Mortality and Incontinence.

Mortality is up there, in terms of conversation stoppers, with incontinence. I suspect that the intricacies of a spastic colon would be more readily welcomed during Water Cooler Chat over Death.

I’m certainly reluctant to talk about mortality because it’s the Big Bad Wolf in popular culture. Avoiding it is strange, don’t you think? Since it’s one Theme Park Ride we’re all going to experience ……… eventually.

On my path Buddhism the writings have been quite vocal about the practice of embracing death. But it’s not death I end up embracing, it’s life.

Try it.

Suggestion: try the Buddhist practice of “What if this were my last day?” If you can keep that thought, right in the forefront of your mind for one day, I guarantee you it will change you life. It changed mine.

My one strange and wonderful life.

The Jackpot of Now.

In the Morning Mad Dash of life, as I stand waiting to cross the street to stretch and meditate in my neighborhood park, the traffic of one car commuters flies by, caught up in the Emergency Rush Hour. At the corner store I witness someone losing it and screaming at the cashier over a seemingly Important Issue, and I think, “Oh, Chirst, that used to be me.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, Nirvana I have not reached, but applying compassion towards what I think is so urgent, towards myself in what I think I “should” accomplish today, and towards what’s worthy in me, has made my life a whole lot more tolerable (and me for that matter).

Compassion is the Anti-Lottery, you might think you’ll win squat in The Game Of More, but the secret is, if I apply it to everyone and every aspect of life, I hit the jackpot, moment by moment, day by day.

I’m Seriously Unimportant.

The odd thing about writing this blog is it seemed be about “doing my job” as a spiritual person, in spreading the word, about gratitude and thankfulness. But a funny thing has happened on the way to the forum, so to speak, I’m discovering that on a daily basis I practice, or rather I kind of have to, what I preach.

Yesterday was all hyped up about something Seriously Unimportant, then realized that I was exactly where I needed to be, in that moment, and suddenly the day slowed down and became a lot more fun. Saying “thank you” over a plate of food, telling a friend that I love her, being polite in traffic … all of these things continue to pile up, gently, building a foundation, that while rocky, is a lot more pleasurable to stand upon then the soft liquefaction of GIMME MORE!

A Complete Sense of Self?

Holding a complete sense of self is something like a trip to the grocery store, where I think, “I’ll just get few things, I don’t need a basket.” Then I end up in the 15-items-or-less check out lane with an armful of groceries acting out the slapstick vaudeville show of “Oops. Sorry. Crash!”

On those days when I can’t seem to remember that I’m innately loveable I take a mental inventory: my friends, family, and even clients who love me. I pull my them together in my head, like I’m stacking my childhood beloved stuffed toys about me. Their reflections, even when they’re not with me, the mirror that shines light into the temporarily dark corners of my psyche.

A renewed sense of confidence.

“What was it you got out of coaching? “A greater perspective. Learning that I have the ability to guide myself.  Along with this came a renewed sense of confidence in myself, that I already know the answers to my own questions.”

What were the tangible results? “I find that I’m now able to ask helpful “Kenji-type” questions so that I move beyond racing thoughts and worries to a place that’s more productive. I’ve been able to guide myself more steadily through situations that would have been difficult for me to deal with in the past.”

What is it that I do? “Kenji listens with rigor and heart. He is able to listen to the words I share, but he also listens to the other messages that are embedded in the words. Because he listens in this deep way, he’s then able to ask questions that get us to the root of our concerns rather than focusing on the superficial level of our worries.” ~ Henry F. 

Everything is precious.

My life is full of blessings: phone calls from my family, friendships based on love, food that I get to choose to eat, a big comfortable warm bed in a beautiful apartment, a chorus of brothers who sing beautifully and goof just as heartily, work that I love, the ability to sit in a cafe in San Francisco sunshine and talk with a friend about philosophy over a great meal … the more I focus on what I may have to say goodbye to one day, in my life, the more I realize how wonderful and precious so many things are. What if we treated each other and every moment with the understanding that it’s fleeting?

Drunk Angels.

My friends and I decided to ‘walk’ into the crowd at Pride last year. Something akin to jumping into Niagara Falls and hoping to tread water. Good move. It was one of those ‘hell body crush’ crowds and I was on my disabled scooter unable to move – it was one of those ‘trampled to death’ crowds, no really.

The Back Street Boys had just taken the stage. No, really! I think that would have been hilariously ironic: “disabled man trampled to death in crush to see former washed up boy band” … I know I’d be laughing

All of a sudden this 20-something slightly drunk young woman and her posse decided that since there wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to move anywhere, and somehow KNEW that internally I was freaking out, that they’d guide me.

Guide is a nice word.

Screamed at people is more like it. “Get the F**K out of the way!!” and “Excuse ME!!? Could you MOVE!!?” and “Pick up your legs!” and “Hey GET OUT OF THE WAY would you?!” – for about 15 minutes …

At the very end the lead instigator shouted ‘photo’ and they all posed around me for a Facebook shot, and then vanished into the crowds from whence they came.

We are blessed … we just never know by whom ….

Successful Woman Changing Careers?

Who knew, living in San Francisco, I’d be coaching women in their 50’s and 60’s living in Wisconsin and Georgia? And San Francisco? Our culture may define ‘success’ as money in the bank but for these four women it seems to be: partners, some with children, friendship, fun and addressing the stumbling bumps in their career change. A coaching niche that has found me, with excellent life lessons … and a blast!

I’m partnering my coaching with four women, who:

  • Need organizational assistance (time management, task management, task overwhelm, organizing stuff, people, and their day),
  • Want to address focus-of-attention/sustaining interest (possible ADD) as an issue,
  • Are in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, and
  • Are in the process of growing an entrepreneurial enterprise, or moving into a new career.

This collaboration has been one of growth, for them, that utilizes my best coaching skills and helps them shine! Our coaching includes the usual: goals, dreams, challenges, homework, accountability, and my not holding back if they’re shirking, but also with some we’ve added the dimension of discussing their religion or spirituality, and how that affects how they see what they’re doing. What’s curious is that their subjects: new workplace, overwhelm, needing support and encouragement, all parallel my growth process with this business. I say “successful women” because all of my clients have been in successful careers, or a family, or both; and all are changing their ingrained habits of distractibility, disorganization, and defeat.

One client tells me that I mostly, “… enhance, support, (and help her) stretch out of comfort zones.” Which is “something essential in growing a business.” And another’s husband said that, “Every moment and dime Kenji has spent coaching my partner was worth it – Kenji’s helped her change our lives!”

What I find in coaching is pure joy: they’re ready to change, they can take it when I call them to the mat (I did wonder once, and this flew out of my mouth, if a client was being ‘chickenshit’ but before I knew it they’d been busted and they loved that I clocked them. Oops).

We bond together on their mission to change, sometimes slugging through it, but always with forward movement and immense personal growth that translates into work success; They are feeling more confident that their enterprise is a new ‘baby’ that they’ll succeed at, and that it’s 100% up to them to either face the  challenges or passively let them skip down the same broken record – so far I have a 100% success rate: not a one hasn’t moved ahead, still loving what they’re doing, and making these career changes that change their entire lives.

Boy do I love what I do! Yippeeee!

What’s the hurry?

I was remembering the other night that my teacher said that my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is, “Trying to make you into the spiritual man you want to be.” That thought didn’t come in some profound peak moment on the top of Mt. Everest, but, alas, it came in the waning hours of the evening, when I was feeling lonely, walking home by myself from a quiet night out.

I realized how fast I was walking, and as I slowed down even further, in an attempt to relax my poor overtaxed body, I noticed that it brought me even more into the moment.

The moment: that odd thing we don’t value with our 4G-always-connected-internet-email-chat-facebook lives; our “phones” that do everything for us but our laundry. The moment: that thing that costs nothing but our attention and our patience. The moment: that dull thing that when I’m able to fully be present in it … is beyond any riches I can imagine. The moment: which sometimes requires sitting with pain and despair, or requires me to realize that I’m rushing … for what? To hurry to the end of my life?

Yelp Testimonials!

Yelp has many of these testimonials (23 in total) and one’s I’ve been too lazy 😉 to re-post here. If you scroll down in Yelp there are the “recommended” reviews and “10 other reviews that are currently not recommended” as their algorithm thinks they’re fake. You be the judge!

Thank you!

– Kenji