I am starting a practice sharing tip on living a natural, balanced life with ease, and help women who are at crossroads in life to relax and figure out next steps.
Here it is: www.connect2self.com. Please visit this page, and follow my blog again. I’m still working on the memoir on healing from chemical sensitivity. I have a “drafted” manuscript version. Yippee.
As I shuffle the navy, starry-backed tarot cards this morning, I ask, “Help me focus my energy. How should I look at today?” I get the “DEATH” card.
Oh, excellent. It resonates for some reason. Even though the image of a sickle-carrying, armor-wearing skeleton riding over a fallen king gives me the willies.
After examining the card more closely, I see that beyond the terrible event, the sun is rising on the horizon.
An end to a chapter.
I mediate and ask for guidance. This is what bubbles up:
Death to whining.
… to anger.
… to holding standards, judgment.
… to unfinished projects.
… to beliefs that hold me back.
… to relationships that don’t work.
… to wasting time.
… to un-forgiveness.
I had woken up foggy after anxiety-ridden dreams about my parents. The Death card, the out-with-the-old-and-broken energy, cleanses and liberates. Very Plutonian and Scorpion, for those who are astrologically inclined.
It might be interesting to create your own Death List. See what comes to you.
“Oh, I’m tired. I’m on the floor naked…with underpants on…” I speak into the cell phone as I splay across the floor. It is 3pm and no, I am not about to have sex. I make plans with my friend to meet tomorrow.
About 12 hours ago I’d gone to bed after cleaning our new rental for four hours. It isn’t enough time. We sort of trade our privilege of saying no to the tenants’ muted eggplant and green paints on the walls for leaving the place 90% clean.
About 8 hours ago a friend who is driving across the country and is supposed to show up yesterday calls and says he can stop by today. I haven’t seen T for five years. Come, I say into the phone.
About 6 hours ago my beloved asks me to call a plumber to clear the drain at the rental. I make five phone calls to coordinate his arrival with the tenants, locate the spare keys, pay for the fix, and give the code on the back of the credit card when the plumber calls again asking for it. More calls to another friend Sarina to move back our lunch date because of my cross-country friend’s visit.
These calls occur during T, his lab, and my midday walk, under a burning sun. I even wear a black maxi dress to celebrate the occasion. Twenty minutes into the excursion, sweat streams down my back. I chatter away with T, noting clumps falling out of the end of his dog as I walk behind her.
“Watch out. She poops funny.” T turns to me.
At our midpoint stop at a cafe, my molded bra sticks to my chest like suction cups. (Why it’s molded is a whole other post.) When I pull contraption’s center away from me, steam rises to my chin. Hmm. I’ve never had this experience before.
Back at my house, we take a picture in my black dress with the black lab in the front yard to document that T indeed visits Colorado. We say good-bye.
Into the car and onto the next engagement, a spirited chat with Sarina after her angels once again find us booth seating during the way-packed-during-lunch hour at Panera’s.
When I get home, it is empty. I run upstairs to my study. I pull the bra out from under my dress. I check my email and lift the dress over my head.
Whoa. I am free. The floor looks good. I think I’ll lie down. Air out. Vegge out. Hang out.
How about you? How do you hang out?
It starts with the tooth, #30. The one that receives the jaw’s powerful chumping, where I grind at night. #30 got a root canal two years ago. It hurts again this November. My dentist tells me that it needs to go, to be replaced by a titanium screw.
The idea of metal in my gum makes me twitch in several places. I write to Barbara, my skillful hypnotherapist back East. (She helped me healed the chemical sensitivity.) She replies that there are other options to deal with #30.
That’s what I want to hear. I want to keep the tooth despite its troubles. It’s a part of my body.
I have a session with Barbara.
Why does the tooth hurt?
Because I grind on it. And I wear a mouth guard -it looks like an old chew toy.
Why do you grind?
Stress. Conflicts. My writing is stuck. I want to read up on astrology instead. I feel guilty about that. I’m supposed to work…not to have fun. I can’t do the fun stuff until work is done. Work is never done. It’s a double-edged trap.
Why can’t you work and have fun at the same time?
Fun feels like goofing off…
Ah. Fun and work don’t mix?
Fun is like Tinkerbell, chatty and flighty, full of magic and light…glow in the dark. Work is like Thor, a big white horse to me, working hard and galloping toward a goal. (These are apparently my guides; they emerge when I’m in trance and in touch with the subconscious).
What happens when you put Tinkerbell and Thor together?
Thor is swatting Tinkerbell away like a fly.
This conflict causes stress. How can you get your Tinkerbell and Thor to play together? I sense that you have both energies in you.
Yeah, I do. I am a funny fun person who is serious about work. You think once I integrate the two, I won’t be grinding my teeth?
I think the grinding will go away when the stress is gone. We get to the cause of this stress so you can heal the tooth and not injure it again. And, you know I work with people in severe life situations…I DANCE in my mind when I work.
The day after, the tooth feels much better. Not completely, as I need to have Tinkerbell and Thor enjoy each other.
Full disclosure -I am taking garlic concentrate and oregano oil to support the immune system in fighting the infection. During hypnosis, I also learn a way to undo 4 decades of teeth grinding.
My dental assistant friend wants to know how this turn out. She tells me that ancient Egyptians died of abscessed teeth.
I can say that it’s going the right direction. I sense that if #30 is pulled and replaced with robo-tooth/implant while I keep grinding from stress, other teeth will suffer a similar fate.
I canceled #30′s extraction appointment. I’ll have a follow-up with Barbara to explore what a clenching jaw means. Stay tuned.
Do you have a Tinkerbell and a Thor? Do they mesh happily?
I meet her, unprepared. I have sandals and no water bottle. I plan on a quiet stroll on a pretty trail. I don’t know her. Like magnets attracting each other on a narrowing path, we merge and talk about the weather, the Dalai Lama, China vs. India., my faith, and then, Jesus Christ.
Let’s call her Tammy. She has bright hazel eyes and a high pitch voice. I peg her in her 60s. ”I take the energetic route,” she swings her black walking poles and raises her white sneakers one after another over the rugged, rocky terrain. I follow her because I’m curious as to where the conversation and the hike is going. Part of me think, oh no, I’ve finally met one of those Christians in Colorado.
I hope she doesn’t try to recruit me… I’ve spent my life fighting dogma.
With red hair peeping from under her cap, Tammy stops to sip from her water pack and draws in the dirt with the tip of her pole to illustrate stories from Jesus’s teaching.
“Before a woman was stoned, Jesus asked everyone who has picked up a stone to reflect on himself. Have you done similar things like this woman? If so, put down the stone.” I like that. I wondered why this world is full of people who claim to do right for others without reflecting much about themselves.
I’m no perfection and I scrutinize my motives often. Whew. Tammy’s rendition of Jesus’ principles reminds me of what the Buddhists say about mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance.
“I was at a terrible, terrible place before I was saved.” Tammy announces as we wind around a pine tree. I wonder what abyss she refers to. Then she stops and turns to me, “By the way, your body is losing a lot of fluid at this high altitude. You need to be drinking every 15 minutes. As a good Christian I should share my water with you.” She gazes at my empty hands. “But I don’t think you want my germs.”
“Thanks. That’s ok.” She is correct. I don’t want her germs. I take in the wispy clouds in the azure sky, the sandy and green slope painted next to it. ”You know, I am going to turn around. I am getting woozy.”
“I’ll go down with you. I have a doctor’s appointment soon.”
Good. I want to know what traumas and healing she experienced. What makes her a believer in the Almighty? She mentions that she hasn’t found what she’s found in Evangelical Christianity in any other religion. She has gone through Catholicism, New Age, Witchcraft, and Fundamentalism. She’s read about Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism. She like the paternal “Our Father” because she didn’t have a father figure growing up.
“I had mental illness. I was catatonic. I was in a wheelchair and couldn’t even talk. The doctors said there was nothing else they could do for me. My husband left me. My kids gave up -I told them I wanted to die.” Tammy wells up next to the head of descending stone steps. The light on her face crunches as she squeezes her brows and eyes together.
“How long ago was this?” My heart races.
“Like, seven months ago?”
“Yes.” She sniffles and goes back to smiling.
“What made you better?” I am stunned. She seems healthy and joyful. Seven months ago she was going to and wanted to die?
“My friends were praying for me. One of them invited me to her place in Kansas, and she took me to mass everyday.” Tammy pauses and looks at me again. ”In church, I felt judged. I was still in the wheelchair. I thought about my pride and how that had to be broken.” She reveals she was one of those preachy holier-than-thou kind of people. “I kept praying. Eventually I felt accepted and loved by God.”
My face cracks open in awe. ” Thank you for sharing such a story. I am so honored to hear it. And I’m happy for you. You have such life in you now!” I feel her light rubbing off on me. I grin from cheek to cheek.
Tammy offers me a ride to my car. I decline. I want to process what has unfolded in front of me: a very personal, healing miracle. It gives me faith in my work, my calling.
Any healing is possible. Any way of healing is possible. I used to think healing childhood traumas is the key to wellness and peace. Now I see more ways -this time it’s the Divine Grace.
Three weeks later, I am still mulling over the bigger message of this encounter. Because, after meeting Tammy, I will meet a minister and a pastor in the usual unplanned ways.
It takes iron courage to say to a certified arborist in Boulder County that you want to remove three mature trees. Two beautiful “specimens” of aspen and an ash, trees that I call oaks on the phone when I ask about estimates. The ignorance of an East Coaster.
The problem is that these trees are thriving next to our house with no other places to grow.
Our new house (someone else’s old one) has become Snow White’s animal kingdom. We boast two active bird nests, housing finches and sparrows. Over the roof, a hyper reddish-brown squirrel runs laps every morning and chews on the wood on the side of a dormer, strategically located next to our bed. And the mystery guest -scratching in the middle of the night- in what sounds like inside the walls but as we find out, isn’t in those walls.
Jack the Bat-man drills two holes in two flawless, beige surfaces to find a clean inner space un-visited by any animals. No foot prints or turds. No bats. A psychic friend dreams that there were three of the nocturnal mammals in my house.
While we are relieved that it isn’t the bats, the critter continued to make its presence known.
My hearing is extremely good. Too good for sleeping. I wake up one night four times to tell my beloved about the noises. He barely answers in his exhaustion. Then, in the morning, the squirrel comes for his exercise. I run out with half-glued-shut eyes to make sure it is him.
Plus, a fat blanket of mosquitoes the trees shade surround our house. They act like hungry children waiting to be let in at the front door. Once the door opens, they rush in.
I survey half of the house with two fly squatters in hand every night before bedtime, and become an ungracious door answer-er. When people are at the door, I open it slightly, talk, and shut it fast. I don’t have time to explain the opportunistic ethic of the biting insects.
It almost feels like having chemical sensitivities again -the same metaphor of feeling under siege, that everywhere I turn there is something to disturb and harm me. (Lack of sleep in this case turns into a cold.) A dear friend reminds me that I am not the same person when I had the MCS. (Thank you, Amy.)
Oh yeah. I am not a victim anymore.
When the trees come down, light floods into the house and I feel my chest loosens a bit. The house breathes. It would stop attracting wildlife and we humans can carve out a space in which to exist.
Thank you trees for protecting and shading all these years, and becoming fire wood.
We keep the linden next to the driveway. It has a beautiful canopy. It sheds piles of dry wings and buds, crunchy fluffy nuggets. It sweats sticky mists of “tree juice” over the car it hovers.
Birds chirp and dash from the verdant branches of the linden.
Finding balance with nature. Taking care of ourselves by taking action, and not snapping into old, unhelpful thinking patterns. All things to be mindful about but hard to remember when the animals show up in intimate part of daily life one after another. (One nest was built in the dryer vent right after it was cleaned.)
I wonder how Snow White hung with the animals and sang at the same time.