Friday, April 06, 2007

A Whole New World....

A new fantastic point of view..."

(I forget the rest of the words, but there's a Disney theme song playing in my head right now.)

Good Friday greetings, everyone. The Lord be with you.

That said, I'm pondering this new life that I have chosen for now. Though Justin says I am "making significantly less money than I was when I was a teacher" (imagine that!), I wonder if spiritually I am actually meeting my needs. Here's what I mean:

I am the Editor of Vision Magazine. Thus far, that means I get to write, take photographs, work with writers and their stories, choose books, music and other products to review, and maintain my own hours during the week. I can work from home and go to the office for meetings and "office hours" as necessary. In many ways the job is similar to being the Adviser of The Falconer at Torrey Pines High School. However, at Vision, I get to be creative instead of guiding the creative minds of other people. I get to write. I do the work, to create art, instead of just suggesting ways to improve it. Both are important, but being the Editor speaks to my need to create something meaningful in a different way than teaching did. Plus, the work environment consists of three women, a dog, three offices and a bathroom I can use whether or not the kids are between classes. Also, we can burn incense and light candles and play music. These are the features of a beautiful life.

I am a hostess at Urban Mo's. Working at Mo's fulfills my need to do very high energy work while multi-tasking and meeting the needs of hundreds of other people. It is a very social environment. My co-workers and most of our guests share a saucy, dry, quick-witted sense of humor, we laugh and joke and play even while we do surprisingly physically demanding work. I love working there, and I am also glad that I don't have to do it every day. I don't have that kind of energy yet. The balance of Mo's zooming energy against the mentally stimulating yet Zen-like energy at Vision is perfect for me. I get to be two totally different people yet myself in one day.

I walk Chewy and sometimes two other neighborhood dogs. Chewy greets me with such abandon and joy that he can barely hold still long enough for me to put his little doggie harness on his chest. Because I walk Chewy, each weekday I have the opportunity to experience unconditional puppy love, breathe the fresh air of San Diego and be alone with my thoughts--which are always moved into positive space because I've got this dog next to me who actually smiles the whole time we are together as he explores the neighborhood from the vantage point of zero to twelve inches above the earth. Chewy gives me free and peaceful time.

I am an art model. This gives me kinesthetic creativity as I choose poses that will give the artists something interesting to create. And then, during the long poses I have seriously meditative time. In the rest of my life I have a very hard time sitting still. Even while watching a movie or sitting in a church pew, I am constantly shifting and fidgeting while my mind shifts to and from the intended object of my attention. But when I model, I am perfectly still except for the rise and fall of my breath and the blink of my eyelids. In this stillness I can quiet my mind as well. Yes, thoughts of the day and memories of the past and plans for the future drift by, but I practice mindfulness and watch them go. It's easy to do while I keep even my eyes focused on one spot. As a model, I am creative and meditative. It is an interesting combination of physically and mentally demanding work that delivers another kind of peace.

OK. I still have the jobs of taking care of myself and Justin and the apartment... but given the above jobs and my gigs as a photographer and painter I have to get going now... I am taking someone's headshots this morning.

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