Friday, March 30, 2007

Life Stuff

I'm officially back in the business world, after a nice hiatus of about nine months. I'm returning to the technical staffing business, and grateful for the opportunity. I was in the industry for about eight years before my ongoing slugfest with alcohol put me out of the business, and just about killed me (but that's another story altogether). I did alright selling cars for the first three years of my sobriety, and I see no reason why I can't return to the kind of success I had previously in the technical arena.

These last nine months on hiatus have been good for me, if not financially productive. I've learned so much about writing, and the publishing industry in general, that I have to view it as an investment. The return on that investment is yet to be measured, and I believe it will be mostly determined by how I apply what I've learned. It can't be measured exclusively in financial terms. What I've learned applies not only to my writing, but my perspective on life overall. I made some spiritual progress during this time, and there is no way to quatify the value of that. The spiritual lessons pay dividends in all areas of my life.

One of the truly beneficial lessons I learned goes like this: When I try to tune in to the inner currents of positive energy, really focus on training my mind in a positive direction, and take the actions that I believe to be right, my life flows with much less friction. I can feel a most amazing progression of awareness. I meditate on releasing control of the outcome, and focus on my effort. I have to be aware of my motives, and when my motives aren't in line with a positive outcome, I have to slow down and reconsider, possibly change direction. This is improvement and growth for me. It's also a sad commentary on my life before sobriety. I'll admit I was a very selfish person for most of my life. I'm still selfish, but to a much lesser degree now, and I'm working on reducing it day by day.

The more I strengthen my spiritual condition, the more positive my life becomes. For me, the key thus far has been a combination of humility and gratitude. Alcohol humbled me, and my Higher Spirit has given me another chance to make good, and for this I'm grateful. With humility and gratitude in my heart, I find that I have greater awareness of the positive currents that flow from the Spirit. Some may think that this is all a bunch of hocus pocus, but when I feel that energy it's real to me and that's all the matters.

As an example: About six months ago I made amends with someone I worked with in the technical staffing business when I was still drinking. This person, Kathy, was someone I had been holding a grudge against because of some perceived wrongdoing I thought I'd suffered. Over the last three and a half years, as I've made spiritual progress and looked at my past behavior, I was able to see how I'd created the situation myself and was only a victim of my own selfish actions. So finally I called Kathy and made amends and she accepted my apology, admitting that she'd never suspected I held a grudge. We were friends again. Two months ago I contacted her again to let her know I was interested in getting back into the staffing business. I emailed my resume, which she passed on to a lady named Donna, who works for a company I was familiar with. Donna calls me and interviews me for an account manager (sales) position. She liked me and set me up to interview with her boss. He liked me too, but he was reluctant to hire me because I've been out of the business for four and a half years. No established relationships to bring to the table. They held off. A couple of days later, I called her and said "don't forget, I can also recruit". Four days after that, she calls me up and wants me to interview again for a recruiting position. I interviewed with the regional recruiting director and two days later got a job offer. Hell yeah! So I started the job two and a half weeks ago as a recruiter. This week, they decide they need me in sales. A promotion in two weeks. Hell yeah!

So the moral of the story is this: Because I was focusing on my spiritual connection I was given the awareness to see the right action, and with humility I made the amends that I needed to make. My motives were positive, and as close to pure as my motives are likely to be. Even though Kathy didn't know I'd been carrying a grudge, the fact is I blamed her for much of my misfortune. In admitting my own culpability, I let go of that negative energy. A series of events has since unfolded and the result is the very positive situation I find myself in now. This is just the most recent example. I could cite many many more, believe me.

I'm looking forward to a nice weekend, the weather here is supposed to be gorgeous. Sunshine and low 80's. A cool seabreeze. Pretty much ideal, if you ask me. Wishing the same for all the good people.


At 12:02 PM , Blogger Kanani said...


I'm glad you wrote this. In the past three years, I've come across two people who obsessively focus the root of their woes on one person. And though eventually they moved on, they found someone else to blame. They were too inward to take on the bigger challenge, which is asking the age old question: "What do I want?" and "Am I willing to do what it takes to get it?"

But instead, unlike you, they didn't take on the challenge. They're not happy, the most untrustworthy and capricious persons I've ever witnessed. I'm just glad I don't know them anymore.

Anyway, as for writing. Well, you really don't do it for financial renumeration. If that comes, it's a blessing and the result of a lot of focus. But the trail is interesting and good. Writing is humbling. It makes you wrestle with your ideas, fine the faults, re-think, and try again. Yes, there's spirituality in that. Giving yourself over to creative powers can be a revealing thing.

Good luck! Keep writing! Write every morning!

At 4:49 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Thanks Kanani, life is pretty good right now. I'm feeling blessed, my life is rich with opportunity at the moment. The Grace of the Spirit is the only explanation that makes any sense. Left to my own devices, I'd fuck up a free vacation, so I can't take any credit.

I agree with your thoughts on writing and the motivation for it. The creative process is a reward in itself, getting paid for it would be gravy. Now that I've said that, I'll also say that getting paid for it is a goal. It's something to shoot for. I want to be a very good writer. Not just average. Not slightly above average. I want to be very good, and with a goal in mind, I'm more focused on improving my skills rather than just writing for my own enjoyment. I'd never get any better if I was just writing because I love to write. I came pretty close to checking out of life about 4 years ago, I feel like I'm living on borrowed time now and I have nothing to lose. Not only that, but I've experienced quite a few miracles in my sobriety, so this goal doesn't seem so far-fetched to me.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks again for stopping by :-)

At 6:24 PM , Blogger Kanani said...

I remember when I first wanted to make the jump into writing books. I was in India, surrounded by people who would never get to where they wanted without a major miracle. And here I was, an American, with a lot of opportunity. And I was wasting it. Now the weird part is this. I arrived back at LAX and was picked up in a freakin' white stretch limo because that's what the van company had available.

So I went from being surrounded by abject poverty to utter preposterousness of excesses in the course of hopscotching across continents. I just knew I had to take the chance.

So I took a class at UCLA, scared out of my wits. I was incredibly intimidated, but made it through. And at the end of the class I got this note from the teacher that said:

One of you in the class will make it. One of you has wanted this all their life, one of you has this burn in your gut. If you're not in love, you will find it, if you're in love, you'll wonder about it and in the end, well, you'll come out a different person for better, worse, or probably both.

So yeah, I decided it was going to be me.

At 7:10 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Thanks for sharing that, Kanani. It's fascinating where we find our inspiration as individuals. I think what you and I have in common is not wanting to waste our lives, but rather wanting to make the most of whatever talent we happen to be blessed with. There is so much to gain, and the only thing that might get hurt is your pride, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. Pride has most often been an obstacle in my life, which is why I seek humility today. With nothing to lose, a little bit of talent, willingness to learn, and a healthy desire, a a man can accomplish great things. Not necessarily this man, but I'll never know unless I try.

There I go, rambling again. Thanks again for sharing your story, it sounds like you've had some interesting experiences. Share more anytime :-)

At 8:41 AM , Blogger Kanani said...

Hey, post something once a week!

At 5:40 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

I know I should, but honestly, my writing time lately has been spent on the WIP, and I'm making decent progress. I know, it's an excuse, but it's a pretty good one :-)

At 10:37 PM , Blogger Kanani said...

Hey, I just reviewed Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" over on Easy writer.

At 7:09 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

Not everyone has the cajones to grab their life by the neck and strangle it into submission, WW. Humility is a noble goal, and one we should all try a little harder to reach, but don't let all of your pride go. Just the harmful side of it.

Honest pride is as much a personal boon as humility. Take pride in your accomplishment, even as you remember those who have helped you get there and forgive/forget those who might have stood in your way.

God, I hope that doesn't sound preachy. I just know how hard it is to make such life-altering personal decisions, and standing by them is the hardest thing you'll ever do. Courage. Strength. Pride. They aren't all bad.


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