28 June, 2007

SighMess Congestion

The title is both a play on words and a say-it-aloud sound alike of what my congestion sounds like when I talk. The whammy is that sighmess (instead of sinus) is far more accurate than either a head cold or a sinus congestion could be.

Sighmess Congestion is what happens when there is so much clutter and mess to take care of that one begins to sigh more than Mary Hartman. Sigh. Such is the case with my situation for needing to empty my mother's apartment in the next three weeks. When I go there (and I don't even have to travel the 150 miles to L.A., I am equally as capable of 'going there' in my head) and look around at the clutter and mess and the huge amount of work it is going to take to clear it out, I short-circuit and don't get anything done except make myself emotionally weary. And based on the early writings of Louise Hay, congestion in the body reflects congestion in the world around us. Bingo. Because now even our house is more cluttered as I try to integrate and/or disburse some of Mom's belongings.

Some of this sounds pretty basic to Science of Mind students. And here is the really interesting part of all this. I called my mother this week to check in on her and she sounds exactly like I do-- all stuffed up and is having almost identical symptoms. She is in a nursing home in L.A. and I am here in sunny San Diego and we are in synch. Crikey, I am projecting and manifesting her 'stuff.' Well, once I realized what I was doing on a psychic level, I shifted my part in this drama and my energy began to return; and I began to feel better. I bet Caroline Myss would have a lot to say about this, too.

Beyond doing what one does to not have a cold or sinus condition, I am also working feverishly (very pointed and selected word on my part) doing everything I can do here at home to clean up and clear up the dust, the mess, the clutter around the house. I am also preparing myself to have that same fervor for my upcoming L.A. trips.

Often, I longed for having the type of relationship with my mother that I perceived others having. You know, the June Cleaver-esque dynamic where the mother taught her daughter life skills by conscious methods and applications. Instead, most of the things I have learned about life from my mother came about as the inverse. Yes, my spiritual practice and maturity have taught me that Mom did the best she could. She had a hard life and not very good teachers. Mom continues to teach me even during this time of hospice and transition. I find that many of the long-held negative patterns are cropping up for she and I to deal with and heal. She may not know she is healing them but when she said to me yesterday on the phone, "I am just going to go inside for awhile and I don't want to talk to anyone" it was her way of saying she is doing some inner work and contemplation. This is new behavior on her part. Mom has spent the last 20+ years of her life in avoidance both physically (she was almost a full agoraphobic) and emotionally. I know that the reason she hasn't made her transition yet is that on some level she knows that she agreed to do "the work" --she didn't give birth to this kid for nothing-- and is doing what she can to take care of some things in the subconscious level of her being.
Deep.

My charge now is to stay open and alert. I must also find a way to stay detached without seeming insensitive. I remind myself to deal with her from a Practitioner concsiousness instead of merely the daughter subjected to this challenging scenario.
Somewhere she and I made a covenant for this lifetime and I learned what I know now so that I could assist her; and so that I could break some ancient bonds that has held my family hostage to ignorance and fear. I want to release this sighmess so I can be a clearer instrument of compassion and service. I think Mom would like that.

27 June, 2007

Bah Hum Buzz

Let's just skip the fact that I have a whopper of a summer cold --or sinus congestion or whatever. Let's just have the compassion that I have been under the weather and therefore, in need of extra sleep.

That said, I can now rant and whine for a moment...

Our neighbor's front door is inconveniently located across from our bedroom window. At times, this has proved to be quite a challenge. Tricky enough when she wants to have a party and we go to bed before the party ends. But the bigger intrusions are somehow justified and tolerated. Where it becomes problematic are actually with the smaller instances.

Now let me say, that our neighbor is a sweet young woman and we have no issues with her as a person. However, her being young has played into this because there does not seem to be the awareness of how other people live life. For example, in the wee hours of the morning, it really isn't nice to begin a cell phone call on the porch as you are leaving/arriving. And then there is the fact that our work schedules do not jive and her choosing to do the laundry before 7:00 a.m. can create a challenge. The laundry machines are located in a little metal shed outside our place. Which means that every time the shed door is open, we can hear it; and we can hear when the dryer is running or the load complete. Our other neighbor and I have asked her to please not do laundry at odd hours and to not leave the loads in the dryer when she takes off for work (as it leaves the load up to us to empty if we choose to do our laundry).

Last night, I managed to sleep through the whole night and was looking forward to sleeping in a bit. Except that our neighbor decided to do her laundry at 6:30 a.m.
I was doing OK with her going in and out of her apartment door (even though it squeaks each time it opens) because those are familiar and recognizable noises. It's funny to me, that one can sleep through noises as long as they are recognizable even in the alpha sleeping state. However, when a voice pierces the silence or the trash can lid drops shut, it disturbs the sleep. So each time she went out to the car or the shed, I sustained a light sleep. But I guess she was also cleaning as every other trip outside, she would toss something in the trash or recycle bin and let the lid shut. I don't know about you, but when I give myself permission to sleep in I want to do that no matter what. Even though I would have been better off getting up (despite the earlier hour) than trying to go back to sleep. I even mellowed to the hum of the dryer to lull me back to sleep; and then slam or thud or clink. AAAAAAARGH.

Finally, she left (one can hear the car door, too) and I drifted back to sleep. Ahhh.
BUZZZZZZZ! Oh, you do not want to know what thoughts I had when the dryer buzzer sounded to let us know that the load was dry and ready to be emptied. However, I already knew she had left the premises and the dryer load and if someone did not get up to go and open the door, it would buzz again in five minutes. I got up, put on slippers and padded outside in my nightshirt and sleepy stupor to open the door to the dryer and stomp back inside.

Yeah, I know, I was the one grumbling and paying the price. She was blithely driving somewhere completely ignorant of her negligence...again. BAH HUM BUZZ ! ! !

Fortunately, I am a spiritual person. On my return inside, I immediately went into my daily prayer practice and yes, shed a little love her way. Situations like this are so interesting to me because there are so many courses of action to take. I could have gotten up and confronted and educated her at 7:00 am (forget the fact that I sounded like a bad Nyquil audition); I could have prayed my angst away and let it all go; or I could call or write her and explain the problem. Most of my family would just take it on the chin, ignore it and grouse about it personally. After all, "don't make waves" was my grandmother's motto. It would be accurate to say that most of my patterns match that--don't make people angry or risk their disliking you. Maturity and spiritual wisdom has mollified that somewhat. I am now able to do both.
I can and will pray for light between us (and our windows) and I am also going to write her a note to see if I can foster further awareness on her part.

This post is a reminder that we don't have to be doormats in life; nor do we have to take an aggressive or confrontative position when things or people don't go our way.
I am a spiritual being in a human package and I need to honor both. Maybe that's what Joni sang about--"both sides now."

Ahhhhh Hum Buzzzzzz

24 June, 2007

Senior Follies

Dear and wonderful Kristi Peterson invited me to see a musical revue her friend had worked on called "Senior Follies" playing at the El Cajon Performing Arts Center. It was a great chance to spend some time with Kristi sharing what we both love--musical performing.

We met early to grab a quick bite and to try and catch up with each others lives. We have not seen each other really since I left PCRS and there was much to share.

This musical revue was a huge cast of people who have been doing theatre in and around San Diego. I was familiar with the famous musical Senior Follies that has become a perennial in Palm Springs, so I expected something similar. This was almost two hours of hoofing, singing, comedy impressions and spectacle. I smiled warmly as these "older" folks sang (even survived part of the set collapsing beside them during a number) and kicked up their heels. Then the female emcee announced that no one in the cast was under the age of 55. How sweet.
WAIT A MINUTE! Sweet, hell. I suddenly realized that I am closer in age to this ensemble at this stage of my life than I would be to a cast from "Bye, Bye Birdie or Grease." HOLY C@*! I saw my theatrical career flash before my eyes in a sobering moment of reality. In 20+ years, I could be one of them up there shuffling off to Buffalo.

Watching the women in their showgirl costumes and headresses as they paraded across the stage to a pre-recorded voice over introducing themselves and telling their ages, I began to tear up thinking that these women are my mother's age; oh, how I would have loved to have my mom in this show. I would be so tickled. We could do a duet the way one mother and daughter did. Alas, no, because even if my mother was not ailing, she hated show business and hated performing of any kind. As a rebellious kid, when her father put her in the act against her wishes, she sang her song with her back to the audience. In those days that was not an arty statement that was mutiny.

And it was grand watching these people doing what they loved to be doing. The audience eating it all up--even the songs and the few performers who might want to keep their retirement status. At the intermission, I quickly scanned the program and as I could have predicted, the show would close with an Americana medley. I was raised by Vaudevillians and I know that to sell a show you close with the flag as big as you can get it and with as patritotic a number as you can muster. And at the tail end of the USO tribute, they pulled out every red, white and blue trick in the book and I fell for it hook, line and Statue of Liberty. I cried the same way I cry every July when I watch "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and I know the movie by heart.

Guess there is no bidness like show bidness.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...