Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Visions and The Law of Attraction

Okay, I'm just putting this out there. Not sure what to make of it, myself, but it's something to think about.

In my last post, I alluded to having read the Law of Attraction and using the tool of visualization for some time, now. And I've grown to believe in this. I've seen stuff materialize too many times not to.

For instance. I have always wanted a two-story house. Over the years, I've contemplated moving into a huge, two-story house like the ones so plentiful back home in Nebraska. Not so much here in Arkansas. Those mammoth, white monstrosities are few and far between here and almost never found in the country, which is where I'd want to move if I moved again. Unless it were to Eureka Springs and then I'd live on the Historic Loop, but I digress.

We've had so much work done to our current home, getting it just exactly like we wanted it (sans a 2nd story) I now realize we'll never move from here while my husband is alive. His heels are permanently dug into the rocky soil of our 3 1/2 acres here in our rural, southern town and there's nothing to be done about it. So for a while I've been fantasizing about having a second story added to our house. And it's possible to do but would require, in the case of this particular house, a new foundation. Foundations sound like big money, especially on houses that are already standing. And even that's not the end of the world or necessarily of the vision, but it suddenly occurred to me that in the event of storms, my house's integrity may be compromised by the addition of a 2nd story. As it was explained to me by the contractor who added on our back bedroom and built the new roof over the new and part of the existing house in 1996, the lumber that is produced (grown) nowdays is inferior to the lumber in the past, another contribution by corporate America. The trees now grown for lumber are faster growing pines as opposed to those, slower growing varieties from years gone by, such as the lumber from which the original part of my house was built. That coupled with the ever-growing intensity and frequency of storms in the past 10 years made me second-guess my desire for another floor added to our house.

So I'd been leaning toward the idea of tearing down the building that existed next to our house, the only original old outbuilding left on our property, and building in it's place a nice 22ftx24ft massage studio/art studio/ guest house/ exercise room/ writer's studio (and added to that now a summer kitchen). I toyed with both ideas and visualized them both at different times in my imagery exercises. The only problem with having either one of those options was, as usual, finding the money to build them with, the building being the lesser expense and probably the safest of the two.

In addition, I visualized myself spending my days working outside, doing physical labor and getting suntanned as well as building muscle and cardiovascular strength. I longed to cook and work around my place all day long, daylight to dusk as it had been when I first moved to Arkansas in 1979 and built a house along with my first husband and then, baby, Amanda.

Okay, back to now or a just little before now. In April of this year, a tornado hit our house, along with 600 others in our community. The back half of our house was blown away. The roof and a couple of walls, that is. My massage clinic, itself, was not harmed but the surrounding area looked like a bomb had been dropped. And the main breaker out at the meter kept tripping. Something was wrong. And I lacked the emotional energy to deal with it. So I stayed home and cooked meals for the volunteers and other workers involved with the cleaning up and rebuilding of our house and surrounding area. Days and days were spent packing up our belongings and moving them to storage. I worked outside searching for and retrieving our belongings in peices and sometimes intact from brush piles and from the woods across the street. I rummaged through piles of lumber in an attempt to salvage usable peices for small building projects.

And my beloved old shed had to be torn down, what remained of it. Monetarily, it was no great loss. Before the tornado, the building had slipped slowly off it's so-called foundation consisting of a pile of rocks which had, miraculously worked for many years. It began to lean and I knew it would require extensive work to save it, at the same time, laboring over the idea of allowing it to be torn down to make way for the new building to house my business and other pursuits. But I couldn't make the decision, not then any better than during the years the remodling was going on and the contractor wanted so badly to tear it down that his mouth watered. Still it stood until April 9th, 2009. And even then, it only moved a half a foot from where it'd stood only this time it sported a huge, gaping abyss where it's side had once been. This time it had to go and we all knew it.

The day they tore down my shed was one of the saddest days for me surrounding the tornado. My smashed McCoy Pot Belly Stove Cookie jar didn't faze me. Likewise, picking up peices of my jewlery out of the dirt and mud in what used to be our yard. But I grieved the passing of that old shed, and still do. And it was that grief that insisted on keeping the back, lean-to portion of the shed to be moved to the back pasture and used as a future goat shed (though we own no goats at present).

The first few weeks after the tornado I spent in filth, freezing, wet from rain one minute and sweat the next, cut hands and feet and arms, constantly burned from cooking in an unfamiliar environment with a hodgepodge of cooking implements. We were heating our house with only the fireplace for at first we had no electricity and even when the meter was restored, we had no venting for the furnace so it had to be left off. Both our vehicles had the glass blown out of them and my husband's, having had full-coverage insurance, was in the shop to be repaired....for 9 weeks (long story). Mine, on the other hand, resembled something I'd seen on Mad Max, an apocalyptic improvisation providing a semblance of mobility in unconventional circumstances. The back hatch glass of my Explorer, long broken, now sported just the coils of wire once connected to the defroster. They blew, bouncing in the breeze as I drove down the littered streets which, when catching my eye in my rearview mirror (yes, that survived), stuck me as extremely amusing for some reason. I must have been some sight as I sped around the countryside, dirty hair blowing through jagged-edged open holes where windows once lived, laughing hysterically at those wires.

It was during this time, sitting around the livingroom one afternoon talking with my husband and my friend Bobbi that I realized I was doing exactly what I'd envisioned. Did I cause this? Was this a type of witchcraft in which I conjured this calamity upon my neighbors and my family? We laughed about it but I wondered and I still do.

I recall, during that time, in spite of the chaos and loss and relief, an overwhelming sense of a sort of humming of the spheres, if you will. Like everything was as it was meant to be, even, no, especially then. I felt a sense of possibly having recieved the exact, mathematically calculated amount of catastrophe to move things along as they were designed. Words fail me as I attempt an explanation of this. I've made a mental note to explore the existance of similar experiences among other people involved in disasters. Or not. I've actually felt the same thing when in a particularly accepting period in my life. Like when I first got sober, etc. And while I cannot speak for the man who lost his wife, nor the family whose father was crushed beneath their pre-civil war home or the family of the elderly piano player, I view the tornado, on my good days, as more under the umbrella of blessing rather than curse.

Materially, we lost very little that hasn't been replaced. Our house is almost completed, the blow away parts replaced by better built parts. We got to change a few things we'd regretted during the first and second remodelings. And after everything is paid for, it looks like we'll have enough money to build the building next to the house that I'd envisioned and all paid for by the insurance money we have leftover. All that and the possibility that we may actually be able to pay off my husband's pickup.

And yet, that's not all. We got a spiritual shock treatment. We'd become skeptical, cynical and judgmental in our views of the human race (all of that probably expediated by working in ERs for many years) but I wasn't entirely comfortable with the degree of cynacism I possessed, either. The tornado changed some of that at the root level. People I had previously loved to hate, turned into our biggest heroes during that time. Church people, for one. Once believing them all a bunch of pompous, judgemental asses without an inkling of the definition of charity, we were, after the tornado, bombarded with offers for food and drinks and tarps and anything else we could possibly need. And it was that way with a whole array of people and of institutions we had previously long since written off as the spawns of Satan. It was a wake up call to the human condition in which we are all partners. Parts of the Whole I claim to believe in so strongly. I needed it and so did Freddy. We stand humbly corrected.

And so, if I did "conjure up" such a disaster as our tornado, perhaps it is as it should be, at least for us. And as I won't deliberately do it again, I'll probably continue to visualize, my intent being for the good of all involved and leaving it as always, open-ended. Do no harm, and all of that.

ER, Again?

I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm seriously considering taking another full-time job in the ER. I've been doing prn since quitting my previous full-time ER day job last September, opting instead to put my energy into my massage business. Only to discover I have very little energy for much of anything, at this point in my life. When left to my own devices, I tend to do gravitate to sitting on my ass, writing and surfing the internet. So shoot me.

I really thought I was through with nursing in general and ER in particular. I dreamed of the day I could tell HR to remove my name from the calling list and bid her have a nice life. I've thought and journaled and lamented about nothing else for years, at least 5. My family and friends are sick of hearing about it, already. And yet, while basking in the serenity of my new life I found my creativity stunted. Rather than blossoming out into the creative rebirth I anticipated, my 10 month semi-sabbatical from the ER has proven to be more of just a convalescence. A "resting up" period during which I reorganized my priorities and recuperated from the soul-deprecating effects of 20 years of nursing.

I thought I would write volumes, but volumes never materialized. I found in their stead, an empty, albeit calm and comfortable, center where I reposed for weeks on end never inspired to write more than a sentance or two. A chilling thought now shadows over me. Could it be that I somehow need the harried life of the ER not only as a source of writing fodder, but for a well-rounded life of any kind? Could it be that, perverted by nursing school, my life has deteriorated to the point of needing the ER like a junkie needs heroin?

This is not what I had envisioned. I planned to build my massage business, branching out into other holistic modalities, until I was able to one day ease out of the arena of nursing, entirely. I would then, as my mind movie progressed, begin to write in my spare time until the day I would become a financially independent writer of books and essays. My life would then consist of days spent in the following manner:

I would get up at my leisure. Pad up the carpeted stairs to my office (we live in a single-story dwelling) where I would drink coffee in a soft, overstuffed chair upholstered in light, floral patterned fabric. The 2 or 3 windows in my office would be covered with white Venetian blinds, you know, the ones with wide slats. On the back wall would be a huge, built-in book shelves where I would keep the majority of my myriad books. ("Mine" in the sense that I own them not necessarily that I wrote them after all, even I recognize my limits even in the realm of creative imagery).

It would be there that I spend the first hour of so of my day, followed by a healthy lunch, an hour on my EFX machine which would be located in the exercise room to the left of the now nonexistant staircase. Mid afternoon would find me soaking in my jacuzzi tub followed by a nap. This on the day I don't have an appointment at Turtle Cove Spa on Lake Ouachita for my weekly mud wrap and 90 minute massage. Upon awakening, I would prepare a healthy, gourmet meal for my husband and myself before returning to the office to write until late in the night.

Cold winter nights would be spent before the fireplace downstairs, dressed in leggings, an oversized organic cotton knitted sweater and thick, white, cotton socks, my dogs at my feet as I sipped herbal tea into which I'd squeezed a couple of tablespoons of Agave Nectar. I would, as a matter of course be writing in a notebook while listening to the wind howl beyond the orangey light of our livingroom lamps. Apparently my husband will have decided he no longer wishes to watch television with the volume at his current, deafening level of preference as this would never be possible otherwise.

When involved in a big book deal, we would take to the road in our new RV that I would buy for us with my first (in a series of many) book deals. He would drive while I slept or ate and at night, he'd read or watch tv wearing a good set of headphones while I reclined in the back bed and wrote. Our RV would be equipt with fax, copier and WiFi, of course, allowing me the necessary constant communication with my editor. We would travel to New York in the RV as we use to do before the rat ate the lines under the hood of our old one, only this time we'd frequent the publishing house working book deals and negotiating advances and film rights.

On our trips home, hefty checks in our bank bag made out to me, we'd amble around the countryside, West Virginia where my father's family still lives, Tennessee, Georgia to visit my sister, buying antiques which we'd have shipped back home and eating gourmet meals. We'd eventually come home and start the whole grueling process over again.

That's what I had envisioned. And I'm serious about the word vision. I read The Law of Attraction and I know how to do it (more on that, later). I've been working on this one for years. So what's with this pull to return to the ER? Well, maybe the road to my dream life isn't via living the slow-paced ethereal life of a holistic nurse/massage therapist like I thought. Maybe I need to work like a dog and be abused by ridiculas patients, doctors and family members 3 days a week as a type of catalyst to my creative process. What's more, earning my living in 3 days in the ER as opposed to the basically 7 days a week required by my current combination of massage and prn ICU nursing, will allow me sufficient "moodling" time, as Brenda Euland calls it. Maybe I can write better during my recovery period of 4 days off each week. I don't know. All I know is, damn me, I don't seem to be able to quit ER nursing.