Monthly Archives: October 2010

Testing of new skills in groundedness: Complete

In July, I started sharing my Sunday ritual of monthly goal setting and the weekly or mid-month check-ins. I have a bad habit of forgetting how much change happens over the course of a month, so this check-in helps me remember to celebrate all that I do!

OCTOBER Goals

1. Clear priorities for political campaigning

After feeling crazy busy mid-month, the last two weeks have been surprisingly quiet. For a number of reasons, our No on 60-61-101 group is not doing active Get Out the Vote activities. We are doing a lot of email and Facebook activity, but no canvassing and phone calls. We’re trusting that the political parties and candidates are doing a decent job of getting people out to vote. We’re fortunate that both the Democrats and Republicans are against these initiatives, and hoping that folks are getting educated enough to vote no.

I was hoping to get out to do some canvassing or phone banking, as both Michael Bennet and John Salazar are in ridiculously tight races against candidates who terrify me. Life did not cooperate with my plans. I have at least blocked off Tuesday to do what it takes to get people out to vote.

2. Apply for fantastic jobs in San Francisco

I had good intuition about the dream job with Spirit Rock Meditation Center I applied for. They are indeed still in the accepting applications stage of the game. I’m also in conversations with another Bay Area nonprofit about providing some support for grant writing, strategic planning, and growing the organization. Both are amazing opportunities, especially given I haven’t technically started a job search yet!

I’m occasionally scanning the job ads, but only applying to the perfect jobs at this point. Once the election is over, I plan to start getting more applications out the door when I see jobs that are a decent fit for me. Oh boy, I might have to apply to for this one – Executive Director for an organization creating economic opportunity for new Americans.

3. Post some of the great writing I’ve been doing on the blogs

No new writing this week. Note to self: I need a lot more space if I want to be writing. And a deadline. Or at least something I’m responding to that helps me focus on a topic.

4. Maintain the things that sustain me – meditation, eating well, an organized house, and time with friends

Six days in a row at the Dharma Center, including a nonresidential retreat with Donald Rothberg. A lot moves when I do that much meditation integrated with daily life! Halloween parties have been fun, as have lunches and connecting with people in an impromptu, unplanned way. This is the hardest for me, I’m so driven most of the time I don’t think to call someone up to get together last minute. I’ve got my time allocated to a bazillion other projects already. I’ve been pleased at my ability to say yes to these opportunities when asked.

Eating has been hard. I’m eating out a lot. I finally decided to just buy simpler foods to make right now. I can’t seem to get it together to cook, so let’s just be honest about that and still be able to make something at home in under 15 minutes with limited energy. Hello soups, macaroni and cheese, and skillet dinners. And the amazing yumminess of Indian food in a can.

I’m happy to relearn the lesson that the best way to clean up my house is invite people over.

This period of several months has been about testing myself with busyness to see how I respond. I’m doing smashingly. I’ve done a good job of having clear priorities about what is essential versus what is nice to do. I’ve enjoyed a lot of balance in my activities, also working in meditation, exercise, and lots of fun. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I step back and reassess rather than plow through and make myself crazier. I’ve achieved my goals of testing the robustness of my newfound skills in staying grounded rather than overwhelmed. Mission accomplished!

On to November Goals!

  1. Tidy up lingering projects that can be completed
  2. Apply for fabulous jobs
  3. Enjoy time in Durango with friends & family
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If Only All of Life was Apples to Apples

In July, I started sharing my Sunday ritual of monthly goal setting and the weekly or mid-month check-ins. I have a bad habit of forgetting how much change happens over the course of a month, so this check-in helps me remember to celebrate all that I do!

OCTOBER Goals

1. Clear priorities for political campaigning

It’s the final whirlwind month before the November 2nd election. I’m terrified that crazy tea party candidates like Ken Buck will be elected here in Colorado. But I barely have time to do more than post on Facebook about how Ken Buck must be defeated. I’m swamped with organizing against 60-61-101, a trio of ballot initiatives that would devastate Colorado. More jobs lost on top of those lost in the recession, the state would take over control over local schools, and we wouldn’t be able to build basic things like roads, bridges, or state buildings. Anyone reasonable (read: anyone not in the tea party) thinks these are a terrible idea. Unfortunately, the tea party are energized and fired up and ready to vote. The rest of us are a tad bit apathetic.

So it’s been hard to set boundaries around the political organizing. Because OMG. What if our state and country are taken over by radical extremists? It’s freaking me out. I’m doing a good job at least of setting priorities for the work that needs to be done, and I took all of Friday off because I was burnt after a week of long days and nights. Well, most of Friday off because I was incensed to come home to a Vote Yes mailer, paid for by the “nonprofit” group Active Citizens Together, a known front for Douglas Bruce to hide campaign expenditures from the public. GAH!

Noticings for the next time I’m this engaged in a political campaign: the final weeks require a lot of quick response time. Make sure to leave time for that, and to develop agreements with your team beforehand about how to make quick decisions about how to respond to crazy mailers like this one.

2. Apply for fantastic jobs in San Francisco

I applied for a dream job with Spirit Rock Meditation Center. There is no timeline listed on the announcement, but it’s still up so I’m going to assume that means they are still in the accepting applications stage of the game. I’m also in conversations with another Bay Area nonprofit about providing some help to them.

I’m occasionally scanning the job ads, but only applying to the perfect jobs at this point.

3. Post some of the great writing I’ve been doing on the blogs

Yes! This week, watch Rooting Nonprofits for a series on Buddhism and nonprofit management. I wrote SO MUCH for this job application at Spirit Rock that had to be cut down to a cover letter. So the cuts are going up on the blog instead! I’m posting segments of an essay I wrote that helped me flesh out how my experience led to my philosophy of leadership.

The process was a good lesson in how hard I have to work to write what I want to go on my other blog. It’s a lot of rounds of editing and re-editing. But I have hope for more writing over there now that the dam has broken again!

4. Maintain the things that sustain me – meditation, eating well, an organized house, and time with friends

Gorgeous hikes to enjoy Colorado’s fall colors. No pictures sadly, I was just out enjoying myself. I struggled with eating well – too many 5-8pm meetings. I need to remember to have more quick food available when that schedule is my life. There was just no time to cook. I’m enjoying the Essential Dharma class, and have turned my house into something manageable again. I’m sure it will be a wreck by Tuesday.

Apples to Apples is the best game ever. Pure giggles & laughter.

A Quick September Wrap-Up

In July, I started sharing my Sunday ritual of monthly goal setting and the weekly or mid-month check-ins. I love that it gives me a way to notice how things are shifting in my life, and an excuse to check in and tell y’all about it.

SEPTEMBER Goals

1. More space

My altar is still doing its damnedest to hold some clear space in my apartment. As I got healthier, I’ve actually found it harder to keep my apartment clean and tidy. I’m just gone a lot more so I don’t notice the filth until I get home so exhausted I can’t do anything about it anyway. I am making a commitment to continue with the Creating Your Goddess Haven course. I was frustrated this month watching myself only make space for myself AFTER I got sick. It’s not a healthy pattern, and I’d like to switch it up some.

2. Clear lines between work time, play time, rest time (i.e. less time web surfing)

Despite my busy-ness, I’ve actually been doing a great job setting clear boundaries. Writing one of the hardest cover letters of my life has demanded large chunks of uninterrupted time as I wrote first a rant, then an essay, and now have something resembling a cover letter. I had to say no to some things I really wanted to do – two invites to soak, and one invite to drink some champagne with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. I’ve also been ignoring some of my pile of short tasks in service to getting this cover letter out. It’s the right decision, but it’s hard to watch myself put things off.

3. Movement: Just do it.

I have been enjoying the Raising the Arms exercise from Qigong that Nina Wise taught at last weekend’s retreat. Since my arms hold so much tension and discomfort, it seems like they are always carrying some heaviness. This exercise lightens them up quite a bit, great preparation for sitting down and typing some more!

Much more going on this month internally, which I would love to write about once I get my cover letter completed.

OCTOBER Goals

1. Clear priorities for political campaigning.
2. Apply for fantastic jobs in San Francisco
3. Post some of the great writing I’ve been doing on the blogs
4. Maintain the things that sustain me – meditation, eating well, an organized house, and time with friends