - but I stay in the moment. I am - detached. I love this park. It is a real park.

I am sitting on the deck of this other house. I am enjoying the sun come up in the back of the house. I described my "next house" to my Sherpa/friend/advisor/therapist (I don't like that word for some reason - the therapist word) many months ago when she asked me what the next house would look like when I moved in. I said, "The sun would come up in the back of the house. The walls would be painted a light color - an off-white of sorts - but helping reflect the light of the sun come in through the house. Well, here I sit, months later. On the deck of the same house I visualized in my head back then. Weird - interestingly weird.

I am reading and highlighting again. But I thought I would share.

I am reconciling peace and success. This book - the answer - to a question I did not formulate clearly enough to articulate until I was speaking with a dear friend in the park last week - is here. It was always here. Sitting. Waiting. Waiting to be opened and read. Any earlier, perhaps, it may not have received the attention and the understanding because I wasn't where I am years ago when I first bought it.

Hmmm, another "God-thing?" Perhaps. Someone said God doesn't want to be bothered by small things. I disagree. The God of my understanding is so big and vast, he/she is beyond human comprehension and understanding, and words are too simple to describe the biggest and smallest of miracles.

So, I sit, and I reflect and I am grateful for this moment - again - where the sun is shining and I am Okay. And everything is just about right and perfect.

By the way, as an aside, I love a deal. The book was a $1.99 instead of the $12.95. Don't know why I mention that - except - I left it off in the part about remainder books.


Anonymous said...

My God represents the "small" things...

He doesn't create great skyscrapers, but he created trees...

He doesn't design huge airplanes, but he created the bird singing in the tree...

So goes my point. He revels in the small things, the simple things. Put them all together and you get "great" things of lasting impact, peace, and contentment.

Peace this Monday.


Anonymous said...

Oy vey, what a deal. Wisdom for 1.99. My jewish grandma who lived through the Great Depression would have been proud of you. : )

Here is another book/God/fate/strange coincidence story for you. It happened four years ago. I thought I'd share.

When I was in the midst of the first realization that my husband is an alcoholic, and he was almost constantly drunk in those days, I desperately needed some distraction to take my mind off of the constant anxiety, panic and pressure I was putting myself under. I was stressed out and exhausted and felt like a pile of poop every single day. (can I say poop here? It is not one of the seven dirty words.)

I love to read and can fall so deeply into a book that I will stay up and keep reading until I finish it. So knowing what a distraction books can give me I took my panicked, post-traumatic stress syndrome, jumpy, nervous self to the local big chain bookstore. I intended to find a book that would distract me if only temporarily, from my extreme stress. I was desperate for a good read that I could throw myself into but I couldn't find anything that sparked my interest. I must have walked around that store for an hour, but still nothing caught my eye.

So I had just about given up hope and was slowly making my way back to the front of the store. In the main aisle where I was walking, there were these long tables with random books piled on them. They were trying to move the inventory, hence their location. I was eyeing them as I slowly made my way to the door.

For some reason I stopped at that table and picked up one or two of these books. But neither interested me enough to purchase. The last book I saw was titled "Codependent No More". I thought to myself, "Gee, I've heard that word before, I wonder what it means". So I opened the book and began to read.

Holy Moses... it was a book about alcoholics and the people who live with them!!!!1111

What are the odds that I would have gone into a bookstore, when I wanted to forget my alcohol related problems, and purposely searched for a book about alcoholism?! Zero I tell you. But I happened to pick up THAT book just as I was about to leave.

Of course I bought it, and it showed me what I WOULD BECOME if I didn't start to immediately address the issues my family was facing. It was just the book I needed at the EXACT TIME I NEEDED IT. I still get goosebumps when I remember this. A guardian angel must have pushed my hand or turned my head to see it. Or maybe it was Chi or Tao or whatever the Asians call it. Or maybe it was some of the good stuff I have done for people in my professional life that was finally coming back to me.

Anyway, that was the book that served as my first beacon of light and began to clear my head and pave the way through the muck and mire of the next four years, as my husband began his recovery.